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Cuba

Taste of Cuba

Priced From $ 6.290 per person

10 Days  | 9 Nights

Walk through the charming streets of Havana, where old-time American automobiles, richly scented Cuban cigars, and an eclectic tapestry of architecture evoke a colorful past. Visit the Hemingway museum which is supported by several non-governmental and independent organizations. Continue your journey to Camguey – the headquarters of Camaguey Ballet.

Journeys 360 Travel Highlights:

  • Learn to dance like the Cubans with Herson Fernández,  owner of Kubasoy private dance company
  • Enjoy a cooking lesson of “ropa vieja”, a popular Cuban dish, and a “mojito” making and tasting experience
  • Visit with the President of the Antique Car Club “A Lo Cubano” from the popular series “Cuba Chrome”.
  • Visit a local working ranch where you can meet three generations of the same family that have been living on the farm since 1930
  • Small groups of maximum 24 guests

Trip Inclusions:

  • 9 nights accommodations at 4.5 & 3 star hotels(best available)
    • 3 nights in Havana at Grand Aston La Habana – 4.5 star
    • 2 nights in Camaguey at Hotel San Juan de Dios – 3 star
    • 2 nights in Trinidad at Melia Trinidad Peninsula – 4.5 star
    • 2 nights in Havana at Grand Aston La Habana – 4.5 star
  • Welcome reception and dinner at your hotel or a local restaurant
  • Farewell reception and dinner at your hotel or local restaurant
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per the itinerary are outlined in Trip Details
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Gratuities to local guides, drivers, and for all included meals
  • Admission fees as outlined on the Trip Details page
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Arrival & Departure transfers from/to Havana airport
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • 23 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

What’s not included:

  • Gratuities for Tour Director
  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cuban Visa
  • All incidental, beverages, and meals not included on the tour

Note: This program requires walking on cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, climbing stairs, and participating in a full-time schedule of Support for the Cuban People activities.

In Cuba, activities that have been scheduled far in advance can sometimes become unavailable for a number of different reasons. The purpose of the trips is to have meaningful interactions with the locals. If a planned People-to-People activity isn’t available, rest assured that another alternative that will be just as enriching will be substituted.

Due to the special requirements to visit Cuba, participants will be required to complete and sign a travel affidavit confirming that they are traveling under the People-to-People general license and will participate in a full-time schedule of activities.

Trip operated by Journeys 360 Travel

Day 1: WELCOME TO HAVANA

Arrive at Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)  & transfer to the hotel

This evening enjoy a Welcome briefing for a program overview at the hotel followed by welcome reception & dinner

MEALS: Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Grand Aston La Habana 

Day 2: COLONIAL HAVANA

Today enjoy a walking tour through Old Havana followed by a visit to Almacenes de San Jose, stalls of arts and crafts made by local artists.

Lunch at the local private restaurant Al Carbon 

Depart for Kubasoy private dance company. Meet with the charismatic dance instructor, Herson Fernández, who opened Kubasoy’s private dance company 7 years ago after he finished his career as an IT Engineer. Each student will have his/her own professional instructor, enabling you to learn at your own pace and taking into account your individual expectations and needs 

This evening enjoy dinner at the local private restaurant Café Laurent 

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Grand Aston La Habana 

Day 3: HEMINGWAY IN HAVANA

Depart for the Fuster art community project to visit Casa Fuster and meet with other local artisans from the village of Jaimanitas. Later depart for Hemingway Museum at Finca Vigia. Visit the museum which is supported by several non-governmental and independent organizations. Interact with local caretakers of Hemingway’s former home and learn about the life and work of the writer when he lived in Cuba. 

Later travel to the local organic farm Finca Yoandra. Take a walk on the farm and learn about their community project. Meet the staff. Enjoy a cooking lesson of “ropa vieja”, a popular Cuban dish, and a “mojito” making and tasting experience (with ingredients from the farm) followed by a dining experience at the private restaurant El Divino on the premises. 

This afternoon learn how Cuban cigars are rolled and visit with the President of the Antique Car Club “A Lo Cubano” from the popular series “Cuba Chrome”. Visit a private body shop and enjoy some time to interact with the Club members and ask questions regarding the challenges they face restoring these relics to their former glory

Dinner on your own (Tour Director will provide recommendations)

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch 

ACCOMMODATION:  Grand Aston La Habana

Day 4: HEROIC SANTA CLARA 

Depart to Camaguey via Santa Clara. Upon arrival visit Che Guevara Memorial and Museum.

Enjoy Lunch at local paladar La Aldaba.

Later Visit Abuelitos de Fiesta, a vibrant retirement community project for the elderly. Spend time with the members and discover their passion for singing, dancing, and music.

Continue to Camaguey. Late this afternoon check into your Hotel

Enjoy dinner at a Local Paladar 1800

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Hotel San Juan de Dios

Day 5: ENIGMATIC CAMAGUEY 

This morning enjoy an interactive guided walking city tour to explore some of the city must-sees from Hotel San Juan de Dios. Visit Pepe Gutierrez’s Studio Workshop. Learn about the work of this local artisan, who for more than 40 years has focused his leather pieces on Cuba’s identity and folklore. Continue the walking tour to Plaza del Carmen, home of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, one of the most beautiful churches in town.

Later visit Martha Jimenez Studio. See everything from pots to paintings being produced by charismatic artist. Martha’s studio overlooks the alfresco statue of three gossiping women entitled Chismosas (gossipers) also featured in many of her paintings.

Lunch at Local Paladar

Continue to enjoy the city tour by bus: Plaza Ignacio Agramonte (visited by Pope Juan Pablo II), and Plaza de La Merced, also known as Plaza de los Trabajadores

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening (Tour Director will provide recommendations)

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch 

ACCOMMODATION:  Hotel San Juan de Dios

Day 6: CAMAGUEY BALLET 

After breakfast, depart your hotel this morning to experience a local ballet studio.

Continue with a visit to Finca Zaragozano, a working ranch where you can meet three generations of the same family that have been living on the farm since 1930. Be greeted with a mojito, and then interact with the workers while they go about their daily farm chores. Watch cows being milked and horses being shod as you explore the farm. 

This afternoon depart for Trinidad. 

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Melia Trinidad Peninsula

Day 7: COLONIAL TRINIDAD 

We begin the days with a guided walking tour of Trinidad’s historic center. Visit some of the village landmarks like Plaza Mayor and La Parroquial Mayor Church. Watch the rumba being played at Palenque de los Congos Reales. Visit a rationing store “bodega” and learn how locals buy staple foods.

Visit Yudit Vidal Faife private Art Gallery. Yudit is a native of Trinidad. Interact with the artist and learn about his work and challenges.

After lunch, meet with the famous family Santander, well-known local potters that have been making handmade pottery for over 100 years. Visit their workshop and gallery and participate in a hands-on pottery demonstration

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch,  Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Melia Trinidad Peninsula 

Day 8: ECLECTIC CIENFUEGOS / BAY OF PIGS-HAVANA

After breakfast depart for Havana via Cienfuegos.

Upon arrival in Cienfuegos and enjoy an interactive walking tour around Cienfuegos historic center. View city landmarks such as Jose Marti Park, Palacio Ferrer, and Terry Theater. Continue to Playa Larga, a tranquil village set on the beach at the head of the Bay of Pigs. It was here that the failed April 1961 CIA-sponsored invasion took place. 

Later meet with a local naturalist to discuss the Cienaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve. Continue to Havana

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening 

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch 

ACCOMMODATION:  Grand Aston La Habana 

Day 9: HAVANA

This morning, we meet with a local expert who will share with us his insight about the Cuban economy past and present, the US-Cuba relations, and the impact of the longstanding US embargo upon the island nation.

Before lunch, enjoy the company and interaction with a former Cuban baseball player to learn about what is like to play professional baseball in Cuba

This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at local paladar La Mansion Castillo

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION:  Grand Aston La Habana 

Day 10: HAVANA DEPARTURE DAY

Transfer to the airport for your flight home 

MEALS: Breakfast

 

*ITINERARY SUBJECT TO CHANGE: This day-by-day itinerary should be used as a guide only since program elements are subject to change for reasons beyond our control and activities will be replaced by similar options

 

Tour Operated by Journeys 360 Travel

Esplanade Group Departure Dates:

2023

  • Dates:
    • Oct 19, 2023 – Priced at $ 6,290 per person in sharing double
    • Nov 30, 2023 – Priced at $6490 per person in sharing double

Please contact Us for Single Room Pricing

Terms:

  • Deposit: 25% non-refundable deposit due at the time of booking
  • Final payment: Due at 120 days prior to departure
  • Travel Insurance: please request for a quote at the time of booking

Small groups of a maximum of 24 guests. The minimum number of guests required to operate each departure is 20. Space is subject to availability.

Contact us to find out more!

The itinerary and dates are subject to change.

Is This Trip Right for You?

This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect two to three hours of walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however, you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps, and significant slopes. There are early morning wake-ups on this program, as well as a long 9-hour drive from Camaguey to Havana. Not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. There will be little or no free time during your tour, as most meals and sightseeing are included to be consistent with OFAC General License. The tourism infrastructure in Cuba is more limited than what you might be accustomed to from other escorted tours. You can expect marginally lower standards at the hotel properties with fewer amenities. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary while the tour is in progress due to circumstances beyond the control of Journeys 360 Travel and our local partners. Please keep this flexibility in mind during your tour.

Know Before You Go

Passports and Visas

It is each traveler’s responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required.

Visas required for Cuba:

Cuban Visas – Visa required. To save time and skip some of the lines, we recommend purchasing your tourist card online in advance from Cuba Travel Services by clicking here. When purchasing your visa, you must select “Educational Activities” as your OFAC Category. The cost of this tourist card is $85 plus shipping and handling. Alternatively, the tourist card can be purchased on the day of departure at the airport’s Cuba Travel Service  “Cuba Ready” Kiosk. The kiosks are located adjacent to the check-in desk and gate in Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale.

Important Information About Travel to Cuba
Travel to Cuba is monitored by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. OFAC issues general licenses for People-to-People travel (31 CFR § 515.565[b]), an initiative that allows U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents to travel to Cuba on a limited basis to participate in cultural experiences and have direct contact with the Cuban people in order to learn more about them and their culture. Each traveler will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.

Information about OFAC and the rules governing U.S. citizens travel to Cuba is located on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/topic/1541.

Required Daily Journal of Activities

Journeys 360 Travel will complete and store the required OFAC documents, including a copy of the final tour itinerary and individual travel documents for five years. This will serve as proof that, under the requirements of the OFAC, you have visited Cuba for educational purposes. In the rare circumstance that a U.S. official asks for proof of the educational nature of your journey, please reach out to Journeys 360 Travel for a copy of your final documentation.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Cuba requires the purchase of Mandatory Health Insurance (called Asistur) which is included in your air ticket price. Please keep a copy of your boarding pass which indicates the carrier provider, your date of arrival to Cuba, and your point of entry. The boarding pass or flight record itinerary is your proof of health insurance.

At the time of booking, please have the following information ready for all members of your party:

  • Traveler’s Name: First and last names as they appear on your passport
  • Passport copy – Photo page(Passport must be valid for 6 months after return date)
  • Traveler’s Address
  • Email Address
  • Traveler’s Phone Number
  • Tour Name and Departure Date
  • Name of Esplanade Community & Address
  • Name of Esplanade Lifestyle Manager
  • Purchasing Airline Tickets in Business or Coach class along with departure/return airports
  • Purchasing a travel protection plan
  • Emergency Contact Information: Please provide the name and phone number of a relative or friend (not traveling with you) whom we could contact during the tour in the unlikely event of an emergency
  • Certain travel partners mandate Covid vaccine and booster shots. This changes on an ongoing basis so please check with us at the time of booking.

Call to find out more about the initial deposit requirements and cancellation policy.

Ready to explore?