What was once a destination that Americans could only dream of visiting and exploring is now a nation you can discover firsthand. Located in the idyllic Caribbean just 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. we welcome you to visit the enchanting island nation of Cuba with us. This people-to-people program allows Americans and Cubans to share in unique interactions while enjoying the rich history and culture of this amazing country
8 days/ 7 nights – $3,148 per person double occupancy (single supplement available)
Travel date 2016:
April 9 – 17*
*Many other dates/tours available
Day 1 Arrive in Miami – Arrive in Miami and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Cosmos Group Leader for a 6 pm welcome meeting. This is a good time to meet your fellow program participants and get last-minute questions answered.
Day 2 – Miami–Havana, Cuba–Varadero
A short flight brings you to Havana, where you’ll meet your Cuban National Tour Director. Travel through Cuba’s countryside, stopping at Bacunayagua Bridge, the tallest bridge in Cuba. Enjoy incredible views and time for pictures at this spectacular lookout point. Arrive at your beautiful waterside resort for a 2-night stay. Enjoy an interactive DANCE LESSON before dinner tonight. (L,D)
Day 3 – Varadero. Excursion to Matanzas & Cárdenas
This morning, visit Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” for the many renowned artists and intellectuals it has produced. Visit TRIOLET PHARMACY, which dates back to 1879 and is preserved in its entirety. Then, interact with workers at EDICIONES VIGIA, a print and binding shop, and learn about the traditional craft that is still done by hand. This afternoon brings us to Cárdenas, where we’ll visit with several ARTISTS and learn about their works and inspirations. Before returning to your hotel, stop at CASA DUPONT, built in 1926 by American millionaire Irénée du Pont. See the lavish grounds, and admire the detailed architecture of this former mansion, nicknamed “Xanadu” by its owner. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Varadero–Havana
This morning, travel to Havana, the bustling capital of Cuba and your home for the next two nights. Start your time in Havana with a visit to a local ORGANIC FARM, where you’ll join a discussion with the workers. Enjoy lunch at the farm’s paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant). Over dessert, discuss with the owner and staff their farm-to-table process and the free enterprise system in Cuba. Then, visit a DAYCARE CENTER to interact with the children and the nuns who run the program. The children may even delight you with a song or two. Next, visit FINCA VIGIA, Ernest Hemingway’s beloved home. Hemingway lived in Cuba for 30 years and is well respected by the Cuban people. Also see his fishing boat, El Pilar, used to patrol for German U-boats during WWII. Tonight, enjoy dinner at El Aljibe Restaurant, famous for its open-air ambiance and special slow-roasted chicken. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Havana
Start the day with a panoramic tour around Havana that includes REVOLUTION SQUARE, the University of Havana, the Capitol Building, and Prado. Next, join a local ARCHITECT for a walk in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discuss the different types of architecture found throughout the city, the progress of restoration projects, and how they receive their supplies and funding. Afterward, visit the SANTO ANGEL NEIGHBORHOOD to interact with local community members. You’ll learn how their project was founded to better the neighborhood by offering services such as a beauty school, cafeteria for the elderly, and art galleries. We’ll end the day with a stop at the FERIA DE ARTESANIA to meet local artists and see the wares sold at this area market. (B,L)
Day 6 Havana–Viñales
Today travel to the western end of the island to the province of Pinar del Río. With some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, you’ll see lush emerald-green tobacco fields and dramatic limestone formations, called mogotes, which are the height of skyscrapers and tower over the Viñales Valley floor. Visit a COFFEE PLANTATION and learn about the traditional techniques still used today. Interact with the plantation staff as well as local community members to learn more about their daily lives. Enjoy a guided NATURE WALK to learn about and discuss some of the unique flora and fauna found in this region of Cuba. Upon arrival in Viñales, your Tour Director will take you on a walk through the handsome square and along the wide main street lined with turn-of-the-century cottages with red-tiled roofs. During your walk, share in a discussion with the people who call this part of the world home. Spend the next two nights at a Casa Particular (a privately owned bed & breakfast). Here is the unique opportunity to interact with a local family and immerse yourself in the Cuban culture. Before you know it, you’ll be part of the family and will be made to feel very special. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Viñales
Since you are in the heart of Cuba’s tobacco region, we’ll visit a CIGAR FACTORY and interact with tobacco rollers. Learn about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially, for Cuba. Afterward, we visit a local COMMUNITY ART PROJECT and have a discussion about their program that helps children with Down Syndrome. Lunch will be served at a local farm, where you will have the opportunity to chat with the staff and owners. This afternoon, meet a local farmer and his family at a TOBACCO FARM. Learn about the process of growing, drying, and rolling tobacco. You can even try rolling a cigar yourself! Take some time to get acquainted with the owner and his family over coffee. (B,L)
Day 8 Viñales–Havana
Return to bustling Havana and visit artist JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you’ll discover a surreal world—like nothing you have seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. This afternoon’s highlight includes a workshop at the ANGELES DEL FUTURO Community Project, where you’ll meet young children learning acrobatics and circus skills. You’ll be amazed at their talents and impressed with the skills they have mastered at such a young age—definitely a trip highlight! Before dinner this evening, meet members of the local Old Styler Car Club. Hear why Havana’s streets are filled with vintage American automobiles, and converse about how these cars are obtained and what it takes to keep them running. Ride in an OLD STYLER CAR to your farewell dinner, the perfect ending to your time in Cuba. (B,L,D)
Day 9 – Havana–Miami, USA
After breakfast, depart for the airport and your return flight to Miami. Please schedule connecting flights after 6:50 pm. (B)
Transportation: Airport transfer in Miami; touring by private, first-class air-conditioned motorcoach
This program requires walking on cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, climbing stairs, and 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. These items must be provided within 7 days of making a reservation.
In Cuba, activities that have been scheduled far in advance can sometimes become unavailable for a number of different reasons, the purpose of the trip is to have meaningful interactions with the locals and if the planned people-to-people educational exchange isn’t available, rest assured that another that will be just as enriching will be substituted.
Tour Date: April 9 – 19, 2016
Rate: $3,148 per person double (charter flight roundtrip Miami included) / Single rate $3,478
Contact us today for more information group tour!
Interested in smaller groups? Longer stay? Looking for a different itinerary? Contact us and let us take the hassle out of trip planning and find the best trip for your budget! Our service is complimentary so why not contact us today?
DAY 1 | Wednesday | MIAMI This wondrous experience begins with your arrival in Miami, Florida. After checking in to your Miami hotel, early evening you will meet your tour representative and fellow program participants, review your travel documents and itinerary, and get ready for your unforgettable people-to-people program in Cuba.
DAY 2 | Thursday | MIAMI I HAVANA In the morning you will be transferred to Miami International Airport for a short one-hour flight to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival at José Martí International Airport and after clearing customs, you’ll meet your professional English-speaking Tour Director. Drive through the city where time stands still and American classic cars abound, stopping at Revolution Square to see the famous Che Guevara image with his well-known slogan of “Hasta la Victoria Siempre” (Until the Everlasting Victory, Always) lives. After check-in at your hotel overlooking Havana’s world famous Malecón, gather with your group for a brief meeting to review your enriching cultural program over appetizers and a welcome drink. Your people-to-people interactions begin right away with a dinner at “Mediterraneo,” a “paladar” which is a small, privately-owned restaurant serving homemade farm-to-table Cuban dishes. (L,D)
DAY 3 | Friday | HAVANA After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a tour of the Museum of the Revolution that displays documents and artifacts, weapons and planes from the 1950s revolution. The museum is housed in the former presidential palace that was the home to Cuba’s leaders from the 1920s until 1959. Next, visit the Antonio Núñez Jiménez” Foundation (FANJ) Headquarters in Sancti Spiritus, which focuses its work on urban sustainability. Here you will have the opportunity to engage with representatives and members of the organization. Then you head to the charming fishing village of Jaimanitas to visit the home, workshop and gallery of world-renowned artist and painter José Fuster, often called the “Picasso of Cuba.” Roofs, walls, doorways and benches stretching for blocks around his studio are adorned with his brightly colored sculptures and mosaics. After lunch, you will have a special opportunity to experience a performance by the Habana Compás dance troop, featuring an exhilarating mix of percussion and dance rooted in flamenco and Afro-Cuban rhythms and moves that is sure to thrill you. Tonight dinner and a show showcasing the renowned Buena Vista Social Club await at Habana Café. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 | Saturday | HAVANA Start your day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel then participate in an enlightening walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while participating in open dialogue with a local architect. Learn about the challenges of renovating the city’s exquisite historic buildings, and see some of the area’s exquisite restorations as you stroll the charming cobblestone streets. Visit the Maqueta Vieja Habana Museum that houses the scale model of the City of Havana, and wander Old Havana’s four main plazas and the Graphic Arts Workshop. Savor a flavorful lunch at “Ivan Justo Paladar” then visit with some of the members of the community arts project “Imagen 3” which combines music, plastic arts and design. Later you will have the opportunity to visit the Historic Hotel Nacional and tour the building and grounds before relaxing with a typical Cuban mojito in the gardens overlooking the Malecón or at the Bar de la Fama. This evening is yours at leisure to explore this great city. (B,L)
DAY 5 | Sunday | HAVANA A buffet breakfast at your hotel is a great way to commence the day before you visit the Alamar Organóponico. Located in the eastern part of Havana, it is the largest farm cooperative in the city. Here you will enjoy a fascinating exchange with the workers and local residents about the history and objectives of urban gardens in Cuba. Take your time to discover the unique finds at Almacenes de San Jose Artisans’ Fair and Market, the open-air crafts market situated on the Port of Havana. Lunch today will be yet another delight for your tastebuds at La Moneda Cubana, a paladar in Old Havana. After you will have a special visit with the Danza Chevere Project and take part in a lively salsa lesson. This evening enjoy a ride to dinner in one of Cuba’s iconic classic American convertible cars . Your delectable farewell meal tonight will be at “El Litoral” on the famed Malecón where the spectacular sunset and blue ocean views will remain etched in your memory always. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 | Monday | HAVANA TO USA After breakfast, bid “hasta luego” or “see you later” to Cuba before you depart for the airport and your return flight to Miami with memories to cherish and share of your Taste of Havana cultural travel program to this enchanting country. (B)
Tour Code: HC
Offering Shalom Cuba and LGBT Tours
Other trip dates and longer tours available throughout the year.
Contact us today for more information on these trips or to inquire about other Cuba tours/dates!
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