After a 45-minute charter flight to Havana you will arrive at Jose Marti Airport Terminal #2, where your local Caribbean Destination Travels specialist will meet you and start unveiling the reality of this beautiful island. Your experience starts with a panoramic tour of the Havana, including visits to the Revolution Square and a stroll around Old Havana while your talk to a specialist and discuss the challenges of everyday life for its inhabitants. Take a bird’s eye view picture of this 16th Century gem from the impressive fortresses across the bay.
Enjoy an interactive experience with city farmers at the Finca Yoandra, where you discuss the challenges of urban, organic farming. Then, you will continue our People-to-People experience through a visit to the Hemingway estate “Finca Vigia”, located in the outskirts of Havana. As you look through the windows and open doors of this remarkably preserved home, travel back in time to the author’s heydays he lived there, where The Old Man and the Sea was penned. After checking into the hotel, you will immerse yourself in the makings of Cuban dishes a visit at a private restaurant Paladar.
Illustrate on US-Cuba relations through a lecture delivered by a recognized Cuban scholar. Afterwards, learn about healthcare in Cuba and senior care through visits to a clinic and a local senior center. La Casa del Nino y la Nina and Quisicuaba are educational, cultural projects in the community which bring together people and culture in the neighborhood. Speak with their members and participate in their activities. Navigate through fruits and vegetable counters at the Mercado Agropecuario (Farmer’s Market). Dance rumba at Callejon de Hammel, a street covered in mural paintings done by local artist Salvador Gonzalez.
Today you embark on an arts experience. First, appreciate the art of rolling cigars. Visit one of Havana’s cigar factories, a place where the best cigars in the world are rolled. Afterwards, contemplate the best of Cuban Art at the Museum of Fine Arts as well as local arts & crafts at the Mercado San Jose, both in Old Havana. Learn how Cuban artists are formed from early ages. Have an exchange with students and their teachers at the Cuban Arts School (ISA). Then, dance with members of Proyecto Havana Compas: a workshop that gathers teenagers in Marianao municipality. Enjoy a night show at the majestic Tropicana cabaret, a reminiscence of the Havana of the 50’s.
Religion is a very important part of the Cuban society culture. Learn about syncretic religions Catholicism and Santeria, a unique phenomenon. For this purpose, you will take a trip to the town of Regla, the guardian patroness of the Havana Bay. There, you will learn about the practice of African religion in Cuba alongside Catholicism. After a visit to Casa de Africa in Old Havana, interact with members of the Jewish Community through visits to two local synagogues. The Cristobal Colon Necropolis in Havana, one of the most beautiful in the Americas, will be your final stop to conclude this great introduction to religion in Cuba.
Today we will appreciate Cuba’s countryside and learn about one its most famous exports: cigars. Depart to Viñales, located west from Havana and considered by many as the land that grows the best tobacco in the world. Go to a local cigar factory, walk around the town and ask locals about the process of growing tobacco. Explore the farms and meet with growers there and have an up-close look at the process of rolling cigars. “Sustainable agriculture” is the motto at Finca Paraiso, an organic farm where you will enjoy a freshly cooked lunch made with produce grown locally.
Learn about the different social projects that will bring you closer to the Cuban people. Start the day with a visit to an elementary school and be introduced to free education in Cuba. Then, participate in a talk with college students at Havana University. Propitiate debate with them and listen to their opinions. Speak with health specialists at a neighborhood clinic. Lunch at “El Aljibe”. This is the best grilled chicken in town, cooked in a special sauce that has been the secret of this restaurant for generations. Be part of an introduction to the comprehensive literacy campaign in Cuba as you visit the Literacy Museum located in a high school of Havana.
Address: Prado # 603, esq. a Dragones. Habana Vieja.
Tel: +53 78 681000
Address: Paseo e/ 1ra y 3ra,Plaza de la Revolucion
Address: Ave. 3ª, e/ 76 y 80. Miramar. Ciudad de La Habana. Cuba.
Tel: +53 72 48500
We offer you fully-scheduled programs in order to provide you with educational, enriching and rewarding face-to-face meetings with students, teachers, farmers, members of social projects, artists; all of whom will bring you closer to the Cuban people.
The long lasting prohibition on Cuba travel has been modified to allow you to take part in tours that encourage people-to-people contact trough official licensed travel agencies.
Purely recreational activities are NOT yet allowed in any programs provided by a travel agency. Although your full-time cooperation is required, you will always have time to explore the surroundings and there will always be an experienced Cuban specialist to provide you with any information you require concerning the best and most genuine places to go.
Caribbean Destination Travel will give you a tourist visa, a traveler form and a medical insurance sheet that you need to fill out and surrender upon arrival on the island . You MUST keep all of these documents for the duration of the program.
You are encouraged to report any disability requiring special attention to us at the time the reservation is made, including requiring the use of special equipment. CDTravels cannot provide special individual assistance like canes or wheelchairs for passengers with special needs for walking. Wheelchair access in Cuba exists in most locations, but is not common outside Havana. Please, contact us before planning your trip to determine what assistance might reasonably be given. CDTravelscannot accommodate women past their sixth month of pregnancy and cannot accommodate service animals.
We urge our travelers to inform us in advance details pertaining dietary restrictions, so meals can be accommodated throughout the program.
Although we guarantee and confirm all of the activities in the program, some activities are subject to change due to special circumstances beyond our control, such as holidays and events, technical problems in factories, intensive rain or unfavorable weather conditions. But there is nothing to worry about; we will inform you of the reason why the activity is being modified and we will schedule a replacement activity so we can continue on our enjoyable journey.
A valid passport is required, and must be valid for six months after the completion of your Cuba program.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your reservation. Final payment is due at least 90 days prior to departure. To secure reservations on a trip departing within 90 days, full payment is required at the time of booking.
There are two types of currencies in Cuba: the Cuban peso (CUP), also known as national currency or “Moneda Nacional”, and the Cuban Convertible peso (CUC).
While in Cuba, you need to exchange US dollar to CUCs. You can do it at the airport upon arrival or at any hotel, exchange bureau or bank. The current fee (13%) for exchange is the same no matter where you change. You will need a passport and it’s recommended to request smaller denominations as merchants may not be able to give change for larger notes.
Cuban people receive their wages in national currency and they use it to buy the basics. The CUC is the currency mostly used by tourist and for Cubans in “dollar shops” where they buy groceries, clothes and wares. The word “peso” may refer to both non-convertible and convertible money. Be mindful of this, as Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) are 25 times more valuable than Cuban pesos (CUP).
The use of US credit or debit card is now permitted in Cuba. Before you travel to Cuba, please check if your banking institution has authorized transactions there. Do NOT rely solely on this form of payment unless you are absolutely sure first because financial channels are still being created between the US and Cuba. Cash continues to be your safest option. For you for your personal expenses (purchases, taxis, meals on your own, tips), CDTravels suggests bringing around $100 USD per day.
It is customary -and expected- to leave a tip for such personal outings that involve restaurant service, pictures taken to people on the street, hotel maids, taxi drivers, and others in the hospitality industry. Do not hesitate to ask your CDTravels specialist for advice on this matter.
Almost any month is good to come to our island. Cuba is a tropical island with high levels of humidity. Depending on the season, you may experiment, in average, a temperature variation between 80 F (27C) and 69 F (21C).
The standard dress code in Cuba is casual. Lightweight clothes are essential to survive to hot, humid temperatures. If included in your program, a more formal attire (dress, slacks) is required for theaters, concert halls, nightclubs and formal venues.
Comfortable shoes are highly recommended for the many walks, as many Cuban cities are in constant restoration and often have the original cobblestone streets.
Cuban women and girls clothes are very feminine and colorful. It is common to find them wearing tight jeans, short skirts, light blouses, lot of jewelry and colorful nail polish. Cuban men usually wear jeans, cotton pants or Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt. Also you’ll find some men wearing “guayaberas” which is a traditional shirt with two or four front pockets, and two groups or closely spaced pleats on the front as well.
Basic needs will be covered in your accommodation throughout the trip. However, given the supply shortages of Cuban stores, CDTravels advices bringing basic essentials such as:
-Sandals and/or flip-flops
Caribbean Destination Travels selects the best traditional/gourmet restaurants of the island. A continental buffet-style breakfast will always be included in your accommodation.
Since Cuba is a country with high humidity levels, hydration at all times is advised. Even though tap water is purified, it is recommended to drink bottled water.
It is safe to drink beverages with ice cubes wherever you go during the program. Bottled water is NOT necessary to brush your teeth.
Water will be provided throughout the trip ( 2 bottles a day).
Donations will be appreciated by the people and institutions you will interact with while on the trip. These may include, but are not limited to:
-cosmetics -personal hygiene items -over the counter medicines -school supplies -baby clothes -sports equipment ( baseballs, soccer balls, soccer boots, gloves ) -candies -toys -headphones, usb sticks, old GSM cell phones, mp3 players.
Cuba is probably one of the safest places to travel. Nevertheless, it is always best to watch your belongings and not to ever leave them unattended. Most hotel rooms are equipped with safety deposit boxes where you can leave your important documents, money and other valuables.
Do NOT trust strangers or their advice for directions, places to eat, drink or buy souvenirs. Always rely on our representatives’ advice. If you wish to trust your own judgment and go against this, it is at your own risk. CDTravels does not take responsibility over incidents occurring outside the program or of our Cuba staff’s instructions.
We offer a full-time bus service for all the activities throughout the program. Your things will be safe when left during the activities or overnight. Your tour manager, local specialist and bus driver will be keeping custody of all your belongings at all times.
Internet service is available in hotels for an extra charge of around 8 CUCs per hour. Nevertheless, most hotels are equipped with free wi-fi for their guests.
Cell phone service is restricted to the Cuban company CUBACEL, that operates on GSM technology at a 900 MgHz frequency. Roaming services are now available for American phones operating with Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Except for restricted areas that are of a military nature, outdoor photos and video may be freely taken. It is polite to always ask for permission when taking someone’s picture. In many cases, pictures will come with a fee of 1 CUC per camera.
Some places like museums or memorials have their own specific regulations on this matter. Ask your guide for specifications on given locations. These fees will NOT be included in our itinerary.