10 Day Cuba Rediscovered

From

$5079*

Air & Land

10 Day Cuba Rediscovered

From

$5079*

Air & Land



Book Now!
Friends & family

Featured Hotels

Cuba Rediscovered
Grand Aston La Habana Havana
Hotel E La Calesa Trinidad
Hotel E San Juan de Dios Camaguey

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Book By Dec 15, 2022 & Save!

2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Dec 15
Book After
Dec 15
$5079* $5579*
$5099* $5599*
$5099* $5599*
$5199* $5699*
$5189* $5689*
Apr 22  (Sold Out) $5449* $5949*
May 06  (Sold Out) $5089* $5589*
$5199* $5699*
$5249* $5749*
$5249* $5749*
$5249* $5749*
$5249* $5749*
$5349* $5849*

Not Included:
Gratuities.


Additional Information:
Pre/Post are not available for this program.

All passengers must complete & electronically sign this Travel Affidavit. Once completed, this form must be printed and kept with your travel documents.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There are early morning wake-ups on this program. Not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. There will be little or no free time during your tour, as most meals and sightseeing are included to be consistent with OFAC General License. The tourism infrastructure in Cuba is more limited than what you might be accustomed to from other escorted tour series. You can expect marginally lower standards at the hotel properties with less amenities. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary while the tour is in progress due to circumstances beyond the control of Gate 1 Travel and our local partners. Please keep this flexibility in mind during your tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights Miami-Havana, Havana-Miami
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 9 nights accommodations
    • 5 nights Havana
    • 2 nights Trinidad
    • 2 nights Camaguey
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers
  • 23 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

 

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • A full-time schedule of daily people-to-people activities and cultural exchanges, including discussions with locals, artists, musicians, and more
  • Gain insight into US-Cuba relations during a policy talk
  • Learn more about Ernest Hemingway on your visit to Finca Vigia
  • Attend a cooking class and interactive mojito-making and tasting experience
  • Travel to Casa Fuster in Jaimanitas and see an outrageous display of art and color
  • Learn how to dance different Cuban rhythms with a private instructor
  • At the historic Bay of Pigs, learn some interesting facts about the invasion
  • Explore Trinidad, Cuba's best preserved colonial city
  • Tour Camaguey's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • View Santa Clara, in the geographic center of Cuba
  • Stop at San Jose Handicraft Market, famous indoor market located at the harbor
  • Visit with multiple community projects with the young and elderly

Is This Trip Right for You?

This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There are early morning wake-ups on this program. Not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. There will be little or no free time during your tour, as most meals and sightseeing are included to be consistent with OFAC General License. The tourism infrastructure in Cuba is more limited than what you might be accustomed to from other escorted tour series. You can expect marginally lower standards at the hotel properties with less amenities. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary while the tour is in progress due to circumstances beyond the control of Gate 1 Travel and our local partners. Please keep this flexibility in mind during your tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

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DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Cuba
Welcome to Havana, Cuba's vibrant capital. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. This evening, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager, followed by a light dinner
Overnight: Havana
Meals: Dinner

DAY 2, Sunday - Hemingway Museum, Old Havana
Following breakfast, participate in a discussion by a local expert on the current political policies between the U.S. and Cuba. Then, depart for Hemingway Museum at Finca Vigia San Francisco de Paula. During your visit, get a glimpse into Ernest Hemingway's life and work in Cuba. For lunch, head to a farm-to-table restaurant in Cojimar. Meet the chef who will lead you in a cooking class and interactive mojito-making and tasting experience. In the afternoon, return to Havana and take a walking tour through La Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your stroll along Calle Obispo, interact with artisans and small business owners and learn about Cuba's economy
Overnight: Havana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3, Monday - Casa Fuster, Havana Compas Dance, Antique Car Club "A Lo Cubano"
This morning, visit Casa Fuster, also known as Fusterlandia, the studio and residence of José Rodriguez Fuster and meet with local artisans in Jaimanitas. Continue to the Havana Compas Dance Company for a demonstration of Afro-Cuban, flamenco and other Spanish dances and music. Interact with the dancers and instructors before heading for lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, a fun-filled afternoon awaits you. Meet the president of the Antique Car Club "A Lo Cubano" from the popular TV series Cuba Chrome and visit a private body shop. Enjoy a warm and friendly discussion with the club members and hear about the challenges of restoring antique cars. Conclude the day with a dance lesson. Learn how to dance different Cuban rhythms with a private instructor before returning to your hotel. Tonight, after dinner, witness the cannon shot ceremony at La Cabana fortress
Overnight: Havana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Tuesday - Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Trinidad
Depart Havana this morning and head to Playa Larga at the head of the historic Bay of Pigs. Afterwards, on to Cienaga de Zapata National Park, situated on Cuba's south coast. Lunch follows at Paladar Casa Enrique, a private guest house. Meet the proprietors of this family-run and privately-owned business. Hear their stories and views of private enterprise. In the afternoon, continue to Cienfuegos. On arrival, begin a walking tour of the city's highlights. Visit the famous Terry Theater built in the Italian style and adorned with Carrara marble. Proceed to Palacio Municipal and enjoy a performance of the Cienfuegos Orchestra, followed by an interaction with the artists. Later, arrive in Trinidad and check into your hotel. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Trinidad
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Colonial Trinidad
Explore Trinidad, Cuba's best-preserved colonial city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the Old Cathedral and other landmarks during the walking tour. Along the way, stop at a rationing store "bodega" to see the process of buying local staples. Then, tour Palacio Cantero, the city's history museum, housed in a restored neoclassical palace. Afterward, visit the Lazaro Niebla Art Gallery, where you have a chance to interact with Lazaro, the local artist and learn about his work and challenges. Following lunch, visit a ceramic studio to observe a pottery demonstration and meet the owners, the famous Santander family, who will tell you about their traditions, handed down from generation to generation
Overnight: Trinidad
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Thursday - Travel to Camaguey
Depart Trinidad this morning and head to Camaguey. Arrive in the city in time for lunch at a paladar. Afterward, meet with a local urban planner and historian and visit the scale model of the city. Learn about this 500-year-old city whose historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, check into your hotel. This evening before dinner, attend a musical performance by students of Jose White Conservatory at Larios Art Gallery. There will be time to meet with the musicians and hear their stories. Following the concert savor regional dishes at a local paladar
Overnight: Camaguey
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Friday - Camaguey
Start the day with a walking tour of Camaguey to view some of the city's highlights, including the Mayor Ignacio Agramonte Park and the historic center near Plaza de Los Trabajadores. Conclude the tour at Plaza del Carmen, adorned by the beautiful Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen church. Then, visit Martha Jiménez's Studio Workshop. View works from the talented artist ranging from ceramics and sculptures to paintings. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local paladar. In the afternoon, visit a dance company. You will be treated to a private performance and later meet the director and the dancers before returning to your hotel
Overnight: Camaguey
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Saturday - Historic Santa Clara en route to Havana
Depart Camaguey today and travel to Havana, Along the way, stop at the historic city of Santa Clara, in the geographic center of Cuba. Visit the Memorial and Museum built to honor Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The imposing "Che" statue can be seen for miles around the city. After lunch, visit Abuelitos de Fiesta, a vibrant retirement community project for the elderly. The insightful visit reveals how art, music, and dance play a crucial role in the everyday lives of the inspiring residents. Later, continue to Havana and arrive at your hotel late in the afternoon. Tonight, dinner is at a local paladar
Overnight: Havana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Sunday - Visit a Cigar Factory, San Jose Handicraft Market
Begin the morning with a visit to a cigar factory. Get insight into the art and history of this iconic industry from picking the leaves to the process of hand rolling each individual premium cigar. Then, visit Beyond Roots, a community project and engage in a unique immersion into the Afro-Cuban Culture. Later, meet a former Cuban baseball player for a discussion about the history of this sport and what is like to like to play professional baseball in Cuba. Following lunch, tour the San Jose Handicraft Market. Stroll the lanes of this massive indoor market, offering the largest selection of Cuban handicrafts. Afterward, visit a local community center of learning to interact with the children and volunteers before returning to the hotel. Tonight, meet private owners and taxi drivers of classic American cars for a special treat as you step into a classic 1950s American car and ride to a local restaurant for dinner
Overnight: Havana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Depart Cuba
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Cuba
Visas required for Cuba
Important Information for Cuban-born U.S. Citizens
Upon completion of your booking, contact details for assistance for Cuban-born U.S. citizens will be provided. The following will be required:

a. Those who departed Cuba prior to December 31, 1970: HE-11 visa (allow 8 weeks to process) or a Cuban passport (allow 4 months); or

b. Those who departed Cuba after January 1, 1971: Cuban passport (allow 6-12 months for new requests or 2-4 months for renewals)

We recommend that Cuban-born U.S. Citizens who have previously been rejected for a Cuban visa do not reapply as a repeat rejection is likely and program cancellation fees will apply.

Cuban Visas - Visa required. To save time and skip some of the lines, we recommend purchasing your tourist card online in advance from Cuba Travel Services by clicking here. When purchasing your visa, you must select "Educational Activities" as your OFAC Category. The cost of this tourist card is $85 plus shipping and handling. Alternatively, the tourist card can be purchased on the day of departure at the airport's CTS "Cuba Ready" Kiosk. The kiosks are located adjacent to the check-in desk and gate in Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. For those flying from Miami, this is at the American Airlines desk. For those flying from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, this is at the Southwest Airlines desk. The cost of this tourist card is $100.

Important: Cuban-born U.S. Citizens should contact Gate 1 immediately. Those who departed Cuba prior to December 31, 1970 will require a HE-11 visa (allow 8 weeks to process) or a Cuban passport (allow 4 months). Those who departed Cuba after January 1, 1971 will require a Cuban passport (allow 6-12 months for new requests or 2-4 months for renewals).

Any passengers born in Cuba, regardless of current citizenship, must notify Gate 1 at the time of booking as additional entry restrictions or fees may apply. We recommend that Cuban-born U.S. Citizens who have previously been rejected for a Cuban visa do not reapply as a repeat rejection is likely and program cancellation fees will apply. Please contact Cuba Travel Services at [email protected] Please indicate that you are a Discovery Tours by Gate 1 passenger and your booking number.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Important Information About Travel to Cuba

Travel to Cuba is monitored by the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. OFAC issues general licenses for People-to-People travel (31 CFR § 515.565[b]), an initiative that allows U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents to travel to Cuba on a limited basis to participate in cultural experiences and have direct contact with the Cuban people in order to learn more about them and their culture. Each traveler will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.

Information about OFAC and the rules governing U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba is located on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/topic/1541.

Required Daily Journal of Activities

Gate 1 Travel will complete and store the required OFAC documents, including a copy of the final tour itinerary and individual travel documents for five years. This will serve as proof that, under the requirements of the OFAC, you have visited Cuba for educational purposes. In the rare circumstance that a U.S. official asks for proof of the educational nature of your journey, please reach out to Gate 1 Travel for a copy of your final documentation.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Cuba requires the purchase of Mandatory Health Insurance (called Asistur) which is included in your air ticket price. Please keep a copy of your boarding pass which indicates the carrier provider, your date of arrival to Cuba and your point of entry. The boarding pass, or flight record itinerary is your proof of health insurance.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Cuba - The telecommunications in Cuba is changing rapidly, so before you travel, be sure to check with your wireless provider for the latest developments. Some U.S. carriers have or are beginning to make agreements with service carriers in Cuba to provide roaming services for cell phones and personal devices. If your carrier offers a roaming plan and your mobile phone is capable of roaming in Cuba, you should ask your carrier about any additional charges for voice calls, data, and outgoing text messages that you may incur during your trip. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Additionally, you can buy SIM card. If you have an unlocked GSM-capable mobile phone, you can buy a SIM card (CUBACELTur) once in Cuba or online for $25, that will allow you to use your mobile phone in Cuba. SIM cards come with 6GB of internet data, 100 minutes and 100sms. The SIM card expires 30 days after its activation. If bought online, the SIM card can be picked up at ETECSA Office before going through Immigration services, in Terminal 3, Jose Marti airport. Contact your wireless provider to check whether your mobile phone operates on the compatible standard and request that your carrier unlock your mobile phone.

WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Cuba - Major hotels and resorts across Cuba offer WiFi, with hourly rates varying from approximately $2 to $15 CUP. General WFI access in the main areas of the hotel(s) are accessible with varied amounts of time offered free to the guests. You will be provided with additional information as to each hotel's amenities, when they become available prior to departure. As developments are being made, public WiFi hotspots are becoming available through major cities. Some of these hotspots require the purchase of an access ticket before you can log on to the WiFi network. The connection in Cuba is likely slower than you are accustomed to and in rural areas, the connection may not be available at all times. It is recommended to download the app WhatsApp to cellphones, tablets or iPads that will utilize WiFi while traveling, prior to travel. Once downloaded, the WhatsApp mobile application will in most cases allow you to use your cell phone to send text messages and calls using WiFi internet rather than over cellular service. In most instances, it will allow you to communicate with others in the US who have also downloaded WhatsApp.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

About the Zika Virus - The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne virus mostly found in areas of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. According to the CDC, most cases of Zika are mild. However, there is a potential link between this virus and a brain defect called microcephaly which affects unborn babies and may pose a potential risk to pregnant women. If you are pregnant or believe you could be at the time of travel, the CDC cautions against traveling to these destinations. For information, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/.

Cuba - Dengue fever is endemic to the country, so it is advised to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Cuba -The weather in Cuba is semi-subtropical. Temperatures are generally warm year-round. The rainy season in Cuba typically runs from May to October and the dry season between November and April. However, it may rain at any time and rain gear is recommended. Temperatures may range between 60-90 degrees so comfortable, cool clothing is appropriate. Air-conditioning is common in hotels and restaurants so layering is recommended. Not all locations have air-conditioning.

Cuba Average Temperatures

Dress for comfort and convenience with a casual wardrobe that allows for layering. Comfortable, cotton clothing is suggested. Your packing list may include casual daytime wear: shorts, slacks, long and short-sleeved shirts; a light sweater or jacket; comfortable walking shoes; sunscreen, sunglasses and hats; rain poncho and collapsible umbrella; insect repellent; toilet paper and travel packs of tissue. Please note medicines, toiletries and other items obtainable in drugstores in the U.S. are in very short supply in Cuba. We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription and non-prescription medication. Prescription medication should be in its original container. It is also recommended to bring copies of your doctor's prescription or a letter on your doctor's office stationary explaining that the medication has be prescribed for you, along with a list of the generic names of your medication. Please note that there are still some places where the use of face masks is mandatory in Cuba, so make sure to pack masks.

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Cuba - Mandatory Health Insurance - All visitors are required to have health insurance that is accepted in Cuba. In most cases, health or travel insurance policies issued in the United States are not accepted at medical facilities in Cuba (please check with your health insurance providers and travel protection providers). The mandatory health insurance is included in the total cost of your air ticket. Passengers must retain their boarding pass during their stay in Cuba. The boarding pass will serve as evidence of the insurance policy should any emergency medical services be required during the trip. The medical insurance issued by airlines is only valid for a period of up to 30 days. If a medical insurance policy is required for more than 30 days, subsequent policies may be purchased while in Cuba.

Please note that while Gate 1 Travel is facilitating the purchase of this required Cuban health insurance, Gate 1 Travel bears no liability and all matters regarding the insurance policy’s terms and limits, and health care in Cuba, are solely between the traveler, airlines and ESICUBA.

More information about ESICUBA can be found on their website: http://www.esicuba.cu/ProdPersonas.html

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Cuba - You can expect marginally lower standards at the hotel properties with fewer amenities that vary from city to city. While basic toiletries are generally provided, guests may choose to bring their own.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Cuba

In Cuba, tipping is a way of life. Local salaries are extremely low and don’t suffice to buy everyday items. Tourism touches the lives of many Cubans and they truly depend on small donations and tips to feed their families. Though it may be a small amount to us, anything you offer these individuals that work hard to make a difference in your experience while there is greatly appreciated.
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): $8 - $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : $2 - $3 per person per day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): $4 - $6 per person per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
Musicians in bars and restaurants depend on tips. We encourage you to tip a little if you enjoy their music.

Small Gifts: Some visitors enjoy bringing small items such as pens, markers, coloring books, and small toys to give out to Cubans. To avoid misunderstandings at Cuban customs, you should not refer to these items as donations, which require prior authorization, rather as small gifts.

About Your Itinerary
Cuba - Consistent with the requirements of the OFAC educational People-to-People license, this program features a full-time schedule of cultural exchange between participants and your Cuban hosts. There will be little or no free time on most days, except perhaps during a free evening when you're welcome to seek a local restaurant for dinner. The itinerary is subject to change. If any activities do change, they will be replaced by other up-close, people-to-people activities.

Travel to Cuba is regulated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. OFAC issues general licenses for People-to-People travel (31 CFR § 515.565[b]), an initiative that allows U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents to travel to Cuba on a limited basis to participate in cultural experiences and have direct contact with the Cuban people in order to learn more about them and their culture. This program is planned to have minimal leisure time. Schedule of activities is intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, and promote the Cuban people's independence. Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.

Suggestions for activities, when your full-time planned activities are complete, can be advised locally; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Currency
Cuba - The official currency in Cuba, is the Cuban Peso (CUP). US Dollars can be used for tipping and paying in some private venues. Traveler's checks are not accepted anywhere in Cuba.
Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Cuba - U.S. Bank-issued credit cards and debit cards are still not accepted in most locations in Cuba, at this time. Please keep this in mind because it is important to bring an adequate amount of cash (USD and/or EUR) with you to exchange into Cuban Pesos (CUP). The suggested per day amount for travelers is US $100 for each day in Cuba.

US Customs & Shopping
Cuba - Travelers authorized to travel to Cuba may import into the United States, as accompanied baggage, merchandise acquired in Cuba, such as coffee, art, music, handmade carvings, provided that the merchandise is for personal use only. Such imports remain subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported as accompanied baggage and for personal use. Please note, that as of September 24, 2020, authorized travelers may no longer return to the United States with alcohol and/or tobacco products acquired in Cuba as accompanied baggage for personal use.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Cuba - While Cuba is considered relatively safe due to the military and police presence, we still suggest you take precautions while traveling throughout the country.

Pickpocketing, purse-snatching, or theft is possible anywhere. In the event of a confrontation, travelers should not resist. Theft generally occurs in crowded areas such as markets, beaches, and other gathering points. Exercise basic situational awareness at all times and do not leave belongings unattended, nor carry purses and bags loosely over one shoulder.

Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or displaying large amounts of cash. When possible, visitors should carry a copy of their passport with them and leave the original at a secure location. Be cautious of Cuban "jineteros" (hustlers) who specialize in swindling tourists. While most jineteros speak English and go out of their way to appear friendly, many are in fact professional criminals who may resort to violence in their efforts to acquire money and other valuables.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Languages
Cuba - Spanish is the local language. Cubans in general have a strong educational background and many will be able to speak some English, French, and Russian.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Cuba - The voltage used is 220 volts but it is common to find both 110V and 220V throughout Cuba. Sometimes both European and American plugs can be used. It is advisable to bring a converter, if your electronics are not travel-ready (105-240V).It is possible to experience temporary power outages due to limited resources on the island.

Code of Conduct
Cuba - Cubans are friendly and expressive people. Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Direct eye contact in conversation is commonplace as it shows interest and respect. Visitors should observe normal courtesies. The atmosphere is generally informal and casual dress is appropriate. Politics can be a difficult topic for conversation, though many are open to the discussion. It is best to avoid open criticism of the government and allow for a polite difference of opinion on all sides. Please note that taking photos of school children while you visit schools is prohibited. Other prohibited subjects include military installations, industrial complexes, shipping ports, airports, secure government buildings, military personnel and other uniformed officials, all of which are generally not permitted in most countries. Otherwise you are free to photograph as you please. It is polite to ask permission before photographing a person. Some museums and historic sites may charge a small fee to take pictures inside exhibits.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

Cuba - Cuban cuisine is largely limited by the lack of resources available. The primary staples of Cuban cuisine are rice, beans, chicken, pork, fish, plantains and root vegetables. Restaurants don’t always have as much of a selection as in the US and menu choices can be limited, but there will always be another option for vegetarians. Unfortunately we are unable to entertain any significant dietary demands including but not limited to gluten-free, Kosher, Vegan, Muslim.

It is best to drink bottled water while in Cuba. Water is purified in the hotels and restaurants, and it is okay to drink beverages with ice at restaurants included on your tour. It is also not necessary to use bottled water to brush your teeth, as the tap water has also been purified.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Cuba

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: Liberation Day
Jan 2: Victory Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
May 1: Labor Day
May 20: Independence Day
Jul 25-27: Revolution Anniversary
Dec 25: Christmas Day


Cuba, Face to Face, February 2018
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It was wonderful. One of the best trips we have taken! Our guides (Doug and Romero) and driver (Luis) were excellent. They made it educational but also a ton of fun, and their passion for the country and its people was clear. I’m sure there must have been a glitch here and there like there always is on a trip, but they took care of everything and never let our group see any difficulty. Cuba is so beautiful!

Debbie H. Franklin, TN
Cuba, Face to Face, February 2018
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I just returned from a most fabulous trip to Cuba People to People by Gate 1 Travel. I travel quite a bit and this was one of the best trips I've taken. Everyday was filled with great touring, very informative and exciting. The guides were spectacular. Our tour manager, Douglas, was the best! He was very engaged with everyone, making sure we were all enjoying ourselves, staying safe, answering any questions or concerns we had. Our local guide Romero was excellent as was our driver Alexander. I so enjoyed the trip and the experience...I would go back and do it all over again. Thank you for a wonderful trip.

Joan G. Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Cuba, Face to Face, January 2018
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The trip was very interesting. The tour director, guide and bus driver were all great. Every thing went smoothly. Hope to travel with gate1 in the future.

Patrick R. Silver Spring, MD
Cuba, Face to Face, June 2017
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The trip was wonderful. Doug, our director was excellent, as were our local guide, Mariela, and our driver. The tour group was always on time and the schedule was interesting and educational. No complaints. Will recommend this trip to others.

James D. Sedona, AZ
Cuba, Face to Face , March 2017
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The Cuba trip was superb! So pleased with how it was organized, what we saw and what we did. I learned so much about the country, it's people and culture. Joseph was great as tour manager as was Mariela as tour guide.

Irena D. Monroe, CT
Cuba, Face to Face , February 2017
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Gate 1 came through again with another great tour. This is our fifth time to travel with them. Our tour guides were excellent. Hotels were exceptional in Cuba. The food was delicious. In fact, I have never eaten so much as on this trip. People to People is a good way to see the country and meet with a lot of locals—young and old. We will definitely travel with Gate 1 in the future.

Cheryl K. Franklin, NC
Cuba, Face to Face , January 2017
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I had a wonderful time. Cuba was everything I expected and lots more. Our guide Heidi was so knowledgeable, helpful, cheerful, accommodating, calm, fun and resourceful. Our local guide Mariella was sweet, cheery, informative, willing and eager to answer our many questions, and provided us with the Cuban view in a gentle style. Our driver Amoudi was calm under the pressure of driving through crowded narrow streets in rush hour traffic, calm when there was no gasoline available in several stations, always on time, and very helpful. Our accommodations, meals, itinerary, and daily events were all the best. WHAT A GREAT TRIP GATE 1 PROVIDED.

Patricia H. Tucson, AZ
Cuba, Face to Face , January 2017
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I have high praise for our program Director Liliana, our guide Mariela, driver Boris, and the meals and hotels included. And to you, who was wonderful to work with from our first contact.

Eileen E. Eighty Four, PA
Cuba, Face to Face, January 2017
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Really very good and enjoyable. Liliana was on top of the logistics, as well as local knowledge. Local guide Mariela is outstanding. Knowledgeable and personable. The two of them made it worthwhile.

Robert R. Pittsburgh, PA
Cuba, Face to Face , December 2016
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It was amazing!!! We loved every minute. It was so well organized and we look forward to many more trips with Gate 1 Travel.

Lynn C. Newport Beach, CA
Cuba, Face to Face , November 2016
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Our guide Monica was outstanding! It was an interesting time to be in Cuba,and Monica handled every situation with incredible skill. She is a real asset to Gate 1.

Patricia L. Oxford, MS
Cuba, Face to Face , November 2016
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Our tour director Monica was fantastic and made the trip meaningful and fun, despite the fact that Fidel died the day after we arrived...and there was no music allowed in Cuba for 9 days. She was great. Also let me mention to you what a wonderful guide we had in Mariela. She knows so much about everything, like a walking Wikipedia and more; but it was her kindness to every person she came into contact with, and her even- tempered nature that I will remember the most. Both women, and Yackum, the bus driver, were the best. This was my first tour of this type, and I'm definitely recommending Gate 1/ Discovery to my friends.

Lake C. New Rochelle, NY
Cuba, Face to Face , October 2016
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We had a fabulous time in Cuba. Everything was well organized and we were fortunate to have a congenial and fun group. Mariela was our local guide and she was a true gift. We had experiences that we could not possibly have had on our own. We are usually independent travelers but we are sold on Gate 1. We went to Peru with your company last year and we were favorably impressed. We were even more impressed with the Cuba tour. Thank you!

Jennifer E. Atlanta, GA
Cuba, Face to Face, October 2016
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It was a terrific trip. Loved the size of the group-17, glad it was not bigger. Good tour coordinator, great Cuban tour guide, interesting sites and lots of art and music.

Shelly J. Frederick, MD
Cuba, Face to Face , August 2016
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Great trip. Tour guide Douglas and Marilea were great too. I feel I got a glimpse into the complexes of Cuban political situation and experienced some of Cuba. Loved the pace. No super early mornings except coming home day, mix of walking and riding the bus, balance of leisure and free time. Accommodations interesting and very adequate.

Linda R. Gig Harbor, WA
Cuba, Face to Face , August 2016
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My visit to Cuba "exceeded my expectations"! It was an excellent experience in every respect, from the food, lodging, people-to-people/cultural encounters, shared educational insights, and travel companions. This great adventure was facilitated by an excellent team effort on the part of the tour manager, local tour guide, and driver. Thanks again Daniel, Raciel, and Yackton! I look forward to another travel opportunity with Gate 1!

Joyce W. Oceanside, CA
Cuba, Face to Face , August 2016
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I don't have time to go into detail right now, but please know that our Gate 1 sponsored trip to Cuba was out of this world! We have already told many how wonderful it was. I still can't believe all that we saw and experienced. Our tour guide, Daniel, was outstanding. He was warm, friendly, professional and extremely knowledgeable. His assistance with dinner reservations and cabs and any questions was swift and efficient. He and our local tour guide were a fabulous team. Mariela's extensive knowledge of Cuba was a marvel. Since we were travelling to Cuba, we didn't expect to be as comfortable as we were. This tour covered a lot of ground and was extremely organized. It was one of the most fascinating and informative trips we have ever taken. We had a fun, congenial tour group of 21. Just the right size for such a full agenda. Thank you for your help Karina. We will definitely travel with Gate 1 again.

Anne R. Leesburg, VA
Cuba, Face to Face , August 2016
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It was absolutely awesome. Our director, Daniel, and guide, Marcela, were incredible, very knowledgeable and helpful. The best of all were the Cubans themselves. What a joy! A big thank you to Gate 1 for helping us to celebrate our 50th anniversary in a big way. (We got fireworks and a parade because it was Fidel's 90th birthday.)

Carol W. Chandler, AZ
Cuba, Face to Face , July 2016
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It was totally awesome! Probably the best trip we've ever taken. Everything ran smoothly with special thanks to our guides Daniel and Raciel, and our excellent driver Adrian. Cuba is a beautiful and fascinating country. We learned so much about its history, customs, food, and people. We were greeted by hugs, smiles and kisses wherever we went.

Therese O. Fairhope, AL
Cuba, Face to Face , July 2016
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I have finally adjusted my bio-clock back to Hawaii time. The tour of Cuba was one of the best tours i have taken. Very well coordinated and my fellow travelers were wonderful which made the whole experience most enjoyable. Our 2 tour guides were helpful, friendly and very professional. I shall be telling all my friends that they should visit Cuba via Gate 1.

Arliss W. Honolulu, HI
Cuba, Face to Face , May 2016
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Our trip to Cuba was AWESOME..wonderful group, wonderful guides and an incredible itinerary ..it was total immersion . We learned so much, had a lot of laughs and will definitely have very fond memories of the trip. Loved the Mojitos , rice and beans and lobster!! Thanks for all the help getting us registered..my husband Tom and I look forward to our next Gate 1 trip, where ever that might be.

Gail W. Andover, MA
Cuba, Face to Face, February 2016
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Our trip was wonderful. Monica is so knowledgeable and made the whole trip. She tended to all our needs and made sure we saw everything. Monica is a real asset to your company. Marcela our Cuban guide was very good and helpful. Hotels were good and I loved the Hotel National because of all it’s history going back to the mob/stars. Loved visiting schools, boy’s and girls club and elderly senior home along with Bay Pigs. I will continue to recommend Gate 1 Travel for all travel and the People to People trip to Cuba.

Joan G. Riverside, CA