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Contact Authentic Cuba Travel® at authenticubatours.com
Havana Hotel Packages for the Havana Jazz Festival Tour
Hotels:
This Cuba tour offers the following Cuban hotels:

4-Star Hotel
Habana Riviera

by Iberostar Hotels

5-Star Hotel
Melia Cohiba

by Melia Hotels

3-Star Hotel
Los Jazmines

by Cubanacan Hotels
Destinations:
This Cuba tour travels to the following Cuban destinations:

Old Havana
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Havana City

Vinales Valley
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Cuba

Las Terrazas
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Western Cuba
USA Cuba Travel Regulations Explained
USA Cuba Tours Explained
The US travel ban on Cuba has been in effect for nearly five decades. Notice that the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") administers Cuba travel restrictions that apply to all US citizens and permanent residents. On January 14th 2011, President Obama announced new categories of legal travel to Cuba and further easing was implemented on January 2015 and on February 2016 in the Federal Register, they went into effect immediately. On 2019, President Trump’s revision of Cuba travel regulations did not eliminate any of the existing categories of Cuba legal travel, although the authorization for the People-to-people Cuba travel for groups was removed.
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Cuba Study Tours & Travel to Cuba from USA
US Cuba Study Tours & Travel
Authentic Cuba Travel® offers universities, colleges and schools from US, Canada and all over the world the best study trips to Cuba.

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US Cuba Educational Tours & Travel
Educational Travel to Cuba should be more than sunbathing in beautiful Caribbean beaches while sipping cold tropical drinks.

Spanish
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Jazz
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Ballet
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Cuba Travel from USA for American Citizens

Legal Travel To Cuba Discounted Cuba Tours Support for the Cuban People Cuba Tours & Travel Support for the Cuban People establish a dialogue with Cuban entrepreneurs. Hotel Riviera de Cuba USA Cuba Travel Authorized Accomodations Vinales Valley, Cuba Hemingway Cuba Education Tours Las Terrazas, Cuba

Travel to Cuba from US legally under the Support for the Cuban People General License. Unveil the Mystery of the Most Exciting Island in the Caribbean.



Supporting the Cuban people by patronizing privately owned restaurants, stores, art galleries and other small businesses; and supporting the work of independent Cuban organizations is the main intend of this Cuba tour.

Cuba Real Tours are a Great Way of Traveling to Cuba
for as little as $2,429 (all taxes included!)



Referral Discount: $100


Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2,329 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2,229 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $2,129 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $2,029 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


Coming Up Cuba Real Tours

  • Cuba Real Tour 1Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesJan 18- Jan 25, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 2Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesFeb 15- Feb 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 3Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMar 14- Mar 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesApr 11- Apr 18, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 5Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMay 16- May 23, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 6Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jun 13- Jun 20, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 4- Jul 11, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 8Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesAug 15- Aug 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 9Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesSep 12- Sep 19, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 10Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesOct 10- Oct 17, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 11Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesNov 14- Nov 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 12Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesDec 26- Jan 2, 2021Book Now

  • Can American Citizens Join This Tour to Cuba?

    Any US citizen or permanent resident genuinely interested in supporting the Cuban people can travel to Cuba from USA legally. Supporting the Cuban people by patronizing privately owned restaurants, stores, art galleries and other small businesses; and supporting the work of independent Cuban organizations is the main intend of this Cuba tour.

    Even though Cuba tourism is not possible for US citizens, Cuba Real is a legal option to visit Cuba under the General License for the Support for the Cuban People.

    The Support for the Cuban People General License for US travel to Cuba is created through a do it yourself process rather than by submitting an application and awaiting approval. Fast, free and convenient, a General License for Support for the Cuban People simply requires US individuals to prepare their own documentation in a way that meets all OFAC guidelines.

    Notice: As of June 5 2019, all US travelers traveling to Cuba from USA are required by law to fill out a justification travel form (travel affidavit form) for the U.S. Department of the Treasury- Office of Foreign Assets Control (Cuba Travel Regulations).

    We provide our US travelers with all the required documentation to ensure they are in compliance with 2019 Trump administration’s rules on Cuba travel under the US Cuba Travel category: Support for the Cuban People. US travelers can choose to depart to Cuba from any US port of their choosing.

    Authentic Cuba Travel® has developed the Cuba Real program in cooperation with Cuban nongovernmental organizations, community projects and individuals that promote independent activity in Cuba. In compliance with current OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) guidelines for the Support for the Cuban People General License (515.574 (a)), our itinerary consists on a full-time schedule of activities that will enhance the contact with the Cuban people, and support civil society and private entrepreneurial activity in Cuba; and that will result in meaningful interactions in between the US travelers and the Cuban people they meet along the way.

    US individual travelers can not engage in financial transactions with Cuban entities which are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services. We keep our itineraries updated to make sure that American travelers are not directly or indirectly dealing with any of these prohibited entities. For the complete Cuba Restricted List, please visit:

    https://www.state.gov/cuba-sanctions/cuba-restricted-list/list-of-restricted-entities-and-subentities-associated-with-cuba-as-of-april-24-2019/

    US travelers are responsible for maintaining all Cuba travel records for up to 5 years and for showing (if asked) evidence that they have engaged in authorized activities while in Cuba (staying at accommodations not listed in the Restricted List of Cuban entities, eating at privately-owned restaurants, shopping at privately-owned art galleries and stores, ect). Free time in excess or regular tourists' activities are not permitted.

    This responsibility was a burden of the US tour operators running the People-to-People group tours before June 5, 2019. Due to the cancelation of the authorization for People-to-people group travel to Cuba, US citizens can no longer go to Cuba under the auspices of the People-to-people General License issued by US tour operators.

    At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US travelers can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

    Read what past travelers say about their experience with us. Click here

    Support for the Cuban People | Cuba Real Tours

    Traveling to Cuba is a time capsule discovery adventure. A vast, wonderful island of white sand beaches like no other in the Caribbean, Cuba offers lively streets inundated by the roar of 1950’s American cars; Spanish colonial buildings and cobblestone squares overwhelmed by tourist busloads; and one-time middle-upper class neighbourhoods full of 1950’s skyscrapers, mansions, hotels and restaurants.

    But Cuba is also a changing communist nation, and visitors are totally taken by surprise by the vibrant, emerging entrepreneurial atmosphere charged with the innovation and ingenuity of the Cuban people. From decentralizing control over Government-run companies to making easier for Cubans to open private business ventures, it seems the island is slowly but steadily adjusting to market driven economic reforms.

    Cuban fine arts have always been acclaimed internationally. Cuban artists, who struggled in the past with the censorship of state-control official art galleries and cultural institutions, are now exhibiting in privately-owned art galleries where free expression is the norm, and sales are dictated by market demands.

    Cuba travel is all about wandering colonial streets, exploring “modern” architecture, discovering an emerging, strange art scene. But most importantly is about supporting the Cuban people’s independent activities intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Visiting Cuba is also a good excuse to sip mojitos, smoke Cuban cigars, dancing salsa and partaking in Cuba’s sensual night scene.

    Take A Sneak Peak at the Authentic Cuban Destinations You Will Visit



    Support for the Cuban People
    Quick Facts & Highlights

    • Support for the Cuban People General License Documentation.
    • Full-Time Schedule of Support for the Cuban People Activities.
    • 5 Nights at Hotel Riviera or Hotel Melia Cohiba.
    • 2 Nights at Hotel Los Jazmines in Vinales Valley.
    • 14 Meals at Cuba’s finest privately-owned restaurants: 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 3 Dinners Included.
    • Private Transfer-in and Transfer-out.
    • Luxury Air-conditioned Coach Transportation & Professional Driver.
    • All Activities, Speakers, and Meetings as Described in Itinerary.
    • 24/7 Dedicated Cuban English Speaking Expert Guide.
    • Ongoing support from Authentic Cuba Travel®' Staff.
    • Full Tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Tour of Cuba’s First UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
    • Tour of Vinales Valley & Village, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Explore the Las Terrazas Ecological Community.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental community project Palomas.
    • Exchange with independent community project Cintio Vitier.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental Martin Luther King Center.
    • Exchange with independent community project El Patio de Pelegrin.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental community project Titiriparque.
    • Exchange with privately-run art gallery known as La Factoria.
    • Exchange with privately-owned Cuban store Alma.
    • Exchange with Memorias, a privately-owned Cuban book store.
    • Exchange with AMOS, a privately-owned Photography Gallery.
    • Tour Tobacco Plantations in Pinar del Rio.
    • Private Visit to Cuba’s Experimental Printing Workshop.
    • Exclusive Receptions at the Studios of Leading Cuban Artists.
    • Visit Cuba’s Trendiest Chic Privately-owned Art Galleries.
    • Follow the Trail of American Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.
    • Full Tour of Finca La Vigia, Hemingway Residence for 20 Years.
    • Shopping in Cuba’s Best Art and Craft Markets.

    Notice to USA Cuba Travelers

    U.S. Cuba Legal Travel Support for the Cuban People tours to Cuba for American citizens are educational & humanitarian in nature. It means tourism to Cuba from North America is still very limited by the US Cuba travel regulations.

    In other words, American visitors to Cuba cannot simply book an all inclusive “sun & beach” vacation and relax in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters of Cuba while sipping in mojitos like Canadians and most citizens of the world can.

    Educational, humanitarian and cultural exchanges in between the Cubans and the American visitors must be included in the itineraries.

    Participating and supporting the activities of recognized humanitarian, nongovernmental and independent organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen the Cuban civil society must be a main objective of the trip to Cuba.

    Authentic Cuba Expert's Corner
    Cuba is a paradise in the Caribbean, just 90 miles off Key West. In fact, Cuba is so close that swimmers have made it from coast to coast, even without a shark cage! Yet Cuba is the forbidden fruit for most American travelers due to the US travel restrictions and the frozen diplomatic relations in between the two countries. The discerning travelers are taken off guard when joining our Support for the Cuban People tours to Cuba. They are surprised to find a bubbly atmosphere charged with the smoke of Cuban cigars, the loud music that pours out of the windows of 1950’s vintage cars, the lively salsa dancing in every corner, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Cuban people. Not what they have anticipated for sure! Absorb it all in a short time by the hand of the USA Cuba travel experts!
    Contact Me
    Havana Hotels, Cuba.
    Support for the Cuban People tours to Cuba feature overnights at the historic Riviera or Melia Cohiba hotels, located in Vedado, an middle class distinctive neighborhood home to Cuba’s most beautiful hotels, restaurants, clubs, and buildings. Americans traveling to Cuba with Authentic Cuba Travel® find themselves at home in these iconic hotels that have hosted a long list of personalities since the 1930's.
    Privately-owned Restaurants, Support for The Cuban People Tours & Travel A new wave of paladares (privately-owned restaurants) has recently swept the Cuban dining scene offering excellent food and charming ambient. We’ll enjoy an array of delicious meals at Cuba’s most stylish paladares during our Support for the Cuban People trips. This is a unique opportunity to establish dialogues with local restaurateurs and learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.
    Proyecto Palomas (Project Doves), Support for The Cuban People Cuba travel We will visit Proyecto Palomas (Project Doves) founded in 2002 by Lizett Vila, a popular Cuban filmmaker. During this visit we will engage with Lizett Vila and her staff to learn more about the role of this Cuban independent organization. The program consists on the production of documentaries, the organization of art exhibits and the creation of help groups for those suffering from domestic violence, breast cancer and obesity. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their message of peace in the USA.
    Cuban Printmakers at Taller de Grafica The Support for the Cuban People meaningful exchanges in between the US travelers and the Cubans are a central element of our Cuba tours and travel. And meeting with the young, talented artists of Cuba’s Experimental Printing Workshop is a great opportunity to see original prints being created and learn firsthand about the life of Cuban printmakers.
    Memories Book Store, a Support for the Cuban People activity.. We will visit Havana’s first antique bookstore, Memorias Libreria (Memories Book Store), a privately-owned Cuban genuine antique book store that opened in 2014. Run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas), here we can shop for some rare Cuban artifacts (from collectible Cuban books to coins to postcards and posters). Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban staff and their families while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba. We will engage with our Cuban hosts in a conversation to learn more about the Cuban culture. Memorias has arguably the best collection of Revolutionary memorabilia in all of Cuba.
    Children Playing in Jaimanitas, Cuba
    At Authentic Cuba Travel®, one of the Cuba travel tips we always give our American travelers is to visit local communities off the Cuba's tourism beaten track to discover the authentic Cuba. Those traveling to Cuba will meet ordinary Cubans whose lives have been positively impacted by the artwork of the Caribbean Picasso, Jose Fuster. We will visit their homes at the seaside village of Jaimanitas, the epicenter of Jose Fuster street art gallery project.
    Cintio Vitier Community Project, Havana, Cuba. During our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities such as a visit to the recognized independent Cintio Vitier Community Project based in Havana, Cuba. This project offers painting, papier-mache, drama, music, dance, and other skill development workshops to elementary and secondary students. We’ll meet with director Pedro Pulido for a presentation on his outreach work in the community of Nuevo Vedado. This is a great opportunity to interact with the kids by drawing, dancing, reading and playing games with them!
    Cafe Madrigal Cuba US citizens traveling to Cuba with Authentic Cuba Travel® engage in an array of Support for the Cuban People and cultural exchanges of high caliber. Like meeting with popular Cuban songwriter and musician Frank Delgado at Cafe El Madrigal to talk about the nueva trova movement in the Caribbean island and enjoy a musical performance.
    Support for the Cuban People activities at the Martin Luther King Center. During our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities at the Martin Luther King Center, an internationally recognized Cuban-based nongovernmental organization that operates on the principles of Christian Liberation theology. We learn more about the role of this independent organization in the development of social programs in the community of Poggoloti, a predominantly black and mostly needed neighborhood in Havana. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Cuba.
    Following the locals is the recipe that Real Cuba Tours uses in the creation of meaningful Support for the Cuban People Cuba tours to achieve maximum exposure in between American citizens visiting Cuba and the Cuban people. And we are going to follow the hundreds of Cubans that meet at La Cabana Fortress every night to attend one of the most authentic ceremonies in Cuba, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock.
    Shopping at Havana's Alma Store, Supporting the Cuban People! Next we will meet with Alex Oppmann, a self-employed Cuban (cuentapropistas) businessman who runs Alma Shop, a privately-owned Cuban store where you can find some of the finest Cuban gifts and souvenirs (from jewelry to Cigar humidors). Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban people and the Cuban families financially while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba. Showcasing an original collection of exclusive artwork produced by Cuban artists and artisans from all over the island, Alma store serves as a one-stop shop for all things Cuban mementos.
    Thriving in the heart of Sierra del Rosario mountain range, we find Las Terrazas community, an authentic destination in west Cuba featured in our tours to Cuba. Named after the terrace system planted with pines and eucalyptus in the one-time denuded hillsides, today Las Terrazas village is inhabited by nearly 1000 people whose main source of income is Cuba’s tourism. And yet, this is not a tourist trap in Cuba at all.
    El Patio de Pelegrin, Support for The Cuban People Activities Not to be missed during any Cuba travels aimed at Supporting the Cuban People, it is a visit to the outreach community project El Patio de Pelegrin. This humble privately-owned art gallery and pottery workshop in Consolacion del Sur has turned into a powerhouse for the promotion of cultural and artistic projects in this countryside community. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Cuba's countryside. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their work in the USA.
    Support for the Cuban People Cuba tours & travel will introduce USA citizens to local peasants in the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, who have been growing the finest tobacco in the world for centuries. In fact, Pinar del Rio’s tobacco accounts for almost 70% of all tobacco produced in the Caribbean island. Ask any Cuban cigar connoisseur and they all agree it is the best quality too.
    Support for the Cuban People activity at the privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery. We will visit the privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery, and get up close and personal with the work of Ramses Batista, one of Cuba’s most well-established photographers today. We will also enjoy a complimentary lunch at AMOS paladar (privately-owned restaurant) also owned by Ramses Batista. As part of our Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with Ramses and his team to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.
    Hemingway Cuba Travel 2014. Learning about Hemingway’s life in Cuba seems almost like a mandatory task for most US travelers visiting Cuba. Our Cuba tours for Americans follow in the footsteps of the famous American author in Cuba where he lived for over 20 years and where he wrote novels such as The Old Man and The Sea, for which Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in 1954.
    JoJazz Havana Festival

    Havana Film Festival

    Havana Jazz Festival

    havana book fair

    habano cigar festival

    Cuba's Fire Festival

    Cuba's Ballet Festival

    Havana Art Biennial Cuba Tour

    Day 1. Hello Cuba
    We make flight arrangements out of Miami, Charlotte, New York, Newark, Atlanta, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Boston (USA), Cancun (Mexico) and Toronto (Canada). Please let us know what option works best for you and we'll book those flights for you.

    Your Cuban tour guide and bus driver will welcome you and take you to the Riviera Hotel or Melia Cohiba Hotel, both centrally located in Havana’s entertainment district, Vedado. Your guide will provide you with Cuba travel tips and overall orientation during the 20 minute bus ride to your hotel. Please, take notice of the location of your hotel’s restaurants and other amenities, and remember that breakfast is complimentary on daily basis.
    Day 2. Authentic Old Havana, Cuba
    Morning: during our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities such as visits to internationally recognized Cuban based nongovernmental organizations (Cuban NGOs) whose programs promote independent activity intended to strengthen the civil society in Cuba.

    Next we will visit Proyecto Palomas (Project Doves) founded in 2002 by Lizett Vila, a popular Cuban filmmaker. During this visit we will engage with Lizett Vila and her staff to learn more about the role of this Cuban independent organization that promotes the equal rights and dignity of all human beings.

    The program targets those Cuban who are somehow lagging in the Cuban society such as those suffering from domestic violence, breast cancer and obesity. The program consists on the production of documentaries, the organization of art exhibits and the creation of help groups for these target groups. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their message of peace in the USA.

    A guided tour of the Scale Model of Old Havana is a brilliant way to start the exploration of Havana’s historical centre. Our Cuba tours for Americans feature a presentation by renowned Cuban architect Miguel Coyula. The model makes it easier to understand the development of the city by color coding each building according to distinct construction periods.

    In 1982, Old Havana was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and its arguably the best preserved colonial city founded by the Spaniards in Las Americas. Since we are up to a good start, our Cuba tours continue with a full walking tour of this area. We will visit all important historical squares, streets and buildings.

    Cuba tourism is mainly concentrated in the large beach resort areas outside Havana, but busloads of tourist to Cuba descend everyday upon Old Havana on daily excursions. Nowhere in the old city is it more evident that in the Square of Arms, the site of foundation of the city by the Spaniards at the beginning of the 16th century.

    Flanked by the Fortress of the Royal Fortress, the oldest military castle in Cuba; the Palace of the Captain Generals, and the Palace of the Vice-Governor of the Island, the Square of Arms was the epicenter of Spanish authority, military ruling and governance of the Cuban colony right until the end of the 19th century. Today the magnificent buildings around the square contain important cultural institutions, libraries, and museums such as the Museum of the City and the Museum of Natural Sciences.

    A new wave of paladares (private family-run restaurants) has recently swept the Cuban dining scene offering excellent food and charming ambient. Today we’ll enjoy a welcome lunch at the stylish Cafe Laurent at the penthouse terrace of a small 1950s apartment building.

    Afternoon: the Cuba travel experience also include a visit to the Cathedral Square surrounded by noble colonial buildings such as the Palacio de Los Marqueses de Aguas Claras, Casa Lombillo, Palacio de los Marqueses de Arcos and the Cathedral of Havana, designed by Italian architect Borromini. Dating from the second half of the 18th century, the Cathedral contains a beautiful marble altar and numerous artworks worth visiting.

    Just up the southwest corner of Plaza de La Catedral, we find the Experimental Printing Workshop. Support for the Cuban People meaningful exchange in between the US travelers and the Cubans is quite an unforgettable experience of our Cuba tours and travel. Next you will meet a cooperative of young artists who work tirelessly, shirtless in an airy, spacious colonial building where you can see original prints being created.

    Founded at the mouth of the pocket-shaped Bahia de La Habana, and at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, San Cristobal de La Habana soon became the gathering place for the Spanish fleets. All gold, silver, and other goods from Mexico, Peru and other Latin America nations made their way into Havana were all was stockpiled until the annual transatlantic treasury fleets sailed to Spain.

    Soon Plaza de San Francisco, the next colonial square we will visit, became the center of the city’s commercial life- a role to be played until modern times. In 1909, a commodities market was built here, La Lonja del Comercio- this domed building was fully restored at the turn of the 20th century, and it currently serves as the headquarters of foreign firms with joint ventures in Cuba. Tours to Cuba from USA provide a rude awakening for Americans on the fact that Cuba has been able to establish trade relations with many countries despite the US Embargo in place.

    Your Cuba tour will end up in the Old Square. Due to its proximity to San Francisco Square, it served as the largest open air marketplace in Old Havana until the mid of the 19th century. Most of the historic buildings surrounding the square have been fully restored. Today they contain some of Cuba’s main art galleries and cultural institutions such as the National Photography Gallery, The Center for the Development of Visual Arts, and La Casona Art Gallery that we will visit as part of your Cuba tours and travel experience.

    Since we are in the area, we will pay a visit to the San Jose Warehouse, one of the largest harbour side facilities in the Bay of Havana. Today, the San Jose warehouse serves a different purpose though. It contains the largest arts and handicraft handicraft market of the entire island. It also provides a space for children cultural activities such as theatre performances and art exhibits. Real Cuba Tours provide ample time for shopping for “legal” items. This is, those you can legally import back in the US such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and books sold by independent Cuban sellers.

    Next we will pay a visit to Havana’s first antique bookstore, Memorias Libreria (Memories Book Store), a privately-owned Cuban genuine antique book store that opened in 2014. Run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas), here we can shop for some rare Cuban artifacts (from collectible Cuban books to coins to postcards and posters).

    Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban staff and their families while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba. Supporting these Cuban entrepreneurs is the main objective of our shopping visits. We will engage with our Cuban hosts in a conversation to learn more about the Cuban culture. Memorias has arguably the best collection of Revolutionary memorabilia in all of Cuba.

    Evening: this evening we will visit the home of a Cuban, Elsa who has managed to create a unique cultural project in the rooftop of an Old Havana dilapidated building. Elsa, the leader of a popular musical band that will play live tonight, will teach Cuba tour participants to play and to dance to Cuba’s most popular rhythms such as Son and Salsa. This is another great chance for American visitors to learn firsthand about the daily life of ordinary Cubans.
    Day 3. Bohemian Cuba Insight
    Morning: during our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities such as a visit to the recognized independent Cintio Vitier Community Project based in Havana, Cuba. This project offers painting, papier-mache, drama, music, dance, and other skill development workshops to elementary and secondary students.

    We’ll meet with director Pedro Pulido for a presentation on his outreach work in the community of Nuevo Vedado. This is a great opportunity to interact with the kids by drawing, dancing, reading and playing games with them! This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of the community of Nuevo Vedado in Havana, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their social work in the USA.

    At Authentic Cuba Travel®, one of the Cuba travel tips we always give our American travelers is to visit local communities off the Cuba's tourism beaten track to discover the authentic Cuba. And that’s what we will do next. US visitors will meet ordinary Cubans whose lives have been positively impacted by the artwork of the Caribbean Picasso- a nickname Cuban artist Jose Fuster is commonly given.

    We will visit their homes at the seaside village of Jaimanitas, the epicenter of Jose Fuster street art gallery project. Here dozens of humble homes are covered in amazing, wildly ceramic murals, and other artworks.

    Complimentary lunch will be hosted by the artist himself in his personal residence and privately-owned studio-art gallery.

    Afternoon: our Cuba travel services include private visit to the studios Cuba’s high caliber artists. Those whose artwork is collected and exhibited by the most important European and North American Museums of Contemporary Arts and chic galleries.

    While most Cuban painters, photographers and sculptors sell their art happily at very low prices in the tourist full packed streets, private galleries and markets of Old Havana, the well-established artists avoid these sort of establishments, and exhibit in the most prestigious art galleries and museums in Cuba and abroad only. Usually their art pieces sell for thousands of dollars and a permit of export is usually required to take their art out of the country.

    This afternoon, American travelers to Cuba will visit the privately-owned studios and personal art galleries of some of them such as Alicia Leal, Juan Moreira, Ernesto Benitez, Yamilis Brito and Jacqueline Brito in the middle-upper-class Vedado neighborhood.

    Evening: US citizens traveling to Cuba with Authentic Cuba Travel® engage in an array of Support for the Cuban People and cultural exchanges of high caliber. And tonight is no exception. We will meet with popular Cuban songwriter and musician Frank Delgado at Cafe El Madrigal to talk about the nueva trova movement in the Caribbean island and enjoy a musical performance.

    El Madrigal is the brainchild of Cuban filmmaker Rafael Rosales who transformed this 19th century Vedado mansion into a whimsical, bohemian paladar (local term for privately owned restaurant). The life and work of Rosales himself, as a filmmaker for over 20 years, is artistically on display through personal memorabilia, artwork, movie posters, pictures, and photographs. Cocktails and tapas are included in the price of your Cuba travel services tonight. Enjoy!
    Day 4. Hemingway in Havana
    Morning: during our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities such as a visit to the Martin Luther King Center, an internationally recognized Cuban-based nongovernmental organization that operates on the principles of Christian Liberation theology.

    During this visit we will engage with the Cubans to learn more about the role of this Cuban independent organization in the development of social programs and services such as medicine distribution, HIV prevention programs and other social works in the community of Poggoloti, a predominantly black and mostly needed neighborhood in Havana.

    This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Cuba as we will tour the neighbourhood. We will also present donations of educational & humanitarian items; volunteer and ask how we can help promoting their message of peace in the USA.

    Learning about Hemingway’s life in Cuba seems almost like a mandatory task for most Americans visiting Cuba. And this morning, US travelers will have the chance to follow the trails of the famous American author in Cuba. We will start with a visit to the lookout farm, Finca La Vigia where Hemingway made his home for over 20 years. Here he wrote 7 of its most famous books such as Islands in The Stream and The Old Man and The Sea. Hemingway was beloved by the humble, ordinary Cuban people he like to spend time with. Hemingway loved the Cuban people back. In 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize, he donated it to the Cubans as a gesture of gratitude.

    Then we will go for a bus ride to one of Hemingway’s favorite communities, Cojimar, a fisherman village founded in the 17th century at the mouth of the Cojimar river. Cojimar was also the harbor where Hemingway kept El Pilar, his famous wooden boat and pretty much the model of the fishing village that serves as the backdrop of The Old Man and The Sea. The American novelist spent countless afternoons in this coastal town drinking with local fishermen like Anselmo Hernandez, the man who inspired him to create Santiago, the main character of his 1954 Nobel Prize novel.

    We will have lunch at another privately-owned restaurant, Paladar Casa Grande serving delicious Cuban food in a charming environment. As part of our lunch and our Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with local restaurateurs and staff to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.

    After lunch we will go for an exploration of the village. There’s even small plaza named after Hemingway near the Cojimar waterfront which is centered by small gazebo and a bronze bust of the American author.

    Afternoon: A majority of Americans traveling to Cuba show a sincere interest in learning more about the African component of the Cuban culture. The working-class town of Regla, just across the Havana Bay from Old Havana is renowned among locals for the practices of Afro Cuban religions. We will take a ferry boat across the bay, and meet with local Regla residents Magia and Alexey, from jazz band Obsesion to learn their viewpoint about race and gender equality in Cuba today.

    Next we will meet with Alex Oppmann, a self-employed Cuban (cuentapropistas) businessman who runs Alma Shop, a privately-owned Cuban store where you can find some of the finest Cuban gifts and souvenirs (from jewelry to Cigar humidors).

    Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban people and the Cuban families financially while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba. Showcasing an original collection of exclusive artwork produced by Cuban artists and artisans from all over the island, Alma store serves as a one-stop shop for all things Cuban mementos.

    Evening: following the locals is the approach Cuba Real Tours follow in the creation of meaningful Support for the Cuban People Cuba tours to achieve maximum exposure of American visitors to the local culture. And tonight we are going to follow the hundreds of Cubans that meet at La Cabana Fortress every night to attend one of the most authentic ceremonies in Cuba, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock.
    Day 5. Cuba's Countryside Towns
    To travel to the authentic Cuba is to take time to visit Cuba countryside and to explore picturesque, colorful towns and villages. For the next two days we will be touring Pinar del Rio, the third largest province in Cuba, famous for its tobacco plantations, its Guayabita del Pinar rum, and its good-nature, easy-going people.

    Our Cuba tours and travel will make several stops along Cordillera de Guaniguanico, Pinar del Rio’s spine, which extends some 180 km long from east to west and contains some of Cuba’s most wonderful natural attractions such as the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Sierra del Rosario Mountain Range, Cuba’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

    Thriving in the heart of Sierra del Rosario mountain range, we find Las Terrazas community, our first stop en route. Excessive logging, shortsighted agricultural techniques, and fires had completely caused the deforestation of this area prior to the early 1970’s. Then in 1971 a man-made reservoir was constructed, and a new village started taking shape. Named after the terrace system planted with pines and eucalyptus in the denuded hillsides, today Las Terrazas village is inhabited by nearly one thousand inhabitants today whose main source of income is Cuba’s tourism.

    We will visit the houses of locals in the area. It will make easier for the American visitor to Cuba understand the life in the countryside and interact with the Cuban people. American travelers will meet with Cuban artists the likes of famous Lester Campa at their privately-owned studios. US visitors will also tour rural schools and medical facilities to talk to Cuban teachers and doctors firsthand. The USA Cuba travelers will finally enjoy free time to swim with the locals in the crystal clear fresh waters of the various rivers that run through this tropical paradise.

    As part of your included Cuba travel services, Cuba Real Tours participants will tour 19th Century Coffee Plantations and Estates; tour Cuba’s first ecological hotel, La Moka; and enjoy a delicious complimentary lunch in a local restaurant that specializes in the authentic Cuba’s country cuisine.

    En route to Vinales Valley, we will also visit the outreach community project El Patio de Pelegrin, the brainchild of Cuban painter Mario Pelegrin. This humble privately-owned art gallery and pottery workshop in Consolacion del Sur Municipality (Western Cuba) has turned into a powerhouse for the promotion of cultural and artistic projects in this countryside community.

    During this visit we will engage with Mario Pelegrin and his team to learn more about the role of this independent organization in Pinar del Rio. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Consolacion del Sur, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their work in the USA.

    In the late afternoon, we will say goodbye to the people we have met in the area and head westbound to Sierra del los Organos Mountain Range. Overnight will be at Los Jazmines, a privileged located hotel in the Vinales Valley. Cuba visitors from USA will be treated to breath-taking panoramic views of the famous mogotes from their very own hotel rooms.
    Day 6. Vinales Valley
    Morning: when American visitors open up their balcony’s doors in the morning to soak in the 360 degree panoramic views of the valley, they may get the impression they woke up in China! This is due to the fact that the limestone hills (mogotes) of Vinales Valley are very similar to those found in the Quilin region in southern China. But soon they look down and see the unmistakable tobacco plantations that cover the fertile plains and they come to the realization this place is unique in the planet. No wonder the Vinales Valley and Village were included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Site.

    Recently CNN’s Bill Weir met with Vinales tobacco farmers and talked tobacco, politics and cash on its The Wonder List documentary.

    After enjoying a complimentary breakfast, our tours to Cuba will introduce USA travelers to local peasants that have been growing the finest tobacco in the world for centuries. In fact, Pinar del Rio’s tobacco accounts for almost 70% of all tobacco produced in the Caribbean island. Ask any Cuban cigar connoisseur and they all agree it is the best quality.

    Our tours and travel to Cuba continues with a meeting with the owners of Casa Particular, private rental accomodation, “Room for Rent” businesses. After Cuba’s open up to private enterprise, renting rooms and houses have become one of the most popular activities among Cubans. Even Vinales town, tucked away in Sierra de Los Organos, is not immune to the entrepreneurial fever overtaking Cuba these days. And private accommodation businesses are booming in the village of Vinales.

    Our tours to Cuba for Americans feature a delicious traditional lunch at the privately-owned bar-restaurant Paladar Yuri & Nino, El Campesino. Yuri is a young woman entrepreneur who started this small restaurant that has expanded into a large establishment. Yuri and her family work hard to create delicious and plentiful food that comes with a beautiful mountain view.

    Cuba tourism is also drawn to Cueva del Indio, an underground cave that we will visit next. The cave system of the region is among the largest in Cuba; therefore, some cave exploration is worthwhile. The participants in our Cuba tours will go some 400 meters on foot into this cave, once a burial site for Cuba’s native inhabitants, and then take a boat ride through an underground river that emerges at the other side of the mogote.

    Our American visitors will also enjoy free time to explore at their own leisurely pace the Village of Vinales, and the numerous authentic Cuban attractions and activities of the area. To mention some, the privately-owned Vinales botanical garden, the arts and crafts markets; the town’s main square and parish, and other sites. This is also a great time for US citizens to meet Cubans informally and learn more about each other. Cubans are as eager to learn about life in North America as we are about learning the Cuban ways.

    Complimentary dinner at Los Jazmines hotel.
    Day 7. Cuban Art Scene
    Morning: during our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities that are organized by independent Cuban individuals and organizations. On our way back to Havana, we will visit the Titiriparque Community Project (Puppet Park Community Project), an artistic community project founded by children’s theatre actress, Maria Marquez Lopez in the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes community, in Pinar del Rio city in 2012.

    The goal of this community project is to educate, promote and teach theatre to children as well as ethical and aesthetical values. During this visit we will exchange with Maria and her team to learn more about their work in the development of storytelling and the creation of puppets and other theater paraphernalia in children.

    This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the children and neighbors of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Municipality, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items.

    Next, we will return to Havana City.

    Upon arrival in Havana, we will enjoy a complimentary lunch at AMOS paladar (privately-owned restaurant) owned by Ramses Batista, one of Cuba’s most well-established photographers today. As part of our lunch and our Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with Ramses and his team to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.

    Then we will visit his privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery, and get up close and personal with the work of Ramses Batista. We will revisit Mr. Batista’s 20-plus-year career featuring portraiture, social documentary, religion, landscapes, and nudes. Supporting these Cuban entrepreneurs is the main objective of our Support for the Cuban People trips. We will engage with our Cuban hosts in a conversation to learn more about the Cuban culture.

    Housed in an airy, spacious building in Old Havana that used to contain a paper factory, there’s a chic privately-run art gallery known as La Factoria. With its industrial interior decor, high ceiling white walls and iron columns, La Factoria art gallery has become the trendiest art gallery in Havana. This afternoon Real Cuba Tours participants will be treated to a visit to this fashionable gallery for a presentation on the current exhibition and discussion with young Cuban artists.

    Afternoon: check in at your hotel in Havana.

    Optional dinner: with the help of your Authentic Cuba Travel® guide assisting with individual bookings, dinner time serves as a good opportunity to try a new paladar (family-run privately-owned restaurant), a business model that has flourished in the city in the past years since the Cuban government opened the door to private enterprise.

    Optional Evening Venue: located in the Vedado entertainment district, we find the most popular, exciting Jazz venue of the Cuban capital, La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club. Foreigners and Cuban music fiends descend every night on this smoky, electric underground spot that hosts Cuba’s best Jazz Musicians every night from 10:00 p.m. until….
    Day 8. Departure
    After breakfast and check out this morning, we will say good bye to Cuba. Our Authentic Cuba Travel® bus driver and tour guide will escort us back to the Havana City’s international airport for taking flights back to North America. We wish your travel to Cuba to be among your most rewarding travel experiences ever!

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