OUR GOAL IS TO PROVIDE REASONABLY-PRICED EXPEDITIONS WITH AN EMPHASIS ON SAFE, HEALTHY, RELAXED TRAVEL, WHILE EXPLORING HAVANA, THE COUNTRYSIDE, MOUNTAINS, & BEACHES.
Our programs for the remainder of 2017:
*Cuba’s Health Care System–10 Days/9 Nights: June 18-27; November 10-19; December 8-17, 2017; $2650 double-occupancy. The itinerary and details are posted below.
*Catholic Culture Tour–8 Days/7 Nights; Saturday-to-Saturday, beginning July 8, 2017; $3200 double-occupancy. (The participants are members of individual parishes. Additional travelers may be added at the discretion of each group’s leaders.) Please contact us for more details. The itinerary and more details are posted below.
Comments from recent travelers—
“I really enjoyed this trip. I was very surprised at the high quality of our housing and meals. After the first few days, I learned to relax. I felt safe throughout our trip, even when wandering around alone at night in Havana.” —Farah Krozan, Atlanta
“We are not in the health care field, but we enjoyed the medical presentations. We feel that was just about the right amount of exposure. We both especially enjoyed the trip to the national park in the mountains, Hemingway’s home, and the old American cars. Thanks for a wonderful trip.” —Bob Manning, San Jose
CUBA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: June 18-27; November 10-19; and December 8-17, 2017–10 Days/9 Nights. The price for our 2017 tours will be $2650 (double-occupancy). Single Supplement for Guaranteed Single Room is $350. On previous expeditions, the $550 cost of round-trip charter flights to Havana was included. Beginning on 2017 trips, the cost of these flights will NOT be included, but overall costs for travelers will be much less. If requested, we will be happy to assist you to arrange your flights.
Previous travelers have called our health care expeditions “Tours for Non-Tour people!” You do not have to be a health care professional to come along on these trips. We emphasize true people-to-people contact. Our accommodations have been selected because they are in the best locations. In addition to our program, we offer optional activities and more free time than more highly-structured commercial tours. Our itinerary includes most sights and activities you would expect on a first visit to Cuba. In addition, there will be conferences and presentations on a variety of health care topics. Travelers will have opportunities to interact with Cuban professionals and other citizens, so we can learn from each other.
Itineraries will allow our guests to see the highlights of today’s Cuba at a relaxed pace. There will be presentations, a variety of musical venues, visits to historic sites, and free time for guests to explore individual interests. Experienced Cuban travel professionals will arrange in-country accommodations and coordinate activities for our group.
Registered Nurses may earn 30.0 Continuing Education hours (CA C.E. Provider #15609). For more information, click on the NURSING EDUCATION button.
DETAILS AND ITINERARY for Cuba’s Health Care Expeditions: Each tour will be limited to just 16 travelers. We will be staying 6 nights in Havana, 2 nights at Varadero Beach, and one night at the historic Bay of Pigs. Our guide will be an English-speaking local travel specialist who will interpret for us when necessary. We will travel in air-conditioned buses to see the highlights of Cuba’s Capital City, visit the countryside, and relax at the beach, while learning about Cuba’s unique national health care system. We will be donating medical and school supplies to various facilities along the way.
To understand Cuba’s health care system, it is important that visitors also learn about Cuba’s geography, culture, and history, especially the history of U.S.-Cuba relations. During this people-to-people program, personal interactions will be emphasized, as required by the U.S. Treasury Department. Health care information and presentations will be interwoven into our overall program. Visitors will see most sights and activities a first-time visitor to Cuba would expect to see.
The following ITINERARY is only a partial list of activities. NOTE: Health Care expedition beginning on a Sunday will vary slightly from itinerary below.
Friday, Day One: Arrive Havana International Airport. Meet up with our Cuban guide and driver. Bus ride to Havana, where we’ll check into Havana’s iconic Hotel Nacionál. (We have just been seriously upgraded to this hotel by our Cuban agency.) After orientation meeting, we’ll have dinner, followed by a short optional walking tour to visit various music venues and discover Friday nightlife in Havana.
Saturday, Day Two: Walking Tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Presidential Palace Museum of the Revolution, Cathedral Square, and the Castillo de la Real Fuerzo, built in the 1500’s–the oldest fortress in the western hemisphere. Lunch in Paladar—a private in-home restaurant. Visit 2 other historic squares in Old Havana, Museum of Chocolate, and Hemingway’s Room in the Ambos Mundos Hotel. Afterwards there will be free time to visit crafts market.
Sunday, Day Three: Free time in the morning, including time to attend church. Visit Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Art. Tour of Central Havana, including Revolutionary Square, University of Havana, and Christopher Columbus Cemetery. Visit Morro Castle Fortress across the harbor. See military display of aircraft and missiles that were active during the 1962 Missile Crisis. Free Time in the afternoon.
Monday, Day Four : Meet with Representative of ICAP—which has helped the Cuban people maintain positive relations with Americans for the past few decades. Meet with representative of Ministry of Health. Visit Hotel Nacional. See military bunkers dug prior to the Missile Crisis. View display of newspapers from around the world describing the critical events of October 1962. Visit Celebrity Bar, with displays of photographs of dignitaries from all over the world. Lunch at Hotel. Afterwards, visit Cuban Nursing School. Visit Spy Museum; Free Time.
Tuesday, Day Five: Visit Pediatric Psychological Center; meet with patients and staff. Visit Havana Museum of Rum, Cigar Factory. Visit Murealando Community project. Visit local hospital: presentations by medical/nursing staff, followed by question and answer session. See Highlights of Havana in Vintage American Convertible Automobiles.
Wednesday, Day Six: Check-out; Travel to Finca Vigia–Hemingway’s country estate. Afterwards we will travel east and south to the historic Bay of Pigs. Visit wildlife exhibit for up-close interactions with crocodiles and other Cuban wildlife. Check-in to Hotel Playa Larga or casa particular. Dinner at local paladar.
Thursday, Day Seven: Visit Bay of Pigs Museum. Visit snorkeling area with easy access, colorful fish, and wonderful coral display. (Snorkel equipment provided.) Those not snorkeling can walk on trails and relax by the flat water of the Bay of Pigs. Travel north to the beautiful beach town of Varadero. Check-in to the ideally-located Cuatro Palmas–the small town’s main drag is right out front; a beautiful swimming beach is just out back.
Friday, Day Eight: Tour of Varadero area, including visits to Casa de Al (the former beachfront home of Al Capone), shopping at an artists fair in town, visit the DuPont Mansion Xanadu (built in 1929 by American chemist and multi-millionaire Irénée Dupont). Bus tour of Varadero Peninsula. Afternoon free time with many options. Dinner at Hotel. Attend CDR fiesta in local beach town, where we will be guests of honor. (This is always one of our highest-rated activities.) Afterwards, optional evening in town visiting The Beatles Nightclub.
Saturday, Day Nine: Free time with optional activities. Check-out and visit local children’s Fine Art Performing Group. Return to Havana along the north coast to view the Canyon of Rio Bacunayagua from Cuba’s highest bridge. Check-in in Havana, followed by free time. Farewell dinner and pre-departure fiesta at restaurant located on Plaza de San Francisco.
Sunday, Day Ten: Leave for Havana International Airport; return flights to U.S.
As with all tours of Cuba, this itinerary is subject to modification. We will strive to follow this schedule as closely as possible, but some events may be re-scheduled or modified as necessary. There will be additions to our itinerary as they become available on short notice. Our bus and driver will be at our disposal, and can take us to optional evening activities. We can return by taxi.
PRICE: $2650, double-occupancy. Single supplement for a guaranteed single room is +$350. INCLUDED: All Activities listed under Itinerary, General Travel License, Cuban Medical Insurance, Havana Airport Departure Tax, 9 nights accommodations, airport/hotel transfers, services of Cuban guides/interpreters, all breakfasts, eight lunches, and five dinners.
NOT INCLUDED: Flights to Havana and back from your home town, and Tourist Card (so-called “Cuban Visa”). You can purchase it from your airline. We will be happy to assist scheduling flights and arranging documentation. Also not included: four dinners, gratuities, and anything listed as “optional.”
CATHOLIC CULTURE TOUR: 8 Days/7 Nights; Saturday-to-Saturday beginning July 8, 2017. $3200 (double-occupancy). Single Supplement for Guaranteed Single Room is $350. Individual parishes will determine group composition.
The following ITINERARY is only a partial list of activities–we update as information becomes available. There will be free time each day, usually in the late afternoons and evenings.
Saturday, Day One: Arrive Havana International Airport. Meet up with our Cuban guide and driver. Bus ride to Havana, where we’ll check into our BnB Vacation Homes. After orientation meeting, we’ll have dinner, followed by a night tour in classic American cars. There will also be a short optional walking tour to visit various music venues and discover Friday nightlife in Havana.
Sunday, Day Two: After breakfast, attend Sunday Mass at Old Havana Cathedral. Lunch at Cafe Oriente. Walking Tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit other Old Havana Churches. Visit Cathedral Square, and the Castillo de la Real Fuerzo, built in the 1500’s–the oldest fortress in the western hemisphere. Visit Museum of Chocolate, and Hemingway’s Room in the Ambos Mundos Hotel. Dinner at Magic Flute Restaurant. Free time in evening.
Monday, Day Three: After breakfast, visit Presidential Palace Museum of the Revolution. Meet with priest and members of local Parish. Tour of Central Havana, including Revolutionary Square, University of Havana, and Christopher Columbus Cemetery. Visit most important churches in Havana, including Parroquia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Iglesia Jesus de Miramar, and Parroquia de Loyola, the tallest church in Havana. Dinner at Templete Restaurante. Free time in the evening.
Tuesday, Day Four: After breakfast, day trip to mountains around Las Terrazas. With local guide, visit coffee farm, ecological project, community development center. Lunch at Casa del Campesino. Visit Casa de Polo Montanez, a famous Cuban musician. Visit workshop of local artists. Return to Havana. Dinner on your own.
Wednesday, Day Five: After breakfast, day Trip to Varadero Beach. Stop at Bacunayagua Bridge, Cuba’s highest. Visit Finca Coincidencia and have lunch there. Visit DuPont Mansion and Al Capone’s beachfront home. Free time from 2:30pm to 6pm in town of Varadero for shopping or beach time. Dinner on your own. Return to Havana.
Thursday, Day Six: After breakfast, travel to Finca Vigia–Hemingway’s country estate. Lunch at Paladar Ajaico. Visit historic Regla church; meet with priest and parish members. Return to Havana. Dinner at San Cristobal Restaurant, followed by free time.
Friday, Day Seven: After breakfast, depart for town of Rincon to visit the Santuario Nacional San Lazaro. Lunch at El Divino. Return to Havana to visit Hotel Nacional, an icon of Cuba. Visit tunnels and bunkers dug before 1962 Missile crisis. Visit Celebrity Bar. Visit Cuba Independence Monument near the new U.S. Embassy. Farewell Dinner at Run Run Restaurant.
Saturday, Day Eight: After breakfast, check-out. Visit Almacenes de San Jose. Depart to Jose Marti International Airport for flights to U.S.
As with all tours of Cuba, this itinerary is subject to modification. We will strive to follow this schedule as closely as possible, but some events may be re-scheduled or modified as necessary. There will be additions to our itinerary as they become available on short notice. Our bus and driver will be at our disposal, and can take us to optional evening activities.
Please include contact information (email, phone, address), preference for single or double occupancy (you may change later), names of other travelerss in your group, and any questions you may have (many will be answered at this website). This will reserve your position and you can ask specific questions, research other tours, etc . Within 3 days, please make a $400 deposit (fully-refundable) and provide more comprehensive information. (See forms below). Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. REFUND POLICY: All deposits are refundable up until 30 days before departure. Balance of Payment: 100% refunded if requested 30 days or more prior to departure. 75% refunded if requested 14 days or more prior to departure. 50% refunded if requested 7 days or more prior to departure. No refund if cancelled less than 7 days prior to departure unless we can find a replacement, which is quite possible.
INCLUDED: All Activities listed under Itinerary, General Travel License, Cuban Medical Insurance, Havana Airport Departure Tax, 7 nights accommodations, airport/hotel transfers, services of Cuban guides/interpreters, seven breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners.
NOT INCLUDED: Flights to Havana and back from your home town; two lunches, & two dinners; Tourist Card (so-called “Cuban Visa”). You can purchase it from your airline. We will be happy to assist scheduling flights and arranging documentation. Also not included: gratuities, and anything listed as “optional.”
Expedition requirements for all Travelers: Passport valid for 6 months beyond trip end date is highly recommended. You can bring medical supplies donation, such as band-aides and Tylenol (at least enough to fill a one-quart zip-lock bag). You can also bring a large box or old suitcase full of supplies, but it will cost extra to take it to Cuba). We hope you will have an open mind and an experienced traveler’s temperament (not everything will go exactly as expected). Although we will have a relaxed, unhurried travel style, our expedition would probably not be appropriate if you easily tire or walk at an unusually slow pace. There will be a few occasions where you will need to walk up 1-2 flights of stairs. On past trips, we have had a few healthy active travelers in their 80’s. If you are interested in one of these expeditions, please send an email to me at JamesLewisRN@hotmail.com.
TO MAKE A DEPOSIT FOR ANY TOURS: