Affordable Tour of Cuba - Cosmos® Budget tours

Cuba Discovery (8700)

8 Day Tour from Varadero to Havana

2018 Tour Details

Shrouded in mystery for the last 50 years, you now have the opportunity to visit the captivating country of Cuba. This special people-to-people program allows you to share meaningful interactions with Cubans while enjoying the rich history and culture of this amazing country.

On this Cuba tour, interact with Old Styler car owners, farm workers, local business owners, and community members to learn about life here through captivating educational activities and conversations. Highlights include a visit to a print shop that still employs traditional printing and binding methods; an interactive dance lesson; a ride in an Old Styler car; lunches at organic farms, where you can engage in discussions with the staff and owners about farm–to–table processes and Cuba’s free enterprise system; a visit with local children; a visit to the studio of artist José Fuster, known as the "Picasso of the Caribbean;" and a meeting with young children learning acrobatics and circus skills.

You'll also enjoy a guided walk in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a guided nature walk in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, where you'll learn about the area's unique flora and fauna. Hemingway fans will be delighted to visit his beloved home, where he lived in Cuba for 30 years, and to see his fishing boat, El Pilar. You'll also visit Cuba's lush tobacco region, where you'll even have a chance to try rolling your own cigar!

All of this and more await you on this value-minded Cuba tour. You'll come away with a deep understanding of Cuba and its people on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience!

Updated June 20, 2017 - Group Voyagers, Inc.* is an organization licensed by the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), CFR 515.565(b) and authorized to provide those who register as participants in our programs to visit Cuba legally for educational people-to-people interactions. Our unique itinerary: “Cuba’s Charming Colonial Cities & Havana” provides a full-time schedule of people-to-people educational exchange activities designed to result in meaningful interactions between our travelers and individuals in Cuba. United States law requires that all participants in our programs adhere to the full-time schedule of people-to-people activities.

*Group Voyagers, Inc. is the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands.
800.276.1241

 Tour Highlights

Guides:

Services of a professional Cosmos Group Leader and English-speaking Cuban National Tour Director

Scenic Highlights:

Varadero, Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, Viñales Valley

Notes:

YOUR PROGRAM ALSO INCLUDES: Gratuities to wait staff at restaurants, porters at hotels, motorcoach driver, Cuban National Tour Director, and your Cosmos Group Leader.

The “Cuba Discovery” program requires walking on cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, climbing stairs, and participating in a full-time schedule of people-to-people activities.

Due to the special requirements to visit Cuba, participants will be required to complete and sign a travel affidavit confirming that they are traveling under a people-to-people license and will participate in a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities. Participants are also required to send a color copy of their passport valid photo page (passports must be valid 6 months from the last date of travel). These items must be sent to Globus within 7 days of making a reservation.

In Cuba, activities that have been scheduled far in advance can sometimes become unavailable for a number of different reasons. The purpose of the trip is to have meaningful interactions with the locals and if the planned people-to-people educational exchange isn’t available, rest assured that another that will be just as enriching will be substituted.

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Old Havana and its Fortification System
  • Vinales Valley

Transportation:

Transportation:
Airport transfers in Cuba on program start and end days only; touring by private, first class air-conditioned motorcoach

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

7 Breakfast, 6 lunches, 5 dinners including a welcome dinner in Varadero and a farewell dinner in Havana

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Day 1 ARRIVE IN VARADERO, CUBA

Arrive in Varadero, Cuba, and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Cosmos Group Leader and Cuban National Tour Director for a 7 pm welcome dinner. This is a good time to meet fellow program participants, get your questions answered, and prepare for your time in fascinating Cuba.

DinnerDinner

Day 2 VARADERO. EXCURSION TO MATANZAS

This morning, visit Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” for the many renowned artists and intellectuals it has produced. Visit TRIOLET PHARMACY, which dates back to 1879 and is preserved in its entirety. Then, interact with workers at EDICIONES VIGIA, a print and binding shop, and learn about the traditional craft that is still done by hand. Before returning to your hotel, stop at CASA DUPONT, built in 1926 by American millionaire Irénée du Pont. See the lavish grounds and admire the detailed architecture of this former mansion, nicknamed “Xanadu” by its owner. Enjoy an interactive DANCE LESSON before dinner tonight.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 3 VARADERO–HAVANA

This morning, travel to Havana, the bustling capital of Cuba and your home for the next two nights. Start your time in Havana with a visit to FINCA VIGIA, Ernest Hemingway’s beloved home. Hemingway lived in Cuba for 30 years and is well respected by the Cuban people. Also, see his fishing boat, El Pilar, used to patrol for German U-boats during WWII. Next, visit a local ORGANIC FARM, where you’ll join a discussion with the workers. Enjoy lunch at the farm’s paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant). Over dessert, discuss with the owner and staff their farm-to-table process and the free enterprise system in Cuba. Then, visit a COMMUNITY PROJECT to interact with the children and the volunteers who run the program. The children may even delight you with a song or two. Tonight, enjoy dinner at El Aljibe Restaurant, famous for its open-air ambiance and special slow-roasted chicken.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 4 HAVANA

Start the day with a panoramic tour around Havana that includes REVOLUTION SQUARE, the University of Havana, the Capitol Building, and Prado. Next, join your Cuban Tour Director for a guided walk in OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discuss the different types of architecture found throughout the city, the progress of restoration projects, and how they receive their supplies and funding. Afterward, interact with the young members of EN BUSCA DEL SOL (In Search of the Sun), a community project founded by a local artist. We’ll end the day with a stop at the SAN JOSÉ MARKET to meet local artists and see the wares sold at this area market. This evening is free to explore Havana on your own. You may wish to visit the famous Tropicana Nightclub, see a baseball game (seasonal), visit some of Hemingway’s old haunts, or explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 5 HAVANA–LAS TERRAZAS–VIÑALES

Today we travel to the western end of the island to the province of Pinar del Río. With some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, you’ll see lush emerald-green tobacco fields and dramatic limestone formations, called mogotes, which are the height of skyscrapers and tower over the Viñales Valley floor. Visit LAS TERRAZAS’ BIOSPHERE RESERVE, where you’ll enjoy a guided NATURE WALK to learn about and discuss some of the unique flora and fauna found in this region of Cuba. Visit a local SCHOOL and interact with the children who call this part of the world home. Upon arrival in Viñales, your Tour Director will take you on a walk through the handsome square and along the wide main street lined with turn-of-the-century cottages with red-tiled roofs. Spend the next two nights at a Casa Particular (a privately-owned bed & breakfast). Here is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Cuban culture.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 6 VIÑALES. EXCURSION TO PINAR DEL RIO

This morning, we travel to Pinar del Río and visit a local COMMUNITY ART PROJECT to discuss their program that helps children with Down Syndrome. Return to Viñales and meet a local farmer and his family at a TOBACCO FARM. Learn about the process of growing, drying, and rolling tobacco. You can even try rolling a cigar yourself! Take some time to get acquainted with the owner and his family over coffee. Lunch will be served at a local ORGANIC FARM, where you will have the opportunity to chat with the staff and owners. Afterward, visit a TOBACCO-STRIPPING HOUSE to learn more about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially for Cuba. This evening is at leisure to explore the charming village of Viñales.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 7 VIÑALES–HAVANA

Return to bustling Havana and visit artist JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you’ll discover a surreal world—like nothing you have seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. This afternoon’s highlight includes a workshop at the ANGELES DEL FUTURO Community Project, where you’ll meet young children learning acrobatics and circus skills. You’ll be amazed at their talents and impressed with the skills they have mastered at such a young age—definitely a trip highlight! Before dinner this evening, meet members of the local Old Styler Car Club. Hear why Havana’s streets are filled with vintage American automobiles, and converse about how these cars are obtained and what it takes to keep them running. Ride in an OLD STYLER CAR to your farewell dinner, the perfect ending to your time in Cuba.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 8 HAVANA

Your program ends after breakfast with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

LIBAN DIAZ

Escorting tours for more than 5 years

I'm a specialist in Linguistics and a graduate of the School of Foreign Languages of the University of Havana. I speak Spanish, English and Italian and have worked as a Tour Director for over seven years. My job has given me the opportunity of becoming an ambassador for my homeland. Cuba is unique in so many ways and has a rich history, culture and loving people. I feel delighted to share my country with you and turn your trip into a memorable and educational adventure.

Tour Director - LIBAN DIAZ

 Accommodations

VARADERO Hotel Bella Costa (F)
HAVANA Memories Miramar Havana Hotel (MF)
VINALES Casa Particular (BA)

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

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