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Mexico, Cuba & the Panama Canal 2019/20

3 countries
9 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites
Character accommodation: Casa homestay in Trinidad
Take a vibrant journey across Mexico and Cuba, enjoying the colour, music and traditions. Delve into history in Mexico City, travel through the coffee and tobacco plantations of Cuba, and step back in time in the heritage-listed towns of Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Havana. Then discover the beautiful ports of the Caribbean and Panama Canal on a 16-night cruise.Temples, classic cars and cigars...Delve into the history of Mexico City! Visit the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, with its impressive Temple of the Sun, and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, arguably the most important Christian site in Latin America.Step back in time in Havana, and experience the 'real' Cuba before mass tourism changes its unique character forever! Enjoy an evening ride in classic cars along Havana's famed esplanade, the Malecon. Travel to the beautiful Pinar del Rio region and the small village of Vinales. The valley has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique landscape and traditional agricultural practices. Tour a local tobacco farm, indulging in fresh Cuban coffee and fruit while the cigar-making process is explained. Explore the heritage-listed city of Trinidad. This colourful and charming colonial town is a perfectly preserved Spanish settlement and perhaps Cuba's most enchanting city. Cruise the Panama Canal on a 16 night Holland America cruiseTravel in style through the 77-kilometre stretch of water that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans - the Panama Canal. This amazing feat of the modern age took more than 30 years to construct in the early 20th century and revolutionised trade routes. Visit beautiful Mexican seaside towns, see the natural beauty of Costa Rica and the romance of colonial Cartagena in Colombia.Holland America cruise:The cruise portion of the tour may be subject to change, depending on weather conditions.
Note: Cuban CharmA trip to Cuba is a unique and rewarding experience, a country largely untouched until now. This means that hotels, transport and facilities sometimes lack creature comforts. Accommodation may be of varying standards as tourism demands are surpassing current infrastructure and it is possible there can be unexpected changes. As such, travel in Cuba requires an adventurous spirit, flexibility and an open mind.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights between Australia, Mexico & the USA. Taxes included
  • 1 economy-class flight from Mexico to Cuba
  • 1 economy-class flight from Cuba to USA
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Holland America cruise
  • Port taxes of $580pp (subject to change)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $150pp pre-paid. On board the cruise there is a tipping surcharge to pay of approx. $14pp US per day

Accommodation & Meals

  • 11 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights in Casa homestay in Trinidad
  • 16-night Holland America cruise on board ms Rotterdam
  • 29 breakfasts, 18 lunches and 19 dinners, including group welcome dinner

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides (excluding cruise)

Sightseeing

Experience the Mexican zest for life

  • Tour bustling Mexico City including visits to the Zocalo and National Palace to view the famous Diego Rivera murals.
  • Experience an authentic trajinera ride through the waterways of Xochimilco and enjoy lunch on board.
  • View the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City - arguably the most important Christian pilgrimage site in all of Latin America
  • Marvel at the mysterious archaeological site of Teotihuacan and see its magnificent pyramids and the well-preserved Temples of the Sun and the Moon.

Step back in time in colonial Cuba

  • Discover the history and charm of Old Havana on a walking tour.
  • Tour the sights of 'New Havana' including Hamel Island, Fusterland & Fort of Havana.
  • Visit a tobacco field and drying house at the Hector Luis Prito Cigar Farm, and observe famous Cuban cigars being rolled.
  • Experience lunch Cuban-style at Finca Agrologic, a typical 'Paladar', with a local Cuban family.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views over the Vi ales valley from the Los Jazmines lookout point en route to Las Terrazas.
  • Stop at the infamous Bay of Pigs, where the failed US Military invasion of 1961 was undertaken and explore the museum.
  • Enjoy a city tour of charming Cienfuegos, the 'Pearl of the South'. See the historic town-centre, Teatro Tomas Terry, the Main Square, Malecon and Prado.
  • Cruise to the end of Cienfuegos Bay and visit Jagua Fotress, erected by King Philip V of Spain to protect the bay from pirates.
  • Stop at picturesque El Nicho Waterfalls, take a guided walk to Salto El Nicho and enjoy some free time for swimming.
  • Experience Cuban life at a traditional Casa homestay in Trinidad.
  • Get a taste for the Cuban spirit and spend an evening at famous 'Casa de la Trova' in Trinidad.
  • Take a city tour of Trinidad, one of Cuba's most enchanting cities, including the Museum of Romance and a visit to the Canchanchara bar to try its namesake cocktail.
  • Drive through the rows of sugarcane fields in the Valle de los Ingenios and visit the Manaca Iznaga tower for amazing views over the valley.
  • Visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara, the monument of the blinded train and the historic centre in Santa Clara.
  • Tour timeless Havana by classic car including Malecon and Plaza de la Revolucion.
  • Cruise the Caribbean ports of Central America and the Panama Canal in luxury.

Please Note: Once on the cruise, there is no sightseeing included as part of your Bunnik Tour. Should you like to book sightseeing (shore excursions) from the ship, this will need to be either pre-booked via Holland America Cruises website or on board.

Please Note: On the cruise breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the main dining room. Holland America Cruises does have specialty restaurants that can be enjoyed for a small surcharge. Meals are included when in port, but only available on the ship. If you decide to take a day tour or leave the ship you will need to purchase your own lunch/dinner.

Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
32
Price From
AUD $14,695
Start Location
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
07 Nov 201908 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $13,385
10 Jan 202010 Feb 2020AvailableAUD $13,785
11 Feb 202013 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $13,785
ItineraryExpand
Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Mexico City

TRAVEL TIP! Mexico City is a fascinating place and many world class museums can be found here including the Anthropological Museum, Frida Kahlo Museum, Templo Mayor Museum, Bellas Artes Museum and Leon Trotsky's house to name a few. Our sightseeing program in Mexico City is quite full so if you have an interest in visiting any of these museums we would recommend booking at least 2 nights pre tour accommodation to give you time to see those places that may be of particular interest to you.

Bienvenido a Mexico! We arrive in the capital, Mexico City, buzzing with life and full of history.

Day 2. Mexico City

Our day begins with a tour of bustling Mexico City, includin the Zocalo and the National Palace in the city's main square.

Special Experience:Board an authentic Mexican trajinera for a traditional lunch and cruise through the waterways of Xochimilco.

Tonight we'll enjoy a group welcome dinner to kick off our tour. [B,L,D]

Day 3. Mexico City

Today we explore the site of Teotihuacan, considered one of the most impressive and mysterious archaeological sites in Mexico. The city was established in 100BC and the name Teotihuacan roughly translates as 'Birthplace of the Gods'. We also visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe today, arguably the most important Christian pilgrimage site in Latin America. [B,L]

Day 4. Mexico City - Havana

We fly to Havana, Cuba's vibrant capital. [B]

TRAVEL TIP! Cuban Charm: A trip to Cuba is a unique and rewarding experience, a country largely untouched until now. This means that hotels, transport and facilities sometimes lack creature comforts. Accommodation may be of varying standards as tourism demands are surpassing current infrastructure and it is possible there can be unexpected changes. As such, travel in Cuba requires an adventurous spirit, flexibility and an open mind.

Day 5. Havana

Special Experience:Step back in time to the 60s and discover the history and charm of Old Havana on a walking tour this morning.

This afternoon we'll witness the contrasts of 'New' Havana, including the artistic areas of Hamel Island, Fusterland and the Fort of Havana. [B,D]

Day 6. Havana - Vi ales

Today we'll marvel at the incredible valley dotted with limestone hills, known as magotes, as we travel through the beautiful region of Vi ales. [B,L]

Special Experience:Visit a tobacco field and drying house to learn more about the production of cigars before lunch with some locals.

Day 7. Vi ales - Cienfuegos

Today we travel to the busy, colonial-era port of Cienfuegos, the 'Pearl of the South'. Along the way we'll stop at the infamous Bay of Pigs, where the failed US Military invasion of 1961 was undertaken. [B]

Day 8. Cienfuegos

This morning we'll discover beautiful Cienfuegos on a walking tour, visiting the impressive Teatro Tom s Terry and the historic town centre. In the afternoon we'll cruise to the end of the bay to visit Jagua Castle and wander through the village. [B]

Day 9. Cienfuegos - Trinidad

On the way to Trinidad we'll stop to discover El Nicho Falls. Tonight we'll enjoy an evening of music and dancing, Cuban-style, at Casa de la Trova. [B]

Day 10. Trinidad

Wander the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Trinidad and discover its colonial past. This perfectly preserved settlement is one of Cuba's most enchanting cities. We'll also stop at the famous Canchanchara Bar. [B]

Day 11. Trinidad - Havana

We return to Havana, visiting the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara along the way. [B]

Day 12. Havana

A day at leisure to enjoy charming Havana, before dinner at a local paladar. [B,D]

Special Experience:Cruise through Old Havana's Malecon and Revolution Square districts by classic car.

Day 13. Havana - Miami

Today we fly to Miami. [B]

DAYS 14-30 MIAMI - FORT LAUDERDALE: EMBARK CRUISE

This morning we travel to Fort Lauderdale to board the ms Rotterdam for a 16-night cruise of the Caribbean and Mexico, taking in the Panama Canal. [B,D]

Tour highlights of this 16-night Holland America Line Cruise include Aruba, Panama Canal, Puerto Caldera, Puerto Quetzal & Puerto Vallarta.

Day 14.

Embark Cruise: Fort Lauderdale [B.D]

For tours departing November 2019

Day 15. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Day 16. Cruising at sea

Day 17. Cruising at sea

For tours departing January and February 2020

Day 15. Cruising at sea

Day 16. Cruising at sea

Day 17. Willemstad, Curacao

Day 18. Oranjestad, Aruba

Day 19. Cruising at sea

Day 20. Cruising Panama Canal

Day 21. Cruising at sea

Day 22. Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

Day 23. Corinto, Nicaragua

Day 24. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Day 25. Huatulco, Mexico

Day 26. Cruising at sea

Day 27. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Day 28. Cruising at sea

Day 29. Cruising at sea

Day 30. San Diego

Disembark Cruise: We disembark and begin our journey home. [B]

Except for embarkation/disembarkation days, Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included daily while cruising. The cruise itinerary may change due to local conditions subject to the cruise line's discretion.

DAY 31 IN TRANSIT

DAY 32 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA