January 2019 Trip

Getting to Know Cuba and Its People with Cathryn Griffith

Register Here

Trip Itinerary

Saturday January 5, 2019
am    Check in at Miami airport for flight to Havana.
am    Depart for Havana on flight number to be determined
(noted as “TBD” in future entries).
am    Arrive Havana, change money to Cuban CUCs. Meet Cuban guide and driver. Enjoy panoramic overview of the city on bus ride to the city from the Havana airport.
12:00 pm  Lunch (not included) at a paladar.
3:00 pm  Check in to the Hotel Inglaterra or similar.
6:00 pm  Orientation and Welcome Dinner (included).

Sunday January 6, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel.
9:30 am  Bus to the Zoological Park. Welcome and bus tour of the zoo. Highlights included zebra on the “African Plain.” Cuban photographer Wildy Diaz and other model boat makers will describe the process of constructing their boats and demonstrate their models in the water.
2:00 pm  Bus to Old Havana for lunch (not included).
3:00 pm  Walking tour of the four major plazas of Old Havana: Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.
4:30 pm  Return to hotel by bus.
6:30 pm  Bus to dinner (not included).
8:00 pm  Bus to La Cabaña fortress for the cannon blast ceremony that recreates the traditional cannon shot of the colonial period.

Monday January 7, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel and check out.
8:30 am  Visit the store and then the Partagás Cigar Factory in Central Havana.
10:30 am  Visit with ICAP, the Cuban Association of Friendship with the Peoples.
12:30 pm  Lunch at a paladar (included).
2:00 pm  Depart by bus for Trinidad. Check in at Hotel Ancon or similar.
6:00 pm  Dinner (included) at the hotel.

Tuesday January 8, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel.
10:00 am  Walking tour of Trinidad.
12:30 pm  Lunch (included) at a local paladar.
2:00 pm  Visit to the Valle de los Ingenios, an area of colonial sugar mills.
6:00 pm  Dinner (included) at the hotel.

Wednesday January 9, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel and check out.
9:00 am  Return to Havana, stopping in Cienfuegos, one of the latest settlements established during the colonial era, for a walking tour, followed by free time to explore the cathedral, the Tomás Terry Theater and the monuments around the Parque José Martí.
1:30 pm  Lunch (included) in Cienfuegos, likely at a waterfront restaurant.
2:30 pm  Continue to Havana.
5:45 pm  Check in at hotel.
8:00 pm  Possible opportunity to attend a theater performance.

Evening Dinner on your own.

Thursday January 10, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel.
9:00 am  Visit to educational institution, possibly ISA art schools for guided tour of the architecture, and opportunity to meet teachers and students the School of Visual Arts designed by Cuban architect Ricardo Porro.
11:00 am  Visit the Museum of the Revolution in the former Presidential Palace.
12:30 pm  Lunch (not included) at a paladar.
2:00 pm  Visit Fototeca followed by a bus tour of Modern Havana. Stop at the Plaza of the Revolution and tour Colón Cemetery with a guide, followed by visit to Callejón de Hamel in the heart of Cayo Hueso. Witness the fusion of African and Spanish cultures in a rumba performance by local musicians. Salsa lessons.

Evening Your time is free the rest of the afternoon and evening. Walk on Obispo Street to see local shops. Enjoy a drink on the roof of the Inglaterra Hotel or in the lobby of the Hotel Parque Central. Stop at Floridita bar, frequented by Ernest Hemingway. Listen to live music in one of the many cafes and hotels. Dinner on your own.

Friday January 11, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel.
10:00 am  Visit the Museum of Fine Arts with guided tour of art by Cuba’s most significant artists.
12:00 pm  Visit Finca Vigía, Hemingway´s house and museum.
1:30 pm  Lunch (included) served family style at El Ajiaco restaurant in Cojímar or other.
2:30 pm  Bus tour of the town of Cojímar and fishing harbor, where Ernest Hemingway fished.

Continue along the north coast of Cuba to the photogenic town of Hershey, built in 1916 as a company town with a large sugar mill, now in ruins. NOTE: Cuban photographer Wildy Diaz may accompany the group on today’s excursion.

5:15 pm  Return to Havana by bus.
8:00 pm  Farewell dinner (included) at a gourmet Havana restaurant.
9:30 pm  Socialize at our hotel and say goodbye to Cuban friends you may have made.

Saturday January 12, 2019
7 – 8:00 am  Breakfast (included) at the hotel.
8:00 am  Check out of hotel and transfer to airport.
11:15 am  Depart for Miami (or other U.S. destination). Flight to be determined


Trip Details

Cost of the trip is $3650, based on double occupancy. The supplement for single occupancy is $350. The group is limited to 12 people.

Register Here


Travel to Cuba by United States citizens is restricted by the U.S. government. This trip complies with all United States and Cuban government regulations for People-to-People trips.

Travel services provided by:
Common Ground Education & Travel Company
16505 Fox Den Court, Miami Lakes, FL 33014
Telephone 954-620-7042 / 413-203-1125 / Fax 786-536-6261

Common Ground Policies & Procedures for Group Trips to Cuba
Terms: Participant applications, travel affidavits and flight reservation forms must be submitted along with $500 per person deposit 60 days prior to date of departure, or by November 6th, 2018. Additional participants may be added on a space-available basis up to 45 days prior to travel. Applications after that will be considered based on availability of hotel accommodations and flight space with a $75 late fee. All deposits are non-refundable though participants may be substituted. Final invoices will be issued once all hotels in Cuba are confirmed with every effort to insure that these are issued no later than 60-45 days prior to date of departure. Final payment will be due 45 days prior to date of departure, or by November 21st, 2018. Travel packets will be issued when payment is complete and all paperwork and passport information has been received. Final program is frequently available from the tour operator only 10 days prior to date of departure once all program activities have been approved and secured.

Guarantee of services: Tour operator in Cuba reserves the right to change accommodations and schedule as local conditions prescribe. We ask you to remain flexible as your hosts in Cuba do their best to ensure your comfort and that the goals of your visit are realized. Please keep in mind that you are traveling to an embargoed country that shares its scarce resources with its citizens as well as with its visitors.

• Visa
• Round trip flights between Miami and Havana
• Service and mailing fees
• Exit tax
• Basic medical insurance
• 5 nights Hotel Inglaterra or similar in Havana with breakfast
• 2 nights at Hotel Ancon or similar in Trinidad with breakfast and dinner
• 4 lunches and 2 additional dinners (Welcome and Farewell dinners)
• Program of visits, meetings and excursions as outlined in the program
• English speaking guide to accompany group throughout
• Transportation by air-conditioned bus for transfers in/out, for all excursions and scheduled activities, and between cities

Trip cancellation/interruption/baggage insurance: Common Ground works with Travel Guard Insurance and will provide application materials on request. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance strongly advised. Write for brochure and more information.

Cancellation Policy:
If notice is received by Common Ground before departure by
• at least 50 days: Cost of Deposit, airfare and visa
• at least 49-35 days: Refund of 90% cost of trip less deposit, airfare, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable,
• at least 34-28 days: Refund 85% cost of trip less deposit, airfare, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable
• at least 29-22 days: Refund of 70% cost of trip less deposit, airfare, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable,
• at least 23 days: Refund of 50% cost of trip less deposit, airfare, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable,
• Therein or no show: Full forfeiture of funds paid
• Cancellation due to nonpayment: Full forfeit of payment received.

NOTE: Common Ground recommends staying in Miami the night prior to the date of travel. Common Ground will be happy to book connecting flights for participants as well as overnight accommodations in Miami.

Please be aware that this preliminary itinerary, prepared on September 20, 2018, is subject to adjustment when the Cuban tour operator provides the final details and cost.

Click for a full PDF of the itinerary and terms and conditions