VINTAGE CUBA

VINTAGE CUBA

A TASTE OF HAVANA

JOIN US ON THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFE-TIME ADVENTURE TO HAVANA AS CUBA CONTINUES ITS’ JOURNEY TO GARNER EQUALITY FOR ALL CITIZENS.

On the outside looking in, one would assume that Cuba is stuck in a proverbial time warp. Marked by decaying buildings, antiquated facades and vintage automobiles, it seems that Cuba has progressed little since the U.S. placed a trade embargo on the island in the early 1960’s. But, look a little deeper and you will see advances in Cuba that may astonish and even inspire the most-proud of Americans. From May 3 to May 19, Havana celebrates its Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). The two-week event includes symposiums, lectures, films, art exhibits and a theatrical festival, headlined by Cuban superstar, singer Haila Mompie. Touting the theme “Humanity is Diverse”, members from Cuba’s LGBT community and its supporters are out in full force to revel and participate in a show of solidarity.
WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US.

COLORFUL, MUSICAL, ARTISTISTIC-CUBA!

COLORFUL, MUSICAL, ARTISTISTIC-CUBA!

DAILY ITINERARY:


Day 1: Sunday May 14th - Havana (D)

3:30am check-in for our 6:20am flight. We will provide a separate group check-in area so that checking goes as smoothly as possible. This process can be long! 7:40am Arrival in Havana. / Meet our guide and the representative. / Transfer -TELEGRAFO HOTEL.

Bienvenidos a Havana! We are welcomed by your tour guide outside the arrivals terminal at the Havana Airport. Board your air-conditioned coach, to head to our hotel. We will be driving down Presidente Avenue and along the famous Malecon heading for the art-deco designed TELEGRAFO HOTEL perfectly located along the Prado in Old Havana. Check-in, freshen up and meet back in the lobby. We have a full day!

Panoramic Tour of Modern Havana. We will visit the famous Nacional Hotel de Cuba. Visit the Hall of Fame of the National Hotel with a "welcome coctel". We head back to our hotel for dinner at the Telegrafo Restaurant.
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Day 2: Monday May 15th – Havana (B/L/D)

Breakfast at hotel. TOUR OF OLD HAVANA: Includes: Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de SanFransico de Asis.

Lunch at CAFE DE LA ORIENTE, one of the best government run restaurants in Cuba. (Cathedral Square) After Lunch, continuation of the four squares. Visit TALLER DE LA GRAFICA then on to the National Fine Arts Museum. We have an expert guide who will inform us on the influences of gay artists of past and present.

Dinner this evening at EL LITORAL located right on the Malecon. A beautiful new paladr.
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Day 3 Tuesday May 16th-Havana (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the Hotel -Visit the Studio Project and Community Artist José Fuster. First we stop at Jaimanita and “Fusterlandia”, the home and surrounding neighborhood of “The Picasso of the Caribbean”, Jose Fuster. Starting with a small wooden home as his canvas, Mr. Fuster has turned his dream into reality and transformed not just his own home but the entire neighborhood into a unique and colorful artistic landscape. Using the money he makes from selling his artwork, Jose adorns the community with sculptures and mosaics galore.

After noon lunch at LA YOANDRA organic farm at the EL DIVINO restaurant. The coconut ice cream is worth the visit alone!

Afternoon we head to the home and grounds of Ernest Heminway. We will see how he lived, his remaining possessions, pool and his beloved boat, El Pilar. Dinner at LA CASA service some of the best lobster in Havana. Evening is saved for FABRICA DE ARTE CUBANO. A huge renovated building filled with art, music, bands, bars, all decorated with contemporary artists works.

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Day 4 Wednesday May 17th -"IDAHO" (B/D)
Breakfast at your hotel.
Today we will participate in the International Day Against Homophobia in Havana. (more information to come).
Lunch on your own, downtown Havana.
Our Farewell dinner at RIO MAR.

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Day 5- Thursday, May 18th , (B)

Late breakfast at the hotel. This day is at your leisure to explore, shop, visit famous SLOPPY JOE'S BAR, LA FLORIDITA, the GRAN NACIONAL TEATRO DE CUBA, and more. 3:00pm- Transfer to airport for flight to Tampa. Check–in at 3:30pm for our 6:05pm flight to Tampa. Arrival in Tampa 7:30pm. Claim baggage, proceed through customs. WELCOME HOME!

Those of you who are flying out of Tampa to another home city, please let us know if we can assist with overnight reservations.

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Flight Schedules -Baggage- Seats:

Baggage: Bags fly free on Southwest! Two free bags per person, max 50lbs each plus one carry-on.

*Please note the following special recommendations: 1. Be sure to pack all personal medications and valuables,
 including cell phones, in your carry-on. 2. Please only bring the clothing you will need during the trip. There is limited storage on the buses and you will be responsible for your luggage at airport and hotel check-ins. 3. We are not responsible for lost luggage. If your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged en route, the airline will make every effort to recover it or make proper compensation if you can provide them with a complete list of the contents, but this will have to be done directly with them by you.

About Traveling in Cuba: All travel to Cuba is currently regulated by the office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and
each traveler must have documentation showing that their travel is authorized according to OFAC's Comprehensive Guidelines.
• Be sure your U.S. Passport is current and valid for 6 months beyond your return from Cuba.• IMPORTANT: Guests born in Cuba must obtain a Cuban Visa before traveling. • Please include all valuables, medications and a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage. This will prevent difficulties in case your luggage is lost or delayed. • There are no vaccinations required for travel to Cuba-but please make sure to follow your doctors instructions. • Please make a photocopy of your passport and carry the copy with you. You will be issued a Cuban Tourist Card with your travel documents. Please keep the Cuban Tourist Card in your safe with your passport and valuables as you will be required to present it when you depart the island. • Please do not wear any expensive jewelry, Havana is a major city so prepare accordingly. • The Cuban people are warm and friendly and many speak English.

• Breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant, between 7:00am and 10:30 am. Our lunch and dinner schedule is indicated on the itinerary.• It is strongly recommended that you drink only bottled water while traveling in Cuba. Bottled drinks are safe, as well. The water used in the ice at the hotel and the restaurants on this program is safe to drink. • Bring a European style" 2-prong plug adaptor for your electrical appliances. The hotels are converting to 220 volts, an electrical converter may be required, check your devices before you leave.

Document Requirements: All travel to Cuba is currently regulated by the office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and each traveler must have documentation showing that their travel is authorized according to OFAC's Comprehensive Guidelines. We will provide you with this travel affidavit.
A valid passport is required for travel to Cuba. A Cuban Visa (Tourist Card) is required for travel to Cuba. Visas will be provided to you with your travel documents.

Medications: We recommend that you bring an adequate supply of the prescription medicines you use regularly to last throughout the program. Carry them in the original containers to identify them as legally obtained drugs and pack them in your carry-on bag.

Innoculations: No immunizations are required, although we strongly suggest that you contact your personal physician for recommendations regarding your individual health requirements. You should also be up-to-date with all your shots, including tetanus and standard immunizations. Medical Services and Cuban Medical Insurance is included in your program by the charter airline. This policy covers major medical emergencies with the exception of medical evacuation. We will offer an option insurance policy with cancellation, baggage, delay and medi-vac.

Cuba's Climate & Weather:
 Cuba is subtropical with a mean temperature of 87 degrees with very little seasonal fluctuation. The wet season runs from May to October, and the dry season from November through April. The average high temperature in Cuba's hottest month of July is 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Be prepared for hot weather and a chance for brief periods of rain with temperatures averaging 85-95F. You may want to take sunscreen, definitely sunglasses. Havana weather forecasts are available on the Internet at all news bureaus sites such as CNN.com. 


Clothing and Packing Tips: 
During your daytime excursions, dress is casual with casual slacks, jeans, shorts and skirtsbeing acceptable. Remember to bring comfortable, well-broken-in walking shoes. During the evening smart-casual attire, such as a button down-shirt with Khaki/casual slacks for men and a dress or blouse with skirt or pants for women is appropriate. Cuba is a casual destination. Expect the possibility of coolertemperatures and windy conditions to occur in the evenings. Havana has the same climate as Miami.

"Waste Management" Toilets in Cuba are plentiful, but depending on their location, they may be encountered in various states of cleanliness and conditions. Often there is an attendant at the entrance who will collect the equivalent of US 25 to 50 cents for entry, and he or she will usually give you a small section of toilet paper so it's highly recommended that you carry your own small packets of tissues.

Language: Spanish is the official language in Cuba, although some people you encounter will speak English. Learning and using even a few basic words will be much appreciated by the locals.

Time Zone:
Cuba is on the same time as the East Coast of the United States.

Currency & Credit Cards: The U.S. dollar is not accepted in Cuba at time of this printing, you will have to exchange dollars into Cuban Convertible Pesos (a.k.a. the CUC – "kook"). There are exchange locations at the airport and at most hotels and a standard 13% exchange fee is imposed on all exchanges (could vary), this way you don't have to worry about shopping around for the best rate. For example: US$100 = CUC$87. Your unused CUCs can be exchanged for U.S. Dollars at face value (without a fee) upon departure. We recommend that you do not exchange all your U.S. Dollars at once. Please exchange as you need throughout the week.

Tipping: Major gratuities to our guide and driver are included in your package price. Any additional gratuities is your personal choice. We will ask you to leave 1-2 CUC's per person after each lunch and dinner.

Shopping and What Can Be Brought Back to the U.S.: The U.S. You are allowed to bring back unlimited art, books, and music. You are also allowed to bring any personal quantity of rum and cigars.

Electrical Current: The standard electric current in Cuba is 220 volt, 50 cycles. North American appliances such as razors and hair dryers are made to operate on 110 volt, 60 cycle current and will burn out if a current converter is not used. An electrical current converter and a European-style "two prong"plug adapter should be purchased prior to departure. .

Communications: Verizon and AT&T now work for calling from Cuba to the U.S. It is also possible to make direct calls to the U.S. from your hotel room. The price of the call will be charged to your room account. Please note that calls to the U.S. from your hotel room are very expensive (approximately $3 CUC per minute). We ask you to please bear in mind the phone service in Cuba is unreliable. Our hotel should have internet access for a fee, but it can be sporadic at best. In Cuba Internet service is slow and often unreliable.

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