Authentic Havana & the Scenic Viñales Valley

Explore the magic and magnificent heritage of Cuba from the culture and communities of Havana to the spectacular vistas of the Viñales Valley

Overview

This package is currently closed.
This tour is closed. We will not be resuming travel to Cuba this year. We are working closely with our Cuban partners and are hopeful to return to the island as early as possible in 2022. Click here to be notified when 2022 departures become available!
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & Culture
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted program includes a significant amount of walking or hiking, sometimes on uneven terrain, requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Our comprehensive western Cuba tour, Authentic Havana & the Scenic Viñales Valley, takes you right into the heart and soul of Cuba! Start your immersive experience in Havana where you'll marvel at the city's unique blend of baroque and neoclassical architecture. Stay six nights in a casa particular and taste the flavors of Cuba as you enjoy included meals in privately-owned restaurants called paladares. Spend a day exploring the stunning views and breathtaking panoramas of the Viñales Valley as you learn about the multi-ethnic communities there that have passed down traditional agricultural techniques for generations. Stop for sunset views of the verdant valley below for a moment you won't forget.

With included flights, fully guided and legal Support for the Cuban People touring, high-quality accommodations and a fully inclusive itinerary - you don't want to miss this chance to take a step inside the daily life of the Cuban people.

information
We're still going to Cuba!
Our tours are still legal and compliant with recent changes in U.S. policy. Questions? See our Cuba FAQs.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Non-stop round trip flights from Miami to Havana, including taxes & fees
  • Health insurance in Cuba, included in the cost of your airfare
  • U.S. Treasury Department, OFAC License Certification
  • Cuban Tourist Visa
  • All land transportation, transfers & porterage in Cuba
  • 6 nights accommodations in Havana at a well-located 'casa particular' (Cuban bed and breakfast)
  • 13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Comprehensive educational exchange program, including entrance fees
  • Friendly Planet Representative
  • Professional, English-speaking local guide, who will facilitate the exchanges with Cubans

Optional add-ons

  • Pre-Night stay in Miami
  • Post-Night stay in Miami
  • Casa Suite Upgrade in Havana (Very Limited: Call us for availability)

Why you'll love it

  • Gain an authentic, friendly Cuban experience by staying at a casa particular, located in a Centro Havana neighborhood.
  • Acquaint yourself with Old Havana on a walking tour through the lively streets.
  • Converse with locals about popular Cuban and American literature at the used booksellers market.
  • Visit an “organopónico” (organic garden) to see where fresh products and ingredients grow.
  • Meet rural Cuban families and see how they live and work in the Viñales Valley, a region renowned for the cultivation of tobacco, cassava and taro.
  • Experience the future of Cuban acrobatics with the children’s community project Angeles del Futuro.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
2021 DEPARTURES
Dates Price
Departs U.S.: Tue, Sep 7, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Sep 13, 2021
Sep 7 – Sep 13
$2799 Suspended
Departs U.S.: Tue, Oct 19, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Oct 25, 2021
Oct 19 – Oct 25
$2899 Suspended
Departs U.S.: Tue, Nov 16, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Nov 22, 2021
Nov 16 – Nov 22
$2949 Suspended
Departs U.S.: Tue, Dec 21, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Dec 27, 2021
Dec 21 – Dec 27
$3199 Suspended
Dates & Prices, tour only
per person, double occupancy*
2021 DEPARTURES
Dates Price
Starts: Tue, Sep 7, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Sep 13, 2021
Sep 7 – Sep 13
$2499 Suspended
Starts: Tue, Oct 19, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Oct 25, 2021
Oct 19 – Oct 25
$2599 Suspended
Starts: Tue, Nov 16, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Nov 22, 2021
Nov 16 – Nov 22
$2649 Suspended
Starts: Tue, Dec 21, 2021
Finishes: Mon, Dec 27, 2021
Dec 21 – Dec 27
$2899 Suspended

Options & Fees

Authentic Havana & the Scenic Viñales Valley
Rooming Selection1
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy $249

1. There is limited inventory of more spacious rooms at our casa in Havana for an additional $120 per person, double occupancy. Please call us to request.

Optional Pre-Night Sonesta Miami Airport
Pre-Night Sonesta Miami Airport, with breakfast
Oct 19, 2021 $100
All other dates $80
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy
Oct 19, 2021 $100
All other dates $80
Optional Post-Night Sonesta Miami Airport
Post-Night Sonesta Miami Airport, with breakfast
Oct 19, 2021 $100
All other dates $80
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Occupancy
Oct 19, 2021 $100
All other dates $80
Taxes & Fees
Airline Baggage Fee (per flight)1 (paid separately) $30
Cuba Visa Fee included

1. Baggage fees must be paid at airport for each flight. In Cuba, this must be paid in cash. Price is subject to the airline and can change at any time.

So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc. Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Miami (MIA)1

1. Upgrades may be available to First Class. Request this upgrade during the booking process in the Special Requests section, and we will check the availability and provide you with a price.

This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Want to fly from another city? We can arrange flights from most major cities. Ask us for a quote for flights from your preferred city when (or after) you book, and we'll get back to you with the price and availability within 3 business days. Of course, you can also book your own flights. More information

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Miami/Havana

  • Depart the USA on your flight to Havana
  • Welcome dinner at a local paladar

El Encanto de Perseverancia Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
El Capitolio, Old Havana

¡Bienvenidos a La Habana! Upon arrival to Cuba's capital city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, you are welcomed by our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign outside the arrivals terminal at the Havana Airport. Board your air-conditioned vehicle and transfer to the casa.

Check in to the casa, and enjoy a welcome drink. Then have some time to rest a bit or take a stroll to the nearby Malecon before dinner.

This evening enjoy your welcome dinner at a local paladar (privately-owned restaurant).

Day 2 Old Havana

  • Walk through Old Havana, including stops at the used bookseller’s market, Hotel Ambos Mundos (Ernest Hemingway’s first home in Havana), and at various private enterprises to engage with and support Cuba’s growing private business sector
  • Meet with staff at Clandestina, Cuba’s first online clothing retailer
  • Enjoy lunch at a local paladar
  • Visit an artist’s private studio
  • Step into Cuba’s world of dance with a private demonstration and lesson

El Encanto de Perseverancia Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Used Booksellers Market, Old Havana

After breakfast, take a guided leisurely walk through the labyrinthian streets of Old Havana. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of Cuba while walking along the cobblestone streets. 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. Stop at Hotel Ambos Mundos, Ernest Hemingway’s first home in Cuba, and learn about his strong connection to Cuba and its culture.

Among the private businesses you'll discover during your walk, Clandestina, is one shop that is making plenty of waves both in Cuba and abroad.  Founded by Idania del Río and Leire Fernández, two creative, entrepreneurial women who believe in a sustainable, fair and ethical fashion industry. Clandestina is the country’s first online clothing retailer and has even appeared as a pop-up store in New York. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local paladar, or private restaurant.

Visit the private studio of one of Cuba's talented independent artists. During your visit, learn different techniques of some of Cuba’s most popular and contemporary artistic styles, such as printmaking, sculpture or other art forms from innovative Cuban artists and their teams. 

Step into Cuba’s world of music and dance with a private dance class just for us. First, experience Cuba’s most traditional dances through a demonstration by talented and personable teachers. Engage with them about the importance of music and dancing to life here in Cuba. Then, get ready to learn the basic steps for yourself and join in the fun.

This evening dinner is on your own. We recommend dining at a paladar for a delicious Cuban dinner. Choose one from the list we provide, or ask your guide for any additional recommendations. 

Day 3 Havana & Cojimar

  • Visit an interesting community project
  • Enjoy lunch at a local paladar
  • Travel to Cojimar, the local fishing village that was the setting for Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea
  • Participate in a traditional Cuban cooking class experience, from gathering ingredients from a local "organopónico" (organic garden), to putting them to use in the kitchen (and bar) itself
  • Get a first-hand look into Afro-Cuban religion at Callejon de Hamel

El Encanto de Perseverancia Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Callejon de Hamel

This morning drive to the quaint fishing village of Cojimar, which served as the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea.

Learn the secrets of the Cuban kitchen by taking part in a traditional Cuban cooking class. Begin your experience by meeting the staff of the paladar Café Ajiaco, who will guide you on your culinary journey. First, stop at the paladar’s “organopónico” (organic garden) to see where their products and ingredients grow. Pick some for yourself and bring them back to the restaurant to create your dishes. Learn from the experienced chefs of Café Ajiaco as they teach you the process of making some of Cuba’s most delicious traditional food, and even learn to prepare an authentic Cuban mojito along the way.

Enjoy lunch courtesy of your morning cooking activity at the paladar Café Ajiaco.

Callejon de Hamel, the shortest street in Havana, is decorated with fanciful Santeria (a folk religion brought over from Africa) murals by one of Cuba’s most famous artists, Salvador Gonzales. A local guide will help you explore introduce you to some of the artwork on display and explain about Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion and culture.

Day 4 Havana & Viñales Valley

  • Day trip to the scenic Viñales Valley
  • Enjoy lunch at a local farmhouse in the Valley
  • Meet rural Cuban families at a tobacco, cassava and taro farm

El Encanto de Perseverancia Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Farmer harvesting tobacco, Viñales Valley

Today, experience the impressive landscape of this area on a walking tour and see how tobacco, cassava and taro are grown. Learn about the different moments of growing and harvesting of the most famous tobacco in the world. 

After lunch at a local farmhouse, return to town and discover more about the history and culture of the town of Viñales with your guide.

Before returning to Havana, take a brief stop at the viewpoint of the Jazmines to enjoy the beautiful view of the valley. The panoramic view will take your breath away!

Dinner is on your own tonight, we recommend dining at a local paladar. 

Day 5 Havana & Guanabacoa

  • Explore Vista Hermosa for a true urban farm experience
  • Visit an inspiring community project, such as Muraleando
  • Stop at the independent Artisan’s Market

El Encanto de Perseverancia Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Muraleando

Depart for Guanabacoa and tour Vista Hermosa, a 100% organic, eco-friendly, and sustainable urban farm. Learn about their specialization in growing seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as producing milk and cheese, with free range livestock.

Enjoy a a farm-to-table lunch with homemade artisanal meats and cheeses, accompanied with local fruits and vegetables. Don't forget to try the traditional Cuban deserts. 

This afternoon visit Muraleando, where art, music and community spirit have transformed a once-drab neighborhood into one of beauty and color.  See garden sculptures, paintings, mosaics and all types of recycled materials that have been transformed into stunning and colorful artwork. It is remarkable to see how the project’s beautiful murals have literally resurrected the neighborhood's appearance and pride. The center also provides free workshops for the community including voice lessons, drumming, dance classes, ceramic art, painting, cinematography and much more.  Muraleando helps to inspire and cultivate artistic skills in children from the entire neighborhood and has won awards in Cuba for being the most effective community project in the country.

Stop at Havana’s independent Artisans Market, where you will be able to engage with local private artisans, and find plenty of souvenirs, including handicrafts, posters and other collectibles. 

Dinner is on your own tonight, we recommend dining at a local paladar.

Day 6 Havana

  • Experience the future of Cuban acrobatics with the children’s community project Angeles del Futuro
  • Stop by the workshop of artist Beatriz Santacana
  • Enjoy lunch at a local paladar
  • Explore modern Havana and stop at a famous Havana plaza and bar
  • Take a ride in a classic American convertible to tour picturesque Havana in style
  • Join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local paladar

El Encanto de Perseverancia Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Riding in a vintage car, Havana

Experience the future of Cuban acrobatics with a meet-and-greet and show from the incredibly talented Angeles del Futuro. This community project trains children in the art of circus acrobatics in the municipality of Marianao, a short drive outside of the city center. The director, coaches, volunteers, and parents all work together as a team to provide the training, costumes, and equipment free of charge to the children and their families. It is truly a project that supports Cubans, their dreams, and the arts. Watch an example of the circus show and see for yourselves the talent of these kids – and after the show, get to know these young acrobats themselves. 

Visit the private home and art gallery of independent artist, Beatriz Santacana. Ms. Santacana’s unique works in ceramics, oils and sculpture are exhibited in Cuba as well as major cities throughout the world.

After lunch, 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. Stop at one of Havana’s most iconic, historical properties and enjoy a cocktail at the bar or on their beautiful outdoor terrace.

Travel back in time by taking a tour in one of Havana’s classic American cars. You will get some picturesque views of Havana from your incredibly maintained automobile, and arrive to dinner in style.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner at one of our favorite paladars. 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 7 Havana/Miami

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

Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

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

Note: Itinerary sequence and visits are subject to change based on local availability.

This itinerary provides a full time schedule of 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 wellbeing.

Hotel

El Encanto de Perseverancia
El Encanto de Perseverancia
Tourist Class

El Encanto de Perseverancia is ideally located in the Centro Havana neighborhood adjacent to Old Havana and just north of Chinatown. This non-touristy neighborhood delivers an authentic, friendly Cuban experience while still being only minutes away from Havana's main attractions, including the Capitol Building, Cathedral Square, Gran Theater of Havana, Central Park and many museums, lively bars and private restaurants.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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Trip Details

More Common Questions

* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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