The Spears Gallery Travel


HAVANA, CUBA:

Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Matanzas & Havana, Cuba
7 nights – 8 days
May 17 – 24, 2018
Confirmed by: Stephanie Spears, The Spears Gallery

Please call (916) 647-6990 for reservations and further information.
You may also email: Stephanie@TheSpearsGallery.com
View, download and print the Cuba Itinerary

Itinerary

May 17:   USA – Santa Clara – Sancti Spiritus (2 nights)

Fly from the USA to Santa Clara, Cuba today where you clear Cuban Immigrations and Customs and meet your English speaking National Guide who escorts you for the remainder of your Cuban adventure.

  • Upon arrival lunch will be served at a Paladar (home style restaurant) in Santa Clara.
  • It’s a one hour drive to the quaint small Cuban town of Sancti Spiritus.
  • There will be time to stroll through the local artisans market which is located only one block from your hotel.
  • Check-in to the hotel between 4:30 and 5:00PM.
  • Dinner this evening will be served at local Paladar (private enterprise restaurant) located within walking distance of the hotel.

Hotel Plaza OR Hotel Rijo                  (L, D)

May 18:  Sancti Spiritus – Trinidad

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit the Architecture Museum and Casa Cantero both of which are located on Trinidad’s main plaza.
  • Visit to the private artist studio of Rudy Rubio this morning.
  • Lunch today is served at one of Trinidad’s wonderful Paladars.
  • After lunch you’ll be entertained at the Ballet Folklorico consisting of rumba and salsa music with performances by Cuban folkloric dancers.
  • There will be ample time to wander the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and visit the local artisans market.
  • Return to Sancti Spiritus late this afternoon.
  • Dinner this evening is included at a Paladar in Sancti Spiritus.
  • This evening your guide will be happy to introduce you to the nearby Casa de la Musica where you hear locals perform some great Cuban music and, by all means, put on your dancing shoes and join in salsa or rumba dancing with the locals.

Hotel Plaza OR Hotel Rijo                              (B, L, D)

May 19: Sancti Spiritus – Matanzas – Havana

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • We’re off early this morning after breakfast as we drive to Matanzas, the “City of Bridges”, which is well known for its Afro-Cuban culture and history. Former Afro Cuban slaves, united in secret brotherhoods known as “Cabildos” gave birth to the rumba in Matanzas.
  • Visit the main square of Matanzas with lunch included at The Hotel Velasco
  • After lunch we have the rare pleasure of visiting an in-home Santeria church and enjoy a presentation by a member who explains this uniquely Afro Cuban religion to us. Santeria is a fascinating mixture of modern day Catholicism and ancient religions brought to Cuba by former African slaves.
  • Our day ends in Matanzas at a community project founded by Afro Cubans in their local neighborhood that focuses on the music and forkloric dance of their ancestors who discovered the beat and sounds of rumba.
  • Our day ends by driving to Havana where we check into our hotel between 5:30 and 6:30PM.
  • Dinner at a Paladar located within walking distance of our hotel.

Hotel Telegrafo                                                           (B, L, D)

May 20:  Habana Vieja! – Revolution! & Africa House

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit the Plaza de la Revolucion for a great group photo op.
  • Guided walking tour of Old Havana including the Plaza de Armas, the Used Booksellers Market and the Plaza de la Catedral, Obispo Street– generally soak in the sights and sounds of Habana Vieja!
  • End your walk through Old Havana at La Floridita Bar, a Hemingway favorite, and famous for its “discovery’ of the Daiquiri. Hot Cuban salsa music and possibly your first Cuban cigar!
  • Welcome lunch at a Paladar in Old Havana.
  • After lunch we visit the Casa de Africa in Old Havana which houses beautiful African art, many that were gifts to Castro, as well as sacred objects relating to the Santeria religion and collected by ethnographer Fernando Ortiz.
  • Visit a major Cuban artist in their private studio this afternoon. Specific artist dependent on who is in residence at the time.
  • Optional: Visit the immense Artisans Market located on the Malecon or return to the hotel for a little down time.
  • Dinner this evening is not included.
  • Optional after dinner suggestion: The Buena Vista Social Club.

Hotel Telegrafo                                               (B, L,)

May 21:  Havana – Capitanes Generales – Columbus – Fusterlandia

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Docent guided visit to the Museo de Bellas Artes this morning (Museum of Fine Arts) concentrating on the Cuban fine arts section of this massive museum.
  • This morning visit the former residence of the Governors of Havana (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales), a Cuban Baroque mansion and museum which showcases colonial-era art and artifacts.
  • Lunch today is served in a Paladar at El Aljibe Restaurant in Vedado which recently received rave reviews by CNN’s Anthony Bourdain.
  • After lunch visit to “Fusterlandia”, the home and surrounding neighborhood of “The Picasso of the Caribbean”, Jose Fuster.
  • Before dinner we stop by the iconic Hotel Nacional and its Bar de la Fama (Bar of Fame) where you can enjoy one of its famed Mojitos.
  • Dinner is included this evening at a Paladar in Vedado.

Hotel Telegrafo                                   (B, L, D)

May 22:  Havana – Afro Cuban culture and history

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Cross the Havana Harbor and visit the old port town of Regla which is a center of Afro Cuban religions, including the all male secret society of Abakua.
  • Visit the diminutive Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla where we will find the Black Madonna which is venerated in the Catholic faith and associated in the Santeria religion with Yemaya (spirit of the ocean and patron of sailors).
  • Visit the Museo Municipal de Regla which records the history of Regla and its Afro Cuban religions and the Yoruba Cultural Society where the Museo de las Orishas is located.
  • We enjoy lunch today at the Afro Cuban Paladar San Cristobal where President and Mrs. Obama dined during their historic visit to Cuba.
  • After lunch today we enjoy the community project known as Clave del Sol which is dedicated to teaching children of all ages musical instruments specializing in guitar music.
  • Dinner this evening is not included.

Hotel Telegrafo                                               (B, L)

May 23:  Havana – Hemingway – & Santacana

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Depart our hotel and travel via vintage automobiles to the mansion and museum of Ernest Hemingway in San Francisco de Paula.
  • We visit to the small town of Cojimar where Hemingway was inspired to write “Old Man and the Sea”.
  • Lunch today is at Paladar Rio Mar overlooking the river in Miramar.
  • After lunch we visit the highly unique art gallery and private studio of Beatriz Sala Santacana in Miramar. Her works in ceramics, sculpture and oils are exhibited worldwide.
  • After Santacana we visit Galleria Arte 331, also in Miramar.
  • Time permitting this afternoon we visit the impoverished yet vibrant barrio of Muraleando. A small but devoted group of artists volunteer their time and skills to help establish a center for arts, music, dance and theatre.
  • Our farewell dinner this evening is at another of Havana’s famed Paladars.

Hotel Telegrafo                                               (B, L, D)

May 24:  Havana – USA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • We transfer to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana where we check in for our return flight to the USA.

End of services

Tour Prices

$3680.00 per person sharing double or twin room

$1280.00 single supplement

Package price includes:

  • 7 nights double room accommodation in the hotel mentioned or equivalent
  • Meals per day as noted (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • One drink per included meal: bottle of water, coffee, glass of wine, beer, Mojito, soft drink, etc. Any additional drinks can be ordered and paid for by the client in cash.
  • Private English speaking national guide daily
  • All transportation as noted in itinerary by modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • All entrance fees to included tour sites
  • 2 bottles of water per day per person onboard the motor coach (except transfer days).
  • Insurance covering medical expenses in Cuba provided by your air carrier to Cuba.
  • Authorization documentation allowing passengers to clear US immigrations upon returning to the United States provided by Vaya Sojourns, Inc. (USA Office of Foreign Assets Control: licensed Cuba Travel Service Provider)

Package price does not include:

  • Air transportation to or from Cuba
  • Cuba visa fee: $85 USD
  • Cuba departure tax $25USD to be paid prior to departing USA (usually as part of air ticket
  • Optional Buena Vista Social Club including transfers: $50.00 USD per person
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel maid service, hotels porters, restaurant waiters.
  • More than one drink at meals which are included in the program at restaurants or Paladars.
  • Expenditures of a personal nature (laundry, telephone, internet fees, etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in “Included” abov

BOOKING CONDITIONS

The Spears Gallery, Travel & Tours is pleased to present this 8-Day/7-Night itinerary to you for our 2018 Cuba on My Mind program, May 17-24.  Please note that your U.S. passport MUST be valid for at least 6 months after the departure date from Cuba back to the US.

  • Payment schedule:

$500 per person due no later than October 15, 2017

Balance payment required no later than March 1, 2018

  • Cancellation penalty:

$250 processing fee if cancelled after receipt of deposit

50% refundable 44-30 days prior to arrival in Cuba

No refund for any cancellations within 30 days of arrival in Cuba or for any reason during the actual operation of the tour in Cuba.

Travel insurance is available and STRONGLY recommended to protect your vacation investment.  The Spears Gallery, Travel & Tours will provide a quote for several levels of coverage through Allianz Travel Insurance.

Air Travel information for flights from Miami to Santa Clara and return to Miami from Havana will be provided when available.  It will be necessary to arrive Miami at least one night prior to departure, May 16th, to be available on time for an early morning flight to Santa Clara, Cuba.  Depending on the return flight schedule from Havana back to Miami, you may need to overnight there again on the night of May 24th.

Miami Airport Hotel – For the night of May 16th, it is recommended you stay in Miami to assure on time check-in for the flight on May 17th to Santa Clara, Cuba.  A suggested hotel is the Crowne Plaza Miami Airport, however, recognizing that many have points and preferred status with other hotels, we leave it up to you to make your choice and arrangements for the overnight.

Please call (916) 647-6990 for reservations and further information.
You may also email: Stephanie@TheSpearsGallery.com
View, download and print the Cuba Itinerary