Select Your Cuba Trip with Cultural Cuba
Nothing is cookie cutter about a Cultural Cuba trip. You may have heard about the tightly regulated mandatory “People to People” trips. Our custom trips meet all the legal requirements yet still offer flexibility. This is one of the many benefits of traveling with us to Cuba on a fully-guided independent private tour. We custom tailor our 3 – 5 -day itineraries to match your interests and desired pace of travel.
Private Cuba Travel Arrangements
Enjoy a private fully-guided trip and explore the history, architecture, art, music, food, and nightlife of Cuba. We manage the entire process including all of the documentation, top-rated hotel accommodations, exclusive private (paladar) restaurant reservations, air conditioned transportation, and the approved itinerary so that you can enjoy exploring the culture of Cuba knowing the legal requirements and travel logistics have been seamlessly coordinated.
Select Your Cuba Trip Length and Dates
We offer 3 – 5-night Havana-based itineraries that are customized to your desired pace and interests. Our travelers only stay in centrally located top-rated Havana hotels. We are excited to offer exquisite accommodations at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, the iconic Hotel Saratoga, the top-rated and ideally located Parque Central, and small art-filled boutique hotels in the Vedado neighborhood.
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org your preferred dates of travel and we will let you know the possibilities and best options.
Complete the form below or contact us by email email@example.com to reserve your space or to find out more information.
We are experienced in providing custom tours to VIP clients, tirelessly working to ensure the very best client care for couples, families, multi-generational groups, business incentive trips, university alumni donor groups, and more. We would be delighted to collaborate with you – contact us for commission details.
“An unbelievably well-orchestrated trip by Cultural Cuba.”
“Cuba is unexpectedly beautiful and complex. David has amazing relationships in Havana. I’m already thinking about when I can go next. Bravo, Cultural Cuba!”Jessica Battista
“You couldn’t have planned a more perfect trip! Everything from start to end couldn’t have been better. Our guide was not only a wealth of information but an absolute pleasure to be with!! Outstanding choice of restaurants – loved the different atmospheres and the meals were 5 star all the way. Hotel was equally as impressive. Our trip of a lifetime really was so, thanks to you! ”
– Elena M. D’Agostino, Real Estate BrokerElena D'Agostino
Select Your Cuba Trip Sample Itinerary:
- Cultural Cuba Trips
- What is Included
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Las Terrazas Day Trip
- Vinales Valley Day Trip
- Varadero Day Trip
- Day 4
- Day 5
Let Cultural Cuba plan your authentic and unique cultural journey to Cuba. Click on each Day Tab above to see a sample day. We work with you to create a custom itinerary that reflects your interests and desired trip pacing and scope.
ITINERARY: Nothing is cookie cutter about a Cultural Cuba trip. We do not like rigid, large group trips. Our Cuba trips are always private, small and flexible. You may have heard about the tightly regulated mandatory “People to People” trips. Our trips meet all the legal requirements yet still have some flexibility. This is one of the many benefits of a small private group.
HOTEL: We only work with the top centrally-located hotel properties in Havana.
DINING: The Food scene in Cuba is undergoing an evolution. You will dine almost entirely at Paladares. These are private restaurants ranging from 1-2 tables in home kitchens to full-scale restaurants hidden inside fully restored Mansions.
NIGHTLIFE: Jazz Clubs, Salsa Bars, Night Clubs, and some venues that only the locals go to enjoy. The only thing stopping anyone is a need for sleep. This is a late-night town. The large Salsa/Reggaeton bands usually don’t take the stage before midnight. That said, there is no pressure to do anything at all after dinner. Participants can go back to the Hotel to rest or head out on their own (with a little guidance).
GUIDE: Our Cuban Guides are the best there are in Havana. We only work with vetted guides who are highly educated and speak excellent English. You can ask them anything and everything – they are not afraid to give you the truth on the good and the bad of living in Cuba.
HUMANITARIAN: Elect to add a Humanitarian element to your trip. Visit a music conservatory, dance school, pharmacy, elementary school, or other entity of interest where much-needed “non-cash” gifts may be donated.
PRIVATE VIP TOUR
HAVANA & LAS TERRAZAS or VINALES VALLEY or VARADERO
SAMPLE 4 Nights Havana Support for the Cuban People ITINERARY
- INCLUDED in your private tour:
• Deluxe Suite accommodations at a centrally located lux hotel
• VISA Services – USA and Havana
• Daily full breakfasts
• Full-time private expert bilingual Cuban Guide
• Full-time private air-conditioned transportation with stocked waters
• Full-time dedicated Driver
• Cultural expert speaker interactions
• Salsa Dancing Lessons
• Exclusive rum tasting
• Old Havana photo shoot with professional Cuban photographer
• All Scheduled Activities including Museum entrance fees
• Gratuities for the Guide and the Driver
WELCOME TO HAVANA
- Upon arrival in Havana, meet your professional English-speaking Cuban guide. Luxury transfer and Tour in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.
- Stop at HISTORIC REVOLUTION SQUARE.
- Enjoy lunch at a private paladar in a world-renowned photography studio in Old Havana.
- Private Rum tasting and explanation of the history and Rum making process with the head sommelier of HISTORIC HAVANA CLUB RUM COMPANY who will introduce us to the newest “Seleccion de la Maestros.”
- Enjoy a Dance Performance – Members are classically trained dancers and powerful percussionist whose performances enthrall and entertain, bringing dynamic cross-cultural energy to the stage. Chairs, drums, castanets, batas and all sorts of instruments are incorporated into their lively modern performances. Think front row seats to Stomp! mixed with flamenco. The dancers teach young students from the community offering free lessons to dedicated pupils.
- Arrival/Check in at your HAVANA HOTEL (Cultural Cuba participants will stay at one of the most exclusive hotels in Cuba). Time to rest and freshen up.
- Dinner at one of Havana’s most popular private restaurants also known as “paladares.”
- Optional evening activities: Jazz Café to hear some of Cuba’s best Jazz music. Casa de la Musica (late night)
HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE, CIGARS and RUM
- Breakfast at the HOTEL
- Morning: Exclusive discussion and presentation with the renowned architect and lead planner for the City of Havana. Overview of Havana’s history, highlighting how Havana’s architecture has evolved over the years and details of ongoing renovations.
- Following the presentation, we will embark on a walking tour of Old Havana, exploring the 4 major plazas: Plaza Armas,Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, and Plaza San Francisco.
- Stop at historic LA BODEGUITA DEL MEDIO – the actual site where the Mojito cocktail was invented.
- Lunch at one of Old Havana’s best restaurants.
- VIP PRIVATE PARTAGAS CIGAR Factory tour. Learn about the complex yet fascinating process of cigar rolling at the most famous and oldest cigar factory in the World. Home to Montecristo, Cohiba, Partagas and Bolivar.
- Afternoon: Guided tour of the CUBAN MUSEUM OF THE REVOLUCION
- Visit ALMACENES SAN JOSE, a local craft and art market. Browse local crafts, souvenirs.
- Dinner at LA GAURIDA, Havana’s “most famous restaurant” (New York Times). Inventive dishes that deconstruct and combine traditional Cuban and international cuisine. The Camagüey Mansión, located in Concordia 418, provides a unique atmosphere. We will receive a tour and explanation of the history of this most well-known and oldest of Havana’s private restaurants from the owner himself.
- Optional evening activities: Jazz club, live music performances
LAS TERRAZAS (All Year)
Breakfast at the hotel
Travel 1 hour to Las Terrazas National Park and Biosphere Reserve. The pioneering eco-village of Las Terrazas is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, dating back to a reforestation project started in 1968. Today it’s a burgeoning activity center with Cuba’s only canopy tour and the site of the earliest surviving coffee plantations in Cuba. Visit the Moka Hotel, an eco-resort, and take a dip in the crystalline waters of the San Juan River. Explore the picturesque whitewashed village that overlooks a small lake, featuring an art community with open studios, woodwork and pottery workshops. Visit the Casa de Polo Museum and learn about the beloved farmer Polo Montanez who gained fame and fortune later in life as a composer and singer. His love of the land and his personal philosophies and how these are incorporated into his music are explored in the small museum.
Lunch – enjoy the Best Ropa Vieja in Cuba
Return to Havana and visit the Visit the University of Havana. After the government was taken over by Fulgencio Batista in 1952, the University became a center of anti-government protests. Batista closed the University in 1956. From January 1, 1959, the date on which Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, until January 1, 1962, the University went through a period of reformation to eliminate ‘anti-revolutionary ideas’. Today, the University is made up of 16 faculties and 14 research centers in different fields like economics, sciences, social science and humanities. In total, up to 25 specialties are taught at the university with 60,000 students in regular classes.
Relax at the Hotel.
Dinner at a highly touted paladar that serves a chef-inspired fusion of Cuban and French dishes. A guest medical student, musician, or University History professor may join for dinner (if you’d like) to give further insight into life in Cuba.
Optional evening activities: Live music – your guide will assist
VINALES VALLEY, TOBACCO FARM, LOVE & HOPE, CAFÉ LAURENT (Dec – April),
OPTION: EVENING WITH THE BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Travel 2 hours to VINALES VALLEY. A UNESCO World Heritage site. The striking landscape of the Viñales Valley is notable for its mogotes, a series of tall, rounded hills that rise abruptly from the flat plain of the valley. It is also significant for its cultural associations, particularly its traditional agricultural practices related to growing tobacco.
- Visit the 160 million-year-old limestone formations and the historic caves once used by runaway slaves.
- Visit the famous BENITO a working tobacco farm.
- Lunch at an organic farm.
- After lunch, we will visit a community-based art project established for disabled children and young adults. Artists teach special engraving techniques to the children who create beautiful works of art.
VARADERO (May thru Nov)
- Breakfast at the HOTEL
- Departure for a day trip to Varadero, Travel 2 hours. Varadero is foremost a tourist resort town, boasting more than 20 km of white sandy beaches.
- Stop at Bacunayagua Bridge & look out (a Cuban Architecture jewel). Enjoy a refreshing pina colada!
- Panoramic tour of Matanzas – the “City of Bridges” (there are 21 in total).
- Visit Ediciones Vigia and learn about the hand-made books they produce.
- Lunch at the Dupont house. Learn about the influence and stories of this rich family on the island.
- After lunch, time to relax. Golf at the VARADERO GOLF CLUB LOCATED ON THE SHORES of CARIBBEAN SEA and/or enjoy the Beaches of Varadero area.
- Visit CALLEJON DE HAMEL. Learn about SANTERIA, an Afro Cuba religion mix between Catholicism and the African religion of Yoruba. Cuba’s African roots have an important influence on the country’s culture, art and music.
- Return to Havana for Dinner at another of Havana’s Famous Paladares
- Optional evening activities: An evening with the famous musicians of the BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB.
HAVANA, HEMINGWAY, CLASSIC CARS, X-ALFONSO
- Breakfast at the HOTEL
- Briefing with community leaders. Deliver aid. Recipients to be determined based on affiliations and need.
- Visit Havana’s monumental Columbus Cemetery, one of the largest in the world, and proclaimed a national monument.
- We will then travel outside the city to FINCA VIGIA, the estate of Ernest Hemmingway in the San Francisco neighborhood overlooking Havana. This UNESCO site is part of the Hemingway Foundation and has been preserved in the condition as Hemingway left it.
- Lunch at an organic farm and paladar, featuring one of the best private wine cellars in the city.
- Depending on the time available, options include;
- Exploring Havana’s unique micro neighborhoods.
- A visit to the historic Riviera Hotel and Casino for a private tour to see infamous mobster Meyer Lansky’s resort as it was at the time of the revolution.
- Private Art studios and meet with the artists themselves as they explain the life of a Cuban artist and the evolution of contemporary art in Cuba.
- A visit to the Museum of Decorative Arts, or Fine Arts Museum.
- A visit a special pre-revolution Antique shop.
- MEET artists in their private studios. Both emerging and acclaimed artists open their private work areas to discuss their art and inspiration.
- Classical car ride through Old Havana and the Malecon.
LOCAL ARTIST AND DEPARTURE DAY
- Breakfast at the HOTEL and check-out (Depending on flight schedule)
- Visit the quaint fishing village of JAIMANITAS and visit the Gaudi-inspired neighborhood-mosaic-tile-art project of world-renowned artist JOSE FUSTER. Mr. Fuster turned his entire village into a mosaic project. Featured on A&E and Discovery, you will visit his private home and studio and may have the opportunity to talk directly with the artist himself at his studio/home.
- Alternative – Mureleando Community Project – a fine arts center founded by Manuel Diaz Baldrich. The center was inspired by the children of the community. Music, dance, sculpting, painting and other fine arts are all part of the project which transforms children’s lives. Many of them come from low income families and art is their outlet.
- Proceed to Jose Marti International Airport, flight back to Miami.