Cuba Calling

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Cuba Tour Planner’s 6-night program includes a visit to Cienfuegos.
Cuba Tour Planner’s 6-night program includes a visit to Cienfuegos.

Tour operators keep upping the ante when it comes to their Cuba offerings.

cuba tour planner
Cuba Tour Planner offers two people-to-people programs to the Caribbean island: the 6-night Colors of Cuba and the 4-night Havana Getaway 2015. The latter, which starts at $2,233 all-inclusive, offers travelers the chance to visit a community project, learn about Havana’s recent preservation projects and history, and embark on a day trip to Cuba’s tobacco country in Pinar del Rio to see first-hand the entire cigar-making process. The 6-night program ($2,733 all-inclusive), meanwhile, journeys across the island, taking participants to the colonial city of Trinidad to view a ceramic demonstration; Cienfuegos, where visitors learn the difference between ration stores and regular markets; Havana, where there’s a stop at a local paladar, or private restaurant, for a Cuban meal; and Pinar del Rio, to enjoy the island’s stunning countryside.

Havana, Cuba.
Havana, Cuba. (Photo credit: Latour)

Have clients who want a quick weekend getaway to Cuba? Latour delivers with its new 5-day Weekend in Havana getaway. This limited departure program—next trip is planned for November (rates start at $2,999)—pays tribute to the days when a weekend in Havana was a reality for many Americans. The itinerary includes a 3-night stay at Havana’s Melia
Cohiba Hotel, and visits to old and modern Havana, Ernest Hemingway’s home, a local rum museum, and a cigar factory. Latour also offers culturally specific programs, including the 9-day Shalom Cuba, which explores Cuba’s Jewish history, and the 9-day LGBT Cuba-Pride World, in which travelers have the opportunity to discover what it is truly like for LGBTs on
this island.

Globus has unveiled a couple of new people-to-people programs to Cuba for 2016, including the 11-day Spiritual Journey through Cuba (priced from $3,799), which takes travelers to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption in Santiago; the Hill of the Cross in Holguin; the Church at Plaza de Carmen in Camaguey; and Cuba’s oldest church in Sancti Spiritus. Other activities include a visit to a spice farm and interacting with workers; a visit to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s home; and spending time at a daycare center run by local nuns. Other new programs include the 10-day Cuba by Land & Sea aboard the Celestyal Crystal, with port stops in Havana, Maria La Gorda, Pinar del Rio, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba; and the 9-day Cuba Discovery (priced from $2,475) with Cosmos.