10 Day Cuba Rediscovered
Air & Land
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $350|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
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.
Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM. We recommend that you select flights which arrive no later than 4:30 PM.
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?
- 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 Camaguey
- 2 nights Trinidad
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers
- 22 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
- Services of an English-speaking tour manager and local guide throughout
- Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
- Active itinerary with unique cultural features
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
- 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
- Gain insight into the life and work of Ernest Hemingway on your visit to Finca Vigia
- Attend a cooking class and interactive mojito-making and tasting experience
- View Santa Clara, in the geographic center of Cuba
- Tour Camaguey's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Explore Trinidad, Cuba's best preserved colonial city
- At the historic Bay of Pigs, learn some interesting facts about the invasion
- Gain insight into US-Cuba relations during a policy talk
- Visit with multiple community projects with the young and elderly
- Stop at San Jose Handicraft Market, famous indoor market located at the harbor
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, as well as a long 10-hour drive from Camaguey to Havana on day 8. 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.
Itinerary inclusions, sites, and meals are subject to change. If any activities do change, they will be replaced by other up-close, people-to-people activities.
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.
This deluxe hotel overlooks Havana Bay.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located on Plaza San Juan de Dios in Camaguey.Hotel Details
- 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.
|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.
|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. |
|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.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|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 is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. 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. |
|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.
|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:
|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: |
|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.
|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|
| 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. |
|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. |
|Day of Departure|
|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.
|Arrival & Departure|
|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. |
Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are arriving without a pre-arranged transfer, we strongly recommend going to the Tourist Information Desk to ask for a licensed taxi or transfer service. You may be asked to pay for the transfer at the desk prior to the trip, this will ensure you are not charged extra during the trip.
|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. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|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|
|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. |
|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.
US 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
Cuban 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. |
|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.|
|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:
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: |
|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|
|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. |
|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. |
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|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.
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Cuba|
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
Jan 1: Liberation Day
Jan 2: Victory Day
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter Sunday
May 1: Labor Day
Jul 25-27: Revolution Anniversary
Oct 10: Independence Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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