Tour introduction and overview of activities

Click photo to learn more about tour leader Dr. Robert S. McElvaine

This exclusive program promises comfortable, safe, fun people-to-people cultural and arts travel. It is fully escorted. From the minute you land in Havana until you return home, you are in the conscientious care of our fulltime multilingual Cuban guide, together with our professional bus chauffeur. They’re available to assist you in every way.

What makes this trip different is that you will also be accompanied by a well-known writer and historian, Dr. Robert S. McElvaine, who has led a score of trips to Cuba this decade. His informative, fun and educational tours receive rave reviews from participants. The interplay between Professor McElvaine and your Cuban guide adds richly to insights on Cuban history and culture. Together they create a rewarding group dynamic and a most pleasurable sojourn.

“A great trip! Having a resident historian on board made everything fit together so much better. Dr. McElvaine was a big part of our fun and understanding,” said a very experienced world traveler from Mississippi.

Cuba’s big! Its land mass is 42,426 square miles – about 80 percent the size of Alabama. Cuba is nearly as large as Louisiana, and larger than Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio or Indiana. Altogether it’s bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 – Wednesday :: Hello Cuba!

  • Arrivals at Havana’s José Martí Airport
  • Change money into Cuban Convertible Pesos while waiting for your luggage
  • Meet your guide and bus driver after you exit Cuban customs
  • Transfer to hotel in Havana
  • Check-in to hotel and welcome cocktail
  • Welcome dinner at fabulous El Aljibe restaurant with your guide and Dr. McElvaine (included)
  • Evening is free to explore the city 

Day 2 – Thursday :: Havana and Cienfuegos and Trinidad

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Early departure to Trinidad
  • En route visit Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)
  • Visit a Museo Playa Girón to learn about the CIA backed invasion of Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs)
  • Onwards to Cienfuegos
  • Lunch at private restaurant Villa Lagarto, included
  • Couch tour of the city of Cienfuegos
  • Onwards to Trinidad
  • Check in Hotel Brisas Trinidad del Mar
  • Dinner in hotel, included
  • Evening is free for you to explore the sights and sounds of the city; your guide will gladly provide entertainment suggestions

Day 3 – Friday :: Trinidad and Topes de Collantes

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Visit Topes de Collantes in the Escambray Mountains
  • Visit Hacienda Codina, a Spanish coffee plantation
  • Lunch at Hacienda Codina (included)
  • Return to Trinidad
  • Walking tour of Trinidad
  • Visit a family run pottery factory
  • Return to hotel
  • Dinner in hotel (included)
  • Evening suggestion: Casa de La Música or Casa de La Trova

Day 4 – Saturday :: Trinidad and Havana

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Early departure to Havana
  • Lunch not included
  • Check in Hotel
  • Gala Dinner at Mediterraneo restaurant located at 5 star hotel Parque Central
  • 11:00 pm Party at the pool area with open bar
  • 11:00 pm to 12:00 pm - Entertainment Show: fire juggling torches, water ballet and contemporary dance

Day 5 – Sunday :: Community Project, Afro Cuba

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Free morning
  • Visit two eco-farms which supply produce to the private restaurant Mediterraneo. At the end of the visit, we'll feast on a delicious meal made with such produce
  • Visit Callejón de Hamel (Hamel Alley) to see the artwork of Salvador González
  • Return to hotel
  • Dinner not included

Day 6 – Monday :: Havana

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Visit El Morro Castle, included
  • Visit the UBPC Organopónico Vivero Alamar (eco-community and urban organic farm)
  • Lunch at private restaurant El Ajiaco (included)
  • Walking Tour of Habana Vieja (Old Havana)
  • Return to hotel
  • Dinner at private restaurant Nazdarovie, included
  • Evening is free for you to explore the sights and sounds of the city; your guide will gladly provide entertainment suggestions

Day 7 – Tuesday :: Arts

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Visit the Art Studios of famed Cuban painter José Fúster
  • Lunch at Fúster's (included)
  • Visit Finca La Vigía (House and farm of Ernest Hemingway Museum)
  • Return to hotel
  • Farewell dinner at private restaurant Río Mar, included

Day 8 – Wednesday :: Say goodbye to Cuba – for now

  • Breakfast in hotel (included) 
  • Transfer to Havana’s José Martí Airport 
  • Air departures 
  • Missing Cuba so much already 
Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
  • All taxes. Prices listed are the total amounts you pay. All amounts are quoted in US dollars
  • Airport transfers: We meet you at José Martí Int’l Airport in Havana and take you to your hotel upon arrival. We return you to José Martí Airport for departure
  • Hotels as listed in tour itinerary or similar
  • All breakfasts. Welcome dinner. Other lunches and dinners as listed in tour itinerary
  • All activities, services, speakers, meetings and meals as described in tour itinerary except those noted as “optional” or “not included in cost”
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach transportation and a full-time professional driver
  • An expert Cuban English-speaking guide and translator whose background matches tour content throughout the program
  • Ongoing support from Cuba Education and Explorer Tours staff in Canada before, during and after your stay
  • Emergency collect call access to our North American staff while in Cuba
  • Emergency cash advances for our tour participants who face complications accessing funds from aboard while in Cubal