AFRO-CUBAN TOUR 10 DAYS

SKU: RA010
$2,600.00Price

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 …………………….   $2,600 USD (Taxes Included)

    Price per person in Single Occupancy……………………….   $2,850 USD (Taxes Included)

     

    *Price includes

    -all listed activities

    -Cuban entry visa(s),

    -Accommodation according to the program description.

    -full time English-speaking professional guide,

    -all transfers & transportation*,

    -9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners. 

    Car & driver at your disposition on days 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

     

    *Price only valid for groups of 2 to 8 guests and does NOT include roundtrip airfare.

     *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)

     

    Legal travel under Federal Regulation 31 CFR 515.566.

    salescubatraveltrips@gmail.com

      

    CUBA SANTERIA RELIGION TOUR W/ TRINIDAD, CIENFUEGOS & VARADERO/FEATURING WORKSHOP+PERFORMANCE BY YORUBA ANDABO

    DAY 1 “HELLO HAVANA”

    • Depart the U.S. for Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba.
    • Meet & greet with guide at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.
    • Guide and driver 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, and several Catholic Churches in Havana that have a strong association with Santeria. (3-4 hours)
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • Transfer to B&B in Old Havana.
    • Welcome dinner at private restaurant.
    • Live music featuring the Buena Vista Social Club.

     

    DAY 2 “OLD HAVANA & SANTERIA”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am 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)
    • 2:00pm 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. (4 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 9:00pm Live music at La Casa de la Musica or La Zorra y el Cuervo.

     

    DAY 3 “REVOLUTION, DILOGUN y EBOO”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am 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)
    • 2:00pm Santeria Divination Workshop & Ceremony, Dilogun is a form of divination that involves the use of seashells to foresee the immediate or long-term future with the help of one of the practitioner’s dead ancestors. You will learn the history and traditions behind this rite of Santeria. Any guest wanting to go through a divination is welcome to! (1-2hours)
    • 4:30pm 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 9:00p.m. 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 “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 restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 3:00pm 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. (4 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • FREE TIME! Enjoy the evening on your own.

     

    Day 5 “TRINIDAD & CIENFUEGOS”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • Early morning transfer to the beautiful colonial city of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast.
    • Palo Mayumbe Workshop, we take advantage of the road time between Havana and Trinidad to provide you with a brief description of the other Afro-Cuban Religion variant that is practiced in Cuba, often associated with the dark arts, but you will learn for yourself that it is really an animistic religion based on ancestor worship. Palo Mayumbe practitioners are known as paleros, and this variant has significant differences from the religion of Osha, as mainline Santeria is known. (1 hour)
    • Lunch at private restaurant on the road.
    • 2:00pm Walking Tour of Trinidad which was founded in 1514 and has some of Latin America’s best preserved colonial era houses. Trinidad is considered the jewel of Cuba and is the island’s best preserved colonial era town. Its wonderful people and beautiful surroundings set it apart from any other destination in the Caribbean. Many of its narrow streets are paved with the original bricks that are hundreds of years old. Tour includes stops at the Plaza Mayor, the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Plaza Santa Ana and Tres Cruces, the Palace of Count Brunet which currently houses the Museo Romantico, the lookout with sweeping views of the city, and more. A unique experience in a special town that visitors to Cuba should not miss. (4 hours)
    • Transfer to your B&B in Cienfuegos.
    • Dinner at private restaurant. (Not included in tour price)

     

    DAY 6 “HOLA CIENFUEGOS”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am Tour of Cienfuegos, with stops at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception, the Paseo del Prado, the Provincial Museum, the Terry Theatre, the Palacio del Valle, and more. The Cuban city of Cienfuegos is nestled beside a protective bay, and this warm and welcoming city is considered an architectural jewel because of its French influenced colonial architecture. The city’s streets form a perfect square, and the city offers visitors the opportunity to partake in a wide variety of water sports, including snorkeling, swimming, and SCUBA diving. (3 hours)
    • Lunch at private restaurant. (Not included in tour price)
    • Transfer to Varadero.
    • 4:00pm Settle into B&B in Varadero.
    • Dinner at private restaurant. (INCLUDED IN TOUR)
    • FREE TIME! Enjoy a night in Varadero on your own.

     

    DAY 7 “VARADERO & FLORA Y FAUNA”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am Cuba Flora+Fauna Workshop, learn about Cuba’s wildlife, with special emphasis placed upon the sea life around Matanzas, and issues associated with invasive marine species such as the lion fish. This event may include a snorkeling encounter to view coastal marine sea life, or a SCUBA dive for certified divers. (3-4 hours)
    • Lunch included with Cuba Flora+Fauna workshop.
    • FREE TIME! You’ve earned some much-needed free time, so spend the afternoon on your own immersing yourself in Cuban culture with the help of your guide & driver, both at your disposition.
    • 3:00pm Transfer to Havana.
    • 6:00pm Settle into B&B in Havana.
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)

     

    DAY 8 “YORUBA ANDABO & TROPICANA CABARÉ”

    • 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.
    • Lunch at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • 3:00pm Yoruba Andabo Rumba Workshop, covers the origins of rumba, its connection to the Afro-Cuban Religion Santeria, and includes a live performance by Yoruba Andabo. Rumba is the quintessential Cuban musical style, and its origins date to the end of the eighteenth century. It is the most characteristic of Cuba’s musical styles, and has its roots in African musical traditions, and Abakua society traditions. The three styles of rumba, yambu, guaguanco, and columbia, are covered, as are some of the instruments typical of rumba, the guagua, chekere, maracas, guiro, and cajones. The workshop includes demonstrations of both religious and secular rumba. (4 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. We suggest La Cocina de Lilliam which has excellent Cuban food and is on the way to the Tropicana Cabaret. (Not included in tour price)
    • 10:00pm Tropicana Cabaret Show.

     

    DAY 9 “RESOLVIENDO & DANCING”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am RESOLVIENDO Workshop, 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 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)
    • Farewell lunch at private restaurant.
    • 2:00pm Son & Rumba Workshop, begins with our best dancers performing an impressive interpretation of Cuba’s two endemic dance styles. You will then learn some of the history of Son in Cuba and its contributions and influences around the world. The history of rumba will cover its African Abakpa, Bantu and Yoruba roots, its roots in Spain’s coros de clave, and the three distinct styles of this characteristically Cuban musical genre, Columbia, Guaguanco, and Yambu. (3-4 hours)
    • Dinner at restaurant of guest’s choice. (Not included in tour price)
    • Live music at venue to be determined.

     

    DAY 10 “Adios Cuba”

    • Breakfast at B&B.
    • 9:00am Transfer to Jose Marti International Airport for return flight.

     

    Price includes all listed activities, Cuban entry visa, full-time English-speaking professional guide, all transportation*, and 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners.

    DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR AIRFARE.

    Car & driver at your disposition on days 1 and 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

    Your price per person with Bed&Breakfast DOUBLE OCCUPANCY $2,600

    Price per person SINGLE OCCUPANCY $2,850

    Night time activity schedule subject to change depending on travel dates.

    *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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