RHYTHMS OF CUBA
AN IN-DEPTH DIVE INTO CUBA, THIS 11-DAY TOUR THROUGH HAVANA
AND CAYO SANTA MARIA LETS YOU LIVE LIKE A LOCAL. AFTER
A pre-night stay in Miami, arrive in Havana, where you'll be rapidly introduced to its history-UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Havana, the University of Havana, a sugar-factory- turned -museum-vivid cultural scene-danzon, baseball, paladar dining-and heritage-meetings with farmers, community performances, crocodile breeding. This journey transports you from its bustling capital to the beautiful coast of Villa Clara. Local guides, from expert architects to bohemian artists, share their piece of the picture for an authentic vision of Cuba. Including pre-night in Miami
Meals Included: Breakfast(B), Lunch(L), Snack(S), Dinner(D)
Accommodation Categories and Descriptions
Specialty Package (Rhythms of Cuba Program)
Please note: Some hotel amenities listed above may have an additional fee associated with them.
ACCOMMODATION CATEGORIES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Early check-in and late checkout on request, and subject to availability.
Iberostar Parque Central - Standard Park View
Iberostar Ensenachos - Spa Suite
Specific bedding and/or special requests are fulfilled based on availability and cannot always be guaranteed.
SPECIALTY PACKAGE (RHYTHMS OF CUBA PROGRAM)
RHYTHMS OF CUBA HAVANA CAYO SANTA MARIA PROGRAM 11 Days/10 Nights
Booking Dates: 11/23/2015 - 08/28/2016 Travel Dates: 01/20/2016 - 01/30/2016 02/03/2016 - 02/13/2016 03/16/2016 - 03/26/2016 04/06/2016 - 04/16/2016 04/20/2016 - 04/30/2016 05/04/2016 - 05/14/2016 05/18/2016 - 05/28/2016 06/01/2016 - 06/11/2016 06/15/2016 - 06/25/2016 07/06/2016 - 07/16/2016 07/20/2016 - 07/30/2016 08/03/2016 - 08/13/2016 08/17/2016 - 08/27/2016 08/31/2016 - 09/10/2016 09/14/2016 - 09/24/2016 10/05/2016 - 10/15/2016 10/19/2016 - 10/29/2016
• Day 1: Pre-Night in Miami Arrive at Miami International Airport take the shuttle to the Crowne Plaza Miami. Meet your tour group and guide at the hotel for an important briefing and welcome reception or dinner. Tomorrow: Cuba! (Snack/Dinner Included)
• Day 2: Arrive in Havana Your second day begins with a flight from Miami. Upon arrival, tour vibrant Havana, Cuba's capital and one of the Caribbean's largest cities, with an overview of the fashionable Vedado district. Pass the University of Havana- the oldest in Cuba; four-mile Malecon esplanade, where you'll enjoy a light lunch between sights; Revolution Square; and the Capitol building. Transfer to your hotel for check-in before being whisked away via iconic antique car to dinner at Atelier, a paladar-a family-run restaurant-inside a retro mansion. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 3: Havana Your first full day starts in historical Old Havana, where restoration projects keep the Baroque, neoclassical, and traditional-styled buildings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site looking timeless. Walk each of the four main squares before spicing things up with a salsa lesson and cocktail demonstration at O'Farril Hotel. Relax over lunch at Conde Nast Traveller-recommended El Figaro in Havana's Santo Angel district. Next up is the Arte Corte interactive museum and hair salon. The salon's owner also heads a community restoration project; its art galleries, elderly center, and children's park are additional stops. Get to know the locals even better browsing the San Jose Craft Market for souvenirs. Return to your hotel to refresh, then enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers at Riico. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 4: Cuban Countryside & Vinales A scenic drive brings you to Pinar del Rio, an enchanting region of limestone mogotes, green plains, and famous tobacco fields. Visit one of the many tobacco farms in Vinales, and learn about the production and drying process that takes the crop from field to shop. From there, head to another farm, an organic one, where youll be treated to lunch and to views of the Valle de Silencio. The city center, bright with cheerfully painted homes, is your next destination. Then, return to Havana for dinner at paladar La Fontana Grill, Bar & Lounge. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 5: Arts & Community in Havana This morning, meet with the professionals of one of the city's health clinics for a lesson on Cuba's healthcare system. After, get to know the artists and activists of the Muraleando Community Project. Lunch at one of Havana's Italian restaurants introduces you to the Cuban version of pizza, and a drive to the city's Jaimanitas neighborhood familiarizes you with Jose Fuster and his masterpiece Fusterlandia, a mosaicked community project reminiscent of Gaudi that also serves as his studio and residence. Refresh at your hotel before regrouping to dine at La California, a restaurant set in a restored 19th century building. Opt to watch a cannon firing ceremony at La Cabana, a Spanish colonial fortress where cannons were used to warn the townspeople when Havana's gates would open or close. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 6: Matanzas & Havana At Cuba's highest bridge, the Bucunayagua, take in a view of the Yumuri Valley from 361 feet above. In Matanzas City, a classical concert at a one-time Catalan monastery and visit to the School of Art are next. Lunch is at the Hotel Velasco, after which you'll walk to the nearby art studio-workshop of sculptor Osmany "Lolo" Betancourt Falcon. From there, head to Ediciones Vigia, a bookmaking and -binding shop where all of the editions are hand-boundanother example of Matanzas' art. Transfer back to Havana for a visit to Las Tres Monedas lounge, owned by artist/photographer Kadir Lopez Nieves. Two drinks per guest as well as appetizers are included for your enjoyment as you admire the art on display. Your night on the town continues with a gourmet dinner at the grand Cafe del Oriente served by waiters in tuxedos, and concludes with a performance by the legendary Buena Vista Social Club at Cafe Taberna. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 7: Havana Culture Study up on Cuban culture with students at the University of Havana and sit in on a professor's lecture. A lesson in literature follows in small-town San Francisco de Paula and Ernest Hemingway's former residence, Finca Vigi, or "Lookout House," where he penned For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Finish your morning at one of Havana's organic urban farms, then go from farm to table with a cooking lesson at Il Divino, where you will enjoy a talk with the owners and lunch. Spend your afternoon with members of the Marianao municipio's Habana Compas Dance Group, and attend one of their rehearsals. A jazz performance at paladar Magic Flute over pre-dinner drinkstwo per guestand hors d'oevres eases the tempo; dinner at La Moraleja ends the night con calore. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 8: Cienfuegos & Cayo Santa Maria Transfer to Cienfuegos, passing Playa Giron, site of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and stopping at Fiesta Campesina, a unique wildlife park/entertainment complex; a crocodile breeding center, home to researching scientists and 16 species of crocodile; and Caleton for lunch at Casa Enrique, perched above a small gulf. The owner shares both the challenges and benefits of running a small business in Cuba. Arrive in Cienfuegos for a walking tour of its UNESCO World Heritage- listed historic center. Its Thomas Terry Theater, opened in the late 1800s, is still in use today, and its main pedestrian shopping street offers opportunity for keepsakes.
• Continue on to your final destination for the day: Cayo Santa Maria on the Villa Clara coast. Check in to your hotel, then meet up with the group for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
• Day 9: Santa Clara & Cayo Santa Maria Begin the day with a drive to Santa Clara, where you will participate in an interactive baseball game. Win or lose, it's on to the Casa de la Cultura; the Melodias Antillanas provides a traditional soundtrack to the Abuelitos de Fiesta's danzon performance. Sample the local food with lunch at paladar Saborearte, then take an up-close look at El Mejunje"The Mixture"the city's LGBT cultural center that began in 1985 with the mission of fighting homophobia and promoting social integration. A driver takes you through the city sights, with the Che Guevara Memorial completing your tour (depending on wait time). Return to your hotel in Cayo Santa Maria for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 10: Caibarien & Remedios Depart for Caibarien, a fishing village and budding resort town, and its honey-centric Color Miel community project. Discuss its goals and significance with the family behind it. Keeping things sweet, take a tour of an old sugar factory at the Marcelo Salado Sugar Museum, its local guide teaching you about the importance of the Cuban sugar industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. Board its steam train for a ride, and ask the conductors how it stays running! Then, have lunch at El Curujey Restaurant before driving to the Remedios Cathedral, whose priest and church members will share what daily life is like and teach you about one of Cuba's oldest celebrations, Las Parrandas de Remedios. Return to Cayo Santa Maria for your farewell dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)
• Day 11: Departure Transfer to the airport, where you'll board your flight back to Miami. (Breakfast Included)
Package Minimum Stay: 10 nights
• Pre-night in Miami: Crowne Plaza Miami International Airport 6 nights in Havana: Iberostar Parque Central 3 nights in Cayo Santa Maria: Iberostar Ensenachos
Package inclusions are subject to change.
• Roundtrip flight to/from Miami
• Tips for housekeeping Staff
• Tips for Tour Director
• Cuban Departure Tax is payable at the airport prior to departure
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary
• All gratuities for porterage, wait staff, local guide, and driver -2 bottles of water per person, per day
• Activities and visits indicated in the itinerary (except optional excursions)
• Roundtrip transfers between Miami Airport and hotel -1 night accommodations at Miami Airport hotel
• Pre-trip Briefing and Welcome Cocktail -1 checked luggage per person and 1 carry-on bag (up to 44 pounds of cumulative weight)
• Transportation with Driver per itinerary -24-hour Tour Director to accompany the group
• Cuban Local Guide Services per itinerary
• Cuban Tourist Visa
• Charter Flight Miami to Havana/Santa Clara Roundtrip
• Cuban Medical Insurance (excluding pre-existing conditions)
General Information Cuban Departure Tax is payable at the airport prior to departure.