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Touring Cuba’s Cars, Cigars, Crafts and Countryside...

Private Guided
6 days
$ 1,054 Per Day

Touring Cuba’s Cars, Cigars, Crafts and Countryside

From: $ 6,325
More info

Highlights

  • Explore Havana
  • Visit Finca Vigía
  • Discover Colon Cemetery
  • Explore Guanabacoa
  • Visit The National Aquarium of Cuba

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Introducing Cuba, the newest addition to our portfolio of international destinations. On our very first group departure to Cuba, we’ve designed an introductory itinerary that takes you on a journey back into time, an inJdepth exploration of this island’s addictive food, music, art, history and culture. You’ll be accompanied by our own Vice President Allie Almario. Just 90 miles away from Florida, yet as elusive for Americans as ever, Cuba attracts adventurers who want to travel with a purpose. Daily interactions with musicians, artists and artisans are a must, along with tastings of flavorful Cuban cuisine and sunsets toasted with handcrafted cocktails.

 

Myths and Mountains Travel Reviews & Ratings

5.0 out of 5

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recommend

69 Reviews

  • Excellent 69
  • Great 0
  • Average 0
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
    5.0
  • Guide
    5.0
  • Activities
    5.0
  • Lodging
    5.0
  • Transportation
    5.0
  • Meals
    5.0

Touring Cuba’s Cars, Cigars, Crafts and Countryside

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Myths and Mountains.

Reviews from other Myths and Mountains Trips  

Trip was excellent.

5.0
February 2017
Recommend: Yes
Overall, the trip was excellent. We enjoyed walking Hanoi with our excellent guide who took us to out-of-the-way places; sunrise over Angkor Wat and the historical temples in Vietnam and Cambodia; the Mekong trips in Vietnam and Laos. The guides in Vietnam, Laos (Nith in Luang Prabang), Cambodia and Thailand were excellent. They worked with us to adapt an itinerary on the go, they took us/directed us to more out-of-the way/authentic places that we enjoyed; and, were knowledgeable and insightful about their countries.
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  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

My favorite memory was post-dawn at Machu Picchu

5.0
February 2017
Recommend: Yes
My favorite memory was post-dawn at Machu Picchu. I recommend staying at the Sanctuary to beat the crowds and avoid an extra tedious shuttle bus trip. Being up close and personal with the exotic flora and fauna in the Galapagos was priceless.... If the Grace yacht counts as a hotel, its elegance and history were fabulous. The hotel Inkaterra in the Sacred Valley was comfortable and pristine; Aranwa in Cuzco a historic treasure with great bathrooms and super staff. Our guide Rafael Pesantes aboard the Grace had extensive knowledge and passion for the Galapagos and his showmanship made the cruise memorable. Wilfredo in Peru was great from start to finish, and he made the Inca culture and ruins come alive and worked to tailor the trip to our personalities (like giving our daughter opportunities to interact with llamas and alpacas and to observe how the locals live).
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  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

They really made us all feel like special guests in their home

5.0
February 2017
Recommend: Yes
"The hotel they picked in Guayaquil prior to our departure to the Galapagos was excellent and allowed us not only to see Guayaquil prior to our departure for the islands, but also eliminated the necessity of flying from Quito to the Galapagos which would have necessitated a VERY early wake up call that morning to get from Quito city to its airport(a 45-60 min trip). All the transfers were handled excellently (its always nice to see ones name on a placard when one arrives in a foreign city!). Our time in the Galapagos was superb, albeit on a larger ship (the M/V Legend holds around 100 passengers), and the organization of the guides/naturalists getting people on & off the zodiacs was incredible as were most aspects of life aboard the ship (food, service, etc.). The rooms were simple but fine each with private bath. We left the Galapagos and stayed one night in a nice hotel in Quito and had a great guide who toured us thru the Old City prior to our van ride north to Hacienda Zuleta near Otovalo, EC. He stayed with us for three nights and four days there and took us to wonderful towns in the surrounding area as well as on a hike to a Condor Preserve and on a terrific horseback ride through the trails & valleys around the Hacienda. The beautiful Hacienda was fantastic and had plenty to keep us busy for 5 days & nights. The food, the rooms and the place were spectacular and the owners, Margarita & her nephew Fernando were wonderful gracious hosts. We were driven back to Quito on our final evening in a nice van with an English speaking driver after a full final day at the “ranch”.
Our days in Guayaquil & Quito were fun and interesting, although they were short. Maybe another day to more ""completely"" see Quito would have been nice, but not at the expense of Zuleta! The Hacienda was incredible! Margarita and Fernando were such gracious and friendly hosts, they really made us all feel like special guests in their home...which we were! Our guide Fernando was excellent and such fun to be with; he hiked with us to the condor preserve, rode horses with us and drove to Otovalo, Peguche and Cotocachi as well as to the crater lake. They Wyndham in Guayaquil was excellent and the rooms were GREAT! The Hacienda Zuleta was EPIC...we loved it and the service, food, owners and staff were fantastic (and we all ate way too much)! Our guide Fernando was excellent; knowledgable and really fun to be with...we had a great time with him! Christian also was terrific but a different experience than Fernando who we ""lived"" with for several days."
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  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Had a phenomenal experience from start to finish

5.0
February 2017
Recommend: Yes
We recently returned from a vacation planned by Allie and her team (Jen Kamen). We traveled to Ecuador – Quito and Guayaquil and also a 5 day cruise to the Galapagos Islands. We had never been to South America and we had never been on a cruise before this trip.
We had a phenomenal experience from start to finish. Allie and Jen spent quite a bit of time getting to know us and learn what type of experience we were looking for. They custom crafted an itinerary that exactly fit our needs. Allie is extremely knowledgeable on the different ships and their itineraries around the Galapagos and her recommendations could not have been better. We had outstanding guides in both of our on land stops and we had restaurant recommendations and hotel recommendations that were outstanding.
We have worked with many of Wendy’s TTE’s over the years and Allie and Jen are really at the top of their game and first class in every possible way. They have exquisite attention to details, they learn their clients wants and desires and they follow through with everything. Their level of communication is also first rate. They are always available, never too busy and respond immediately with your questions or concerns. We even got a welcome home call from Allie to make sure that we enjoyed our experience. Jen was texting us while we were in Ecuador just to see if we were having a good time. No stone was left unturned.
I would give them my highest recommendation and I would definitely use them again without hesitation. Great people, great planners and if you are looking for that extra special touch or experience, then they are definitely the right choice.
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  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We really had no expectations or, for that matter, any idea, of how rich and colorful Sri Lanka could be.

5.0
February 2017
Recommend: Yes
I wanted to thank you for an exceptional trip to Sri Lanka. We really had no expectations or, for that matter, any idea, of how rich and colorful Sri Lanka could be. I remember hearing that you had a particular guide in mind for us and it must have been Charitha Jithendra Jith aka “Chari”. He brought the country and its history to life for us. He was magical. His serenity, love of his country, knowledge of how Sri Lanka came to be, and what challenges lie ahead made us wish we had a second week to explore more.

When we returned to the ship in Trincomalee, our fellow travelers were amazed that we had fit so much into the short time we had. It was Chari’s local knowledge that brought us to sites after hours. We could feel the presence of Buddhism such as the Dambulla Caves, which we saw BY OURSELVES. Chari led us down backroads and we were able to meet local folks and observe hundreds of birds and herds of elephants. Instead of marching down the main avenues of Anuradhapura, we went to the forest monasteries that served the city in remote corners. We found ourselves alone and peaceful as it has been for hundreds of years before tourism began. I am forever grateful to you!
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  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival In Havana

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Telegrafo Or Similar

Notes:

We recommend arriving in Miami the previous night and staying at the Miami Airport Hotel, which is conveniently located just steps away from the departure terminal for Cuba flights.

Plan on booking flights that arrive in Havana around 1:30 PM or earlier.

Today we arrive in Havana after a short flight from Miami where you will be met by your Cuban guide and driver who will be with you for your entire stay.

En route to Havana, we’ll stop at the Plaza de Revolucion which is where you see the familiar iconic silhouette of Che Guevarra and where the “bearded one” made his famously long speeches from this largest square in Cuba. This is a great spot for a group photo before we hear our first Cuban music at an Afro-Cuban rumba.

Every Sunday at Callejon de Hamel, this Santeria-inspired art alley comes alive. Artist Salvador Gonzalez, the world-renowned artist, painted life size murals on this fascinating street which you will visit to learn about Afro-Cuban culture and their rituals.

Lunch is served at one of Cuba's best paladars. These are newly opened private restaurants allowed under new Cuban economic reforms. These restaurants have elevated Cuba's reputation of food and culinary creativeness. Your first meal on the island will be unforgettable, as an explosion of flavors will remind you of the Caribbean and Latin-infused ingredients of each dish.

Next on today’s fast-paced agenda is the Museo de la Revolution. Learn about history of Cuban political development from the Cuban perspective. This fascinating visit houses the most complete exhibit of revolutionary history including the Granma Memorial, the vessel that brought Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and other revolutionaries from Mexico to Cuba in 1956.

Check into hotel with time to unpack, change money and get acclimated.

Welcome Dinner is included at one of Havana's newest paladars.

Day 2: Exploring Cuba

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Telegrafo Or Similar

After breakfast at the hotel, we will make our way to Old Havana – a UNESCO Heritage Site which dates back to the 16th century where you will witness the greatest wealth of Spanish colonial architecture in the western hemisphere.

We’ll stop at many local sites to have the opportunity to interact with Cubans – after all, this is what makes any trip to Cuba so special. At the Plaza de Armas, you will meet with old book collectors; at Plaza Vieja, there are new coffee cafes; at Plaza de la Cathedral, you can visit a new bakery and on Obispo Street, you can peek into the stores where Cubans and foreigners alike shop. You will feel the warmth and kindness of the Cuban people and begin learning about their life and culture during this morning’s spontaneous interactions.

Of course, Cuba is known for its amazing art. You are surrounded by it wherever you go – pastel colors, bright colors, the muted color of Old Havana is always in the background. We will be met by an expert docent at the Bellas Artes Museum where we will be shown the Cuban National Art Collection and see the extensive collection of works from colonial through contemporary periods.

Lunch is included at the iconic Hotel Nacional. Ever wondered what the Hotel Nacional de Cuba reminds you of? It is the sister hotel to the Breakers in Palm Beach, built by the same architects McKim, Mead and White. We will visit this historic hotel perched above the famous Malecon (waterfront) and learn about the role it played during the intriguing days of the Mafia in Cuba.

Continuing on, we’ll walk on the famous Prado Boulevard, visit the Parque Central's famous Esquina Calliente where baseball, the Cuban pastime, is passionately discussed.

We’ll also stop by a living car museum to talk with the owners about how they manage to keep their highly collectable (and quite desirable) car relics running and in top shape. If you’re lucky, you might be able to jump in and get a ride in one of them!

Tonight's dinner is on your own - you may want to explore Chinatown and after dinner, sit on the Malecon (sea wall) and interact with Cubans and local street musicians as tropical breezes cool you down.

Day 3: Exploring Cuba

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Telegrafo Or Similar

After breakfast at hotel, we’ll drive west for 2.5 hours through the stunning province of Pinar del Rio. Our guide will candidly discuss politics, education, the medical system, and housing along the way – it’s an insider’s view on life in Cuba, and you’ll undoubtedly have many questions to ask him.

In this region, we’ll learn about the history of cigar production, tobacco growing and the daily life of tobacco farmers. Stop at the home of a tobacco and coffee farmer and meet with the family. You’ll be invited to sit down for a conversation over homemade coffee about life in the interior and discuss the hardships of farming in Cuba as we watch the making of a fresh cigar – an item many Americans still covet for its rarity at home.

Afterwards, explore the Valley of Viñales, arguably the greenest and most beautiful region in all of Cuba. Much of the island’s tobacco is grown here. Look for the striking mogotes, a series of tall rounded hills that rise abruptly from the flat plains of the valley. Explore a local cave (some of which were once used as refuges by escaped slaves) and a “pseudo” prehistoric mural.

We’ll eat lunch at the family home of local farmer, learn about organic farming and sustainability while taking in the breathtaking views and learning about Cuba’s Green Revolution. The home-cooking will be a refreshing touch from the paladars.

Dinner on your own. Perhaps a night out on your own to explore the world-famous Tropicana Cabaret. Opened in 1931 and known as the “Paradise Under The Stars”, the show is a glittering spectacle with over 200 singers, dancers, musicians and vocalists.

Day 4: Exploring Cuba

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Telegrafo Or Similar

First stop after breakfast is the Colon Cemetery, the largest cemetery in the Caribbean. While learning about the fourth most important cemetery in the world, we will see many mausoleums, some incredibly made with Carrera marble and Lalique glass. You will gain insight into the lives of the wealthy that once lived on the island. If we are fortunate, we will interact with locals who make a pilgrimage to one of the most visited gravesites in Cuba.

Marvel at the architectural gems as we drive through the neighborhood of Miramar, home to beautiful mansions and villas once owned by private individuals before the revolution. Set close to the ocean, this region is home to such icons as the neighborhood of Old Havana, Club Habana Beach, The National Aquarium of Cuba, Dolphinarium and the PabExpo Exhibition.

After an included lunch, our next experience is a visit to Casa-Estudio de Fuster in Jaiminitas. This is the studio-home of Jose Fuster, commonly called the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Explore the unique studio, property, and neighborhood whose homes are adorned with Fuster’s ceramics. He’s also incredibly respected for his painting, drawings, engravings and graphic designs.

Love ice-cream? Stand in line with Cubans at the largest parlor in Havana. This is a great time for one on one interaction and to learn first-hand about the dual-currency system in Cuba.

We will also visit a local agro-market where Cubans shop for meats, vegetables and other items not available on their ration card. You will learn about the ration system and also have the opportunity to see a ration store.

The vast majority of Cuban families rely on the Libreta de Abastecimiento (literally, the supplies booklet), a distribution system that started in 1962. Each person is allotted a timed rationing of goods which are distributed by local bodegas or local meat stores.

With tonight’s dinner on your own, you will have the opportunity to choose where you want to go with suggestions from your guide. Perhaps you may want to join Allie for dinner with a music show at the Buena Vista Social Club? We’ll see what the night brings us!

Day 5: Exploring Cuba

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Telegrafo Or Similar

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the Morro Fortress. The view of the city from this vantage point is stupendous! It shares its name with structures in Santiago de Cuba and the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In this case, the Spanish "morro" means a rock which is very visible from the sea and therefore serves as a navigational landmark. Perched on the promontory on the opposite side of the harbor from Old Havana, it can be viewed from miles around as it dominates the port entrance. Built initially in 1589 in response to raids on Havana harbor, El Morro protected the mouth of the harbor with a chain being strung out across the water to the fort at La Punta. It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Head to the east of Havana to the municipality of Guanabacoa. First stop is the sea side village of Cojimar, and then we’ll continue on to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s home in Cuba where we will hear about the local perspective on Hemingway, his associations with the island, and the difficulties of restoring and maintaining his former home which is now a museum. It was Hemingway himself who proclaimed that Cuba was his real home.

Before lunch at one of Cuba’s newest and most successful paladars located on its own private organic farm, we will have an insightful discussion as we walk around the gardens and greenhouses with the staff of the farm. Learn about the importance of these farms and why they are being developed.

A scrumptious meal awaits the group at Il Divino Paladar – this paladar is a very trendy "farm to table" restaurant which uses all the ingredients from its farm. Enjoy a visit to the wine cellar which is rumored to be one of the best and most complete wine cellars in all of Cuba.

Then head to the Almacenes San Jose, a former harbor warehouse restored by the Office of the City Historian. Here craftsmen and artists can display their products. This is Cuba's most famous flea market and where private enterprise in Cuba first started.

Tonight, a Farewell Dinner is included. We’ll toast to an incredible new relationship with this beautiful country.

Day 6: Havana To Miami

Meals: Breakfast

After our last breakfast at hotel, we will check out of hotel. On our way to the airport, depending on the timing of the charter flight, we will stop along the way as we say our goodbye to Cuba and leave behind a little piece of our hearts with our new friends.

Upon arrival in Miami, make sure your connection to your home city departs after 6:30 pm to ensure adequate time to clear immigration and customs and to pick up your luggage.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 6,325

Price Per Day:

$ 1,054 per person

 

Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 920

  • Price is Based on 4-6 people

Details

Trip Includes

  • Round trip Miami Havana charter flight
  • $25,000 Cuban medical insurance (does not cover preJexisting health insurance)
  • Meals where indicated
  • All hotels listed in the itinerary
  • All tours listed in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation as listed in the itinerary
  • US airport departure tax and Cuban departure tax
  • Cuban visa fees (unless you are Cuban born, then additional fees applies)
  • Gratuities to wait staff for included meals and hotel bell boys

Trip Excludes

  • Any hotels transiting between your destination and the United States
  • Airfare to Miami
  • Hotel in Miami before or after itinerary starts and ends
  • Meals, except where indicated
  • Optional activities at accommodations such as horseback riding, massages, etc.
  • Laundry or other items of a personal nature.
  • Tipping to guide and driver is normal, but entirely at your discretion ($10J$15 per person per day for guide;
  • $5-$6 per person per day for the driver
  • Excess baggage charges

Meals Included:

5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 2 Dinners

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Group Size:

Private - your group only

Accomodations

  • Hotel Telegrafo Or Similar

Start City

Havana

End City

Havana

Cancellation Policy:

International Airfare/Air Tickets: Refund subject to airline cancellation rules and procedures.

Land Portion & Internal Air*: Refund will be given according to the schedule outlined below.

NOTE: Minimum cancellation charge is $1,000 even for trips with land cost less than $1500.

  • If 120 Days or more prior to departure date, then Applicable Cancellation Fee is $1,000 per person plus any varying non-refundable pre-payments we have made in advance on your behalf (i.e. Penalties incurred for cancelling air, deposits paid to hold reservations, etc.)
  • If 61-119 Days prior to departure date, then Applicable Cancellation Fee is 50% of the land cost plus any varying non-refundable pre-payments we have made in advance on your behalf (i.e. Penalties incurred for cancelling air, deposits paid to hold reservations, etc.)
  • 60 Days or less, then No refund
  • At or after departure, then No refund

Trip ID#: TouCarMyt

 

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