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Flavors & Colors of Cuba

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!

April 21 to 29, 2017

Tour Escort: Local Guide

Tour cost per person in double occupancy (Air & Land from Miami): $3,750.00

Single Supplement: $500.00

For group size Min 8 and Max 20

Tour Includes:

  • Air from Miami to Cuba on charter service.
  • Private homestay accommodations on bed and breakfast basis in local homes/apartments/Casas
  • One night airport hotel in Miami without breakfast
  • Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
  • Meals as mentioned in itinerary: 7 lunches & 2 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 Visa
  • Cuban medical insurance (mandatory)

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare from your hometown to/from Miami
  • Additional Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Tips for your drivers, guide and tour director
  • Alcoholic Beverages and Bottled water
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature (camera fees at sites, laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage, etc.)
  • Dayroom or overnights necessitated by changes in airline schedules

Tour Notes

Deadline for signing up is January 21, 2017

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

Friday, April 21
Miami overnight

You need to arrive in Miami today. Complimentary hotel shuttle service to the Crowne Plaza is available every 20 minutes from any 2nd level departure terminal. At 7:30 PM participate in an introductory briefing to get acquainted with your fellow travelers and review your documents and program itinerary.

Saturday, April 22

Today, very early transfer to the Miami Airport to board your non-stop flight for Havana, You are welcomed by your private Cuban representative outside the 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 23

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 an explanation of the matriculation process from youth through college of the average student. Learn how each student is chosen for a particular field of work after graduation. Continue to visit Revolution Square and Museo Militario, the Cuban government’s military museum of past wars and conflicts then return to Casa. Dinner at El Canonazo, located a short block from the Canon Firing Ceremony which you will attend before returning to your Casa (B,L,D)

Monday, April 24
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. 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. Return to Havana (B,L)

Tuesday, April 25

Breakfast served in your Casa. Visit an elementary school to interact with the students and teachers inside their classrooms. Then walking tour of a local tobacco factory. Discover how the leaves are transformed into cigars. Lunch provided at Old Havana paladar Followed by time at the central colorful market: El Mercado for doing some souvenir shopping and continue to visit Cojimar, a “sleepy” fishing village that was the setting for Hemingway’s book, “The Old Man and the Sea”. Followed by a short walk along the local malecon ending up at Hemingway’s bust, a popular photo opportunity. Remainder of the day will be free for personal activities (B,L)

Wednesday, April 26
Havana to Cienfuegos

After breakfast, drive along the Caribbean coast through small towns and villages en route to Cienfuegos, known as the “Pearl of the South” and the capital of Cienfuegos Province on the southern Caribbean side of the island. City tour including a Visit to The Palacio del Valle and the Teatro Tomas Terry. Lunch at local paladar called “El Garto”, located on the water followed by check in into local casas. Then visit a local art workshop specializing in teaching children to draw and paint and a local art studio where you will meet the artists and view the artwork. Return to casas. (B,L)

Thursday, April 27
Cienfuegos to Trinidad

After breakfast, depart for Trinidad, the most historic city of Cuba. Star by a walking tour visiting the Museum of Architecture and talking about the significance of preserving city architecture and the process leading up to be granted its UNESCO Preservation designation. You will also learn about the indigenous Cuban religion of Santeria. Here you will discover how the African Cuban religion of Santeria, a fusion of African belief systems like spirit worship and Christianity, is portrayed in the street art and music. Then experience an authentic Afro-Cuban dancing. Local lunch will be provided followed by a visit to local art studios and meeting with the artists. Some free time then drive back to Cienfuegos (B,L)

Friday, April 28
Cienfuegos – Topes de Collantes

This morning drive for a mountain expedition to the incredibly scenic and breathtaking destination of Topes de Collantes, replete with Jungle Rivers and waterfalls. Enjoy swimming in the Venado pools and nature hiking. Our guide will discuss the importance of this region to the overall Cuban ecology. Local lunch provided and return to Cienfuegos and enjoy a special farewell dinner (B,L,D)

Saturday, April 29
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.”