Cuban History and Culture Tours

Cuba in Depth: History & Culture Activities

March 7, 2023

When you think of Cuba, what first comes to mind? Cigars, Havana’s vintage cars and its revolutionary history? We aim to offer your travellers a look into these facets of the Caribbean nation and so much more.  

Our tours in Cuba highlight what we all know: the island is a playground for all things music, dance and vivacious street life. But beyond the allure of city festivities, your travellers will find Cuba’s revered tobacco plantations, charming colonial architecture and multifaceted historic remnants. Here are just some of the great ways you can incorporate history and culture into your travellers’ tours of Cuba.  

Prehistory and cigars in the Vinales Valley

The Vinales Valley is dotted with tobacco plantations and limestone cliffs, which tower majestically over the emerald green patchwork of fields. The UNESCO-listed valley has a unique cultural landscape, with traditional stone farmhouses, rustic churches and small villages, adding to the unique charm of the area. From its traditional tobacco growing plantations to caves and underground rivers, this is an unforgettable natural and cultural destination. 

Here your travellers can: 

Learn about the area on horseback

On a leisurely horseback ride through the valley, visitors meet and hear the stories of local farmers and villagers along the way, and discover age-old agricultural (in particular tobacco) techniques.  

Vinales Valley on horseback, with Discova
Visit the Mural of Prehistory

This fascinating large-scale painting is located on the side of a mountain in the valley and was created by Cuban painter Leovigildo Gonzalez in the 1950s. An expert in neo-caveman artistry, Gonzalez covered 12,000 square metres (130,000 square feet) of rock face with depictions of the prehistory of the area, including its archaeological sites, flora and fauna, and geological formations. 

Mural of Prehistory, Cuba
Explore the Indian Cave

An underground cave system with spectacular natural formations created by erosion, known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Inside the cave, visitors can explore its winding passages, guided by an experienced local guide. Before colonial times, this intriguing spot was home to indigenous Taino Indian inhabitants. Today, it still depicts petroglyphs and carvings that date back centuries. 

The Indian Cave, Cuba
Our recommended accommodation in the Vinales Valley: Balcón del Ermitaño

Trinidad’s colonial history  

Trinidad is one of the world’s most well-preserved colonial towns. Located in the centre of the country and in the foothills of the Escambray Mountains, Trinidad is known for its vibrant colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and pastel-coloured buildings. It’s popular too for its proximity to the Caribbean Sea and its incredible attractions, such as the Valle de los Ingenios sugar plantation, the Plaza Mayor, and the nearby Ancon Beach.

Here your travellers can:

Take a historic walking tour 

The city was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and is well-deserving of its title. While the whole of Cuba has a distinctly romantic, old-fashioned aura, beautiful historical treasures culminate perfectly in Trinidad, where colonial architecture has been tastefully preserved.

Trinidad City, Cuba
Visit the Manaca Iznaga Plantation and Estate 

A breathtakingly beautiful and historic landmark with a dark history, the former sugar plantation site and estate is one of several in the Valley of the Sugar Mills. Established in the mid-1700s, it was infamous for its slave trafficking past. 

Manaca Iznaga Plantation and Estate
Our recommended accommodation in the Trinidad: Casa Barmarin


Cienfuegos: History by the seaside

Cienfuegos is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage registered city located in Cuba’s southern coast. Home to breathtaking beaches, turn of the 20th century architecture and friendly locals, Cienfuegos is a vibrant and welcoming destination full of culture and history. With its stunning landscapes and captivating music (the city boasts a world-class chorus and ballet troupe), this city is sure to capture your travellers’ hearts and transport them to a time gone by. 

Here your travellers can: 

Tour the Palacio de Valle 

This grandiose mansion is a stunning example of Cuban Neo-Baroque architecture. Located in the heart of the city of Cienfuegos, this beautiful palace is a must-see destination for any traveller looking to experience the grandeur of Cuban history. Constructed in 1917, inside visitors will find a stunning blend of Moorish and Renaissance styles, a grand staircase, impressive marble floors, and magnificent stained-glass windows that provide a glimpse into Cuba’s past.  

Palacio de Valle
Enjoy a show at the Tomas Terry Theatre

This elegant building has been around since 1887, and is the only example of neo-Renaissance architecture in Cuba. With its elegant and ornate interior, the theatre is a sight to behold and a must-see destination when visiting Cuba. Inside, your travellers can enjoy performances of classic operas, ballets, and other theatrical shows.   



Watch a game at the 5th of September Stadium (5 de Septiembre in Spanish)

Baseball is as much a national Cuban treasure as cigars are. The 5th of September Stadium is home to the city’s home team, the Cienfuegos Camaraneros, and has a seating capacity of over 15,000. Here your travellers can enjoy a game and the stadium’s lively atmosphere, a place that has held several iconic events during its over-40-year history.  

Baseball in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Our recommended accommodation in the Cienfuegos: Hotel Palacio Casa Azul
Festival of note

At the beginning of July 2023 (dates to be confirmed) the Fiesta Del Fuego (or Fire Festival) will be held in the ‘geographical heart of the Caribbean’, Santiago de Cuba. An exciting array of performances, exhibitions, workshops and street activities take place throughout the festival and draw participants and spectators from all over the world. The fantastic event celebrates Cuba’s rich history and energy and culminates in a Fire Parade on the last evening. Why not add it to your travellers’ itineraries in July?

Fiesta del Fuego, Cuba

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