OUR GOAL IS TO PROVIDE REASONABLY-PRICED EXPEDITIONS WITH AN EMPHASIS ON SAFE, HEALTHY, RELAXED TRAVEL, WHILE EXPLORING HAVANA, THE COUNTRYSIDE, THE MOUNTAINS, & THE BEACHES. REFERENCES FROM PAST TRAVELERS ARE AVAILABLE.
We just returned March 9 from our CUBA Arts and Culture Tour. We had a wonderful time and visited some new attractions as well as old favorites. Some members have been contacted by friends and relatives who now want to come along on a similar but DELUXE tour, so we are now offering:
***NEW !—May 9-18, 2019: CUBA Arts, Culture, and Gastronomy Tour. We will stay 6 nights at the 5-Star Central Park Hotel in Old Havana, and 3 nights at the brand new 5-Star Meliá Internacionál on Varadero Beach. Because the Internacionál is new and has additional rooms available, we will get a significant discount on the rates. Comparable Deluxe Tours are all priced over $5500 per person, double-occupancy. We now offer this expedition at just $3450 (double-occupancy) and $3950 (single-occupancy). This price includes most meals, which we consider to be gourmet! For more information, please contact us at [email protected], CubaTravelSurge.com or call 530 477-6322.
ITINERARY SUMMARY FOR CUBA ARTS, CULTURE, AND GASTRONOMY TOUR :
DAY ONE: *Arrive at Havana International Airport (accompanied by American Guide) *Meet our Cuban Guide and driver. *Transport to 5-star Hotel Parque Central in Old Havana *Welcome dinner at a nearby private restaurant (paladar)
DAY TWO: *Presidential Palace Museum of the Revolution *Walking Tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. *Castillo de la Real Fuerzo (oldest fortress in the western hemisphere, constructed in the 1500’s), which includes–*Museum of Navigation (also displays jewelry and coins recovered from shipwrecks around Cuba). *Lunch at local paladar *Local artist studio *Museum of Chocolate *Free Time *Dinner on your own (with recommendations)
DAY THREE: *Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Art *Continue Walking Tour of Old Havana. *Plaza de San Francisco *Lunch at local paladar *Museum of Rum *Local Artisans’ Crafts Market *Free Time *Dinner on your own *Optional: Visit to Fabrica del Arte Cultural Arts Center—open until 3am.
DAY FOUR: *Partagas Cigar Factory *Muraleando artist community project. *Lunch at local paladar *Studio of Cuban artist and sculptor *Tour of Central Havana and Malecon in restored vintage American convertibles (including visits to Revolutionary Square, University of Havana, Christopher Columbus Cemetery) *Dinner on your own *Optional: walking visit to several musical venues; dance lessons available
DAY FIVE: *Travel one hour west into the mountains to the Eco-Village Las Terrazas. *Visit local artist Ariel in home & studio *Lunch at Eco-Restaurant *Presentation about Cuba’s health care system by community physician *Return to Havana in afternoon. *Dinner on your own
DAY SIX: *Check-out of hotel *Nunez Jimenez Historical Foundation *Ernest Hemingway’s Country Estate in Cojimar *Lunch at local paladar on your own *Continue on to City of Matanzas *Lolo Galeria-Taller Artists’ Studio/Gallery in Matanzas *Continue east to Varadero Beach *Check-in to new 5-star Meliá Internacionál on Varadero Beach *Dinner at hotel (all-inclusive with various restaurants–Gourmet Buffet, Cuban, Barbeque, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, Japanese, Tex-Mex, Criollo) *Free time at beach or hotel activities
DAY SEVEN: *Bus tour of Varadero and peninsula, including Casa de Al (Al Capone’s beachfront home), and the DuPont Mansion Xanadu (built in 1929 by American chemist and multi-millionaire René Dupont) *Visit to local crafts market; art produced by local artisans. *Lunch at hotel (or on your own in town) *Free time in afternoon *Dinner at hotel
DAY EIGHT: *Bus ride to Finca Coincidencia in Jovellanos–owned and managed by farmer and artist Hector Correa and his wife Odalys Marrero *Ride through beautiful Valley de Yumuri *Return to hotel for lunch *Free time in afternoon *Dinner at hotel or on your own in town *Afterwards, optional evening in town visiting The Beatles Nightclub (Excellent Rock ‘n Roll bands who play Classic Rock from the 60’s and 70’s for your listening & dancing pleasure.
DAY NINE: *Free morning to enjoy the beach *Lunch at the hotel, followed by check-out *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; crafts market *Check-in to Havana’s Hotel Parque Central *Farewell dinner at nearby paladar *Free time
DAY TEN: *Free time *Bus transfer to Havana International Airport for return flights to U.S.
INCLUDED: All Activities listed under Itinerary, General Travel License, Cuban Medical Insurance, Havana Airport Departure Tax (included in airline ticket), 9 nights 5-star hotel accommodations, airport/hotel transfers, bus and professional driver, services of American guide & Cuban guide/interpreter, all breakfasts, seven lunches, and five dinners.
NOT INCLUDED: Commercial 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 recommend and assist scheduling flights and arranging documentation. Also not included: two lunches, four dinners, gratuities, and anything listed as “optional.”
CUBAN GUIDE & INTERPRETER: Bianca Villasante—very knowledgeable and resourceful, fluent in English, chosen to interpret at Havana press conference for U.S. Representatives; was guide for Nevada County Arts & Culture Tour in March 2019.
AMERICAN GUIDE: Jim Lewis—first visited Cuba in 1999; has been accompanying travel groups to Cuba since 2012
Hotel Links: Hotel Parque Central, Havana https://www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/la-habana/iberostar-parque-central?v=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&gclid=CjwKCAjwmq3kBRB_EiwAJkNDp5A4oz3e6MEbdUFhmIE27nhs-zz0s7DL0CFCPmLIqFMgSIXPNpg4BhoCxioQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&utm_expid=.-_ddj0B3TR6S3Z6p40bMug.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
Melia Internacional, Varadero Beach https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147275-d14163595-Reviews-Melia_Internacional-Varadero_Matanzas_Province_Cuba.html
***END OF INFORMATION ABOUT MAY 9-18 CUBA Arts, Culture, & Gastronomy Tour***
Our custom programs:
*Cuba Core Program with Focus on Selected Topics: You can schedule your own dates if you have your own group of 10 or more. Children are welcome. Cuba is very kid-friendly.
Cost: $2950 double-occupancy. This is about 50%-60% the price of comparable commercial tours.
Sample itineraries will be posted brlow. *Military History Tour of Western Cuba (10 days/9 nights) and Military History Tour of Eastern Cuba— (10 days/9 nights): Dates to be determined by group participants. (They may allow additional outside travelers at their discretion.) After our recent trip to research the itinerary, we decided that Cuba is just too big and has too many attractions to try to see the whole country on one trip, so we will offer a tour for the west and a different one for the east. We will be adding more details and specific itineraries in the next few weeks. To read more about some of the sites we will visit, please click on the tab for Cuba Travel Newsletter and scroll down to the article published May 3rd, 2018: “Cuba’s Many Historical Sites….”
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
The price for our 2019 trips is $2950 (double-occupancy). Single Supplement for Guaranteed Single Room is $350.
On previous expeditions, the $550 cost of round-trip charter flights from Miami to Havana was included in the price. Now, the cost of these flights will not be included, so our price is less. Overall costs for travelers will be much less. If requested, we will be happy to assist you to arrange your flights. Flight schedules change frequently. Sometimes you can save money by connecting in various cities. In spite of what you may have recently read regarding decreased interest by Americans, United, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines have added 30 flights a week, beginning in the fall of 2018.
Previous travelers have called our expeditions “Tours for Non-Tour people!” We emphasize true people-to-people contact. Our hotels have been selected because of their locations. In addition to our program, our facilitated expeditions 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 topics. Travelers will have opportunities to interact with Cuban professionals and other citizens, so we can learn from each other.