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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: havana, plaza de la revolution and jaimanitas

The home of artist José Fuster in JaimanitasThe home of artist José Fuster in Jaimanitas

Arrive in Havana, proceed through immigration, and step outside to meet your Cuban team.

Enjoy your first drive-thru of Havana with two iconic stops. In central Havana, at the Plaza de la Revolution, walk across the enormous square and view the monument to Cuban hero José Marti. On the outskirts of the city, roam through whimsically charming Jaimanitas where Cuban artist José Fuster, inspired by Gaudi and Picasso, has turned his own home and the surrounding neighborhood into a showcase of fanciful, brightly colored murals and sculptures.

Depending on flight arrival time, group lunch and orientation meeting, settle into the first of the many paladars you'll sample on this trip. As restaurants that are privately owned rather than government owned, paladars are a recent and welcome phenomenon in Cuba. Some have two tables and some have thirty. Each was started by a family in their own home or on their own property, and each is unique.

Arrive late afternoon at your bed and breakfast accommodation. Also known as a casa particular, these are privately owned houses or apartments. Enjoy a short orientation walk around neighborhood, and dinner at paladar in Old Havana.

Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Local Bed and Breakfast

Days 2-4: old havana, cojimar and special options

Many of Havana's faded pastel buildings are being restored.Many of Havana's faded pastel buildings are being restored.

Many visitors on a week-long trip, spend their arrival day and then three more days exploring Havana and nearby locales. Cross the harbor for a spectacular view across the water at the full vista presented by Havana. Devote ate least a full morning to exploring the four distinct plazas and the cobblestone walkways of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, stroll on the Malecon, the iconic seaside boulevard. Ride a bici-taxi to the local market. Visit one of the great history or arts museums. Enjoy the street musicians during the day and live performances of jazz or salsa in the evening. An English-speaking Cuban guide will accompany you on your explorations. A professor of history or political science or architecture or music can offer you a formal lecture. The learning, through planned meetings and spontaneous encounters is continuous.

Enjoy a short day trip out of Havana to Finca Vigía, the farm and estate of Ernest Hemingway. Visit the nearby picturesque small seaside town of Cojimar and enjoy the story and the food produced at an entrepreneurial farm-to-food restaurant. Cooking class is optional.

Meals
3 Breakfast, 2 Lunch
Lodging
Local Bed and Breakfast

Day 5: viñales valley

Viñales Valley where the rounded hills called "mogotes" form a fantasy backdrop to the tobacco and corn fields.Viñales Valley where the rounded hills called "mogotes" form a fantasy backdrop to the tobacco and corn fields.

Drive westward to beautiful Pinar Del Rio province. Visit a tobacco farmer's home and family, and learn about the working of their farm. Continue onward toward Viñales National Park and Preserve. Lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the valley. 

In the afternoon, visit a well-known artist in his home and enjoy a private tour of his artwork. Later explore the town of Viñales. Check into your bed and breakfast and enjoy a beautiful view of the Viñales Valley. Enjoy a homemade Cuban meal. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Local Bed and Breakfast

Day 6: viñales valley

Horse-drawn or ox-drawn carts are still in use on the local farms.Horse-drawn or ox-drawn carts are still in use on the local farms.

This morning walk the national park trails. Stop at the home of locals for some freshly cut pineapple and a chat to see what's being planted in the area for the seasonplanted for the season. Lunch in Viñales Valley.

In the afternoon, explore the unspoilt coastline of western Cuba. Local and migratory birds are found on the white sand beach at Cayo Jutías; explore with a local expert naturalist.  Return to Viñales town in the early evening and choose from a number of delicious paladars for dinner. 

Dinner on own. Opportunity to visit the cultural house in town for live music. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Local Bed and Breakfast

Day 7: viñales to las terrazas, soroa and havana

After breakfast, drive to Las Terrazas in Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Las Terrazas was Cuba's first eco-community; the residents here make their living by maintaining the hardwood forests and engaging in small-scale ecotourism. Tour the area with a local specialist who will explain the history of the program and the challenges and successes it has endured. 

Also, today, it's possible to visit the Orquideario (Orchid Garden) in Soroa, a collection of over 700 species, including 250 endemics. This is a beautiful place to walk, and depending on the seasonal climate, the orchids may still be in bloom at the time of your trip.

Vist the home of a well-known artist and learn about his inspirations for his unique work. Traditional Cuban countryside lunch.

Back in Havana, stop by an artisanal market to see private enterprise in Cuba and have an opportunity to make last minute purchases of artwork or handicrafts.

Check into your private bed and breakfast in Havana. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner in one of the best paladars in Havana and enjoy our last night in the fabulous city. 

 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
A casa particular (private B&B)

Day 8: flight back to miami

Say good-bye to CubaSay good-bye to Cuba

Bid fond farewell to Cuba.

Meals
Breakfast

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$3,550
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$450
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Itinerary includes options for activities that go beyond Level 1.
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Cuba

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Journeys International is traveling to Cuba through the people-to-people general license from the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control as detailed in CACR (Cuban Assets Control Regulation) 31 CFR 515.565 (b). Our itinerary focuses on meaningful cultural interaction with the Cuban people. Due to circumstances outside of our control, all activities are subject to change. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Payment and Deposit Schedule​

Deposit is $800 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Full balance per person is due 120 days prior to departure. (Note: this schedule supersedes that listed in the general Terms and Conditions.) The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before submitting a deposit.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

 

From the Bird's Word Blog

Small Group Travel to Cuba: The Journeys Experience

If you’ve been thinking about travel to Cuba, now is the time! In Spring 2017, we will be launching our smallest of small group trips to Cuba: Havana and the Valley of Viñales. Find …

Viñales Valley
Viñales Valley
Take a taxi to view the sites
Take a taxi to view the sites
Meet fruit vendors in Havana
Meet fruit vendors in Havana
Dine at traditional paladeres
Dine at traditional paladeres
The Viñales Valley with its distinctive round hills called “mogotes.”
The Viñales Valley with its distinctive round hills called “mogotes.”

Havana and the Valley of Viñales

From Havana west to the Viñales Valley

overview

Explore big-city Havana and the ancient landscape of the Viñales Valley -- a perfect counterpoint for visitors who want to go right to the heart of Cuba's national story and its natural beauty. On a brief, carefully planned and intimate itinerary that starts in Havana and goes west, enjoy a deep experience of history, culture and outdoor adventure in Cuba. All of Journeys' programs in Cuba are known for offering unusually personal entrée into the country, with many opportunities to meet Cubans where they live and work, and to go behind the scenes and off-trail. In addition, this program offers unusual flexibility. It's typically a week long, but trip length can be modified. We offer set group departures, and we can also run this privately on your dates. The pricing is particularly competitive because the group size limit of 8 allows for some skirting of Cuba travel rules that are applicable to larger groups, and because we opt for simple accommodations. 

Titled Havana and the Valley of Viñales​, this trip stands alone as a satisfying and efficient introduction to the country. Alternatively, it can be merged with Journeys' Rhythm of a Lively Land or serve as an extension to Journeys' Essence of Eastern Cuba.

The Cuba travel services offered on all Journeys programs are unique for their range and access. No other tour company guarantees such small groups. Programs are designed with Journeys' partner Joslin Fritz who is passionate about Cuba, fluent with the language and culture, and dedicated to providing the best, most enthusiastic and most professional on-the-ground leadership for all our groups.

 

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Explore big-city Havana and the ancient landscape of the Viñales Valley -- a perfect counterpoint for visitors who want to go right to the heart of Cuba's national story and its natural beauty. On a brief, carefully planned and intimate itinerary that starts in Havana and goes west, enjoy a deep experience of history, culture and outdoor adventure in Cuba. All of Journeys' programs in Cuba are known for offering unusually personal entrée into the country, with many opportunities to meet Cubans where they live and work, and to go behind the scenes and off-trail. In addition, this program offers unusual flexibility. It's typically a week long, but trip length can be modified. We offer set group departures, and we can also run this privately on your dates. The pricing is particularly competitive because the group size limit of 8 allows for some skirting of Cuba travel rules that are applicable to larger groups, and because we opt for simple accommodations. 

Titled Havana and the Valley of Viñales​, this trip stands alone as a satisfying and efficient introduction to the country. Alternatively, it can be merged with Journeys' Rhythm of a Lively Land or serve as an extension to Journeys' Essence of Eastern Cuba.

The Cuba travel services offered on all Journeys programs are unique for their range and access. No other tour company guarantees such small groups. Programs are designed with Journeys' partner Joslin Fritz who is passionate about Cuba, fluent with the language and culture, and dedicated to providing the best, most enthusiastic and most professional on-the-ground leadership for all our groups.

 

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: havana, plaza de la revolution and jaimanitas
    The home of artist José Fuster in JaimanitasThe home of artist José Fuster in Jaimanitas

    Arrive in Havana, proceed through immigration, and step outside to meet your Cuban team.

    Enjoy your first drive-thru of Havana with two iconic stops. In central Havana, at the Plaza de la Revolution, walk across the enormous square and view the monument to Cuban hero José Marti. On the outskirts of the city, roam through whimsically charming Jaimanitas where Cuban artist José Fuster, inspired by Gaudi and Picasso, has turned his own home and the surrounding neighborhood into a showcase of fanciful, brightly colored murals and sculptures.

    Depending on flight arrival time, group lunch and orientation meeting, settle into the first of the many paladars you'll sample on this trip. As restaurants that are privately owned rather than government owned, paladars are a recent and welcome phenomenon in Cuba. Some have two tables and some have thirty. Each was started by a family in their own home or on their own property, and each is unique.

    Arrive late afternoon at your bed and breakfast accommodation. Also known as a casa particular, these are privately owned houses or apartments. Enjoy a short orientation walk around neighborhood, and dinner at paladar in Old Havana.

    Meals
    Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Local Bed and Breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Days 2-4: old havana, cojimar and special options
    Many of Havana's faded pastel buildings are being restored.Many of Havana's faded pastel buildings are being restored.

    Many visitors on a week-long trip, spend their arrival day and then three more days exploring Havana and nearby locales. Cross the harbor for a spectacular view across the water at the full vista presented by Havana. Devote ate least a full morning to exploring the four distinct plazas and the cobblestone walkways of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, stroll on the Malecon, the iconic seaside boulevard. Ride a bici-taxi to the local market. Visit one of the great history or arts museums. Enjoy the street musicians during the day and live performances of jazz or salsa in the evening. An English-speaking Cuban guide will accompany you on your explorations. A professor of history or political science or architecture or music can offer you a formal lecture. The learning, through planned meetings and spontaneous encounters is continuous.

    Enjoy a short day trip out of Havana to Finca Vigía, the farm and estate of Ernest Hemingway. Visit the nearby picturesque small seaside town of Cojimar and enjoy the story and the food produced at an entrepreneurial farm-to-food restaurant. Cooking class is optional.

    Meals
    3 Breakfast, 2 Lunch
    Lodging
    Local Bed and Breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: viñales valley
    Viñales Valley where the rounded hills called "mogotes" form a fantasy backdrop to the tobacco and corn fields.Viñales Valley where the rounded hills called "mogotes" form a fantasy backdrop to the tobacco and corn fields.

    Drive westward to beautiful Pinar Del Rio province. Visit a tobacco farmer's home and family, and learn about the working of their farm. Continue onward toward Viñales National Park and Preserve. Lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the valley. 

    In the afternoon, visit a well-known artist in his home and enjoy a private tour of his artwork. Later explore the town of Viñales. Check into your bed and breakfast and enjoy a beautiful view of the Viñales Valley. Enjoy a homemade Cuban meal. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Local Bed and Breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: viñales valley
    Horse-drawn or ox-drawn carts are still in use on the local farms.Horse-drawn or ox-drawn carts are still in use on the local farms.

    This morning walk the national park trails. Stop at the home of locals for some freshly cut pineapple and a chat to see what's being planted in the area for the seasonplanted for the season. Lunch in Viñales Valley.

    In the afternoon, explore the unspoilt coastline of western Cuba. Local and migratory birds are found on the white sand beach at Cayo Jutías; explore with a local expert naturalist.  Return to Viñales town in the early evening and choose from a number of delicious paladars for dinner. 

    Dinner on own. Opportunity to visit the cultural house in town for live music. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Local Bed and Breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: viñales to las terrazas, soroa and havana

    After breakfast, drive to Las Terrazas in Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Las Terrazas was Cuba's first eco-community; the residents here make their living by maintaining the hardwood forests and engaging in small-scale ecotourism. Tour the area with a local specialist who will explain the history of the program and the challenges and successes it has endured. 

    Also, today, it's possible to visit the Orquideario (Orchid Garden) in Soroa, a collection of over 700 species, including 250 endemics. This is a beautiful place to walk, and depending on the seasonal climate, the orchids may still be in bloom at the time of your trip.

    Vist the home of a well-known artist and learn about his inspirations for his unique work. Traditional Cuban countryside lunch.

    Back in Havana, stop by an artisanal market to see private enterprise in Cuba and have an opportunity to make last minute purchases of artwork or handicrafts.

    Check into your private bed and breakfast in Havana. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner in one of the best paladars in Havana and enjoy our last night in the fabulous city. 

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    A casa particular (private B&B)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: flight back to miami
    Say good-bye to CubaSay good-bye to Cuba

    Bid fond farewell to Cuba.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$3,550
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$450
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Itinerary includes options for activities that go beyond Level 1.
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Cuba

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Journeys International is traveling to Cuba through the people-to-people general license from the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control as detailed in CACR (Cuban Assets Control Regulation) 31 CFR 515.565 (b). Our itinerary focuses on meaningful cultural interaction with the Cuban people. Due to circumstances outside of our control, all activities are subject to change. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Payment and Deposit Schedule​

Deposit is $800 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Full balance per person is due 120 days prior to departure. (Note: this schedule supersedes that listed in the general Terms and Conditions.) The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before submitting a deposit.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

 

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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