Trip Type : Group Tour
The Best of Cuba tour

The Best of Cuba

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 3,699 $ 411 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • A true “people-to-people” experience with cultural exchanges such as visits with artists, musical performances, and local organizations
  • Riding in American Vintage Automobiles (Havana)
  • Home of Ernest Hemingway (Havana)
  • Cigar Factory (Havana)
  • Casa Fuster (Havana)
  • Bay of Pigs Museum (Giron)
  • Walking Tour of Trinidad
  • Bici-Taxi Tour of Camaguey
  • Beaches of Guardalavaca (Holguin)
  • Meeting Local Fishermen (Gibara)

Short Description

Explore Old Havana with a walking tour of the plaza squares. Visit Havana, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Camaguey & Holguin. visit a Santeria temple and learn about this religion of Caribbean and African origin.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Miami
End City Miami

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip airfare from Miami
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Health insurance in Cuba (mandatory)
  • Cuban Visa (for US Citizens) & Cuban Departure Tax
  • Intra-Cuba ground transportation and transfers
  • Pre-night in Miami Airport Hotel
  • Accommodations at First Class hotels in Cuba
  • 20 meals: 8 full buffet breakfasts (B), 7 lunches (L) and 5 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive People-to-People experiences and cultural tours including admission fees, following U.S. regulation CFR 515.565
  • Experienced Cuban English-speaking guide and a USA Tour Director throughout

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Itinerary

Day 1: Pre-Night in Miami.

Your unforgettable Cuba vacations begin with a night in Miami. After independent check in at your hotel, join your US Tour Director for an orientation meeting.

Day 2: Depart Miami/Arrive Havana (Cuba).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Nacional de Cuba or similar

This morning, you’ll grab a quick breakfast before heading to the airport for your short flight to Havana, the largest and liveliest city in Cuba (and the Caribbean). With over 500 years of fascinating and tumultuous history, Havana was once a slave port for the Spanish and once the gambling capital for the US mafia, yet despite ups and downs, Cuba’s capital has emerged at the forefront of modern Latino culture. Upon arrival in Havana, you’ll be greeted by your English-speaking Cuban guide and taken to Revolution Square (Plaza de Revolucion), the site of many rallies led by Fidel Castro, among others. You’ll then enjoy an included lunch at a famous local restaurant. Following lunch, you’ll visit the magnificent Colon Cemetery, one of the great cemeteries in the world and recognized as the most important in Latin America. Estimated today to have more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults, you’ll be struck by its elegance and also its sheer size. Then, continue to the magical home of Cuban artist Jose Fuster, who transformed his residence (and surrounding neighborhood) into a brilliant homage to famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. You’ll interact with Fuster’s family and get insight into this world-renowned artist’s life. You’ll then proceed to your hotel where you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink. Later, travel to your welcome dinner in style in old American vintage automobiles. Enjoy an authentic dinner at a local paladar (a privately-owned restaurant).

Day 3: Havana.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After a sumptuous breakfast, explore Old Havana with a walking tour of the plaza squares. Marvel at the spectacular colonial baroque architecture while learning more about the history of this magnificent capital city from a local expert. Then visit Ernest Hemingway’s house (Finca Vigia or “lookout house”), where Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Later, enjoy an included lunch at a paladar, you’ll interact with a Cuban baseball player who will shed light on a shared pastime for both Cuba and the US. You’ll then enjoy an afternoon choir performance before taking a tour of a cigar factory to learn about one of Cuba’s most recognized industries, interact with the factory workers, and witness a rolling demonstration. Later, visit the San Jose Arts & Crafts Market, where you’ll meet local artists in Old Havana and get your first taste of the vibrant Cuban arts culture. Enjoy an evening at leisure to explore Havana on your own.

Day 4: Havana/Bay of Pigs/Cienfuegos/Sancti Spiritus

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel del Rijo or similar

This morning, depart vibrant Havana for Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with an important stop at Playa Giron to visit the Bay of Pigs Museum along the way. The Bay of Pigs, known as Invasion de Bahia de Cochinos, was a CIA-sponsored counter-revolutionary attack by the US government in 1961 that was rebuffed by the Cuban armed forces led by Fidel Castro, leader of the the revolutionary left-wing government. At the museum, you’ll see the Cuban perspective on the conflict. You’ll continue on towards Cienfuegos, a historic city on the southern coast of Cuba, known as the “Pearl of the South.” Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Cienfuegos is regarded as a byproduct of the Spanish Enlightenment based on its urban planning and architectural style. Enjoy an included lunch before a guided walking tour of Cienfuegos, then continue onto Sancti Spiritus, a charming colonial city and one of the clear undiscovered hidden gems of Cuba. Later this evening, check in at your hotel and then enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5: Sancti Spiritus/Trinidad

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, drive to Trinidad, a quaint yet much-heralded town that recently celebrated its 500th birthday. Considered one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time when sugar cane dominated the region, Trinidad is as charming as it is old, and there’s no better way to see this historic town than with a walking tour. After an included lunch, visit a Santeria temple and learn about this religion of Caribbean and African origin with clear influences from Roman Catholicism. You’ll also visit Palacio Cantero, which is Trinidad’s most well known museum. Return to Sancti Spiritus, which traces its origins to the early 16th century, where you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the city before an evening at leisure for independent exploration.

Day 6: Sancti Spiritus/Camaguey

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Gran Hotel or similar

Following breakfast, you’ll visit to a local urban farm sponsored by Fundacion Nunez Jimenez, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability. Continue on towards Camaguey, Cuba’s third largest city and home to some of the country’s greatest artistic talent. Founded in the early 16th century, Camaguey is known for its winding alleys and forked streets that lead to squares of different sizes. You’ll take a tour through the windy streets of Camaguey in Bic-Taxis (Bicycle Taxis), visiting a variety of talented artists, including Pepe Gutierrez, whose work with leather has a strong African influence. Check into your hotel and enjoy a welcome drink at your hotel. This evening, you’ll get a chance to meet with some of the antique car owners of Camaguey before dinner at a local paladar.

Day 7: Camaguey/Holguin.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Playa Pesquero Hotel or similar

Today, drive to the beautiful coastal Guardalavaca region in the province of Holguin. When Christopher Columbus laid eyes on the Holguin coastline in 1492, he declared it “the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen.” The spectacular beaches set against a backdrop of rolling hills and rugged mountains will be sure to take your breath away. Arrive in Guardalavaca, a seaside town in Holguin known for its white sandy beaches and warm waters. Enjoy an included lunch in Holguin before continuing on to check into your magnificent beach resort hotel and enjoy an included (yet independent) dinner this evening at this all-inclusive hotel.

Day 8: Holguin.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, drive to the Gibara, a quaint seaside town that was once the main port on the northeastern coast of Cuba, where you’ll enjoy a true people-to-people interaction at the Casa de Cultura (Cultural House) Community by interacting with community members of all ages and marveling at their artistic talent. Then, enjoy an included lunch at a local paladar and visit the accompanying organic herb garden. Following lunch, you’ll get the opportunity to meet local fishermen in Gibara and understand the life of a fisherman in northeastern Cuba.  Later, back at the resort hotel, put on your dancing shoes if you wish for a salsa lesson before enjoying a festive farewell dinner with your group.

Day 9: Depart Holguin/Arrive Miami.

Meals: Breakfast

After a sumptuous breakfast, enjoy a bit of time at leisure at your beautiful beach resort. Transfer to the airport and say “adios” to your Cuba tours before boarding your return flight to Miami. Your memorable Cuba vacations come to an end as you arrive back in Miami later today.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,699
Price Per Day: $ 411 per day
Check Availability
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Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardAvailability 
Oct-24-2019Nov-01-2019$ 3,699Limited Reserve
Nov-27-2019Dec-05-2019$ 3,799Limited Reserve
Dec-25-2019Jan-02-2020$ 3,899Limited Reserve
  • Deposit Price: $ 300
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 599

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with SmarTours.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

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712 SmarTours Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 645
Great 65
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

The Best of Cuba

Write a Review

Best of Cuba

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just returned from our third tour with Smartours and once again it was excellent. Our local guide, Marta, showed us a far different Cuba than we ever were anticipating! So glad we went now and were able to see the real Colonial Cuba, before further development moves it forward.
Read more

Cuba - this was one terrific tour!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
this was one terrific tour! a great sampler of what cuba has to offer. the guides elio and randy were superb. i learned so much and my curiosity has continued. i've done much research on the history which was and is quite amazing. hotels were air conditioned and comfortable. i thank smartours for this wonderful opportunity.
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Cuba tour

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Excellent Tour. Tour guides were outstanding.

Comments about smarTour: Excellent.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We were somewhat reluctant to do a smarTours as this was our first one. Felt better first night when so many people said they had been on multiple smarTours. Loved our US guide and local guide. We are highly recommending this trip to others (we are doing a presentation on the trip for our retirement community). We are recommending Betty Levin for any smarTours trip and we are recommending that people try to do the Cuba trip with Betty Levin (and we will tell people to pray that Betty can get Enedis as the local guide).Comments about CTS Charters Airlines: the airline was fine.Comments about your Tour Director: Betty Levin was incredible. I think the tour guide is as important than the tour company. The guide makes or breaks the trip. Betty was wonderful.Comments about your Cuban National Guide: Enedis also made the trip. Without her and Betty, it would not have been the same trip.Overall Comments: We would definitely do another smarTours.A couple small complaints/recommendations:When we arrived it was almost impossible to get change for the toilets for the first couple days. We would buy things just to get change and wouldn’t end up with change. By the end of trip we had plenty of coins for the toilets. I think it would be nice if the local tour guide had some small coins people on the tour could buy from her when they arrive in Cuba, maybe 10 or 20 10-cent coins for the toilets.I thought that overall, the food was excellent and the restaurant in Gibara was the best of all. There is probably nothing I would remove from the itinerary. I am glad I went to all the cities we went to because they were all different.We exclusively brought Canadian dollars because of the 13% fee for US dollars. You might want to suggest that people bring enough money to tip the US tour guide in US dollars. We made a mistake converting Canadian dollars to US dollars and inadvertently tipped our guide less than I would have liked to tip her. It would be easier for US citizens to tip the US guide if it is in US dollars and she might appreciate having US dollars instead of Canadian dollars.
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Reserve your space today!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our November 3 tour was far more than we could have imagined. Our smarTours guide, Pauline, and our Cuban guide Elio worked so hard to make every day more perfect than the day before. Have travelled the world with SmarTours and this was the best. Don't wait for the cruise ships to start arriving, The crowds will detract from the easy flow of the Cuban people and opportunities to be nearly alone in one of Havana's squares will be gone. As others have stated, the Cuban population welcomed us as family. Thanks, smarTours for doing your homework for this tour. It was fantastic!
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Rediscover Cuba

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was one of the most interesting, well designed tours we have taken. The people to people exchange was intellectually and culturally stimulating and our local guide Adriana was a delightful and insightful host. We were surprised every day by the warm and generous welcome we received from everyone we met. The trip exceeded every expectation!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

  • Round-trip airfare from Miami

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

  • Holguin: Hotel Playa Pesquero or similar
  • Camaguey: Gran Hotel or similar
  • Sancti Spiritus: Hotel del Rijo or similar
  • Havana: Four Points by Sheraton Havana
  • Havana: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
  • Miami: Crowne Plaza Miami International Airport Hotel

Cancellation Policy:

Full Payment due 90 days before departure. Failure to make final payment on time may result in automatic cancellation of reservation and loss of deposit.

 

Changes to the original reservation will result in a $150 change fee per person per change. No changes allowed within 90 days of departure.

 

Cancellation charges per person are:

  • Up to 90 days before departure: $300
  • 89-60 days before departure: $1000
  • 59-45 days before departure: $1500
  • 44-30 days before departure: $2000
  • 29 days or less before departure: No refund.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing.

 

We recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance. Insurance premium is non-refundable and cannot be transferred from one departure to another in the event of a reservation change.

Trip ID#:

smartours-BOC

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 5 Dinners

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