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travel to Cuba

SF Bay Area
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travel to Cuba

Hi.

Although understand that it is probably low risk for us citizen to travel to Cuba direct from Canada or Mexico, would like to investigate possible licensed tour packages direct from US. Anyone have a favorite tour provider that they would recommend? Most attractive would be smaller groups at affordable cost. Thanks!!

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: travel to Cuba

I have never seen an OFAC sanctioned tour that could be called affordable - when compared to the cost of a properly researched independent trip.

What's your budget?

Cheers,

Terry

Apopka, Florida
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2. Re: travel to Cuba

The are many OFAC sanctioned tours for Americans. The standard seems to be 12 days, 15 to 24 people, $3,500 to $4,000 per person double occupancy. That price includes airfare from Miami, lodging, transportation in Cuba, and some meals.

My estimate of their actual out of pocket costs is about half what they charge.

Many of these tours are themed, such as photography, architecture, music, arts, etc. Also many are sponsored by college alumni associations. Many organizations such as National Geographic do them. I cannot recommend any specific one.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: travel to Cuba

Hi,

I traveled to Cuba on a "people to people" tour last year with Insight Cuba. The tour was a complete knockout. The Cuban guide on the tour was fantastic and we really had an opportunity to connect with the locals on an intimate level. One of the most amazing Jazz pianists in Cuba played privately for my tour. Our group was only 17 people. I think they limit group size to around 20 something.

I felt that Insight really cared about us having a great time. Whoever planned the trip didn't single corner either. Given the really amazing program and the amount of inclusions (meals, accommodations, insurance, local guides, and cool stuff they sent to me before travel), I felt that the price was fair. I also found it helpful to plan in advance, place a deposit, and pay for my program little by little. By the time that my trip's payment due date rolled around I didn't have much of a balance at all.

I hope that you found this info helpful. Shoot me a message if you want more info.

Calgary, Canada
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19,645 posts
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4. Re: travel to Cuba

Nathaniel, how much did the trip cost and for how many days? Did it include airfare?

Cheers,

Terry

Apopka, Florida
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2,372 posts
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5. Re: travel to Cuba

Per their website, Insight Cuba tours are 8 days (Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Havana) and cost $3,800 to $4,200 depending on season. That seems to exclude Miami to Havana airfare (about $400-450) But the accommodations are deemed "First Class"

New York City, New...
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6. Re: travel to Cuba

Hi,

I do not remember the exact cost of my program (it was a year ago), but I can check try and find my old emails. My trip was 5 days and 4 nights long. I chose my tour specifically as it was Jazz focused. It was in the two grand range.

I remember that they had 4 day, 8 day, and 12 day options as well. Those are still on their website (www.insightcuba.com) currently. I'd also try giving them a call. Their staff is very helpful and knowledgeable, but also made me aware of their current promotions which I wasn't aware of. I saved a few dollars as a result of the call.

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: travel to Cuba

Well, clicking on their Jazz Tour shows the cheapest price is $2,695 for 5 days and 4 nights. Knock off $450 for airfare and that leaves a mind boggling cost of $450 per day.

Nathaniel, for that kind of money you don't have to be on a tour bus with 20+ other tourists and sharing a hotel room.... You could have your own top-notch private guide plus your own chauffeur driving a Mercedes or perfectly restored American classic, stay in a beautiful mansion with your own private apartment, ensuite bath, wrap around balcony, rooftop patio and all the modern amenities while you're waited on hand and foot, eat in the best restaurants, drink in the best bars, get VIP seating in all the best clubs and meet absolutely any musician you wished. Cripes, you could have Chucho Valdes give you a private piano lesson and you would STILL have money left over. ;-)

I'm not knocking the OFAC tours. If you're a nervous traveller or if you want to be legal or if you like being part of a tour group, or if you're not comfortable with independent travel, etc. then they're the only choice for some people. Different strokes and everyone needs to do what make them comfortable.

I still can't get over the price though.

Cheers,

Terry

Chapel Hill, North...
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8. Re: travel to Cuba

I agree with Martian for that type of Money vaca like a king in Cuba on your own watch.

Isla de Margarita
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1,180 posts
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9. Re: travel to Cuba

I think I spent like $450 for the whole ten days I was in Cuba on lodging, food and sight seeing!!!

Niagara Falls
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10. Re: travel to Cuba

Wow those trips are pricey...

I guess it's the price though of keeping it on the up and up.

$450 a Day, you would have songs and a folk tale written about you in some towns if you were to try and spend $450 a day.

The Yuma who bled money.