We love Cuba so much that we visit annually. To understand Cuba and the people, you must experience Cuba.
Participate in discussions about Cuba’s history, agriculture, music, religion, and art; engage with musicians discuss private enterprise in Cuba with local restaurant owners and staff; and meet Cuban baseball players to discuss this favorite pastime in both Cuba and the U.S.
On this Cuba tour program, you’ll also have a chance to explore some of Cuba’s colonial cities with their cobblestone streets and historic architecture. In fact, the city centers of Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Havana have all been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Fascinating, informative, and insightful discoveries await you on this rare opportunity to visit the “Pearl of the Antilles.” It’s an experience like no other!
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- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
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This tour is ideal for anyone interested in Cuba and truly want to Unplug. No matter what you're into: food, wine, history, art, music, etc. you will find it in Cuba.
Please note, the itinerary may change slightly and you will be notified if it does. Cuba requires advanced planning however even still scheduled activities become unavailable. Rest assured, we won't disappoint with the alternative activity.
ARRIVE IN HAVANA, CUBAArrive in Havana, Cuba’s capital city, and transfer to your hotel. In the evening, meet your Cuban National Tour Director for a welcome dinner. This is a good time to get your questions answered, and prepare for your time in fascinating Cuba.
HAVANAYour day begins with a walk through the streets of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discuss with your Cuban Tour Director Havana’s unique architecture, the challenges of renovating the city’s exquisite historic buildings, and the future of these restorations. Enjoy lunch at a local paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant) where you will be treated to a special interactive cooking DEMONSTRATION and discussion. This afternoon, our attention turns to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba for more than 30 years and left behind an enduring legacy. From his beloved home, FINCA VIGIA, he wrote several books, participated in fishing contests, and enjoyed the laid-back ambiance and warmth of the Cuban people. Next, visit a COMMUNITY PROJECT and interact with the children and volunteers who run the program. This evening is free to explore Havana on your own. Your Cuban Tour Director will have suggestions for dining and additional activities.
CIENFUEGOSToday, travel through the countryside passing sugar cane and banana plantations. Arrive in Cienfuegos often referred to as the “Pearl of the South” because of its impressive beauty and colorful history. After time for lunch, take a walking tour around the historic center of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn more about the immigrants from France and Louisiana that settled here more than 150 years ago. Later, enjoy a performance and interaction with the Cienfuegos ORCHESTRA. Dinner toperson is at a local paladar.
CIENFUEGOS - TRINIDADTravel to Trinidad, the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities, founded in 1514 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a paladar and discuss private enterprise in Cuba with the owners and staff. This afternoon, stroll the streets of Trinidad, a cobblestone showcase of colonial architecture and pastel-colored houses decorated with wooden shutters and wrought-iron grilles. Spend time at CASA CHICHI POTTERY STUDIO to learn more about the unique wares made here, the family that runs the studio, and the connection to Spanish colonialists. After dinner toperson, enjoy a rum and cigar pairing.
VARADEROToday’s travels bring us to PLAYA GIRON, site of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Discuss with your Cuban Tour Director the history of this event and the role it played in the Cold War. Over lunch, meet a Naturalist from the local Zapata National Park and join in a DISCUSSION about the concerns we all have for our environment. Continue to the white sand beaches of Varadero.
MATANZASMusic and dance is an important part of Cuba’s culture so start the day with an interactive DANCE LESSON. Enjoy lunch at historic Mansion Xanadu, which sits overlooking the blue waters of the Caribbean. Later, visit Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” for the many renowned artist and intellectuals it has produced. Join in a discussion with workers at EDICIONES VIGIA, a print and binding shop, and learn about the traditional craft that is still done by hand. Return to Havana where this evening is free to explore the city on your own. You may wish to see the exciting show at the famous Tropicana Nightclub, visit some of Hemingway’s old haunts, or explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana.
HAVANAThis morning, enjoy a workshop at HAVANA COMPASS DANCE COMPANY. Watch one of their rehearsals, then take some time to speak to the dancers and teachers about their training, daily lives, and future careers. Next, visit JOSE FUSTER’S STUDIO; cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you will discover a surreal world-like nothing you have seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. Over lunch, meet a former Cuban baseball player for a DISCUSSION about the history and the love of this favorite pastime in Cuba and the United States. Then it’s on to the SAN JOSE MARKET where you can interact with local artists and perhaps find a favorite souvenir. Before your farewell dinner this evening, enjoy a ride in a classic 1950’s OLD STYLER car – the perfect ending to your time in Cuba.
HAVANAAfter breakfast we begin departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided.
- Entry visa
- Travel Protection
- Any meals other than the ones stated in this itinerary
- Beverages at meals or any other meals not specified in this itinerary
- Optional tours/excursions
- Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry, room service, etc.
- Tips/Porterage (gratuity is only included for tour guide and driver).
Passport: A valid U.S. passport is required to travel to Cuba and it must be valid for a minimum of six months after date of arrival.
A visa is also needed for Cuba however, this can often be obtained via your Airline (i.e. JetBlue).
To secure your booking, a non-refundable deposit of $400.00 is required. Your deposit amount will be deducted from your remaining balance and final payment has to be made by August 1, 2020. You can submit full payment at the time of booking or you can be provided a monthly payment plan for the remaining balance. Roommates must submit their deposit on the same day.
We have three payment options available:
2. Payment installment up to the date due of final payment.
3. Apply for UpLift financing (12 month payment arrangement; pending approval), and your trip is considered paid-in-full.
Travel protection for the land portion of your travel is included in your pricing. Your travel protection plan allows you to cancel your trip for almost any unforeseen reason and you can receive up to 75% reimbursement. For escorted trips, travel protection is not optional however, you may choose a different provider but this will not reduce the cost of the trip.
There is a $400.00 per traveler cancellation fee charged at the time of cancellation. Additional cancellation fees may apply depending on when the cancellation takes place.
We take your security very seriously. Therefore, we have a firm policy for accepting payment for travel over the internet and telephone.
1. We complete all of our transactions via web conferencing.
2. A secured booking page is then provided to you during the call to enter your account information.
3. We utilize a third-party verification system to confirm you are the card holder/account holder.
4. You are also required to sign an agreement that allows us to either direct debit your account or charge your credit card.
For UpLift Financing: Following the agreement of the terms and conditions for financing
1. You will receive a direct link to complete your personal information; this information is gathered and protected by UpLift and never shared with our agency;
2. Upon approval, we will book your trip in full and provide to you the required confirmations
Due to the nature of this trip, bring only soft sided bags (i.e. duffel bags, hiking and book bags). Suitcases and checked baggage are unsuitable. Retractable luggage carts are permissible. Baggage should not exceeding 15kgs and 65x46 cm.