Essential Cuba Itinerary (7 days, 6 nights)
- Licensed Travel to Cuba
- Cuba health insurance (included/free with air ticket)
- Cuba airport departure taxes (included/free with air ticket)
- Private transport throughout: mini-bus, micro-bus, or taxi depending on group size
- Airport transfers
- Lodging: Private residences (casas particulares) with breakfast
- Meals, as shown - All breakfast and some lunches/ dinners
- Air-conditioned transportation
- Tours, experiences, admissions & fees on days 1,2 and 7 and as noted
DAY 1 USA – Havana Private Residence Meal(s): Lunch and Dinner
- Welcome to Cuba - airport greeting by guide & intro to trip
- Check-in and rest up at your lodging, or start your adventures from these choices (depending on arrival time): o Classic vintage 1950’s American car ride o Cooking and Mojito lesson o Tour Vivero Alamar - an experiment in socialist community living through organic farming o Art and music at Fabrica de Arte Cubano
- Dinner at one of our favorite paladares (“paladar” – private, family-run restaurants that fuel rapid growth of Cuba’s middle class)
- Buena Vista Social Club show
DAY 2 Havana Private Residence Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
• After breakfast, choose from these privately guided adventures:
- o Cigar factory tour o Private salsa dance lesson o Hemingway’s Watering Holes: Bar Floridita, Bodeguita del Medio o Tour Hemingway’s Havana Estate - Finca Vigia ("Vigil Farm")
- o Beach time at one of our favorite Havana beaches
• At your private residence, travelers relax and meet and greet their fellow travelers on their trips into the Cuban countryside and towns, followed by an optional dinner
DAY 3 Havana - Las Terrazas Private Residence Meal: Breakfast
- Leaving Havana on the way to Soroa we stop at a couple of street art projects and en route at the ecological community of Las Terrazas. Callejon de Hamel's street art features local resident Savador---, who's decorated throughout in vibrant colors, including a pedestrian alleyway, street bathtubs, hand pumps and pinwheels. Many works are dedicated by the artist to Afro-Cuban deities. Hamel, as it is commonly known, has become a cultural destination for young Cubans to learn painting as a result of Salvador and fellow artist colleagues.
- We reach the mountain community of Las Terrazas around lunch time. Terrazas began as a reforestation project during the early years of the '60's following the Cuban Revolution and became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Take a walk around the village to meet friendly locals, including Lester Campa the provocative artist in residence. In Terrazas also are several art, woodworking and pottery studios open to the public.
- We arrive eventually at the mountain resort town....where we stay in homes of the humble local residents. Several attractions nearby invite the visitor to this heavily forested region, including a short trek to the waterfall, steep walk to a lookout and an orchid garden.
DAY 4 Las Terrazas - Viñales Private Residence Meal: Breakfast
- Picturesque limestone hills shaped like pincushions ("mogotes") surround Viñales, the lush destination of tourists to the Viñales Valley of Pinar del Rio province. One of the most abundant and productive agricultural regions of Cuba, Viñales offers up a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables, including enormous, prolific avocados, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, guava and varieties of sweet potatoes. As one of Cuba's milder and more temperate areas, Viñales offers a nice escape from the hotter countryside elsewhere on the Island. Viñales nightlife is vibrant in the village, with los locales more than willing participants in dancing with visitors to local live music.
- During the afternoon, a visit is included to local tobacco farmers who demonstrate rolling techniques for the perfect Cuban cigar, and purchase opportunities are available.
DAY 5 Viñales Private Residence Meal: Breakfast
- Today is a free day to choose your own adventure in Viñales. There are plenty of outdoor activities on offer, such as exploring caves, hiking in the valley, biking, horseback riding or simply enjoying the views of the valley and sprawling tobacco fields. An option also presents itself for visitors to work on a local organic farm (and as a "reward" also stay for dinner), or travelers can head straight to one of the beautiful beaches nearby for the day - Cayo Levisa and Cayo Jutias.
DAY 6 Viñales - Havana Private Residence Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
- Returning today back into Havana, travelers visit the fishing village of Jaimanitas, home of the famous ceramic artist referred to as "The Picasso of Cuba", Jose Fuster and his ceramist son, Alex. Fuster has made his entire home, and much of the surrounding neighborhood, into an artwork using tiles in mosaic forms. Popularly called Fusterlandia, Fuster's neighborhood now presents as a unique work of public art featuring more than 80 homes decorated with ornate murals and domes • Walking tour of Old Havana and its 4 plazas
- Checking in again to the private residence, travelers take time to freshenup and after are accompanied by their guide from Days 1 & 2 for a special Cuba Farewell evening that features: o Farewell Cuba(!) dinner at one of our favorite paladares o 9:00 p.m. Cannon Ceremony at the El Morro Fortress, a Havana tradition o Tropicana Night Club show or musical evening club-hopping on the streets and in the plazas of Old Havana
DAY 7 Havana - USA Meal: Breakfast
- Depending on flight schedules, enjoy your final morning in Havana before the 30-minute drive to the airport for your trip home.
- Activity options: o Shop for souvenirs along the Prado in Old Havana or at Cuba’s largest indoor arts & crafts expo with hundreds of small businesses, Almacenes San Jose o o Walk along the broad, flat central sidewalk boulevard of Havana’s Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) Embassy Row past dozens of colorful foreign embassies Stroll the Malecon to the iconic Hotel Nacional, gathering place during Havana’s “Roaring ‘50’s”, tour the lobby and enjoy the views and drinks on the Veranda overlooking Havana Harbor
- Airport transfer (1:30 minimum before departure)
Special Note: This itinerary is only one example of a CTAG Cuba travel adventure. We are happy to customize any Cuba travel experiences to your private friends’ family’s or affinity group’s own travel pace, energies and your unique interests much as we’ve done for travelers journeying with us “off the beaten track” on the Cuban isle ever since our beginnings in 2004. We promise to leave your group with indelible memories of your experiences in Cuba with us.
Booking Change / Cancellation Policy: Cancel or change your trip for another without charge to 60 days before departure for a full trip credit until December 1, 2022.
Change without Fees: If you book now but have to cancel your trip, you’ll receive a travel credit in the full amount you paid for your vacation that can be used for any CTAG destination or itinerary in the future. If hotel or other lodging prices are higher at the time of rebooking, you will have to pay the difference. For further assistance, call 1-415-789-9398.
- Essential Cuba Itinerary$2,249+$56.23 Service fee$2,249+$56.23 Service fee0$0