Tour introduction and overview of activities

A Cuba expedition focused on people-to-people education, nature and cultural exchanges. The program is geared to naturalists, and lovers of the arts, history and architecture. The tour has a very diverse itinerary and features comfortable accommodations and tasty Cuban cuisine.

Cuba’s big! Its land mass is 42,426 square miles – about 80 percent the size of Alabama. Cuba is nearly as large as Louisiana, and larger than Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio or Indiana. Altogether it’s bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 - Wednesday :: Arrival and Hello Cuba

  • Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Collect your bags and go through customs. You’re welcomed at the airport lobby by your Cuba Explorer Tours guide and professional bus chauffeur.
  • Private transfer to your hotel.
  • Private check-in at Hotel Capri with assistance from your guide.
  • Free time to settle in and rest up at your hotel.
  • Private transfer in American Vintage Cars to the private restaurant Mediterraneo Havana, included.
  • Dinner at Mediterraneo Havana private restaurant, included.
  • Après dinner: Your guide will keep you posted on local entertainment options.

Day 2 - Thursday :: Exploring Old Havana, our common heritage

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Followed by a walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit four of the five historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. It contains the largest collection of remaining colonial-era architecture. This is a private tour led by your Cuba Education Tours guide.
  • Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza on the island. Named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana built by the Jesuit order.
  • Square of Arms, an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by impressive buildings such as:
  • Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City.
  • Palacio del Segundo Cabo [Palace of the Second Lieutenant] dates from 1770. Today it houses the Centro para la Interpretacion de las relaciones culturales Cuba - Europa [Center for the Interpretation of Cultural Relations Cuba-Europe].
  • The Castillo de la Real Fuerza Museum, allows the visitor to take an imaginary walk through the history of shipbuilding in Cuba and in particular in Havana since the 16th to 19th century. It contains expositions showing the treasures of the New World, naval modelism, collections salvaged from wrecks and marine navigation instruments.
  • We continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The square is named after magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís dating from the 16th century. The basilica is a striking example of Cuba baroque architecture.
  • And then on to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Absent are churches and government buildings, and is in contrast surrounded by opulent aristocratic 17th century residences. We’ll visit an important center for the visual arts.
  • Lunch not included.
  • Later on Mojitos and music at Bar Floridita.
  • Return to your hotel to freshen up.
  • Now for a special group dinner at restaurant Café Laurent, included.
  • Après dinner: Attend El Cañonazo, the 9 PM Cannon Firing Ceremony with Cubans (OPTIONAL)

Day 3 - Friday :: Cultural exchanges and Havana

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Visit a Cuban cigar factory.
  • Seafood lunch at the private studio of acclaimed Cuban muralist and ceramist José Fúster described as the Picasso of the Caribbean (included)
  • Visit the Museum of the Revolution (included in costs).
  • Return to hotel to freshen up.
  • Dinner today is not included.
  • Mojitos and music at Café Taberna. Enjoy the Buena Vista Social Club performance (OPTIONAL).

Day 4 – Saturday :: East Havana

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Depart to East Havana
  • Time to explore marine life and Santa Maria’s shorelines with tourmates.
  • Lunch at Ajiaco paladar (included).
  • Return to your hotel to freshen up.
  • Dinner tonight is not included.

Day 5 – Sunday :: Havana and Home

  • Breakfast at hotel, included.
  • Check-out of hotel.
  • Transfer to José Martí International Airport for flight home.
Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
  • Certificate of Legal Cuba Travel in compliance with US Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations (OFAC).
  • All taxes. Prices listed are the total amounts you pay. All amounts are quoted in US dollars.
  • Airport transfers: We meet you at José Martí Int’l Airport in Havana and take you to your hotel upon arrival. We return you to José Martí Airport for departure.
  • Hotel as listed in tour itinerary or similar.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners as per itinerary.
  • All activities, services and meals as described in tour itinerary except those noted as “optional” or “not included in cost.”
  • Modern air-conditioned minibus and professional driver.
  • Bottled water onminibus.
  • An expert Cuban English-speaking guide and interpreter whose background matches tour content throughout the program.
  • Ongoing support from Cuba Education and Explorer Tours staff in North America and Cuba before, during and after your stay.
  • Emergency collect call access to our North American and Cuban staff while in Cuba.
  • Emergency cash advances for our tour participants who face complications accessing funds from aboard while in Cuba.
  • Cuban Visitor Visa
  • Gratuities for tour guide, bus driver, chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters. See Cuba tipping guidelines
  • We strongly recommend trip interruption and cancellation insurance. We partner with Allianz Global Assistance for Cuba travel peace of mind