The Bay of Pigs Tour – For History and Adventure
My wife and I just returned from a wonderful vacation to Varadero – Cuba, and enjoyed two amazing Full Day Tours with Private Cuban Landscape Tours.
Cuba is full of history, and one of the pivotal locations in its history is on the Caribbean side of the Island at Playa Giron.
Experience A Private Classic Car Tour To The Bay of Pigs
I love history and have a passion for scuba diving and snorkeling. Visiting The Bay of Pigs was definitely a tour I was not going to miss on our recent travels to Cuba. Taking a private tour has so many benefits compared to that of your typical large bus tour, and surprisingly doesn’t cost that much more either!
This tour offered the opportunity to visit this historic site, do some snorkeling in the bay and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the cenote located steps away as well.
A Look At Our Day From Varadero To Playa Giron
Pick up time at our hotel was as scheduled at 8 am. Our driver and tour guide with Private Cuban Landscape Tours arrived in a beautifully restored Classic Car.
What a treat to step back in time and enjoy a private ride and tour in such an American Classic! 🙂
Our pick up time was perfect, as we were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at our resort hotel before beginning our 2 plus hour drive to the other side of the island.
The journey to The Bay of Pigs by car is about 123 kilometers, taking at least 2 ½ hours with a brief snack and washroom break along the way.
The Bay of Pigs Full Day Tour
This full day tour includes;
➡ Drive to the opposite side of the Island to the Zapata Peninsula, the largest wetlands of the Caribbean.
➡ View the beautiful countryside as you make your way across the island, passing by small towns and viewing the locals go about their daily lives.
➡ Visit also a crocodile-breeding farm (5 cuc per person admission fee), which is considered one of the largest in America. Learn more about these reptiles and an opportunity to get up close and personal with them.
➡ Drive through the historic town of Playa Giron and spend time swimming and snorkeling at the Bay of Pigs. Scuba diving at this site can also be arranged prior to embarking on your tour.
➡ Lunch (not included) at a lovely home based family restaurant.
This is your tour and can be tailored to suit you and your wishes. Make stops where and when you want along the way. This is the beauty of paying the little extra for a private guided tour!
For example, along the way while passing through a small town, I spotted a small historic train museum and asked the driver to stop for pictures.
Not a problem, your tour guide and driver are there to make your day as special and memorable as possible!
Brief History of the Bay of Pigs
Playa Giron was named after a not so popular French pirate who arrived here in Cuba back in the 1600’s. The locals disapproved of him and subsequently ended his life here. Playa Giron is the main town situated along the Bay of Pigs on the eastern end of the bay.
In 1961, the entire world was focused on this point on the map, as it became the battlefield for exiled Cuban troops and the army of the newly created revolutionary government. In just over 72 hours the national army regained the territory and this fact has become a symbol of resistance and autonomy for the country.
Playa Giron was one of the main places where the invading troops disembarked for the Bay of Pigs battle.
The United States along with the CIA, attempted a raid in 1961 via Giron but failed. The invasion lasted just three days and lead to Cuba overcoming the planned attack. This Victory for Cuba is still remembered, and especially in Giron. The Museo de la Intervencion portrays this victory in the town center.
Bay of Pigs
This is definitely a very popular destination for tourists visiting Cuba. Even upon our arrival in the morning, buses and taxis were beginning to arrive.
The Caribbean Sea was a gorgeous deep blue color, crystal clear and outrageously warm. Outstanding for swimming, snorkeling and diving!
Across the road on the other side of the bay, there’s dense forest much of which is protected national park, and a small Cenote pool. The near fresh water pool was great for a cool dip to wash off the salt water after swimming in the sea!
Authentic Cuban Home Style Lunch
After taking as much time as we liked at the bay, it was then time to head on back to Varadero after a great morning snorkeling and swimming.
Just a short distance from the Bay of Pigs, we stopped at a lovely family run, home based business for an authentic Cuban lunch and a refreshing ice cold Cerveza!
I just couldn’t get over seeing the many beautifully restored American Classic Cars in Cuba. They were everywhere, and some were to die for!
It is certainly worth paying just a little bit more for a tailored private tour. In most cases, it will surprise you just how little extra a private tour costs compared to that of a typical large bus tour.
If you are planning a trip to Varadero or Havana, then do check out Cuban Landscape Tours. They offer a variety of tours, both day and multiple day that can be arranged to suit your wants and schedule. Be sure to check out my post and photos on our Havana City Tour, also taken with Cuban Landscape Tours.
About Cuban Landscape Tours
Cuban Landscape Tours is a family owned and operated business focusing on customer satisfaction and tailoring tours to your needs. Their team consisting of family members and close friends, has more than 15 years working in the travel industry.
Their vehicles (Classic American Cars) meet strict regular safety inspections in Cuba. The business is affiliated to “Taxi Cuba” having the credentials to do local and inter-provincial travel. All vehicles and drivers are insured as required.
For those arriving by Cruise Ship, no problem, your guide and driver will arrange to meet you right at the Pier!
Below, I have listed their official website link where you can access much more detailed information on all their tours offered, including online booking.
I’ve also listed the Official Cuba Tourist Board of Canada link below to their website for your convenience. It’s filled with excellent information to assist in your travel planning to this beautiful island in the Caribbean.
Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂
Although our tour was in collaboration with the Private Cuban Landscape Tours, rest assured all content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.
Did You Know …
“The official name of Cuba is the Republic of Cuba.”
🙂 Don’t Forget It … Be Sure To Pin It! 🙂