Cuba Cultural Discovery | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Cuba Cultural Discovery

Trip Length 9 days

From $5,595

  • Meet the people of Cuba on this fascinating insider tour of a rapidly changing country
  • Visit the UNESCO Heritage Sites of Old Havana and Las Terrazas, and explore Hemingway’s retreat at Finca Vigía
  • Dine on fresh farm-to-table meals and enjoy authentic Cuban fare in paladar restaurants of local entrepreneurs
  • Exchange ideas with local Cubans at less-visited gems, such as the fragrant tobacco fields of Viñales or the studios of emerging artisits

Though just 94 miles from the tip of Florida, Cuba has long been an enigma. But now, the mysteries of this island nation are yours to unravel—and this is the time to visit! Our special People-to-People license lets you journey into a changing Cuba, from the iconic streets of Old Havana to its less-traveled heartland. Accompanied by our expert Cuban guide, you’ll meet locals from all walks of life: artists and musicians, farmers and cigar makers, economists and historians. You’ll learn about Cuba’s cooperatives, from the urban gardens of Alamar to the groundbreaking eco-community of Las Terrazas, and see how aging barrios have been transformed by public art at “Fusterlandia.” And you’ll visit some of the best-loved corners of Cuba, including Havana’s sun-drenched oceanfront Malecón, Hemingway’s retreat at Finca Vigía, and the fragrant tobacco fields of Viñales. To top it off, we’ll dine with locals in authentic home restaurants, known as paladares, where the tastiest Cuban fare can be found. This trip is the best kind of person-to-person experience—an opportunity to learn about the many layers of the country’s rich culture and history, and get a first-hand view of emerging Cuba from those who know it best.

Why Travel to Cuba with MTS?

We have been operating our current Cuba trip for four years and have taken hundreds of guests into the country via the People-to-People license. While diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba are easing, the rules for travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens remain in effect. Our role at MTS is to navigate the continuing complexities involved in traveling to Cuba by arranging the following:

  • Travel visa
  • Travel affidavit
  • Accommodations
  • Local guides
  • Insider experiences

At MTS we strive to make every Cuba experience special, while also ensuring that guests are aware of the realities of travel within the country. For example, the best accommodations in Cuba might not be equal to the standard experienced on other group trips and the itinerary not as flexible. We also recommend that travelers expect the unexpected along the way!

Day 1: Arrive in Miami

Welcome to Miami, the gateway to Cuba! This trip begins with a meeting and orientation at 6:30pm in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Miami International Airport Hotel, where you’ll meet your MTS representative and fellow travelers. The evening is free to enjoy a meal of your choice at a nearby Cuban restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Please note that the order of days may change on this itinerary, but the activities covered will be the same.

  • Accommodation:Miami Crowne Plaza or similar

Day 2: Fly to Cuba and Sightsee in Havana

Plan on a morning check-in at Miami International Airport, where we’ll board our short flight directly to Havana. Upon landing, we’ll meet our English-speaking Cuban guide and begin sightseeing in Havana. Our visit begins at the Plaza de la Revolución, which is dominated by a 358-foot monument to the 19th-century Cuban patriot José Martí. The plaza is the site of political rallies and many of Fidel Castro’s public addresses. Enjoy our first of many meals at popular paladares (privately owned restaurants) and learn about the importance of these restaurants for private enterprise in Cuba.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit Colón Cemetery where many of Havana’s notables have been buried since 1872. This elaborate cemetery, named after Christopher Columbus, rivals Buenos Aires’ La Recoleta in its grandeur, and we’ll explore its acres of angels, saints, cherubs, urns, and crosses. Then it’s on to Vedado and Miramar, Havana’s upscale residential neighborhoods, where fine mansions line tree-shaded streets. Many of these older homes fell into ruin after their owners fled Cuba following the Revolution. We’ll learn about their architecture and the role of the wealthy upper class in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 3: Explore the Treasures of Old Havana

We’ll begin the day with a walking tour of Habana Vieja (“Old Havana”). Our guide leads us along the cobblestone streets of this 500-year-old city visiting important sites and squares including the Plaza de Armas and Plaza de la Catedral. As we meander, we'll visit the book market, a cross-cultural treasure trove of books, posters, and antiques to pique your curiosity. Make a transaction with a Cuban vendor, or strike up a conversation with locals at the market about popular Cuban and American culture and literature. Enjoy lunch at a nearby paladar.

This evening we'll gather to meet with a Cuban expert who leads an open discussion on present day relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments. Dinner follows at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 4: Finca Vigía, Alamar, and Cojímar

After breakfast, we’ll visit a cigar factory in the outskirts of Havana where we'll learn about the history and manufacturing process of Cuban cigars and interact with factory workers. Next we’ll drive to the Alamar district, a barrio on the outskirts of Havana, known for its Soviet-style pre-fabricated architecture. An expansive social housing project built in the 1970s, the concrete apartment blocks are now home to hundreds of thousands of Cubans. We’ll visit its community gardens, called Organopónicos, where residents grow fruit, vegetables, and medicinal plants for their own consumption and local sale. Similar to co-op and community gardens in the United States, these Organopónicos facilitate community development and offer Alamar’s residents access to fresh produce. We’ll have a special opportunity to meet with one of the founders of the gardens and discuss the similarities and differences between community gardens in the U.S. and Cuba.

Later we'll stroll through the quiet streets of nearby Cojímar, a quaint fishing village which served as the setting for the novel The Old Man and the Sea, and enjoy lunch at an open-air paladar. We'll visit Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban retreat, Finca Vigía. Now a national museum, it was Hemingway’s home for twenty years, and it was here that he wrote important works including A Farewell to Arms. Return to Havana in the late afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 5: Visit Las Terrazas and Charming Viñales

This morning we’ll depart for the Artemisa province, located in the lush Sierra del Rosario mountains, where we’ll spend the day exploring the small community of Las Terrazas. Shortly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, local farmers moved to this model community to share resources, and help each other overcome the hardships of living in thatched roof huts without electricity, schools, or medical services. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1984, Las Terrazas is a must-see in Cuba—world-renowned for its wild, exquisite natural beauty and its culture of cooperative living and sustainability.

We'll visit the Clinica Las Terrazas to learn how medical services are handled in rural Cuba and stop at Café María, the town’s only coffee shop. Here we’ll discuss coffee culture in Cuba and the world as we enjoy a delicious brew! We’ll also have the opportunity to visit the art studio of Lester Campa when he is in residence.

For lunch, enjoy an authentic, farm-to-table, country-style Cuban meal prepared and served outdoors at a local farmhouse near Las Terrazas. Afterward, we’ll take a well-deserved break and optional swim with local residents in the idyllic waters and gentle cascades of nearby San Juan River. We’ll end the afternoon in charming town of Viñales, in the heart of Pinar del Rio Province, and enjoy dinner at a local paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Rancho San Vicente

Day 6: Go Deep into the Valley of Viñales

The Valley of Viñales is a picturesque, serene, lush area of Cuba, known for its old-world tobacco fields and its mogotes—the boulder-like hills that surround the valley floor. We’ll begin the day traveling through this impressive landscape on foot while seeing how tobacco, cassava, and taro are grown. We’ll tour a farm where you will have a chance to meet and speak with local Cuban families and learn how they live and work in an informal questions and answer session. Visit a state-run ration store to learn about the supply and distribution of goods in Cuba.

Enjoy another delicious farm-to-table lunch today at a local farmhouse restaurant. Our afternoon walk gives us the chance to explore the valley’s remarkable terrain with caves and subterranean rivers. Enjoy dinner at one of the paladares in Viñales.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Rancho San Vicente

Day 7: Return to Havana and Visit Artist and Music Studios

After breakfast, depart on the 2+ hour drive back to Havana. We'll have the unique opportunity to visit the beautiful home workshop and private studio of a famed Cuban sculpture artist. After lunch, we’ll visit the galley La Lavanderia, a project of young artists dedicated to the visual arts who use techniques originating from the famed Cuban artist Rafael Perez. End the day with a visit to a community music project dedicated to training youngsters in the traditions of Cuban music. At each visit, we take time to engage in informal question and answer discussions with the artists and musicians. Afterwards, return to our Havana hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 8: Experience Callejón de Hamel and the National Museum of Fine Arts

We’ll begin our day with a University of Havana campus tour, where we’ll get a glimpse into Cuba’s higher education system. Next, we’ll take in the sights and sounds on one of the most fascinating and colorful streets in Havana—Callejón de Hamel—soaking in its bright Afro-Cuban street murals, its surrealist folk art, and its pulsing rumba music. Here we’ll learn about Santeria, considered one of the main religions in Cuba. After lunch, we’ll visit the impressive National Museum of Fine Arts, with its fascinating collection of Cuban art from the colonial era to the present day. Later, we have the option to visit the artisan market located on the Malecón, or return to the hotel where you can rest and relax. Gather later in this evening for a farewell dinner at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 9: Return to Miami

We’ll bid farewell to Cuba as we enjoy one last breakfast, then transfer to Havana’s José Martí International Airport for our flight back to Miami.

People-to-People License:
This itinerary is operated under People-to-People License # CT-2013-305287-1 and 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 Mountain Travel Sobek the obligation to ensure such adherence.

Itinerary Changes:
When traveling abroad, things don't always go according to plan and, particularly in Cuba, itinerary changes or shifts mid-trip are quite common. In the event of a last-minute change to the scheduled activities, your leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy. Expect the unexpected in this region—it's all part of the adventure!

Accommodations and Meals:
As "luxury" accommodations in Cuba can generally be characterized as large all-inclusive, resort-style hotels, our accommodations on this trip are not typical of the MTS experience. While the hotels are the best available and offer numerous amenities, even the nicest properties in Cuba do not come close to equaling the accommodations on other MTS trips.

  • Breakfast

Nov 11 - 19, 2017 Hotel Capri in Havana

Dec 02 - 10, 2017 Hotel Capri in Havana

pricing

October 2017
Hotel Telégrafo in Havana
$5,595 per person, double occupancy  (4-16 members)
$850 single supplement
$395 round trip flight Miami-Havana  (subject to change)
$85 Cuba Visa

November & December 2017
Hotel Capri in Havana
$5,695 per person, double occupancy  (4-16 members)
$950 single supplement
$395 round trip flight Miami-Havana  (subject to change)
$85 Cuba Visa

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Hotel Capri — Havana

Located in Central Havana, Hotel Capri is a comfortable accommodation with friendly staff and beautiful views of the city and sea. Travelers consistently give this hotel great reviews for its prime location in the vibrant capital in addition to its gorgeous rooftop pool, restaurant, bar, fitness center, and spa. The hotel serves a delicious breakfast buffet every morning, in addition to its restaurant serving a fine selection of international cuisine. Built in 1957, this hotel has hosted guests for half a century, and the staff at Hotel Capri look forward to providing you comfortable accommodations with classic Cuban flair during your journey through Cuba.

Hotel Rancho San Vicente — San Vicente Valley

Individual cabins scattered amidst the green foliage of the Cuban San Vicente Valley makes Hotel Rancho San Vicente feel as if it is a part of the forest nature. Relax with a dip in either of the two pools and order some poolside cocktails. The hotel is also located within walking distance of some caves, where you can watch bats leave for feeding at dusk or take a boat trip.

Hotel Telégrafo — Old Havana, Havana

A century ago, the press called the Hotel Telégrafo one of Havana's most modern hotels. A recent restoration from top to bottom has the Telégrafo vying for the same praise. Just steps from the Gran Teatro, the Capitolio, the famous El Floridita bar and Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes, Telégrafo anchors a vibrant part of Old Havana. Rooms are comfortable and modern with well-appointed bathrooms.

Miami Crowne Plaza or similar — Miami, Florida

Located conveniently next to Miami International Airport, the Crowne Plaza offers a variety of amenities to allow for a seamless transition to Cuba. Whether you're hungry for a delicious meal, or want to relax outside on a warm Miami night, this hotel has all the bases covered. Crowne Plaza boasts a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, lounge, and business center. The combination of convenience, comfort, and top-notch service make this a wonderful place to recharge on the eve of a new experience.

"The Cuban experience was amazing...it was like stepping back in time. Our guide did a wonderful job making sure we saw as much as possible and experienced Cuban life." Jayne Hare

"We saw more, did more, and learned more about living in Cuba with the superb MTS local guide. She went beyond the itinerary to enhance the history and culture of this country in transition. Havana's frozen-in-time colonial architecture may be peeling and decaying, but it is a city free of franchises, enlivened with a new generation of entrepreneurs and private restaurants." Jan Jessup

"A marvelous experience that puts you in touch with the Cuban people and culture. The trip far exceeded our expectations." Michael Miller

"The local guide in Cuba had an incredible depth of knowledge on the culture, history, politics and economics of her country. Her frank and open discussions were more informative than I expected." Lee Kleinman

"I have always shied away from group travel but this experience was so great that I would seriously consider group travel (a small group) again!" Diane Meyer

"I have taken many trips with MTS and have enjoyed each trip." Diane Ausonio

"When visiting a sensitive destination like Cuba our two guides made the trip so informative, relaxing and entertaining." John Haskell

"The support and assistance from MTS for the trips we have taken have been uniformly outstanding. The flexibility, consideration of needs and overall organization makes MTS a bargain by any calculation. Every aspect of the tours have been so well planned with careful attention to detail to make the experience superb." Myer Rosenthal              

"Mountain Travel Sobek provide an excellent experience in visiting Cuba." James Sponagle

"We have used Mountain Travel Sobek for our trips to Antarctica and Cuba. They are outstanding and we will use them again." Carol Gullstad

 

  • Meet the people of Cuba on this fascinating insider tour of a rapidly changing country
  • Visit the UNESCO Heritage Sites of Old Havana and Las Terrazas, and explore Hemingway’s retreat at Finca Vigía
  • Dine on fresh farm-to-table meals and enjoy authentic Cuban fare in paladar restaurants of local entrepreneurs
  • Exchange ideas with local Cubans at less-visited gems, such as the fragrant tobacco fields of Viñales or the studios of emerging artisits

Though just 94 miles from the tip of Florida, Cuba has long been an enigma. But now, the mysteries of this island nation are yours to unravel—and this is the time to visit! Our special People-to-People license lets you journey into a changing Cuba, from the iconic streets of Old Havana to its less-traveled heartland. Accompanied by our expert Cuban guide, you’ll meet locals from all walks of life: artists and musicians, farmers and cigar makers, economists and historians. You’ll learn about Cuba’s cooperatives, from the urban gardens of Alamar to the groundbreaking eco-community of Las Terrazas, and see how aging barrios have been transformed by public art at “Fusterlandia.” And you’ll visit some of the best-loved corners of Cuba, including Havana’s sun-drenched oceanfront Malecón, Hemingway’s retreat at Finca Vigía, and the fragrant tobacco fields of Viñales. To top it off, we’ll dine with locals in authentic home restaurants, known as paladares, where the tastiest Cuban fare can be found. This trip is the best kind of person-to-person experience—an opportunity to learn about the many layers of the country’s rich culture and history, and get a first-hand view of emerging Cuba from those who know it best.

Why Travel to Cuba with MTS?

We have been operating our current Cuba trip for four years and have taken hundreds of guests into the country via the People-to-People license. While diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba are easing, the rules for travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens remain in effect. Our role at MTS is to navigate the continuing complexities involved in traveling to Cuba by arranging the following:

  • Travel visa
  • Travel affidavit
  • Accommodations
  • Local guides
  • Insider experiences

At MTS we strive to make every Cuba experience special, while also ensuring that guests are aware of the realities of travel within the country. For example, the best accommodations in Cuba might not be equal to the standard experienced on other group trips and the itinerary not as flexible. We also recommend that travelers expect the unexpected along the way!

reviews

"The Cuban experience was amazing...it was like stepping back in time. Our guide did a wonderful job making sure we saw as much as possible and experienced Cuban life." Jayne Hare

"We saw more, did more, and learned more about living in Cuba with the superb MTS local guide. She went beyond the itinerary to enhance the history and culture of this country in transition. Havana's frozen-in-time colonial architecture may be peeling and decaying, but it is a city free of franchises, enlivened with a new generation of entrepreneurs and private restaurants." Jan Jessup

"A marvelous experience that puts you in touch with the Cuban people and culture. The trip far exceeded our expectations." Michael Miller

"The local guide in Cuba had an incredible depth of knowledge on the culture, history, politics and economics of her country. Her frank and open discussions were more informative than I expected." Lee Kleinman

"I have always shied away from group travel but this experience was so great that I would seriously consider group travel (a small group) again!" Diane Meyer

"I have taken many trips with MTS and have enjoyed each trip." Diane Ausonio

"When visiting a sensitive destination like Cuba our two guides made the trip so informative, relaxing and entertaining." John Haskell

"The support and assistance from MTS for the trips we have taken have been uniformly outstanding. The flexibility, consideration of needs and overall organization makes MTS a bargain by any calculation. Every aspect of the tours have been so well planned with careful attention to detail to make the experience superb." Myer Rosenthal              

"Mountain Travel Sobek provide an excellent experience in visiting Cuba." James Sponagle

"We have used Mountain Travel Sobek for our trips to Antarctica and Cuba. They are outstanding and we will use them again." Carol Gullstad

 

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Miami

Welcome to Miami, the gateway to Cuba! This trip begins with a meeting and orientation at 6:30pm in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Miami International Airport Hotel, where you’ll meet your MTS representative and fellow travelers. The evening is free to enjoy a meal of your choice at a nearby Cuban restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Please note that the order of days may change on this itinerary, but the activities covered will be the same.

  • Accommodation:Miami Crowne Plaza or similar

Day 2: Fly to Cuba and Sightsee in Havana

Plan on a morning check-in at Miami International Airport, where we’ll board our short flight directly to Havana. Upon landing, we’ll meet our English-speaking Cuban guide and begin sightseeing in Havana. Our visit begins at the Plaza de la Revolución, which is dominated by a 358-foot monument to the 19th-century Cuban patriot José Martí. The plaza is the site of political rallies and many of Fidel Castro’s public addresses. Enjoy our first of many meals at popular paladares (privately owned restaurants) and learn about the importance of these restaurants for private enterprise in Cuba.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit Colón Cemetery where many of Havana’s notables have been buried since 1872. This elaborate cemetery, named after Christopher Columbus, rivals Buenos Aires’ La Recoleta in its grandeur, and we’ll explore its acres of angels, saints, cherubs, urns, and crosses. Then it’s on to Vedado and Miramar, Havana’s upscale residential neighborhoods, where fine mansions line tree-shaded streets. Many of these older homes fell into ruin after their owners fled Cuba following the Revolution. We’ll learn about their architecture and the role of the wealthy upper class in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 3: Explore the Treasures of Old Havana

We’ll begin the day with a walking tour of Habana Vieja (“Old Havana”). Our guide leads us along the cobblestone streets of this 500-year-old city visiting important sites and squares including the Plaza de Armas and Plaza de la Catedral. As we meander, we'll visit the book market, a cross-cultural treasure trove of books, posters, and antiques to pique your curiosity. Make a transaction with a Cuban vendor, or strike up a conversation with locals at the market about popular Cuban and American culture and literature. Enjoy lunch at a nearby paladar.

This evening we'll gather to meet with a Cuban expert who leads an open discussion on present day relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments. Dinner follows at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 4: Finca Vigía, Alamar, and Cojímar

After breakfast, we’ll visit a cigar factory in the outskirts of Havana where we'll learn about the history and manufacturing process of Cuban cigars and interact with factory workers. Next we’ll drive to the Alamar district, a barrio on the outskirts of Havana, known for its Soviet-style pre-fabricated architecture. An expansive social housing project built in the 1970s, the concrete apartment blocks are now home to hundreds of thousands of Cubans. We’ll visit its community gardens, called Organopónicos, where residents grow fruit, vegetables, and medicinal plants for their own consumption and local sale. Similar to co-op and community gardens in the United States, these Organopónicos facilitate community development and offer Alamar’s residents access to fresh produce. We’ll have a special opportunity to meet with one of the founders of the gardens and discuss the similarities and differences between community gardens in the U.S. and Cuba.

Later we'll stroll through the quiet streets of nearby Cojímar, a quaint fishing village which served as the setting for the novel The Old Man and the Sea, and enjoy lunch at an open-air paladar. We'll visit Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban retreat, Finca Vigía. Now a national museum, it was Hemingway’s home for twenty years, and it was here that he wrote important works including A Farewell to Arms. Return to Havana in the late afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 5: Visit Las Terrazas and Charming Viñales

This morning we’ll depart for the Artemisa province, located in the lush Sierra del Rosario mountains, where we’ll spend the day exploring the small community of Las Terrazas. Shortly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, local farmers moved to this model community to share resources, and help each other overcome the hardships of living in thatched roof huts without electricity, schools, or medical services. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1984, Las Terrazas is a must-see in Cuba—world-renowned for its wild, exquisite natural beauty and its culture of cooperative living and sustainability.

We'll visit the Clinica Las Terrazas to learn how medical services are handled in rural Cuba and stop at Café María, the town’s only coffee shop. Here we’ll discuss coffee culture in Cuba and the world as we enjoy a delicious brew! We’ll also have the opportunity to visit the art studio of Lester Campa when he is in residence.

For lunch, enjoy an authentic, farm-to-table, country-style Cuban meal prepared and served outdoors at a local farmhouse near Las Terrazas. Afterward, we’ll take a well-deserved break and optional swim with local residents in the idyllic waters and gentle cascades of nearby San Juan River. We’ll end the afternoon in charming town of Viñales, in the heart of Pinar del Rio Province, and enjoy dinner at a local paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Rancho San Vicente

Day 6: Go Deep into the Valley of Viñales

The Valley of Viñales is a picturesque, serene, lush area of Cuba, known for its old-world tobacco fields and its mogotes—the boulder-like hills that surround the valley floor. We’ll begin the day traveling through this impressive landscape on foot while seeing how tobacco, cassava, and taro are grown. We’ll tour a farm where you will have a chance to meet and speak with local Cuban families and learn how they live and work in an informal questions and answer session. Visit a state-run ration store to learn about the supply and distribution of goods in Cuba.

Enjoy another delicious farm-to-table lunch today at a local farmhouse restaurant. Our afternoon walk gives us the chance to explore the valley’s remarkable terrain with caves and subterranean rivers. Enjoy dinner at one of the paladares in Viñales.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Rancho San Vicente

Day 7: Return to Havana and Visit Artist and Music Studios

After breakfast, depart on the 2+ hour drive back to Havana. We'll have the unique opportunity to visit the beautiful home workshop and private studio of a famed Cuban sculpture artist. After lunch, we’ll visit the galley La Lavanderia, a project of young artists dedicated to the visual arts who use techniques originating from the famed Cuban artist Rafael Perez. End the day with a visit to a community music project dedicated to training youngsters in the traditions of Cuban music. At each visit, we take time to engage in informal question and answer discussions with the artists and musicians. Afterwards, return to our Havana hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 8: Experience Callejón de Hamel and the National Museum of Fine Arts

We’ll begin our day with a University of Havana campus tour, where we’ll get a glimpse into Cuba’s higher education system. Next, we’ll take in the sights and sounds on one of the most fascinating and colorful streets in Havana—Callejón de Hamel—soaking in its bright Afro-Cuban street murals, its surrealist folk art, and its pulsing rumba music. Here we’ll learn about Santeria, considered one of the main religions in Cuba. After lunch, we’ll visit the impressive National Museum of Fine Arts, with its fascinating collection of Cuban art from the colonial era to the present day. Later, we have the option to visit the artisan market located on the Malecón, or return to the hotel where you can rest and relax. Gather later in this evening for a farewell dinner at a popular Havana paladar.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Telégrafo OR Hotel Capri

Day 9: Return to Miami

We’ll bid farewell to Cuba as we enjoy one last breakfast, then transfer to Havana’s José Martí International Airport for our flight back to Miami.

People-to-People License:
This itinerary is operated under People-to-People License # CT-2013-305287-1 and 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 Mountain Travel Sobek the obligation to ensure such adherence.

Itinerary Changes:
When traveling abroad, things don't always go according to plan and, particularly in Cuba, itinerary changes or shifts mid-trip are quite common. In the event of a last-minute change to the scheduled activities, your leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy. Expect the unexpected in this region—it's all part of the adventure!

Accommodations and Meals:
As "luxury" accommodations in Cuba can generally be characterized as large all-inclusive, resort-style hotels, our accommodations on this trip are not typical of the MTS experience. While the hotels are the best available and offer numerous amenities, even the nicest properties in Cuba do not come close to equaling the accommodations on other MTS trips.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Hotel Capri — Havana

Located in Central Havana, Hotel Capri is a comfortable accommodation with friendly staff and beautiful views of the city and sea. Travelers consistently give this hotel great reviews for its prime location in the vibrant capital in addition to its gorgeous rooftop pool, restaurant, bar, fitness center, and spa. The hotel serves a delicious breakfast buffet every morning, in addition to its restaurant serving a fine selection of international cuisine. Built in 1957, this hotel has hosted guests for half a century, and the staff at Hotel Capri look forward to providing you comfortable accommodations with classic Cuban flair during your journey through Cuba.

Hotel Rancho San Vicente — San Vicente Valley

Individual cabins scattered amidst the green foliage of the Cuban San Vicente Valley makes Hotel Rancho San Vicente feel as if it is a part of the forest nature. Relax with a dip in either of the two pools and order some poolside cocktails. The hotel is also located within walking distance of some caves, where you can watch bats leave for feeding at dusk or take a boat trip.

Hotel Telégrafo — Old Havana, Havana

A century ago, the press called the Hotel Telégrafo one of Havana's most modern hotels. A recent restoration from top to bottom has the Telégrafo vying for the same praise. Just steps from the Gran Teatro, the Capitolio, the famous El Floridita bar and Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes, Telégrafo anchors a vibrant part of Old Havana. Rooms are comfortable and modern with well-appointed bathrooms.

Miami Crowne Plaza or similar — Miami, Florida

Located conveniently next to Miami International Airport, the Crowne Plaza offers a variety of amenities to allow for a seamless transition to Cuba. Whether you're hungry for a delicious meal, or want to relax outside on a warm Miami night, this hotel has all the bases covered. Crowne Plaza boasts a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, lounge, and business center. The combination of convenience, comfort, and top-notch service make this a wonderful place to recharge on the eve of a new experience.

Dates and Pricing

Nov 11 - 19, 2017 Hotel Capri in Havana

Dec 02 - 10, 2017 Hotel Capri in Havana

pricing

October 2017
Hotel Telégrafo in Havana
$5,595 per person, double occupancy  (4-16 members)
$850 single supplement
$395 round trip flight Miami-Havana  (subject to change)
$85 Cuba Visa

November & December 2017
Hotel Capri in Havana
$5,695 per person, double occupancy  (4-16 members)
$950 single supplement
$395 round trip flight Miami-Havana  (subject to change)
$85 Cuba Visa

Activity Level Easy
Trip Length 9 days

From $5,595

Interested in this adventure? Take the next step and book it!

Got questions?

Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure

Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure