CLASSIC CUBA

HAVANA • VIÑALES • TRINIDAD

 
 

Highlights

Included

• Small Group Size (6 or Less)
• Top Rated Restaurants
• Daily Exploratory Walks
• Private Performances
• 1950's Classic Convertibles
• Famous Cuban Photographer
• Artists Studios & Galleries
• Afro-Cuban Music & Dance
• Legendary Boxing Gym
• Santeria Religion
• National Ballerinas
• Organic Farm & Meal
• Tobacco Farms & Homes
• Cigar Rolling & Sampling
• Family Pig Roast
•Renowned Musicians

• 10 Nights Accommodations
• Daily Breakfast
• 4 Luches
• 5 Dinners
• Group Airport Transfers
• Ground Transportation
• Local Guides & Photographers
• Admissions & Activity Fees
• Cuban Tourist Visa Card
• Mandatory Cuban Insurance
• U.S. Government Compliance

 

Upcoming Adventures

Group Size
6 People Max.
Group Leader
Scott Fishman
Duration
10 Nights
Days of Week
Fri. - Sun.

 

2017 Dates:
Dec. 22 - Jan. 01

2018 Dates
Jan. 12 - 22
Feb. 09 - 19
Mar. 23 - Apr. 02
Apr. 06 -16
May 04 - 14

 

Register By:
Nov. 08, 2017

Register By:
Nov. 08, 2017
Nov. 08, 2017
Dec. 22, 2017
Jan. 05, 2018
Feb. 03, 2018

 

Price
$3,495

Price:
$3,495
$3,495
$3,495
$3,495
$3,495

 

 

Accommodations

All accommodations are in licensed casa particulares (bed and breakfasts) with air-conditioned bedrooms, and in-suite private bathrooms with hot water showers. Accommodations are based upon a per person double occupancy rate. If you are traveling alone we will make our best effort to match you with a suitable roommate. If we are unable to do so for any reason, or if you prefer the privacy of your own room, a minimum single occupancy supplement of $295 will be applied to the cost of your trip. Single occupancy is based upon room availability and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Travel Arrangements

We recommend that you arrive at the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana before 5:30pm on Friday (Day 0) so that you may join us in time for the Welcome Dinner. Your adventure will end in Trinidad on Sunday (Day 10). Group transportation will be provided to Abel Santamaría Airport (SNU) in Santa Clara (SNU) for our departure flights. Airlines currently offering service between the U.S. and Havana are: Southwest, JetBlue, American, Delta, United, and Alaska. Jet Blue is currently the only airline offering service between the U.S. and Santa Clara. If absolutely necessary, participants can arrive 1 day late and/or depart 1 day early. Capturing Cuba will make every effort to assist you in arranging your airport transfers. However, such transfers are not considered group transfers and therefore not included in the cost of the trip. No discounts will be given for days missed.

NOT INCLUDED

Domestic Airfare. International airfare. Airline baggage fees. Accommodations not in Cuba. Fees for admissions, excursions, and other events not listed on the itinerayy. Meals not included on the itinerary. Guides, translators, or transportation outside of group activities. Tips for staff, guides, and drivers. Trip cancellation insurance. Personal expenses such as but not limited to: alcoholic beverage at meals, internet access, telephone calls, laundry service, and mini-bars.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

You will encounter poorly maintained roads, steep staircases, dirt trails, cobblestone streets, and slight elevation changes on this adventure. All participants are expected to be in reasonably good health and able to walk several hours daily without slowing down the group.

CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT

The Cuban pace is slow and very few people speak English. You will find that poverty is abundant, goods are extremely limited, and services are sporadic. Life in Cuba can be unpredictable and unexpected circumstances will arise. Therefore, last-minute changes to the itinerary may be unavoidable and are to be expected. Patience and flexibility are necessary to enjoy your Cuban experience.

PERSONAL SAFETY

Cuba is extremely safe! It has the lowest crime rate in the entire Western Hemisphere. Violent crime is virtually non-existent and the majority of crime is classified as non-confrontational (pick-pockets, scams, and petty theft).

 
 

FRIDAY (DAY 0) - HAVANA

Arrival & Check-In - Participants shall arrange travel to Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana. We recommend that you plan to arrive no later than 5:30pm so as to allow enough time to clear Customs & Immigration, transfer to our accommodations in Old Havana, and have some time to relax before the Welcome Dinner. 

Welcome Dinner - In the evening, we kick-off our Classic Cuba adventure with a welcome dinner at one of Old Havana's top-rated paladares (privately owned restaurants). Feast on traditional Cuban cuisine and imbibe mojitos, the country's signature drink, as you become acquainted with your fellow travelers, trip leader, and local guide. We will review the final itinerary and discuss important dos and don'ts while in Cuba.

Included Meals: Dinner


SATURDAY (DAY 1) - HAVANA

Convertible Tour - Get orientated with the city, it's landmarks, and surrounding neighborhoods as we begin our day touring in classic American cars from the 1950's that are the life and soul of Cuba. Each car will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide and follow a customized route with stops along the way to maximize photo opportunities. Our tour concludes at the famous and historic Hotel Nacional where we will have drinks on the patio overlooking Havana.

Old Havana Historical Walk - The city referred to as Habana Vieja was founded in 1519 by the Spanish and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. After lunch, our local guide will provide historical information as we explore and photograph four main plazas: Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, Plaza de la Cathedral, and Plaza de Armas.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


SUNDAY (DAY 2) - HAVANA

Cuban Photographer - This friend and famous photographer was part of a small group given privileged access to Fidel Castro throughout the Revolution and after. During that time, he used images to tell the stories of Cuba, the saga of its revolution, and the life of its enigmatic leader. We will meet in his home for an interactive discussion. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to view and purchase prints from his personal collection.

Malecon - In the afternoon we'll stroll along parts of Havana's iconic esplanade that stretches for 8 kilometers along the coastline from the mouth of the harbor in Old Havana to the outlying Vedado neighborhood. The Malecon is considered Havana's living room and is where the entire city goes to meet, greet, date, and debate. Fisherman can be found along the seawall from dusk to dawn. It is also the ideal place to view and photograph amazing sunsets. There are few things more electric than nightfall on the Malecón where the city comes to life when the sun goes down.

Dinner - Enjoy a tapas style meal on the rooftop terrace of this multi-level restaurant with four distinct spaces located in a former cooking oil factory. The towering chimney still evokes the building’s industrial past, but the food and the atmosphere are all about modern sophistication. This chic and trendy venue caters to a mix of affluent young Cubans, international tourists, and the occasional celebrity.

Art & Performance Space - After dinner we head next door to the hippest place in Havana. With it's SoHo sensibility, this converted warehouse has been transformed into a huge industrial space meant to support and promote the work of Cuban artists of all branches. It has become an intellectual nexus for art exhibitions, live music, fashion shows, and invigorating debate over coffee and cocktails. This is the definitive place to experience the younger and edgier crowd that represents the emerging Cuba of today.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


MONDAY (DAY 3) - HAVANA

Afro-Cuban Music & Dance Troupe - The Spanish imported African slaves to Cuba up until the 1880's, so it's no surprise that Cuban music and dance have deep roots in African ritual and rhythm. We have the privilege to experience and photograph up-close a private performance by a dance group regarded as one of the world's most authentic ensembles in the Yoruba traditions. The abandoned theater they call home is a decrepit yet stunning piece of architecture. Their costumes and choreography will take you on a journey of Cuban dance from the deepest Afro-Cuban roots through the beloved Latin dances of generations past, right up to the hottest salsa of today. Make no mistake about it, this special opportunity forged out of friendship is not one typically available to tourists.

Central Havana Walk - In the late afternoon we will wander far from the tourist path and go deep into the gritty and dilapidated but safe neighborhoods of Central Havana (Centro Habana) where the majority of unemployed and working-class locals live, eat, and shop. This is where you will truly experience Havana's most impoverished first hand, but also develop an understanding and appreciation of their ingenuity and pride. This is the ideal time and place for doing some street photography as you observe and interact with the neighborhood residents. Don't be surprised or hesitant when these strangers invite us into their homes to show us how they live and introduce us to family members. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


TUESDAY (DAY 4) - HAVANA

Boxing Gym - Boxing is a passion that runs deep in Cuba and is second only to baseball. This small country dominates the world of amateur boxing and has been a consistent force to be reckoned with at the Olympic Games. In the morning we visit the oldest boxing gym in Havana to watch a group of young adults train in this tattered, world-famous open-air facility. The current head coach was a member of the national Cuban boxing team for nine years. This will be a closed session for our group with plenty of opportunities to photograph the boxers in and out of the ring.

Old Havana Walk - In the early afternoon we'll explore Old Havana's narrow streets with overhanging balconies as we capture images of 1950's classic cars, eclectic architecture, and eccentric characters along the way. In the latter part of the day you can feel the energy in the streets build to a climax as school children play, workers head home, entrepreneurs pedal their merchandise, musicians fill the air with the rhythms of Cuba, and men engage in games of dominoes and chess on sidewalk card tables. The opportunities to capture incredible images are endless and the reason why Old Havana is considered a paradise for photographers.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


WEDNESDAY (DAY 5) - HAVANA & VIÑALES

Transfer - In the morning we depart for Viñales, a small rural town in the Pinar del Rio province of Western Cuba where brightly colored houses with front porches and rocking chairs line every street. The town sits on the edge of Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and settlement dating back to the Spanish colonial era. Life here revolves around agriculture and offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and the country's traditional culture.

Viñales - Upon arrival we'll check in to our casa and then explore the tranquil town on foot. We'll meet many of the locals as we visit the main square, outdoor market, and outdoor stadium where school kids hone their baseball and soccer skills.

Organic Farm & Dinner - At day's end we will learn about the necessity for sustainable agriculture in Cuba on a guided walk of an organic 'finca' in the Pinar del Rio province. After the walk we'll watch the sun as it sets in the Valley of Silence before we sit down to enjoy a fresh, unforgettable farm-to-table meal and imbibe the owner's legendary "anti-stress" cocktail.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


THURSDAY (DAY 6) - VIÑALES VALLEY

Viñales Valley - The Valley is considered the most scenic part of the country and is famous for it's lush green vegetation, fertile red soil, expanses of tobacco plantations, and towering mogotes (limestone monoliths) that rise abruptly from the flat plains.  We start our day before dawn by photographing the Valley as the sun rises to reveal a jaw-dropping vista of the stunning landscape below.

Fields & Homes - In the early light of the morning we head down deep into the fields to photograph the campesinos (farmers) as they tend to the crops. We'll stop at many of their homes along the way to drink fresh roasted coffee and converse with family members as we learn about rural life in Cuba. Throughout the morning the campesinos and their families will gladly pose for portraits and allow us to photograph their modest dwellings.

Tobacco Farm - As the morning light begins to turn harsh, we will visit a farm that produces tobacco used in Cuba's world-renown cigars. Inside a secadero (drying house) the process of cultivating, harvesting, and curing the tobacco will be explained. 

Cigar Rolling - At the tobacco farm we'll watch and photograph a private demonstration of the the cigar hand-rolling process from start to finish. Each member of the group will receive a complimentary cigar and have the opportunity to purchase additional ones.

Pig Roast - In Cuba pig roasts are usually reserved for special occasions and holidays such as Christmas Eve. At lunch time we'll take a short drive to partake in this tradition on a farm with a family that we have very become close with since our first meeting. The warmth and hospitality with which they embrace us, along with the serenity of the surrounding landscape, always makes this a favorite activity.

Tobacco Sorting - After lunch we return to Viñales to visit a small government-run despalillo (sorting facility) to learn about tobacco processing from field to factory for use in Cuba's legendary Cohiba, Monte Cristo, and Romeo y Julieta cigars. While there, watch and photograph the all-female workforce sort and grade plant leaves by quality and color before sending them on to the next stage of production.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


FRIDAY (DAY 7) - VIÑALES & TRINIDAD

Transfer - We depart Viñales before sunrise and travel to the Sancti Spiritus province located in the center of the island. Our destination is Trinidad. It was Cuba's best preserved colonial town and . Upon a late afternoon arrival we'll check into our casa particular located near the center of the town's historic district which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

Plaza Mayor - After check-in we'll walk a few blocks to explore the beautiful Plaza Mayor in the center of the historic district and learn about the grand structures that now serve as museums but once were individual family homes of sugar industry magnates.

Sunset Photo Walk - During the golden hour and sunset, we'll explore one of Trinidad poorest neighborhoods (barrios) just beyond the historic district. Capturing Cuba has developed many friendships in this barrio full of special characters. This walk is an excellent opportunity to interact with the locals and capture your best portraits of the adventure. 

Dinner - Get ready for a fun night of dining at this rooftop paladar known for it's live music and beautiful sunset views.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


SATURDAY (DAY 8) - TRINIDAD

Photo Walk - We begin our day wondering through another of Trinidad's barrios and then continue on to areas outside of the historic district including the town's other square, Cespedes Central Park.

Troubadours - We'll return to the historic district for a lunch and a special performance in the home of a husband and wife duo who are world-class musicians.

Photo Walk - Afterwards we will stroll through two smaller plazas that are alive with musicians, art galleries, and the largest of the many tourist markets in town. During the golden hour, you will have the optional opportunity to climb one or both of Trinidad's main towers for gorgeous 360-degree views of the outskirts of town, the surrounding mountains, and the nearby ocean.

Included Meals: Breakfast


SUNDAY (DAY 9) - TRINIDAD

Playa Ancon - Located a mere 7.5 miles from Trinidad, this precious ribbon of beach on the Caribbean shoreline is considered to be the finest arc of sand on the Southern coast of Cuba. Spending time here is the perfect way to wind down your 10-day adventure and relax before returning home to the daily grind.

Other Activities - If you're not a beach-goer, you might want to consider exploring the abandoned plantations in the Valley of the Sugar Mills, hiking the Topes de Collantes nature reserve park in the Escambray Mountain Range, or swimming under the waterfalls at Parque Cubano or El Nicho.

Farewell Dinner - The "Farewell Dinner" will be at one of Trinidad's most talked about paladars, which offers excellent service and a diverse menu featuring generous portions of everything from lobster to pizza. We'll celebrate our unforgettable adventure together with great food, Cuban drinks, and a look back at our favorite memories.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


MONDAY (DAY 10) - TRINIDAD

Check-Out & Departure - The final day includes breakfast and check-out, which concludes your Capturing Cuba adventure. Participants will then transfer as a group to the airport in Santa Clara (SNU) and depart on a commercial flight to their next destination.

Included Meals: Breakfast


* Please note that the itinerary is subject to change anytime prior to or during your adventure due to circumstances beyond our control. In Cuba it is common to experience last minute changes and cancellations.