- Old-world charm, rich history, exciting nightlife – evocative Havana is like nowhere else on Earth. See the difference between city and coastal life on a guided walking tour of the old capital.
- Receive a fascinating insight into the rise and fall of the charismatic and highly celebrated Cuban revolutionary – Che Guevara – at his mausoleum and museum in Santa Clara.
- With its vibrant music scene and Afro-Cuban roots, sultry Santiago de Cuba is a great place to bust out some moves and hit the dance floor with the locals.
- Experience old-world charm in the colourful coastal town of Trinidad. Delve into the city’s sultry Latin rhythms with a salsa class and enjoy plenty of free time for seaside relaxation.
- Take inspiration from the locals and mix things up with a bicycle-taxi tour of Camaguey – roll through the winding streets on two-wheels, visiting markets, plazas and an art gallery.
04 Jul 2023
Best of Cuba
Validity: 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023
From Cuba's historical streets of Havana to the pristine shores of the Caribbean, stroll through World Heritage cities, relive a fascinating colonial history and experience the rich heritage of music and dance that Cuba is renowned for. Dive into the incredible marine world and history of the Bay of Pigs, prepare to be wowed as you discover Baracoa’s mountainous surrounds, visit the birthplace of salsa and admire Trinidad’s unrivalled ambience on this two-week adventure. From historic cars to fragrant cigars, and with plenty of rum and rumba in between, this adventure will take you into the heart of all things Cuban.
None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Stairs are prevalent in Cuban homes, and cobblestones and uneven roads are common. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.
Hostal Casa Vieja
Hostal Casa Vieja is set in the Old Havana district of Havana, and is a 3-minute walk from La Bodeguita del Medio. Located around 700 m from Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, the bed and breakfast is also a 9-minute walk away from Old Square.
A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside your arrival terminal by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact your transfer operator: +53 52771142, +53 53707777 or +53 52794112.
Hostal Casa Vieja
Hostal Casa Vieja is set in the Old Havana district of Havana, and is a 3-minute walk from La Bodeguita del Medio. Located around 700 m from Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, the bed and breakfast is also a 9-minute walk away from Old Square.
Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip. If you have a confirmed departure transfer you will be collected from your guesthouse 3.5 hours before your flight departure time. Your leader will confirm this with you the day before your departure. If your driver has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +53 52771142, +53 53707777 or +53 52794112. A taxi from your hotel to the airport will take approximately 25mins, depending on the traffic, and cost approximately EUR30. Please ask your leader or guesthouse staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 7 days prior to travel 3. The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers. Proof of insurance may be requested at Havana Airport by immigration officials. 4. Please advise bedding configuration requests to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel to aid guesthouse and rooming allocations, which are finalized 10 days prior to departure based on the configuration of each travelling party. You may request your confirmed guesthouse name and address inside 7 days of departure from your booking agent. Rest assured, the transfer driver will know the address of your assigned guesthouse.
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
The laws around health and safety in Cuba are very different than in more developed countries, even for government licenced accommodation. While we endeavour to source accommodation that is compliant to our own health and safety standards there will be occasions where the accommodation will not have a marked fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. Please ask your guesthouse owner to explain the fire evacuation plan to you when you check in.
WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
INTERNET IN CUBA There are Wi-Fi hotspots located at larger hotels and at major public squares in most cities. You will need to purchase an ETECSA internet card from the ETECSA shop or larger hotel. Usually these come in 1-hour blocks at a price of EUR1-2 per hour. After partial use, ensure you log out correctly or turn your Wi-Fi off so that your time is not used up. If the login page does not open when you select the Wi-Fi, type this into your browser: www.portal-wifi-temas.nauta.cu Many websites and apps will not work in Cuba, so we recommend using WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family. SIM CARDS Cuba's only mobile phone operator, Cubacel, provides a tourist SIM package that you can purchase online prior to arrival for pickup at Jose Marti Airport in Terminal 3. The SIM costs around USD30 and includes 6GB mobile data, 100 min of calls, and 100 SMS messages, top ups are only for mobile data, not calls or SMS. It is good for 30 days after activation. Purchase the card on this site http://cubaceltur.com/#providers. You can pick up the SIM from the kiosk before passing through passport control or at any ETECSA office. To rent a handset costs USD6 per day. If you are using your own handset, for this to work in Cuba it needs to be unlocked, and function on the 900MHz band. You can get data on some foreign lines (including US) using global roaming although the costs are very expensive. Sending SMS from Cuba to another country depends on the receiver’s operator so you will need to check with yours. Most major US mobile phone providers allow texting to/from US numbers.
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. Entry requirements can change and are different depending on your nationality. Please refer to your government's foreign travel advisories, the consular websites for the countries you’re travelling to and those you may transit through. Always follow visa advice from official websites; not all visa information found online may be valid. You can also head to Intrepid’s Entry & Health requirement page to get the latest information on travel documents and visa requirements, plus local government COVID-19 vaccination and quarantine policies: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/visa-health-requirements CUBA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS This trip is not for US passport holders. If you hold a US passport, we encourage you to book our Hola Cuba – for US Citizens trip. To view this trip you may need to change the website region at the bottom of the page if you are viewing our website from outside the US. Passport holders from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are required to obtain a Tourist Card (Tarjeta de Turista) which is valid for 30 days from date of entry. You may be required to buy the card at your departure airport (eg YTO, MEX, CUN, SJO, LIM, PTY) at the check in counter or at the flight departure gate. Alternatively, you may need to buy the tourist card from your travel agency, but policies vary (eg Canadian airlines give out tourist cards during the flight), so you'll need to check ahead with your airline. In some cases, you can arrange a visa prior to departing your home country but this is usually more expensive and time consuming. If you are British or reside in Great Britain with a passport from the EU, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you can apply for a Tourist Card here - https://www.cubavisas.com This type of Tourist Card is not valid for travel to Cuba from the USA, Puerto Rico or US Virgin Islands. You may use this local address to apply for your Tourist Card: Casa La Gargola, 1st floor #82 Cuba street, Old Havana. 48 hours before departing for Cuba, you will need to fill out the customs, immigration, and health declaration form on the D'Viajeros website. This generates a QR code that you will need for the airport check in process. https://www.dviajeros.mitrans.gob.cu/inicio To enter Cuba travellers are required to have evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay, proof of travel medical insurance, as well as onward travel ticket. GETTING TO CUBA We recommend travelling to Cuba via Canada, Europe, South or Central America. If travelling via the US, you will require a US Tourist Visa after visiting Cuba – not an ESTA. Please refer to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for more information. Travel to Cuba may also impact your eligibility for an ESTA in the future. Remember to check the entry requirements of all countries you will visit or transit through. PROHIBITED ITEMS WHEN TRAVELLING FROM CUBA TO THE US Travellers cannot bring alcohol or tobacco products from Cuba into the US for personal use. More information can be found here: https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-82?language=en_US
Old-world charm, rich history, exciting nightlife – evocative Havana is like nowhere else on Earth. See the difference between city and coastal life on a guided walking tour of the old capital.
Receive a fascinating insight into the rise and fall of the charismatic and highly celebrated Cuban revolutionary – Che Guevara – at his mausoleum and museum in Santa Clara.
With its vibrant music scene and Afro-Cuban roots, sultry Santiago de Cuba is a great place to bust out some moves and hit the dance floor with the locals.
Experience old-world charm in the colourful coastal town of Trinidad. Delve into the city’s sultry Latin rhythms with a salsa class and enjoy plenty of free time for seaside relaxation.
Take inspiration from the locals and mix things up with a bicycle-taxi tour of Camaguey – roll through the winding streets on two-wheels, visiting markets, plazas and an art gallery.
The guesthouses (casas) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling and each room is unique. Regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water supply are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country – but we believe that this is all a part of the local experience. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Accommodation’ section of the Essential Trip Information. Part of Cuba’s appeal is its old-fashioned style – this includes the banking systems. Funds in Cuba can be difficult to access. Please read our Essential Trip Information to be fully prepared. Luxuries such as air conditioning, plush pillows, and fly screens, are often scarce. Part of the experience here is learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness. Internet access can be hard to come by, and when it's available it's often unreliable and expensive. Treat this as a great opportunity to take a break from modern devices and have a true holiday. Cuba is different, and that's a big part of its allure. Things don't always go according to plan, and many things don't work the same way as back home. Patience and good humour will go a long way in this beautiful destination. As this trip covers a lot of land, you'll be spending quite a bit of time travelling.Cuba's road condition and infrastructure is still fragile in various parts of the country so delays may often happen. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels VACCINATION POLICY From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for this trip. However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19. HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to complete a self-screening health form at the group meeting for this trip. If you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms or have any health concerns during the trip, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. Travellers who test positive while taking part in an Intrepid trip will need to leave the group for a minimum of five days and may only rejoin the group if presenting as asymptomatic – our team will assist them in arranging a place to self-isolate and any onward journey. It's quite possible that the destination country may have different or more strict protocols than your home country regarding COVID-19. This may include hotel or hospital quarantine or quarantine for the group. Please check your government's travel advice or contact the closest embassies to find out the details. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. DENGUE FEVER: Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will also be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend bringing your own supply of snacks with you. Vegetarians should be aware that while you can get vegetarian meals in Cuba, you generally won't find much variety and you may get tired of being offered the same every day (i.e. - rice, beans, omelette and salad). Vegetarians are often surprised that their meals are no cheaper than those containing meat, and this is because vegetables on the free market in Cuba are of similar prices to those of meat. Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. FOOD IN CUBA: Food in Cuba has a reputation for being bland and lacking variety, however it has improved dramatically over the last two years. There are very limited snacks available in Cuba; convenience stores exist but are certainly not as prevalent nor sell the quantity or variety of snacks or junk food you may be used to at home. You may wish to bring your favourite chocolates, candy or healthy snacks like muesli bars. Beans and rice are the staples, with cucumber, tomato and cabbage being the conventional ingredients for a Cuban salad. Chicken and pork are the most common meats served in Cuba, however fish and a variety of seafood is also frequently on offer. Please be aware that it is a cultural trait to serve meals larger than you are expected to finish, but be assured nothing will go to waste. It can be hard to find a suitable place to eat while travelling in Cuba, as roadside restaurants tend to cater for large tour groups and either offer a fixed meal or a very limited selection of snacks. In the cities and towns small privately-owned restaurants, paladares, offer a little more choice but can often only seat a maximum of twelve people (the number for which they are officially licensed).
CUBA Currency The official currency of Cuba is the National Peso (CUP, also known as Moneda Nacional M.N.). This is the only official currency currently used in Cuba. Cuban law states that it is illegal to remove any bills from Cuba so ensure that you use as much of your CUP cash as possible before departing the country. Euros (EUR) and USD are now widely accepted as payment in Cuba. However, the exchange rates vary significantly between banks and what is charged in private businesses. We recommended you bring cash in EUR/USD to pay for most services and do not exchange any money into CUP until you have met with your tour leader. They can advise where and when to exchange to get the best rate. CADECAs are the official government exchange houses that can be found in most cities and large hotels, but they are unreliable and offer unfavourable exchange rates. For this reason, we advise you exchange money upon the advice of your leader. Other than EUR/USD, you may also bring GBP or CAD that you can exchange while in Cuba. It might be possible to pay for some services directly in GBP or CAD, but the value and exchange rate can’t be guaranteed so it’s best to exchange for EUR/USD prior to leaving your home country. There are often changes to the regulations around foreign currency in Cuba. As such, we recommend reviewing this information again, closer to your date of departure. ACCESSING FUNDS IN CUBA We recommend you bring enough cash to last your whole time in Cuba. This is currently the best option and will provide you with the best value for money. We advise against relying on ATMs to withdraw money in Cuba, as ATMs often don’t work for foreign bank cards. There is also a 3% fee charged on cash withdrawals from ATMs. Cards issued by US banks or banks affiliated with US banks are not accepted in Cuba at all; among others, this includes Travelex, Westpac and Citibank. Contact your bank prior to travel about using your bank card in Cuba. You should still bring your debit/credit cards as you may need them for covering medical emergencies requiring large payment, at which time it may be possible to use them, but do not rely on them for day-to-day expenses. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. MEALS NOT INCLUDED For this trip we recommend between EUR40 to 60 per day for meals not included. TIPPING If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. Due to the low government-set wages in Cuba, tipping is relied upon heavily so expect to tip for just about everything. We recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. You can expect to tip restaurants, guesthouses, toilet attendants, local guides and drivers. Your leader will be able to advise on this. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline EUR 2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx. EUR10 to 15 per day of your trip to cover tipping. YOUR LEADER You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-6 per person (in a currency relevant for your destination), per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length and involvement of your leader on your trip. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps). If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:
WATER BOTTLE Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you.
LAUNDRY A laundry service is offered at some guesthouses in Cuba. You might need to wait for a two-night stop to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry is usually charged by the item, laundromats which are also an option, usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (approximately EUR5 per kilo). GIFTS Given the difficulty of securing basic goods in Cuba, surplus items that you have at home such as soap, shampoo, perfumes, sewing kits, toothbrushes and pens or pencils are warmly accepted. We do encourage you to discuss gift giving with your leader so that items can be distributed to organisations in need. If you decide to hand out gifts without the leader’s guidance, we suggest you distribute as a sign of appreciation after a genuine interaction, whether that be a conversation or offered help, rather than a means to create engagement. Please always refrain from handing items directly to children. It is not necessary to bring gifts for the guesthouse owners in Cuba; these are not a homestay experience and as they are a business they are most-likely run by some of the more well-off families who will be happy enough with just your good-natured presence.
Please note that Hurricane season is June to October, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.
We like to think our Intrepid travellers are all connected by a love of adventure and passion for seeing the world in a different way. We've laid down a few non-negotiable rules to ensure everyone feels connected, comfortable and safe on our trips. We ask that you respect your fellow travellers, group leader, and local people and places we visit in all circumstances. We don't tolerate any forms of violence and expect that you follow the local laws, customs and regulations in any destination we travel to. Any behaviour contrary to the above, including any behaviour that prevents our staff from performing their duty of care or continuing the itinerary as planned, may result in travellers being removed from the trip. If you consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect you to abide by local alcohol laws. To ensure the well-being of everyone on the trip, all decisions made by group leaders and ground staff are final. Romantic relationships between travellers and group leaders are not permitted while on trip. By travelling with us, you agree to comply with these rules and the laws and customs of all countries visited. If something is concerning you during your travels with us, please speak to your group leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in your Essential Trip Information’s Problems and Emergency Contact section.
Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid's Local Operator (located in Havana): +53 52771142, +53 53707777, +53 52794112 Communication lines in Cuba are unreliable and establishing a clear line requires patience. Please follow these instructions to ensure our operators can assist you in times of need. Since voicemail isn't an option and most incoming call phone numbers are automatically blocked, our operator will not be able to return any missed calls. The only solution to this problem is persistence. Keep calling the line until an operator answers the call. Alternatively, the emergency line is a mobile number that can be reached via text. If you cannot establish a connection to our operators over the phone, please send a text with your full name, any booking numbers (if known), the issue at hand and a return contact number. You will most likely receive a response via text.
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel
We created our not-for-profit, the Intrepid Foundation because you – our travellers – told us you wanted to make an even greater impact in the communities you visit. The Foundation works by teaming up with partners around the world so that together we can deliver greater positive impact at scale. Partners are identified by our local staff who live and work in our destinations. They harness their powerful community connections to determine the issues that matter most and select local partners who can deliver real solutions. Since 2002, the Intrepid Foundation has raised more than 12.8 million dollars and supported more than 130 communities worldwide. Now, with almost 40 partners all over the world, your donations are helping to restore forests in Kenya, empower women in Honduras and promote elephant welfare in Laos, to name just a few. By simply being on this trip, Intrepid Travel will make a donation to the Intrepid Foundation on your behalf. If you choose to donate too, 100% of your donations will go directly to our partners on the ground – where they’re needed most. For more information about the Intrepid Foundation, please ask your leader or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ This trip directly supports Eden Reforestation Projects, who are tackling climate change by restoring forests across the world; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within communities. Donations support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries, including Kenya and Nepal. To find out more or make a donation, visit: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/t/eden-reforestation-projects
CUBA GUESTHOUSES We have classified guesthouse rooms into three standards for the comfort levels of our trips: standard, comfortable and premium. Most differences can be a little hard to tell at first, particularly when taking aesthetic into account which varies greatly not only between rooms but also between cities and provinces. Be assured though that the comforts to which foreign travellers are accustomed have been taken into account when classifying guesthouses. You can read more about the guesthouse we use here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cuba-casa-particular/ Stairs are prevalent in Cuban homes. If this presents a problem to you, then please advise us at time of booking so we can request rooms on or closer to ground level. For this itinerary, the standard guesthouse rooms will have an ensuite and air-conditioning however will not necessarily have a split system, an in-room or in-house safe or imported bedding. PRE-TOUR ACCOMMODATION We aim to confirm the first night of your tour in Old Havana however occasionally due to availability we will confirm it in either Central Havana or Vedado. If you book pre-tour accommodation through us we will also aim to book these nights in Old Havana. Late requests and requests of 3 nights or more have a lower chance of being confirmed in Old Havana. POST-TOUR ACCOMMODATION The final night of your tour may be booked in either Vedado, Central Havana or Old Havana. If you book post-tour accommodation through us, we aim to confirm it at the same property (regardless of the area we have secured) to avoid the inconvenience of you having to move. If you specifically prefer your post accommodation to be booked in Old Havana you must inform your booking agent and we will request this. You will need to make your own way between the final guesthouse and your post-tour guesthouse. Late requests and requests of 3 nights or more have a lower chance of being confirmed in Old Havana. The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation. Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services TRAVEL INSURANCE: The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance (which covers at least medical expenses) is compulsory for all travellers to Cuba. Proof of travel insurance may be requested at Havana airport by immigration officials. Travellers failing to produce a valid document will be required to purchase a new policy at the airport, before being granted access to Cuba. Cuban authorities also announced that they will not recognise any insurance policy issued or underwritten by any insurance company which has an affiliation with a US company. You should take this into account when purchasing your insurance before departure from your home country.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS The beauty of our style of travel is that it caters to travellers who are travelling solo and who want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. On our trips rooming is organised on a twin-share basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. As a responsible tour operator, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In the case that your gender identity differs from what is indicated on your passport, please contact us so that we can discuss rooming options with you. We also have an optional single supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will be on a single room basis. On a small selection of itineraries some accommodations are booked on an open gender, multi-share basis (for example on a felucca in Egypt or an overnight train in Vietnam). In those instances it will clearly be stated in our Essential Trip Information prior to booking and travelling.
ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Standard guesthouse (14 nights)