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Hola Cuba - People to People for US citizens tour
Havana Trinidad Hola Cuba - People to People for US citizens Trip

Hola Cuba - People to People for US citizens

From: $ 2,920
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

Countries

Cities & Attractions

Activities

  • N/A

 
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.

 
Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.8 out of 5 | Excellent

99%

recommend

2,180 Reviews

Excellent 1,711 Great 437 Average 18 Disappointing 7 Terrible 7

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 Travel.

Reviews from other Intrepid Travel Trips  
Expensive trip for what we got
4.0 out of 5 | Great June 2017 Recommend: No
Went on this trip with my wife and my sister. First off the positives.
Europe is quite different from North America. History is abundant, the Europe experience is really interesting. Visited many very historic sites, cities, monuments and many amazing structures such as the Colessium, Palletine hill, fountains, Leaning tower of Pisa, so many structures and areas it is hard to name them all, but all amazing. Overall the three week trip kept us busy and we learned much about past cultures.

Now the negatives
Upon our first group meeting we met our guide, or so we thought as she informed us she was our "leader" not our guide. I never thought much of it at the time, but as the trip progressed I understood more what she meant.
Our "leaders" name was Lauren Nichols, young lady from England. To start off, Lauren was a very bad communicator. Our group was made up of seven people, and very rarely were we informed of what was going too happen during a day we were scheduled to travel. Our first travel day was when we left Rome to head to Luca I believe, We had never travelled on a train in Europe and did not know what to expect, Lauren did do a quick explanation of how to read the train schedule board, but this was while we were walking through the busy Rome terminal, there was no explaination what we were supposed to do with our luggage when we got on the train. Any questions that were asked were just either ignored or quickly answered so she didn't get bugged anymore. This pretty much was the case throughout the trip. We were basically forced to just follow her through terminal and city metros trying to keep up and not really know where we were going. Once we would arrive at our destination there was no direction as to how far we had to walk from the train stations to our accommodations, again follow and try to keep up while dragging your luggage through the streets. At no time did she ever make an effort to inform us as a group what the day travel would entail. Became very frustrating near the trips final week, very stressful when moving through big city train stations. Once we made it o our accommodations, it was a 15-20 minute turn around and we were expected to be ready to go for our orientation walk, which was as fast as she could make it so we could get to our "free time", more so she could get to hers. Any interesting sites we passed on these walks was quickly passed by and we told to go back on our own, even when the group was ok with stopping to take pictures, which everyone wanted to do.
I my opinion, Lauren wanted to complete her duties as our " leader" as fast as possible so she could be on her own. When we were in Stressa we met her boyfriend who came to the hotel we were staying at and had supper with our group.
As far as the accommodations I felt they were the cheapest possible options that Intrepid could come up with. In Luca there were five of us staying in one apartment, and my sister had to stay in the laundry room where a bed was placed, very under whelming for the cost of the trip. Our guide always had a room to herself, or was housed with the smaller part of the group.

I myself will never use Intrepid again and will certainly NOT recommend this company to anyone. The guide and accommodations were the two issues that were very lacking, but overall the countries and sites were wonderful. If we ever return to Europe I would plan the trip ourselves, not that hard once we experienced it, and using a competent travel agent hotels would easily be done on your own.

The overall experience in Europe was favourable, some stress but we really enjoyed the month we were there, no thanks to our guide.
Read more
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 1.0
Consistently good travel experience
5.0 out of 5 | Excellent April 2017 Recommend: Yes
Consistently , a good travel experience. Basix trips take care of all the logistics but allow plenty if free time to do your own thing once at destinations. This is especially important if you are travelling in short durations ie: in the usual 2-4 week vacation time. Don't waste time spending a day just to find out what the transport schedule is or slogging round towns looking fir the cheapest accomodation or wondering how you are gong to transition from the ferry wharf/ jetty to that Hostal you did not realise is actually further away than the distance you really wanted to walk with your heavy bsckpack. travel Intrepid instead. Read more
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Itinerary

Day 1 Havana

Bienvenido a Cuba! Welcome to Cuba! A complimentary arrival transfer is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised.  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. There will be a welcome meeting at approximately 6pm this evening. Please expect a letter from your leader in the afternoon of Day 1 to confirm the place of your meeting (if by 5pm you cannot locate this letter then please ask your guesthouse owner if one has been delivered, or ask to call our assistance line listed in the "Problems and emergency contact information" section of this document). We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. 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

$ 2,920

Price Per Day:

$ 324 per person
 
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jun-24-2017Jul-02-2017$ 2,920Yes1 spots leftReserve
Jul-08-2017Jul-16-2017$ 3,550Yes13 spots leftReserve
Jul-22-2017Jul-30-2017$ 3,550Yes4 spots leftReserve
Aug-05-2017Aug-13-2017$ 3,550Yes14 spots leftReserve
Sep-02-2017Sep-10-2017$ 3,550Yes14 spots leftReserve
Sep-23-2017Oct-01-2017$ 3,550Yes14 spots leftReserve
Oct-07-2017Oct-15-2017$ 3,550Yes16 spots leftReserve
Oct-14-2017Oct-22-2017$ 3,550Yes14 spots leftReserve
Oct-21-2017Oct-29-2017$ 3,550Yes14 spots leftReserve
Nov-04-2017Nov-12-2017$ 3,410Yes13 spots leftReserve
Nov-11-2017Nov-19-2017$ 3,410Yes10 spots leftReserve
Nov-18-2017Nov-26-2017$ 3,410Yes14 spots leftReserve
Nov-25-2017Dec-03-2017$ 3,410Yes12 spots leftReserve
Dec-02-2017Dec-10-2017$ 3,410Yes12 spots leftReserve
Dec-09-2017Dec-17-2017$ 3,410Yes12 spots leftReserve
Dec-16-2017Dec-24-2017$ 3,410Yes16 spots leftReserve
Dec-23-2017Dec-31-2017$ 3,410Yes9 spots leftReserve
Dec-30-2017Jan-07-2018$ 3,410Yes9 spots leftReserve
Jan-06-2018Jan-14-2018$ 3,685No14 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$ 3,685No14 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 Travel
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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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