April in Havana Wanderful Trip 2019

Havana, Cuba

EG
Erin Goodman
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10 reviews
Apr 11 - 15, 2019
Group size: 8 - 10
April in Havana Wanderful Trip 2019
Havana, Cuba

Erin Goodman
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
10 reviews

$1650
Deposit: $800
Apr 11 - 15, 2019
Group size: 8 - 10

About this trip

Send 4 nights and 5 days exploring the city of Havana with CubaConnect and Wanderful. This specially curated trip will take you through different neighborhoods of the city --Centro Habana,  Habana Vieja, Vedado-- while learning about daily life and the arts in Cuba. We'll travel off the beaten path to an organic farm, and we'll take a bike tour visiting the Bosque de La Habana and the Cementerio de Colón. Our group will have between 8-10 women. Please note that this is an active trip: bring your sneakers!


Please note that itinerary is subject to change!

Important info for travelers

FLIGHTS


Travelers should arrange their own flights into José Martí International Airport (HAV), planning to arrive by noon or early afternoon in Havana on Day 1. Breakfast will be provided every day including on the last day, along with an optional morning activity, and departure time is at your convenience..  Once we have a list of confirmed travelers, we will ask you for your flight information to coordinate arrivals and departures.


TRAVEL DOCUMENTS


In order to travel legally to Cuba, when you purchase your airline ticket you will be prompted to  select one of the twelve categories of permitted travel; in this case, select "Educational Activities" or "Educational Activities/People-to-People Exchange" (wording can vary).

To enter Cuba: All travelers to Cuba must have a tourist card.  We will contact travelers about how to obtain the tourist card. The cost varies, between $50-$100. plus shipping. 

Upon return to the United States:  We will provide you with an itinerary that you can present upon return if you are asked by an immigration officer for proof of activities or about the purpose of your trip.


FOOD & WATER


We will do our best to accommodate those with food restrictions; however, please note that some foods and ingredients are not easy to find in Cuba. If you are allergic to something in particular, please look up the food/item in the dictionary, write it down, and bring it with you. We advise you to drink bottled or boiled water, which is available in all restaurants.  


TERRAIN & FITNESS


This trip will be based in the city of Havana, with some activities requiring a moderate level of physical fitness. As Cuba is a tropical island, it may rain, particularly in the afternoon. Please be prepared to walk on uneven terrain, and in potentially hot, humid conditions. You may also notice that lots of locals have hand-held fans!


TOILETRIES & SUPPLIES


Bring everything that you would use at home, including all toiletries, tampons,  medications, and snacks such as granola bars and perhaps a pack of Kleenex and hand sanitizer. Everyday goods that we find in the US are not readily available to buy in Cuba, so bring everything you'll need!


WHAT ELSE TO PACK?


Please note that the maximum that you are allowed to bring into Cuba is 40 lbs. Please only bring a carry-on: the wait time for checked luggage can be unpredictable. Bring at least one pair of shoes that you don't mind getting wet (or stepping in puddles!), and a small umbrella or rain poncho. Please note that at some restaurants or night spots that we may visit, flip flops and shorts may not be appropriate attire. Bring shoes or sandals to dance in, if you want to get your salsa on! If you have extra supplies or books that you'd like to bring, we can donate them to a local organization. Most expenses (save one meal) will be covered by the organizers. However, remember that Cuba is a cash economy, and American credit and debit cards do not work on the island. You can change money at the airport or at exchange houses (CADECAs); it's best to bring Euros, as US dollars carry a surcharge to exchange. 


OTHER INFO


Telecommunications and internet connectivity are challenging in Cuba. You can bring your phone/device, and purchase internet cards for access by the hour. Or you can unplug for a few days! If you need to be in touch with folks at home, we recommend that you download WhatsApp or IMO in advance of the trip. You can use WhatsApp in Cuba, but you cannot download it from the island. Skype is not reliable because of bandwidth issues. Alamesa is an offline guide to restaurants, a sort of Cuban Yelp. Finally, the offline mapping app MAPS.me is incredibly useful!


CubaConnect Educational Travel and Translation Services LLC operates the people-to-people program to Cuba under a general license issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control and, as dictated by U.S. law, all participants are required to adhere to a full-time schedule of activities designed to inform, educate and promote meaningful interaction with the people of Cuba. Deviation from this itinerary, even in part, is not permitted. Per the general license requirements, this is a full-time program with many inclusions and there will be little to no free time on most days of the program.

What’s included

  • Lodging
    4 nights at a private home
  • Meals
    Breakfast (4), Lunch (4), Dinner (3), whenever possible at private restaurants run by women
  • Entrance Fees
    All tickets and fees for activities on the itinerary
  • Transportation in Havana
    All transportation for activities on the itinerary
  • Airfare
    It's easy to get to Havana from the US! When purchasing air fare, select the travel category "People-to-people" or "Educational Activities" when prompted.
  • Alcohol
    Each traveler is responsible for alcohol consumed during group meals.
  • Tourist visa card
    To travel legally to Cuba you will need to buy a tourist visa (cost varies). We'll explain how!
  • Trip Insurance

Available Packages

Single room
Available until Mar 05, 2019only 2 left
$1650
Deposit: $800
Double occupancy room
Available until Mar 01, 2019Sold Out

Traveling with a friend or partner or otherwise bedmate? There is a 25% discount if you are sharing a room. However, please note that while we'll try to find rooms with two beds, the rooms may have one double/queen/king bed. 

$1450
Deposit: $700
$1650
Deposit: $800

Single room
Past Trip

Itinerary

Day 1
Getting oriented in Havana

Early afternoon: Check in at lodging., and meet  fellow travelers and guide.


3:30 pm Cuba 101


5 pm City tour by vintage car 


6:30 pm Dinner at paladar (privately owned restaurant)



Who’s Going


  • KS
    Kathleen Steele Danner
    Looking forward to our upcoming trip. In prep I have re-read “13 Days” by RFK;, “The Old Man & the Sea”, Hemingway; and recently read “Other Side of Paradise”, Julia Cooke; Sugar King of Havana, Rathbone; and rented video of Hemingway’s Cuba and saw recent airing of “Motorcycle Diaries” about Che Guevara’s travels across South America. See you soon! Katie
    Mar 20, 2019

Your Organizer


EG
Erin Goodman
10 reviews
Erin Goodman has over 15 years of experience designing and leading educational programs at Harvard University. Erin is also a Certified Spanish-English translator., and has worked on poetry and short-fiction translations for three US-based Cuban writers, and was translator and collaborator in the production of the documentary film, Los cubanos de Harvard (The Harvard Cubans). She first traveled to Cuba as a student at Wellesley College 17 years ago. She is enthusiastic about sharing her love of Cuba with other curious and independent travelers and helping to bridge the two countries through people-to-people exchange. Miriam Psychas directed Harvard’s semester-length study abroad program in Havana through the University of Havana in 2014 and 2015, and in a subsequent role at the Center for Democracy in the Americas in Washington DC helped bring dozens of delegations to Havana. Miriam is based in Bogotá, Colombia.

Reviews

After years of fantasizing about a family trip to Cuba, Erin made it happen. From the very beginning, she involved our family in creating a thoughtful itinerary that was educational, varied in activities, geographically diverse, and tailored to our interests. The trip was seamlessly facilitated, with Erin arranging everything from transportation throughout the island and dinner reservations, to private tours led by local guides in museums and cities. The people Erin connected us with were especially thoughtful and knowledgeable and we felt consistently that we were in the best hands. Impeccable planning and a willingness to re-evaluate the itinerary aside, Erin was wonderful to be around. She connected with each member of our family and her genuine warmth, openness, and calm energy added to our experience. We couldn't have asked for a more special trip to experience as a family. Thank you, Erin!
As Mark Twain said "I have found there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." Traveling to a country with many issues, where the language is different than my own, with a group of people I have never met before (not even through social media) could have been a disaster. But this trip was fantastic. I was satisfied with every aspect of this educational experience, except I came home with more questions than answers. The logistics getting back home were a challenge for many so travelers should probably add another travel day to the end of their trip to accommodate the uncertainty. Otherwise, I appreciated all that Erin and Meriam from CubaConnect provided for us! Their knowledge adds a personal touch to this once-in-a-lifetime women travel experience. Thanks to Wanderful for bringing us together.
I had an amazing time. I feel like I saw everything that I wanted to see and much more! The experience was unique and I think the organization of the tour was on point. I will totally do it again!
I had a great time! Erin made the trip seamless and fun.
I had long dreamed of going to Cuba and this trip was above and beyond my expectations! Erin is not only extremely well-versed in Cuban history and culture but she also has deep personal connections within the country which opened so many windows into Havana, its history, life there today and all that is cool and new. We rode bikes in old Havana, went horseback riding at an organic farm, met top artists, one of the country's top entrepreneurs, an economist and sociologist. We took in the beauty of the old streets of the city, learned about how Cubans' lives have evolved over the years, had amazing meals everywhere we went (complete with mojitos and other delicious drinks!), and enjoyed the latest Cuban music and art as we partied at a newly-launched interactive art center. I wasn't sure about group travel as I usually don't do tours, but the other travelers were both a ton of fun and interesting, and we're still in touch! The Airbnb we stayed at was wonderful: elegant, clean, had AC and very comfortable. The staff was very sweet, helpful and reliable....and made the best breakfast! Thank you, Erin, for a magical trip, I hope I get to go back!!
By Claire Levy for December 2018 Cuba Trip on Dec 21, 2018
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