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Lone Star Skiers
& Adventure Club
Dallas, Tx
Home2020 Havana Extravaganza

HAVANA CUBA EXTRAVAGANZA


The trip Americans pick to revel in all things Cuban

    Six days and five nights in the Pearl of the Caribbean

    Dates – March 21-26, 2020

    Participants: 10 Minimum (we must have 10 min. to make this trip). 


WE HAVE ONE SPOT AVAILABLE FOR A MALE.  OTHERWISE, THIS TRIP IS WAITLISTED, BUT IF TWO SIGN UP, WE WILL ADD ANOTHER ROOM.  SELECT WAITLIST WHEN YOU SIGN UP AND PAY YOUR $100 DEPOSIT.  THIS DEPOSIT WILL BE FULLY REFUNDABLE IF WE DO NOT GET THE REQUIRED TWO.

CONTACT THE SUSAN RIEWE, THE TRIP DIRECTOR, AT MSG4SMR@ATT.NET WITH QUESTIONS OR IF YOU HAVE TWO PEOPLE WANTING TO SIGN UP.


PRICE IS $2,563.00 (will reduce if we have more than 10 participants)

$399 non-refundable deposit (it is transferable if someone takes your spot).  We will not pay deposit until we have 10 participants

Half Payment due 11/1/19
Balance due 12/31/19

Sign Up Here

Questions:  Contact Susan Riewe at msg4smr@att.net

  • INCLUDED IN TOUR COST

    •    All taxes.
    •      Airport transfers from José Martí Int’l Airport in Havana to your hotel upon arrival, and return to José Martí Airport for departure.
    •    5 nights at 4*+ NH Capri Hotel
    •    5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
    •    All activities, services and meals as described in tour itinerary except those noted as  “optional” or “not included in cost.”
    •      
    Modern air-conditioned minibus and professional driver.
    •      Bottled water on bus.
    •    An expert Cuban English-speaking guide and interpreter whose background matches tour content throughout the program.
    •  Tips for tour guide and bus driver

    •    Ongoing support from Cuba Explorer Tours staff in North America and Cuba before, during and after your stay.
    •    Emergency collect call access to our North American and Cuban staff while in Cuba.
    •    Emergency cash advances for our tour participants who face complications accessing funds from aboard while in Cuba.
    •  Cuban Tourist Visa.


    NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COST

    • 
    Airfare  for U.S. commercial flights. American, Southwest, Jet Blue, Delta & United
    Mandatory Cuban Medical Insurance. Provided by and included in ticket price by U.S. airlines.
    Gratuities for chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters, etc. (tips for tour guide and bus driver are included)

    T
    rip interruption and cancellation protection insurance is highly recommended. You might consider TravelInsurance.com or Travel Protectors (myra@travelprotectors.com) for most options and best costs.

    NOTE FROM MYRA AT TRAVEL PROTECTORS:  

Just wanted to let you know that there is always a risk traveling to Cuba even if you have travel insurance. Why? Because travel insurance for Cuba does not include coverage if a political situation arises and people want to cancel their trip; that includes if the USA government comes out officially and bars people from traveling there or if there is a hurricane warning and people get scared about it hitting the island before it hits. If the hurricane hits making the island “uninhabitable,” then people will be covered to cancel. (All travel insurance companies have the same rules and regulations).

 

How to avoid these issues? The only way to work around these issues mentioned above is if people purchase the Cancel for Any Reason policy which is mentioned on the flyer (see attached) but it must be purchased within 14 days of their first payment for the trip!

 

If people want to purchase Cancel for Any Reason, they are to contact me immediately after putting down their first deposits!

myra@travelprotectors.com





Tour introduction and overview of activities

  • Tour Old Havana World Heritage sites
  • Swim on sun drenched white sand beaches
  • Witness Havana humanitarian projects
  • Cruise in 1950s American classic cars
  • Curated history and art museum visits
  • Dine in Havana’s best private eateries
  • Visit Ernest Hemingway’s house
  • Delight in the Tropicana dance show
  • Learn Cuban cooking from master chefs
  • Ride in coconut cabs and bicycle taxis

You will stay in the four-plus-star NH Capri hotel. Its glamorous 1950s Las Vegas-inspired roots shine brightly today in comfort and amenities. The Capri’s Salon Rojo club was a favorite nightspot for global heartthrob actor Errol Flynn. Capri’s calling card is a caring staff, central location, and excellent WiFi.


Wow factors
. Hear music on the streets, and feel it, at the gala Tropicana floor show. Taste unique delicacies of Cuban cuisine. Swim in the warm, clean waters of the Caribbean Sea. Discover heart-warming humanitarian projects in Old Havana. Ogle fantastic architecture and art. Behold kind effusive Cubans eager to connect with Americans.

Habana mi amor. On this tour, you’ll see and do a little bit of everything. It provides an up-close slice of Cuba life and culture. It’s geared to outgoing explorers and sojourners seeking new encounters, and insights on humanity. It’s the ideal way for first-time visitors to learn about island society, or for returning guests, who can’t get enough of Cuba.



 DAY 1 – Saturday • Hello Havana! (dinner included)

  • Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport.
  • Collect your luggage and proceed through Cuban customs to the arrivals lobby.
  • Consider purchasing Cuban Convertible Pesos at the airport exchange bureau (CADECA), or later at your hotel.
  • Our airport concierge or your tour guide will arrange tour bus or private taxi transfers from the airport to the NH Hotel Capri, located in El Vedado, the heart of Havana’s cultural district. Every room has a panoramic view of Havana and the sea, and five hours of high-speed internet access.
  • Hotel check-in is pre-arranged – just present your passport.
  • Enjoy a welcome cocktail, then settle in and freshen up.
  • Group arrival dinner with your guide and trip mates at hotel.
  • Evening entertainment options: Groove to live jazz, relax in a lounge, or explore the sounds of the city – all within walking distance of your hotel!


DAY 2 – Sunday • Romancing historic Havana (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

  • The NH hotel Capri serves delicious breakfasts prepared by Havana’s best chefs.
  • Havana sightseeing. Visit Plaza de la Revolución. Awe at the giant image of Ché Guevara and the towering monument to José Martí, Cuba’s national hero. Then onto the iconic Hotel Nacional de Cuba frequented by world leaders and superstars. At points in between, you’ll savor the architecture of one of the oldest and most stunning cities in the New World.
  • A bicycle made for you. We’ll enlist a cortège of bicycle taxis, and navigate the Old Havana’s narrow streets arriving at Parque Central, the location of Cuba’s national capitol building (a scale model of the U.S. Capitol, only taller). You’ll see numerous architectural landmarks including the Gran Teatro where the Ballet Nacional de Cuba performs.
  • Followed by a guided walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll explore four landmark plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. Together they contain the most extensive collection of remaining Spanish colonial-era architecture in the world. We’ll wander Cathedral Square, Square of Arms, San Francisco Square, and Plaza Vieja.
  • Welcome lunch at the private restaurant Mojito-Mojito. Ideally situated in Plaza Vieja, its friendly atmosphere, and delicious food makes it rank high on TripAdvisor. The restaurant’s slogan: "A single mojito is not enough."
  • Now we visit Casablanca, a quaint village to the north of Havana accessible by ferry. The hamlet was established in 1762 by shipbuilders and carpenters who serviced Spanish galleons and merchant vessels. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the giant marble sculpture "Christ of Havana," and the National Weather Observatory. Its panoramic view across the bay to metropolitan Havana is mesmerizing. Fortunately, Eusebio Leal, president of the Office of the Historian of Havana, is restoring Casablanca to its deserved past glory.
  • We’ll visit the magnificent statue Christ of Havana [Cristo de La Habana] by Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera. She won a 1953 design contest organized by the wife of dictator Fulgencio Batista for this work. Madera created the statue in Italy and shipped the marble pieces to Havana. It is carved from 67 blocks of white Carrara (each blessed by Pope Pius XII), stands 74 feet tall from its base, and weighs 320 tons. It’s the most massive statue created by a female artist.
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up.
  • Hidden gastronomical gem. Group welcome dinner featuring an open menu at Paladar Café Laurent. This sophisticated private restaurant serves Caribbean, Latin, seafood, Cuban, and fusion delights on starched white tablecloths, with polished glasses, and sparkling cutlery. The bright modernist 1950s interior promises an excellent meal and great views of Havana.
  • Paradise under the stars. We’re off to the Tropicana experience. It’s a glimpse of pre-revolution Cuba, where Carmen Miranda, Josephine Baker, Nat King Cole, and others entertained the wealthy with Latin dance numbers performed by women with 10-pound headdresses. It’s a stunning pageant filled with music, crazy dance numbers, a few contortionists and acrobats, and showgirls decked out in fabulous costumes. Many say the Tropicana is more engaging and earthy than glitzy Las Vegas productions.

DAY 3 – Monday • Ernest Hemingway, Cuban cooking (breakfast, lunch included)

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.
  • Foodie’s delight. Imagine how thrilled your friends will be when you return home and prepare authentic Cuban food and mojitos for them? This morning we’ll learn from the renowned Cuban chefs at El Ajiaco Paladar the secrets of preparing tasty Cuban dishes and drinks.
  • Lunch under the palms. El Ajiaco is considered one of the best private eateries in Havana and ranks high on TripAdvisor lists. Hands down it’s a Cuban dining highlight. Ajiaco is noted for fantastic service, atmosphere, and scrumptilicious traditional Cuba cuisine. Nearby family gardens supply organic vegetables and spices, lending to each dish a delightfully fresh aromatic flavor you’ll always remember.
  • A brief visit to the village of Cojímar, a small fishing community of east Havana. Here local fishers cast bronze bust of Hemingway from old anchors, props, and tools. The inscription reads, "In loving memory of the people of Cojímar to the immortal author of Old Man and the Sea." A plaque below the bust notes, "Sculpted with the contributions of the Fishermen Cooperative of Cojímar."
  • Hemingway’s haunt. We’re off to visit Finca Vigía [Lookout Farm] where North America’s literary titan Ernest Hemingway spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years penning building blocks of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island his true home. Hemingway’s house has remains just as it was when he lived there. You’ll see his personal effects, thousands of books and photographs, as well as animal trophies, bagged on his numerous African safaris.
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up.
  • Dinner not included in tour cost. Tonight is an occasion to sample Havana’s stellar private eateries and taste the diversity of the island’s distinctive cuisines. We’ll provide suggestions for restaurants most popular with Cubans and our travelers.
  • Time to explore Havana’s vibrant nightlife, and make new Cuban friends. We’ll keep you posted on evening entertainment options.



DAY 4 –
Tuesday • Capitol building and the beach (breakfast included)

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.
  • Joyride. We’re off to dinner in a cavalcade of Cuban coconut cabs. Cocotaxis are a delightful crazy vehicle with a body shaped like a coconut set atop a motorcycle frame. Get ready for an exciting ride along the Malecón to Old Havana.
  • We’ll visit Cuba’s National Capitol Building, a Latin American architectural treasure. Its size and appearance are similar to Washington’s Capitol Building, but the Pantheon in Paris inspired its opulent neoclassical form and art nouveau flourishes. Cuban architects Raúl Otero and Eugenio Rayneri Piedra designed the colossus in 1925, and construction began in 1926 by the U.S. firm Purdy and Henderson. Completed in 1929, it served as the seat of Congress until 1959 when Fidel and fellow rebels chose less bourgeois digs to conduct revolutionary affairs. From 1959 until 2018 the edifice housed the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Over ensuing decades, the Capitolio fell into critical disrepair. In 2010, Eusebio Leal, president of the Office of the Historian began a mammoth and meticulous restoration project. Today the Capitol resumes its role as the legislative center, housing Cuba’s National Assembly. Restoration will be complete in November 2019 to mark the 500th birthday of the city of Havana. Chocked full of grand statuary and breathtaking ornamental details, Cuba’s Capitol is a "can’t miss" visit.
  • What would a trip to Cuba be without a view of the sea? We’re off to Havana’s eastern beaches known as Playas del Este. We’ll visit two notable white sand shores: Santa María del Mar and Guanabo. Just 30 minutes from the capital, en route, we’ll gaze incredible tropical vistas of sea and countryside. First stop is Santa María del Mar and time to relax on 14 miles of palm-lined seashore of the Caribbean Sea. Later we’ll explore the small resort town of Guanabo founded in 1800. Cubans and foreign guests love these littoral spots. Don’t forget your swimsuit, towels and beach gear.
  • Lunch is not included. At the beach, there are numerous food vendors. While in Guanabo we’ll schedule a stop at a local paladar [private restaurant].
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up.
  • Dinner not included in tour cost. It’s an occasion to sample Havana’s stellar private eateries and taste the diversity of the island’s distinctive cuisines. We’ll provide suggestions for restaurants most popular with Cubans and our travelers.
  • Time to explore Havana’s vibrant nightlife, and make new Cuban friends. We’ll keep you posted on evening entertainment options.

 

Day 5 – Wednesday • Arts (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.
  • Visit COLIBRI Record Company & Abdala Music Studio.  Here, we’ll discuss the central role of music in Cuban national life, Cuban musical genres, the work of emerging musicians, and more.  And we will visit the recording studios of the internationally acclaimed Omara Portuondo, a former member of Buena Vista Social Club
  • We'll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fuster, one of Cuba's most important ceramists and painters at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana.
  •  Visit cultural project La Lavanderia, a group of renown Cuban artists and painters have joined efforts in restoring an old laundromat building and turned it into a workshop/gallery where they can create and exhibit their work.
  • Visit Callejón de Hamel (Hamel Alley) to see the artwork of famed Afro-Cuban Artist Salvador González
  • Dinner at Cuba 54 private restaurant (included).
  • Evening SPECIAL “¡Noche de fiesta cubana!” party and dancing class with live music at Club Chévere (transportation and cover included)


DAY 6 – Thursday • Adios Havana.  (Breakfast included)

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.
  • Check-out of your Havana hotel.
  • Transfer to Havana’s José Martí International Airport for flights home.
  • We’ll miss you and hope you will return soon. In Cuba we say: A true friend remembers the song in your heart when you have forgotten the lyrics.

Traveler ease, comfort, and pleasure is the ethos of Cuba Explorer. No need to worry about Cuba’s aging infrastructure and rudimentary services. During your Cuba stay, our full-time local team is with you to ensure your trip magical and memorable.