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New Cuba

Queer Cuba

New Cuba

Queer Cuba

  • Duration 7 Days
  • Activity level Leisurely
  • Includedaccomodation meals staff

Take the pulse of Cuba through its progressive LGBT Scene

From £1,249.00 / per person
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

    Welcome to Havana! You will be met at the airport and taken to your casa particular. This evening we’ll have a group dinner and get…

    • Casa Particular, Havana
    • Dinner
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    HAVANA

    This morning we’ll have a walking tour of Old Havana. Cuba’s cosmopolitan capital was once one of the world’s most prosperous ports and the…

    • Casa Particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    VIÑALES VIA LAS TERRAZAS

    Today transfer to Viñales, stopping to visit Las Terrazas Community, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Created after…

    • Casas particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    VIÑALES

    Today we will explore Viñales – UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999 – status awarded for it’s outstanding landscape and traditional farming methods used…

    • Casa particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    HAVANA

    Those who like early starts can take an optional sunrise walk to Los Acuaticos, a traditional community high up over the valley. We start…

    • Casa Particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6
    Day 6

    HAVANA

    Today we head to Mi Cayito, a favourite spot on Havana’s Playas del Este. At the weekend Habaneros flock to the beach to wind-down…

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7
    Day 7

    DEPARTURE DAY

    Enjoy this morning at leisure to spend as you please. Then transfer to the airport for your onward flight. And so it’s Adios, or, as…

    • Breakfast
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Day 2

    Day 2: HAVANA

  • Day 3

    Day 3: VIÑALES VIA LAS TERRAZAS

  • Day 4

    Day 4: VIÑALES

  • Day 5

    Day 5: HAVANA

  • Day 6

    Day 6: HAVANA

  • Day 7

    Day 7: DEPARTURE DAY

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Transfer from airport upon arrival and departure
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage
  • Accommodation in casas particulares on B&B basis
  • Meals:  all breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners.  Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day
  • Entrances to Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes, Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve.  Zip-lining, Classic Car Tour and Las Vegas Drag Show.
  • Staff:  Local English-speaking Cuban active guide throughout, specialist local guides for some activities, driver. 
  • Transport: all transfers in private air-conditioned vehicle.

What is not included?

  • Flights to and from Cuba
  • Travel / medical Insurance (compulsory to provide proof of cover for entry into Cuba)
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, phone calls etc)
  • Vaccinations
  • Visas (Tourist Cards)
  • Tips for guide, driver and local staff.  We recommend that each participant contributes a minimum of CUC 25 – CUC 30 to be shared between the local staff.

Is this tour right for me?

  • English speaking group with 2 – 18 people of mixed nationalities. Minimum age 18 years.
  • Open minded and curious to learn about Cuba’s gay community.
  • Busy days with a variety of activities, travel and exposure to contemporary Cuban and LGBT culture.

Walking

  • Light walking boots or trainers with good tread for walking in the Viñales valley

Ziplining

  • Wear comfortable clothes and trainers.
  • Safety harness and helmets are included.

Essential packing list

  • Swimming things and beach towel
  • Trainers for ziplining
  • Small day pack
  • High factor sun cream (50+), sunglasses and sun hat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Insect repellent – tropical strength
  • Long sleeved shirts and light trousers for the evenings
  • Camera
  • A sense of humour and patience are useful in Cuba!

Optional items

  • Torch
  • Binoculars

Throughout the tour we stay in private accommodation (Casas particulares) in Havana and Viñales.

It’s fair to say that the standard of Cuban accommodation is not always comparable to that which you would expect in other countries owing to years of isolation, under-investment in the country’s infrastructure and effect of the US trade Embargo. Anyone travelling to the island should be prepared to rough it a bit at times! Décor tends to be a little dated, there might be the occasional power cut, and you may find that your water pressure isn’t all it could be. Fortunately, it’s warm enough most days that the lack of hot water is not a major problem!

However, most people love the opportunity this gives to stay in a relatively normal Cuban home and see how Cubans live. These homes are simple compared to ours, but the welcome is warm and rooms clean. All the casas also have air conditioning an en suite bathrooms. You’ll be spoilt at breakfast in the mornings.

Cuba doesn’t have a great reputation for varied international cuisine but in recent years lots of privately run restaurants (“paladars”) have opened (particularly in Havana) offering a wider choice and better quality food than the government run establishments. We will be eating in some of our favourite paladars in Havana and Viñales during this trip, finishing the week in the renowned ‘La Guarida’ paladar.

For those with special dietary requirements, be prepared for a very limited menu while you are in Cuba. There are very few vegetarians and vegans in Cuba so there are sometimes misperceptions as to what you can eat. Vegetarians often bring snacks and spreads to liven up their meals.

Cuba is the land of the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre. You’ll find that plenty of rum-based drinks all over the country with prices ranging from 2-6 CUC for most cocktails. But beware, they don’t use measuring glasses, so they might be stronger than the ones you have tried at home!

All our guides at Cubania are Cuban nationals who are registered with and trained by Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism. They come from all kinds of different personal and professional backgrounds. They’ve been teachers, I.T. professionals, bakers, vets, army officers and even underwear salesmen! What they have in common is that they are all highly educated graduates who are passionate about guiding and proud of their beautiful country. They all speak excellent English and receive annual training in first aid.

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Dinner

Welcome to Havana! You will be met at the airport and taken to your casa particular. This evening we’ll have a group dinner and get to know each other. If we’re up for it, we can take in some local nightlife afterwards.

Day 2: HAVANA

  • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we’ll have a walking tour of Old Havana. Cuba’s cosmopolitan capital was once one of the world’s most prosperous ports and the third most populous city in the Americas. As La Llave del Mundo Nuevo (Key to the New World), Havana saw conquistador riches from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia pass through her sheltered harbour, en route to Spain. The city shows evidence of long neglect but her intrinsic elegance and beauty shines through an amalgam of Spanish, African, colonial, communist, and capitalist influences. After our tour we’ll stop for lunch at a cool new café, before meeting local lesbian graphic designers, Clandestina. This afternoon we’ll visit the Museo de las Bellas Artes to see Cuba’s finest contemporary art, guided by a young Cuban art curator. Later on, we head to one of Havana’s newest restaurants where we’ll learn to make Cuban cocktails before enjoying a delicious tapas-style meal. Afterwards we might like to catch some live music and visit a few LGBT-friendly bars in Havana’s happening Vedado district.

Day 3: VIÑALES VIA LAS TERRAZAS

  • Casas particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Today transfer to Viñales, stopping to visit Las Terrazas Community, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Created after the Revolution to replant the area which had suffered badly from deforestation, it’s now a self-sustaining community surrounded by forest and is once more a haven for migrating birds from the north. We visit the lakeside community, and some will want to take a ride on the zip-lining course which soars over the rooftops, through the forest and over the lake.

We have a typical Cuban country lunch in La Casa del Campesino and then continue our journey to Viñales. The valley is famous for its mogotes, or karsts – sheer mountains that seem to pop out of the ground creating a spectacular landscape, which also happens to be where the best tobacco in the world is lovingly grown. Enjoy the evening at leisure, your guide will be happy to suggest places to eat and try out some provincial nightlife.

Day 4: VIÑALES

  • Casa particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will explore Viñales – UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999 – status awarded for it’s outstanding landscape and traditional farming methods used for tobacco and other crops.

We’ll start with a walk to a local tobacco farm, where we’ll learn about tobacco cultivation and country life. We then clamber up the mountain and take a natural tunnel through the mogote to the valley on the other side. The views are spectacular, overlooking tobacco plantations and fields growing tropical fruits and vegetables. We finish our walk at a small restaurant run by a Cuban-Spanish chef who offers simple but mouth-watering dishes.

After lunch we head back towards town stopping at a zip-line for an adrenaline kick and awesome views over Viñales.

This evening we’ll enjoy an atmospheric sunset cocktail and dinner at Wilfredo’s Farm, an award-winning organic farm which has been serving home grown country food to its guests for the past few years. The restaurant is housed in a typical simple Cuban home with wonderful views over the valley.

Day 5: HAVANA

  • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Dinner

Those who like early starts can take an optional sunrise walk to Los Acuaticos, a traditional community high up over the valley. We start walking in the dark to reach Los Acuaticos by sunrise. After breakfast we will say goodbye to gorgeous Viñales and head back to Havana.

Back in Havana we’ll have time to freshen up and grab some lunch before visiting Cenesex, Cuba’s national centre for Sex Education, the home of LGBT rights in Cuba. Set up by Mariela Castro, Raul’s daughter and Fidel’s niece, Cenesex has supported the LGBT community and helped create an atmosphere of tolerance towards difference. Cenesex has helped Cuba become one of the most liberal nations in Latin America on Gender issues.

In the evening we’ll eat in a restaurant where we’ll be able to hang out in the kitchen and learn about traditional Cuban cuisine.

Later on, it’s time to hit Havana’s iconic drag show at Las Vegas in Centro Habana.

Day 6: HAVANA

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we head to Mi Cayito, a favourite spot on Havana’s Playas del Este. At the weekend Habaneros flock to the beach to wind-down and have fun, and nowhere does fun quite like Mi Cayito! Traditionally this is where the gay community in Havana congregates to relax by the crystal-clear waters and the white sand beach. We’ll take a picnic and some rum and enjoy beach time a lo cubano.

In the afternoon, we return to Havana to get ready for our last evening together. We’ll be picked up by our rides and taken for a tour of the city in classic American cars.

We’ll wind up on a rooftop bar where we can sip delicious cocktails as we watch the sun set over the city. Our last dinner together will be in La Guarida, a fabulous restaurant and the set of Cuba’s most famous Queer film, Fresa y Chocolate. Later on, we can party long into the night at any of Havana’s open-minded joints.

Day 7: DEPARTURE DAY

  • Breakfast

Enjoy this morning at leisure to spend as you please. Then transfer to the airport for your onward flight. And so it’s Adios, or, as we prefer to think of it hasta luego, see you later! Have a safe onward journey and we very much hope to see you in Cuba again soon.

What's included?

Accommodation

6 nights in casas particulares

Meals

All Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners

Staff

English-Speaking Cuban tour guide, driver, Cubania office 24 hour contact

What to bring

1. Sun protection

high strength sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat

2. Swimming things

and beach towel

3. Light Clothing

Light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates

4. Personal toiletries

and any essential medication (including insect repellent and anti-histamines).

Cubans dress casually but are always impeccably turned out. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery.

Is this tour for me?

Travel style: Cultural trip

exploring vibrant Havana and the spectacular natural beauty of Western Cuba whilst taking the pulse of Cuba’s LGBT community.

Group style: Small

English speaking, 2 - 18 people, mixed nationalities. Minimum age 18 years.

Notes:

Busy days with a variety of activities and exposure to contemporary, queer Cuban culture.

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2. Passenger details
3. Billing details