Exploring the Island's Past, Present & Future

      Ho
      Heart of Travel
      • Email address verified
      119 reviews
      Nov 10 - 17, 2023
      Group size: 6 - 20
      Exploring the Island's Past, Present & Future
      Caribbean

      Heart of Travel
      • Email address verified
      119 reviews

      Nov 10 - 17, 2023
      Group size: 6 - 20

      About this trip

      ** Scroll down this page to view the complete, day by day, itinerary**


      We have decided to run two groups with up to 10 people max per group due to high demand. Therefore, it says a maximum of 20 people but there will be no more than 10 people per group and we will have separate guides, casas particulares and vehicles for each group. We also will re-arrange the order of activities slightly to avoid overlap. 


      Please note that why travel to the island IS legal for US citizens, using the name of the country on the trip description page can cause problems for our third-party payment processor. Therefore, we will be referring to the country as "the island" on this itinerary and its people as "the islanders". 


      The island is easily one of the most unique and interesting destinations to visit in all of Latin America, if not the world. While you may come here looking for answers, you're more than likely to return home with even more questions. The island's vibrant culture is reflected in its art, music, dance, food, drink, and overall energy. However, it's important to recognize the struggles that islanders have been facing for years, with their fate in the hands of an oppressive government and the outdated US embargo. 


      In recent years, islanders, both on and off the island, have been raising their voices and demanding change on the island. The government's response to the July 2021 protest was a direct violation of human rights as they censored citizens,  reduced access to resources such as the internet and electricity, and wrongfully imprisoned civilians for peaceful protest and personal expression. The decision to resume tours to the island was not taken lightly, but we eventually decided it was ultimately in the best interest of our local operators on the island to resume tours to the island and continue with our mission to educate people about the island.


      Heart of Travel's trip gives you the opportunity to hear a variety of experiences and perspectives directly from islanders as we discuss the island's history, politics, economy, and current events. All of the activities on our trip are designed to support small, privately owned businesses and individual freelancers. We will not be staying in any government-owned hotels or eating in government restaurants and we will get absolutely as much of every cent possible directly into the hands of civilians and not government-operated businesses. 


      Our island tours immediately immerse you as you settle into your "casa particular" owned and run by a local family. From there you will jump into learning about the island's historic and cultural past and present while traveling throughout both urban and rural parts of the island. Our in-country host families, local guides, and drivers look forward to sharing the real island with you! 

      What’s included

      • 7 nights accommodation
        Private room + bathroom inside casa particulares
      • 15 meals
        Includes one beverage at each meal
      • In country transport
        Ground, air, water as indicated on itinerary
      • Entrance + guide fees
        For all activities included on the itinerary
      • 24/7 access + support
        Provided by bilingual Heart of Travel Tour Leader
      • 5 DAY EXTENSION ONLY
        5 nights accommodation in casas particulares
      • 5 DAY EXTENSION ONLY
        12 additional meals

      What’s not included

      • International airfare
        To/from the island
      • Travel Medical Insurance
        Required, usually included in flight. We will provide assistance
      • Tourist Card/Visa
        You can purchase at airport on departure day or in advance online. We will provide assistance
      • Meals not stated
        Any meals not indicated on itinerary
      • Trip insurance
        Recommended, not required
      • Tips
        To local guides

      Available Packages

      8 day/7 night: Double Occupancy

      Per person price when booking a double occupancy spot for an 8-day/7 night trip 

      $2,750
      Deposit: $750
      8 day/7 night: Single Occupancy

      Per person price when booking single-occupancy spot for an 8 day/7 night trip 

      $2,995
      Deposit: $750
      13 day/12 night: Double Occupancy

      Per person price when booking a double occupancy spot for a 13 day/12 night

      $3,495
      Deposit: $1,000
      13 day/12 night: Single Occupancy

      Per person price when booking a single occupancy spot for a 13-day/12 night trip

      $3,850
      Deposit: $1,000

      Available options

      Basic I Online Travel Spanish Course
      $99

      Learn the basics of Spanish for your upcoming trip with our online, self paced Basic Travel Spanish Course! Access granted within 48 hours.



      Itinerary

      Day One
      Welcome to the Island

      Upon arriving at the airport, one of our Program Directors will be waiting to greet you. They will then accompany you to the capital's historic center to get settled into your casa particular. You will then be given a brief orientation to the neighborhood. 

      That evening we will all enjoy a welcome dinner during which travelers can get to know one another and the guides better as we discuss the itinerary for the following days. 


      We'll later get into the spirit of the island with cocktails and live music at one of the historic center's most iconic, privately owned, bars just steps from the Capitol! 

      Your Organizer


      Ho
      Heart of Travel
      119 reviews
      The Heart of Travel was born out of a deep-rooted love and passion for travel, art, history, food, nature, culture and adventure as well as a call to give back to the communities and people that had already provided us with so much. The travel industry has long been bombarded with double decker tour busses, beach front resorts and cruise ships, often at the expense of the local communities. As a response to this failing system, we began a boutique travel company that allows clients to explore new places in an authentic and non-touristy way, offering travelers a more intimate and unique experience all while removing the stress and hassle of researching, planning, bargain hunting, reserving and more that goes along with planning a trip or vacation.

      Reviews

      KS
      Another 10/10 trip with Heart of Travel! Everything was so well planned, it felt so nice to just be able to sit back and enjoy my trip knowing everything was taken care of. Our guides, Chiva and Paulina, were so fun to be around and really made the trip feel special. Thank you for showing us so many amazing sites in Mexico City! This destination has been on our list for so long and I am so glad we booked with you!
      By Kelsey S for Sensory Delights: 5 Days of Mexico City Exploration on Jun 05, 2024
      This was such a an amazing trip. Although it was short, I still feel like we hit all of the main highlights of the city. What truly made it a great trip was Chiva as tour leader and Pau as the host. They were so knowledgeable and helpful, and just generally great company. They make it clear how much they love what they do by the attention they give. I even saw Chiva secretly taking notes on things I was hoping to see and find just to ensure that it would come to fruition. I highly recommend the heart of travel team and cannot wait until my next trip with them.
      By Theresa L for Sensory Delights: 5 Days of Mexico City Exploration on May 31, 2024
      We enjoyed our 6-day trip to Antigua Guatemala and all 3 events that Heart of Travel arranged (Don Jose coffee tour, Antigua scavenger hunt and Pacaya volcano hike). Everything was well-organized and managed. All transportation, including GUA pick-up and drop-off worked smoothly. Our stay at the Los Olivos Hotel was also very nice and their staff was very friendly, efficient and professional.
      By John Z for C&M Destination Wedding: Travel Services John & Nanci on May 14, 2024
      BW
      We had a fabulous destination wedding and vacation experience in Antigua, Guatemala. Our shuttles from and to the airport were right on time and adequate. Both of the tours we booked were awesome. The people were kind and friendly as were our our tour guides. Antique and it's surrounding Pueblos are clean, safe and comfortable and all the food and beverages we had were super tasty.
      By Belinda W for C&M Destination Wedding: Travel Services Paul & Belinda on May 13, 2024
      I had the best time in Cuba! Every person we worked with was so friendly and a true joy to work with. The trip was so informative and also so much fun. We truly could not have asked for a better guide and team. Would 100% recommend heart of travel and the Cuba team. The trip was seamless from start to finish including accommodations, food, planned activities and transportation.
      By Lauren S for Kenzie & Friends Private Tour on May 02, 2024
      Show More Reviews

      References

      Heart of Travel is the best for magical and ethical vacations! Chelsea and her incredible team first won me over in Guatemala in 2023 as they planned a beautiful trip that allowed us to see and experience so many different places, people, and things. A helicopter ride, a volcano hike, spa day, meeting the most badass Mayan weaver!!, a once-in a lifetime sunset tour in Tikal - done. I'm still trying to get over this trip lol. They knocked it out of the park again in Cuba for NYE! Chelsea and the spectacular Paloma had us dancing multiple nights away, eating the BEST food, and seeing ALL the sights while also giving us ample opportunity to support the Cuban people and educating us on why that is so important. You will leave their trips with new memories, new friends, and possibly, some new perspectives. Do it!!!
      By Amber S on 08 Feb, 2024
      KL
      Words can’t begin to express the way this trip impacted me! Every single person we met was so amazing, so kind, and truly opened their hearts and lives to us! Cuba, you have left an undeniable mark on my soul… Your people, your colors, your food, your history… Thank you for sharing this world with us! Cannot wait for our next trip! We love you 🥰
      By Krista L on 24 Jan, 2024
      I just returned from a two week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos. The trip was an incredible balance of learning, discovery, and recreation. Both the local guides and the Heart of Travel coordinator, Chiva, were excellent!!! The accommodations, food, and itinerary were fantastic. I will definitely travel with Heart of Travel again.
      By Lina A on 27 Jun, 2023
      Show More References