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Quintessential Cuba

Cuba is an extraordinary opportunity for any bucket list, a place preserved in its original form. With a brief 90-minute flight from Miami, you could be exploring the cultural capital of Havana, visiting the Museum of the Revolution, tasting the renowned rum and cigars, and witnessing the classic American cars that line the avenues. Cuba is a paradise from the colonial towns of Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Camaguey to the lush rainforests and breathtaking beaches. You can savor the Island's unique cuisine and experience its lively nightlife. Our Quest Voyager program lets you connect with the locals and learn about their Afro-Caribbean and Latin customs, music, and cuisine. The Island's characteristic hospitality will make you feel completely at ease. There are countless adventures, so don't hesitate to book your trip today!

 

Cuba Highlights

Culturally rich itinerary • Havana • Cuban culture, history and life • Cuban paladars • Colonial cities of Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Camaguey and Santa Clara • King Ranch visit & rodeo • Valley of the Sugar Mills • Cigar factory • Playa Girón • Bay of Pigs • Local choir performance • Vintage American cars • Santeria experience • Museum of the Revolution • Hemingway’s farm • Visit artists • Artisan market • Revolution Square • Pinar Del Rio • Tobacco farmer • Flamenco dance • Old Havana and more…

 

Main Program - Included Features

•    ROUND TRIP AIR - Round trip airfare from Miami
•    FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - 7 nights first class hotels
•    MEALS - 19 included meals consisting of 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 5 dinners
•    THE PROGRAM - People to people discussions, interactions and unusual visits such as: The King Ranch and rodeo, visit a Cuban home and family, meetings and visits with artists, Santeria Museum, a Cigar Factory, Bay of Pigs Museum, meet a Cuban baseball player, Hemingway’s House, Museum of the Revolution, Pinar Del Río, Old Havana and more…
•    QUEST VOYAGER CUBAN GUIDE - Assistance and guiding from a professional specialized Cuban guide
•    FIRST CLASS MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private first class air-conditioned motor coach
•    QUEST VOYAGER CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES – There are daily people to people discussions, and interactions on unique Cuban events and issues.
•    BAGGAGE AND TRANSFERS – Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport upon arrival in Cuba
•    CUBAN VISA - Cuban travel visa
•    CUBAN HEALTH INSURANCE - Cuban health insurance
•    GRATUITIES - Pre-paid gratuities for hotel porters, waiters for included meals, all people to people visits, discussions and interactions
•    LOCAL TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES - Hotel & City taxes and service charges
•    DEPARTURE TAXES - U.S. air departure taxes

 

Optional Havana/Varadero Extension - Included Features

•    FIRST-CLASS HOTEL - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
•    MEALS - 3 included meals consisting of two buffet breakfasts and one lunch
•    THE PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: National Museum of Fine Arts, a tour of Matanzas, and the French Colonial pharmacy, and a tour of the DuPont Mansion

•    QUEST VOYAGER TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional tour director for the entire length of the tour
•    BAGGAGE AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

 

Day 1 Depart the USA Today marks the start of a remarkable adventure as you take off from Miami International Airport and arrive in Camagüey, Cuba's third-largest city. A professional, English-speaking Cuban guide will wait for you at the airport and accompany you to the city's historic core. Camagüey has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its captivating pastel colonial buildings and maze-like streets, secret plazas, and baroque churches. Today you will have the privilege to have lunch in a local eatery, meet artists, gain insight into their influence on their locality, and grasp how art can encourage and motivate the Cuban people. Afterward, you will check into the hotel and enjoy a dinner on your own. This evening do not miss this chance to explore the exclusive charisma of Camagüey as you visit its pubs and restaurants! (L)

 

Day 2 Camaguey – King Ranch – Camaguey After breakfast, be prepared for a day teeming with stimulating activities. Start by taking a trip to King Ranch, which was created as an expansion of a renowned Texas ranch. Here, you will partake in a Cuban rodeo and have lunch. At lunch, converse with Cuban cowboys and learn about their longstanding connection to the ranch. Next, you will go to the nearby town that was established to service the ranch. You will witness how the inhabitants live, cook, eat, and more during your visit. On the way back to Camagüey, you will stop at the Casanova pottery studio and understand the distinctive earthenware pots called “tinajones” that are considered the symbol of Camagüey. These terracotta pots can reach a height of two meters and are still used to store rainwater. You will learn how these containers are typically crafted and converse with the artisans. Finally, relish dinner at a local paladar and witness a captivating Flamenco dance performance with the ability to participate in dance and interact with the dancers in an open-air environment. (B,L,D)

 

Day 3 Camaguey – Trinidad – Cienfuegos After breakfast, you set out on a southerly ride to the Cuban municipality of Sancti Spiritus, home to the Valley of the Sugar Mills. This scenic valley, nestled between mountains and the ocean, is known for its more than 70 ancestral sugar mills, symbols of the long-lasting influence of sugar on Cuba's economy. Then onwards, to a colonial masterpiece. In 1514, Trinidad was the third Spanish outpost on the island. The city is known for its colonial architecture, which dates back to the 18th century and earns it a spot on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. On your walking tour of this picturesque city, with its pedestrian streets lined with pastel-colored houses, you will have the opportunity to engage with locals, partake in live music, and meet entrepreneurs. After a delightful lunch, the journey continues towards Cienfuegos, where you will arrive in the afternoon. In his song 'Cienfuegos,' Benny Moré sang about his beloved hometown as the place he admired the most. He wasn't the only one to sing praises of this city. Cuba's visitors are mesmerized by its grace, French-inspired atmosphere, and vibrant Caribbean vibes. If Cuba had a Paris, this would undoubtedly be it. Once there, you will check into your hotel and relax. (B,L)

 

Day 4 Cienfuegos Today you explore the majestic city of Cienfuegos, which has been immortalized as the “Pearl of the South” due to its stunningly gorgeous harbor. Established in 1819 by French settlers, Cienfuegos is one of Cuba’s youngest cities. In 2005, the UNESCO World Heritage List included the Urban Historic Center of Cienfuegos, citing it as the best representation of early Spanish enlightenment urban planning, reflected in its architecture, particularly in the city’s numerous mansions. Then, see the spectacular historic district with its painted frescoes overhead. Afterward, attend a choir performance and get to know the music and culture of Cuba. Then immerse yourself in a local cigar factory and learn about the importance of tobacco in Cuban history, both culturally and financially. Wrap up the day with Salsa dance lessons from local instructors. (B,L,D)

 

Day 5 Cienfuegos – Bay of Pigs – Havana This morning after breakfast, you will commence your journey to Havana, passing through areas of sugarcane plantations. Our first stop will be at Playa Girón where we will have a guided tour and interaction with the Bay Of Pigs Museum curators. Situated in an old sugar mill that Fidel Castro used as his headquarters during the 1961 invasion. The Bay of Pigs incident was an attempted military assault on Cuba by Cuban exiles in April 1961, intent on overthrowing the Cuban administration. With its radiant display cases, this perfectly preserved museum brings back an authentic feeling of Cuba’s past and the Cold War. You will see relics from the Bay of Pigs clash, numerous pictures, and wall paintings of casualties and their possessions. An English Hawker Sea Fury plane utilized by the Cuban Air Force is outside the museum, with a few Russian tanks used in the struggle. Later in the day, we will have lunch at Caleta Buena, a beautiful, sheltered bay full of diverse marine life. This afternoon you will come to the lively capital of Cuba, Havana, where you will check into your hotel. Tonight, relish dinner at a local private restaurant. After dinner, you may want to enjoy one of Havana's glitzy cabaret shows. (B,L,D)

 

Day 6 Havana Start your day by exploring the remarkable Museum of the Revolution, located in the former Presidential Palace. Discover a host of documents, weapons, relics, and even the Granma Yacht and planes that played a part in the Cuban Revolution. As you stroll through the Hall of Mirrors, a replica of the one at the Palace of Versailles, you can reflect on the fascinating history of this building. Afterward, dive into the heart of Havana's culture with an educational exchange with a local expert. Learn about the unique architecture of the city, the challenges of renovating historic buildings, and the future of restoration. Explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is full of rich history, culture, and people waiting to interact with you. Spend lunch in a local restaurant, then visit Ernest Hemingway's Farm, Finca La Vigia. See the house where the Nobel Prize winner lived with his wife Martha for 21 years. Tour the perfectly preserved home and Hemingway's wooden yacht "Pilar," which was featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream." Before dinner, meet a former Cuban baseball player at a local restaurant and engage in a conversation about the history and love for this favorite Cuban sport. (B,L,D)

 

Day 7 Havana – Vinales – Pinar Del Rio - Havana Make your way northwest from Havana to the stunningly majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Viñales Valley, located in Cuba's westernmost mountainous range. Admire the breathtaking limestone mogotes rising to a height of 300 meters, as well as the spectacular caverns, rivers, and tobacco fields that have remained unchanged for centuries. Visit a cigar factory to learn about the manufacturing of fine Cuban cigars and experience a firsthand cigar rolling demonstration with a local tobacco farmer. Here you have meaningful interactions to learn about tobacco cultivation and the leaf-drying process. Then meet the family and sip on a traditional "cafecito" in their home and soak in the breathtaking views of the Viñales Valley from the Los Jasmines viewpoint. Today you will make meaningful connections with the locals and create lasting memories in this incredible region of Cuba. (B,L)

 

Day 8 Havana – USA After breakfast at the hotel, en route to the airport, you visit Revolution Square. One of the largest public squares in the world, so remember to snap a few photos to commemorate your journey. Surrounded by buildings built in the 1950s, the plaza nowadays is a stronghold of the Cuban government and a site where immense outdoor meetings occur. In January 1998, an astounding one million people (almost one-tenth of the Cuban populace) thronged the square to attend Mass with Pope John Paul II. As you take off on your flight to the USA, you'll be sure to take amazing memories of the warmth, hospitality, and interactions you had with the remarkable people of this Caribbean Island nation. (B)

 

OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Day 8 Havana - Matanzas – Varadero Today visit the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. See its impressive collection of artwork dating back to Cuba's earliest colonizers with an on-site Cuban art expert and a local historian to provide insight as you explore the museum's spectacular offerings. Next, you'll travel to Matanzas, known as 'the Venice of Cuba', and embark on a city tour to discover its rich history. Visit El Museo Farmaceútico – an old French Colonial pharmacy that has remained preserved since it was founded in 1882, and explore its incredible exhibits, such as a prizewinning dispensary table and 500,000 original medical recipe formulas. Then you watch a pottery-making demonstration at the Taller de Cerámica Artística, interact with the artists, and learn about this art form. Finally, take in the majestic views from Bacunayagua Bridge, the highest bridge in Cuba, before relaxing at your hotel in Varadero. Today adventure is filled with opportunities to learn, explore, and engage with Cuba's unique people and culture. (B,L)

 

Day 9 Varadero After breakfast, you will enjoy a guided tour of the renowned DuPont Mansion. This stately building serves as a magnificent illustration of 19th-century architecture. Located on the shore, it flaunts the extravagant and opulent lifestyle of the well-to-do. The Dupont estate grew to some 1328 acres, covering parts of what today is the municipality of Cardenas. The land had been bought at the ridiculous price of four cents per square meter, but the estate’s value increased years later when the road, power plant, and aqueduct were built. Today you have a unique opportunity to observe the way of life of DuPont in retirement. This two-story retirement mansion was constructed in 1848 and features a grand courtyard, an impressive staircase, and a grand balcony that grants a breathtaking view of the city and beach. The mansion is lavishly decorated with stylish furniture, antiques, and artwork. Outside, the estate is adorned with lush gardens and decorative fountains. Here you will experience a glimpse into the life of the wealthy of bygone days. (B)

 

Day 10 Depart Varadero – USA Say "hasta luego" to Cuba and depart for the airport to return to Miami with fantastic and unforgettable memories of your Discover Cuban adventure. As you head home, take the time to share your experiences with others and cherish the joy of learning about this fascinating nation and interacting with the people of this exquisite Caribbean Island. (B)

 

B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner

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