OUR SPECIAL 11 DAY CHRISTMAS 2017 PACKAGE TOUR!
Seize the opportunity celebrate Christmas in Cuba!
Designed for the budget-minded traveler in High Season, our Carpe Cuba Hoy! (“Seize Cuba Now!”) tour blends sharing the pulsing island culture with locals while learning and travling a multi-faceted People to People itinerary! Visit the festival of Parrandas de Remedios, step back in time visiting to historic Trinidad (founded 1514), celebrating Christmas there, and be our guests at a festive Christmas dinner and Show in Havana.
Explore Cuba’s lush countryside and agricultural heartland to stroll and learn alongside tobacco farmers. Dance the Night Away and return home smiling at some indelible memories of the “Pearl of the Antilles,” a destination the rest of the world is beating a path to savor!
Private Christmas packages for shorter durations are available; contact us for details.
Enjoy nights at historic Hotel Nacional, home of the Cuban Revolution
Pulse with the beat of Cuba’s vibrant nightlife!
Delight at a memorable annual holiday festival with local English-speaking guides, the Parrandas de Remedios!
Celebrate Christmas in Trinidad and feel like you may have stepped back in time!
Explore lush Cuban farms in the scenic tobacco region of Pinar del Rio and the wonderful town of Vinales
Enjoy cocktails taking part in Havana’s vibrant music scene while executing some Salsa moves learned in a Salsa dance
2017 CHRISTMAS TOUR DATES:
December 19 - 29, 2017; December 26, 2017 - January 5, 2018
11 Days and 10 Nights
(Optional start /end dates are available)
Travel times are shown below between destinations on our “Carpe Cuba Hoy” Christmas 2017 travel package. Travelers will stop frequently for lunch and at vistas and points of interest throughout their journeys between towns.
Havana to Santa Clara: 4 hours
Santa Clara to Trinidad: 3 hours
Trinidad to Cienfuegos: 1 hour
Cienfuegos to Vinales: 8 hours
Vinales to Havana: 2-3 hours
Accommodations include two nights at historic Hotel Nacional, home and headquarters during the Cuban Revolution. Other nights are spent at lovely Casas Particulares where guests enjoy private rooms, strong Cuban coffees and scrumptious breakfasts. Staying at a Casa Particular and interacting with Cuban locals is often a highlight for our travelers. We assist with your luggage at Casas Particulares, but if the flights of stairs present a mobility problem, just let us know and there will be no problem finding suitable alternative accommodations.
Havana! Viva Havana! Known as the capital of fun during the 40’s and 50’s, this spellbinding city immediately captures first-time visitors. Put on your walking shoes and take in Havana’s rich history, grand monuments, its stunning array of restoration projects in Old Havana, world famous cigars and inventive cocktails. You can easily get lost in Havana Vieja ("Old Havana"), the old city of cobblestone alleyways and colonial buildings, ancient squares and noted churches. Taking an introductory walking tour of Old Havana with our learned guide and noted University professor is an ideal first-day way to retrieve bearings and – based on arrival time, meet up with everyone to enjoy a welcome dinner at one of Havana's finest paladares (private family-run restaurants, the "engine" of growth in Cuba's middle class).
Parrandad de Remedios Festival In Santa Clara
The next morning we set off in our air-conditioned vehicles to the lively Parrandas de Remedios Festival in the small town of Remedios just outside of Santa Clara (available on XMas Tour only). At the end of the year, this town hosts one of Cuba’s greatest street parties and religious carnivals. We arrive for the festival’s final day on Xmas Eve! Expect a night of dancing, libations, fireworks and impressive floats as fierce competitions take place in good fun between the neighborhoods of San Salvador and El Carmenin.
Many travelers’ favorite Cuba cultural and historic destination, Trinidad was founded in 1514 by Diego Velázquez and is considered a jewel of Cuban colonial architecture. Trinidad serves for some as a living museum and testament, stuck in the time of Cuba’s first War of Independence when local sugar plantations were devastated by fire. The vibrant colors and soulful music scattered along cobbled streets will literally take your breath away! Travelers will enjoy the best of Trinidad and its storied surroundings, visiting local waterfalls, historic sugar mills and perhaps the best beach in all of Cuba - Playa Ancon. And following each tour day are evenings at a cave disco and throbbing music venues, for Trinidad is known throughout the island for its scintillating music scene! Included is a special Trinidad Salsa lesson!
If Cuba had a Paris then that “City of Light” would arguably be Cienfuegos, known for its rich French-influenced architecture. A harbor city known as the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’ (as Cuba is known as the “Pearl of the Antilles”), Cienfuegos has seduced travelers for its elegance and beauty. Founded in 1819 by Don Luis de Clouet, Cienfuegos escaped frequent pirate attacks, which allowed it to flourish while nearby towns were ransacked. Travelers can explore Trinidad’s wide streets and promenades enjoy strolls along the Malecon. Trinidad’s Malecon is the longest seaside promenade on the island. “Cienfuegos is the city I like the best”, write our Cuba travelers, echoing the words of musician Benji More some 100 years earlier. We’re pretty sure you would agree!
Set in a beautiful, lush valley of the Pinar del Rio province, Vinales is one of the most breathtaking locations in Cuba. In the heart of Cuba’s prime tobacco growing region, Vinales sits quietly surrounded by a number of stunning karst hill formations known as mogotes (pin cushions). Experience first-hand the hospitality of a Cuban Homestay and take advantage of the many outdoor activities available to you. Breathtaking views and an ‘enthusiastic’ nightlife will surely make your stay in Vinales a memorable one.
One of Cuba's premier self-sustaining organic farms here offers a brief tour followed by one of our travelers' favorite and best meals. Truly an organic foods paradise!
After lunch, hike or horseback ride through the mogotes.
Immerse yourself in Cuban culture by visiting a local tobacco farm. Salsa lesson anyone?
Our final tour days are spent reveling in Cuban culture and nightlife, starting off with a classic American car tour of greater Havana. We begin to understand better why the great majority of Cubans are satisfied in their lives despite lacking the material advantages we take for granted, as we visit neighborhoods and community centers that provide residents with a vast array of social services and opportunities for connection. At these venues we'll distribute optional donations ("gifts") brought by the group from the lists we provide each traveler of needed medical and school supplies. A highlight of these culminating Havana days is a memorable cooking/mojito lesson at one of Cuba's first paladares, walking the Malecon to iconic Hotel Nacional, HQ of Cuba's revolution, and entertainment by Havana's premier salsa band (as available). Highlighting each evening is an excellent dinner at some of Cuba's finest paladares followed by late night music and dance experiences.
Duration - 11 Days, 10 Nights
Dates:: XMAS 2017 One: December 19 - December 29, 2017; NYE 2016 One: December 26, 2017 - January 5, 2018
Customized Optional dates are available on request for a private group limited to friends and family
Start and Finish: Havana, Cuba
Limited to small groups, maximum ten travelers
Meals include all breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners at Cuba's best private family restaurants ("paladares"), with our time-honed recommendations and reservations (as requested) to a variety of other top restaurants.
Accommodations are at our private and spacious 3500 sq. ft. +/- residences with private bedroom and bath, daily maid service, cook available on request, breakfasts, living room, dining room, salon, gardens, 24-hour security on site, "run of the house."
This package tour limited to ten (10) participants includes English-speaking local Cuban guides, private air-conditioned transportation throughout, meals as specified, including dining at some of Cuba's finest private restaurants ("paladares"), airport transfers on arrival and departure, the Remedios Festival, Christmas feast (as applicable), Havana walking tour, city and town orientation tours at each destination we visit, ample beach time for swim, snorkel, dive and fishing (optional), unique cultural experiences "off the beaten tourist path" throughout, New Year's Eve Havana Cathedral Square Gala (as applicable), Salsa lesson in Havana and much more.
Pricing : From $4495 (as shown) per person, double occupancy, including transport from Florida, U.S. State Department required Visa, Cuba health insurance and tourist permit, all breakfasts, additional meals as shown, private transport, guiding, hotel and private casa particular accommodations usually with bathroom en suite and full access to our 3500 sq. ft. +/- residential properties, admissions & fees, bottled water throughout, tours & excursions, welcome drinks as offered, and the very best English speaking Cuban guides.
Single supplement: $500.00.
Availability: This tour sells out annually. Subject to availability at time of receipt of non-refundable deposit (the deposit is a 100% credit against this or any other of our Cuba tour packages for one (1) full year following the first day of each tour.
Deposit: $500.00 per person - deposit is a full trip credit.
Group size: Limited to ten (10) traveling together.