Best of Cuba Tour

Itinerary

Gain a sense of the past and experience the quickly changing present in the capital city of Havana, the coastal town of Cienfuegos, the colonial gem of Trinidad and the queen of central Cuba — Camaguey — on this in-depth cultural exchange with Cuban people. Enjoy beloved Cuban passions and pastimes such as dominoes, art, music and dance.

ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrive in Miami

Welcome to Miami! This evening you will join your fellow travelers for a trip briefing in the hotel where you will learn about the exciting days ahead and prepare for your Cuban People-to-People experience. Overnight in Miami.

Day 2: Flight from Miami to Havana [D]

Departure from the hotel to the terminal (final flight times will be confirmed during orientation). The Flo Tours Group Leader will meet the group in the hotel lobby to transfer to the airport. Please be in the hotel lobby with your luggage and be ready to depart the hotel 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Transfer to the airport and check in to the charter flight to Havana.
Upon arrival in Havana, meet your Cuban guide who will provide local history and knowledge throughout the program. Begin an overview of Havana. Drive by the Capitolio, the Malecón – Havana’s seafront promenade, U.S. Embassy, La Rampa, and Havana University. Explore the Fortaleza de San Carlos de La Cabana, also known as “La Cabana” or “El Morro”. This fortress protected the mouth of the Havana harbor in its day and offers unique views over Havana ­ideal for gaining a better understanding of the city’s layout. Late afternoon arrival at the hotel. Overnight in Havana.

Day 3: Habana Vieja, Cuban Business , Community Arts [B,L,D]

We discover a local Farmers Market, to understand the cost of living and interact with local vendors. Then set out on exploration of Old Havana. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the oldest part of the city. See the GreekRoman ‘El Templete’ site of the first Mass and town council meeting in 1519. Enjoy a performance by contemporary dance company Danza Combinatoria (another company may be substituted if they are on tour). Boxed lunch with the performance group, a unique opportunity to have one on one conversations.
In the afternoon, visit the offices of a local business, learn about the details of doing business in Cuba. Engage in a discussion on the changing economics of Cuba with an expert. Enjoy the panoramic views overlooking all of Havana from the office’s advantageous location.
Tonight enjoy homemade cooking prepared by the members of a neighborhood arts center and learn the story of the center’s unique construction. Later, interact with locals at the neighborhood community arts center and enjoy their music and dance party. Overnight in Havana.

Day 4: History of Cuban Music and Arts [B,D]

After breakfast at our hotel, a lecture by a musicologist takes you on a journey through the history of Cuban music. Explore the Fine Arts Museum of Havana with your Cuban Study Leader. Cuban art is renowned worldwide. Delve into the stories that each work of art relates and the statement on politics, culture and society that each artist conveys.
Lunch will be on your own. After lunch, continue your guided exploration of Old Havana including stops at Plaza San Francisco and Plaza Vieja. Overnight in Havana.

Day 5: The Vinales Valley [B,L]

Set out early and head west to the province of Pinar del Rio, to the famed Vinales Valley, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The valley boasts Cuba’s most strikingly beautiful landscapes, with anomalous karst formations rising from the valley floor, unlike any other region of the island. Meet a farmer and learn why the best tobacco is found here.
Enjoy a home ­cooked meal prepared with the produce of their organic farm. In the afternoon we will stroll the main square of the small village of  Vinales before returning to Havana. Overnight in Havana.

Day 6: Havana, The Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos  [B,L,D]

Depart Havana to the south of the island, stopping at Playa Giron, known to Americans as the Bay of Pigs ­a small coastal village and the site of the historical 1961 clash between CIA trained Cuban exiles and Cuban rebel forces. Explore the small Playa Giron Museum, which portrays the Cuban perspective of the infamous invasion and houses many historical artifacts including a Sea Fury fighter aircraft, photos and maps outlining each step of the failed mission.

After lunch at  a local paladar, explore the main square of Cienfuegos, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but a city founded by the French, who came to Cuba after the Haitian revolution. The city offers outstanding architecture and is home to a large artistic community. Walk through the main square to the offices of UNEAC, the Union of Authors and Writers.  Late afternoon, check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Cienfuegos.

Day 7: Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens & Community Service [B,L,D]

Stroll through the main shopping street of Cienfuegos with your Cuban guide, to learn the differences between Ration, Cuban Pesos and CUC stores. Explore the complexity of the two currency system with the opportunity to speak with Cubans shoppers and the shops employees. At the Farmers Market, try making purchases with Cuban Pesos to understand the cost of living for Cubans and learn how much basic necessities cost. Depart on a Field Trip to explore the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens and the collection of indigenous and exotic plants and trees. Meet with staff and learn about the interesting history of the gardens and its relationship with Harvard University.

After lunch at a local paladar, step inside the beautiful Tomas Terry Theater to learn its history. People-to-People Connection: Enjoy a performance by one of Cienfuegos’ professional choral groups and discuss their training and daily life. Overnight in Cienfuegos.

Day 8: The Sugar Mill Valley & Trinidad, Gem of Colonial Towns  [B,L,D]

Depart Cienfuegos into the rolling hills of the Valle de Los Ingenios ­(Valley of the Sugar Mills), home to some 70 historic estates where vast quantities of sugar were grown and harvested. Meet the farmers and take a turn grinding the sugar, then sample Guarapo, the high energy drink made from the ground sugar cane.

After lunch in a paladar, explore the historic center of Trinidad de Cuba, one of the original Spanish Settlements and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is a pristine example of Spanish Colonial Caribbean architecture and has just celebrated its 500 year anniversary. People-to-People Connection: Check in at your Casa Particular. Casa Particulares owners have been the first people in Cuba to practice free enterprise.

Enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by your hosts at your Casa Particular. After dinner, relax at your Casa Particular or take an evening stroll through the town.

Day 9: The City of Sancti Spiritus en Route to Camaguey [B,L,D]

After breakfast, depart to Camaguey. Stop in Sancti Spiritus, to see its historic bridge and walk through the charming colonial streets and squares. Enjoy lunch at a paladar in Sancti Spiritus. Be sure to try the Flan for dessert! Continue to Camaguey, arriving in the late afternoon. One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camaguey played a prominent role as the urban center of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. It is the 3rd largest city in Cuba and the historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check into your hotel and overnight in Camaguey.

Day 10: Discovering Camaguey, Its Squares & Its Artists  [B,L,D]

Camaguey is reputed to have some of the most talented dancers in Cuba, and is home to three of the country’s best dance companies. People-to-People Connection: Visit a dance company and observe dancers during their daily rehearsal, and learn from the company manager the challenges of operating a performance company, with limited resources for props and costumes. Meet a family of artisan ceramicists who create the distinctive urns traditionally used in Camaguey to store water. In addition to their craft, the workshop is beautifully decorated with the family collection of ornamental plants and cacti.
After lunch, walk back to the hotel via the pedestrian streets of Camaguey.  Enjoy an “aperitivo” with two of Cuba’s most creative and prodigious contemporary painters, Joel Jover and his wife Ileana Sanchez. Their magnificently decorated home is itself a work of art. Dinner and overnight in Camaguey.

Day 11: Village Life in Cuba [B,L,D]

Mainly agricultural, the Camaguey region produces the majority of Cuba’s beef and dairy. Journey out into the countryside for a taste of country life, Cuban style, on a working cattle ranch. Learn the story of the ranch from the manager and meet Cuban cowboys who demonstrate their skills, sharing many similarities to American traditions of rodeo. The ranch supports a village where the workers and their families live. Visit the humble homes and meet the village families. Try a few words of Spanish and perhaps share a few moments of true intercultural exchange.
Enjoy an authentic pig roast for lunch at the ranch. Return to Camaguey in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Camaguey.

Day 12: Departure from Camaguey [B]

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your charter flight back to Miami.

Available departures

Select your tour date using the calendar below to book this tour.

This tour is repeated every week on multiple days.

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Tour review scores and score breakdown

10 / 10

Based on 3 reviews

Guest reviews are written by our customers after their tour of Best of Cuba Tour.

Overall
9   
Accommodation
10   
Transport
10   
Meals
10   
Guide
10   
Value for money
9   
Program accuracy
10   

Guest reviews

  • Courtney P. Hills
    2016-12-08

    We had a couple of bad experiences with tour agencies. They made the process of the booking complicated and the tours were not as detailed as we thought they would be. A family member of our recommended Flo Tours since she visited Turkey with them previously in that year. I went on their website and gave them a call, they explained the simple process to book and how they take care of the rest. I was interested in their South Africa tour and I received a detailed itinerary as soon I asked for it. Along came a booking form and their terms and conditions. We sat down as a family and went through it and made the decision to book. I filled the form and e-mailed it back and boom we received an invoice that it was booked. Our trip is coming up in April but I decided to write a review now to thank everyone at Flo Tours for making everything so easy. I will write a review about our trip and how it went when we return. Cannot wait!

  • Alejandro Gomez
    2016-12-05

    I wanted to let you know my Cuba tour was great, I visited before and the language was a barrier for me, but with you guys was no problem, I’m so thankful the English-speaking tour guides were so friendly, easy going and kind, they even had a wonderful sense of humor. I learned so much about their culture and pictures just don’t do justice. There is so much history there, mixture of culture, I was crazy about the old cars, the nature also was incredible.

  • Milo C Brown
    2016-12-02

    As a family we take a lot of vacations and this year we decided to go to Cuba because of its cultural and architectural beauty. My daughter who is 22 wanted to go somewhere with a lot of history and beauty and my husband and I agreed. We searched online and found FloTours, I gave them a call and they answered all of my questions and helped me with my booking and after the booking they took care of every step until the trip date. The flight was surprisingly pleasant and the group leader was an absolute professional. When we got to Havana, everything looked so beautiful and disconnected from the rest of the world. Our Tour guide Xxxx was incredibly wise and he knew his surroundings very well. The hotels were chosen just perfect. We had no problems with communicating with anyone or explaining our problems to people. Overall, I will definitely keep Flo Tours in mind when its time to take another family trip. Thank you

2017 Departure Dates  
Departure-Return DatePrice
(Per Person in DBL room)
Single
Supplement
Availability
Jan 9 - Jan 20$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Jan 23 - Feb 3$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Feb 6 - Feb 17$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Feb 20 - Mar 3$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Mar 6 - Mar 17$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Mar 20 - Mar 31$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Apr 3 - Apr 14$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Apr 17 - Apr 28$5,695$895BOOK NOW
May 1 - May 12$5,695$895BOOK NOW
May 15- May 26$5,395$795BOOK NOW
May 29 - Jun 9$5,395$795BOOK NOW
Jun 12 - Jun 23$5,395$795BOOK NOW
Jul 10 - Jul 21$4,995$695BOOK NOW
Aug 7 - Aug 18$4,995$695BOOK NOW
Sep 4 - Sep 15$5,395$795BOOK NOW
Sep 18 - Sep 29$5,395$795BOOK NOW
Oct 2 - Oct 13$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Oct 16 - Oct 27 $5,695$895BOOK NOW
Oct 30 - Nov 10$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Nov 13 - Nov 24$5,695$895BOOK NOW
Nov 27 - Dec 8$5,995$995BOOK NOW
Dec 11 - Dec 22$5,995$995BOOK NOW
Dec 25 - Jan 5$6,195$1,595BOOK NOW

Inclusions

  • Hotel accommodations as listed (1 night in Miami, 4 nights in Havana and 2 nights in Cienfuegos, 1 night in Trinidad de Cuba, 3 nights in Camaguey)
  • Private pre-tour briefing at the hotel
  • Non-stop flights from Miami to Havana/ Camaguey to Miami via U.S. Government-licensed charter service
  • Priority check-in services
  • U.S. Treasury Department, OFAC License Certification and Authorization Letter
  • Cuba Entrance Visa & Departure Tax
  • Flo Tours exclusive-guided programming, including; unique handpicked people-to-people activities; insider access to Cuba's famous places and those rarely seen; and private visits and lectures with Cuba's renowned experts
  • Experienced Flo Tours tour leader
  • Expert Cuban guide and driver
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Small group size (usually 16 or fewer guests; never more than 24)
  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
  • All in-country ground transportation and airport transfers
  • 24 hour emergency customer service hotline
  • Health insurance in Cuba (mandatory)
  • Customary tips

Exclusions

  • Trip Insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Extra drinks with meals

Hotels

  • Miami: Miami International Airport Hotel****
    This modern airport hotel is located right before the security checkpoint on the 2nd floor in Central Terminal Concourse E.
    All the soundproofed rooms and suites have marble bathrooms and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. WiFi is available for a surcharge. Suites also have dining areas and minifridges, and some have living areas.
  • Havana: Hotel Nacional de Cuba *****
    Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
  • Havana: Iberostar Parque Central *****
    Rightfully considered to be one of Havana’s best hotels, Iberostar Parque Central (formerly NH Parque Central) offers 427 comfortable rooms - including 27 suites, 34 junior suites, 1 presidential suite and 3 rooms for the disabled - divided over two buildings, which are connected by a tunnel. The location of Hotel Parque Central on the edge of Old and Central Havana could not be more convenient. Within minutes you can walk to the most important sites, shops and restaurants in Old Havana as well as the Capitolio with its outstanding architecture and Havana’s famous sea boulevard, El Malecon.
    Beside the luxury rooms, excellent service and fantastic location, Iberostar Parque Central offers one of the best (roof top) pools you’ll find in the Cuba's capital. From here you can enjoy an outstanding view over the city.
  • Havana: Hotel Melia Cohiba *****
    This upscale hotel in the Vedado business district lies 3.1 km from Old Havana. It's also 8 km from Malecón esplanade.
    Simple, relaxed rooms and suites feature free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs. They also have desks and coffeemakers, while Club rooms add 24-hour room service and sea views. Suites have whirlpool tubs and separate living rooms.
    The hotel offers free buffet breakfast. Other amenities include 5 restaurants, 2 cafes, and 2 bars, plus a cigar bar. There's also an outdoor pool, a spa and a fitness center, as well as a business center and 8 meeting rooms.
  • Cienfuegos : Hotel Jague ***
    This 1950s-era hotel overlooking Bahia de Cienfuegos is 7 km from Jaime González Airport. Featuring balconies or terraces, the casual, colorful rooms come with TVs and minibars. Room service is available.Breakfast and parking are complimentary. The hotel has a restaurant, as well as a bar/disco. The outdoor pool offers a sundeck and sunloungers, plus bay views.
  • Trinidad de Cuba : Casa Particular (Privately owned accommodation)
    This is a wonderful historic city, located about 3 hours south of Havana. The architecture of Cienfuegos is heavily influenced by French and Spanish-colonial styles and most of the city is well preserved, with large plazas and ornate buildings. It is often referred to as “La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Cuba. The city also has a busy port, and a vibrant waterfront (Malecon). It is located about 45 minutes away from the historic town of Trinidad and the popular town of Santa Clara.
  • Camaguey: Hotel E Santa Maria***
    The charming boutique Hotel Encanto Santa Maria is excellently located in Camaguey's historic colonial centre, which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.The recently opened Hotel Santa Maria stands on the Plaza del Gallo, formerly the Plaza de La Soledad and faces two of the most important streets of the historic centre of Camagüey: Ignacio Agramonte and Republic streets. Encanto Santa Maria is also distinguished by its elegance and top quality service.

**Because of the lack of hotel capacity in the countryside, we cannot guarantee exact hotel or star rating in Sancti Spiritus and Cienfuegos; the accommodation is in typical “tourist” class hotels that can be changed according to capacity.