TRIPS TO CUBA

We offer small group experience with average 8-14 people. All Colibri trips really support Cuban people. Part of the profits will be used to purchase school or art supplies and together with the group we will pass the gift during the visit to selected organization or school.

HAVANA, VINALES,  LAS TERAZZAS – 7 DAYS IN NOVEMBER (Nov. 25 – Dec. 1, 2018)

$1795 (double occupancy), $1995 (single occupancy) 

Click the arrow to see full itinerary.

We fell in love with Havana long ago and guarantee that you will as well. Imagine yourself walking along the Malecon, waves crushing against the sea wall, guitarists playing Besame Mucho, the smell of Cuban cigars, the sunset highlighting the beauty of the city’s stunning colonial architecture, vintage cars passing by and more.

DAY 1

Arrival at the Jose Marti Airport. Transfer to casas.

Afternoon walk via Malecon, famous city walk, welcome drinks and orientation at patio of Hotel Nacional, dinner at the famous Dona Eutimia restaurant, live music.

DAY 2

HAVANA VIEJAArchitecture, History, Arts and Rum

Havana Vieja, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is full of architectural gems, from baroque to neoclassical to colonial styles. There has never been a city center like it that is so alive, energetic, and full of music playing from every corner.

We will visit all four famous plazas: Plaza de la Catedral with its famous Cathdral de San Cristobal where Columbus was buried for hundreds of years, Plaza de Armas surrounded by the Palacio de Genarales and a second-hand book market, Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, Plaza Vieja, etc. We will walk through Calle Obispo, Calle Mercaderes and enter Museo del Chocolate,  Factoria Plaza Vieja, stop at Fundación Havana Club for rum tasting, and visit local artist and photography studios. We will finish our tour by visiting Havana’s two most grandiose buildings El Capitolio Nacional and the Gran Theatro de La Habana. Dinner at Obama’s favorite restaurant, Paradar San Cristobal.

Evening will be spent at the Gran Theatro Nacional (the show depends on the theatre schedule)

DAY 3

FUSTERLANDIA AND HEMINGWAY IN  HAVANAart project, vintage cars, life of famous writer.

A morning trip in Cuban signature, on this day we will take vintage cabriolets to the “land of Fuster”, Fusterlandia – a place where Cuban artists have converted an impoverished neighborhood into a dreamy, artistic paradise similar to the work of Gaudi.

In the afternoon we will visit Finca Vigia to learn about the life of Hemingway by touring his former home of 20 years where he wrote some of his most famous novels, including The Old Man and the Sea.

DAY 4

HAVANA CENTRO AND VEDADORevolution, Gangsters and Cuban Inspiring Heroes

We start the day with a visit to the famous Museum of the Revolution decorated with Tiffany glass windows. We will learn the fascinating history of Cuba’s long struggle for independence and discuss the legacies of legendary revolutionaries Fidel and Che. Behind the museum we will find the Pavillon Grandma – memorial to the yacht that brought Fidel and his soldiers to Cuba. After lunch we will stop at Plaza de la Revolución, the Habana Libre hotel with its best selection of real Cuban cigars, and rest on the patio of Hotel Nacional – long ago the favorite spot of American mafia, but today one of Cuba’s most nicest hotels.  Afterwards we will visit The University of Havana, before heading to the famous restaurant La Guarida from which we will have 360 degree views of Havana just in time for sunset.

DAY 5

PINAR DEL RIO AND VINALES- nature day in country side: hiking, boats, and organic food

A visit to Cuba would not be complete without a trip to a Cuban tobacco farm.  On this day, we will visit the Alejandro Robaina Tobbacco Plantation that has been operating in the country since 1845.

Next we will dive into the extraordinary Cuban landscape of Viñales, a beautiful valley dotted with small farms, coffee plantations and stunning caves, such as Cueva del Indio and Cueva del San Miguel, and home to the famous Mural de la Prehistoria. 

Lunch will be at Finca de Agroecologica El Paraiso, a delicious restaurant where every ingredient is grown and prepared straight from the surrounding farm.  With beautiful views of the valley around it, it is called “Paradise Farm” for a reason.

DAY 6

LAS TERAZZAS, COLON NECROPOLIS, MIRAMAR – art, coffee and eco design

Tour Las Terrazas, a self-sustaining, pioneering Eco-village located in the forest west of Havana. Surrounded by local birds we will hike to see the ruins of one of the oldest coffee plantation -Buena Vista, rest on terrases of Hotel Moka world’s first eco-hotel build between three trunks and perfectly blended into surrounding nature, Cuban coffee tasting at Maria’s, swim in emerald waters of nearby banos.

Later in the day, we will return to Havana and tour Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón, one of the most picturesque and largest cemeteries in the Americas, known for its remarkable architecture, marble statues and religious iconography.

As the sun sets, we will tour Miramar, a gorgeous Havana neighborhood that is home to many of the embassies as well as many of the most beautiful Havana homes.

DAY 7

Departure from Havana

 

NEW YEARS EVE IN CUBA WITH CELEBRATION OF 60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION (Dec. 29, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019)

$2395 (double), $2595 (single)

4 days in Havana, 1 day in Viñales, 1 day in Las Terrazas, 1 day in Trinidad, and 1 day in Cienfuegos with an afternoon visit to Santa Clara

DAY 1

Arrival at the Jose Marti Airport. Transfer to casas.

Afternoon walk via Malecon, famous city walk, welcome drinks and orientation at patio of Hotel Nacional, dinner at the famous Dona Eutimia restaurant, live music.

DAY 2

HAVANA CENTRO AND VEDADORevolution, Gangsters and Cuban Inspiring Heroes

We start the day with a visit to the famous Museum of the Revolution decorated with Tiffany glass windows. We will learn the fascinating history of Cuba’s long struggle for independence and discuss the legacies of legendary revolutionaries Fidel and Che. Behind the museum we will find the Pavillon Grandma – memorial to the yacht that brought Fidel and his soldiers to Cuba. After lunch we will stop at Plaza de la Revolución, the Habana Libre hotel with its best selection of real Cuban cigars, and rest on the patio of Hotel Nacional – long ago the favorite spot of American mafia, but today one of Cuba’s most nicest hotels.  Afterwards we will visit The University of Havana, before heading to the famous restaurant La Guarida from which we will have 360 degree views of Havana just in time for sunset.

Evening will be spent at the Gran Teatro Nacional (the show depends on the theater schedule)

DAY 3

HAVANA VIEJA – Architecture, History, Arts and Rum

Havana Vieja, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is full of architectural gems, from baroque to neoclassical to colonial styles. There has never been a city center like it that is so alive, energetic, and full of music playing from every corner.

We will visit all four famous plazas: Plaza de la Catedral with its famous Cathdral de San Cristobal where Columbus was buried for hundreds of years, Plaza de Armas surrounded by the Palacio de Genarales and a second-hand book market, Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, Plaza Vieja, etc. We will walk through Calle Obispo, Calle Mercaderes and enter Museo del Chocolate,  Factoria Plaza Vieja, stop at Fundación Havana Club for rum tasting, and visit local artist and photography studios. We will finish our tour by visiting Havana’s two most grandiose buildings El Capitolio Nacional and the Gran Theatro de La Habana. Dinner at Obama’s favorite restaurant, Paradar San Cristobal.

In the evening, we will celebrate the coming of the New Year with music, dance and festive, food and drink alongside Cubans!

DAY 4

60TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE REVOLUTION – Witness celebrations throughout the city on Triumph of the Revolution Day, a national holiday commemorating the January 1, 1959 victory over Batista’s forces

Every year on January 1, Cubans celebrate Triumph of the Revolution Day, the anniversary of Batista’s final surrender to Castro and the rebel forces.  On this date, Havana is known to offer many music concerts free to the public.  This year, the holiday is particularly significant as it is the 60th anniversary.  More details on celebrations and events happening this day are soon to come.

DAY 5

PINAR DEL RIO AND VINALES – nature day in country side: hiking, boats, and organic food

A visit to Cuba would not be complete without a trip to a Cuban tobacco farm.  On this day, we will visit the Alejandro Robaina Tobbacco Plantation that has been operating in the country since 1845.

Next we will dive into the extraordinary Cuban landscape of Viñales, a beautiful valley dotted with small farms, coffee plantations and stunning caves, such as Cueva del Indio and Cueva del San Miguel, and home to the famous Mural de la Prehistoria. 

Lunch will be at Finca de Agroecologica El Paraiso, a delicious restaurant where every ingredient is grown and prepared straight from the surrounding farm.  With beautiful views of the valley around it, it is called “Paradise Farm” for a reason.

DAY 6

LAS TERAZZAS – art, coffee and eco design

Tour Las Terrazas, a self-sustaining, pioneering Eco-village located in the forest west of Havana. Surrounded by local birds we will hike to see the ruins of one of the oldest coffee plantation -Buena Vista, rest on terrases of Hotel Moka world’s first eco-hotel build between three trunks and perfectly blended into surrounding nature, Cuban coffee tasting at Maria’s, swim in emerald waters of nearby banos.

DAY 7

SANTA CLARA & TRINIDAD – Resting home of revolutionary Che Guevara, beach, live music and dance

In the morning, we will drive from Las Terrazas to Santa Clara, site of the key victory by Che Guevara and the rebel forces in late 1958.  Here, we will tour the Che Guevara Mausoleum, the beautifully-designed, famous burial place of Guevara and also a renowned museum.

Later, we will travel to Trinidad, a fully-preserved, charming colonial-era town.  On our way in, we will stop at Manaca Iznaga Tower, a 300-year old tower with views at the top of the entire surrounding area.

After settling in, we will head to the Playa Ancón beach where can watch the sunset and enjoy a late dinner by the water.

In the evening, we will enjoy the beautiful sounds of rumba music and watch captivating, Cuban dancers perform at the Casa de la Música.

DAY 7

TRINIDAD AND CIENFUEGOS – colonial-era architecture, hike to a waterfall, sea-side walks and scenic views

In the morning, we will do a short hike to Javira Waterfalls and enjoy a refreshing swim in this beautiful basin.

Next, we will return to Trinidad to view some of the spectacular, colonial-era architecture, including the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísma Trinidad, the Plaza Mayor, and the Convento de San Francisco de Asía. 

After a short drive, we will spend the rest of the day in the nearby, sea-side city of Cienfuegos where we will walk along the water of the scenic Punta Gorda peninsula.

DAY 8

Departure from Cienfuegos

 

CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP (Feb. 2 – Feb. 13., 2019)

$2795 (double), $2995 (single)

A cross-country road trip that includes 4 days in Havana, day and afternoon trip visits to Viñales, Las Terrazas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Camagüey, and ends with 2 days in Santiago de Cuba.

DAY 1

Arrival at the Jose Marti Airport. Transfer to casas.

Afternoon walk via Malecon, famous city walk, welcome drinks and orientation at patio of Hotel Nacional, dinner at the famous Dona Eutimia restaurant, live music.

DAY 2

HAVANA VIEJAArchitecture, History, Arts and Rum

Havana Vieja, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is full of architectural gems, from baroque to neoclassical to colonial styles. There has never been a city center like it that is so alive, energetic, and full of music playing from every corner.

We will visit all four famous plazas: Plaza de la Catedral with its famous Cathdral de San Cristobal where Columbus was buried for hundreds of years, Plaza de Armas surrounded by the Palacio de Genarales and a second-hand book market, Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, Plaza Vieja, etc. We will walk through Calle Obispo, Calle Mercaderes and enter Museo del Chocolate,  Factoria Plaza Vieja, stop at Fundación Havana Club for rum tasting, and visit local artist and photography studios. We will finish our tour by visiting Havana’s two most grandiose buildings El Capitolio Nacional and the Gran Theatro de La Habana. Dinner at Obama’s favorite restaurant, Paradar San Cristobal.

Evening will be spent at the Gran Theatro Nacional (the show depends on the theatre schedule)

Day 3

FUSTERLANDIA AND HEMINGWAY IN  HAVANAart project, vintage cars, life of famous writer.

A morning trip in Cuban signature, on this day we will take vintage cabriolets to the “land of Fuster”, Fusterlandia – a place where Cuban artists have converted an impoverished neighborhood into a dreamy, artistic paradise similar to the work of Gaudi.

In the afternoon we will visit Finca Vigia to learn about the life of Hemingway by touring his former home of 20 years where he wrote some of his most famous novels, including The Old Man and the Sea.

 

DAY 4

 

HAVANA CENTRO AND VEDADORevolution, Gangsters and Cuban Inspiring Heroes

We start the day with a visit to the famous Museum of the Revolution decorated with Tiffany glass windows. We will learn the fascinating history of Cuba’s long struggle for independence and discuss the legacies of legendary revolutionaries Fidel and Che. Behind the museum we will find the Pavillon Grandma – memorial to the yacht that brought Fidel and his soldiers to Cuba. After lunch we will stop at Plaza de la Revolución, the Habana Libre hotel with its best selection of real Cuban cigars, and rest on the patio of Hotel Nacional – long ago the favorite spot of American mafia, but today one of Cuba’s most nicest hotels.  Afterwards we will visit The University of Havana, before heading to the famous restaurant La Guarida from which we will have 360 degree views of Havana just in time for sunset.

Evening will be spent at the Gran Teatro Nacional (the show depends on the theater schedule)

DAY 5

VINALES AND LAS TERAZZAS nature day in country side: hiking, boats, and organic food, art, coffee and eco design

On day 5, we will dive into the extraordinary Cuban landscape of Viñales, a beautiful valley dotted with small farms, coffee plantations and stunning caves, such as Cueva del Indio and Cueva del San Miguel, and home to the famous Mural de la Prehistoria. 

Lunch will be at Finca de Agroecologica El Paraiso, a delicious restaurant where every ingredient is grown and prepared straight from the surrounding farm.  With beautiful views of the valley around it, it is called “Paradise Farm” for a reason.

Tour Las Terrazas, a self-sustaining, pioneering Eco-village located in the forest west of Havana. Surrounded by local birds we will hike to see the ruins of one of the oldest coffee plantation -Buena Vista, rest on terrases of Hotel Moka world’s first eco-hotel build between three trunks and perfectly blended into surrounding nature, Cuban coffee tasting at Maria’s, swim in emerald waters of nearby banos.

Day 6

CIENFUEGOS AND TRINIDAD sea-side city tour, stunning colonial-era architecture, music and dance in the evening

After a morning drive, we will spend a few hours in the sea-side city of Cienfuegos.  Among the highlights, we will walk along the water of the scenic Punta Gorda peninsula.

Later in the day, we will head to Trinidad, an almost perfectly preserved colonial-era town.  On a short tour, we will view some of the spectacular, colonial-era architecture, including the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísma Trinidad, the Plaza Mayor, and the Convento de San Francisco de Asía. 

In the evening, we will enjoy the beautiful sounds of rumba music and watch captivating, Cuban dancers perform at the Casa de la Música.

Day 7

TRINIDADhike and swim by a waterfall, climb a 300-year-old towers, watch sunset on the beach

In the morning, we will do a short hike to Javira Waterfalls and enjoy a refreshing swim in this beautiful basin.

Afterwards, we will stop at Manaca Iznaga Tower, a 300-year old tower with views at the top of the entire surrounding area.

Later on, we will head to the Playa Ancón beach to watch the sunset and enjoy a late dinner by the water.

Day 8

SANTA CLARA – resting home of revolutionary Che Guevara

Drive to the city of Santa Clara, site of the key victory by Che Guevara and the rebel forces in late 1958.  Here, we will tour the Che Guevara Mausoleum, the beautifully-designed, famous burial place of Guevara and also a renowned museum.

Afterwards, we will continue on the road, passing through Sancti Spiritus briefly before arriving in the charming city of Camagüey.

Day 9

CAMAGÜEY AND BAYAMO City tour, learn about the history of Cuban independence

Morning tour of the city of Camagüey, including Plaza San Juan de Dios and several churches, such as Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria and Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced.

Later in the day, we will continue on the road, stopping in Bayamo, a historic town known for its ties to the Cuban independence struggle.  Here we will visit Casa Natal de Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the birthplace of Cuba’s “padre de la patria” (“father of the motherland”), its first major independence struggle leader.  In 1868, Céspedes first declared Cuban independence from Spain in what is today Parque Céspedes.

In the evening, we will arrive in the 2nd-biggest Cuban city, Santiago de Cuba.

Day 10

SANTIAGO DE CUBA Start of the Cuban Revolution,

Tour the historic Moncada Barracks, raided in 1952 by a young Fidel and Raul Castro in what was a military failure, but the start of the eventually successful Cuban Revolution.  The bullet holes from this attack are still visibile!

In the afternoon, we will tour various plazas, including Plaza de la Revolución where there is a huge statue of Afro-Cuban independence leader Antoneo Maceo and a silhouette along a building of Afro-Cuban revolutionary leader Juan Almeida Bosque.

Later, we will visit the famous Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, burial home of José Martí, Fidel Castro, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and many more Cuban revolutionaries and independence leaders.

Day 11

BIRÁN AND EL COBRE BASILICA – Learn about the childhood of Fidel and Raul Castro, Go to one of Cuba’s holiest site

In the morning we will drive to Birán, the childhood home of Fidel and Raul Castro and the former estate of the Castro family.  We will see Fidel Castro’s childhood school, the place where Raul Castro liked to cock-fight, and learn about the history of the Castro family.

Later in the day, we will visit the El Cobre Basilica, one of the holiest sites in the country for Cuban Catholics, in a scenic, mountain-top town outside of Santiago de Cuba.

In the evening, we will return to Santiago de Cuba and enjoy our last night in the country at Casa de la Música.

Day 12

Departure from Santiago de Cuba

 
Is it legal and safe to go?
It is perfectly legal to go to Cuba with Colibri: The new regulations require Americans to travel with a group and under the supervision of a company under American jurisdiction. The group must follow an itinerary that provides educational experiences and interaction with Cuban people. The group must support Cuban people (for example by staying in casas particulares) and avoid hotels and sites owned by the Cuban military (restricted list). Colibri’s tours comply with the new regulations.
It is safe to go to Cuba. Actually we find Cuba to be one of the safest countries for visitors, especially with an experienced travel provider. We are an American company, but also with operations in Europe. When in Cuba we have access to the US embassy, Polish embassy, and the European Union office.

 

Trips are limited to 6-12 participants

Call 617.301.1237  or email us info@colibriboston.org

SIGHTSEEING

HAVANA VIEJA (OLD HAVANA) – LECTURE ON COLONIAL HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE

Close your eyes and imagine taking a trip to the past: riding in an old cabriolet, cigar in hand, waves crashing against the Malecon sea wall. In the evening, mojitos at Hemingway’s favorite spot to the tunes of Buena Vista social club. We will spend a day strolling the streets between four main Colonial squares, learning about Havana’s eclectic architecture and world famous restoration project by city historian Eusebio Leal.

Plaza de la Cathedral, Cathedral de San Cristobal, Plaza De Armas, Museo de la Ciudad, Fort Castillo de la Fuerza, Calle Mercares.

 

HEMINGWAY TOUR AND VISIT TO ART PROJECT “FUSTERLANDIA”

Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for 20 years. He wrote his famous novels here and dedicated his Nobel prize to the people of Cuba. In a fleet of convertible Chevrolets, we will travel to Hemingway’s house “La Vigia” and afterward the spectacular art project established by the famous Fuster!

 

 

VEDADO AND CENTRAL HAVANA  – LECURE ON CUBAN REVOLUTION AND FAMOUS REVOLUTIONARIES CHE AND FIDEL CASTRO

Museum de la Revolucion and Plaza de la Revolution, Cuban Art Museum.

VINALES

Valle de Vinales: An UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning limestone monoliths, mural de Prehistoria, and range of beautiful caves. We will visit local farmers, discuss Cuban Farming, and have lunch at the spectacular Finca Agrecologica, restaurant on the farm serving their own food.

Cuba Vieja

 

 

LAS TERRAZAS

Founded in 1968, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve was the first eco-village, and today includes a boutique hotel, artist studios, and coffee plantation ruins. Enjoy this day of learning about Cuban art, hiking, bird watching, artist studio visits, and locally grown coffee ending with a swim in an emerald river at Banos.

 

TRINIDAD

This perfectly preserved Spanish colonial town, built on sugar fortunes will transport us to the nineteenth century. There are no words to describe the magic of Trinidad, so we’ll let photos do the talking: 

 

CIENFUEGOS

Cuba’s Perla del Sur (pearl of the south). Cienfuegos is a beautiful city with elegant French architecture and a stunning waterfront. Surrounded by sugar cane plantations, it played an important role in Cuba’s production. Incredible geographical location and oceanography.

ACCOMMODATION

We will be staying in beautiful casas particurales – Cuban bed-and-breakfasts, either stunning colonial villas or modern apartments with lots of character. These casas are privately run and support local people.

 

 

 

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TESTIMONIALS

Endorsement from Marc Frank, US correspondent (Reuters, ABC News, Financial Times), author of Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

Sylvia,

It was a pleasure to meet you and talk with your group of visitors in Havana. You are both charming and knowledgeable on Cuba, and your fellow travelers were so diverse, intelligent and curious. I do wish you success in your future Cuban endeavors, most of all for the experience it will surely bring your clients and secondly for the excellent company it will deliver to Cuba.

Marc Frank, author of Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

From our travelers

Hi Sylvia,

Before too much time goes by, I wanted to take this opportunity to again thank you for the incredible trip to Cuba.

While Cuba is a fascinating country, it wouldn’t have been nearly as wonderful without your commentary, creativity and enthusiasm.

I was so utterly impressed with your knowledge of Cuba’s history, your remarkable ability to navigate the Cuban bureaucracy, and your unending flexibility and willingness to make our requests come to fruition. I don’t think that there was a detail that you didn’t attend to. Add to that your wonderful sense of humor, sensitivity and great spirit – and you are hard to beat! I would follow you on any trip you plan knowing it would be just as exciting, informative and fun as Cuba was. On a more personal note, I loved getting to know you better and to share morning breakfast conversations. What a treat! Stay well. Both Bill and I look forward to travelling with you in the future.

Fondly,

Gail Grossman

Hello Sylvia,

I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to be part of the wonderful trip to Cuba. I cannot believe all that we were able to experience in such a short time. I feel much more well informed about Cuba than I did before this trip and am now a big fan of Che Guevara thanks to you!
Thank you again for the experience of a lifetime,
Gail Griffin

Hi Sylvia, as I am sitting here in my office looking out at the rain and cold weather, I cannot help but think back to last week and the wonderful opportunity for all of us individually and collectively to learn more about the Cuban people, their country, their government and observe their way of life. It was enriching and enlightening for me and certainly raised a number of thoughts about how we might seek to develop more relationships with the Cuban people and potentially their government. Of course both the US and Cuba are in a state of transition and so our relationship building may take some time but we are a bit smarter as to the interests of the Cuban people and their country thanks to your guidance and support along our tour through this most interesting country. We have also talked about how skilled you were in guiding our group through this learning process and how resourceful you, Jorge and Joelle (not sure about spelling). Your support and guidance made this trip a very special one for me and I am sure for all of the members of the group. 

Bill Kiernan

As a recent participant on a Cuba Study tour thru UMASS BOSTON guided by Sylvia Rozwadowska of Colibri I have nothing but high praise for her and Colibri’s preparations and follow through for all phases. 
As a frequent foreign traveler who avoids group tours I can say I was pleasantly surprised by her ability to cater to those folks who needed more guidance while leaving us solo types to explore as we wished. 
The local contacts she made for guide and driver were excellent. The accommodations were far from spartan yet allowed people to soak up local flavor through the Cuban equivalent of Bed and Breakfasts. 
Finally as on all trips, both solo and group, unforeseen logistical problems arose which Sylvia handled with professional competence and aplomb. 
Kudos to Colibri overall and Sylvia Rozwadowska specifically. 
A huge note of appreciation and thanks.
Joe Marrone