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Hola Cuba - People to People for US citizens

From: $ 3,069
More info

Highlights

  • Old-world charm, rich history, exciting nightlife - evocative Havana is like nowhere else on Earth. See the difference between city and coastal life on a guided walking tour of the old capital
  • Life in Cuba's countryside evokes a bygone time. Stroll along rural dirt roads and watch as tractors, vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages roll by
  • There's a lot more to the life of Che Guevara than what you'll learn from watching 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. Pay your respects to the famous revolutionary during an included visit to his mausoleum
  • Try your hand at traditional dance moves with an informal salsa lesson

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

For the first time in decades, Cuba’s doors are open to American travellers. Be one of the first to experience this faded Caribbean gem – a cobblestoned communist isle where the rum is plentiful, the smiles infectious and the dancing encouraged. On our new 9-day Hola Cuba adventure, wind your way from sultry Havana’s crumbling churches, through the valleys and farms of Pinar del Rio and on to the Afro-inspired beats of Trinidad. Along the way we’ve assembled a cast of Cuban characters to give you a proper welcome: tobacco farmers, expert chefs, local artists, historians and salsa dancers that understand where Cuba came from, where the country sits now and, more importantly, where it’s going.

 

Description

Intrepid Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

1,918 Reviews

  • Excellent 1,537
  • Great 378
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 1
  • Terrible 1

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.8
  • Guide
    4.8
  • Activities
    4.8
  • Lodging
    4.8
  • Transportation
    4.8
  • Meals
    4.8

Hola Cuba - People to People for US citizens

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Intrepid.

Reviews from other Intrepid Trips  

Great tour leader!

5.0
January 2017
Recommend: Yes
The tour leader - Tony Mas was excellent. Tony's product knowledge, his patience and organization skills are impeccable. His command of English language made it easy for the group to relax and enjoy the trip. Tony showed and promoted a sense of teamwork among the group and showed total care for each and every person in the group. His time management abilities ensured we did all activities successfully and on time.
Read more
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Incredible tour leader.

5.0
January 2017
Recommend: Yes
I thoroughly enjoyed the approach of our tour leader, Ivan. He was warm, friendly, professional, knowledgeable and looked after every aspect of our trip. He is an incredible representative of the company.
Read more
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Amazing trip!

5.0
January 2017
Recommend: Yes
A truly amazing trip of a fascinating island. Our tour guide Ivan organized everything extremely well, and had an excellent relationship with all of us.
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Great

5.0
January 2017
Recommend: Yes
Great trip covering fantastic locations particularly in Brazil
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Happy with the Kyrgyzstan guide

4.0
January 2017
Recommend: Yes
The trip was predominantly long days of driving without actually experiencing the countries we visited. For example Issy-Kul lake was merely a sliver of blue on the horizon, we didn't make a short stop or even get a close enough look. Or another day we drove for the entire day only to arrive in time for dinner and bed before leaving again in the morning without spending anytime exploring this area. These disappointments may have been avoided by leaving much earlier in the morning. I think most people on this trip would not have minded leaving significantly earlier if it meant we actually had time to visit the sites detailed in the trip notes

Also whilst I was aware that I was visiting cultures which had meat heavy diets and that vegetarian meals would be difficult to come by, the guide in Kyrgyzstan went out of her way to try and find myself and the other 2 vegetarians foods, often taking at length with the restaurant to organise a meal. However it felt like our guide in Uzbekistan just took us to restaurants he always took his groups without researching whether there were other options within the location we had stopped at. It felt like a great deal of the trip he was on autopilot, just running the trip as he had done in the past, no real tailoring it to his tour group.
Read more
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

Itinerary

Day 1 Havana

Bienvenidos a Cuba! Welcome to Cuba! An arrival transfer from the airport to your guesthouse is included in your tour. Upon arrival, soak in the decaying beauty of Havana and the surreal feeling that you have entered a bygone era. This is a very historic time to visit Cuba, as the gates finally creak open to a country so long forbidden. At 6pm meet the local tour leader and head out for the first group meal. Dinner tonight will be at a local paladar, a privately owned restaurant and a great example of Cuba’s incremental shift to a more free-market economy. Paladar means “palate” and is named after a chain of restaurants in a Brazilian soap opera popular in Cuba.

Day 2 Havana

At 8:30am, join the local guide for a walking tour of Old Havana (approximately 2.5 hours). The best place to start any Havana experience is in the Old City; it is one of the best preserved and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1982. The streets are lined with colonial architecture, 16th century fortresses and countless churches. Visit La Catedral San Cristobal de la Habana, the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras and the Plaza de Armas. Also visit the Museo de la Revolucion, to learn about the history of the Cuban Revolution and see the infamous Hall of Cretins. After lunch see the passion project of Jose Fuster, an artist who has turned an entire neighborhood into a lively and colorful series of mosaics. Known as 'Fusterlandia', the inspiring and whimsical scenery is a perfect spot for pictures, and potentially have the chance to say 'hola' to the artist as he works! Return to the centre around 4pm with free time for dinner to explore one of many delicious paladars. Later re-group to attend the famous 9pm cannon ceremony, a cannon blast that dates back to the 17th century.

Day 3 Vinales (via Las Terrazas)

Today about 8am, head east to a local community in Las Terrazas (approximately two hours). The village was built as part of a government reforestation project and has since received a UNESCO biosphere listing. Meet up with local community leaders who will share some insight into Las Terrazas and how the society works. Also visit the ecological research centre and take a guided walk around the complex. After lunch continue with a two hour drive to Vinales - situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Cuba, among the limestone pincushion hills (“mogotes”) of the Pinar del Rio province. It is a small and culturally rich village, with friendly and welcoming residents. Reach Vinales in time for a quick orientation walk then head to an organic farm and learn about sustainable farming in Cuba. Hopefully meet local farmer Wilfredo Garcia Correa or at least his family who will show us around the farm and explain the methods used to cultivate crops without the use of pesticides. Hopefully with a beautiful sunset as our backdrop, enjoy a deliciously fresh and diverse meal prepared by the family, a truly authentic farm-to-fork experience!

Day 4 Vinales

Today at 9am spend the morning (approximately three hours) learning more about Cuban agriculture with a visit to a local tobacco farm to learn about the tradition of Cuban cigars from Hiroshi Robaina, a farmer and expert cigar maker. Get an insight as to how the communist system works, how much tobacco they keep, how much produce they give back to the government, how they make ends meat!! Learn about the process of tobacco planting to rolling the final cigar. Share in the secret recipe from one family passed down through three generations of how they cure their leaves for cigars, drink some freshly roasted coffee from the farm while watching an expert roll cigars. In the afternoon, firstly partake in a salsa dance class (one hour) with a local teacher, then a cooking demonstration from a local chef. Vinales is one of the more agriculturally productive areas of Cuba, so an abundance of local seasonal fruit and vegetables are always on offer such as enormous avocados and mangoes, pineapples, papaya, guava, and several varieties of sweet potatoes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the well prepared meal while overlooking the rolling mountains of Vinales.

Day 5 Cienfuegos (via Playa Giron/Playa Larga)

Today head to Cienfuegos at 8am with the bulk of the driving done first (approximately 4.5 hours). After lunch, we visit the Korimakao Cultural Project in Ciénega de Zapata, an area famous for its wetlands. Korimakao is a project founded in 1992 to bring theatre, music, and dancing to remote areas of Cuba. Here meet a director of the project, who will talk to us about the importance of this project and the number of students that benefit from such a project in this area. Then drive along the picturesque Bay of Pigs where there are some beautiful places to stop for a swim along the way including a sink hole which resembles a huge natural tropical fish tank, so make sure to pack your swim wear and snorkeling gear if you have any (or rent it!). Next we pass the site where the landing of U.S. sponsored counter-revolutionary exile militia occurred in 1961. Today there is a museum here that recounts the events of this conflict which resulted in the first defeat of a U.S backed take-over in Latin America. Drive for one more hour or so, arriving around 5:30pm into Cienfuegos the “Pearl of the South”, a city founded by the French, which lends it a distinctly European flavor, with a wide Parisian-style boulevard and elegant colonnades. Like Havana, Cienfuegos has a beautiful Malecón, where anyone can pass a peaceful evening watching fisherman cast nets and locals socialize. In the evening join together for another delicious home cooked meal with a local family.

Day 6 Trinidad

This morning about 8:30am your leader will show you around Cienfuegos before getting back on the road at approximately 10am to head to the beautiful colonial city of Trinidad (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Trinidad is home to numerous churches and many beautiful colonial buildings. Located near the lovely Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of Sugar mills) and Playa Ancón, with long stretches of unspoiled, white sand beaches. After lunch, begin with a guided cultural tour of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Trinidad (approximately three hours). Visit the Afro Cuban temple of Yemaya, be invited to sit and learn about the religion and it’s deities from the official caretaker - a priest called Israel Ernesto Bravo Vega. Later there may be an opportunity to visit various museums such as: Museo Lucha contra Bandidos, Architecture Museum, Museo Romantico. At some point, learn about the cultural and social importance of the dance scene in Cuba, meeting the Afro Cuban Folkloric dance group that perform Afro Cuban shows at the club Palenque. Nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances every day of the week, all amongst the enchanting setting of old colonial buildings and the cobblestone streets.

Day 7 Trinidad

Today learn about the history of the area, the local industry and biodiversity. At 9am visit the national park called "El Cubano" in the mountains of Escambay. This area is known for the struggle Cuban Militia against revolutionary forces in the early 1960s. Hike to a small waterfall with our local expert guide. Depending on the group the hike can take up to 45 minutes each way. Have a chance to experience the region's biodiversity utilising the guide's knowledge of the local birds and plants. If time permits on the way stop in a very simple campesino’s home to experience life in the rural areas of Cuba and usually lunch is at the restaurant in the area as well. Afterwards return to Trinidad (about 2pm) and visit the pottery workshop of the Santander family. This prestigious family in the Cuban cultural landscape has been making pottery for generations as well as assisting in the restoration of sculptures that once existed in this UNESCO world heritage site. Take the chance to purchase your own pottery to remind you of your time in Cuba. Tonight, usually you’ll have dinner by the beach.

Day 8 Havana

Leave Trinidad at 8am and on the way back to Havana pass by Manaca Iznaga, 16km East of Trinidad in the Valle de los Ingenios. A 44m tower was built to look over the slaves as they worked, it has a sugar cane press that the slaves used to operate. The village around the mansion is inhabited by direct descendants of the slaves. Continuing onward (approximately two hours), stop in the town of Santa Clara, a key city in the Cuban Revolution. Upon entering Santa Clara, see the iconic statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara, built to commemorate his death and that of the revolutionaries. There will be time to explore the museum which honours Ché's life. Have lunch at a small family farm near Santa Clara and head back to Havana about 1pm (approximately three hours) where there will be some time to freshen up before the farewell dinner, and of course, one final fun-filled night of music and dancing!

Day 9 Havana

Say good-bye to our guide as we head back to the U.S. There are no activities planned for day nine and you are able to depart the guesthouse at any time. Check out time is at 10am. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the house.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,069

Price Per Day:

$ 341 per person

 
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Apr-29-2017May-07-2017$ 3,580YesSold OutReserve
May-13-2017May-21-2017$ 3,550Yes1 spots leftReserve
May-27-2017Jun-04-2017$ 3,580YesSold OutReserve
Jun-17-2017Jun-25-2017$ 3,550Yes15 spots leftReserve
Jun-24-2017Jul-02-2017$ 3,550Yes7 spots leftReserve
Jul-08-2017Jul-16-2017$ 3,195Yes14 spots leftReserve
Jul-15-2017Jul-23-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Jul-22-2017Jul-30-2017$ 3,195Yes9 spots leftReserve
Aug-05-2017Aug-13-2017$ 3,195Yes15 spots leftReserve
Sep-02-2017Sep-10-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Sep-16-2017Sep-24-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Sep-23-2017Oct-01-2017$ 3,195Yes14 spots leftReserve
Oct-07-2017Oct-15-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Oct-14-2017Oct-22-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Oct-21-2017Oct-29-2017$ 3,195Yes16 spots leftReserve
Nov-04-2017Nov-12-2017$ 3,069Yes15 spots leftReserve
Nov-11-2017Nov-19-2017$ 3,069Yes14 spots leftReserve
Nov-18-2017Nov-26-2017$ 3,069Yes16 spots leftReserve
Nov-25-2017Dec-03-2017$ 3,069Yes12 spots leftReserve
Dec-02-2017Dec-10-2017$ 3,069Yes15 spots leftReserve
Dec-09-2017Dec-17-2017$ 3,069Yes12 spots leftReserve
Dec-16-2017Dec-24-2017$ 3,410Yes16 spots leftReserve
Dec-23-2017Dec-31-2017$ 3,410Yes14 spots leftReserve
Dec-30-2017Jan-07-2018$ 3,410Yes14 spots leftReserve
Jan-06-2018Jan-14-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Jan-13-2018Jan-21-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Jan-20-2018Jan-28-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Jan-27-2018Feb-04-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Feb-03-2018Feb-11-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Feb-10-2018Feb-18-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Feb-17-2018Feb-25-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Feb-24-2018Mar-04-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Mar-03-2018Mar-11-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Mar-10-2018Mar-18-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Mar-17-2018Mar-25-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Mar-24-2018Apr-01-2018$ 3,685No16 spots leftReserve
Apr-07-2018Apr-15-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Apr-14-2018Apr-22-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Apr-21-2018Apr-29-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Apr-28-2018May-06-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
May-05-2018May-13-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
May-19-2018May-27-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Jun-16-2018Jun-24-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Jun-30-2018Jul-08-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Jul-14-2018Jul-22-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Jul-28-2018Aug-05-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Sep-08-2018Sep-16-2018$ 3,550No16 spots leftReserve
Sep-22-2018Sep-30-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Oct-06-2018Oct-14-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Oct-20-2018Oct-28-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Nov-03-2018Nov-11-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Nov-10-2018Nov-18-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Nov-17-2018Nov-25-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Nov-24-2018Dec-02-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Dec-01-2018Dec-09-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Dec-08-2018Dec-16-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Dec-15-2018Dec-23-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Dec-22-2018Dec-30-2018$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
Dec-29-2018Jan-06-2019$ 3,410No16 spots leftReserve
 
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid
 

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transportPrivate vehicle

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accomodations

Premium Guesthouse (6 nights),Standard Guesthouse (2 nights)

Start City

Havana

End City

Havana

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • A Premium Guesthouse
  • Multiple guesthouses are used in order to accommodate all passengers in the same group
  • Havana
  • CUBA
  • Phone: +53 (7)8628285

Trip ID#: intrepid-QUKP

 

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