Kids in Havana Photo by Adam Jones

Authentic Havana

Book this package
6 days  •  $2499 $2199
per person, double occupancy, including airfare*
based on Sep. 10, 2017 departure
$300 Early Bird Discount. Expires Jul. 27, 2017.*   All prices reflect savings.
information
We're still going to Cuba!
Our People-to-People tours are still legal and not impacted by recent changes in U.S. policy. Questions? See our Cuba FAQs.

Overview

Featuring Take in the heart & soul of this colorful & cultural island: Havana, Cojimar & Regla
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates; select from 4 open departures, September – October 2017
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Non-stop round trip flights from Miami to Havana
  • U.S. Treasury Department, OFAC License Certification and Authorization Letter
  • Cuba Entrance Visa & Departure Tax
  • All land transportation, transfers & porterage in Cuba
  • 1st night Crowne Plaza Miami Airport Hotel with Pre-tour introductory briefing
  • 4 nights accommodations in Cuba at a well-located & completely renovated 'casa particular' (Cuban bed and breakfast)
  • 11 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Comprehensive educational exchange program, including entrance fees
  • Friendly Planet Tour Manager
  • Professional, English-speaking local guide, who will facilitate the educational exchanges with Cubans
  • Health insurance in Cuba (mandatory)
Optional
  • Post-Night stay in Miami
Highlights
  • Explore Old Havana’s architectural treasure trove with a specialist from the Office of the City Historian
  • Learn how Cuban masters hand-roll cigars at a famous Cigar Factory
  • Visit the fascinating Afro-Cuban neighborhood of Regla
  • Tour the Rum Museum to trace the history (and taste) Cuba’s national drink
  • Meet young, up and coming Cuban artists in a private studio
  • Walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway at Finca Vigia
Departs Miami (MIA)
Themes History & Culture

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


Authentic Havana itinerary

On our popular new tour, Authentic Havana, we’ll bring you into the heart of a typical Cuban neighborhood with a four-night stay at a privately owned, colonial style Cuban bed and breakfast. This B & B has been lovingly restored and furnished and is managed by a small team of dedicated men and women who will be like family away from home. Our centrally located bed and breakfast, just a ten minute walk to Old Havana and even closer to shops, restaurants and nightlife, offers a more authentic and intimate experience yet provides all the amenities and comforts you want and deserve. 

Thanks to reduced flights via more convenient scheduled air and great pricing at our “casa” we’ve managed to reduce prices while maintaining our high standard of creative, culturally-focused itineraries. On Authentic Havana, you'll dive deep into the daily life of everyday Cubans. You’ll visit a private studio of one of Cuba's budding artists and tour a famous Cigar factory. And that’s just for starters. There's so much to love about our new tour to Cuba, so book your space today, because space is flying!

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $300 per person if you book by Jul. 27, 2017!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
Depart Return Price Book by
Jul 27
Sun Jun 25 2017 Fri Jun 30 2017 $1999   Departed
Sun Jul 2 2017 Fri Jul 7 2017 $2199   Closed
Sun Jul 9 2017 Fri Jul 14 2017 $2199   Closed
Sun Jul 23 2017 Fri Jul 28 2017 $2199   Closed
Sun Jul 30 2017 Fri Aug 4 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Aug 6 2017 Fri Aug 11 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Aug 13 2017 Fri Aug 18 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Sep 3 2017 Fri Sep 8 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Sep 10 2017 Fri Sep 15 2017 $2499 $2199 Available
Sun Sep 17 2017 Fri Sep 22 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Sep 24 2017 Fri Sep 29 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Oct 1 2017 Fri Oct 6 2017 $2499 $2199 Available
Sun Oct 8 2017 Fri Oct 13 2017 $2499 $2199 Closed
Sun Oct 15 2017 Fri Oct 20 2017 $2499 $2199 Available
Sun Oct 22 2017 Fri Oct 27 2017 $2499 $2199 Available

Want to stay longer? Unfortunately, we don't offer late returns on this package.

Options & Fees

Authentic Havana
Rooming Selection1
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Jun 25, Jul 2, Jul 9, Jul 23, Jul 30, Aug 6, Aug 13, Sep 3, Sep 17, Sep 24 +$199
Oct 1, Oct 15, Oct 22 +$249
Sep 10, Oct 8 unavailable

1. There is limited inventory of more spacious rooms with a king size bed for an additional $80 per person sharing double occupancy. Please call us to request availability.

Optional Post-Night Crowne Plaza Miami
Optional Post-Night Crowne Plaza Miami
Oct 1, Oct 8, Oct 15, Oct 22 +$85
All other departures +$70
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Oct 1, Oct 8, Oct 15, Oct 22 +$85
All other departures +$70
Taxes & Fees
Cuba Visa Fee included
Airline Baggage Fee (per flight)1 (paid separately) +$25

1. Baggage fees must be paid at airport for each flight: $25 for 1st checked bag / $40 for 2nd checked bag.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Miami (MIA) included

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above.

Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765. But first, check out our Before You Book section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 120 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 120 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $600

Itinerary

Jun - Oct, 2017 Itinerary

Day 1: Miami Overnight/Pre-tour introductory briefing

Accommodations: 1 night Crowne Plaza Miami Airport Hotel.

  • Arrive in Miami
  • Attend an introductory briefing at your hotel at 7:30 p.m.

Full Day Itinerary: Your journey to Cuba begins today with an overnight stay in Miami. If you are arriving at Miami International Airport, complimentary hotel shuttle service to the Crowne Plaza is available every 20 minutes from any 2nd level departure terminal; simply hail the driver as they pass.

This evening at 7:30 p.m., participate in an introductory briefing to get acquainted with your fellow travelers, review your documents, and complete the final paperwork for travel to Cuba. You will be informed of the departure time of the group shuttle leaving the hotel tomorrow morning.

Day 2: Miami/Havana

Accommodations: 4 nights El Encanto de Perseverancia. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Depart the USA on your flight for Havana
  • Lunch at a privately owned restaurant
  • Stop at Plaza de la Revolución
  • Welcome dinner at a local paladar

Full Day Itinerary: Today, board your flight bound for Havana, Cuba's capital city and designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

¡Bienvenidos a La Habana! You are welcomed by your private Cuban National Guide holding a Friendly Planet sign outside the arrivals terminal at the Havana Airport. Board your air-conditioned vehicle, and jump right in as you head directly to your first lunch in Cuba.

Enjoy your first meal in Cuba at a privately owned restaurant, called a paladar.

Plaza de la RevoluciónStop at the Plaza de la Revolución, the most famous and politically important square in Cuba. The square has witnessed many rallies and revolutions that have altered the course of Cuban history, where you'll view the 109m tall tower and an 18m statue of José Martí.

Now that you've had a taste of what lies ahead during your visit to Cuba, it's time to check into your bed and breakfast. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local paladar.

Day 3: Old Havana

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Attend a lecture by a specialist from the Office of the Historian on the rehabilitation of Old Havana
  • Leisurely orientation walk through Old Havana, including the Used Bookseller's Market
  • Visit private studio of one of Cuba's talented independent artists
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Learn about Cuba's two currency system at a local ration store
  • Explore Jose Fuster's whimsical "Fusterlandia"

Plaza de la Catedral, Havana Vieja Photo by KrasivajaFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, attend a lecture given by a specialist from the Office of the Historian. Learn about the City Historian's massive efforts to restore Old Havana buildings, attract tourism and new investment, and improve social services for local residents. After the lecture, take a walking tour to see the different examples of ongoing and finished restoration projects.

Continue on a leisurely orientation walk in Old Havana with your guide through the vibrant cobblestone streets as you immerse yourself in the colors of Cuba which surround you. At the Plaza de Armas, the oldest plaza in the city, enjoy some time on your own to explore the Used Booksellers Market, a cross-cultural treasure trove for readers of every genre. Meet local independent booksellers and engage in friendly conversation with Cuban readers about popular Cuban and American literature.

Visit the private studio of one of Cuba's talented independent artists. During your visit, you'll learn different techniques of printmaking, sculpture and other art forms from innovative Cuban artists and their teams. 

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Friendly Planet traveler posing for picture, FusterlandiaAfter lunch, visit a local ration store. Your Cuban host will explain the system of rationing and the two-currency system as well as the difference between Ration Stores, Cuban Peso Stores, and CUC stores.

This afternoon drive to Jaimanitas, where you'll visit "Fusterlandia," the home and surrounding neighborhood of "The Picasso of the Caribbean," Jose Fuster. Starting with a small wooden home as his canvas, Mr. Fuster has turned his dream into reality and transformed not just his own home but the entire neighborhood into a unique and colorful artistic landscape. Using the money he makes from selling his artwork, Jose adorns the community with sculptures and mosaics galore.

Return to the bed and breakfast to enjoy the rest of the day on your own. We recommend dining at a paladar for dinner. Feel free to choose one from the list we provide or ask your guides for recommendations.

Day 4: Alamar, Cojimar & Havana

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Tour one of Havana’s famous cigar factories
  • Explore Ernest Hemingway's home, Finca Vigia
  • Tour co-op community gardens in Alamar
  • Enjoy lunch in the fishing village of Cojimar
  • Tour the modern part of Havana
  • Tour the Christopher Columbus Cemetery

Man hand rolling cigarsFull Day Itinerary: This morning, visit one of Havana's famous cigar factories where you will see hundreds of workers rolling Cuban cigars by hand. If the cigar factories are closed, a private cigar rolling demonstration will be provided instead.

Drive to Hemingway's Cuba retreat. There are many historical and cultural ties between Cuba and the United States, and one of the best known is the legacy of Ernest Hemingway, who lived more than 20 years in Cuba, from 1939 to 1960. You'll visit Hemingway's beautiful mansion, now a museum, Finca Vigía, (literally meaning "lookout farm"), where his 9,000 book library is preserved, as well as his animal trophies and famous fishing boat, Pilar.

Then, drive to the district of Alamar on the outskirts of Havana. Started as an expansive social housing project in the 1970's, these Soviet-style pre-fabricated concrete apartment blocks are now home to roughly a hundred thousand Cubans. Among the buildings in Alamar are community gardens, called "Organopónicos," where residents grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for their own consumption and local sale. Similar to co-op and community gardens in the United States, these Organopónicos facilitate community development and offer Alamar's residents access to fresh produce. Enjoy a visit to one of these Organopónicos, which few visitors to Cuba have the opportunity to do.

Hemingway monument, CojimarYou'll continue on to the quaint fishing village of Cojimar, the setting for Hemingway's book, The Old Man and the Sea, and enjoy lunch at a local paladar. La Terraza Restaurant, where the book's character Santiago brings in the remains of his epic fish, still stands today, and the pier where Hemingway's fishing boat docked can be seen from the shore.

This afternoon, enjoy a panoramic tour of the urban area that lies west of Old Havana and shows the progression of the city over time: from a neighborhood along the city walls after its demolition, passing through the transitional Midtown (Centro Habana), to the extensive and more modern Vedado and Miramar neighborhoods.

Visit the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery, a miniature city of mausoleums, crypts, family chapels, vaults, sculptures and ornate gravestones, which has been named a National Landmark.

Afterwards, return to the bed and breakfast and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 5: Havana & Regla

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Take the small ferry to Regla across the bay
  • Visit the Fine Arts Museum (Cuban collection)
  • Tour at the Rum Museum to reveal the secrets of rum making
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Muraleando or another interesting community project
  • Walk along Paula promenade and stop at the Artisans Market
  • Join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner

Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, transfer to the ferry terminal for a short ferry ride to the other side of the bay. Visit Regla, a settlement south of the bay, and the famous Virgin of Regla Church, where an interesting blend of Afrocuban creeds and the Catholic faith can be experienced.

Return by coach from Regla to the edge of Old Havana to experience the Cuban collection at the Fine Arts Museum. Here you can appreciate the evolution of the country's history through the work of its most famous artists.

Then, tour the Rum Museum. You’ll learn why Cuban rum has such high quality by going through the different steps of the rum-making process. You will have the opportunity to taste a shot of “añejo” (aged rum) at the end of the tour in their beautiful bar.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Salsa dancers, HavanaAfter lunch, visit Muraleando or another interesting community project.

Then, walk along the beautiful Paula Promenade by the waterfront to see the changes related to the program of transformation for the Bay of Havana. Stop at the Artisans Market, where you will find plenty of souvenirs, including handicrafts, posters and other collectibles.

Return to the bed and breakfast to rest before dinner.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner, served in a privately owned restaurant. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes as you enjoy live, traditional Cuban music and salsa dancing, reminiscent of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Day 6: Havana/Miami

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Watch a rehearsal by one of Havana's well-known dance companies
  • Transfer to the airport and board your flight back to Miami

Full Day Itinerary: This morning, we travel to one of Cuba's well known dance companies to enjoy watching a rehearsal, followed by a discussion with the directors and dancers about dance opportunities in Cuba compared with those in the USA.

Then, bid farewell to Cuba as you transfer to Havana's Jose Marti International Airport and check in for your charter flight back to Miami. ¡Adiós, Habana!

 

Nov 2017- Dec 2018 Itinerary

Day 1: Miami Overnight

Accommodations: 1 night Crowne Plaza Miami Airport Hotel.

  • Arrive in Miami

Full Day Itinerary: Your journey to Cuba begins today with an overnight stay in Miami. If you are arriving at Miami International Airport, complimentary hotel shuttle service to the Crowne Plaza is available every 20 minutes from any 2nd level departure terminal; simply hail the driver as they pass.

Day 2: Miami/Havana

Accommodations: 4 nights El Encanto de Perseverancia, Havana. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Depart the USA on your flight for Havana
  • Lunch at a privately owned restaurant
  • Stop at Plaza de la Revolución
  • Tour the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery
  • Welcome dinner at a local paladar

El Capitolio, Old HavanaFull Day Itinerary: Today, board your flight bound for Havana, Cuba's capital city and designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

¡Bienvenidos a La Habana! You are welcomed by your private Cuban National Guide holding a Friendly Planet sign outside the arrivals terminal at the Havana Airport. Board your air-conditioned vehicle, and jump right in as you head directly to your first lunch in Cuba.

Enjoy your first meal in Cuba at a privately owned restaurant, called a paladar.

Plaza de la RevoluciónStop at the Plaza de la Revolución, the most famous and politically important square in Cuba. The square has witnessed many rallies and revolutions that have altered the course of Cuban history, where you'll view the 109m tall tower and an 18m statue of José Martí.

Visit the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery, a miniature city of mausoleums, crypts, family chapels, vaults, sculptures and ornate gravestones, which has been named a National Landmark.

Now that you've had a taste of what lies ahead during your visit to Cuba, it's time to check into your hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local paladar.

Day 3: Old Havana

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Leisurely orientation walk through Old Havana, including the Used Bookseller's Market
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Learn about Cuba's two currency system at a local ration store
  • Visit private studio of one of Cuba's talented independent artists

Used Booksellers Market, HavanaFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, enjoy a leisurely orientation walk in Old Havana with your guide through the vibrant cobblestone streets as you immerse yourself in the colors of Cuba which surround you. Explore the Used Booksellers Market, a cross-cultural treasure trove for readers of every genre. Meet local independent booksellers and engage in friendly conversation with Cuban readers about popular Cuban and American literature.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, visit a local ration store. Your Cuban host will explain the system of rationing and the two-currency system as well as the difference between Ration Stores, Cuban Peso Stores, and CUC stores.

Visit the private studio of one of Cuba's talented independent artists. During your visit, you'll learn different techniques of printmaking, sculpture and other art forms from innovative Cuban artists and their teams.

Return to the casa and enjoy the rest of the day on your own. We recommend dining at a paladar for dinner. Feel free to choose one from the list we provide or ask your guides for recommendations.

Day 4: Alamar, Cojimar & Havana

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Tour one of Havana’s famous cigar factories
  • Explore Ernest Hemingway's home, Finca Vigia
  • Tour co-op community gardens in Alamar
  • Enjoy lunch in the fishing village of Cojimar
  • Visit Muraleando or another interesting community Project
  • Enjoy a cocktail at Bar la Fama in the Hotel Nacional

Hand rolling a cigarFull Day Itinerary: This morning, visit one of Havana's famous cigar factories where you will see hundreds of workers rolling Cuban cigars by hand. If the cigar factories are closed, a private cigar rolling demonstration will be provided instead.

Drive to Hemingway's Cuba retreat. There are many historical and cultural ties between Cuba and the United States, and one of the best known is the legacy of Ernest Hemingway, who lived more than 20 years in Cuba, from 1939 to 1960. You'll visit Hemingway's beautiful mansion, now a museum, Finca Vigía, (literally meaning "lookout farm"), where his 9,000 book library is preserved, as well as his animal trophies and famous fishing boat, Pilar.

Hemingway monument, CojimarThen, drive to the district of Alamar on the outskirts of Havana. Started as an expansive social housing project in the 1970's, these Soviet-style pre-fabricated concrete apartment blocks are now home to roughly a hundred thousand Cubans. Among the buildings in Alamar are community gardens, called "Organopónicos," where residents grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for their own consumption and local sale. Similar to co-op and community gardens in the United States, these Organopónicos facilitate community development and offer Alamar's residents access to fresh produce. Enjoy a visit to one of these Organopónicos, which few visitors to Cuba have the opportunity to do.

You'll continue on to the quaint fishing village of Cojimar, the setting for Hemingway's book, The Old Man and the Sea, and enjoy lunch at a local paladar. La Terraza Restaurant, where the book's character Santiago brings in the remains of his epic fish, still stands today, and the pier where Hemingway's fishing boat docked can be seen from the shore.

After lunch, visit Muraleando or another interesting community project.

Visit the Bar la Fama at the Nacional Hotel de Cuba, one of Havana’s most iconic, historical properties.

Afterwards, return to the casa and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 5: Havana & Regla 

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Take the small ferry to Regla across the bay
  • Visit the Fine Arts Museum (Cuban collection) or the Revolution Museum
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Walk along Paula promenade and stop at the Artisans Market
  • Join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner

Revolution MuseumFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, transfer to the ferry terminal for a short ferry ride to the other side of the bay. Visit Regla, a settlement south of the bay, and the famous Virgin of Regla Church, where an interesting blend of Afrocuban creeds and the Catholic faith can be experienced.

Return by coach from Regla to the edge of Old Havana to experience the Cuban collection at the Fine Arts Museum. Here you can appreciate the evolution of the country's history through the work of its most famous artists. If you prefer history to art, you can choose to visit the Revolution Museum, housed in the former Presidential Palace instead.

Salsa dancers, HavanaEnjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Then, walk along the beautiful Paula Promenade by the waterfront to see the changes related to the program of transformation for the Bay of Havana. Stop at the Artisans Market, where you will find plenty of souvenirs, including handicrafts, posters and other collectibles.

Return to the casa to rest before dinner.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner, served in a privately owned restaurant. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes as you enjoy live, traditional Cuban music and salsa dancing, reminiscent of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Day 6: Havana/Miami

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport and board your flight back to Miami

Full Day Itinerary: Today, bid farewell to Cuba as you transfer to Havana's Jose Marti International Airport and check in for your charter flight back to Miami. ¡Adiós, Habana! 

This itinerary provides a full time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interactions between you and individuals in Cuba. U.S. law requires that all persons who participate in this program adhere to this full time schedule, and imposes on Friendly Planet the obligation to ensure such adherence.

Infrastructure in Cuba, including even the best hotels, may not always be up to U.S. standards. The hotels really do try to maintain quality accommodations, and in the properties we select for our tours, they generally do a good job. However, Cuba's resources and climate do sometimes impact a hotel's ability to keep up with maintenance and indoor air quality. For example, in Cuba's tropical climate, you might notice musty odors in some buildings, including hotels. We do our best to select the highest quality hotels, restaurants and paladars that Cuba has to offer, but we appreciate your flexibility and understanding when you encounter a minor imperfection. Cuba has a long way to go before its hotels, highways, public restrooms and other features reach U.S. levels, but all in all, you will not suffer any major difficulties in tolerating the small issues that may occur. If you have any medical or dietary concerns, however, please inform us when you make your reservation, so we can take whatever special precautions are required to assure your comfort and well-being.

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My trip to Cuba introduced me to the people of Cuba. I loved being exposed to their everyday lives and being made to feel welcome by everyone! I hope I get the opportunity to visit again.

Stephanie Hayes

Before You Book

Before You Go

Prepare for
your trip

Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, and information about passport & visa requirements, flights, packing & luggage, and more.

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