This organized fully escorted land only 8 Day tour of Cuba is inspired by a variety of themes reflected in each regions distinct identity. Daily lectures, cultural activities and interactions with locals along with private visits led by experts and Accredited professionals in the areas of History, Architecture, Urban and Sustainable Development, Enviormental protection, and Gastronomy make this journey a rich and inspirational experience.
A 3 destination itinerary combines the two incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Old Havana and Vinales Valley with the beautiful resort area of Varadero. Experience the Cuban countryside, have meaningful interactions with local communities and end it all at the beautiful resort area of Varadero.
Starting in the Old City of Havana step back to another era, tour Hemingway’s Trail and see the best Show in Havana “CabaretParisien”. In Pinar de Rio meet with world famous cigar masters, visit Tobacco fields learn How the world’s best cigars are crafted.. In Vinales Valley visit, an organic AgroEcotourism farm for an authentic cuban farm style lunch , visit the Old City of Matanzas with buildings from the XVIII and XIX centuries and the resort town of Varadero.
After a short fight arrive to Terminal 2 of Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. After customs our local representative will meet you. Start your HAVANA PANORAMIC DRIVE to 5th Avenue and Old City along the MALECON to your first experience CUBA 4 YOUR SENSES at Paladar La Casa (privately owned restaurant) for a presentation of Cuba’s Traditional Cuisine and History. After lunch the CLASSIC CAR’S OF CUBA scenic drive. Transfer to our selected hotel for check in. WELCOME presentation for your itinerary, commitments and expectations in CUBA 4 YOUR SENSES Dinner on your own at the Hotel. Overnight HAVANA. Roc Presidente or Similar. Meals (L)
Today we start visiting Havana a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants. Founded in 1519 Old Havana became and by the 18th century was the most important port of the region. Old Havana defined by the extend of the city walls retains an interesting mix of Baroque and Neoclassical monuments, and an ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards. We will visit a privately owned art gallery Santacana, then stop by the University of Havana. Continue to Old Havana with a visit to El Template, where the City of Havana was founded in 1514, the Office of the City Historian and many historical old Spanish plazas including the Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja and Plaza San Francisco. Our experience takes us to Havana’s ” Museo de Bellas Artes ” and walk the famous Central Park where local Cubans discuss their favorite pastime “Baseball”, the Bacardi Building, famous for its Art Deco architecture, Cathedral Square and “La Bodeguita del Medio Bar-Restaurant”, Hemingway’s favorite for a Mojito Cocktail, (included) and enjoy lunch. Tonight at 9PM enjoy the ceremonial firing of the cannon El Canonazo at La Cabana fortress. Overnight HAVANA. Meals (B/L)
Morning departure to “Finca La Vigia” former home of Ernest Hemingway where he wrote many of his novels. Next a visit to Regla Community where traditions and religion mix are a true sample of Cuban culture and nation, a magnificent opportunity to share and mingle with authentic Cuban people. Continue to Cojimar where Hemingway keep his boat “Pilar”, and embarked on daily fishing trips to the Caribbean and found inspiration for his novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”. Lunch at “LAS TERRAZAS”, his preferred restaurant where Hemingway sat for lunch, after fishing on the “Pilar”. Continue to the monument honoring Hemingway built by local fisherman with their boat anchors. On our return to Havana, visit “El Castillo del Morro”, (Morro Castle) and “Fort La Cabana”. The tour continues with a walk up Obispo Street and a stop at the Ambos Mundos Hotel and the room, now a museum, where Ernest Hemingway wrote his famous novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. The walk continues through Havana’s former banking district and on to ”El Floridita, Hemingway’s favorite bar for his favorite trademark drink, the “Rum Daiquiri”, (included). Tonight the SHOW CABARET at the Hotel Nacional. Overnight HAVANA. Meals (B/L)
Today we drive from Havana to the Province of Pinar del Rio. The main highway goes along the Sierra and the beautiful landscape. On the way we will stop at a PARADERO for a local experience. If you’ve ever wondered where the world’s finest cigars start out, it’s in the lovingly cultivated tobacco plantations of Cuba’s of Pinar del Río province. The plantations are only part of the area’s magic. Today an experience with the Tobacco masters to learn how the world’s best tobacco is cultivated and finest cigars are made. Visit the tobacco plantation to meet and discuss with Hector Luis Prieto the youngest “ Hombre Habano de Cuba “ the quality of tobacco he grows. Learn about the importance of the tobacco industry in Cuba and economy of many families to learn the historic role Tobacco has played in Cuba since Columbus arrived more than 500 years ago. Cuban Creole lunch will be served at the farms restaurant. Continue the drive to the Vinales Valley National Park, UNESCO World Landscape Heritage Site and an important geological attraction with spectacular limestone Mogotes rising 900 feet above. Overnight in private home. Overnight Vinales. Meals (B/L)
After breakfast we will visit EL PARAISO AGROECOLOGICALFARM. This organic farm a family run initiative offer a combination of innovation and family tradition will host and exchange their experiences about the farm, entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges in starting a local business in this rural community. The farm is all terraced producing organic vegetables. Located along the hillside overlooking Vinales Valley this is a privately owned family farm, organized with others like it in a private “credit and service cooperative” a good opportunity during our lecture to share with the locals their experiences. Drive to the Vinales Valley National to explore the cave formations of Cueva del Indio by boat. There are numerous caves scattered on the slopes inhabited for many centuries before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. We will taste the local gastronomy with a traditional Cuban lunch at Rancho san Vincete Restaurant and then a visit to the Mural de la Prehistoria Project . Continue to our privately owend guesthouse lodging in Vinales, learn more about this home grown form of tourism in Cuba. Overnight Vinales. Meals (B/L)
After breakfast drive to Varadero for presentation of how do Tobacco & Cuban Rum match in our for lunch at 1830 Restaurant: at the mouth of Almendares River, by the ocean side. To enjoy the taste of fresh fish or shrimp and also see how the Tobacco comes to the City in the shape of a Cigar and matches with an aromatic glass of Cuban Rum ( Maridaje, a ceremony conducted by an specialist , that explain everything regarding the way cigars should be lit and smoked, combined with Rum at the end of any Gourmet meal in Cuba). Continue to the city of Matanzas situated along Matanzas Bay. The old city buildings are mostly from XVIII and XIX centuries, while in other areas buildings are modern. The first stop will be the visit to the Sala White National Monumnet (Cradle of Cuban Rhythm Danzon) Continue to the Varadero Peninsula for check in at your hotel. Overnight Varadero. Roc Arenas Doradas Hotel or Similar. Meals (B/L/D)
After breakfast a short drive will take us to the City of Cardenas. Today we learn about the second railway station built in Cuba and the museum of the sugar industry & steam locomotives used in the sugar cane transportation. Afternoon visit the City of Varadero is foremost a tourist resort town, boasting more than 20 km of white sandy beaches. The first tourists visited Varadero as early as the 1870s, and for years it was considered an elite resort. In 1910 the annual rowing regatta was started; five years later the first hotel, named Varadero and later Club Nautico, was built. Tourism grew in the early 1930s as Irénée du Pont Nemours, an American millionaire, built his estate on the peninsula visit “ . Visit “Taller de Cerámica Artística” to meet with local Cuban potters and learn about their great artworks . All art works are of high quality and perfect to bring back home. After we will visit some private business in Varadero one of the places in Cuba where the “cuentapropista” or entrepeneurs are growing the most. Overnight Varadero. Meals (B/L/D)
Today we drive to the International Airport Jose Marti in Havana to board your flight to the US.
Sequence of visits may be subject to change.
- 5 nights First Class hotel in Havana with buffet breakfast daily
- Overnight Mountain Lodge Los Helechos in Topes de Collantes dinner & breakfast
- 11 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
- Comprehensive city tour of Old Havana including the Museo de Bellas Artes and a Mojito cocktail at La Bodeguita del Medio
- Lectures and briefings
- Cabaret Show at Hotel Nacional
- All escorted guided tours and visits including admission fees throughout
- All transportation within Cuba
- Government Hotel Taxes
- Services of SLT local representatives throughout
* Air fare & Visa not included
Trip Interruption Insurance is recommended
NOTICE: Sunny Land Tours is not responsible for any issues/costs resulting from delays or interruption in air transportation. All such issues should be addressed directly with the airline.
Mandatory Travel Insurance while in Cuba is included with the airline tickets.
Optional Travel & Trip interruption insurance is available from Sunny Land
HOTELS USED OR SIMILAR:
- Habana: ROC Presidente
- Vinales: Los Jaszmines
- Varadero: ROC Arenas Doradas
- The “Cuba For Your Senses” program requires walking on cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, climbing stairs, and most importantly participating in a full-time schedule of people-to-people activities.
- Due to the special requirements to visit Cuba, participants will be required to complete visa application and travel reservation forms and sign an affidavit confirming that they are traveling under a people-to-people license and are aware of the travel rules. Participants are also required to send a copy of their passport photo page.
This educational people to people Cuba tour is operated under Sunny Land Tours Cuba Travel License Case #20CT-2015-317165-1
* Tour participants must observe Strict compliance to the itinerary schedule.
* Tour Operates with min 2
* Travel Insurance required to enter Cuba
* Visa will be provided with Airline Tickets
*What Do I Bring? Currency & Money
•Currency: Bring bills only, no coins. US dollars subject to a 10% surcharge
•You will need your PASSPORT to exchange money
• Credit Cards & Traveler’s Checks: US-issued credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards do not work in Cuba. Only credit cards issued in other countries may be issued (other than US). You must have cash in order to make any purchases in Cuba or pay for any services. Most places will not take USD, so you must exchange currency upon arriving. Tips however can be given in any currency. Traveler’s Checks may also be difficult to cash while in Cuba.
•Parallel Currencies CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) and the CUP (Cuban Peso) 1 CUC = 24 CUP. You are unlikely to come across, or need, the CUP if you are staying at a resort hotel.
*Exchange: You can exchange USD for CUC at any airport, hotel, exchange bureau in town centers and some banks. The current fee for exchanging is 13%, i.e. for 100 USD you will get 87 CUC. The fee is the same no matter where you exchange your currency. In Cuba, they will not accept bills that are torn or written on when exchanging into CUC. When exchanging money into CUC , try to get small denominations to make purchases easier ,as many places(little stores, bars and restaurants do not always have the possibility to break down smaller notes for you).
*Clothing: Despite its subtropical climate, Cuba has distinct summers and winters. Winter is between November and April, with nice temperatures between 75º to 80º F. Cool, Periodically it rains due to cold fronts moving through the island. The climate is very similar to South Florida in comparison. May through October is off-season and is the hottest period with temperatures between 85º and 90º F, and the possibility of severe storms and hurricanes, most notably in July – September. Casual, comfortable, and light clothes are your best bet. It is always wise to bring a poncho or light wind-breaker (water resistant) in case it rains. Unless you are in Cuba for business, there is little use for a suit and tie. However, a cocktail dress or pair of kakis may be needed for a night out at the club or restaurant. Always bring comfortable walking shoes, and pack a lot of socks.
*Adapters/Electric Converters: All of Cuba runs on 110 volts and 60hz. The outlets are for flat prongs. However, the Parque Central Hotel has 220 volts. If staying there, make sure you bring an adapter/converter like the ones use in most of Europe (round prongs).
*Hair Dryers: The rooms at are equipped with hair dryers, however, they are attached to the wall and are not the most convenient and comfortable to use. For the ladies that are accustomed to blowing their hair properly, you may want to bring your own compact hair dryer.
*Medical Supplies and Sundries: Although larger hotel stores carry some goods, travelers to Cuba should bring their own medicines, vitamins, bandages, contraceptives, sunscreen, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, soaps, prescription medications (in their original bottles) and other essentials as none of these items are readily available. It is best to assume you will have difficulty finding daily essential items in Cuba. It is recommended that travelers also pack rolls of toilet paper, tissues, pre-moistened towelettes, and anti-bacterial wash to anticipate the chronic shortages one can encounter on the road at locations outside of the hotel.
*Laundry: There are no coin laundries in Cuba, and most hotels offer a laundry service that charges on a per piece basis.
*Water: We recommend that you only use island water for brushing teeth etc. Drinking water should be bottled.
*Tipping Is expected in Cuba. Suggest 10% on Tipping.
CALLS AND INTERNET
*Cell Phones: US cell phones do not work in Cuba, even if you have an international plan.
*Calling Home: It is possible to call home from your hotel by visiting the business center or dialing direct from your room. If you wish to use the phone in your room, you will need to leave a cash-deposit at the front desk, so that they activate your line. It can be expensive to call home, sometimes more than 2.50 CUC per minute, and connection charges may also apply. You can also purchase local calling cards to use at pay phones or land lines.
*Internet: Wi-Fi is not available throughout Cuba except at some hotels. Most hotels also have a business center with computer, with limited hours, where internet service is available. Charges can up to 12 CUC per hour depending on the hotel. Because of the limited technology in Cuba, it is not uncommon to have internet outages.
*Communication with the US: Though internet is the best way to communicate with family back at home, you may want to warn them of the difficulty in communications between Cuba and the US. Not only can it be costly, but sometimes business centers are not open at the hours that are convenient to your schedule, internet may be experiencing difficulties, or you may have problems getting a line to the US from Cuba, since they are often rerouted through third countries.
Both 120 and 220 watts are used in Cuba. The older historical hotels have 120 watts in the rooms. The newer or remodeledhotels, run on 220 watts.
Important Contact Information
CALZADA E/ L Y M
53-5-286-1607 AFTER HOURS
WHAT CAN I BRING BACK?
$400 Total of all Cuban goods (except as noted below). This includes a maximum of $100 of both Cuban alcoholic and/or tobacco products. Please note that the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) impose duties if more than one liter of alcohol, 50 cigars or 300 cigarettes are imported into the US—even If the total value was less than $100.
Any value of Art and Other Informational Materials. There is no value limitation on informational materials (including art, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs).
CBP will seize Cuban items that exceed the value limitations above.
-Safety Deposit Boxes: Hotels are equipped with safety deposit boxes and may charge a per day fee. Check with the front desk. It is advisable to leave valuables, including passports in the safe. A copy of the passport should suffice for ID purposes. You will however need your passport for exchanging of currency.
–Pick-pockets: though Cuba is generally a very safe place to travel (more than other parts of the world), it is always best to watch your belongings and beware of pick-pockets and purse snatchers. Leave expensive jewelry in the safe and only carry what you need for that day. You may see some kids or older adults begging on the streets, sometimes asking for soap, pens, etc. Though a nuisance, this is not considered to be dangerous
If you have purchased air transportation with us note:
Baggage policy and DAY OF TRAVEL
Licensed persons are expected to check-in 3 hours before the charter flight is scheduled to depart. The direct air carrier will close each charter flight 70 minutes prior to departure. If any passenger arrives after the flight has been closed, ABC cannot process the passenger. In this case, the passenger will not be permitted to board the charter flight.
ABC Charters guarantees to transportation of checked baggage per person.
CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES:
$20.00 will be charged for each checked baggage.
ADDITIONAL EXCESS BAGGAGE FEES:
Each passenger will have all of his or her baggage weighed—including the carry on luggage. Anything over 44 lbs. will be charged at EXCESS FEE. Excess Baggage Fee charges are to $2.00 per pound, boxes are $3.00 per pound.
CARRY ON ALLOWANCE:
Passengers may one small carry-on bag, plus one personal item. The carry-on bag cannot exceed the dimensions of the airline baggage size: 22 long x 14 wide x 9 tall