Sunday, December 11 – Monday, December 19, 2016
9 Days / 8 Nights • Cost per Person: $2,799 or $2,999
CasaQ would like to invite you to venture to Cuba for an unforgettable adventure from December 11-19 to experience La Musica, Colores y Sabor de Cuba.
You’ll explore numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites that will transport you to another era to take in the colonial architecture, stunning landscapes and seaside towns with Cuban locals.
You’ll experience Cuba’s rich cultural past of Meso-American, Spanish, French, African & British influence through food, music and dance.
You’ll follow the footsteps of famed author Ernest Hemingway from his private home to favorite spots which inspired him to live in Cuba for over 20 years.
Then, if that’s not enough, you’ll receive Full Access Passes to the 32nd International Jazz Festival of Havana, sponsored by famed Cuban jazz artist Chucho Valdes and the Cuban Institute of Music, held in numerous locations throughout the Cuban capital from December 15 to December 18, 2016.
This tour is organized by Cuban locals who will welcome you to experience their country with unequal access to the finest venues to local haunts in the real neighborhoods of Cuba. This is the opportune time time to visit Cuba before it becomes commercialized and loses it authentic flavor.
Cost per Person Double Occupancy
Hotel Roc Presidente $2599 / 4 Star / SOLD OUT!
Hotel Capri La Habana $2799 / 4-Star / SOLD OUT!
Hotel Nacional de Cuba $2999 / 5-Star / SOLD OUT!
Note: $300 non-refundable deposit is due to reserve your spot and commence legal paperwork. Deposit may be used towards a future trip if you must cancel your trip. Full payment due by September 30, 2016.
+$900 Single Room Supplement: Single room supplement rates are for those who are traveling solo and do not wish to share a room. If you are traveling on your own and are willing to share a room, we can find a roommate for you so you do not have to pay an additional fee.
- 6 Nights at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, a historic luxury hotel in Havana where elite guests such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Jorge Negrete, Maria Felix & Winston Churchill gathered. Breakfast included.
- 2 Nights at Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos “The Pearl of the South”, originally meant to be a haven for wealthy American mobsters. Breakfast & Dinner Included.
- Luxury 24/7 Dedicated Air-conditioned Motor Coach and Driver
- A private English-speaking Cuban guide and translator
- 15 Meals total included: 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches & 2 Dinners
- Official Asistur Cuban Health Insurance Coverage.
- Guided tour of Old Havana founded in 1519, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a showcase of baroque and neoclassic architecture, music and culture
- Explore Cuba’s paladares, private home restaurants offering exciting cuisine in atmospheric surroundings
- Exclusive receptions at the studios of leading Cuban artists and shopping in Cuba’s best Art and Craft Markets.
- Travel to Cienfuegos, a charming waterfront city founded in 1819 known as the “Pearl of the South”, has a distinctive French influence
- Visit the tobacco plantations & agriculture in Valle de Viñales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the most photographed stunning landscapes in Cuba
- Explore Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped ticking in 1850
- Explore Sugar Mill Valley, a UNESCO Heritage Site, where you’ll see the opulent ruins of the wealth built by sugar mills with African slave labor
- Follow in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner and American author, Ernest Hemingway as we visit two of his favorite watering holes in Havana
- Visit Cojimar Fishing Village, where Hemingway was inspired to write one of his most famous works, The Old Man and the Sea
- Explore Hemingway’s private home, Finca La Vigia, outside of Havana where he lived for over 20 Years.
- All Access International Havana Jazz Festival Pass for all venues December 15-19, 2016
- Rub Shoulders with International & Cuban Jazz Musicians at the festival and local after-hours clubs. Stellar acts in the past have included Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Richie Cole, Max Roach, Carmen McRae, Leon Thomas, Tete Montoliu, Airto Moreira, Tania María, Dave Valentin, Michel Legrand & Ivan Lins
- Premium Seats at the Opening Ceremony of the Jazz Festival.
- Daily Attendance to Jazz Festival’s Venues Across the City.
- Premium Seats at the Closing Ceremony of the Jazz Festival.
- Tour of Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba’s Arts School with pavilions for dance, art, music, and drama
- Guided tour of El Morro Fortress, built in the 16th Century
Services Not Included:
- International airfare to and from Cuba.*
- Gratuities for Cuban tour guide, bus driver, chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters, etc.
- Cuban airport departure tax of 25.00 Cuban convertible pesos.
- Optional travel interruption and cancellation insurance.
*Cuba transportation options:
1) Charter Flights – You can book a charter flight to Cuba directly from numerous providers or go through the travel agent once you book your reservation. These are some of the current carriers providing charter flights: American Airlines, Jet Blue & Havana Air.
2) Commercial Airlines – American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and JetBlue are expected to begin commercial service to Cuba in the Fall.
3) Fly to Miami – You can book a commercial flight now to Miami, then closer to the travel date take a ferry boat (if service has begun) to Cuba or book a charter flight.
US Travel to Cuba – FAQs
Is it legal to travel to Cuba?
There are twelve categories of travel to Cuba that are authorized under a U.S. Department of the Treasury general license including family visits, official government business, journalism, research, education, religious activities, performances, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and humanitarian trips. According to new changes implemented on March 16, 2016, US citizens can now go to Cuba under the General License for People-to-people Educational Travel. Under this category, Americans can legally travel to Cuba provided they participate in guided tours with a company that provides a full schedule of educational exchange activities intended to promote meaningful interaction between the traveler and Cuban citizens. What’s great about that is, you will be able to interact with artists, musicians, professionals, and other fascinating people in real-life settings. Tour companies also take care of all the details, such as paperwork, flights, hotel reservations and just about everything else. Keep in mind that individual tourist travel is still prohibited, meaning that although having a drink at the beach while chatting it up with the locals may be educational, it’s not going to pass muster.
Who is sponsoring trip?
CasaQ is sponsoring the people-to-people cultural trip through a TICO registered Canadian-based Cuban Tour Operator with License Number 251215125
Why is it so cheap?
You may notice other comparable tours cost from 4,000 -5,000 dollars. We are using an agency out of Canada that does only Cuba trips and is run by Cubans. Our travel agent Yane Marquez, was born and raised in Cuba, graduated from University of Havana and the Tourism School of Cuba and spent 10 years in the tourism industry in Cuba before moving to Canada. She’s got hook ups.
What about airfare/flights to Cuba?
Currently there are Charter Flights flying to Cuba mostly out of Miami & Los Angeles. The travel agent will be able to help you book a flight. However, commercial flights are expected to begin in September on major American airlines such as American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and JetBlue and may be up to 50% less. Alternatively, some people are booking cheap flights to Miami now and are planning to take a ferry to Cuba which is expected to start service this Fall as well. See SFO to MIA Flights. When the floodgates open the people that will be granted flights first will be those with their approved tours and visas in order. Tourism trips to Cuba are still not allowed.
In December the hurricane season is long gone and the temperatures range between 64-81ºF with the ocean water a cozy 79ºF. See Havana, Cuba Weather Forecast.
Money / ATMs / Credit Cards
First of all the exchange rate is really easy – One CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) = One US Dollar. Now it gets complicated…Cuban currency is NOT traded internationally, so you can not buy it in advance. You buy it when you arrive in Cuba. Then, there is a 10% penalty charged when exchanging USA dollars cash, so, you will only receive 87 centavos CUC for one USA dollar when changing the money, allowing for the 10% penalty and a 3% currency exchange fee. Many visitors withdraw Canadian or Mexican money from there bank prior to arriving to Cuba so they don’t have to pay the 10% fee only charged against US dollars. Make sure to bring new crisp bills and no change. The best exchange rate is at any bank and the worst is at your hotel which is not regulated.
ATMs are virtually nonexistent and very few locations take credit cards. In general cash is king in Cuba, although legal to use now, you should not count on paying for goods or services with a U.S. credit or debit cards anywhere in Cuba.
The new changes now allow you to spend as much money as your heart desires on the island but you can only bring back up to $400 dollars worth of goods per person, including up to $100 dollars worth of tobacco and alcohol such as those famous Cuban cigars and rum. U.S. travelers may also purchase an unlimited amount of goods or products in Cuba for “educational purposes” including music CD’s, books (new or used), photography, and visual arts.
Cell / Wifi / Mobile Devices
The best thing to do while in Cuba is place your phone on “airplane mode” and use it as a camera and video recorder while traveling. WiFi services are as fast as molasses, but if you feel the need to stay connected some U.S. carriers have or are beginning to make agreements with ETECSA (the Cuban national telecommunications company) to provide roaming services in Cuba. Sprint and Verizon, for example, currently offer roaming services in Cuba. If your carrier offers a roaming plan and your mobile phone is capable of roaming in Cuba, you should ask your carrier about any additional charges for voice calls, data, and outgoing text messages that you may incur during your trip. The telecommunications market in Cuba is changing rapidly, so before you travel, be sure to check with your wireless provider for the latest developments.
The Hotel Nacional de Cuba, where we are staying, has a business office (Open 9am-9pm) that offers all its guests the following services:
· Internet and electronic mail
· Personal computers
· Bilingual staff
· Snack Bar services
– CD Burn
– Photocopy and print Service
Cuba generally has a reputation as being a very safe location for tourists and violent crime is virtually unheard of. Official crime statistics are not published by the Cuban government, but reporting by U.S. citizens and other foreign travelers indicates that the majority of incidents are non-violent and theft-related – e.g., pickpocketing, purse snatching, or the taking of unattended or valuable items. More information
Questions? Contact us at info(at)casaq(.)com or call 408-280-1065