CU1 CUBA TOURSEARCH TOUR
A Cultural, Historical, Interpersonal Adventure
Old Havana--UNESCO site; Beautiful Vinales Valley; Bay of Pigs Commemorative Museum; Colonial Trinidad; Colourful Santiago; Meeting everyday Cubans, the friendliest people on Earth
- DATES & PRICES
- FULL ITINERARY
- MAP & HOTELS
- TRIP INFORMATION
Dates & Prices
Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (see note below, if applicable) - All pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person pricing for the TOUR AND INTERNAL FLIGHTS ONLY; however, we can book flights from your home airport to join the tour for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.
|Start Date||End Date||Price||More Info|
|Sat 04 Nov 2017||Sat 18 Nov 2017||$3490 USD|
|Sat 13 Jan 2018||Sat 27 Jan 2018||$3490 USD|
|Sat 27 Jan 2018||Sat 10 Feb 2018||$3490 USD|
|Sat 28 Apr 2018||Sat 12 May 2018||$3490 USD|
|Sat 03 Nov 2018||Sat 17 Nov 2018||$3490 USD|
Optional Single Supplement: $740 USD (number of singles limited).
Cuba is the last bastion of socialism in the Western Hemisphere and has, only recently, managed to break free from the shackles imposed by the negative associations of communism. Indeed, it is Cuba's long isolationism that proves one of the main attractions for travellers, as destinations untouched by Western influence are now so few and far between. One must only explore the cities, like the capital, Havana, to appreciate fully the unique charms of the country. With their colonial architecture, plethora of 1950s American cars, and imposing Revolutionary monuments, Cuban cities are strikingly unusual in history, colour and character. These street scenes are only enhanced by the laid-back lifestyle and friendly disposition of the Cuban people -- a population of largely Spanish and African descent -- with the result that Cuba is an up-and-coming destination to be visited sooner rather than later.
Our tour is a comprehensive exploration of much of the island, and concentrates on the human element of the country as much as possible. To that end, we delve into the island's long human history and explore the myriad ways in which the Cuba of today has been shaped by foreign powers, the winds of war and trade, the migration of peoples far and wide, and fortunes good and bad. Through meaningful interaction between our travellers and the people of Cuba, we reveal a place more complex and nuanced that most might expect.
Carol R. (East Wenatchee, WA, US)
I enjoyed every single thing that I got to see and do. I fell in love with Cuba from the second I landed. An amazing and wonderful experience, the local people, the sites, the complicated history, the food. People I know who've been to Cuba, everyone of them told me the food was terrible. Well.....they certainly didn't eat where we did or have the Tour Leader that we had as their guide!!
Elaine D (Vancouver, BC, CA)
All the excursions were thoroughly enjoyed. I don't think AA need to change anything. The local guides were fantastic. The transportation was excellent. Meals were over the top and we enjoyed each and every one. This is the second time we have travelled with Serra, our tour leader, and with her light personality, her extensive travel knowledge and fantastic people skills she is an absolute treasure to travel with. Serra is always very well organized and everything ran like clockwork. Serra is an excellent speaker and was always very well informed. She had the right amount of depth to all the information passed on to us. We only use Adventures Abroad for our cultural tours, and have taken two of our daughters and their husbands on two of the tours as well. We have never had a tour that we have not enjoyed.
Fred L. (Westlake Village, CA, US)
Our Cuban tour guide cannot be topped!!! I don't have enough complimentary words to express how he "made" the trip for us. He is personable, knowledgeable, helpful, open-minded, and never failed to be performing his job of teaching us about his country. We really were lucky to have him as our Cuban tour guide.
Glenn F. (Paradise Valley, AZ, US)
Enjoyed excursions to Vinoles Valley, Bay of Pigs, Camaguey, Holguin, Baracoa and Santiago - enjoyed the history that pertains to the revolution 1959 and walks - I found all the stops interesting
Jane D. (Davis, US)
Diego is a fantastic guide and gave everyone a wonderful experience. The best guide I have ever had! Bus drivers were absolutely amazing and evening meals were very good - fun to get to know the group.
Judith G. (Chapel Hill, CA, CA)
I had a great time on this tour.
Katherine S. (Greeley, CO, US)
Loved the Hemmingway, Buena Vista Social Club and the Baseball game!!!!! Osvaldo was an excellent national guide and knowledgeable about his country. He had a great spirit. Serra did a good job, she could laugh readily, gave good country information and was an excellent representative for Adventures Abroad.Pleasant, courteous, patient, and friendly would be adjectives to describe Serra's attitude. She was very well informed. It was fun, informational, and the pace of each day was planned and carried out. It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the lives of people that was balanced, objective, and fair.
Keith (Burnaby, BC, CA)
Vinales Valley and the walkabout there were one of the highlights, as was the visit to Baracoa and the bus ride through the mountains. [Tour Leader Erin] went to extra effots to arrange meals in local establishments, organize evening excursions to muciscal venues, find money exchange places, and organize the ordering of meals.
Linda L. (East Wenatchee, WA, US)
Great trip, would highly recommend Cuban trip to everyone. Of course, what made the trip extra special were our amazing guides.
Linda S. (Calgary, AB, CA)
All excursions were very good. We saw all the highlights of each place we visited. I really enjoyed Trinidad and Baracoa. We had one local guide - Osvaldo - who traveled with us the entire time. He was the best local guide I have had on any trip that I have taken. He worked 18 hours a day to make sure we all had a great experience in his country. He was friendly and helpful, and provided loads of information abount the culture, history and economic condition of Cuba. We had a very comfortable mini-bus (ours was virtually brand new) and and excellent driver. The evening meals were all very good. There were always lots of choices. It was nice to try out the private restaurants, which were mostly where we ate. Chis is an absolute people person. It is obvious that he enjoys his work. Chris went out of his way to answer everyone s questions and requests. He made sure everything ran smoothly and comfortably for everyone. Chris keeps lists and sets reminders - I can t think of anything that was not reasonably explained nor any questions, requests or observations that were forgotten. I really enjoyed this trip to Cuba. It is a pity that the vast majority of people that travel here do not get to see the country in the depth that we did.
Marva B. (Kerney, US)
This trip was eye-opening and filled with a variety of excursions. All of it was well-planned and thought out. I liked the bodega visit and seeing the ration books. I felt I got a real look at daily life. Another favorite was the Velasques house in Santiago. The walking tour of Havana was eye-opening.
Merelyn J. (Nelson, BC, CA)
I enjoyed all the included excursions on this tour. Highlights would be Hemmingway Finca, Museo Romantico in Trinidad, Cave and boat trip in Vinales and the Truck ride into the Sierra de Escambray. Transportation was excellent in every way. AA is fortunate to have the calibre of Chris, our tour leader, working for the company. He was enthusiastic, never tired or too busy for questions. Always appears calm and relaxed. He is the best!!
Morley P. (Delta, BC, CA)
The local guide was outstanding; he was honest, well-spoken, informative, and fun. Working relationship between him and the Adv. Abroad guide was excellent. The excursions blended well with free time, were adventurous and worthwhile.
Nancy B. (Overland Park, US)
Great trip! I am glad that I went and the experience was excellent!Diego was outgoing and had a wonderful personality. Diego was extremely informative and knowledgeable. He made himself available to everyone on the tour. I have been on numerous trips and he has been the best guide I have ever had in my travels!
Patricia F. (Calgary, AB, CA)
Laura Rudderforth is definitely the Tour Leader with the best ever abilities to lead a group of mature tourers. Laura has excellent communication skills and is fluent, I believe, in several languages. Laura goes above and beyond the expected duties of a Tour Leader, always ensuring the safety of all tour participants. Laura is always able to maintain an even balance between local guides, transportation provider and tour participants. I highly commend Laura for the always common sense and tactiful approach to all issues. Many, many thanks to Laura
Ronald M. (Sechelt, BC, CA)
We enjoyed all excursions to the utmost. There is none better than Victor. Everybody loves Victor! He runs all day to keep us happy and to make the very best meal arrangements for the evening meal
Rosemary S. (Calgary, AB, CA)
Great trip, all excursions were very enjoyable and local guides were excellent. Laura made us all feel very comfortable and was always able to answer our questions. She seemed to have as much fun as we did, great tour leader.
Virginia R. (Richmond, CA)
I enjoyed it all, especially the horticultural tours and viewing the country side, the people are all so nice. Diego's (Tour Leader) up beat attitude despite some of the hotel problems he encountered. I was more than happy with all the things that we saw. Fabulous drivers to be able to turn those big buses around in tight spots
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.
Hotel Armadores de Santander
The Hotel Armadores de Santander (which means ‘Shipowners of Santander’) overlooks the port of Havana. The building’s façade, with its ... reliefs of the coat of arms of Santander surrounded by maritime motifs, is wonderfully evocative of the city’s seagoing past. The Hotel Armadores de Santander was restored and is run by the Office of the City Historian of Havana, so all its profits are reinvested in the restoration of the city’s historical centre.
Click here to visit hotel website
Hotel Los Jazmines
Most of the rooms are housed in two three-story buildings set on a hillside overlooking the Viñales Valley. All are ... clean and comfortable, and feature French doors opening on to a little balcony from where you can soak in the sights. Touches of gingerbread wrought-iron work and stained glass give the place a sense of elegance. Facilities: 2 restaurants, 2 bars, outdoor pool, laundry service.
Click here to visit hotel website
Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and local restaurants). All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.
Tour Leader gratuity, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), "tourist card" fee ($15). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and locally paid departure taxes.
Seasonality and Weather
Cuba is a warm and tropical place most times, and one should be prepared for heat. That said, we will notice a cooling effect when up in the mountains or near the sea. The northern side of the island also tends to be cooler than the Caribbean side. A light rain shell is recommended for all times.
The cooler and most comfortable time of year in Cuba is November-March. This is "high season," and we recommend early booking to ensure space at preferred accommodation and flights at a reasonable cost. May and October are considered "shoulder" season; these months can be hot but still a pleasant time to visit. We avoid the very hot summer months (Jun-Sept).
Transport and Travel Conditions
Road transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size').
Though this is not a strenuous tour per se, we do have numerous walking tours of towns / cities on uneven surfaces. One must be prepared to be on one's feet, walking at a leisurely pace for up to 3 hours at a time, and to walk short distances, ie from the hotel to dinner. Traffic and road conditions may make some journeys seem longer than they should. Our trip rating level "2" reflects the ambitious nature of our program, some full travel days, heat, the lack of unreliability of creature comforts in some locations (hot water, air-conditioning etc that may fail), and limitations for those requiring/insisting upon very specific dietary requirements.
Though direct flights are now becoming available for 2017 and beyond, travel to Cuba for touristic purposes is still prohibited by statute. Adventures Abroad does not qualify for a "Specific License" that allows US citizens to legally visit Cuba, and the latest political stance in Washington indicates that this will continue for the next few years. Most of our USA travellers to Cuba either book their own air direct to Cuba and take the chance; if you book through Adventures Abroad, we will route you through a third country, either Mexico or Panama, possibly Canada. Any legal risks or ramification of travelling to Cuba are to be borne solely by the participant.
Well-located, heated / air-conditioned, mid-range (3-star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than doubles. Porter service is sometimes available though you should be independent with your luggage, especially at airports.
Because this tour ventures well beyond the built-up coastal tourist areas, one can expect the locally-owned, managed, and operated hotels and inns to be somewhat less "slick" that the larger, foreign-owned and managed resort-style properties. Hotels are carefully selected in terms of their ability to offer a safe and clean environment; that said, there may be some rough edges here and there and service that is not at the same level of efficiency which we expect elsewhere in the West. That said, the big highlight of this trip is to get off the trodden tourist path and immerse ourselves in the real Cuba.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader, driver/s, and local guide.
10-18 (plus Tour Leader & local guide)
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