Cuba Cultural Tour & Photo Fun

Now is the time to travel to Cubs and experience the traditional Cuban culture that is alive before it changes! U.S travelers can visit Cuba as a group tour and on a people to people visa learning the history, culture and commerce of the Cuban people. Together with Doc Ford Cuba Expeditions Guy Harvey Outpost has created an authentic Cuban Expedition that will allow you as the traveler to experience the Cuban lifestyle first hand. We are skipping the ritzy hotels and overcrowded beaches and staying in the small fishing village of Cojimar, which inspired Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. You will be able to interact with the locals and, experience all the charm, authenticity and culture that Cuba is known for without missing all the key historic sites that you “must see” like the Masonic Museum, Hemingway’s Estate, the Jazz Clubs and of course all the Classic Cars.

Scheduled Expeditions

  • 12/13/17 – 12/18/2017
  • 4/2/18 – 4/7/2018

Reservations

The Cuba Expedition is $3,900 per person. $2,900 initial payment is due at booking with $1,000 cash upon arrival in Cuba.

Reservation Policy: The initial deposit must be either check or money order and mailed and mailed to Guy Harvey Outpost. All payments are nonrefundable. For further details please contact our travel desk at 800-513-5257 or sales@GuyHarveyOutpost.com

Request Reservation

Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival / Cojimar

Vamonos! The group will depart from Fort Lauderdale at 4:00 pm and arrive into Havana at 5:00 pm. After the group clears customs & immigrations we will depart for Cojimar, a small fishing village just outside of Havana, where Hemingway docked his boat El Pilar. Cojimar is also known as the inspiration for Hemingway’s book, Old Man and the Sea. Here we have arranged for accommodations in a private home as a way to experience an authentic Cuban lifestyle by being able to mingle with the locals and still being able to visit all the “must see” places in Havana. After check-in grab your camera as we will enjoy a walking tour of Cojimar prior to dinner at La Casa Grande.

Hiking Level:

Day 2 : Cafe Con Corrales & Old Havana Tour

  • We are joined by photographer Raul Corrales, whose father was Fidel’s official photographer during the Revolution.
  • Tour the Cojimar Fishing Cooperative with Raul Corrales.
  • Enjoy Coffee with Raul and tour his home as he shares with you the history of Cuba.
  • Tour Old Havana visiting Plaza de Armas, Viceroy’s Palace, Hotel Ambos Mundos, and Catedrales
  • Visit Floridita, the birthplace of the Daiquiri for a taste of Cuban Rum and live music.
  • Dinner al El Ajiaco in Cojimar. Afterwards you have the option of an evening at Tropicana. (Tickets are $125 CUC) or enjoy a night out at the local Jazz Club.

Hiking Level:

Day 3 :
Classic Car & Cuban Cigars

  • Enjoy the Classic Cuba Car Tour. Havana is filled with American style cars from the 1950’s. We will journey through the streets where you will be able to see all the cars and photograph Cuba’s rolling car museum!
  • Tour the Masonic Museum enjoying the rooftop views of Havana. We have also arranged a private tour from the museum’s keeper who will detail the most insightful pieces in the museum. Note an individual donation is required to enter the museum.
  • Cigars, cigars, cigars! Tour the Partagas Cigar Factory, the most famous factory in Cuba, which was built in 1845 a definite “must see”!
  • Visit Finca La Vigia (Hemingway’s Estate). Tour Finca Vigia and the small town of San Francisot de Paula where Hemingway lived.
  • In the evening enjoy a night out at the local Jazz Club after dinner at Las Brisas in Cojimar.

Hiking Level:

Day 4 :
Coffee Plantation Tour / Vinales / Pig Roast

  • Journey outside the city and enjoy the beauty of the Cuba countryside.
  • Visit the sustainable community of Las Terrazas Coffee Plantation. Tour the coffee plantation as well as view the featured art made out of recycled paper.
  • Hike Vinales. Depart on a 1-mile hike to Cueva El Palmarito, Latin America’s largest cave and most impressive. At the end enjoy the natural watering hole and mud bath.
  • Tour Valle Del Silencio, a working ranch and tobacco farm. Here enjoy a genuine Cuban pig roast and tobacco rolling presentation.
  • Dinner in Havana with a night out at the Jazz Club.

Hiking Level:

Day 5 : Havana History Tour

  • Tour the Museo de la Revolucion.
  • Enjoy an Old Havana walking tour of Central Park, Plaza Hotel and Hotel Manzana.
  • Have Lunch at Sloppy Joe’s the known Mobster bar.
  • Shop and tour San Jose for beautiful Cuban art.
  • Journey to La Cabana touring the fortress inland of the Castillo de Morro
  • Enjoy the Farewell Dinner at at the Private Home with “Make your own mojito” with Jorge, a trained sommelier and a private performance by a local Jazz band.

Hiking Level:

Day 6 : Depart to South Florida

Enjoy one last Cuban breakfast before we leave to Havana Airport for the flight back to South Florida at 10:30am to Havana Airport.

Inclusions

  • Daily photography workshops
  • Accommodations in Cojimar
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Meals as listed on itinerary (inclusive of 2 drinks per meal)
  • Transfers in Cuba
  • Activities as listed in itinerary
  • Guide Services
  • Travel Visa
  • Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Shirt

Exclusions

  • Meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Personal Items
  • Tips
  • Tropicana Tickets
  • Airline Flights
About Expedition Leaders

Doc Ford Cuba Expeditions

Doc Ford’s Cuba Expeditions trains and employs only the best and most knowledgeable support staff on the island. Each one of the Cuban staff members has formal university education and have made careers in other areas of the State or private sector. Our principal team in Cuba-includes a lawyer, a museum curator and historian, a formally trained guide, and a UNESCO architect. Doc Ford Cuba Expedition is designed to introduce you to Cuba including the surrounding areas of Havana from Cojimar to Viñales. You will meet real Cuban living icons and learn about Cuban history and culture.

They specialize in Educational Tours of Cuba and we will process visas for Educational / People-to-people purposes. Both purposes are LEGALLY permitted by the US Government. The focus of our tours is on educating our travelers in small groups on many aspects of Cuba. Doc Ford’s provides experts in various fields, so that you can learn as much about Cuba during your stay.

Ron Modra

Ronald C. Modra was a staff and contract photographer at Sports Illustrated for 25 years with 70 magazine covers to his credit and countless images you’d almost certainly recognize, capturing his unique bond with players forged though his love of sports, especially baseball. Several of his photographs appear in Sports Illustrated’s 40 Best of All Time and The Century’s Best Sports Photo’s. He is also a two-time winner of Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Photo of the Year” award, and has authored two books on the game – “Reflections of the Game” and “A Baseball Life” each showcases his best images from a spectacular career. Of late, from his home in Nashville, Ron has enjoyed shooting album covers for country and western artists. As he says, “Singers are all pretty good looking – it’s hard to screw up when your subject is Martina McBride. When it comes to athletes, hey, we’re not miracle workers!” When not behind a camera, Ron is an avid outdoorsmen and angler, often fishing down in the Florida Keys, Bahamas or other tropical fishing hot spots.

Accommodations

We have arranged for accommodations in private homes in the small fishing village of Cojimar, which was the inspiration for Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Cojimar is located just east of Havana. Each private home is hand selected and secure to ensure your comfort during the trip. Private homes are a great way for the traveler to experience an authentic Cuban accommodations as well a wonderful way to support responsible travel by working directly with the locals and contributing to the Cuban families.
Trip Planning
Q
What is people-to-people travel?
A

The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control allows US citizens to travel to Cuba with US travel companies that offer a full schedule of educational exchanges that will result in meaningful interactions between the Americans and individuals in Cuba.

Q
Is there paperwork to fill out while on the plane?
A

You will have three forms to fill out on the plane.

  • VISA – There is one piece of paper with two VISAS on it. You must fill out both.
  • Customs Declaration Form – You must fill this out. One per family is acceptable.
  • Health Form – This will be collected as we walk through the airport.
Q
What should I expect upon arriving at Havana Airport?
A

We will disembark the plane and we may have to take a shuttle to the entrance of the airport. Choose a line for customs to go through. You will be called into a customs kiosk and asked for your passport and your VISA. They will ask why you are here, you should say ‘educational travel’ or ‘to learn about your wonderful country’. The US does not allow the word tourism to describe your trip for visa purposes.

Once they stamp your passport and welcome you, they will motion for you to exit the kiosk.

They will buzz you through the door (like in a jewelry store). Once you exit the customs kiosk, you will go through security with your carry-on luggage. Take your shoes off, belt, etc. Once you exit security, we will meet at the base of Baggage Carousel 1. We will then wait for our check in luggage. Once we have all the luggage, we will begin to exit the airport. Just before the exit doors, you will have to submit your blue Customs Declaration Form and show them your plane ticket stub if you checked a bag. On the reverse of your plane ticket stub, there is a sticker that has numbers matching the luggage tag on your check-in luggage. This ensures that the luggage belongs to the person who is attempting to exit with it. We will regroup outside of the airport before boarding our car/bus. Our guides will be there waiting for us and we will board the van for the trip to Cojimar..

Q
Will my cell phone work in Cuba?
A

As it currently stands, your cell phone will work in Cuba with either Sprint or Verizon. Internet is now very accessible in Cuba. At the hotel, you will have access to purchase WiFi cards that grant you access as well as purchasable Internet cards for the WiFi in many public places. You can access the WiFi with your WiFi capable electronic device for e-mail, FaceTime, Skype, etc.

Q
Will I need a power adapter for my electronics?
A

There are two voltages in Cuba – 110W and 220W. Most places have both plugs. You shouldn’t worry about bringing an adapter.

Q
What will the weather be like?
A

The weather in Cuba varies from hot to hot. During the day, casual attire (shorts, etc.) is commonplace. At night, pants/dresses/skirts etc. are more common.

Q
Are donations/gifts permitted?
A

You are permitted to bring donations to organizations or institutions in Cuba; however, gifts to individuals are not permitted. We will visit the GiGi Stars (Hemingway’s baseball league), which is now a project headed by Coach Jorge along with Blas Mesa (Blas used to play baseball as a kid with Hemingway). Baseball equipment of all sorts as well as school supplies are welcome. There are a total of 80 kids ranging from 5 years old to 17 years old who are part of this community project. The masonic lodge in Havana also accepts gifts/donations of any sort for the lodge members and their families.

Q
Can I bring back alcohol and tobacco?
A

Currently the US allows you to bring back tobacco and alcohol for personal consumption without limit. You do not need to provide receipts for your purchases (as it currently stands). There is a duty-free shop at the HAV airport.

Q
What kind of currency is used and accepted in Cuba?
A

Once in Cuba, we will exchange money. The current exchange rate is around 87 CUC per 100 USD. Money to exchange can be exchanged at the hotel. There are two different types of currency in Cuba: The CUP and the CUC. The CUP exchange rate is 25 to one CUP. The CUP is what Cubans are paid in by the State and what they use to spend on a daily basis. Travelers use CUC, as do many Cubans. US credit cards or debit cards do not currently work in Cuba.

Q
How much spending money should I anticipate?
A

The amount of spending money depends on how much alcohol or soft drinks you consume, if you purchase art, other souvenirs, head out for an evening at the Tropicana, late night transportation, etc.

Q
Are there lock boxes?
A

Each B&B room will have a lock box (safe). Carrying your passport is at your own discretion. I recommend carrying a laminated copy of your passport and carrying your Visa with you as well. Keep your passport and the copy of your passport in two separate locations.

Q
Is there an opportunity to shop in Cuba?
A

We will visit the San José market where you will find many items such t-shirts, coffee mugs, domino sets, wooden boxes, original art, and many other goods. Business in Cuba is growing rapidly on many fronts. You can also visit the boutique local shops in Old Havana.

Q
How much is a typical wage in Cuba?
A

An average salary in Cuba is between $20.00 and $30.00 USD a month regardless of the type of employment. Retirement pay is about 50% of that amount.

Q
Should I leave gratuity at the hotel?
A

Yes, leaving a daily tip for the person who cleans your room is customary. Don’t wait until the end of your stay to leave a tip because it might not be the same person every day that cleans your room. 1 CUC to 2 CUCs is customary per night.

Q
Should I leave gratuity at the restrooms?
A

The bathroom attendant expects a tip and most often you will have to purchase toilet paper from them and or pay before you enter the facilities.

Q
Are there sanitation systems in Cuba?
A

The sanitation system (toilets) in Cuba does not handle toilet paper. All toilet paper must be thrown away in the trashcan next to the toilet.

Q
Is the tap water safe to drink for us?
A

No. Only drink bottled water. For brushing teeth, use bottled water. Ice may not be fine and may not have been made from bottled /filtered water. Use your best judgment.

Q
Are there taxis?
A

There are plenty of clearly marked taxis of the modern type as well as ‘almendrones’ which means ‘big almonds’ to refer to the classic US cars that are commonly used as taxis. As always, agree on a fare prior to getting in. Use safe and newer authorized taxis only. You may pay slightly more.

Q
What is the Masonic Museum?
A

We will be visiting the Masonic Museum (rarely seen by travelers) which houses many precious artifacts relevant to Cuban history. The Masonic Museum operates on anonymous individual donations only. It is up to you to donate whatever you choose to for the tour. There is a registry book at the end of the tour and you would slip your donation under the back page. CLOTHING: shorts are not permitted in the Masonic Museum. You may want to change back into shorts after the tour because, again, you can expect hot weather in Cuba.