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Exploring Cuba’s Past, Present & Future May 2020

Exploring Cuba’s Past, Present & Future May 2020

$1875 per person
8 days 7 nights | Group size: 6 - 12

The island is easily one of the most unique and interesting destinations to visit in all of Latin America, if not the world. While you may come to Cuba looking for answers you’re more than likely to return home with even more questions. With a complex history from pre-colonial times all the way up to the present day global political climate and economic situation, Cuba is a history and poly sci buff’s paradise. Not only that, Cuba’s vibrant culture is reflected in its art, music, dance, food, drink and overall ambiance felt as you cruise the streets of la Habana Vieja or spend a leisurely afternoon smoking a cigar on a family run tobacco farm in Viñales Valley.

Our Cuba tours immediately immerse you into everyday life in Cuba as your settle into your “casa particular” owned and run by a Cuban family. From there you will jump into learning about Cuba’s historic and cultural past and present while traveling throughout both urban and rural Cuba. Our in-country host families, local guides and drivers are all friendly, warm and excited to share the real Cuba with you.

We invite you to join us to learn about this beautiful and resilient nation and the people who call it home. And also.. get ready for rum, cigars, classic cars, nonstop music and dancing and delicious farm fresh meals!

We look forward to sharing this adventure with you!

Cost & Packages



7 nights accommodation: Private room + bathroom inside casa particulares

18 meals: Includes water, coffee, tea, juices excludes soda and alcoholic beverages at most meals

In country transport: Ground, air, water as indicated on itinerary

Entrance + guide fees: For all activities included on the itinerary

Donation to urban farm: $25 donation to urban community farm project in Havana

24/7 access + support: Provided by Heart of Travel guide

5 DAY EXTENSION ONLY: 5 nights accommodation in casas particulares

5 DAY EXTENSION ONLY: 12 additional meals

Not Included

International airfare: To/from Havana (estimated $550 - $750 depending on point of departure)

Tourist Card/Visa: (approximately $50 - $100 purchased individually at airport, depending on airline)

Tips: To local guides

Meals not stated: Any meals not indicated on itinerary

Trip insurance: Recommended, not required

Additional beverages


Friday, MAY 1st- Friday 8th, with option to extend for 5 nights to visit Trinidad & Cienfuegos and depart on Tuesday, May 13th 

Itinerary subject to small changes at the discretion of The Heart of Travel guides in order to provide you with the safest, and most comfortable and enjoyable travel experience possible.

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Tour Plan

DAY ONE: FRIDAY, May 1st: D included

Airport pick-up: Upon arriving at the airport, one of the Program Directors will be waiting to escort you to our headquarters in La Habana Vieja. Once in La Habana Vieja, you will be checked into your bed and breakfast, and be given a brief orientation of the city. If you need any assistance with any errands or visits to a nearby point of interest, your guides will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event you arrive early in the morning and would like to coordinate any specific activities during the day just let us know so we can accommodate your requests.

6:30 pm: We will all meet at the bed and breakfast headquarters to enjoy a homemade welcome dinner & cocktails (included) during which time travelers can get to know one another, and the guides, better and discuss the itinerary for the following days.

8:00 pm: Daiquiri tasting at the iconic El Floridita Restaurant and bar (1 drink included) and a night out for those up for a little music, drinks and maybe even some dancing!

DAY TWO: SATURDAY, MAY 2nd: B, L & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am - 12:30 pm: Personalized walking tour of Old Havana with stops at all major plazas and points of interest giving you a good lay of the land for future independent exploration as well as a general overview of Cuba’s history and current political and economic climate.

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Lunch in Old Havana to try traditional Cuban cuisine (included)

2:00 - 6:00 pm: Downtime for rest or independent exploration including visits to the Museum of the Revolution or Modern Art Museum which we highly recommend checking out on this day.

6:00 pm: Dinner at Lamparilla 361 (included)

7:45 pm: Visit to the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana (UNESCO World Heritage site) to attend the nightly Cannon Ceremony and visit to Che Guevara museum.

DAY THREE: SUNDAY, MAY 3rd: B & L included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Drive to Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as the heart of the tobacco and coffee growing region in Cuba. Pitstop at Fusterlandia community art project on the outskirts of Havana where you can admire Cuban artist José Fuster’s childlike rough shapes and bright colors in his untrained mosaic compositions. Stop at the lookout spot of Jazmines

2:00 pm: Tour of an organic farm on a hill overlooking the valley at sunset to learn about sustainable food production in Cuba and a delicious family style lunch (included)

4:00 pm Visit to the Prehistoric mural and nearby bar with some of the best Piña Coladas in Cuba ;)

5:30 pm Check into our casa particular for the evening and enjoy some downtime to exchange money, use the internet and explore small town of Viñales.

7:30 pm: Meet at the headquarters for an optional group dinner in town.

DAY FOUR: MONDAY, MAY 4th: B, L & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Brief trip through a cave system on a motor boat before beginning a light hike or horseback ride throughout Viñales Valley to learn about flora and fauna with avisit to tobacco/coffee farmer’s home. This is a great opportunity to try and purchase cigars and a delicious local beverage canchanchara.

12:30 pm: Light lunch (included) as we will be enjoying a delicious and abundant pig roast later that day.

2:00 - 5:00 pm: Downtime for rest or independent exploration - we can help to coordinate various activities depending on your interests and are likely adding a coffee farm visit into this day for those interested - just waiting to finalize with our coffee contact!

5:30 pm: Delicious pig roast & party (included)

DAY FIVE: TUESDAY, MAY 5th: B, L & D included

9:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

10:30 am: Begin drive back from Viñales to return to Havana

12:30 pm: Stop for lunch (included)

2:00 pm: Back in Habana we will go back to the casa particular and check-in again. You will have some downtime before an optional visit to the market.

3:00 - 4:30 pm: Visit to the largest market in Havana featuring local arts, crafts, clothing, gifts, etc. This is a good opportunity for some souvenir shopping! If not interested in shopping this is also a good opportunity to visit any museums of interest that you haven’t seen yet, as well as in the following chunk of free time seen below.

4:30 - 8:00 pm Downtime for rest/relaxation - good opportunity to catch up on rest or emails in the nearby wifi park or visit museums or just enjoy wandering the streets of Havana.

8:00 pm: Meet at the casa particular headquarters to go to dinner and a show, which could be a musical performance or modern ballet depending on the season. (included)

DAY SIX: WEDNESDAY, MAY 6th: B & L included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Departure to Tarará for a day at the beach

10:00 am: Arrive in Tarará to do a quick beach clean up and then relax on the beach with option to snorkel!

12:30 pm: Picnic lunch on the beach (included)

3:30 pm: Return to Havana to freshen up before dinner

7:30 pm: La Fábrica de Arte Cubano (entrance included, beverages and dinner not included) for dinner and an incredible mixed media art and bar experience. You will view everything from photography to sculptures, to fashion to architecture, as well as film, live music and much more. There are no words to describe this incredible place popular with locals and visitors alike! This is a perfect chance to meet and interact with people from Cuba and enjoy late night eats. Live music will start at 10:30pm. Basically, this is one party in Havana that many tourists will never experience, but once you do you’ll be dying to come back!

DAY SEVEN: THURSDAY, MAY 7th: B, L & D included

10:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included) You can have breakfast earlier than this but we start later this morning as many people will be out late the night before at Fábrica!

11:00 - 1:00 pm: Classic car tour around Havana allowing us to see a variety of different Havana neighborhoods and sites including Vedado, Miramar, Havana Forest & El Mirador del Cristo de la Bahía.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Tour of Cristo Project, an urban organic farm overlooking the bay to learn about sustainable agriculture and community building with our friends Rojas and Juanita!

2:00 - 3:30 pm: We will take a ferry back to the city and have lunch there (included)

3:45 - 5:00 pm: Visit to and guided tour of Rum Museum (included)

5:00 pm: Head back to casa particular for downtime before dinner

7:30 pm: Farewell dinner in Habana 61 (included)

DAY EIGHT: FRIDAY, MAY 8th: B included

On our final day we will have breakfast at our casa particular (included) before heading to the airport to catch our return flights, or for those doing the extension we will hit the road to Cienfuegos and Trinidad.



DAY EIGHT: FRIDAY, MAY 8th: B & L included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Drive to the city of Cienfuegos, making the following stops along the way:

  • Snorkeling/swimming opportunity at the Bay of the Pigs
  • Visit to the Museum of the Invasion - very interesting look into Cuba’s perspective on this sad event in history.
  • Lunch at Alexis’ local paladar for fresh seafood cut and prepared on the grill right in front of us! (included)

4:00 pm Upon arriving in Cienfuegos we will check into our casas particulares giving participants some downtime to rest and freshen up before enjoying a leisurely tour of the city before an optional group dinner

7:00 pm: Optional group dinner at Ozniel’s rooftop, where he has a variety of traditional dishes and drinks!

DAY NINE: SUNDAY, MAY 9th: B, L & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Walking tour of Cienfuegos before visiting the Palacio del Valle and enjoying rooftop drinks

1:00 pm: Begin our journey to the coastal town of Trinidad, stopping for lunch on the way (included)

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Upon arriving in Trinidad we will check into our casa particular and take a brief break before enjoying a walking tour of the city including a visit to a temple to learn more about afro-cuban culture and santeria

6:00 pm: Downtime to rest and freshen up before dinner

7:30 pm: Group dinner at our favorite place in Trinidad, La Redacción (included)

DAY TEN: MONDAY, MAY 10th: B, L included

8:00 am:​​ Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

9:00 am: Visit to a local market and a what was once an old sugar plantation to learn more about Cuba’s history and economy. Plus the opportunity to shop for some unique pieces!

11:00 am - 4:00 pm: Meet at the casa particular headquarters for a short drive to the nearby Playa Ancón for a swim before enjoying a picnic lunch (included) on the beach and hang out as long as you want soaking up the sun!

4:00 - 6:00 pm: Down time to freshen up before the evening’s salsa class!

6:00 - 7:00 pm: Salsa class (included)

7:30 pm: Optional group dinner

DAY ELEVEN: TUESDAY, MAY 11th: B & L included

9:00 am: ​​Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

10:00 am - 3:00 pm:​​ Horse ride to waterfall and natural swimming pools that are popular with locals and visitors alike and picnic lunch or lunch at nearby local paladar (included)

3:00 - 6:00 pm:​​ Down time to freshen up and explore independently

7:00 pm: Optional group dinner and live music experience (great opportunity for dancing!)

DAY TWELVE: WEDNESDAY, MAY 12th: B, L & D included

9:00 am: Breakfast at the casa particular (included)

10:00 am: Begin the journey back to Havana!

12:30 pm: Lunch (included)

3:30 pm: Arrive back in Havana and get settled into casa particular with down time to rest/freshen up. Your guides will be available to assist you with any last minute shopping or activities.

7:30 pm: Dinner in Vedado with option to visit live music venue afterward

On our final day we will have breakfast at casa particular (included) before heading to the airport to catch our return flights.

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