Friday, Dec. 16th:
4:50pm-8:01pm Austin to Atlanta via Delta 2471
(Confirmation # GK9KU2 & GLKFWD ~ Seats: 43F & 42F)
10:25pm-12:23am Atlanta to Miami via Delta 886
(Seats: 43F & 42F)
Once you have gathered your luggage, proceed to the exit and take a taxi or an Uber to your hotel. (Your hotel provides a shuttle however service ends at midnight.)
Traveling by car from the Miami International Airport- the closest motorway junction is SR 948 of SR 826. It takes less than 5 minutes by car.
Quality Inn Miami Airport
3959 Northwest 79th Avenue, Doral, Miami (Florida), FL 33166
Friday, Dec. 16th- Saturday, Dec. 17th ~1 night
Booking #: 1584009805
3 Double Rooms with Two Double Beds
Check in: 3:00pm ~ Check out: 12:00pm
Saturday, Dec. 17th:
3:00-3:15am- Check out of your hotel, and take a taxi or an Uber to the airport. (Your hotel provides a shuttle however service doesn’t begin until 6:00am) Please arrive at the airport two and a half hours prior to your flight departure (3:30am).
- Ask to be dropped off at the Eastern Airlines G Terminal at Miami Int’l Airport. Enter door # 15. As you walk into the G Terminal you will see a Havana Air check in desk. It is close but separate from the Eastern Airlines ticket counter. Go to the Havana Air check in area first to get your Cuban Visa. Present your Havana Air/ Eastern Air voucher along with your passport. After receiving your Cuban Visa, proceed to the Eastern Airlines counter to check in for your flight.
- Checked baggage is $20.00 per bag plus $2.00 per bag after 44lbs. The first 44lbs are free, but the 44lbs allowance is calculated with the combined weight of your carry on and checked baggage. The departure tax of $28.00 per person must be paid at your departing airport in the United States.
6:00am-7:00am Miami to Havana via Havana Air Flight # EA3139 (see included air tickets)
Arrive in Havana
Once you arrive in Havana, clear immigrations/customs and exit the airport. Our airport representative will meet you outside. They will have a sign with your names and will assist with your luggage in preparation for your private transfer.
- While you are in Cuba, please keep in mind times listed are approximate and can vary. Usually our transfer agents and tour companies are early, but if they are late, don’t worry, traffic and travel in some areas can vary due to road conditions or traffic. If the transfer agent has not shown up within 30 minutes of your transfer time, please call our Rico Tours local representatives from Solways – Olga Sanchez 7 2046632 ext. 34 or Yeslin Pozo Tel. 7 2046632 ext. 38.
To maximize your time in Cuba, you will have in route stops along the way to your hotel.
Havana Libre Hotel
Calle M, La Habana, Cuba
Phone: +53 7 8346100
Saturday, Dec. 17th- Monday, Dec. 19th ~2 nights
1 Double Room and 3 Triple Rooms
The Hotel Habana Libre is one of the biggest hotels in Cuba and one of the more emblematic of Havana City; it’s located in 23 and L streets, Vedado, a few meters from the Malecón. This 4 star hotel is a jewel of the urban design and boasts the best view in Havana City. The Habana Libre Hotel, rise majestically in the nerve center of La Rampa, one of the most famous corners in the center of the Cuban capital some few steps of popular Coppelia (Ice cream Cathedral).
All rooms include amenities case, telephone in the bathroom, hanger in the bathroom, plug for electric razor in the bathroom, hair dryer, 110 volt, control of temperature, mini bar, satellite television, table and seats for breakfast, musical thread, radio alarm, safe deposit box, telephone, air conditioning.
In route to your hotel see suburban Havana with stops at:
- The Malecon- The Malecón is a broad roadway and seawall which stretches for 5 miles along the coast from the mouth of Havana Harbor in Old Havana, along the north side of the Centro Habana neighborhood, ending in the Vedado The architectural richness of the Malecón is expressed through 18th- and 19th-century stately homes, followed by a row of 20th-century buildings with an unusual combination of styles and profusion of portals, columns and pilasters that loosely follow classical lines. But beyond the architectural values of the buildings, its greatest charm lies in being somewhere to stroll or hang out on a stiflingly hot day. It is a place where couples come to make amends, especially at sunset, in the company of children and fishermen. It is Havana’s outdoor lounge.
- Monument to the Maine- The Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine “Monumento a las víctimas del Maine” was built in 1925 in on the Malecón boulevard at the end of Línea street, in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, Cuba, built in honor of the American sailors that died in the explosion of USS Maine in 1898, which served as the pretext for the United States to declare war on Spain thus starting the Spanish–American War.
- Plaza of the Revolution- “Revolution Square” is a town square in Havana, and is the 31st largest city square in the world. The square is notable as being where many political rallies take place and Fidel Castro and other political figures address Cubans.
- Colon Cemetery- “Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón”, was founded in 1876 in the Vedado neighbourhood on top of Espada Cemetery. Named for Christopher Columbus, the 140 acre cemetery is noted for its many elaborately sculpted memorials. It is estimated that today the cemetery has more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults.
- Hotel Nacional-
The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is considered a symbol of history, culture and Cuban identity. The guns that made up the old Santa Clara Battery are on exhibition at the garden, they were declared part of the World Heritage Site. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba was declared a National Monument and it was inscribed in the World Memory Register. With its privileged location in the middle of Vedado, it stands on a hill just a few meters from the sea, and offers a great view of the Havana Harbor; the seawall and the city.
The Hotel stands out due to its refined elegance and its ancient splendor, which since 1930 has attracted a large number of personalities from the arts, science and politics, such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, artists Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Johnny Weismuller, Maria Félix.
- Cuban Missile Crisis Tunnels- On site at the Hotel Nacional there is a museum that shares the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis from Cuba’s perspective. In Cuba this period of history is called the Crisis of October or the Crisis of the Caribbean. The museum is located in a system of underground tunnels that form a circle beneath the hotel’s gardens. Though there were no nuclear weapons here during this period in history, these tunnels were used to spy on the United States. A periscope still remains below ground.
- Today you will also take a tour of the Museo del Ron Havana Club- a combination of the grounds with a guide and tasting room. A visit to the Havana Club Museum of Rum isn’t merely a journey back to the origins of Cuba’s most famous beverage. From freshly cut stalks of sugarcane to a reconstitution of a distillery and ageing cellars, the museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture. Situated in the historic district of Habana Vieja “Old Havana”, the museum is housed in a renovated 18th-century “solar” (colonial townhouse). Afterward, you may choose to have lunch at your restaurant of choice. (Reservations at one of your preferred restaurants has been requested and you will be notified once we’ve received confirmation.)
- This afternoon you will have the opportunity to walk from your hotel or take a short taxi ride to the Vedado neighborhood on your own. Vedado is a central business district and urban neighborhood described as the city’s “most affluent” section. “Grancars” (old Chevrolets licensed to transport tourists) are available in the touristic areas of Havana. You can choose to take a ride in one of these whenever you’d like. The price is about 30 cuc per hour.
7:00pm- Dinner Reservations at La Moraleja. Please take the 10 minute walk from your hotel to this lovely 4.5 star restaurant. The cost of dinner is included and you will have three entree options.
La Moraleja means “the point of the story” or “the moral of a kid’s fable”. The philosophy of this paladar located in the ample backyard of a Vedado mansion is “Dreaming is free, so dream on, you’re at La Moraleja, a dream come true.” The backyard is spacious and encompasses an indoor air-conditioned part split from the main garden by a long glass wall, and several tables outside underneath a huge mango tree around which the terrace has been constructed. This is a comfortable and discreet outdoor location in a solidly middle-class neighbourhood. The atmosphere is traditional with old 50’s music (Benny Moré, Buena Vista Social Club and jazz), being the preferred fare when a live jazz band is not on tap.
9:15pm- After dinner you will be transferred to the Tropicana Show. Admission Tickets are included.
1:30-2:00am- At the end of the show you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Sunday, Dec. 18th:
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel and be ready for your morning transfer.
9:00am- While traveling to Cuba on the “People to People” program, your guide will share with you the Quisicuba Socio-Cultural Project and Museum. The mission of Quisicuaba is to impact the lives of both individuals and families living in the targeted community. While being very specific to state that the organization is non-profit, Quisicuaba is upfront about the fact that it is highly attuned to its community’s spiritual needs, in addition to its cultural and materials needs. This will be an educational and entertaining experience for everyone.
Next you will be taken on a private guided tour of Havana Vieja “Old Havana” founded in 1519. Your english speaking guide will explain the history and culture of Cuba as you stroll along the narrow streets. Included you will see:
- Havana Harbor- Havana Harbor is the main port in Cuba; most vessels coming to the island make port in Havana.
- Plaza de Armas- Havana’s oldest square was laid out in the early 1520s, soon after the city’s foundation. The name “Square of Arms” was adopted in the late 16th century, when the colonial governor used the site to conduct military exercises. Today’s plaza, along with most of the buildings around it, dates from the late 1700s. In the center of the square, which is lined with royal palms, is a marble statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the man who set Cuba on the road to independence in 1868.
- Obispo Street- considered one of the most populous streets in Havana city. It takes part of the historical center and its main characteristic is the great number of stores located along the whole street from Bernaza street to Plaza de Armas. There, you can find different kind of stores from small markets to elegant boutiques and other state shops, art galleries, hotels, restaurants, as well as, private stalls selling food and craftwork goods. Among the most traditional places that still remains is the Florida Hotel and Ambos Mundos Hotel, the latest provided accommodation in the thirties to the distinguished American writer Ernest Hemingway who used to went for a walk along this street to its favorite bar El Floridita.
- Plaza de la Catredal- “Cathedral Square” is one of the five main squares in Old Havana and the site of the Cathedral of Havana from which it takes its name. Originally a swamp, it was later drained and used as a naval dockyard. Following the construction of the Cathedral in 1727, it became the site of some of the city’s grandest mansions. It is the site of the Museo del Arte Colonial “Colonial Art Museum” and a number of restaurants.
- Plaza Vieja- The “Old Square” is Havana’s most architecturally eclectic square. Sprinkled liberally with bars, restaurants and cafes, Plaza Vieja today has its own micro-brewery, the Angela Landa primary school, a beautiful fenced-in fountain and, on its west side, some of Havana’s finest vitrales (stained-glass windows).
- San Francisco Plaza- Facing Havana harbor, the breezy “Plaza de San Francisco” is most notable for its uneven cobblestones and the white marble Fuente de los Leones “Fountain of Lions” carved by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Gaggini in 1836.
Lunch will be at La Imprenta, a 4 star restaurant in the heart of Old Havana. The cost of lunch is included and you will have three entree options.
La Imprenta “The Printing Press” is a beautiful place restored on top of the ruins of what used to be La Habanera printing house back in the 19th century. This is a place of homage to Gutenberg’s printing. This is where real quality restoration has been combined with thoughtful design as to what works well for a restaurant. There is a mix of wooden tables and seats recreated with letters and numbers, additional furniture inspired by desks or with symbolic references to printing type cases and even a courtyard, to which visitors can access through a wooden footbridge. La Imprenta often features high up on TripAdvisor’s restaurant list.
After lunch you will visit the local Artisan Market and then return to your hotel. After the market, an optional drop off at Callejon de Hamel will be offered. If you choose to stop, you may take a taxi back to your hotel.
- Callejon de Hamel- Aside from its funky street murals and psychedelic art shops, the main reason to come to Havana’s high temple of Afro-Cuban culture in Centro Habana is the frenetic rumba music that kicks off every Sunday at around noon. For aficionados, this is about as raw and hypnotic as it gets, with interlocking drum patterns and lengthy rhythmic chants.
7:00pm- Dinner Reservations at the Paladar Litoral. The cost of dinner is included and you will have three entree options.
The 4.5 star El Litoral opened its doors after extensive renovations in January 2014 in a renovated mansion almost next door to the US interest section. The ceilings are high but this is a modern finish with tasteful and elegant furniture. The menu is extensive with a range of tapas and it’s known for the best-stocked cold cuts and salad bar in Havana.
10:00pm- After dinner you will be transferred to the Casa de la Musica. The cover charge and one drink is included. The Miramar House of Music has been a mainstay for the very best salsa bands for many years now. It is an absolute must if you have any interest in salsa. It is housed in a beautiful old Havana mansion and offers a great atmosphere. Be warned also that it gets smoky inside.
1:00am- The bus will transfer those of you who want to return back to the hotel. For anyone that wants to stay longer, there are taxis in the area and the cost should be around 7-9 cucs.
Monday, Dec. 19th:
Please be ready for your transfer to Havana Marti International Airport (Terminal 2). You will be notified of your transfer time by your guide.
When leaving Cuba you are allowed $800 in total Cuban purchases per person, of which 100 cigars and 2 liters of liquor along with other merchandise is part of the allowance.
1:30pm-2:30pm Havana to Miami via Havana Air Flight # EA3144 (see included air tickets)
5:50pm-7:46pm Miami to Houston via United Airlines #UA1105
(Confirmation # BDYZBF ~ Seats: 37B & 37F)
9:35pm-10:33pm Houston to Austin via United Airlines #UA1234
(Seats: 38B & 32E)
Included in your Cuba program:
- Two nights at the Havana Libre Hotel
- All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
- All in-country ground transportation, guide services and airport transfers
- Meals and services as noted
Tips for drivers and guides, hotel incidentals, miscellaneous purchases, additional meals and beverages not included in the program.