Flights are not included in our trips — you are responsible for booking your own transport to and from Havana. American Airlines, JetBlue and many other carriers now fly daily from Boston, New York, and other major cities. Airline tickets include travel insurance for Cuba. The airline booking process also includes completion of your Travel Afadavit for Cuba and access to purchasing your Cuba Visa at the gate in the airport.
Obtaining a Travel Visa
Despite tense and confusing press coverage, obtaining a visa for group travel to Cuba with an organization like CAA is still very easy – only a few minutes more work than purchasing a regular airline ticket, and you’ll have everything you need. Here are the steps:
- When you book your flight online, before you complete your payment you will be prompted to select your travel category from the list of legitimate travel purposes for US people going to Cuba. CAA participants travel under “Educational and Person-to-Person Travel” – select this category.
- CAA will provide you with an itinerary prior to your travel, should you be required to present this before boarding the plane.
- At the gate in the airport before leaving the US, you will purchase your Cuba Visa for $50, payable by credit card (this is the price if you are flying with JetBlue – other airlines may charge different prices). If your flight has several legs, you will purchase your visa at the last point of exit from the US. Attempting to purchase the visa ahead of time is usually not effective, and at-gate purchases have never been a problem for any traveler we’ve worked with.
- Keep your Cuba Visa in your passport throughout your stay in Cuba – it will be collected when you exit the country.
- Comply with the terms of your “Educational and People-to-People” travel category and your CAA itinerary while in Cuba. Comply with Cuban laws, and do not engage in political activity.
* At the end of your trip, CAA will provide you with a Travel Afadavit and detailed itinerary of your schedule of activities, signed by your CAA group leader. This document would be useful if you are ever required by the US government to provide evidence of your activities in Cuba
Cuba has a strong tradition of authentic guest-houses, run by families out of their homes. "Casa particulares" are similar to bed-and-breakfasts — they are private homes with several rooms maintained for guests and daily breakfast, cleaning, and guest support. Cuba Art Adventures has clusters of rooms at some charming Havana casas, right in the heart of the Old City. They are all clean and comfortable, each with its own style and charm. Your casa owners and hosts are warm and hard-working Cubans who are looking forward to welcoming you to their guest-house.
You can look forward to starting your day with breakfast on your casa rooftop or balcony, overlooking the city. In the morning, we will meet as a group for two hours exploring cultural highlights — from city squares to galleries and museums to Cuban icons — with a local guide. For lunch, you can join the group at a local cafe or discover your own. The afternoon is yours to enjoy, with a menu of optional activities if you choose: join a panting/urban sketching demonstration by Laura after lunch for 30 minutes; head to one of a variety of venues selected for sketching and artwork; go sightseeing with recommendations from guides and hosts; take salsa or Spanish lessons; sit in a square and read or go back to your casa for an afternoon snooze. At 6pm we will meet again as a group for sunset "drink and draw" and/or a few festive beginner salsa lessons at beautiful places around the city. Dinners and evening outings will be arranged but are all optional. Throughout the trip, feel free to participate in as many or as few of the group activities as you like. Transportation for these outings is included in the trip package.
The first day of the trip will involve a walking tour of the Old City and a spin around more sites by classic car.
On two additional days, we will take outings away from the city. A day in the famously beautiful Vinales tobacco valley will include lunch at an organic farm, a tour of a tobacco farm, and sketching overlooking the valley. A beach day to the east of Havana will include crystal waters, white sands, and palm trees. Transportation for these outings is included in the trip package.
Laura is available throughout the trip to offer coaching with your art projects, and to share enthusiasm for our surroundings. Angel helps with logistics, transportation, and arrangements for local lessons and activities.
The trip package includes all guided activities in the morning and access to resources for planning afternoon activities. Lunches, dinners, afternoon and evening activities, and transportation for afternoon and evening activities are not included in the cost of the package.
In general, in Cuba as in most countries, customs officials, border control, and the Cuban police are more concerned with checking the activity of their own citizens and their citizens in relation to tourists than they are in hassling tourists. Tourism is an extremely important source of income for Cuba, and in general tourists are here to enjoy the country, not make problems. Follow the rules, and enjoy your time!