Cigars & Cars – Havana & Pinar Del Rio

  • Plaza de la Revolucion
  • Classic Car in Havana
  • Museum de la Revolucion
  • Cigar Factory

About

Cuba!  The name casts a magic spell conjuring up tropical nights and the grandeur and intoxicating pulse of Havana. It promises the rhythms of the mambo and cha-cha, as well as the world’s finest beaches and cigars. Once one of Americans’ most favored vacation destinations, the events of 1961/2 made it impossible for 50+ years for almost all Americans to visit the island nation. That’s changed now and Latour is proud to offer American travelers the privileged opportunity to journey to these once forbidden shores on a fascinating People to People program in Havana. We’ll discover the charms of this island nation and meet its people in a series of unprecedented visits and encounters.

Cuba is not a mere island. It is home to some of the most beautiful colonial cities in the Americas. It’s a country the size of Pennsylvania, with an enthralling history and an even more fascinating dynamic. Meeting female Cubans, understanding their challenges and achievements, learning what makes them tick and sharing our own experiences is what A Woman’s View is all about. As we travel through this gorgeous country, we’ll make friends and discover the secrets of a proud, sensual and colorful land. Vamonos!

In the last half century, while off-limits to American vacationers, this Caribbean country, so close to our shores, has become a favorite destination for Canadians and Europeans. Cuba is developing world-class hotels and a tourism infrastructure to meet the needs of international visitors.

Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS:

EXPERIENCE INCLUDES:

  • Air portion Miami – Cuba – Miami on a charter flight
  • 8 nights at hotels listed above or similar
  • Meals as per program itinerary
  • Cuban Visa
  • People to People exchange program
  • English speaking Cuban Guides
  • Tips at restaurants and organizations
  • Porterage at the hotel (1 piece of luggage per person)
  • Hotel service charges & taxes
  • 1 checked suitcase at Miami Airport
  • Cuban departure tax

Itinerary does not include:

  • Optional Tropicana & Buena Vista Shows
  • Tip for Cuban Guide: 10 - 12 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for Cuban Driver: 5 - 6 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for our hotel room maids: 1 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for rest room attendants: 1/2 CUC, suggested
  • Miscellaneous tips: (musicians, taxis)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and Internet

Important notes:

Due to the nature of the People to People Exchange program, the day by day order of our itinerary is subject to change.

Itinerary

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 - SATURDAY: MIAMI
Arrive in Miami and check in to our airport hotel. Early evening get-together with our traveling companions and a briefing on the Cuban adventure that awaits you.

DAY 2 - SUNDAY: MIAMI | HAVANA
50-minute flight from Miami to Havana. Bienvenidos! Upon arrival, transfer to our elegant hotel in the oceanfront Vedado district, considered the Beverly Hills of Havana. We will have a brief meeting and coffee break. Welcome to Cuba dinner at a privately owned restaurant.  D

DAY 3 - MONDAY: HAVANA
After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating guided walk through Old Havana to admire the ongoing restoration transforming this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Old City plazas, gleaming colonial places, magnificent Capitolio, Plaza Vieja and some of Havana’s finest vitrales (stained-glass windows). Enjoy lunch at a privately owned restaurant to sample some of Cuba’s fine cuisine. We travel to visit the Muraleando Art Project where Cuban and international artists have used almost every available wall as canvas for hundreds of beautiful painted murals. In 2003, under the direction of Manuel Diaz Baldrich, it developed into an art collective, providing workshops in all forms of art including ceramics, theater, dancing and music. Continue our discovery to meet with members of the Havana Compas Dance Company which combines the essence of Spanish dance with Afro-Cuban rhythms though the use of drumsticks, castanets, heels, claves, chequeres and percussion chairs. A truly unique experience where we will also have the opportunity to compare notes on the performing arts in Cuba and the U.S. This evening, enjoy dinner at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 4 - TUESDAY: HAVANA | PINAR DEL RIO
After breakfast, depart Havana and travel west to enter the lush region of Pinar del Rio.

Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour through the town, which was founded by tobacco farmers in 1669. View the unique neo-Classical architecture, while learning about the town’s history. Visit a local cigar factory to see the process of creating this staple of the Cuban economy. After lunch at a privately owned restaurant, travel to the town of Vinales, a peaceful and romantic village located in one of the most beautiful settings in Cuba. We will explore its main street lined with multi-colored houses. Afterwards, visit a local, organic tobacco farm to learn the process of growing the tobacco leaf. Finally, travel to Los Jamines to be awed by the shimmering sight of magnificent mogotes, knolls with rounded tops and steep slopes. They provide contrast with the oxen-ploughed red fields and palm-frond-covered tobacco drying houses. Soon, we will check in to the hotel. Dinner this evening at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY: PINAR DEL RIO
After breakfast, continue our exploration of this fascinating area with a visit to “Las Terrazas,” a sustainable community in the mountains of Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. Learn about this unique community as we stroll through its small village center. From here, visit the Buenavista Coffee Plantation to learn about the coffee production that was established by the French two centuries ago. While at Las Terrazas, we will also get a chance to visit the Moka eco-hotel, one of the most unique in the area. After lunch at a privately owned restaurant, we will have some free time to enjoy a refreshing swim in Los Banos de San Juan. Later, return to the hotel. Dinner this evening at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 6 - THURSDAY: PINAR DEL RIO | HAVANA
After breakfast, begin our return trip to Havana. Along the way, stop for lunch.

Next, it’s on to Finca Vigia “Lookout Farm” in San Francisco de Paula. This was Ernest Hemingway’s winter home from 1939 to 1960. See the author’s 9,000 volume library, his yacht “Pilar” and the typewriter on which he wrote some of his greatest works. Learn about his life here during a talk with a docent. Travel to the fisherman community of Cojimar, just a few minutes east of Havana. This picturesque fishing village is where Hemingway docked his boat El Pilar. Not only did he use the town as a base for fishing, Cojimar was the background for one of his most famous works, The Old Man and the Sea. The old man in the title was reputedly his guide, Gregorio Fuentes, a Cojimar local. Return to our hotel in Havana. This evening, enjoy dinner at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 7 - FRIDAY: HAVANA
This morning, there is an intriguing visit to the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation. A non-governmental institution for culture and science, it is dedicated to research and promotion of programs and projects for the protection of the environment as it relates to culture and society. After lunch, drive to the nearby village of Jaimanitas to visit the home, studio and community art project of José Rodríguez Fuster. He is the Cuban native artist specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving and graphic design who has transformed his home and the adjoining area. It is known to many as Fusterlandia, one of the most interesting art projects. Travel to the port of Havana for a visit to the famous Almacenes de San Jose crafts market. This harbor side warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana. After a painstaking restoration process of almost three years, the huge edifice is now the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes San José, although conceived as a cultural center with art exhibitions, theatrical performances and recreational activities. Today, it’s most significant offer is undoubtedly the handicrafts on sale. Free time to enjoy the market and interact with the artisans. Possible souvenirs include paintings, guayabera shirts, woodwork, leather items and jewelry. Dinner this evening at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 8 - SATURDAY: HAVANA
This morning, visit the Museum of the Revolution, located in the Old Havana section of the city. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents. It became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban revolution. Travel to Quinsicuaba Community Project, whose name derives from the name of free blacks who originally came from the southern part of the Angolan Basin in the 16th century. The goal of this project is to restore the traditional African folk culture by taking into consideration the cultural, spiritual and material needs of the people who live there. Lunch at a privately owned restaurant. Return to the hotel.  Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a privately owned restaurant. BLD

DAY 9 - SUNDAY: HAVANA | MIAMI
After breakfast, transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport for the short flight to Miami. B

Tour includes: 18 meals: breakfast daily, as well as 6 lunches and 7 dinners with cocktails and wine

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotels

HOTELS
CITYNIGHTSHOTELS
Miami1Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel
Havana2Melia Cohiba
Pinar Del Rio2Los Jazmines
Havana3Melia Cohiba

Land and Air Prices Per Person*

Valid through December, 2017
Please inquire for prices - 800-825-0825

Map