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AVENTURA EN CUBA

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Aventura en Cuba with extension option

Havana and Viñales . . . an adventure by Nancy Torres LLC and Cassie in Cuba

 

Extension Option:  Varadero and Trinidad

Join me on a trip of a lifetime to an unforgettable destination which very few Americans have experienced.  Cuba opened to Americans a few years ago and that may change in the future.  I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to see this amazing and colorful place while you still can.  Policies change all the time due to politics between both countries so if you've ever wanted to experience this beautiful place, let's go! Havana and Vinales are on the basic itinerary and we are offering an extension with more dreamy cultural experiences with all the sights, sounds and flavors of this beautiful island! 

Words cannot express the beauty of this place.  THIS was a dream of mine growing up.  My father spoke of Cuba all through my teen years and when it opened to Americans, I jumped at the chance, not once but twice! 

 

There are restrictions which are vital to remember:

  • Traveling to Cuba: It is important to note that you CANNOT VISIT AS AN AMERICAN TOURIST.  We can only travel there under approved guidelines and we, as a group will be going under the license "In support of the Cuban People" and we have set up the itinerary to follow all necessary regulations for this. To clarify, going to Cuba is perfectly legal as long as we abide by the rules put in place by the US government. To comply with this requirement, one must fill out the necessary documentation declaring our intent. 
  • Paying for trip: NO BANKING TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING CUBA ARE ALLOWED.  PAYMENTS WILL BE SENT DIRECTLY TO ME WITH NO MENTION OF THE COUNTRY OR YOU RISK HAVING YOUR MONEY SEIZED. 
  • Bringing cash on trip:  You must bring cash on your trip to Cuba because credit cards cannot be used by Americans.  Again, no banking or using ATMs in Cuba.
  • Travel requirements:  You must obtain a Cuban Visa. Your passport must have 6 months validity prior to trip with 2 blank pages.
  • Travel insurance: Proof of medical /travel insurance coverage insurance is required. If we need travel insurance, I know Faye Travel Insurance covers in Cuba. Here is my affiliate link, feel free to compare prices, coverage etc with other companies. Even if they mention worldwide coverage, verify they cover in Cuba specifically. Allianz is another that covers in Cuba.
  • Covid 19 vaccinations: You can find up-to-date info on covid vaccination requirements for Cuba here. You may or may not need it but I have read about some people being chosen randomly to provide this proof and/or be tested there. This can change but at this time, they are requiring proof so have that vaccine card ready.  There are reports that Cuba has the highest vaccination rate in the world according to the Cuban government.
  • Read about other requirements here.

 

Why should you consider visiting Cuba? 

Going to Cuba is like stepping back in time . . . with its grand architecture, countless heritage sites which includes nine UNESCO sites. Classic cars are abound throughout the island. Cuba was unable to import foreign cars, as a result, the old cars became a symbol of the country. Cuba's music and culture along with the mixture of native, African and European influences make Cuba diverse and lively!

  

The introduction of communisim in 1959 had a big impact on the people both in a positive and negative way.  As a result, the US cut ties with Cuba until recently. Bringing a group of travelers "in support of the Cuban people" can impact their lives greatly while allowing us to learn about their way of life in the process. Americans have been shut out of Cuba for a long time so we must tread lightly when visiting but it can be done legally up to this point.  In the future, this may change, so I am excited to be able to bring you there to support the locals and feel good about what we're doing! 
 

It takes a little work to get there but nevertheless, it is so worth it!  Cuba is fascinating and beautiful and has so much to be admired!  I look forward to returning there once again and bringing my travel besties along with me . . . riding in classic cars throughout the entire island! Who's ready to come along on this amazing trip full of beautiful sights and Cuban cowboys . . . things dreams are made of!  Vamos! xoxo

SEE YOU IN CUBA! heart

 

 

 

Arrival in Havana

Location : Havana, Cuba

Day 1

Arrive in Havana and be collected in classic cars. 

Drive through the city and breathe in your first impressions of Havana.

Check in to accommodation in Havana Vieja.
Time to settle in, freshen up, enjoy a mojito on the terrace. 

Welcome dinner at a popular restaurant nearby.

 

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Introduction to Havana

Location : Havana, Cuba

Day 2

After a full breakfast on the terrace with views over the city, we'll head out into Havana Vieja together. 

Guided by a local, explore the beautiful but complex streets of Havana and soak in the atmosphere. We'll visit the main points, the 4 church squares, the infamous Calle Obispo and enjoy a drink at Hemingway's La Floridita. 

Lunch at a divine restaurant in Havana Vieja to end the tour. 

Free afternoon. 

At 17:00 reconvene for the convertible car tour with a photographer to capture the moments, cruising along the Malecon as the sun begins to set. 

Be dropped off at the restaurant chosen for dinner, and see where the night takes us!

 

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A little deeper into Havana

Location : Havana, Cuba

Day 3

After breakfast on the terrace, we'll be joined by a fascinating local Cuban journalist. 

Not many visitors to the island can have such a direct insight into the real lives of the Cubans, their history, the politics or their economy. Use this time to ask all the questions you've got, or just listen as she talks about how Cuba became what it is today. 

Around 11am we'll be collected by the classic cars to head off to Fusterlandia and the the Rum Factory. (The cars will stay with us for this trip, take us to lunch, and then return us to the accommodation.)

Early evening we'll walk to a private rooftop location for a private Cuban cocktail making class! What a location to be learning about, making and sipping on your very own 'canchanchara' or 'cuban mojito'. 

When we're finished, we'll head down the road to a nearby popular restaurant for dinner and see where the night takes you!

 

 

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Adios Havana! Hola Viñales!

Location : Vinales, Cuba

Day 4

After breakfast, it's time to pack up and check out of Hectic Havana, and head west to more tranquil regions.  

The classic cars will collect us at 11:00 so you can enjoy a slow morning and leisurely breakfast.

We'll drive a couple of hours west to Viñales. We'll stop at Los Jazmines viewpoint upon entering the village - always a jaw dropping experience. 

Check-in to the accommodations and enjoy a welcome juice on the rooftop terrace overlooking the national park. 

Enjoy a free couple of hours, before being whisked up to Finca Agroecológica El Paraiso for a stunning sunset, an anti-stress cocktail (or two), and some delicious traditional Cuban food. 

A night out on the town, or an early one to feel fresh tomorrow - you choose. 

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Explore the tobacco fields of Cuba!

Location : Vinales, Cuba

Day 5

Traditional breakfasts, Viñales style, with lashings of strong coffee and fresh fruit juices. 

Fuel up, because it's an active day! 

A Cuban Cowboy will knock at the door to collect us at 10:00. Walk just 2 minutes down from the accommodation to the entrance to the national park, where the horses will be waiting.

Ride the horses through the park, with stunning views and meeting locals along the way. Visit a hidden cave where you can enter and even swim in a darkened lagoon if you dare! 

After the cave, continue the horseback tour to our family farm. Here we'll have a unique and in-depth tour with the local tobacco farmers, who will talk to the group about the process of growing tobacco and eventually making cigars. 

Taste the hand-made cigars with a swig of locally made rum and a shot of home-grown coffee. 

When the tour is finished, we'll settle down to a plentiful farm-to-table lunch in the farm. Rice, beans, and all the trimmings. 

When we're ready (and there's no rush - these guys are known for an impromptu game of dominoes or some salsa dancing in the middle of the national park), we'll head back to your casa. 

Relax, freshen up, ready for dinner at a popular restaurant in town followed by drinks at a live music bar just minutes walk from home. 

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Beach Day!

Day 6

What we've all been waiting for - a day to enjoy the white sands and turquoise waters of the Caribbean! 

After breakfast we'll be picked up by classic cars for a day trip to the beautiful Cayo Jutias. Prepare yourselves - it's a bumpy ride but a fun one nonetheless!

Time to relax, soak in the rays, enjoy a fresh lobster lunch cooked on the BBQ on the beach, and reflect on your time here in Cuba. 

Usually heading back to Viñales around 4pm and arriving around 5:30pm. Shower and freshen up whilst your hosts are busy in the kitchen preparing a delicious home cooked meal to share. 

Enjoy a quiet evening sipping mojitos on the rooftop, or head up into town for some more salsa with the locals!

**Please pack a beach towel 

 

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Viñales to Havana!

Location : Vinales, Cuba

Day 7

After breakfast, it's time for one last countryside adventure! 

We'll be collected by horse and cart for a unique experience. We'll ride through the town, seeing new parts and greeting the locals, and head out towards the Cueva del Indio and the beautiful landscape in this area. 

Enjoy the Cueva del Indio and the boat ride through the cave, before coming back through the town - stopping off for a coffee and piece of flan at our family's house (where we're building our eco-farm!) for a quick tour.. This is a unique and beautiful experience, catching a glimpse into a real Cuban home in the countryside away from tourism. 

We'll head back to the accommodations, freshen up, ready to check out at 13:00 and head back to Havana. 

We'll stop for a light lunch along the way, before arriving and checking back into to your accommodation in Havana. 

It's your last day, so enjoy a free afternoon in Havana to do as you please! If you want a cooking class, salsa class, boxing class, cocktail making class, we can organise this for an extra cost. 

We'll reconvene for dinner at 19:00 and head to a nearby restaurant for our last hurrah. 

 

 

 

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Adios Cuba! (Or will you stay for the EXTENSION?)

Location : Varadero, Cuba

Day 8

If you're leaving us today... It's time to say goodbye to Cuba. Today will depend on your flight times. You can stay in the accommodation until 11:30 and leave luggage for longer if necessary. 

Our classic cars will take you to the airport for when you need to be there. 

Hasta la próxima!

CAVEAT:  THINGS CAN CHANGE IN AN INSTANCE IN CUBA OR BECOME UNAVAILABLE.  PLEASE KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND BE READY TO CHANGE ITINERARY AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE.

EXTENSION!!

If you're staying with us for a little longer... Today we're off early to Varadero to escape the city and enjoy the glorious beach. We'll have a picnic al-fresco and you'll have a chance to relax and reflect on your Cuban experiences so far. 

We'll be heading back to Havana early evening to freshen up and head out for dinner. 

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Trinidad calls

Location : Trinidad, Cuba

Day 9 - EXTENSION

We're up early today to make the most of the day. 

It's a 4 hour drive from Havana to Trinidad but it'll be well worth it! We'll stop regularly along the way and there'll be some beautiful sites to see on the journey. 

Check-in to accommodation around 12:00 and we'll have lunch served there shortly after. 

14:00 we'll be collected for a walking tour of the historical and beautiful colonial town. We'll take you to the most beautiful spots, talk to you about the historical aspects of the town, and soak in the Caribbean atmosphere. Enjoy some free time before we head out for dinner at 19:00. 

Can anyone be tempted with some salsa, too...? 

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Trinidad hiking and beach

Location : Trinidad, Cuba

Day 10 - EXTENSION

Trinidad - hiking and beach!

We're up early to take advantage of the silent valleys and the cooler temperatures, as we hike through the national park of Trinidad to find some beautiful pools and waterfalls. 

After lunch, we'll head off to Playa Ancon - the nearby and very beautiful beach, to relax and soak in those rays after our active morning! 

Dinner and drinks. 

 

 

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El Nicho Waterfall Trek

Location : El Nicho, Cuba

Day 11 - EXTENSION

As we wave goodbye to Trinidad, we head off to the incredible El Nicho National Park, hidden deep within the province of Sancti Spiritus. 

After a breathtaking drive to the entrance, we'll walk (it's not strenuous) through the stunning landscape and jump in the crystal clear waterfalls. It's truly a wonder and a 'must-do' in Cuba. 

After, we'll continue back in the classic cars to Havana for our final evening together. 

Dinner is in a highly rated location, known to many a superstar (or even a much loved President during his trip to Cuba!), and it's reservation only. We've got the contacts, and you'll be served at the best table going. It's worth sticking around for. 

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Adios Cuba, for the final time!

Location : Havana, Cuba

Day 12 - EXTENSION

Sadly, today's the day we must depart. But you'll depart with hearts full of new memories, new friends and new once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

Check-out is at 11am latest but you can leave your bags if you want to take the afternoon to explore before an evening flight. We can help with any final activities or souvenir shopping if you'd like. 

We'll take you to the airport in style, and wave you a fond farewell. 

CAVEAT:  THINGS CAN CHANGE IN AN INSTANCE IN CUBA OR BECOME UNAVAILABLE.  PLEASE KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND BE READY TO CHANGE ITINERARY AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE.

 

 

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Cassie in Cuba

Cassie in Cuba and I joined forces to bring you this amazing trip! I had been in touch with Cassie for some time.  I knew I wanted to bring groups to experience this amazing place and who better to do it with than Cassie. 

Cassie is a native of England and went on Holiday in Cuba where she met her Cuban cowboy who is now her husband and since then, she has been involved with growing a following for Cuba experiences.  She is very much involved with the family farm in Vinales and has networked with so many locals throughout the island to bring these amazing cultural experiences while supporting the Cuban people directly.  

She will be with us on the entire trip and I can't be more excited!

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inclusions

Airport transfers in classic cars & up to 3 trips between Havana/Airport

Accommodations in quality casa particulares

All breakfasts - A full traditional breakfast each morning in the cases

All lunches - A range of dishes in restaurants / farms - buffet style

Dinners

Transportation - Classic cars always - transport within towns & interprovincial

All excursions - All excursions as per itinerary

Photographer for a few hours in Havana to capture beautiful shots in the evening

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Exclusions

Flights to and from Cuba

Visas

Drinks

Coffee and juices will be included at breakfast; all other drinks will need to be paid by clients

Tips for drivers, guide etc.

Always recommended to bring tips (USD or EUR)

Personal purchases

Extra food, extra taxi trips outside of the set itinerary, extra excursions outside of the set itinerary

Alcohol

Travel insurance - I recommend using Faye which is not a third party and you will always  get a live agent and there are no claim forms.  Here is my link

You can also use World Nomads or Allianz

 

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Travel Agreement - Waiver Required

Please read the travel agreement - waiver.  It is a requirement for the trip.  Fill in the document, select if you will be purchasing travel insurance or waiving it (although I highly recommend it to protect you in case of illness or unforeseen circumstances). 

TRAVEL INSURANCE is mandatory for entering Cuba.  I recommend  FAYE travel insurance which is not a third party company.  You will always have a live agent and there are no claim forms to fill out.  Here is my affiliate link

World Nomads is another choice.  

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Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory to enter Cuba.  Cuba mentions medical insurance and covid insurance is mandatory.  If your personal insurance covers, you may not need travel insurance but that's something I will inquire about.

My recommendations are Faye travel insurance which not a third party company, has live agents and no claims to file. Here is my affiliate link

Also check out World Nomads or Allianz as well

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Travel Requirements

Location : Cuba

Cuba travel information

It is imperative to note:  You are not traveling to Cuba as a tourist.  Please remember that. You are going under the license, "IN SUPPORT OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE".

You cannot mention Cuba in payment at all.  All payments must be done via zelle, venmo, cashapp, paypal or check to me etc.  NO MENTION OF CUBA OR THEY MAY SEIZE YOUR MONEY.  AMERICANS CANNOT BANK OR DO BUSINESS WITH CUBA OR ANYTHING RELATED TO CUBA.

Payments cannot be accepted through the platform.

 

 

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Currency

At this time, we should plan to bring cash to Cuba and plenty of it if you plan to bring back cigars or anything else.  You cannot use credit cards in Cuba.  We can exchange dollars for the Cuban currency at arrival but it may include a hefty fee.  

We may be able to exchange for Euros and then switch over to Cuban money upon arrival.  Things can change quickly so we will revisit prior to trip.

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Visa

Location : Cuba
Visa is $50 and can be purchased directly through the embassy or through this link
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Passport

Passport must be valid for 6 months prior to travel with at least two blank page. 

REAL ID will be required as of May 3, 2023.  Will be needed for CLEAR as well.

REMINDER:  You are not traveling to Cuba as a "tourist".  You are traveling under the license "In support of the Cuban People"

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Packing Tips

Location : Havana, Cuba

Keep in mind that we will be on the move often. A medium or smaller suitcase may be easier to transport and fit in cars. smiley Cuba uses the same type of plug ins as the US. 

International adapter not needed.

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Cell phone service

Location : Havana, Cuba
Cell phone service is scarce to non-existent on the island.  There are some wifi locations so we will have occasional phone service.  SIM cards are not recommended because it takes a while and can create more problems to install in particular phones.
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Location
Cuba
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