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Classic Cuba
Cuba - Trip code DCL Discovery
Days 15
Deposit From £270
Price from £2699
Flights inclusive
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Why book this trip?

Based in comfortable hotels and characterful 'casas particulares', or homestays, we explore this fascinating Caribbean island. The homestays in Trinidad are often full of history, family photos and memorabilia, giving us a deeper insight into Cuban life. We tour the capital, Havana, and travel to the spectacular landscape of 'mogotes' in Vinales. We discover Fidel Castro's revolutionary headquarters, deep in the Sierra Maestra Mountains; visit the infamous Bay of Pigs and explore attractive colonial towns including Trinidad. We end with a couple of days' relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cayo Ensenachos.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 14

      Lunch: 6

      Dinner: 3

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader

      Driver(s)

      Local Guide(s)

    • Transport

      Bus

    • i

      Accommodation

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Full on

    • i

      Group Size:

      10 - 16

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Trip information

    Country information

    Cuba

    Climate

    The dry season is from November to April. Average temperatures are 22-26C. Though the sky is often cloudless during the dry season, cold wet snaps do come in from North America especially in Dec and Jan, when the temperatures can drop to as low as 5C at night. From May to October there are normally fine mornings and clear evenings, afternoon rains tend to be short & heavy. Temperatures are hot and humid.

    Time difference to GMT

    -5

    Plugs

    2 Pin Flat and 2 Pin Round

    Religion

    60% Catholic

    Language

    Spanish

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Havana - Museo de la Ciudad CUC3, CUC8 with guide; Museo de la Revolucion & Arte Colonial CUC8 each, CUC10 with guide; Rum museum CUC7 .
    Trinidad - Cayo Blanco or Cayo Las Iguanas Boat Excursion CUC60 (this is a full day so will shorten your time for Trinidad tour) plus transport 10CUC per taxi each way; Excursion to Playa Ancon CUC10 per taxi each way.
    Comandancia de la Plata - Camera charge CUC5 and video CUC10.
    Please note - most museums in Cuba charge for use of cameras and camcorders, this can be up to 7 CUC per usage.

    Clothing

    Include light cotton clothing plus something warmer for the evenings in the hills when it can get cool. A light fleece and waterproof would be useful except December-January when a heavier fleece and waterproof are recommended. An umbrella is useful in the rainy season. Please note there is a smart dress code for the Iberostar Ensenachos which includes no shorts and closed shoes in the restaurants

    Footwear

    Comfortable walking boots. Shoes and trainers or sandals.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece of luggage and a shoulder bag or daysac. Remember you may be expected to carry your own luggage, so don't overload yourself.

    Equipment

    A torch, water bottle, good quality sunglasses, insect repellent and high factor sunscreen are all essential. You may also wish to bring a pocket-knife with you, and your own mask and snorkel for your stay at the Iberostar Ensenachos.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    Tour Leader: At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.

    Please note tipping is also customary for musicians and for public conveniences so small notes and coins are always handy
    Local crew
    Local Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

    Accordingly you should allow approx. CUC40 for gratuities for local staff. 10% is expected in restaurants.

    Cuba

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Dinner price
    £12.00-15.00
    Beer price
    £2
    Water price
    £1.5
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    US dollars are no longer accepted in shops and other businesses, tourists and Cubans exchanging dollars will have to pay a 20% commission. We recommend you take clean Euro, Canadian dollars or Sterling cash as these are easier to exchange. Please note that Scottish Pounds are not accepted in Cuba.
    Where To Exchange
    Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
    ATM Availability
    Available in major towns. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Please note credit and debit cards associated with American Banks are not accepted. Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a 10% service charge
    Travellers Cheques
    We do not recommend Travellers Cheques. Amex Travellers Cheques are not accepted.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Bus

    Accommodation notes

    Accommodation and service levels in Cuba have improved in recent years but there is an ongoing trade embargo and lack of investment in infrastructure. Even the premium-rated accommodation can occasionally suffer with unreliable water and electricity supply. Service levels in government hotels, shops and restaurants are generally poor as this is not a service-oriented western culture. Of course, this is all part of seeing the 'real Cuba' and while we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by most of the hotels we use, you should be prepared for simply furnished rooms, some out-dated furniture and varying levels of service. Most of the hotels do have air conditioning.

    Casas particulares - This is a Spanish term meaning private accommodation or homestay in Cuba. Staying in a casa offers the visitor a unique opportunity to experience Cuban hospitality in local accommodation adapted for tourism. The number of rooms, quality, facilities and access to other areas of the house such as the living room varies massively but as a general rule Casas are clean, centrally located and can host only a handful of guests. Casas are generally run by the owner and members of the family that live there and the standard of English spoken will vary from zero to fluent, which is a good opportunity for you to practice your Spanish. They are often full of history, family photos and memorabilia, providing you with a deeper insight to Cuban life. Virtually all of the rooms have private facilities but on rare occasions it may be necessary to share. Your Explore Leader will coordinate accommodation arrangements on tour.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Cuba: Visas or Tourist cards are required by all nationalities travelling to Cuba. Explore can only supply the Cuban Tourist Cards to citizens of the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who are resident in the UK. This currently costs £15. Please contact Explore or your Travel Agent to arrange this service and we will send your tourist card with your final documentation.

    Alternatively they can be obtained directly through Cuban embassies and consulates. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.

    Due to US Treasury Department Regulations we are unable to accept bookings from US passport holders. These Regulations set out different categories under which it is possible for US citizens to travel to Cuba; our trips do not fall under any of the permissible categories. As a tour operator we have an obligation to follow legal procedures, and as such we are unable to sell our trips to US passport holders.

    Travelling for tourism reasons directly from the USA to Cuba isn't allowed under US law. The law applies to US nationals and all foreign nationals who are either resident in the USA, or travelling through the USA en route to Cuba. Those travelling on direct flights between the UK and Cuba, or via other countries excluding the USA, are unaffected by this US legislation.

    Canada: An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp
    Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Ability to swim

    An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

    Cuba

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, TB, infectious hepatitis and polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Additional Information

    Explore staff love Cuba!

    Read about their experiences and what you can expect from your trip.

    Why book this trip

    This trip is an excellent opportunity to visit Cuba in style, before changes start to happen. We use premium hotels across most of the island, including the Hotel Nacional in Havana, and the 2 nights in Casas Particulares offer a deeper experience of Cuban life - often an unexpected highlight of the trip.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Sat 16 Feb 2019 - Sat 2 Mar 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £2245
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    1 space available
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 23 Mar 2019 - Sat 6 Apr 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £2245
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 4 May 2019 - Sat 18 May 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £1975
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 19 Oct 2019 - Sat 2 Nov 2019
    DCL_2019
    Price from £1975
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 9 Nov 2019 - Sat 23 Nov 2019
    DCL_2019
    Price from £2299
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 16 Feb 2019 - Sun 3 Mar 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £3069
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    1 space available
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 23 Mar 2019 - Sun 7 Apr 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £3090
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 4 May 2019 - Sun 19 May 2019 Guaranteed departure
    DCL_2019
    Price from £2699
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 19 Oct 2019 - Sun 3 Nov 2019
    DCL_2019
    Price from £2780
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 9 Nov 2019 - Sun 24 Nov 2019
    DCL_2019
    Price from £3099
    Save was
    Single room option +£545
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time and place
    19:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Havana
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Award Winning Explore Leaders
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    Price Guarantee Promise
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    Airport Transfers
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