Itinerary: The trip will be split between the city and the countryside. We’ll spend the first three days in Havana exploring a mix of art, architecture, history, food, music and dance. Then we’ll go west to Las Terrazas where we’ll spend the day learning about the eco-village’s various projects and hiking in the surrounding forest, and staying the night at Hotel Moka. The next day, we’ll drive to Soroa for another day of exploring rivers, swimming in waterfalls and climbing mountains, before moving on to our casas particulares in Viñales, where we’ll spend two nights. Viñales is tobacco country (and utterly stunning), so we will be visiting farms, learning about the cigar making process, riding horses, and otherwise enjoying the area’s relaxed small-town rhythm. We’ll also visit Las Cuevas de Santo Tomás to explore the island’s largest cave system, and take in the unique nightlife scene in this remote tourist town. For more info, check out the detailed day-by-day itinerary, or get in touch with us!
Lodging: Our home base in Havana will be a set of beautifully renovated adjacent 2- and 3-bedroom apartments located on the 6th floor of an elevator building in the heart of Old Havana’s historic district. The place is really nice, and as an added bonus it has roof access — you can check out pictures of one of it here. Rooms have private bathrooms en suite, and the location is absolutely perfect — there are a million places within walking distance. It just opened to guests and we are literally one of the first reserved groups.
We’ll be taking room reservations on a first come first serve basis, and will be adding another similar casa around the corner depending on how the rooms match up with the the group size and guests’ room preferences. Outside of Havana, lodging will be at casas particulares carefully selected to meet the standards of Escape Brooklyn and Bridges Cuba. They won’t have as many modern trappings as the city digs, but we’ll make sure to find casas that are impeccably clean, have good A/C, private bathrooms, piping hot water, and terrific hosts.
Guides: The trip will be led by a bevy of travel pros! Erin, founder of Escape Brooklyn, will head up the picture taking (so you don’t have to if you don’t want) and all itinerary planning considerations to ensure that the trip is 10 out of 10 on the FUN scale. Brian of Bridges Cuba will be making sure all the logistics go smoothly and offering his two cents along the entire route, having traveled Cuba extensively for over 15 years. The main leader of the trip will be one of Brian’s brilliant Cuban guide friends (TBD) who will serve as resident expert in history, culture, art, nature, design, food, music, dance and all things Cuban, and fluent in English to boot.
Meals: Breakfasts are included in the trip so be prepared for a mouth watering spread of fruit, coffee, eggs, cheese, juice, and other treats every day when you wake up. Lunches and dinners will be a mix of group meals at the best restaurants on the island and some open mealtimes for couples to have some alone time or groups to split off with each guide to explore a different culinary scene. We’ll work beforehand with all of our guests to ensure that we make separate reservations for couples and smaller groups on the open nights, so everyone gets in where they want to go and no one goes hungry! To find out more about restaurant options on the trip, get in touch with us.
To reserve a spot, guest are required to make an initial non-refundable payment of $500, with the final payment due at least 1 month prior to departure dates. The trip price will cover all lodging, guides, group transportation, breakfasts, tipping, the two group lunches and dinners, and all activity costs/entrance fees — essentially everything except for a few meals. We will be helping travelers budget appropriately for the minimal additional costs of a few meals, drinks out, and other purchases like art/rum/tobacco/souvenirs.For more info on pricing, payments, or refund policy, get in touch!
Documentation/Legal: We at Bridges Cuba will be taking care of all of the documentation needed for legal people-to-people Cuba travel. Each traveler will fill out a travel affidavit declaring the category of travel and recieve a copy of this as well as an official itinerary certified by Bridges Cuba that shows a full time plan of educational an cultural activities intended to promote connections with the Cuban people. Bridges Cuba will maintain all of these documents as well on behalf of travelers. For more questions about legal travel, get in touch with us, or check out this blog post!