- Duration: 5 Days (approx.)
- Product code: 2018cuba
October 31-Nov 4th, 2018 (Early registration price ends September 30th, 2018)
December 29 - Jan 2nd, 2019 (Early registration price ends October 29th, 2018)
Who Is This Trip For?
How would we describe this trip? Electric, adventurous, eccentric, spontaneous, and vibrant are a few words that come to mind! Restful...? Not so much. Rejuvenating and invigorating? Absolutely.
During our five days in Cuba, you best believe we will be making the absolute most of the long weekend trip. If you have been following us for some time, you know that we go above and beyond to ensure that you are not getting stuck in the tourist traps (there are many in Cuba); we've worked closely with incredible local talent to create interpersonal experiences that immerse you in this unique country while also enabling you to have meaningful conversations with Cubanos.
Traveling with El Camino means that you will not waste time figuring out where to go, what to see, and where to eat (and dance!). No, with El Camino, we bring you right to the heart and soul of Havana and put you face-to-face with the innovators and change makers who are taking Cuba into the future.
On our trip, we will also spend one day in the countryside of Vinales Valley exploring the rural lifestyle many Cubans inhabit. This way, you'll discover a sensibility beyond Havana and hear the cross-generational voices of the Cuban countryside.
We get it, visa requirements and barriers to entry have kept you, and many others, from seriously considering a trip to Cuba. Current restrictions prevent all Americans from traveling to Cuba except as part of a group tour, so let us help you get past this red tape. El Camino will provide you with high-level customer service before, during, and after the trip, ensuring throughout that you are legally compliant with any travel mandates to Cuba. (See more info under 'Basic Info.') We cannot promise you won't encounter the unexpected in Cuba - in fact, you most likely will. For better or worse, surprises are part of the Cuban experience. Hell, it's part of travel. What we can promise is that our team will assist you with any surprises throughout the duration of your trip. If you're not willing to go with the flow, please consider postponing your trip to Cuba for a few years as its aging infrastructure catches up with its growing tourism needs.
In addition, internet is hard to come by and takes much effort to get. Please expect to be digitally disconnected the whole time as we will not spend anytime chasing down the wifi signal. Instead, we will be following the intoxicating beats of Cuban music pulsating from every street corner.
El Camino Travel for the traveler who has an adventurous spirit, is looking to squeeze the most out of their time in Cuba and cares about making the world a better place through responsible tourism. This traveler is open minded, inherently curious, and enjoys indulging in the moment. This trip is for the traveler who finds joy in stepping outside of their comfort zone, loves trying new things, and is excited to explore a culture completely different from their own. While El Camino Travel provides a high level of customer service, our traveler is someone who is easy-going and amenable to change in the diverse and unpredictable landscape of travel in Cuba.
This trip is also for a solo traveler who does not want to travel solo, but instead with an interesting group of people and for those who do not want to spend 8+ hours planning a trip of a lifetime.
Our adventurous style of travel is not for everyone. Please read carefully through the itinerary and the above description to ensure that you are booking a trip that fits your comfort level.
It is important to note that we provide a group photographer so that our travelers can go back to being present and in the moment rather than worrying about capturing the moment. They are the travel photographer for the whole group and not a personal photographer to each individual traveler. Because of the lack of availability of internet access, we will provide travelers with 100 images within 24 hours of the trip ending and an additional 150 within three weeks. We provide our travelers with dynamic and candid images of the trip so that they can share with their friends and family upon arrival. While this is an important element that adds to the unique experience of our trips, it is not the focus of our trip. Our travelers are excited about receiving stunning images of their trip that they could never get with their phone or selfie stick, but the act of travel and indulging in the moment is what they value most.
Your trip will include 100 edited images of the group within 24 hours of the trip ending + an additional batch of images 3 weeks after the trip ends.
Travel to Cuba is legal but complicated. Tourism is still strictly prohibited. To comply with US law governing travel to Cuba, you must do two things— (1) Have a full-time schedule of activities that are deemed to be in support of the Cuban people by standard set by the US government; and (2) Retain travel records for five years. We work with all our partners to manage this process for you and we ensure that your final itinerary is compliant with US law under the "Support for the Cuban People" permitted reason for travel. We will also retain records on your behalf. If you want to learn more please check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regularly updated by the US Treasury Department. Here is a link to the latest, updated as of November 8th, 2017. We have also published a blog post outlining travel with Support for the Cuban People and what this process entails.
How to Get There + Visa
It is now super easy to get to Cuba from major cities in the United States. United, American, Jet Blue, Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and Spirit Airlines all have commercial flights from the USA. Once booked, your airline will work with you arrange your visa.
Have questions about flights + visas? Once booked, we can help you answer any questions you may have while booking. We are familiar with the various commercial flights now flying to Havana and their procedures and will be able to walk you through the process.
This group trip will include seven SHARED ROOMS (two people per room) at a casa particular (a private homestay). You can share a room with a friend, lover, platonic lover, someone you met on Tinder, or whoever else, but all rooms must be shared. If you do not have a partner in crime, don't be put off, we welcome solo travelers and our trips are perfectly set up to allow you to make new friends. However, you must be comfortable sharing a room with another traveler in the group of the same gender. More details of the casas will be shared upon purchase of the trip, but we promise we hand picked all casas that are ran by excellent local hosts and who pass the El Camino standard of customer service with flying colors. It is also a unique opportunity to get to know local Cubanos and practice your Spanish if you're so inclined!
Pricing & Payment
This trip is priced at $2295 for early registration pricing and increases to $2495 two months prior to departure. To guarantee your reservation, you must put down your deposit. A 40% deposit is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 25 days prior to departure. Payments must be made by credit card. Please read our FAQ for more information and our BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
- Transportation to and from Havana airport
- Meals where noted and reservations at top restaurants
- Additional concierge service
- Record keeping for all travelers to prove compliance with US law
- Activities as mentioned above
- Transport for activities mentioned above
- Tips for drivers and local experiences.
- Trips will include 100 edited images of the group within 24 hours of the trip ending + an additional batch of images 3 weeks after the trip ends.
- Airfare in and out of the country
- Mandatory Travel Insurance
- Incidental Expenses
- Alcohol except where noted
- Tips for photographer and local host
Host + Group Photographer
We have a roster of well qualified host and creative photographers that we work with. Prior to your trip, you will receive a welcome packet that will inform you on who will be guiding and documenting your adventure.