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Spotlight on Havana

Starting at 14,000 Vacation Club Points
6 Days | 10 Meals

Join us as we cross a cultural divide, exploring the art, history and culture of the Cuban people. Spend 5 nights in Havana, one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, at the iconic Iberostar Parque Central. Explore the city’s architecture and UNESCO sites during a walking tour of Old Havana. Discover Havana’s rich history at historic cathedrals, colonial homes, the Revolution Museum and the Cuban Fine Arts Museum. Visit Colon Cemetery, one of the most elaborate and historical in the world. Learn the rhythms of Cuba during a salsa dance lesson, a performance at an arts school and a Buena Vista Social Club performance. Visit Casa Fuster, inspired by Spain’s famous architect, Antonio Gaudí. Marvel at Viñales Valley’s breathtaking vistas and tobacco plantations. Meet a Cuban family in their very own paladar, a privately owned restaurant. Make your way to Finca Vigia, or Lookout House, Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home. Complete your visit with a trip around Havana in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for.

Tour Highlights

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    Delve into the world of classic cars as you meet the owners of these restored vehicles.
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    Partake in a salsa dance lesson in Old Havana.
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    Enjoy a musical performance by local children at their performing arts school.

Itinerary

16,000 Vacation Club Points | 6 Days | 10 Meals

Day 1: Havana, Cuba - Tour Begins

Your journey begins as you fly to Havana, Cuba. See Revolution Square as you transfer to your hotel in the heart of historic Havana. Meet your fellow travelers during a rooftop dinner with amazing views overlooking Parque Central, the Great Theatre of Havana and “El Capitolio” (the National Capitol Building).

Today dinner will be included.

Day 2: Havana

Your morning begins with a visit to the Revolution Museum in what was once the Presidential Palace. Gain insight into Cuban history during the 1950s revolutionary war period. Enjoy a tour of Old Havana on foot and visit Plaza San Francisco de Asis, Plaza de la Cathedral, along with many of the city’s other historical squares and UNESCO sites which make Old Havana very special. Then it’s time to salsa! Continue to enjoy Old Havana while you interact with some professional salsa dancers. Strike up a conversation with the dancers and hear about their lives and Cuba's dance culture while learning some of the basic steps of this remarkable dance. This afternoon you are in for a treat as we visit a local performing arts school and meet its creative students who will showcase their talents.

Today breakfast will be included.

Day 3: Havana - Casa Fuster - Havana

Arrive at Colon Cemetery, officially known as “Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón.” Named after Christopher Columbus, this 140 acre cemetery contains more than 500 mausoleums and chapels. Considered one of the most elaborate and historical cemeteries in the world, you are sure to be impressed by its architectural beauty. Later, travel to Casa Fuster for an insider’s look at the work and life of Cuban artist Jose Fuster, whose artwork was inspired by Spain’s famous architect, Antonio Gaudi. Enjoy lunch at a local paladar where you will meet the proprietors of this family-run, privately-owned specialty restaurant. Tour the grounds including their own organic farm. This evening the sounds of yesteryear come alive when you attend a Buena Vista Social Club for dinner and a performance.

Today breakfast , lunch and dinner will be included.

Day 4: Havana - Pinar del Rio - Viñales Valley - Havana

Venture into the westernmost province of Cuba, Pinar del Rio, and visit Viñales Valley (UNESCO). Referred to as the “Yosemite of Cuba,” the valley is surrounded by limestone cliffs called mogotes. The valley itself is quite fertile. Tobacco and some other crops are still cultivated here using traditional agricultural techniques. Visit a local tobacco plantation and meet the farmers who still adhere to these timeless methods. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at a local finca or countryside home. Return to Havana for an evening to explore on your own.

Today breakfast and lunch will be included.

Day 5: Havana - Finca Vigia - Havana

Your day begins with a visit to Hamel Alley, a Havana neighborhood known for its Afro-Cuban murals which artist Salvador González Escalona famously began in 1990. Then, walk through the dramatic evolution of Cuban art at the Cuban Fine Arts Museum. Afterwards, visit a nearby park where local antique car owners gather. Discuss how car ownership in Cuba works, along with the ingenious ways they keep these classics running. We then make our way to Finca Vigia, or “Lookout House,” Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba home located in the small town of San Francisco de Paula. Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels here: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. This evening, take a trip around Havana in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for. Finally, savor dinner in one of Havana’s finest restaurants as you celebrate an amazing journey and your new Cuban friends.

Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 6: Havana - USA - Tour Ends

Your Cuba adventure comes to a close today. Return home with vivid memories of this beautiful country and the rich personal experiences you shared with the people of Cuba.

Today breakfast will be included.

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Know Before You Go

Passport & Visa Information

Certain countries require a minimum of 6 months passport validity. You are strongly urged to contact the appropriate consulate for details.

IMPORTANT

We recommend that our clients travelling abroad take a photocopy of their passport and applicable visas. It should be packed separately from your actual passport and visa. We also recommend leaving a copy at home with your emergency contact.

Please Note

To complete your tour, we include roundtrip airport-to-hotel transfers when purchasing our airfare with your tour. If you have arranged for your own air, we are pleased to provide you the option of purchasing these transfers. Please note that all transfers will leave at pre-scheduled times.

Single accommodations are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Triple and child accommodations are not available.

Cuba is a country that has been inaccessible to Americans for decades, and it is important to go into this experience with an open mind and make the most of every moment. The increased interest in Cuba has placed heavy demands on limited resources and infrastructure, which may result in lower standards of hotels and amenities than you are accustomed to. Temporary power outages, low water pressure or limited air conditioning are not uncommon in Cuba. It is important to remain flexible as some changes to the itinerary may be necessary while on tour due to situations beyond our control. Keep in mind, the purpose of this trip is to have meaningful interactions with the locals. Many places visited are not typical tourist destinations and thus not always accessible. If a planned people-to-people exchange isn’t available, it will be replaced with another one just as enriching, and your full people-to-people experience will be preserved. It is an exciting time as your trip to Cuba is both historic as well as culturally diverse.

Due to heavy demand for this destination and our ability to provide intimate cultural interactions with the local people of Cuba, this tour will operate with a maximum of 40 guests.

In order to fulfill OFAC’s licensing requirements on this tour, you will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in a meaningful interaction between the traveler, you, and individuals in Cuba. The itinerary has been designed with these requirements in mind and there will be no leisure time on this program as on other Collette tours. The days and order of sightseeing may change to best utilize your time on tour and to better facilitate meaningful educational exchanges. Due to unforeseen circumstances and schedule changes, educational visits may be interchanged with similar activities.

This is an educational program that requires full-time participation; therefore, we require participants to be at least 15 years of age.

Collette Travel Service, Inc. d/b/a Collette is offering travel services to Cuba intended to meet the “people-to-people” educational activities under the provisions promulgated under title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations section 515 as issued by the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Such travel is permitted by general license. The general license authorizes registered guests of our programs, under the auspices of Collette, to legally travel to Cuba, to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized educational exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between you and people in Cuba. Prior to departure, Collette will provide you with a Letter of Authorization to confirm your legal travel status, the authorized travel agenda and activities, and your recordkeeping responsibilities. Each guest is required to keep a general written record of each day's activities in Cuba as to the various sites visited and transactions or activities engaged in. Such records shall be kept and retained by each guest to be made available for examination upon demand (by OFAC) for at least five (5) years from the date of each transaction.

Please be advised many airlines do not provide advance seat assignments until check-in at the airport. Advance seating will be subject to the airline's terms and conditions.

All guests are required to obtain a Cuban Tourist Visa. Application for the tourist visa card is at point of exit from the United States to Cuba, provided by the airline at your own cost of approximately $100 USD per person. Rates are approximate and can be changed at any time based on governing authority.

Pace

This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.