Timeworn, but magnificent. Dilapidated, but dignified. Fun, yet maddeningly frustrating. Cuba is a country of indefinable magic.
I like writer Brendan Sainsbury’s quote about Cuba, “Cuba is like a prince in a poor man’s coat: behind the sometimes shabby facades, gold dust lingers.” Existing through en economic embargo that has lasted more than half a century, Cuba’s colonial cities haven’t changed much since pirates roamed the Caribbean. The atmosphere and architecture is particularly stirring in places like Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad where grandiose squares and cobbled streets tell of opulence and intrigue.
Join Explore Amazing Places and cruise the ocean front Malecon of Havana in a 57 Chevy. Experience history as we stay in the the Hotel Nacional, where ousted president Gerardo Machado took refuge during the Sergeants’ Revolt of 1933. Be welcomed into gorgeous Casa Privadas, “Private Homes” of Cuban artists in the colonial city of Trinidad where you’ll also be able to enjoy the warm white sands of Playa Ancon. Your Explore Amazing Places experience of Cuba will be second to none.
Cost: $2,600 per person Single Supplement: $690
Our Travel Itinerary
October 25th - November 1st
Friday, October 25th
Fly to Havana and after clearing customs, please exit the terminal. Be sure to have a dollar or two handy if you need help getting your luggage to the bus. You will be met and taken to the beautiful Hotel Nacional De Cuba in Vedado, an upscale area of the city poised along Havana’s beautiful Malecon, where we will spend the night.
Because travelers will be arriving at all different hours, dinner will be on your own tonight. The hotel has several restaurant options, as well as room service.
Saturday, October 26th
We’ll enjoy a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before heading out on a driving tour of Havana.
A fleet of classic American convertibles will arrive at the hotel to whisk us away on an incredible tour of old and new Havana. We’ll enjoy sites such as the Plaza De Revolution and the Iglesia Del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus before cruising down the seaside Malecon. We’ll be sure to stop and take pictures and breathe in the inspiration of colonial buildings, Spanish forts alongside the modern homage to Cuba’s Socialist Revolution. Our driving tour will end in Old Havana where we’ll enjoy a brief walking tour of the old heart of the city.
Following our walking tour, we’ll enjoy lunch at a location in Old Havana. Then it’s your time to explore the city. Stroll through artist borough’s, or visit one of the countless museums that line the cobblestone streets of Old Havana. Be sure to stop by the Cathedral De Havana and admire the oldest church on the island. Equipped with the hotel information, you’ll have the option of retiring home to rest and prep for dinner anytime you’d like.
We’ll enjoy an excellent menu of local food cooked on charcoal and served in clay pots at the Creole restaurant, La Barraca. (B,D)
Sunday, October 27th
This morning we’ll take time to dive into the history of Cuba’s modern revolution. We’ll tour El Museo De La Revolution, (Revolutionary Museum) and learn about Castro’s plight to return Cuba to it’s people.
Following our tour, we’ll enjoy lunch together at a nearby cafe.
This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to learn something new. We’ll enjoy a private lesson on the history of the Cuban cigar. This will be a hands on experience with an opportunity to roll your own cigar. In addition to creating cigars, we’ll also learn how to make the perfect Cuban mojito. Our afternoon will be spent enjoying a crisp, minty mojito and, if it’s up your alley, a custom made Cuban cigar. Spend a few hours being introduced to your inner Cuban.
Drinks at the hotel veranda
Dinner will be at the hotel at La Barranca
This evening, we’ll stay late to enjoy a taste of the classic Cuba, a la 1930’s, Cabaret Parisien at the Hotel Nacional offers a great Show "Cubano, Cubano”. (B,L,D)
Monday, October 28th
Havana & Trinidad
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then collect your bags. You’ll need to have them to the lobby by 8:30 in order to check out and board the bus for Trinidad.
We have a 4 hour drive through the Cuban countryside this morning. You’ll see countless farms and open roads as we find our way to the city of Cienfuegos and our ultimate destination, Trinidad. Trinidad, being a small city, has very few hotels that can accommodate groups of 15 or more people. That gives us the opportunity to enjoy staying at casa paticulares, (private homes) near the city center. We’ll break into smaller groups and check into our prospective houses. Lunch will be waiting when we arrive.
We’ll take some time to get to know this beautiful and historic city. We’ll traverse the cobblestone streets, hear music from almost every corner and see countless art shops. We’ll explore museums and learn about the history of Trinidad from it’s early roots to the roll it played during the revolution.
Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at the home of Lia Llorente and Pachi Ruiz at the fabulous Duo Cofradia. You’ll be treated to a meal prepared by a private chef and music performed by our hosts themselves. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, October 29th
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast prepared by your hosts.
Are you ready for an adventure? This morning we’ll delve into Trinidad’s past as we board an antique train, led by a modern locomotive as it rumbles out into the Agabama valley, better known as the Unesco-protected Valley of the Sugar Mills. The train pulls up at the Hacienda Iznaga and its slave-watching tower which, today, offers views of the undulating hills. After lunch in the old plantation hacienda, explore the hidden ruins of the saccharine revolution. The interior of the Hacienda Guáimaro features the exotic faded frescoes of Italian artist Daniele Dal’Aglio, while the remains of the San Isidro de los Destiladeros mill are framed by the boughs of a huge flame tree.
We’ll enjoy dinner together at a steak house in Trinidad. When you return home, be sure to let your hosts know what time you’d like to have breakfast in the morning. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, October 30th
Trinidad & Ancón
Once again, you’ll enjoy a private breakfast prepared by the hosts of your casa paticular. Following breakfast, the morning is yours. Feel free to explore the many museums that occupy Trinidad, or peruse the offerings of the street market near central park. You may just choose to relax in a nearby hammock with a good book and a fresh cup of Cuban coffee. Whatever you choose, this is your time, enjoy. Lunch will be on your own.
Following lunch, we’ll meet at a predetermined location to load our bus and head to Playa Ancón. A mere 15 minutes from Trinidad, Playa Ancón is a ribbon of white sand beach on Sancti Spiritus’ iridescent Caribbean shoreline. Many consider it to be the finest arc of sand on Cuba’s south shore. Our time on the beach should be an extension of your leisurely morning. You’ll be able to enjoy the sand beneath your feet and the warm, renewing waters of the Caribbean. Sip on a mojito and let your stresses float away. We’ll return home around 5pm.
We’ll gather at the San Jose Restaurante for libations before dinner
Prepare to enjoy an incredible meal at Restaurante San Jose. (B,D)
Thursday, October 31st
Trinidad & Havana
After a sumptuous breakfast you’ll need to gather your belongings and say your farewells to your hosts. We’ll hop aboard our bus and begin the journey back to Havana. Once again we’ll be checking in to the Hotel Nacional De Cuba. Upon check in, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a bite to eat at the Film Corner on the hotels main floor. Following lunch, feel free to explore the hotel grounds, or grab a cab to your favorite shop in Old Havana. This is your last day in the big city…make it count.
Tonight you’re in for a treat. We’ll dine at the luxurious hotel restaurant, Comedor de Aguiar where you’ll enjoy the best of national and international cuisine and a varied wine list. This will be our opportunity to celebrate the amazing time we’ve had exploring Cuba together. (B,D)
Friday, November 1st
Individual departures for return flights home. (B)
*Before you register, please read Explore Amazing Places Terms and Conditions
Included in your Tour: 8 days, 7 nights at unique luxury hotels ▪ Meals per itinerary, including tips ▪ Hotel Baggage handling and driver gratuities ▪ Deluxe motor coaches ▪ Excursions/entrance fees per itinerary
NOT Included: ▪ Airfare from your hometown to Havana, Cuba ▪ Airport baggage handling tips ▪ Alcohol or personal room charges ▪ Guide tip (when we provide a guide we recommend $3 - $5 per person)
Explore Amazing Places Tour: $2600 per person Double Occupancy
Single Supplement: $690 per person
Explore Amazing Places prefers payment to be made by check. You may make the $500 per person deposit*, pay your Balance Due, or pay the full amount for your tour by sending checks:
PAYABLE TO: John Korte
MAIL TO: Explore Amazing Places
20553 W Legend Trail
Buckeye, AZ 85396
*If you are registering 120 days or less prior to the departure date of your tour, you must pay for the trip in FULL, rather than a $500 deposit.
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