$3,296
Per person
Early Bird!
Departures
All year
Destination
Havana City
Duration
8 days 7 nights
Language
Eng./Spa

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Afro-Cuban Religions – Discover Western and Central Cuba. – A Tour Teeming with Unesco Heritage Sites, History, Architecture, Art, Music, Afro-Cuban Religion and Local Flavor!

Santeria (Way of the Saints) is an Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, with some Roman Catholic elements added. The religion is also known as La Regla Lucumi and the Rule of Osha. Santeria is a syncretic religion that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba.

Afro-Cubans are Cubans who are of Black African ancestry, mostly West African. The term Afro-Cuban can also refer to historical or cultural elements in Cuba thought to emanate from this community and the combining of native African and other cultural elements found in Cuban society such as race, religion, music, language, the arts and class culture.

Out of 11.2 million Cubans, 1 million Cubans described themselves as Afro-Cuban or Black, while 3 million considered themselves to be «mulatto» or «mestizo». Thus a significant proportion of those living on the island affirm some African ancestry. The matter is further complicated by the fact that a fair number of people still locate their origins in specific native African ethnic groups or regions, particularly the Yoruba (or Lucumií), Akan, Arara and Kongo but also Lgbo, Carabali, Mandingo, KIssi, Fula, Makua and others.

Although Afro-Cubans can be found throughout Cuba, Eastern Cuba has a higher concentration of Afro-Cubans than other parts of the island and Havana has the largest population of Afro-Cubans of any city in Cuba Recently, many native African immigrants have been coming to Cuba, especially from Angola. Also, immigrants from Jamaica and Hati have been settling in Cuba, most of whom settle in the eastern part of the island, due to its proximity to their home countries, further contributing to the already high percentage of blacks on that side of the island.

Santeria icons at an open place of worship in Havana. Santería is a syncretism practiced by many Afro-Cubans

Afro-Cuban religion can be broken down into three main currents: Santeria, Palo Monte and Abakua and include individuals of all origins. Santería is syncretized with Roman Catholicism.

The Abakuá religion is a secret society for men, similar to the freemason orders of Europe. It has not been syncretized with Roman Catholicism and remains close to its origins in southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon, from the Ekpe society of the Efik people of Cross River State and nearby areas.

Prices: 

  • $3,967 USD per person, staying in Single room
  • $3,589 USD per person, staying in Double room
  • $3,296 USD per person, staying in Triple room
  • Price for 5-star hotels during low season, high season prices will have a higher rate to be quoted upon request.
  • Prices based on a 21-person group, if the group is smaller price will have to be revised

Included

  • As described in the day-by-day itineraries

Not included

  • Tips of any kind (maids, tour guides, drivers) personal expenses at hotel facilities, personal expenses of any kind, meals and services not mentioned in itinerary

Departure location / Return location

  • Trips leaving from and returning to Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida

Day 1 Arrival to Havana

  • At your arrival to Havana International Airport Terminal 2, your tour-guide will be meeting you. Transfer on air-conditioned bus to Hotel in Havana. Check-in at hotel, briefing by guide.
  • At 6:00 p.m the tour-guide will take you to El Floridita Bar where you can enjoy a Cocktail Aperitif
  • At 7:30 p.m. Evening Welcome Dinner at La Guarida Paladar Restaurant, setting of famous Cuban film “Fresa y Chocolate”. Rest of evening at leisure for nightlife outing opportunities.

Included: Transfer in, transportations, accommodation and dinner

Day 2 – Get to know Havana

  • At 9:00 a.m the guide will pick you up for a walking city tour at Old Havana, the oldest part of town, where you will visit all 4 colonial Plazas. Visit Casa de Africa, Cuban Cigar experience at Conde Villanueva Cigar lounge and Havana Club Museum of Rum.
  • Lunch at El Templete restaurant boasting a wonderful view of Havana harbor.
  • At 2:00 p.m. Get transfer by classic cars to cover Central Park, Museo de la Santeria, Callejon de Hamel and Plaza de la Revolucion.
  • Return to hotel at the end of the day, Rest of evening at leisure

Included: Transportation, accommodation, breakfast, and lunch

Day 3 – Hemingway’s Museum and santeria Church

  • Visit to Hemingway’s Museum on the outskirts of the city. Visit a Santeria church and the Santeria Museum in the Regla neighborhood, and get to know the Guanabacoa School of Music.
  • The guide will take you to discover Matanzas province and Lunch at a local Restaurant
  • Afternoon visits to Museum of Limonar, San Severino Castle, where the Museum of the Slavery is, and Sugar Mill Triunvirato, site of slave revolts during Spanish colonial Times
  • At the end of the day get transferred back to the hotel. Rest of evening at leisure

Included: Accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and all museums entrance fees

Day 4 – Excursion to Viñales Valley

  • At 8:30 a.m the guide will pick you up and take you to Viñales Valley, A quick stop at Las Barrigonas. In this excursion you will get to know a local cigar factory, Los Jazmines Lookout point (excellent view of this Jurassic Period Valley), visit to a tobacco curing barn, visit to The Prehistory Mural, visit to the Indian Cave and spend some time in Viñales town.
  • Lunch at Palenque de los Cimarrones (restaurant displays all Afro-Cuban Religious manifestations. Palenque shows the lives of run-away slaves – the term for them was comarrones-)
  • And at the end of the day the guide will drive you back to Havana city.
  • Rest of evening at leisure (possibility to enjoy Havana’s Jazz and Salsa Venues, or internationally-renowned Cabarets like Tropicana)

Included: Transportation, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and entrance fees to all museums

Day 5 – Get to Know central Cuba – Bay of pigs and Cienfuegos

  • At 8:30 a.m the guide will take you to Central Cuba, driving to the Zapata Swamp area, pitstop at local improvised zoo (Fiesta Campesina) and visit to the Bay of Pigs Invasion Museum.
  • Drive on to Cienfuegos. Lunch at Paladar at tip of Punta Gorda Peninsula overlooking the Bay. Visit Main Square Plaza Marti, founding site of city (only founded by French in Cuba). Visit Thomas Terry Theater.
  • Continue the journey to Trinidad and check-in at hotel in Trinidad (4 or 5-star). Rest of the day at leisure. Opportunity to enjoy magnificent local music at Casa de la Música Venue

Included: accommodation, breakfast and lunch, Museum of bay of pigs and theater entrance fee’s

Day 6 – Trinidad City

  • At 9:00 a.m, the tour guide will take you to a guided Trinidad walking tour, visit to Museum of the City (former Cantero Palace). Cocktails at La Canchanchara. Continue on to Plaza de las 3 Cruces, unique possibility to visit la casa del babalao (the afro-cuban priest in the area)
  • Lunch at local Paladar Restaurant. A stop at the Santander family pottery business, unique in the country. Afternoon time to enjoy the beach and get transfer back to Hotel. Return to town for music and dance.

Included: Accommodation, breakfast and lunch, museum fees and Canchanchara Cocktails

Day 7 Departure Day

  • At 9:00 a.m the guide will take you from Hotel to Santa Clara city, stopping at look-out Point of Valle de los Ingenios where most of Cuba’s sugar was produced in the 19th century. Continue drive to Manaca – Iznaga watchtower, Climb the tower and enjoy the View of the Valley
  • Drive on to Santa Clara through Sanctis Spiritus city, another town founded by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, the illustrated Spanish Conquistador. Afternoon visit to Che Guevara’s Mausoleum and Museum.
  • Lunch at Los Caneyes and transfer back to Havana, Visit to San Jose Outdoor handicraft market
  • Check-in at your Havana Hotel and Dinner at Paladar San Cristobal. Rest of evening at leisure

Included: Accommodation, transportation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, visit to Manaca – Iznaga Tower visit, Che Guevara’s museum entrance fees

Day 8 Departure Day

  • After breakfast, Check-out of the Hotel and Transfer to Terminal 2 at Havana International Airport for outbound flight back to the U.S.

Included: Assistance provided by tour guide, accommodation and breakfast

Things you need to know to be legal

  • American residents and citizens require a valid passport from any country, a Cuban Visitor Visa, and mandatory Cuban emergency medical insurance to enter Cuba. Please check your expiration date of your passport and make sure it will not expire during the trip. Cuban emergency medical insurance is generally included in the cost of commercial airline flights. Confirm with your airline or we will check if we make the airline bookings.
  • Cuban Visitor Visas are not generally included in the cost of your commercial flight ticket and must be purchased separately. How to purchase a Cuban Visitor Visa.
  • Plan on spending money in Cuba carefully. Don’t get stuck in Cuba without funds. US credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. Cash is king so plan according to your spending habits. Click here to learn about Cuba’s unique monetary system
  • There is no limit on the amount of money you can spend in Cuba nor is there a limit on the value or quantity of items including alcohol and tobacco products that you bring home for personal use. Amounts exceeding US customs limits, including cigars and alcohol, are subject to US duties
  • It is 100% legal to visit Cuba on private or public people-to-people tours.

Here are the things that can cause problems and get you in trouble

  • Sneak into Cuba from a third country such as Mexico or Panama for individual travel.
  • Lounge around all day and drink mojitos all night and do not follow an itinerary.
  • Touristic travel such as sun tanning and relaxing on Cuba’s stunning beaches.
  • Purchasing an all-inclusive beach junket from Canada, or joining a tour offered by a non-US company.

United states of America office of foreign assets control OFA

  • If you have further questions about restrictions on Cuba travel or US sanctions against Cuba call OFAC directly at 1-800-540-6322 or visit the OFAC website
  • OFAC allows for eleven other Cuba travel categories, each requiring paper work and documentation and are subject to scrutiny upon your return to the United States. Visit the OFAC website for more information on these categories of Cuba travel.

NOW THAT YOU KNOW IT IS LEGAL, LET’S START ARRANGING THE TRIP

To join a legal Cuba tour, click here or Email or call us +1-954-554-2404.


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