Almaz Journeys operates private journeys to Cuba in compliance with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s general licenses for Cuba travel. Our custom journeys include the required full daily schedule of cultural exchanges, while still being tailored to your interests and giving you some flexibility. We use our favorite private sector guides, and you will generally dine only in our favorite privately-owned restaurants (paladares) – all to ensure you’re supporting Cuba’s burgeoning private sector as much as possible. Throughout your stay, you will meet many Cubans from different professions, ages, and experiences in order to witness in-depth this period of profound change in Cuba and promote greater understanding between the U.S. and Cuba. Please note that this is not a tour, and under the general licenses you are required to participate in all activities on your schedule.
Throughout your stay, you will meet many Cubans from different professions, ages, and experiences in order to witness in-depth this period of profound change in Cuba and promote greater understanding between the U.S. and Cuba. Please note that this is not a tour, and under the general licenses you are required to participate in all activities on your schedule.
Welcome to Cuba!
Upon arrival this afternoon (flight not included), your local Almaz Journeys representative will meet you outside for your private arrival transfer.
Any trip to Cuba must begin with the majestic faded glory of Havana. Located on the northern coast of Cuba just 105 miles from the U.S., Havana was founded in the 16th century by the Spanish and quickly became a jewel in its New World holdings as a strategic trading stop between Spain and its colonies. Although the colonial days are long gone, Old Havana is still home to one of the largest number of Spanish colonial buildings and therefore a UNESCO World Heritage site.
With investments in ongoing restoration since the 1990s, the faded facades of colonial buildings, the fountain-filled plazas, and the oceanfront promenade known as the malecón are all slowly returning to former glory. Havana (and Cuba overall) is one of the most exciting destinations in the world today, offering the chance to witness yet another period of change through the eyes of everyday Cubans.
After check-in at your casa particular or privately-owned boutique hotel, you’ll have a little time to settle in before dinner.
Evening Dinner reservation at one of our favorite privately-owned restaurants. After dinnert, a cigar expert will join you for a rum and cigar tasting. The experience will be 1.5 hours and he or she will pair your cigar with a good rum and explain how cigars are made and smoked. (Cost of dinner not included.)
After breakfast this morning, walk in the footsteps of Havana’s colonial past as you explore the four key squares of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with your expert local guide offering insightful history throughout. Please wear comfortable shoes for this walking exploration! (For an upgraded Premium experience, we can arrange for a specialist architecture guide to lead this visit.)
After free time for lunch, take an overview drive around Havana in a classic convertible including an essential stop at El Morro, the fortress at the mouth of the harbor, for panoramic views of the entire city. Your introduction to the Cuban capital will take you along the seafront boulevard (malecón), to Revolution Square, and past important landmarks including the impressive Bacardi building and numerous former Mafia haunts including Meyer Lansky’s Havana Riviera.
Evening Dinner reservation at one of our favorite privately-owned restaurants (paladars).
Further Exploration of Havana
This morning, meet your guide for a food-focused exploration, with visits to local markets in Miramar, Vedado and Centro. The guide will also take you to visit what most non-Cubans will never get to know, a “bodega”, one of the governmental markets used for the distribution of rationed low-priced food products to the Cuban people and see the price differences by visiting a fresh food product market (Mercado Agropecuario). This is a great chance to learn about urban farming and food supply in Cuba, for a better insight into food history.
You’ll explore the thriving local arts scene with visits to the studios of several emerging or established artists. Every exploration is tailored for you, whether you have a very specific interest or simply wish to get a taste of Havana’s thriving artistic community. Please speak with your Almaz Journeys expert about what types of art and artists you’d like to include this morning.
Evening To close out your stay in Havana, we suggest an al fresco dinner on the roof of a former factory, located adjacent to one of the most exciting contemporary art spaces in Havana. After dinner, head next door to hear live music and see works by some of the island’s avant garde artists. (Cost of dinner and transportation for evening activities not included.)
Until Next Time!
Morning check out and transfer to Havana airport for your flight back to the U.S. (Air not included.)
Looking to spend a few more days on this magical island? How about exploring the colonial charm and surrounding natural beauty of Trinidad as well as the lush Viñales valley, the heart of tobacco production in Cuba? Our Taste of Cuba itinerary is a great starting point for a longer 8-day exploration. Contact Almaz Journeys for more options.
Private Journey PricingPer Person
From Price Per Person
Deluxe Itinerary: 2 Guests Traveling Together
Deluxe Itinerary: 4 Guests Traveling Together
3 nights in Havana: Deluxe casa particular (Deluxe) or Premium casa particular (Premium). Lodging upgrade options available at additional cost.
Private arrival and departure transfers (assumes all guests on same flights.) English-speaking guide included when specified in itinerary.
VIP Airport service in Havana on arrival. (Departure service also included with Premium experience.)
Private, local English-speaking host guide for all transfers and activities (supplemented by expert guides for Premium experience) as described in the program.
Private air-conditioned prepaid taxi (modern rental vehicle for Premium experience) for all included activities and transfer, with bottled water daily.
Round-trip transfers for dinners and included evening performances.
Cost of entrance for all sights and experiences specifically included in your program.
Local concierge service to assist with any special requests before and during your journey.
24/7 local emergency contact during your journey.
Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations.
Lunches, dinners and alcoholic beverages unless otherwise specified in your program.
Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel porters, etc. unless otherwise specified in your program.
Travel or medical evacuation insurance.
Any other items or services not specifically included in your itinerary.
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