HAVANA, LAS TERRAZAS, CIENFUEGOS, TRINIDAD, & SANTA CLARA
Be captivated by the spirit and beauty of Cuba with immersive experiences that bring you up close and personal with the history, people, and culture. In Havana, you’ll tour historic sights, colorful plazas, and a cigar factory where you’ll meet the rollers. You’ll also take an exciting cooking class, meet performance artists, and ride in classic cars to an authentic dinner with Cuban baseball players. Get close to nature with stops at Las Terrazas, an eco-community in the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve, and the El Calvo waterfalls and natural pools. On a day trip, explore the town of Trinidad, and while in Cienfuegos, enjoy music, meet more local artists, and connect to the community. Close out the trip with an inspiring visit to Santa Clara.
JUST IN: Cruises to Cuba can no longer operate, but smarTours People to People Programs for 2019 and 2020 are officially authorized. Under the new regulations, pre-existing reserved people to people programs to Cuba are protected, so we can offer you our full range of Cuba programs- from our culturally immersive and experience-rich Cuba Up Close to our inclusive multi-city Best of Cuba and our exciting new launch of Cuba Highlights for 2020! Due to increased demand, there are limited spots left for 2019 and 2020, so book today!
- 1 night in Miami
- 3 nights in Havana
- 3 nights in Cienfuegos
- A true “people-to-people” experience with cultural exchanges such as visits with artists, musical performances, and local organizations
- Ride in American classic cars (Havana)
- Traditional Cuban cooking/cocktail class
- Home of Ernest Hemingway (La Finca Vigia)
- Cigar Factory tour
- Walking tour of Old Havana
- Jose Fuster’s home and art gallery
- Visit to Las Terrazas a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with a swim in the San Jose river
- Cienfuegos city tour
- Walking tour of colonial Trinidad
- El Nicho National Park
- Visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum (Santa Clara)
- Round-trip airfare from Miami
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Health insurance in Cuba (mandatory)
- Cuban visa (for US citizens) and Cuban departure tax
- Intra-Cuba ground transportation and transfers
- Pre-night in Miami Airport hotel
- Accommodations at First Class hotels in Cuba
- 18 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners
- 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
Pre-Night in Miami
Your captivating Cuba trip begins today with a night in Miami. After independent check-in at your hotel, join your U.S. Tour Director for an orientation meeting.
Depart Miami/Arrive Havana (Cuba)
Before your flight to Cuba, enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Upon arrival in Havana, you’ll be greeted by your English-speaking Cuban guide and taken for a tour of Home of Ernest Hemingway (La Finca Vigia). If time allows, we’ll stop for an authentic Cuban lunch in the town of Cojimar. Then, on the way to the hotel, you’ll take a panoramic tour of the major sites, Plazas, and Old Havana. After hotel check-in and a briefing from your guide, create a delicious Cuban meal with a cooking class at a top paladar (restaurant), Jardin de los Milgaros, and end your day with a special welcome…
Wake up with breakfast at the hotel and begin your day with a tour of a cigar factory where you’ll interact with the cigar rollers and learn about the cultural and economic importance of cigars. Then, head out on a walking tour of Old Havana which features special stops at a graphic artists workshop, rations store, and Casa de Africa. You’ll also visit the headquarters of the Habana Compas Dance Company to see a performance and mingle with the dancers and directors. Following this, savor a great lunch at Fuster’s Art Gallery and Workshop (known as the Cuban Guadi) and have a brief…
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel and then depart for Las Terrazas, an eco-community in Pinar del Rio, located within the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve. Stop at the reforestation projects, local school, and polyclinic. You’ll also visit with local artists and have a delicious lunch at a local café. After, cool off with a swim in the San Juan River and then return to Havana for an evening at your leisure, Optional activities will be available.
Meliá Cohiba Hotel | Breakfast, Lunch
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then head out to Cienfuegos, stopping first at Matanzas, the City of Bridges, for a brief city tour. Break for lunch at Hotel Velasco and then continue onward to Cienfuegos. Upon arrival, tour the city and see the Terry Theater, along with other art studios where you’ll meet with the artists. After this, take in a performance by the Guitar Orchestra of Cienfuegos or the Choir of Cienfuegos and then enjoy a traditional Cuban dinner at Los Laureles. Optional evening activities are available.
Hotel Jagua | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fuel up for an exciting day in the town of Trinidad with breakfast at the hotel. Your first stop will be the Valley of the Sugar Mills to learn about the importance of the area’s sugar production. Lunch will be had at Barrancon with live music before taking a walking tour of Trinidad. The tour includes one Museum (Palacio Cantero or the Romantic Museum), and a visit to the Woodcarvers Workshop. After, delight in an Afro-Cuban musical performance at the Congos Reales and then explore more of the area with some free time. Return to Cienfuegos and your guide can give you great restaurant…
El Nicho Excursion
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then depart on a day excursion to El Nicho to discover the National Park, with a photo stop at Crucecitas. Next, visit a rural hospital, exchange with the community, and have lunch. A highlight of the day is a relaxing stop at the beautiful El Calvo waterfalls and natural pools. Later on, head back to Cienfuegos for a farewell dinner at Villa Lagarto.
Hotel Jagua | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Have a final breakfast at the hotel and then check out before heading to Santa Clara. You’ll visit the Che Memorial and then enjoy the Abuelos de Fiesta, a community project where seniors share their knowledge with younger Cubans, through traditional dances and games. Your trip comes to an end with a light lunch before being taken to the airport for departure.
|Depart||Return||Depart - Return||Best Value Pricing - Reserve by Jun 28, 2019||Reserve after|
Jun 28, 2019
|2020||2020||w/ eCheck Discount||Sale||After Sale|
|January 8||January 15||Jan 8 - |
|February 5||February 12||Feb 5 - |
|March 4||March 11||Mar 4 - |
|April 1||April 8||Apr 1 - |
|May 6||May 13||May 6 - |
|July 15||July 22||Jul 15 - |
|October 14||October 21||Oct 14 - |
|November 18||November 25||Nov 18 - |
|December 9||December 16||Dec 9 - |
|December 23||December 30||Dec 23 - |
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $599
*Note: All trips begin with a mandatory meeting at the designated hotel in Miami on Day 1 and depart from Miami for Havana on Day 2. For example, a Dec. 27 tour has its Miami orientation meeting in the evening on Dec. 27 and departs from Miami for Havana on Dec. 28.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit which must be received within 48 hours of reservation. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.
NOTE ON TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
Please note that the tourism infrastructure in Cuba is more limited than what you might be accustomed to. You can expect slightly lower standards at the hotel properties with fewer amenities. On occasion, it may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary while the tour is in progress due to circumstances beyond the control of smarTours and our local partner. Please keep this perspective in mind in advance of and during your tour to this very special country.
PRE-NIGHT IN MIAMI
You will check in independently at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Miami International Airport, where you may check in as early as 3pm. The address for the hotel is 950 NW 42nd Ave. (Le Jeune Road), Miami, Florida, and the phone number is (305) 446-9000. The orientation briefing will take place at 8pm at the hotel. Your Tour Director will hand out required documents for your trip and provide you with other important information in advance of your travel to Cuba.
Your flights from Miami to Cuba and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. At your orientation meeting in Miami the night before your flight to Cuba, your Tour Director will advise you about the schedule for the following morning. There will be shuttle transportation from your hotel in Miami. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
|All Dates||American Airlines||9:30AM||7:45PM|
If you are planning to catch a connecting flight after you return to Miami, please make sure you allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
The airlines operating the chartered flights does not accept advance seat assignment. Actual seat assignment will be provided at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignments.
PASSPORT, VISA, AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION
The following documents and steps are required for legal travel to Cuba sponsored by smarTours under a general license for people-to-people travel (Educational Activities – CFR 515.565), where each traveler follows a full time schedule of activities involving meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba to learn about their unique culture. The following information applies to U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, except for Cuban-born U.S. citizens.
1. If you have not already done so, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of return.
2. Please fill out and return an original copy of the “Certification of Travel to Cuba” by mail no later than the final payment due date 90 days prior to departure. Please fill out your name, date of birth, phone number, and address, and then sign and date right below the line stating “I certify that the above information is true and correct.”
3. Cuba also requires the purchase of mandatory health insurance (known as Asistur), which has been included in this package and covers basic medical needs if required during your trip.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUBAN-BORN US CITIZENS
Cuban-born U.S. citizens require the following documents depending on when they departed Cuba. (1) Those who departed Cuba prior to December 31, 1970: PE-11 visa (allow 6 weeks to process) or a Cuban passport (allow 4 months). (2) Those who departed Cuba after January 1, 1971: Cuban passport (allow 4 months). We recommend that Cuban-born U.S. citizens who have previously been rejected for a Cuban visa do not reapply, as repeat rejection is likely and trip cancellation fees will apply.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING LEGAL TRAVEL TO CUBA
Although it is not legal to travel to Cuba for “tourist activities,” travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens is permitted for certain types of activities as identified by the U.S. Treasury Department in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. smarTours sponsors an authorized form of travel following a general license for people-to-people travel (Educational Activities – CFR 515.565), where each traveler follows a full time schedule of activities involving meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba to learn about their unique culture. For more information about the rules governing travel to Cuba, please visit the following link:
DAILY JOURNAL REQUIREMENTS
OFAC requires that travelers to Cuba maintain a daily travel journal during their trip. This journal will serve as documentation that your trip to Cuba was consistent with the requirements of the People-to-People travel license. We recommend that you keep your journal for a minimum of five years after the trip.
Your final instructions and travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in writing in case of a change of your address.
The temperature in Cuba ranges from the mid 60’s to high 70’s in January and February, high 60’s to low 80’s in March, April, November and December, low 70’s to mid 80’s in May and October, and mid 70’s to high 80’s in September. Rainy season runs from May to October.
Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you should consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.
COMMUNICATING WHILE IN CUBA
U.S. cell phones do not work in Cuba, and access to Wi-Fi is extremely limited, except that most hotels have business centers with a computer or two. You may wish to make calls from the hotel room or business center, but you should expect calls to cost approximately $2.50 (or more) per minute. You should also expect to pay $10-15 per hour for Wi-Fi.
CREDIT CARDS, ATM MACHINES AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Until recently, U.S. credit cards and debit cards were not permitted in Cuba. Although the guidelines are changing and certain credit cards/debit cards will be accepted over time, we continue to recommend that you plan to bring as much as cash as you think you will need for the duration of the trip. As for currency, the Cuban Peso (also known as “Moneda Nacional”) is the official currency. However, the Convertible Cuban Peso (CUC) is the currency that most tourists use. You can exchange your money to convertible pesos at airports, hotels, banks, and exchange offices. Please note that exchanging U.S. dollars into CUC is subject to a 13% fee, whereas exchanging Canadian dollars, Euros, and other currency is not subject to this fee. Please also note that you will not be able to exchange torn or ripped bills.
You may dine at either the hotels used on this tour or other nearby restaurants recommended by your guide. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a local hotel is about $20-25 per meal per person.
According to new U.S. regulations, you may now bring back $400 USD worth of goods for personal use, of which $100 USD can be in the form of tobacco and alcohol products.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage not to exceed 44 pounds and one carry-on piece not to exceed 18”x10”x8”. Please also note that there is a $25 fee per checked bag imposed by the airlines and should be paid directly by you at the airport in Miami. This fee applies on the flight from Miami to Cuba only.