BOSTON TO HAVANA AFRO-CUBAN RELIGION TOUR

SKU: BH08
$1,650.00Price

INTRODUCTION:

 

Religious tours of Cuba are authorized by U.S. Code 31 CFR 515.566, which allows travelers from the United States to visit Cuba for religious purposes. Besides the religious workshops and associated activities, this tour also includes historic tours of the city, music or dance workshops, and museum and sightseeing tours. This tour may be modified, contact us if you would like to travel on this tour but would like to make some changes to the itinerary. Here is the link to the U.S. Treasury Department website will with the text of religious travel to Cuba regulations, https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=9e3100ab8b22e3ef16973d2f48f5fc52&mc=true&node=se31.3.515_1566&rgn=div8

 

 

 

Please send us an email if you would like to travel with this tour but prefer to stay at a hotel.

  • * ACTIVITIES INCLUDED:

    Your price per person with Bed & Breakfast

    Price per person in Double Occupancy …………………….   $1,650 USD (Taxes Included)

    Price per person in Single Occupancy……………………….   $1,850 USD (Taxes Included)

    *Price includes

    -all listed activities

    -Accommodation at B&B in Old Havana.

    -full time English-speaking professional guide,

    -all transfers & transportation*,

    -7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner. 

     

    *Price only valid for groups of 2 to 12 guests and includes Cuban entry visa.

     *PLEASE CONTACT US FOR PRICING IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL ON THIS TOUR, BUT WOULD PREFER TO STAY AT A LEGAL HOTEL

     

    LATE NIGHT TRANSPORTATION TO RETURN TO B&B NOT INCLUDED. (TAXIS COST APPROXIMATELY $5CUC PER PERSON LATE NIGHT)

    DAY 1 “HELLO HAVANA”

    • Depart Boston's Logan International Airport at 12:00pm for Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba on Jet Blue flight B6867.
    • Meet & greet with guide and driver at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport at 5:00pm.
    • Guide will accompany you for the duration of your stay.
    • Driving City Tour of Havana, including a drive along the famous Havana malecon seawall, Vedado neighborhood, 5th Avenue in the suburb of Miramar, and stops at the Plaza of the Revolution. (1-2 hours)
    • Transfer to B&B in Old Havana.
    • Dinner at private restaurant.

     

    DAY 2 “OLD HAVANA & SANTERIA”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:30am Old Havana Encounter, our walking tour through Old Havana, La Habana Vieja, and its five main plazas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco, and Plaza del Cristo, with stops at the residence of the colonial era Captain General of the island, the Havana Cathedral, Obispo Street, and the Cuba’s capitol building. You will stop at the L’Antigua Habana book store, where you just may find a first edition of “The Old Man and the Sea,” or just a simple postcard. Old Havana gives you a taste of the island and will make you feel as if you had travelled back in time. Old Havana has some of the oldest buildings and streets in the Americas, with buildings and structures dating to the 16th century. These ancient buildings still house a significant number of Havana’s inhabitants. Old Havana features the first church built on the island, a street paved with wooden bricks, palatial residences, the hotel where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the beautiful Bacardi building, and the Cuba’s former presidential palace. Some of the notable buildings you will see during this tour include the house built by Ponce de Leon’s grandson, a section of Havana’s original colonial era sewer system, and the beautiful Palacio Viena Hotel, which like many structures in Old Havana has been undergoing a never-ending renovation. Our tour of Old Havana includes stops at Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bars, El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, Old Havana is the largest, oldest, and most authentic colonial area in the western hemisphere. (4 hours)
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 2:30pm Santeria Workshop, this workshop is your introduction to the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria, it covers the basics and includes such topics as the syncretism of Catholicism and African tribal religions, and the role and significance of drums in the religion. The religion is a syncretism of African tribal religions and Catholicism and is currently practiced by a large percentage of the island’s population. This workshop covers the main deities of the religion, their origin myths, the colors and vestments associated with them, and their roles in human life. A visit to the Casa de Africa is included, and there you will see African musical instruments, artifacts, and a room dedicated to the orishas, the Yoruba deities. Guests are usually amazed after attending this workshop that the multicolored wristbands and necklaces worn by many Cubans are associated with the religion. (3 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 9:30pm Live music at Jazz Café, La Zorra y el Cuervo, or Fabrica de Arte Cubano. *

     

    DAY 3 “REVOLUTION & EBOO”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:30am Museum of the Cuban Revolution Tour, the Museum of the Revolution is housed in the former Presidential Palace of Cuba. It is in Old Havana across from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which exhibits works by Cuban artists. Civilian and military artifacts are on display in the Museum, as are brief written descriptions of the events that led to the overthrow of the Batista regime in 1959. Artifacts from the armed struggle are amongst items on display, and they range from bloody shirts and pistols, to the motor yacht Granma, which ferried Fidel Castro and the members of the 26 of July Movement to Cuba from Mexico in 1956. Military vehicles that were used during the fighting in the late 1950’s are on display outside of the Museum, and they range from tank and jeeps, to airplanes and tractors that were turned into armored fighting vehicles. (3 hours)
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 2:30pm Spiritual Cleansing, hacer Ebbo is to cleanse one’s spirit, the simple acts of Ebbo are used by practitioners to cleanse their spirit. It often uses plants and herbs in combination with water to physically cleanse the body as a symbolic cleansing of the soul. History and practice of Ebbo is covered in this workshop, and any guests who desire to go through a cleansing ceremony may do so. (1-2 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 8:45pm Cannon Blast Ceremony, witness one of the oldest traditions of colonial era Cuba that still takes place, the 9o’clock cannon blast at the San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress. The cannon shot signaled the closing of the city walls during the colonial era.

     

    DAY 4 “GETTING BY IN CUBA & DANCING”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am RESOLVIENDO Workshop gives you a small glimpse into how Cubans get by, through this workshop we attempt to give our guests a peek into the life of a regular Cuban citizen. You will see an actual tarjeta de abastecimiento, which roughly translates to provisions card. These are the small notebooks that every Cuban citizen is given at birth, and which today entitles them to five chicken eggs, a quarter chicken, coffee, cooking oil, and other items every month. The provision card also entitles its’ bearer to purchase select items that are deemed to be necessities at discounted prices. You will visit what is known in Cuba as an agricultural market, agro, and is basically the produce section of a supermarket, where most people buy their fresh produce. You will visit a bread distribution point, where bread is distributed through the provision card at discounted prices. Depending on schedule and other factors you may also visit a grocery store, meat market, and other markets where meats are sold. This workshop will show visitors some of the daily rituals most Cubans deal with, it will be presented by your guide, and sometimes we have invited guests who are experts in certain areas of the food distribution chain in Cuba. The history of the provisions card will also be covered. (4 hours)
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 4:00pm Music Matinee at La Casa de la Musica, live performance featuring some of Cuba’s most popular musical groups. This event includes admittance and table, a bottle of rum with soda at Havana’s most popular dance club. Unlike the nighttime presentations, the matinee shows at La Casa de la Musica feature an overwhelmingly Cuban crowd, with few tourists in attendance. Popular musical groups featured include; Azucar Negra, Charanga Habanera, Havana de Primera, Maykel Blanco, Pupy y los que Son Son, Van Van, Yoruba Andabo, and more. (3 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • FREE TIME! Enjoy the evening on your own.

     

    DAY 5 “HEMINGWAY & TOQUE DE CAJONES”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am Hemingway Encounter, visit the places Ernest Hemingway regularly frequented, including La Finca Vigia, and La Terraza de Cojimar Restaurant. Includes the Gregorio Fuentes walking tour of the town of Cojimar, which was the inspiration for the novel “The Old Man and the Sea.” This encounter is a must for any Hemingway fan, and covers some of the most productive and interesting years of the famous writer’s life. (5 hours)
    • Lunch at private restaurant.
    • 4:00pm Santeria Toque de Cajón, the cajón is a wooden box, which in colonial times was a freight or shipping box used by enslaved Africans in Cuba in place of drums to communicate with their dead ancestors or friends. The use of a box instead of drums became a tradition, and this traditional ceremony is used to “call the dead,” whether ancestors or others from the beyond associated with a given practitioner. The ceremony requires payment in the traditional form of a bottle of wine, rum or similar spirit. Sometimes one of the practitioners of Santeria who is present may enter a trance and mount a dead sprit, montar un muerto. The ceremony includes singing in Yoruba and is one of the oldest and most interesting ceremonies in Santeria that is still regularly performed. This event begins with a presentation of the origins of this tradition and is followed by a real toque. (2 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • FREE TIME! Enjoy the evening on your own.
    • Live music featuring the Buena Vista Social Club.

     

    DAY 6 “ART, CIGARS, & RUM”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 10:00am Museum experience, visit to the Havana Museo de Bellas Artes, this includes a visit the national Cuban Museum of Art, and the International Museum of Art, both located in old Havana, 4 hours. The national and international branches of the Cuban Museo de Bellas Artes feature the highest quality artwork on the island, in strikingly different settings. The international branch is housed in the ornate former Centro Asturiano, which house a society of Spaniards from the province of Asturias who resided on the island and is just steps away from the capitol building. The national branch is housed in a strikingly looking modern building, considering that it was built before the revolution in the 1950s.
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 2:00pm Old Havana Cigar & Rum Experience, this is a walking tour that traverses Old Havana, with visits to the Rum Museum, and the Cigar Museum, and stops at a cigar factory and warehouse. The Rum Museum illustrates the history of the sugar industry in Cuba and includes a replica of a colonial era rum distillery, and a presentation of the culture and tradition of Cuban rum production. The Rum Museum displays contemporary Cuban painter’s works, so you just may see the early works of Cuba’s next Wilfredo Lam. The Habano Museum illustrates the history of tobacco cultivation, and cigar making on in Cuba. Guests will have an opportunity to sample both fine Cuban rums and cigars during this event. Depending on schedule you may see a demonstration by a master cigar roller. (3 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s. (Not included in tour price)

     

     

    DAY 7 “TIEMPO LIBRE Y TOQUE”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • FREE TIME! You’ve earned some much-needed free time, so spend the morning on your own immersing yourself in Cuban culture with the help of your guide & driver who will be at your disposition.
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 4:00pm Santeria Toque de Cajón, the cajón is a wooden box, which in colonial times was a freight or shipping box used by enslaved Africans in Cuba in place of drums to communicate with their dead ancestors or friends. The use of a box instead of drums became a tradition, and this traditional ceremony is used to “call the dead,” whether ancestors or others from the beyond associated with a given practitioner. The ceremony requires payment in the traditional form of a bottle of wine, rum or similar spirit. Sometimes one of the practitioners of Santeria who is present may enter a trance and form a link with a sprit, montar un muerto. The ceremony includes singing in Yoruba and is one of the oldest and most interesting ceremonies in Santeria that is still regularly performed. This event begins with a presentation of the origins of this tradition and is followed by a real toque. (2 hours)
    • Farewell dinner at private restaurant.

     

    DAY 8 “Adios Cuba”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • FREE TIME! Explore Havana on your own, and your guide will meet you for lunch.
    • 1:00pm Farewell lunch at private restaurant.
    • 3:00pm Transfer to Jose Marti International Airport for return flight B6868 departing 5:30pm.

     

    Price includes all listed activities, accommodations in beautiful Bed+Breakfast in Old Havana, full time English-speaking professional guide, all transportation*, and 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner.

    DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR AIRFARE. THIS TOUR IS ONLY VALID FOR GUESTS ARRIVING IN HAVANA ON JETBLUE FROM BOSTON LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND TRAVELING BEFORE APRIL 20, 2020. CONTACT US FOR CUSTOM TOUR OR IF YOU WOULD RATHER STAY AT A HOTEL.

    Order of scheduled activities subject to change depending on arrival day.

    Price per person with Bed&Breakfast DOUBLE OCCUPANCY $1,650

    Price per person SINGLE OCCUPANCY $1,850

    *LATE NIGHT TRANSPORTATION TO RETURN TO B&B NOT INCLUDED.

    ***********

    If you are purchasing a tour 30 days before your arrival date in Cuba, you may contact us via email, and we will send PayPal invoice for $100 deposit per guest with a balance due 30 days before departure.  Please be sure to include your arrival and departure flight information with guest names in a note at checkout.  We will email you a photo of your guide, who will meet you outside the customs inspection area upon your arrival in Cuba.  Please contact us with any questions, suggestions, or special dietary or other requests.

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