Experience a Feliz Navidad when you take a trip back in time to Cuba over Christmas in 2020!
Arriving in Havana prior to our Cuba Scuba liveaboard is the perfect opportunity to spend a week exploring Havana, Cienfuegos, and colonial Trinidad! Enjoy your first weekend in Havana at the 1930s Hotel Nacional de Cuba, where mob bosses gathered in 1946 to split the spoils of pre-Revolution casinos.
By day, walk the enchanting streets of Old Havana, visit Hemingway's country home, and explore the Cuban art scene on this legal visit in support of the Cuban people. By night, meet gay Cubans in a local bar or strolling on the seaside Malecon, or check-out the Afro-Cuban jazz clubs or the world-famous Tropicana.
After three exciting nights in Havana, we'll head southeast to historic Cienfuegos for two nights, a lively city filled with French-inspired architecture. Then travel even further back in time, to colonial Trinidad and the Valley of the Sugar Mills. Our tour ends in Jucaro, Ciego de Avila province, where guests can board the Avalon III liveaboard to dive the Gardens of the Queen marine park.
E-mail us now to experience Cuba at Christmas!
- Day 1: Saturday, December 19, 2020
- Arrive Havana! The earlier you get here, the more time you have today to enjoy your first taste of this amazing city, which was founded 500 years ago in 1519. Check-in at Hotel Nacional de Cuba is at 4 pm, but you can leave your bags here and go explore independently if you arrive earlier.
- Transfer from Jose Marti airport (HAV) is included.
- Overview bus tour of the city
- Dinner at a local paladar (private restaurant).
- Evening stroll along the Malecón in front of Hotel Nacional and meet local Cubans.
- Optional Buena Vista Social Club at Melia Cohiba or gay nightlife of Havana with local gay guide. Overnight at Hotel Nacional.
- Day 2: Sunday, December 20, 2020
· Breakfast at hotel
· Walk through Old Havana with local guide to learn about recent restoration projects as well as the history of the city. Havana celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2019!
· Stop at La Bodeguita del Medio, one of Hemingways hangouts, for a drink.
· Lunch at local private restaurant (included)
· Learn about the Santeria religion and interact with both local people and the dancers after an Afro-Cuban performance at Callejon de Hamel.
· Enjoy sunset Havana view with a mojito at Hotel Nacional. Free time before dinner.
· Dinner at Ivan y Justo paladar.
· Nightlife options: local Jazz Club, Tropicana, or on your own.
- Day 3: Monday, December 21, 2020
· Breakfast at hotel.
· Visit the famous Hemingway House Museum: Finca Vigia.
· Panoramic tour to Cojimar, the fishing community where Hemingway was inspired to write The Old Man and the Sea
· Lunch at local Paladar
· Afternoon visit to Taller Experimental de la Grafica. Interact with local artists.
· Dinner at a local paladar (private restaurant).
Evening at leisure
Overnight at Hotel Nacional.
- Day 4: Tuesday, December 22, 2020
· Breakfast at hotel.
Meet with your local guide and bus driver. Depart to rural community Las Terrazas
Visit Las Terrazas Eco‐Social Community and stop by to visit the Buena Vista Coffee Plantation
and enjoy homemade coffee with María, a hospitable woman.
Visit the House/Workshop of local artist Lester Campa
Lunch at La Casa del Campesino Restaurant (or similar)
Visit the San Juan River area, and take a swim if you like.
Return to Hotel Nacional for some down time
Dinner on your own. (Guide to make recommendations).
- Day 5: Wednesday, December 23, 2019
After breakfast and check out, we'll depart for Cienfuegos via Bay of Pigs
Stop at Fiesta Campesina, short restroom stop.
Visit to Bay of Pigs Museum.
Depart to Cienfuegos
Enjoy a late lunch at Finca del Mar paladar.
Check in Jagua Hotel. Welcome cocktail.
Dinner on your own (guide to make recommendations)
- Day 6: Thursday, December 24, 2019
· Breakfast at hotel.
Visit Benny More’s professional art school and meet with teachers and students
Visit to Anastacio Cardenas Cigar Factory
Drive to the city center
Walking tour of Cienfuegos historic center including a visit to Tomas Terry Theater and the
Free time to explore the craft market
Lunch at local restaurant
Depart for Cienfuegos Botanical Garden
Guided visit at the Cienfuegos Botanical Garden
Depart to Trinidad
Special Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) dinner at Iberostar Trinidad
- Day 7: Friday, December 25, 2020
Celebrate Christmas in Cuba!
Breakfast at hotel.
Walking tour around the historic center
Lunch at the restaurant San Jose paladar.
Dinner included at local restaurant.
Evening free after dinner to enjoy the charming colonial center by night.
- Day 8: Saturday, December 26, 2020
· Breakfast at hotel followed by a morning at leisure
Depart for Jucaro. On the way stop in Manaca Iznaga, overlooking the Valle de los Ingenios - the Valley of the Sugar Mills.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Continue to Jucaro to board Avalon IV liveaboard.
Itinerary subject to modification.
Non-divers are welcome to join us and will be transferred to the airport for departure on December 26. Please contact us for flight times.
Travel to Cuba
- Delta, United, American, JetBlue, and even Southwest Airlines all fly to Havana directly from the US.
- Book your flight to Havana (HAV) to arrive anytime on Saturday, December 19. Mid-morning arrival preferred.
- Schedule your departure after our Cuba Scuba liveaboard from Havana after 3:30 pm on Saturday, January 2.
- Alternatively, you can depart on Copa Airlines from Santa Clara (SNU) on Saturday, January 2 after noon. This cuts the ground transfer time in half, though it may extend your total travel time to return home via Panama.
- Flying from the U.S., you'll need to indicate to the airline that you are on an authorized,"Support for the Cuban People" visit. You'll receive a letter authorizing your travel under Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury regulations, and you'll need to print it and carry it with you while traveling.
- E-mail us for assistance with international flight selection. We'll help you find the best option online for your flights.
Liveaboard Diving on board Avalon IV
December 26, 2020 - January 2, 2021 (Saturday – Saturday): including five and half days of diving.
- Four nights at Hotel Nacional in Havana, one night at Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos, and two nights Iberostar Trinidad, all double occupancy (single occupancy available with a supplement)
- Seven full day schedule of of authorized activities in support of the Cuban people
- Seven breakfasts, seven lunches, and five dinners, including a special Christmas Eve dinner.
- English speaking gay Cuban guide throughout the tour.
- International airfare to Havana, returning from Havana or Santa Clara (SNU).
- Two dinners at own expense, along with any non-included beverages.
- Avalon IV liveaboard December 26, 2020 - January 2, 2021 ($3599)
- Travel Insurance
- Entrance fees and beverages at nightlife venues
- Tips and personal expenses at the hotels such as internet and laundry
Single rooms are available for a supplement, or we are happy to match you with a roommate.
A $500 deposit is due upon booking. Balance due 90 days prior to departure.