Cuba is a country that can’t be singularly defined. Just when you think you have it pegged by the raw energy and hustle of Havana, its urban hub, its softer side – the outlying rustling tobacco fields, the farms tended by ox-driven plows – beckons to be explored.
Experience both worlds with our eight-day Scenic Cuba tour. Under the care of a Cuban guide, dedicated to fostering authentic connections between you and local residents, explore city life in Cuba’s biggest metropolis before voyaging afield to the western province of Pinar del Río, known for its quiet, red-earth pastures and breathtaking national park, Viñales.
While these two destinations hit your senses in wildly different ways, the warmth and spirit of their people is steadfast. Lifelong residents reveal the real Cuba to you in ways never before possible.
The first part of your trip is spent in Havana, where cobblestone streets are flanked by beautiful 16th-century Colonial courtyard buildings, Buena Vista-style guitar rifts flutter from cafes and romance sparks near the Malecón, the city’s magnificent seaside boulevard where couples often stroll and Cuban leisure life bustles.
Begin your journey in Old Havana, the historical city center and famous UNESCO heritage area. Engage with resident musicians and artists at Callejón de Hamel, a street rife with art displays and public music performances. Learn about organic farming at Vivero Organopónico and get to know the students and teachers at a school committed to preserving Cuba’s cultural and architectural heritage by training local youth in arts, crafts and theoretical knowledge.
From Havana, travel to the Pinar del Río province. This is western country – a tranquil land with a temperate climate and decidedly fewer tourists than the big city. Here your Cuban guide introduces you to Sierra del Rosario, a wooded range and UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve that flaunts waterfalls and flower-lined paths. To put its wonder in perspective, meet with residents from Las Terrazas, a small community and nature reserve situated therein.
Next, journey to Viñales Valley, where red earth and unique stone formations greet you like a mirage. This farming region is traversed by modest guajiros (peasant farmers), who you’ll come to know as you spend time chatting and soaking up their way of life.
The final leg of your trip spent exploring the town of Pinar del Río. Sit down for meaningful conversations with local residents and tobacco famers and learn about the history of the plants in the region and how its commerce runs today. Of course there is more to explore, from unique Corinthian column architecture to a children’s art therapy program, before you journey back to Havana.
- First-class accommodations
- Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
- All meals while in Cuba
- U.S. Treasury Department License and Letter of Authorization
- Insight Cuba Tour Leader
- Cuban Guide
- Small group size of no more than 24 guests
- All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
- All in-country ground transportation, and airport transfers
- Guaranteed flights from Miami to Cuba and priority handling (flight cost is additional)
- Travel health insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and trip cancellation coverage (up to $1,000)
- Insight Cuba Travel Guidebook
- 24 hour emergency customer service hotline
*A significant portion of your in-country programming is customized for each group to maximize your cultural experience. Many of the places we visit are not tourist destinations and are thus not always available. Therefore, this program should be considered as a sample only – please keep in mind that your particular tour may vary. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.
Day 1: Miami/Havana
Welcome to Havana! After clearing immigrations and customs, your Cuban guide accompanies you to your hotel in the heart of the country’s capital. Get your feet wet with an afternoon program orientation. Later that evening, celebrate your arrival with a welcome dinner at the hotel. (L*, D) (*For early arrivals)
Day 2: Havana
After breakfast, participate in an exchange with musicians and artists at Callejón de Hamel, a Havana street featuring hundreds of art displays and public music performances. Mid-morning, gather with Cuban farmers and administrators at Vivero Organopónico in Alamar to learn about organic farming and its role in providing food in urban areas. After lunch we’ll make a visit to Casa Taller Antonia Eiriz before wrapping up our day alongside artists from the Muraleando Community Project, discussing the effects that art can have on the aesthetic nature of a community. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Havana
This morning we gather with students and professors from La Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos to learn about the school’s effort to preserve Cuba’s cultural and architectural heritage by training local youth in arts, crafts and theoretical knowledge. Next it’s on to the Compañía de Baile Español ballet dance company to meet the company director and discuss the role of dance in Cuban culture. Your day is complete with a visit to the Alas de Mariposa, where crafts are created by the community’s elderly women. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Havana
After a morning lecture at the Casa de Las Americas, we’re off to meet the Cuban students and chefs at the Culinary School of Havana, where we’ll sit down to a lunch to discuss the challenges Cuban chefs face in procuring fresh foods and the influence of international cooking methods on their business. After lunch, meet with members of the congregation of a local Synagogue to discuss the history of Judaism in Cuba and the history of religious freedoms in the U.S. Finally, make your way to La Casa del Niño y la Niña in Centro Habana, an academic after-school outreach program for kids in troubled neighborhoods. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Havana/Pinar del Río
Our first stop today is to meet with children and parents at a community project focused on art, gardening, and academics. Next, meet with residents and a family doctor in the La Guabina community to learn about socialized medicine and healthcare. Finally, visit with a prominent artist in his private studio to discuss how artists make a living in Cuba and the role of national and international organizations in supporting the arts in both the U.S. and Cuba. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Pinar del Río
It’s time to hit the town of Pinar del Rio. Participate in an exchange with local residents and tobacco farmers and come away with an understanding of the history of tobacco in the region, how the plants are cultivated and how the system is monetized today. After getting to know the students at a local primary school, we’ll sit down with Cuban farmers, growers and organizers at the Jardin de Caridad, a privately owned garden, where we’ll learn about Cuba’s native plants, flowers and other agriculture. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Pinar del Río/Havana
Before heading back to bustling Havana, meet residents and leaders from Las Terrazas, a small community and nature reserve situated in Sierra del Rosario. Next, knock at the doors of a distinguished Cuban artist in the fishing village of Jaimanitas. “Fusterlandia,” as it’s called, is a community project dedicated to beautifying the neighborhood; discuss its impact during an intimate chat. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Havana/Miami
After breakfast, bid farewell to Cuba as you board your flight home. (B)
Tour Dates & Prices
Scenic Cuba Tour
|Date||Double Occupancy (per person)||Status|
|May 25, 2013 – Jun 1, 2013||$3,195||Sold Out|
|Jun 8, 2013 – Jun 15, 2013||$3,195||Save $600 for Two. Call for Details.||Sold Out|
|Jul 6, 2013 – Jul 13, 2013||$3,195||Save $600 for Two. Call for Details.||Sold Out|
|Aug 3, 2013 – Aug 10, 2013||$3,195||CALL NOW|
|Sep 14, 2013 – Sep 21, 2013||$3,195||Only 5 spots left!||Save $600 for Two. Call for Details.||Book Now!|
|Oct 12, 2013 – Oct 19, 2013||$3,195||CALL NOW|
|Nov 2, 2013 – Nov 9, 2013||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Nov 23, 2013 – Nov 30, 2013||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Dec 7, 2013 – Dec 14, 2013||$3,495||Sold Out|
|Dec 14, 2013 – Dec 21, 2013||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Dec 21, 2013 – Dec 28, 2013||$3,595||Book Now!|
|Dec 26, 2013 – Jan 2, 2014||$3,895||Book Now!|
|Dec 28, 2013 – Jan 4, 2014||$3,895||Book Now!|
|Jan 11, 2014 – Jan 18, 2014||$3,495||CALL NOW|
|Jan 25, 2014 – Feb 1, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Feb 8, 2014 – Feb 15, 2014||$3,495||CALL NOW|
|Feb 22, 2014 – Mar 1, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Mar 8, 2014 – Mar 15, 2014||$3,495||CALL NOW|
|Mar 22, 2014 – Mar 29, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Apr 5, 2014 – Apr 12, 2014||$3,495||CALL NOW|
|Apr 19, 2014 – Apr 26, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|May 10, 2014 – May 17, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|May 31, 2014 – Jun 7, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
|Jun 21, 2014 – Jun 28, 2014||$3,495||Book Now!|
Single Supplement: For single-occupancy pricing, add $300.
For peak dates (Dec 21-28, Dec 26-Jan 2, Dec 28-Jan 4) add $400.
All departures after September 30, 2013 are pending license approval.