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Travel To Cuba With Chef Guillermo Pernot

Join Guillermo Pernot, two-time James Beard award winning chef-partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, on a culinary adventure in and around Havana Cuba. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Cuba and see firsthand the beauty of the island and the culinary landscape that inspired Chef Pernot’s newest cookbook, CUBA COOKS: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs.

Take a step back in time and a step forward in cultural relations as you discover Cuba’s culture through its cuisine on our legal, ground-breaking trip to Cuba. Connect with locals and immerse yourself in the Cuban food scene as you visit Cuban farms and markets, cook with Chef Guillermo as well as local chefs, and dine at some of the island’s most renowned private restaurants, or paladares.

 

Highlights of Traveling to Cuba with Chef Guillermo:

  • Cuban cooking class with the renowned Chef Guillermo and a top local Cuban chef

  • Sunday dinner and daiquiri class in a local’s home with a pig roast

  • Visit an agricultural market, ration store and supermarket for true insights into the daily lives of Cubans

  • Tour a sustainable farm and enjoy an organic farm-to-table lunch

  • Dine at Cuba’s top private restaurants

Don’t miss this opportunity to travel to Cuba on an incredible culinary adventure with Chef Guillermo during a pivotal moment in history. For more information, please call 1-800-567-9400 or email info@accesstrips.com today. Our trips to Cuba are operated under the Support for the Cuban People license granted by the US Treasury Department and were not affected by the June 4 policy changes regarding Cuba travel. Read our full statement and learn more about traveling to Cuba under the latest policies.

Top Press Coverage:

 
 

About Chef Guillermo Pernot

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Nationally renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot is a two-time James Beard Award winner and  Chef-Partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. When you travel to Cuba with Chef Guillermo, you will have the opportunity to meet with talented Cuban chefs and mixologists as they share the secrets to making authentic Cuban cuisine and cocktails. You’ll dine in top Cuban restaurants and in local homes, enjoying meals like Paella Cubano, Ropa Vieja, and freshly caught grilled fish and lobster along with classic Cuban cocktails such as daiquiris or mojitos. Learn More

 

Is Cuba Travel for You?

This is more than just culinary travel to Cuba. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make meaningful connections across cultures, through shared food and experiences, as you soak in charming and historical Havana.

Please note that although this trip is not exceptionally active, there is quite a bit of walking, including some on uneven pavement, and the weather can get hot.

Cuba travel requires flexibility, and changes to accommodations and activities may occur. That is part of the adventure of traveling to Cuba, and we believe this is a small trade-off for the rich and authentic experiences you will have as you get to know the Cuban people.

All of our food tours include a rich combination of delicious ingredients: expert cooking classes, visits to flourishing farms and vibrant markets, and world-class cuisine!

See all Cuba food tours

See all Latin American food tours

 
 

QUICK FACTS

6 days
October & March
Prices from $3,990 USD 

HIGHLIGHTS

Hosted by renowned Chef Pernot

Exclusive access travelers rarely get

Bustling markets & organic farms

Deluxe, privately-owned lodging

Travel by classic car, no buses

Intimate group of 9 guests

Trip Details

Detailed Itinerarylearn more

Travel with Chef Pernot learn more

Accommodationlearn more

Travel infolearn more

Recommended Readinglearn more

Cuba in the Blog

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Your 6-Day Itinerary With Chef Guillermo Pernot

DAY 1: Our Havana Tour Begins

Welcome to Cuba! After you pass through immigration and customs, you will step outside into Havana’s tropical breeze, where a guide will be waiting for you. We’ll transfer you via required airport taxi to your villa where you will check in and relax until dinner, enjoying time with the group and special guest Chef Guillermo Pernot.

Tonight’s welcome dinner is at beloved Havana hotspot, El Biky. Consistently ranked as one of the top paladares (privately owned restaurants) in Havana, this restaurant offers Cuban and Caribbean favorites for an excellent introduction to the culinary gems of Havana.

Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2: Food, Art and Salsa with Havana’s Cultural Icons

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This morning it’s time to get to know Havana and the Cuban people. We’ll drive to Havana Vieja (Old Havana) by private vintage car that will be yours for the duration of the trip. Starting with a walking tour of Havana Vieja, we will explore two of the four main squares: Plaza de la Catedral, dominated by the stunning 18th century Catedral de San Cristóbal & Plaza San Francisco de Asis, near Havana’s harbor.

For lunch today we will enjoy a cooking experience and delicious meal at one of Havana’s most renowned paladares with Chef Ivan Justo at the Al Carbon location of his restaurant.

After lunch, we will wander through the street art gallery of muralist and painter Salvador Gonzales. Heavily influenced by the traditions of Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion, Salvador’s street art uses everything from bathtubs to car parts. We will peruse Salvador’s gallery and meet with the artist or curator who are happy to answer any questions about Santeria or the artist’s interesting work.

Next up is a salsa class at the home of Johan, one of our fabulous dance instructors. Whether or not you choose to dance, visiting his home will be an eye-opening experience. Climbing two stories on a rickety spiral staircase (the main staircase is continuously under repair), you will get a sense of how Cubans make do with the status quo, while maintaining their passion and optimism. Once upstairs, the dance troupe’s infectious smiles and joie de vivre will have you dancing in no time!

Dinner this evening will be at renowned Havana paladar Habana Mia 7.  

After dinner, those who are interested in Cuba’s legendary music can attend an optional jazz performance at the Jazz Café in Vedado (just a few steps from this evening’s dinner). Our guide will be happy to assist you with the details.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: Markets & Cigars

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Learning how food is purchased in Cuba is an important part of our tour, giving you an understanding of how communism and an embargo impact the lives of everyday Cubans. Our first stop this morning is a trip to a mercado agropecuario (produce market) where you’ll see what fruits and vegetables are available to the locals and chat with the friendly vendors. Then we’ll head next door to a ration store where you will observe how basic staples are procured in limited, fixed quantities. Our last market stop is a supermarket, where you will get a stark sense of what is, and is not, available to ordinary people.

Next we will explore the Museum of the City and Plaza de Armas. We will then enjoy lunch at the famous La Guarida. This paladar is renowned for its innovative cuisine and of course, its part in the movie “Fresa y Chocolate”.

After lunch, we will head to Plaza Vieja, which dates back to 1559 and whose buildings have been lovingly restored to their former glory. Here we will stroll through the plaza, visiting art galleries and a coffee roastery. We’ll then take a short break at a chocolate museum, where you might like to sip a cup of hot or cold chocolate and taste their delectable chocolate treats. And, if you still have room, perhaps try some refreshing coconut ice cream from an ice cream street cart.

Dinner this evening will be at renowned Havana paladar, La Cocina de Lilliam.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: Hemingway’s Havana

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Today we’ll enjoy a lovely visit to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s house just outside Havana, where he was inspired to write three of his most famous novels. Next we continue on to Cojimar, a small fishing village where Hemingway docked his beloved boat, Pilar, and the inspiration for his famous novel, “The Old Man and the Sea.” Here we will enjoy a delicious lunch with coffee demonstration at Ajiaco. After a peek into one of Hemingway’s favorite watering holes for a final taste of vintage Cuba, we’ll return to Havana.

Next we’ll enjoy a visit to a cigar factory to learn about the process of rolling world-famous Cuban cigars, as well as peruse the cigars available for purchase. The late afternoon is yours to explore Old Havana on your own or your guide will bring you back to your casa to relax. You could also continue on to El Floridita, the home of the daiquiri, as Papa Hemingway surely would have.

Dinner this evening will be at renowned Havana paladar Cafe Laurent.  

Later in the evening, guests will have the option to attend either the Buena Vista Social Club or Parisien Cabaret show – touristy, but fun! Both are held on Saturday nights at the iconic Hotel National, just down the street from where we’ll be dining this evening. Our guide will be happy to assist you with the details.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: Fuster Gallery, Farm Tour & Sunday Dinner

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We’ll start the day with a visit to the Fuster Gallery, where we will see José Fuster’s incredibly colorful mosaic sculptures that have spread throughout his neighborhood.

Then we will take a 40-minute drive to an organic farm just outside the city of Havana. This farm is a new venture started by a young and entrepreneurial agricultural engineer, Dr. Fernando Funes. Fernando will show us around, telling us about the herbs and vegetables that are produced. We will also learn about honey production, as they have several swarms of bees. After lunch with our friends on the farm, we’ll pass through Revolution Square on our way back into Havana.

Once we arrive back in the city, the late afternoon is yours to explore Old Havana on your own or your guide will bring you back to your casa to relax.

Our last stop of the day is a highlight of our tour, as our guide and his wife invite you to their home in Centro Havana for Sunday dinner. Your charming host will show you how to make the perfect daiquiri. For a special treat, we will also enjoy a traditional roasted pig, paired with home-cooked tapas, great conversation, and more than a few laughs.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Your Havana Tour with Chef Guillermo Ends

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Alas, your tour in Havana is over and it is time to head home. Your guide and driver will take you to the airport in time for your flight. Be prepared, good-byes may be tough, because at this point they are far more than just your guide and driver – they are your friends from Havana!

Included meals: Breakfast

In order to maintain our license for travel to Cuba, Access Culinary Trips provides a full schedule of activities during each day of our tour, and our guests must participate in those activities with the group. This will not only give you the opportunity to explore Cuba through its cuisine, but also to see some of Cuba’s iconic sights that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Please also be aware that Cuba is an adventurous destination where things do not always go as planned. We urge you to bring a flexible attitude and a sense of humor. The above itinerary reflects our best planning, but there may be times when we have to substitute different activities and accommodations on our Cuba food tours. That is la aventura Cubana – the Cuban adventure!

 
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About Chef Guillermo Pernot

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Nationally renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot is Chef-Partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. He has traveled to Cuba more than a dozen times over the last seven years and is the first American chef in over 40 years to cook in an embargoed country. He has earned numerous awards in the U.S. and is one of the leading chefs in today’s culinary scene representing Latin American food. Chef Guillermo is a two-time James Beard Award winner, once for “Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region” and again for his book ¡Ceviche! Seafood, Salads and Cocktails with a Latino Twist which was named “Best Single Subject Cookbook.” In October 2018, Pernot released his second cookbook: CUBA COOKS: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs, which takes readers on an incredible journey through the history, the culture and the ingredients that comprise Cuban cuisine. 

In 2010 Pernot embarked on a mission to discover how Cuban cuisine had evolved. During numerous visits to Cuba, Pernot forged relationships with the premier local chefs in Havana. He spent countless days cooking and dining with them in their restaurants, homes and farms. In January 2012, Chef Pernot and Cuba Libre launched a culinary exchange series named Pop-Up Paladares, in which the top chefs of Havana are invited to cook in Cuba Libre’s kitchens for special guest chef dinners. In return, Chef Pernot invites Cuba Libre’s guests to join him on a series of custom cultural and culinary tours of the island nation’s capital, featuring dinners at these chefs’ restaurants.

Pernot is a member of the American Chef Corps, a State Department partnership with the James Beard Foundation – one of the foremost culinary organizations in the United States. In a trip to Honduras in 2015, Chef Pernot taught chefs and farmers best practices for improving agricultural production as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initative.

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Casa Particular In Cuba

We have scoured Havana to find the nicest casas particulares, or privately owned guest houses for our tours. While many casas rent simple rooms within the family home, the lodgings we use on this tour more closely resemble deluxe vacation rentals or even small boutique hotels. Some of the luxury Havana casas particulares we reserve are old colonial homes and others are mid-century villas with swimming pools. All of the bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, and are very clean and comfortable.

As with all travel in Cuba, your flexibility is appreciated. Despite our best planning, things might not work as expected in your casa particular, as it might not in a Cuban hotel. Power outages can occur, water pressure might not always be ideal, hot water might not be available sometimes, and if something breaks, your landlord simply may not be able to replace it in a timely manner due to shortages of most household items. We believe that these minor inconveniences are not just a small price to pay for an immersive experience into Cuban culture, but also an opportunity to get an authentic sense of what life is really like in Cuba.

NOTE:  There will not be internet service or international phone service in any of the accommodations. However, we have built a couple of times into the itinerary to go to internet access points and we provide each group with a mobile phone for use in emergencies.

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Travel Information For Your Tour With Guillermo Pernot

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TRAVEL INFORMATION

Arrival
On Day 1 of the tour, we will provide group transfers from the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana for flights scheduled to arrive by 5:30 PM. A driver will be waiting for you with an Access Culinary Trips sign once you’ve claimed your luggage and cleared customs. Terminal 3 arrivals should exit the terminal and head left to the currency exchange kiosk, where you will find a driver with an Access Culinary Trips sign. Terminal 2 arrivals should exit the terminal and a driver will be waiting for you with an Access Trips Culinary sign. If you have any concerns when you arrive in Havana please feel free to have an airport official call our Local Operations Manager.

Note: We recommend arriving by 5:30 PM (or earlier) to be able to enjoy the included group welcome dinner on Day 1. If you arrive after 5:30 PM, we can arrange your transfer (at an additional cost).

Departure
On Day 6 of the tour, we will provide a group transfer to the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana.

Pick-up & Drop-off Information
Group airport transfers at the specified airports/times in Cuba are included. If you require a private airport transfer, please contact us for more information.

Flights
If you would like assistance with purchasing your flight/visa or travel insurance, please let us know and we will forward your contact information and trip details to our travel agent partner.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR CUBA

Nationality
This is a licensed tour of Cuba that is legal for US citizens as well as citizens from other countries. In order to comply with the Support for the Cuban People license granted by the US Department of Treasury, Access Culinary Trips provides a full schedule of immersive activities each day designed to enhance contact and meaningful interactions with the Cuban people, and our guests must participate in those activities with the group.

Health & Travel Insurance
Cuban health insurance is mandatory for travel to Cuba and is bundled into the price of your airline ticket. Your boarding pass will serve as proof of your insurance, so please keep this with you throughout the duration of your trip. The insurance policy does not cover any pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition or would like increased health benefits coverage, we recommend purchasing supplemental travel medical insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation. Please see more on pre-existing medical conditions under “Health Requirements”.

We require that you purchase a trip cancellation and interruption insurance policy that covers the entire cost of the trip, so that you will be covered in the event that you are unable to attend our trip due to injury, illness or other unforeseen circumstances. A “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) insurance coverage is strongly recommended for all of our tours and, depending on the insurance provider, must be purchased within 7 – 21 days of booking your tour. Please check with your travel insurance provider for specific guidance on what policy may be best for you.

You must purchase a trip cancellation insurance policy (we strongly recommend including CFAR coverage) and provide us with documentation within 14 days of booking your trip. If you need to cancel your trip, we will assist with any documentation needed to file a claim. There will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Please note: proof of insurance is due within 14 days of booking, and delay in receipt may result in late documentation charges.

Note: For residents of NY, some insurance policies (including CFAR coverage) may not be available, please contact us as well as check with your travel insurance provider for additional details.

We do not provide travel insurance for our clients. Additional details are on our website here.

Passports & Visas
Travel to Cuba requires a valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months validity) and visa. A travel visa (sometimes referred to as an entry card or tourist card) is required for all US citizens. This trip operates under the category of Support for the Cuban People, general license #515.574. You will need this number and the address of the accommodations in Havana (provided by Access Culinary Trips) to complete the visa paperwork. Each airline has its own process and recommendations regarding visas. Please contact your airline for more information.

To learn more about visa and entry requirements for Cuba, please check out the Cuba page of the US Department of State website at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cuba.html or consult a travel agent.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documentation.

HEALTH & SAFETY IN CUBA

Emergency Contact 
If your friends or family need to contact Access Culinary Trips due to an emergency while you are on the tour, please have them refer to the pre-departure email that is sent out approximately three weeks prior to departure, which will have specific contact information relevant to your trip. If you need to contact Access Culinary Trips while traveling, please also refer to the emergency contact information in the pre-departure email.

Health Requirements 
Guests with preexisting medical conditions are required to disclose this information prior to traveling with Access Culinary Trips, and all guests with preexisting conditions are required to provide a note from a doctor clearing them for travel to Cuba. The US Department of State recommends that travelers with medical prescriptions consider bringing small additional amounts of prescribed medicines as well as a copy of the prescription and a letter from the prescribing physician explaining the need for prescription.

We strongly recommend that all of our guests visit a travel doctor before embarking on international travel. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive any necessary vaccinations before traveling on your trip with us.

Please carefully review the following webpage for up-to-date health information, including information on the quality of medical care, the availability of medications and the necessity for vaccinations in the destination country, and the latest updates on the Zika virus: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cuba. If there is a chance that you may be pregnant during your trip, please discuss your travel plans with your doctor.

Fitness Requirements
Our trips are open to anyone who wants to explore our exotic destinations through cuisine. Unfortunately Cuba does not yet have adequate facilities for disabled travelers. The accommodations and restaurants may not have elevators, the sidewalks may not be even and we will be walking on cobblestone streets. We also engage in walking tours, some of which last several hours.

Age
Children ages 12 and up are welcome on group trips. Children under 12 are welcome on private tours. Please contact us with any questions.

Safety & Security
To maximize your safety during our tours you should exercise common sense and caution at all times. We recommend that you always stick to set travel arrangements and avoid unknown areas. We also recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items (including cell phones) safely stored. Always keep a copy of your passport, airline tickets, and credit card numbers separate from where you keep the originals.

For more information on safety and security in Cuba, please review the safety and security section of the following webpage: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Cuba.html

Note: As a rule, do not drink tap water or use unfiltered ice in Cuba, even in hotels. We strongly recommend buying bottled water. Eating uncooked or unpeeled fruits and vegetables can also be a potential risk if they have been washed in tap (unfiltered) water. Please eat street food at your discretion.

CURRENCY, BANKING & SPENDING MONEY IN CUBA

Converting CAD or Euro to the Convertible Peso
The local currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP). Tourists are required to use an official tourist currency, known as the Convertible Peso (CUC). Cubans can use either CUP or CUC. The value of the Convertible Peso (CUC) is pegged to the US dollar, however when exchanging US dollars to CUC, you will lose 13% to Cuban taxes and exchange fees. Please consider bringing Canadian dollars or Euros to exchange instead, as they are not subject to the same taxes and fees as US dollars. Please see more below.

Cash vs Credit Cards in Cuba
Although there are some American banks that offer credit cards for use in Cuba, credit card service is still not widely accepted in private Cuban businesses. There are also issues with connection to servers (due to the lack of internet access). Therefore, please be prepared to bring as much cash as you need to cover all personal expenses. We recommend exchanging $450-$900 US dollars (per person) into Canadian dollars or Euros which you will exchange into Convertible Pesos in Cuba. $450 is the approximate minimum amount needed for non-included meals (at moderately priced restaurants) and services. If you plan to purchase many souvenirs, rum, cigars, artwork, enjoy evening shows, or dine at higher end restaurants, you should consider bringing closer to the $900 range.

Exchanging Money in Cuba
If the airport currency exchange office is closed when you arrive in Havana, your guide will provide you with local currency for your first evening in Cuba. The following morning the guide will bring the group to an exchange office to change money into CUC. There is often a long line at the exchange counters, so we recommend exchanging as much money as you think you will need for the entire tour at this time. If you choose not to, please let your tour guide know when you need to exchange more and the group will make another stop later in the tour. Please see above for spending money recommendations.

Spending Money
Please see above for specific recommendations on budgeting for spending money.

We provide bottled water during tour activities. In addition, bottled water and other beverages are usually available for purchase in most guest houses. Payment for any extra beverages is generally due upon checkout. We recommend keeping track of what you buy. At the end of your stay, if there are any discrepancies, please let your guide know and they will help clear up any possible confusion.

Meals: All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included. Please plan to budget additional money for snacks, drinks, and bottled water.

All of the paladars included in our itinerary are privately-owned. Some of our guests have expressed an interest in trying a government-run restaurant. These restaurants generally lack the service and quality of privately-owned paladars. However, if you would like to experience one, please ask your guide for a recommendation. Your guides are happy to help you arrange transportation and make reservations, however, the average Cuban does not have the luxury of eating out and they may not be able to provide a multitude of recommendations

Tipping
Restrooms: Most public restrooms are staffed and a tip of 0.25 CUCs are expected. Please ask your guide if you are in need of a small coin to tip the attendant.

Tour Staff: We pay all of our providers a fair wage for their services, however, tipping is prevalent in Cuba and most people in the hospitality industry view a tip as an affirmation of a “job well done”. If you receive exceptional service and choose to tip providers, here are some guidelines:

  • Salsa instructor: 3-5 CUC per guest

  • Discretionary Tips for Guides & Drivers: We recommend 10 CUC per guest, per day (60 CUC total per guest) for the guide and 5 CUC per guest, per day (30 CUC total per guest) for the driver. If you have more than one guide or driver, please divide the 60 CUC (guide tips) and 30 CUC (driver tips) between them as you see fit.

Other expenses: You should also plan to take spending money for incidentals such as taxi rides during your free time, internet cafes, souvenir shopping and nightlife, or for street musicians or people you take photographs of.

Helpful Hints
You will need your passport to exchange money.

Please keep all exchange receipts. You may need to show them when you convert back at the end of the tour.

For the latest currency exchange information please go to: https://finance.yahoo.com/currency-converter

There are no longer monetary restrictions on bringing Cuban alcohol and/or tobacco products (for personal consumption) into the US. There is no value limitation on bringing informational materials (including art, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs) to the US.

Please click here for more information on importing goods from Cuba on the US Customs and Border Protection website.

CUBAN CULTURE

Cuba is known for its distinct Caribbean culture with influences from Spanish, African, and French traditions. The people are warm, engaging and passionate about sharing their culture with tourists as well as learning about other cultures. It is part of Cuban culture to serve an abundance of food at meals, in both homes and restaurants. It is one of the many ways that Cubans show generosity and hospitality to their guests. They do not expect that everything will be eaten and ensure that no food goes to waste.

Most people are open to being photographed but it is courteous to ask first. Also, if you are photographing a street performer or someone in a working environment, it is appropriate to give a small tip, 1 CUC.

Cuba is a communist society and many of the businesses are owned by the government. The government has allowed some recent entrepreneurial reforms that have led to a rise in innovation and customer service levels in privately-owned businesses, such as restaurants and guesthouses. With that said, there are still many things not available in Cuba as a consequence of both the US embargo and Cuban government restrictions.

Language
Most Cubans speak Spanish only and occasionally some will speak English.

CUBA’S CLIMATE

Cuba has two seasons, rainy (May-Oct) and dry (Nov-Apr). In the dry season you can expect sunny, warm and humid weather, with average daytime temperatures between 75F and 85F and nighttime temperatures between 65F and 70F. The rainy season is slightly warmer (average daytime temperatures between 85F and 90F, average nighttime temperatures between 70F and 75F) and more humid, with a greater likelihood of rain and thunderstorms.

Notes:

June to November is considered hurricane season, with September and October historically seeing the highest number of hurricanes, although many years have no hurricane activity. We do run tours during this season and if you book a tour during this period you should be aware that, although unlikely, hurricanes could disrupt the normal tour itinerary.

Please check specific weather for your dates before you travel. You may consider a website such as Weather.com.

ELECTRICITY & INTERNET IN CUBA

Cuba mainly uses the same electrical plugs and voltage as in the United States (110 V/60 Hz). However, there are a few guesthouses that do use European style outlets, so it is a good idea to bring a universal adapter just in case.

Internet access is not widely available and you will likely need to visit an internet café or hotel to stay connected. Also, even with internet access, certain websites and apps, like Skype, may not be available.

Cable TV stations may not have US or international stations.

Most major phone carriers have expanded their cell phone service to include Cuba. However some may still not work in Cuba and even with coverage, service may be unreliable. Please do not expect to be able to make or receive non-emergency calls. Please contact your carrier for more specific information and fees.

WHAT TO TAKE ON YOUR CUBA TOUR

We strongly recommend using TSA approved luggage locks on your bags and to hand carry valuables on the plane.

In general, we recommend that you pack as lightly as possible. There may not always be someone available to help you carry your bags so you should only bring as much as you can carry on your own up a flight of stairs. Some of our Cuba guests prefer to bring just a carry-on, as it can significantly speed up your arrival at Havana’s airport.

Laundry services are available at most accommodations.

We suggest that you bring the following items:

Clothing & Equipment

  • Warm weather casual clothes (Cubans dress very casually and the emphasis is on comfort)

  • Slightly nicer clothing for upscale restaurants

  • Bathing suit (some guesthouses may have a pool)

  • A pair of comfortable walking shoes and sandals. Rainy season can be muddy so closed-toe shoes are a good choice.

  • A light jacket/fleece/raincoat (It can be breezy in Havana in the evenings.)

  • An umbrella (for shade and/or rain protection)

  • If coming from outside the US or Canada, power adapter for 110v, 60 Hz

  • Toiletries (Please bring all the toiletries you need, including shampoo and soap, as they are not readily available for purchase in Cuba.)

  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer (for public restrooms) Note: No paper products can be put in any toilets in Cuba.

  • Hair dryer

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat

  • Bug repellent with DEET

  • Over-the-counter steroid or antihistamine cream for possible bug bites/stings (like AfterBite™)

  • First-aid kit with lip balm, aspirin, band aids, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea

  • An extra amount of prescription drugs you may be taking

  • Travel laundry detergent

  • Universal travel plug adapter

  • Optional gifts for Cubans: gum, pens, travel toiletries, batteries, or unopened over-the-counter medications (Advil, Tylenol, Antacids), dried spices & herbs

Travel Documents

  • Passport (with photocopies)

  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)

  • Travel visa (sometimes referred to as an entry card or tourist visa)

  • This document, printed

RECOMMENDED TRIP RESOURCES

We strongly recommend that you bring a map of Havana with you on your trip. Here are two suggestions:

Available on Amazon: Street Smart Travel Map by Van Dam

Available on iTunes and Google Play: OsmAnd Maps. (This is a free app where you can download a map to your phone for use offline.)

Click here to check out our recommended reading list!

Also, you will be dining at La Guarida, which is featured in the film Fresa y Chocolate(Strawberry and Chocolate). You might consider watching it before you go!

FINAL NOTES ON YOUR CUBA CULINARY TOUR

Please keep in mind that Cuba is still a developing nation whose service standards, timeliness, available resources, and cultural norms may differ from our own. It is also an adventurous destination where things do not always go as planned – in fact they often do not go as planned. We urge you to bring a flexible attitude and a sense of humor on your Cuba tour. This trip reflects our best planning, but there may be times when we have to substitute different activities and accommodations. That is la aventura Cubana – the Cuban adventure!

This is a tool meant to help you decide what you should bring on your upcoming trip. It is by no means comprehensive. While we do our best to be as thorough as possible, we cannot foresee every possible condition. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at customer_service@accesstrips.com.

The information contained in this document is provided in good faith. Due to the nature of travel, details in this document may change. You should thus use the above information as an indication only and not as a contractual obligation on the part of Access Culinary Trips.