Cuba: A Cultural Connection for Families

NUMBER OF DAYS 9

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Welcome to Cuba and the first-ever itinerary designed exclusively for families! With its colorful collage of art deco architecture and classic cars, tropical landscapes and exuberant music and dance, this once-hidden island country now opens its hospitable doors to the world and offers families a cultural experience like no other. Children, teens, and young adults alike will be warmly welcomed by local families and personal interactions are sure to be a memorable highlight.
 

Your adventure begins in the sunny, palm-lined plazas of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to 1519. Explore the historic center and take an unforgettable ride through town in a ‘50s Chevy—bringing the island’s once glamorous heyday to life. And what visit to Cuba would be complete without a baseball experience? Attend a high energy little league practice or watch a game.  

Next, head for the spectacular western side of the island to Viñales and marvel at its dramatic caves, karst formations, and rounded hills (mogotes). Kids will love ziplining through the tropical forest and canoeing through an elaborate cave system. Enjoy the distinct Afro-Cuban heritage of the region through local customs and music, and hang out with the locals at a fun, traditional pig roast.

The gorgeous beachside resort of Varadero—the perfect finale to our adventure—is bathed by warm ultramarine waters and rimmed in golden sands. Immerse yourselves in the local arts when you meet young music students, a renowned potter, and join in a spirited dance session. Throughout your Cuba adventure, expect the unexpected and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most memorable, and magical, travel experiences imaginable!

 

2015 Dates
Dates 15 or more
travelers
10 to 14
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
11/21 - 11/29 Sold Out
12/26 - 01/03 Sold Out
2016 Dates
Dates 15 or more
travelers
10 to 14
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
Miami to
Havana Air
03/12 - 03/20 $4,940 $5,590 $5,915 $6,240

$450

04/16 - 04/24 $4,965 $5,290 $5,615 $5,940

$450

06/25 - 07/03 $4,965 $5,290 $5,615 $5,940

$450

12/17 - 12/25 $5,715 $6,090 $6,465 $6,840

$450

12/26 - 01/03 $5,715 $6,090 $6,465 $6,840

$450

Discount for children under 12: $200

Triple Discount: $100 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults.

Single Supplement: $2,000

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual guide throughout, area specialists, all meals except 2 lunches and 2 dinners, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

 

Day 1 - Depart Home / Arrive Miami

Fly to Miami for an overnight and a trip briefing. This is where you’ll receive your visa and airline tickets to Havana for your morning flight.

Day 2-4 - Miami / Havana

It’s a thrilling moment to step into the warm tropical air knowing you’re about to explore a land few outside families have visited over the past half-century. Explore Old Havana and stroll the palm-lined streets, passing sun-splashed plazas and the once-colorful architecture trimmed in wrought iron. Enjoy a special lunch at famous Sloppy Joe’s, frequented by many celebrities in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, including Ernest Hemingway! Linger with the locals in the center plaza in the warm evening air, and savor the flavors of Cuba at the paladars, one of the newly emerging family owned restaurants.

 

  • Join the creative fun at a community art project
  • Explore charming Old Havana on foot
  • Cruise through town in a restored American vintage car
  • Play Cuban dominoes with the local experts
  • Watch an authentic Cuban baseball game or have the opportunity to play yourselves
  • Enjoy a private rehearsal of Afro-Cuban dance
  • Visit the 18th century La Cabaña Fortress
Days 5-6 - Western Cuba & Vinales Valley

Head westward into the Sierra del Rosario Mountains, a nature reserve whose forests, lakes, and rivers are home to numerous species of botanicals and animals. Meet with environmental scientists to witness the ongoing jungle restoration project. In the fertile Viñales Valley, learn about the time-honored tradition of tobacco farming, and discover the dramatic geological features of the surrounding UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with its collage of cliffs, petroglyph-covered caves, and rounded hills called mogotes.

 

  • Discover wildlife and botanicals of the Sierra del Rosario Mountains
  • Meet environmental scientists in the village of La Terrazas
  • Zipline across a forest canopy at La Moka
  • Learn about tradition and history of tobacco at a valley farm
  • Explore the unique geology of the Viñales Valley
  • Ride a canoe through a vast cave and view ancient petroglyphs
  • Meet village locals and enjoy a lively pig roast feast
Days 7-8 - Varadero

Leave the Valley this morning for a scenic drive eastward along the coast. The landscape and the ambiance of Cuba here changes noticeably as you drive up the skinny Hicasos Peninsula where dazzling, turquoise Caribbean waters meet soft sugar-white sands. The provincial capital, Matanzas, is renowned for its rich Afro-Cuban culture, folklore, poetry and art and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to participate!

 

  • Join local residents and help with a community project
  • Visit a potter’s studio; enjoy lunch with his family
  • Meet young music students and enjoy a performance
  • Enjoy beach and swim time
  • Learn the steps of Cuban dances with expert instructors
Day 9 - Varadero / Havana / Depart

 

Return to Havana for your flight to Miami and homeward.

Hotel Quinta Avenida

Hotel Quinta Avenida enjoys an ideal location in the upscale seafront residential neighborhood of Miramar, just 15 minutes from Old Havana and boasting mansions reminiscent of a glamorous time in the city’s history. The hotel’s 178 tastefully decorated rooms each have satellite TV and a terrace or balcony overlooking the sea, city, or swimming pool. 

Hotel La Moka

This friendly, unique hotel is surrounded by the forest reserve of Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the Spanish colonial style rooms are built around a peaceful patio shaded by lime trees. The comfortably furnished accommodations include air-conditioning, satellite TV, radio, and mini-bar. A restaurant and lively bar hosts salsa bands in the evenings.  

Hotel Melia Varadero
Melia Varadero is a chic hotel enjoying all the benefits of an ideal tropical location. The property sits right on a beautiful Caribbean beach, and also has an extremely impressive pool area with palm trees and thatched roof cabana bars. The circular lobby enjoys warm natural light and hanging gardens, and all 490 rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, and private bathrooms. 
 

Why Cuba?

The charms of Havana
Havana is a beautiful paradox of a city. Classic 1950s cars cruise past 18th-century Spanish cathedrals and fortresses, palm trees and bays abound, and building are adorned with creative murals painted by locals of all ages working on community art projects.
The scenery of Western Cuba
 The rural provinces of western Cuba are home to humble farmers and scenery that’s anything but. The lush tobacco fields, palm trees, and dramatic limestone formations – known as mogotes – make for an enchanting visual experience and the sense that you’ve really found the authentic Cuba. Within this western region lies Soroa, featuring tropical forest and coffee plantations, as well as the 61,750-acre mountain region of Sierra del Rosario – declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its abundant flora and fauna. The best-known community in Sierra del Rosario is the wildlife-packed village of Las Terrazas, a place whose inhabitants base their livelihoods around ecotourism and whose name comes from the terraces laid out for the region’s characteristic pine trees. 
Varadero's coastline and history
The atmosphere of Varadero is something else altogether. Dazzlingly turquoise Caribbean waters caress soft white sand, and there's a rich abundance of Afro-Cuban folklore and cultural history waiting to be discovered. This area is known for its past as a haven for poets!

Why Cuba with Thomson?

First ever Cuba adventure exclusively for families
This is the first ever exclusively family adventure to Cuba. You're giving your children a one-in-a-million opportunity when you bring them to Cuba to meet and interact with local families. Their horizons will be broadened beyond belief after spending time with Cuban students and teachers, bonding with their pen pals, watching performances by local youth performers and artists, and more!
Variety of locations 
Your family will enjoy a full range of Cuban experiences, from the frozen-in-time hustle and bustle of Havana, to the remote rural charm of Viñales Valley, to the Caribbean rhythm of Varadero.
Fun, positive learning experiences
You and your kids have so much opportunity to have fun while learning -- you'll share ideas with students and teachers, musicians, artists, farmers, craft workers, and environmental scientists. Kids' minds are like sponges, and there is so much for them to absorb on this Cuban family adventure.
a map of Cuba: A Cultural Connection for Families