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Flavors & Colors of Cuba

April 14 to 21, 2018

Cuba conjures up visions of romance, music, beauty, and intrigue. It’s filled with bright colors, bands playing on every street corner, rambunctiously beautiful scenery, and warm-hearted, resilient people. A visit to the heart of Old Havana is not for the timid; it is life in full force and in your face, with old classic Chevys honking at bicycle rickshaws, and people smoking cigars on the steps of their dilapidated homes, just steps away from beautifully restored foreigners-only hotels. A paradox at every turn, an eye-opener in every sense of the word, Havana is one of the world’s most romantic and alluring cities, bar none. Head to the towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad (both oozing with colonial charm), add some wildlife exploration, mix in some mojito drinking, and weave in some elbow-rubbing with locals for the full effect. Yes, our Cuba program is ambitious, to put it mildly. But we think that it’s more than worthwhile to seek out the heart and soul of this tenaciously vibrant country’s landscape, culture, and people…Come and join us before the island gets overrun and commercialized!

Speaker: Carol Smith, CRNA, MS

Tour cost per person in double occupancy (Land Only): $2,995.00

Single Supplement: $500.00

CRNA registration fees: $300.00 for alumni of STS and $500.00 for a new participant

For group size Min 8 and Max 20

Topic: Current Issues in CRNA Practice

This program has been prior approved by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for 20 Class A CE credits; Code Number 1035283;

Expiration Date 04/21/2018.

Travel provided by Experience Cuba Now, LLC.

Tour Includes:

  • Private homestay accommodations on bed and breakfast basis in local homes/apartments/Casas
  • Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
  • Meals as mentioned in itinerary: 7 lunches & 3 dinners
  • US Treasury Dept. License & Authorization Letter  
  • Tour Leader and Cuban Guide
  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
  • Ground transportation and airport transfers in A/C bus
  • Cuban medical insurance (mandatory)
  • One daily bottled water.

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare from your hometown to/from Havana (approx.. $200-$500 depending on departure city)
  • Additional Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Tips for your drivers, guide and home hosts
  • Alcoholic Beverages and additional Bottled water
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature (camera fees at sites, laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage, etc.)
  • Cuban Visa

Tour Notes

Deadline for signing up is January 17, 2018

Experience Cuba Now, LL. is licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to operate People to People Cultural Exchange programs to Cuba. This itinerary provides a full time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interactions between you and individuals in Cuba. U.S. law requires that all persons who participate in this program adhere to this full time schedule, and imposes on all travel agents involved the obligation to ensure such adherence.

 Check-in times are three hours prior to departure, as the check-in counter closes an hour and a half before departure and lines can be very lengthy. We are not responsible for any missed flights; it is each traveler’s responsibility to arrive at the airport in time. Upon arriving back in the United States, please allow at least three hours between your arrival time in Miami and your departure for your home town in order to have enough time to clear U.S Immigration and Customs. 

View Tour Itinerary

Saturday, April 14
Arrival Havana

Today, you are welcomed by your private Cuban representative outside the Jose Marti arrival terminal. Board your air-conditioned coach, and jump right in as you head directly to your Casa/home to check-in. Enjoy your first lunch at restaurant “El Torre”, perched 25 stories above Havana with incredible views of the city and bay. Afternoon, start your leisurely orientation-walk with your guide through the vibrant cobblestone streets as you immerse yourself in the colors of Old Havana. Visit Havana’s four historic plazas: St. Francisci de Assis, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de Armas and Plaza de la Catedral. Tonight enjoy a special dinner provided by El Aljibe, cuba’s most famous chicken restaurant. Return to your casa. (L,D)

Sunday, April 15

Breakfast served in your Casa then visit “Fusterlandia”, home a neighborhood of Jose Fuster, known as the “Picasso of the Caribbean” for his amazing and world famous ceramic artistry. You will have an opportunity to have your personal tile placed in this neighborhood to mark your spot for perpetuity. This will be unforgettable. Lunch provided at El Rejoneo, a true Cuban neighborhood "paladar" followed by a meeting with a faculty member of the University of Havana for a one hour lecture on the Past, Present and Future of Cuban history and economics. There will be a Q&A session following. Very interesting. Afterwards a visit to Revolution Square and the Museum of the Revolution, the Cuban government’s military museum of past wars and conflicts. Return to Casas. Dinner provided at El Canonazo, located a short block from the historic Canon Firing Ceremony which you will attend before returning to your Casa for the evening. (B,L,D)

Monday, April 16
Pinar Del Rio/Vinales

Early breakfast followed by a full day excursion to the beautiful mountainous province of Pinar del Rio, approximately 100 miles away. This western most region is known for its amazing valleys, landscapes and mountains. An incredible lunch provided at the only Cuban Organic farm on the island, Finka de Organico. Take a tour of the farm led by its owner and founder then visit one of the famous tobacco farms (Finka de Tobaco). Learn how this mainstay crop of Cuba is planted, harvested and prepared for shipping to tobacco factories to bring to final product. A personal guided tour by the owner will highlight. You will then visit a Cigar factory in Pinar del Rio so you can see first-hand how the leaves from the farm are magically transformed into the final product. Return to Havana (B,L)

Tuesday, April 17

Breakfast served in your Casa. Visit an elementary school to interact with the students and teachers inside their classrooms. This is an extremely special “honor” as very few Americans are allowed to do so. From there you will take a walking tour of the iconic Havana Club Rum Museum to see how this famous beverage is made and sample Cuba’s best rum. Bus to “Callejon de Hamel and learn firsthand about Santeria, the afro-Catholic religion of Cuba. Watch authentic dancers in action. Buffet style lunch provided. To finish the day a trip to the colorful San Jose (flea) Market for souvenir and clothing shopping. Return to casas. (B,L)

Wednesday, April 18
Havana to Cienfuegos

After breakfast, check out of your casas headed south across the island through small towns and villages en route to Cienfuegos, known as the "Pearl of Cuba", located on the Caribbean Sea. You will stop along the way for a quick dip at beautiful Playa Giron beach and cenote so bring your swim suit. Lunch will be provided before visiting the history laden Bay of Pigs Museum. You will continue on to Cienfuegos to check into your casas and meet your new hosts. (B,L)

Thursday, April 19
Cienfuegos to Trinidad

After breakfast a city tour of Cienfuegos including a visit to the very impressive Palacio del Valle, Tomas Terry Theatro and more. Lunch will be provided at a locak “paladar”. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to view Cuban artwork and meet the artists. The remainder of the day will be free to interact with the locals and meld with the Cuban culture. Return to casas. (B,L)

Friday, April 20
Cienfuegos - Topes de Collantes

After breakfast in your casa, board the bus for a 1.5 hour ride to Trinidad, the most historic city of Cuba. Included in the walking tour of the city will be a visit the Museum of Architecture and learn the significance of preserving city architecture and the process leading up to its UNESCO Preservation designation. Local lunch will be provided followed by some free time to shop. On the way back to Cienfuegos you will have an opportunity for a scenic 2 mile hike up a mountain trail leading to El Cubano, a beautiful waterfall where you can jump in and take advantage of the cool fresh water. From there we return to Cienfuegos and enjoy a special farewell dinner (B,L,D)

Saturday, April 21
Havana to Miami

Today, Bid farewell to Cuba as you transfer to Havana’ International Airport and check-in for your charter flight back to Miami. Adios Havana! (B)

“We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed.”