Tour introduction and overview of activities

A Cuba expedition focused on people-to-people education, nature and cultural exchanges. The program is geared to naturalists, and lovers of the arts, history and architecture. The tour has a very diverse itinerary and features comfortable accommodations and tasty Cuban cuisine.

Cuba’s big! Its land mass is 42,426 square miles – about 80 percent the size of Alabama. Cuba is nearly as large as Louisiana, and larger than Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio or Indiana. Altogether it’s bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 – Saturday :: Arrival and hello Cuba

  • Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Collect your bags and go through customs. You’re welcomed at the airport lobby by guide and professional bus chauffeur. Bus transfer will be provided directly to your private house
  • Free time to settle in and rest up at your private house
  • Transfer in old convertible cars to Río Mar restaurant for welcome dinner, included
  • Evening is free to explore the sights and sounds of the city

Day 2 – Sunday :: Exploring Old Havana, our common heritage

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Morning Yoga on a rooftop of Hotel Raquel in Old Havana. Opportunity for amazing photos too!
  • Followed by a walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit four of the five historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. It contains the largest collection of remaining colonial-era architecture. This is a private tour led by your Cuba Education Tours guide
  • Lunch not included
  • Return to your hotel to rest and freshen up
  • Dinner not included
  • Evening is free to explore the sights and sounds of the city

Day 3 – Monday :: Viñales valley and Pinar del Río province

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Morning Yoga in the gardens of La Cabaña Fortress. Get ready to flow with an uplifting yoga sequence and set the tone for a day of green open spaces with extraordinary views
  • After yoga, you will depart in a luxury coach bus to the western province of Pinar Del Río, home of Cuba’s most lush landscapes and one of the main agricultural regions of Cuba
  • Tour of Viñales Valley: Viñales village is a picturesque town in the heart of Cuba's prime tobacco growing region. The town itself sits in the center of a flat valley surrounded by stunning karst hills formations known locally as mogotes. Mogotes are irregularly shaped steep-sided hills that can rise as high as 300m (985 ft.) and have bases ranging from just a few hundred yards in diameter to as much as a couple of kilometers in length. The mogotes comprise part of the Sierra de los Órganos mountain chain, and were formed by eons of erosion. Many consider this the most beautiful nature spot in Cuba
  • Enjoy lunch at Yuri y el Niño private restaurant (included)
  • Free time for hiking!
  • Check in at hotel
  • Dinner at El Balcón del Valle restaurant
  • Evening suggestion: Patio Central Cultural Polo Montañez, or El Palenque de Los Cimarrones for incredible live Salsa Music! (Not included)

Day 4 – Tuesday :: Indian caves and sustainability

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Morning Yoga session will include all levels yoga on the grounds of Hotel Los Jasmines or La Ermita. We will breathe deeply and relax with a beautiful view of the valley
  • Free time for optional horseback ride or hike
  • We will visit “Finca El Paraíso” a sustainable organic farm for a tour. The owners will explain how they harvest and filter their own rainwater for irrigation, use companion planting techniques and terraced raised beds and to grow dozens of varieties of organic produce on the hillside. After the tour, the owners will host a true farm-to-table organic lunch! (included)
  • Visit Cueva del Indio [Indian caves]. One of Cuba’s natural caves on a unique walking and boat tour that offers breathtaking views overlooking the entire Viñales valley region, an agricultural hub and the epicenter of tobacco production in Cuba
  • Dinner this evening is not included

Day 5 – Wednesday :: Viñales, Las Terrazas and Havana

  • Breakfast in hotel and check out
  • Morning departure to Las Terrazas, a small community and nature reserve in the municipality of Candelaria, of Artemisa Province. It is located in the Sierra del Rosario mountains (part of Guaniguanico range), which was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1984. This nature reserve includes 5000ha of secondary forest, which was planted on the surrounding (deforested) hills by building terraces to avoid erosion; hence the name (in Spanish, terrazas means terraces)
  • Visit a rural village called Rancho Curujey
  • Visit Cafetal Buena Vista, the ruins of an ancient coffee plantation run by African slaves
  • Lunch at El Romero restaurant (included)
  • Departure to Havana
  • Dinner tonight not included

Day 6 – Thursday :: Cuba society and arts

  • Breakfast at hotel (included)
  • In Hotel Florida, special presentation and dialogue: "Overview of Cuba today" by Dr Marta Núñez Sarmiento
  • We'll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fuster, one of Cuba's most important ceramists and painters at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana
  • Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, which exhibits Cuban art collections from the colonial times up to contemporary generations. Its first director and well-known architect, Emilio Heredia, founded it in 1913. After frequent moves it was finally placed on the block once occupied by the old Colon Market. In 1954, a new Palacio of Bellas Artes was opened. The original Palace was recently reconstructed and a second building was taken over for the Museum
  • Dinner not included
  • Evening is free to explore the city

Day 7 – Friday :: Health Care system, Community projects and afrocuban arts

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit Salvador Allende local polyclinic
  • Visit House The Boy and the Girl a comunity Project located in Central Havana
  • TOUR HIGHLIGHT: Lunch prepared by private restaurant El Ajiaco, included
  • Visit Cojímar, small fishing Village one of Hemingway’s favorite’s places
  • Visit Callejón de Hamel [Hamel Alley] to see the artwork of famed Afro-Cuban Artist Salvador González
  • Return to hotel
  • Dinner at Café Taberna restaurant (included)
  • EVENING HIGHTLIGHT: Enjoy a performance by Buena Vista social Club at Café Taberna, included

Day 8 – Saturday :: Havana and home

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Check-out of hotel
  • Transfer to José Martí International Airport for flights home
Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
  • All taxes. Prices listed are the total amounts you pay. All amounts are quoted in US dollars
  • Airport transfers: We meet you at José Martí Int’l Airport in Havana and take you to your hotel upon arrival. We return you to José Martí Airport for departure
  • Hotel as listed in tour itinerary or similar
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners as per itinerary
  • All activities, services and meals as described in tour itinerary except those noted as “optional” or “not included in cost”
  • Modern air-conditioned bus and professional chauffeur
  • Bottled water on bus
  • An expert Cuban English-speaking guide and translator whose background matches tour content throughout the program
  • Mandatory official Cuban medical insurance coverage during your island stay
  • Ongoing support from Cuba Education and Explorer Tours staff in Canada before, during and after your stay
  • Emergency collect call access to our North American staff while in Cuba
  • Emergency cash advances for our tour participants who face complications accessing funds from aboard while in Cuba