Regular Season 9-Day Tour

$2,400 – Trip cost (See below for inclusions and exclusions.)

I’m a single traveler. Will I be charged a single supplement?

Accommodation is on a twin share basis and if you are traveling on your own, you will be sharing a room with another traveler of the same gender.

If you decide at the booking stage that you would like a single room throughout the tour, you can purchase the single supplement. The single supplement fee for this trip is $400. If you would like your own room, you can buy the additional supplement at check-out.

What is included :

  • 8 nights accommodation in casa particulares (Double occupancy)
  • Private Cuban guide throughout
  • Private, air-conditioned transportation
  • Activities as noted in itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

What is not included :

  • 2 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Souvenirs
  • International flight and tourist card
  • Supplementary insurance
  1. Each group consists of 4 – 12 travelers. We prefer small group travel because based on our experience, large groups are less easily able to integrate into a society and generally have less authentic contact with the locals.

    A small group number also means that tour group members will receive more personal treatment by the tour guide who can more thoroughly attend to the needs of each person. Small tour groups are also more mobile and flexible as travel plans can be more easily altered en route.

  2. Most of our travelers are in their late 30s to late 60s/early 70s and most are solo travelers. Generally, we get a good mix of diverse people and every trip is unique thanks to the group dynamic.

    We like to think of our trips as get-togethers at amazing destinations and our philosophy is : Come as a stranger, leave as a friend! Past travelers have told us that the group dynamic and the friends they made was a highlight of the trip.

    Check out the pictures from our last trips to get an idea of the group composition by clicking HERE.

  3. While most daily activities are already included in the trip price, you will have some free time during which the guide can help arrange any activity that might interest you. Most of the activities can be arranged with little to no notice. Optional activities are not included in the trip cost and will be paid at your own expense.

    Below are some examples of optional activities :

    • Horse back riding (≈15 CUC)
    • Scuba diving (≈65 CUC)
    • Cooking class (≈30 CUC)
    • Salsa lesson (≈10 CUC)

    These activities can be arranged and paid for through the local guide once in Cuba.

  4. No, international airfare is not included in the cost of this tour so all flight arrangements are up to you. If you’re looking for cheap flights and reliable service, our travelers’ favorite over the years has been Skyscanner. This is a straightforward website to help you find flights to Cuba.

    Please do not book any flights until you have received a confirmation from us which will be sent to you after paying your deposit.

  5. On our tour, you will be staying at guesthouse/bed and breakfast style accommodations called casa particulares. A casa particular is owned and run by private Cuban citizens. All rooms have air-conditioning and a private bathroom. Some will provide shampoo or soap, but it is best to be prepared and bring your own. Also, a hair dryer is generally not provided so if you need one, we suggest bringing it with you.

    Guests are served breakfast every morning at the casa. The breakfast usually includes eggs and bread, fruit, fresh fruit juice (i.e. guava, papaya, mango), coffee and tea.

    Typically, the group is split into different homes with between 2 and 6 group members in each home. We use a number of different houses depending on the group size, season and availability. Most homes in Cuba that are licensed to rent rooms to tourists as a casa particular usually have 2 – 4 rooms for guests. However, with a recent change in laws, some homes now have up to 9 rooms.

    While every family and every casa in Cuba is unique with slightly different levels of comfort, the houses we use in Cuba on our tours are much nicer than the average Cuban dwelling. The rooms for guests are required to meet a certain standard of comfort for the house to obtain a license to rent. The fee that the owners of the houses in Cuba pay to the government for this license is substantial.

    For our groups, we choose one house as a “base house” which typically has more rooms and a spacious area for the group to meet. We use this house as an arrival and departure point for the group and as a meeting point for any excursions or activities with the tour leader. Tour participants are distributed among different casas situated within a short walking distance of the base house.

    For examples of the casa particulares in which we stay, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab.

  6. Yes, we can! All accommodation on our tours in Cuba is based on a twin-share arrangement. This means that there will be two people per room and if you join the tour as an individual, you may be sharing a room with two beds with another member of the same gender from the group unless you paid the single supplement or you are going with someone with whom you requested to share.

    If you would like a single room throughout your tour, you can purchase the single supplement. The single supplement for this trip is $400. You can purchase the single supplement at check-out.

  7. The official two currencies of Cuba are the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) and and the Cuban Peso (CUP or Moneda Nacional – M.N). The exchange rates of these currencies are fixed by the Cuban government and are liable to change at any time without notice. Tourists typically use convertible pesos (CUC) and Cubans tend to use Cuban pesos (CUP). As a tourist, you will be quoted for almost everything you purchase in convertible pesos (0.87 CUC = 1 USD).

  8. You can change all currencies (including EUR, GBP, CAD and USD) in state-operated exchange houses called CADECA. These establishments are usually clearly indicated by signs and can be found in most cities and towns as well as airports and hotels. Many travelers prefer to bring euros or Canadian dollars to Cuba as these currencies do not have an additional 10% exchange fee like the USD. Remember that all foreign currencies in Cuba are subject to the 3% currency exchange fee. Your home bank may also have supplementary currency exchange fees so it is up to you to check with your bank and inform yourself of the exchange rate which you can find online. Please note that when exchanging CUC back to any foreign currency, there is a 3% fee.

  9. We recommend purchasing almost everything in cash as Cuba is primarily a cash economy. Please be aware that if you are an American, there is no way to withdraw US dollars in Cuba. Therefore, should you run out of cash while in Cuba, there is NO WAY to get more. Debit/credit cards are accepted in some hotels and government-run shops. However, any US and US-linked credit and debit cards will not work in Cuba.

    You will not, in any case, be able to withdraw money from an ATM using any American card. Travelers with non-US cards may be able to withdraw cash, but no matter what country you are from, we advise only bringing cash and not to rely on a debit/credit card. Western Union and other wiring services are generally only offered to Cubans with a linked bank account. Please note that if your home bank has any affiliation with a U.S. bank, your card will not be accepted in Cuba.

  10. Cuba has a very modest tipping culture. In restaurants, taxis and for personal services, all tips are at your discretion and if you do decide to tip, around 10% of the total bill is appreciated. Many locals, especially those working in the service industries, are quite poorly compensated for their work so tipping helps them earn decent wages.

    Tipping your bus drive and tour guide : At the end of the trip, if you are satisfied with the service that you received from your Cuban guide and bus driver, you are more than welcome to tip them, especially if you feel they did an exceptional job and helped you have a great trip. Below are recommended amounts based on past travelers’ feedback :

    • Cuban tour guide : $70 – $100 USD (≈$8 – $10 per day)
    • Cuban driver : $20 – $40 USD (≈$3 – $5 per day)
  11. Based on past travelers’ feedback, an estimated minimum total to bring for spending is between USD $500 – 700. WE HIGHLY ADVISE BRINGING MORE MONEY THAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

    As most components of your tour are included, you will only need money for the few lunches and dinners that are not included as well as tips, souvenirs and any optional activities you may want to participate in. If you are an avid shopper or enjoy big nights out, please consider these costs when planning your budget for this trip.

    Many travelers have told us that they found Cuba to be a lot more expensive than other developing countries they have visited so be prepared to pay as much for food and services as you would in some ‘developed’ Western countries.

    Below are some approximate prices for food, drink, souvenirs, etc. to help you budget for your trip :

    • Meal (at a nice restaurant) : 15 USD
    • Cocktail : 3-5 USD
    • Can of beer : 2 USD
    • Wifi (1 hour card) : 1-2 USD
    • Bottle of rum : 5-8 USD
    • Box of cigars : 100-200+ USD

    Please note that these are only approximate prices so please consider your personal preferences and habits as well when preparing your budget for the trip.

  12. All travelers to Cuba no matter their nationality must purchase a tourist card. To learn about the tourist card, please call the airline with which you would like to fly. Most airlines will be able to sell you the visa (tourist card) upon check-in at the airport or prior to departure to Havana. Most tourist cards with airlines cost around 50 USD.

    As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.

  13. Most American mobile phones should work in Cuba. When you land in Cuba, you will likely get a text message from your provider with rates. For most American phones, calls are about $2 – $4 USD per minute and texts are about 0.50 cents per message. Data on your phone will not work in Cuba and you’ll likely be charged for incoming and outgoing calls. We strongly recommend contacting your service provider to ask if they offer international plans to Cuba. Please note that even if your provider says your phone will work in Cuba, it may not.

    Note : Please inform your family and friends that you will have limited contact with them during the duration of the trip.  

  14. In larger cities and towns, you’ll be able to find access to wifi at telepuntos or small internet cafés, but because of high demand and weak connection, usage can be quite difficult and frustrating. You’ll need to purchase a card to access the internet for usually 1 CUC (≈1 USD) per hour. Many hotels also provide wifi access which can be purchased for 1 – 2 USD per hour. Please note that wifi it is not guaranteed to work even when purchased. Your Cuban guide will be able to point you in the right direction of where to purchase wifi cards.

    IMPORTANT : Do not expect high-speed Internet connection in any wifi spaces. You may not even be able to get a connection at all. So once more, please make sure that your family and friends aren’t expecting an email or video chat from you everyday while on the trip.

  15. Most outlets have only 110V (60Hz) for American appliances and some have both 110V and 220V (60Hz). In most accommodation and throughout Cuba, an American outlet is present so Americans will NOT need an adapter. If you have European, round-pin 220V appliances, you will need an adapter and/or converters.

    Most plugs will look like A and B below, and in some hotels you may find plugs looking like C :

    Image result for outlets in cuba

  16. It’s generally not advised for travelers to drink tap water in Cuba. Your tour guide will help you find larger jugs of water to avoid less plastic waste. You can fill a reusable bottle from this.

  17. Cuba’s weather is warm to hot year round. November temperature highs are in the 80s°F and lows are in the 60s°F with the rare cold front for temperatures in the 50s°F. November does not coincide with hurricane season and there is a very small amount of rainfall making it an ideal time to travel to Cuba. Nonetheless, rain gear is essential year-round as tropical weather can be unpredictable.

    Below are average year-round low and high temperatures in Cuba :

    Maps of current tropical storm activity in Cuba can be seen at the following websites :

  18. You will be on the move a great deal so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend a reasonably-sized suitcase with wheels. Weather will be warm during the day and cool at night so we recommend bringing lightweight, breathable clothes and a light jacket for nighttime.

    Below are a few things that we suggest bringing to make your trip more comfortable :

    • Sunglasses/hat
    • Flashlight/headlamp
    • Light jacket
    • Bathing suit
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Flip flops/sandals
    • Mosquito repellent (DEET strength) 
    • Sunscreen (biodegradable, if possible)
    • Small, secure across the shoulder day bag or backpack
    • Any prescription medication and over the counter medicine
    • Shampoo/conditioner/soap  (casas particulares don’t always offer)
    • Hair dryer (if needed)
    • Snacks for the road
    • Reusable water bottle
  19. At most casa particulares, you can have items laundered for a fee depending on the quantity, but on average it will cost approximately 5 CUC per load depending on the size. If you want to have laundry done at your casa particular, make sure to give it to them in the morning as it takes about 24 hours to dry due to the high humidity

  20. Cuba is one of the safer countries in the Caribbean for travelers. This is, in no small part, due to the swift and severe penalties handed down for even minor crimes. Stealing from a tourist is one of the more serious crimes for which relatively lengthy sentences can be given. However, crimes against tourists, can occur in Cuba so it is advisable to take general precautions just as you would do when traveling in any other country. Try not to flaunt your wealth excessively and announce yourself as a potential target. Other precautions we recommend while traveling in Cuba are not to carry lots of unnecessary cash around with you and traveling in groups of two or more and taking a taxi whenever possible late at night. If you keep in mind these basic safety precautions, you most certainly will have a very enjoyable and safe visit to Cuba.

    Cuba, as a general rule, is much safer than any major American city and there is no known terrorist threat to Cuba.

  21. Vegetarians will find it pretty easy to adhere to a non-meat diet in Cuba, but may find the options to be a bit monotonous and the variety less than you may be used to in your home country. Vegan diets can be a bit harder to accommodate as the offerings aren’t as diverse, but vegans will enjoy the fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables of the season. We recommend bringing supplementary vegan food if you feel you’ll need it. Gluten free diets can also be accommodated fairly easily.

    When making your reservation, make sure to notify us of your specific dietary requests so that we can try to accommodate your dietary needs.

  22. Please review the CDC Health Information for Travelers Website before traveling to Cuba for any recommended vaccinations.

    If you suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about what vaccinations may be right for you, we strongly advise that you check with a medical professional or your personal physician before your trip.

  23. If you’d like to bring items to help the Cuban people, most are happy to receive gifts from visitors even if they are items that are lightly used or you might throw out at home. Below are some suggestions that are highly appreciated :

    • Sports equipment – Soccer balls, baseballs, tennis balls, pumps for the balls, etc…
    • Lightly used clothing, especially for children.
    • Toiletries – Scented lotions, perfumes, body sprays, etc…
    • Crayons, coloring books, toys, etc…
    • Over the counter medicine – Ibuprofen, anti-histamines, antacids, etc…

    Although they are usually most happy to receive them, it is not necessary to bring gifts for your host families as they are a bit better off than other families in Cuba and will be happy enough with just your friendly presence. Those employed to clean the accommodation are very suitable and deserving recipients for any gifts you may bring because they typically get paid around $10 a month for their part-time work.

    We think it is a great idea to give gifts spontaneously to people who treat you with respect, don’t ask for anything, who are poorer than the average Cuban and/or with whom you have some sort of positive interaction.

    Be mindful of your baggage weight limit when bringing gifts or you may end up paying a lot in excess baggage fees.

  24. We are excited to see a country that has been frozen in time so to speak. Because it has been frozen in time, you might experience and find some of the following things uncomfortable :

    • No toilet seats on many public toilets
    • No toilet paper in many public bathrooms or toilet paper for purchase from the bathroom attendant (small change is appropriate as payment)
    • Used toilet paper goes in the trash bin, NOT in the toilet
    • Minimal water pressure in showers and sinks
    • Scarcity of basic things such as batteries and chargers
    • Scarcity of brand name products
    • Scarce and expensive Internet
    • Lack of air-conditioning in many restaurants and public buildings
    • Smoking allowed in many establishments

    You may experience none to all of these things. Many of them exist because there is an embargo still in place and access to materials is low.

  25. Yes, we offer private tours to Cuba for groups of 4 or more people. The itinerary can be entirely tailored to your needs so that you may enjoy a personalized experience with our guides and your friends and family.

    Please contact us at info@globe-drifters.com for more information.

  26. Our friendly team is here to answer all of your doubts or questions! Feel free to reach us at any time by email at : info@globe-drifters.com.

Visa

All travelers to Cuba no matter their nationality must purchase a tourist card. To learn about the tourist card, please call the airline with which you would like to fly. Most airlines can sell you the visa (tourist card) upon check-in at the airport or prior to departure. Most tourist cards cost around 50 USD.

As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.

Flights

The group will officially meet for the first time on Day 1 in the evening at your accommodation. This will be discussed in greater detail in your pre-departure notes that you will receive by email approximately 2 weeks before your trip.

Your arrival city and departure city is Havana. Once you reserve your spot on the trip, we will contact you regarding your flights to and from Havana. We recommend using Skyscanner to find affordable flights as many booking sites such as Expedia and Orbitz do not allow you to book flights to Cuba since they are American owned and run.

*Please do not book any flights until you receive a confirmation from us which will be sent to you after paying your deposit.

Cuba’s weather is warm to hot year round. Please note that overall nighttime temperatures are always cooler than daytime and rain gear is essential year-round as tropical weather can be unpredictable. Winter months may experience the occasional cold front and temperatures can drop into the 50s°F. This season (November – March) does not coincide with hurricane season and there is a very small amount of rainfall making it an ideal time to travel to Cuba. Nonetheless, rain gear is essential year-round as tropical weather can be unpredictable. Below are average low and high temperatures Cuba :

Maps of current tropical storm activity in Cuba can be seen on the following websites :

Casa Particulares

For most travelers, the guesthouse (casa particular) accommodation is a major highlight of their visit to Cuba. The guesthouses provide a great opportunity for travelers to interact with everyday Cubans.

Our travelers consistently describe the casas as comfortable and one of the best parts of their time in Cuba. They provide a very different experience than staying in hotels. The rooms are basic, but very comfortable and clean. The families in Cuba will try to make you feel at home as much as possible.

All rooms have air-conditioning and a private bathroom. Some casa particulares provide shampoo or soap, but it is best to be prepared and bring your own. Also, a hair dryer will not usually be provided in the accommodation so if you need one, we suggest bringing it with you.

Guests are served breakfast every morning at the casa. The breakfast usually includes eggs and bread, seasonal fruit, fresh fruit juice (i.e. guava, papaya, mango), coffee and tea. The families will try to make you feel at home as much as possible. Most Cubans are very friendly and love to talk to guests. In some houses, the family members speak English quite well, while in others they are practiced at communicating with their non-Spanish speaking guests simply by gesturing and smiling. Overcoming these communication challenges is seen by most as part of the fun!

While every family and every casa in Cuba is unique with slightly different levels of comfort, the bed & breakfast-style houses we use in Cuba on our tours are much nicer than the average Cuban dwelling. The casa particulares are a type of accommodation for foreigners in Cuba that is legal and formalized. The rooms for guests are required to meet a certain standard of comfort for the house to obtain a license to rent and the fee that the owners of the houses in Cuba pay to the government for this license is substantial.

The surge in tourism in Cuba has created a strain on the infrastructure, including the casa particulares. Replacement parts for basic things such as TVs, air-conditioning units, cars, etc… are hard to come by and if a replacement part is needed, Cubans have to improvise with whatever they have. They cannot simply order it on Amazon. Please understand that things might break and there is not usually an ‘easy’ way to fix it. There is still an embargo placed on Cuba and although it has opened up for tourism, it still lacks in what many consider basic needs. Cuba has never seen such a surge in tourism in more than half a century and is ill-equipped to handle such a demand, especially with the embargo still in place. Please come with an open mind and we will always try our best to make sure everything is in working order.

Below are some examples of a casa particular : 

We recommend that you purchase trip/travel insurance for your trip. We work with Travelex which offers travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and emergency evacuation/repatriation, trip delay, baggage delay and more. Otherwise, you are welcome to shop around online for a provider and policy that best suits your needs.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the image below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 09-0984.

*Effective Aug 02, 2011, Travelex and their underwriters have made a business decision to allow limited coverage for trips to Cuba. Please contact our customer service department at 1-800-228-9792 for options.

Trip insurance get a quote travelex

Please be prepared to answer the following questions :

  • Name of Traveler(s)
  • Date(s) of Birth
  • Dates of Travel
  • Primary Traveler’s Phone Number, Street Address, City, State and Zip Code
  • Reason for Travel – Support for Cuban People (515.574)
  • Name of Travel Agency/Service Provider – Globe Drifters Inc.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 E7N

Vaccinations

Below is information from the CDC and its recommendations regarding vaccinations for travel to Cuba :

CDC Cuba