Legal travel to Cuba
Legal and authentic people to people tours to travel to Cuba. Our small group tours, no more than 6 people, have been created so that you discover the story of Cuba, see how the locals live and experience the vibrancy of the island so that you return home with a true sense of Cuba. We provide you with expert advice before your trip and 24-hour support while in Cuba.
Traveling to Cuba with us
Legal and authentic people to people tours to travel to Cuba. Our small group tours, no more than 6 people, have been created so that you discover the story of Cuba, see how the locals live and experience the vibrancy of the island so that you return home with a true sense of Cuba. We provide American travelers expert advice before your trip and 24-hour support while in Cuba. We offer also private and custom tours through the hosland.
Responsible Travel Cuba
Our tours help and promote the small but growing entrepreneurial activity that is why we almost exclusively work with casa particulares, paladares and other privately owned businesses. We want you have the best possible vacation while at the same time making a positive difference in the local communities.
Our commitment to responsible travel Is endorsed by being a member of Global Sustainable Tourism Council. In addition, we collaborate with Aniplant, the only animal NGO dedicated to the protection of domestic animals in Cuba. Tourism has a big impact in the world Tourism has a great impact all over the world, our commitment and that of our travelers is to make that impact a positive one.
We have met all the requirements and good practices to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire.
Can Americans travel to Cuba
Americans can travel to Cuba under one of the 12 categories set by the US government. Espíritu Travel trips fall under the people-to-people (education) category. A people to people trip simply means that the tours are structured in a way that emphasize engagement between Americans and Cubans, which allows travelers to experience a wide array of activities or visit organizations or community projects which will provide a deeper understanding of Cuban life and its people, something which the average tourists wouldn’t necessarily experience.
How to travel to Cuba
We can obtain the Cuba Tourist Card (visa) for travel to Cuba for Americans who travel on one of our tours. There are four airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta, United and Southwest that have daily flights to Havana in addition to flights to Cienfuegos, flights to Santa Clara, flights to Varadero, flights to Holguin, flights to Camaguey and flights to Santiago de Cuba. We can provide transfers from all airports in Cuba. Our tour packages to Cuba offer all that you need to travel to Cuba the best way possible.
Acommodations in Cuba
At Espíritu Travel, we use exclusively casas particulares. We have personally selected the best casas for our clients. There is no better way to have a people-to-people experience than staying at one of these ‘micro B&Bs’. What they lack in amenities such as a pool or spa, they make up for in oodles of charm, genuine hospitality and the opportunity to speak to locals in a relaxed and comfortable setting. The rooms will all have a private bathroom, hot and cold running water, air conditioning as well as a fan and some of have kitchens and/or fridges.
We can make an exception for private and custom tours, although by Americans standard, the hotel offering is still limited with a dearth of mid-range hotels. All hotels whether luxury or inexpensive are state-owned. However, staying in a casa particular is without a doubt one of the best recipes to get to know real Cuban life, know their culture and experience the warmth of its people. Cuba is a country that has much to tell, and although many places here are designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, it is undeniable that the greatest strength that the island has, is the spirit and the stories of its people.
Travel to Havana and much more
Many Americans think only of Havana when traveling to Cuba, but there is much more to the island than just its capital. From the west to the east you can discover the whole island with Espíritu Travel to Cuba tours. In Havana you can enjoy a classic car ride, Old Havana, the Malecon, Buena Vista Social Club, mojitos, La Guarida and San Cristobal restaurants, music, art, history, nightlife and many surprises.
When traveling out of Havana, Americans discover the other incredible Cuba. Viñales, an UNESCO World Heritage, there is Valle del Silencio and some of the best tobacco plantations that make the world famous Cuban cigars. One can SCUBA dive in Maria la Gorda, visit the colonial city of Trinidad including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valle de Los Ingenios, and the amazing nature of Topes de Collantes. The Che Guevara history in Santa Clara. The biodiversity of Parque Zapata, and the beaches of Playa Larga, in Bay of Pigs. The 18th Century Cuban city of Cienfuegos. With our Nature of Cuba tour and now Highlights of the East tour, you can also make the same hike that Fidel Castro and the revolutionaries made in Sierra Maestra to arrive at Comandancia de la Playa close to the city of Báyamo. Visit the Morro Castle in Santiago de Cuba, a reminder of the Caribbean Pirates, and when you arrive to Baracoa the mix of nature and flavors it is something that you won’t forget. With our tours from 4 to 15 days you can visit Cuba with the time you have.
Private and custom trips to Cuba
We are proud to offer custom and unique tours to Cuba. We are able to design a customized Cuba program that addresses your special interests and dates. We can arrange the entire program with a custom-made itinerary. We work with our local partners in Cuba to make sure everything is specific for your preferences.
Travel to Cuba in a small group
In Cuba you won’t have your iPhone or iPad available to quickly look up what time the tobacco factory is open or where is the best place for mojitos… So the expertise of a tour leader is priceless. Our guides are bursting with information about their home which they are eager to share it. They have personal stories experiences to share about the places that you are visiting. Tour leaders with small groups are much more interactive, mixing the must see sights such as the iconic Plaza de la Revolucion with more down to earth cultural experiences, such as the local food market. These personal experiences allow you the opportunity to really understand the daily life of the Cuban people. Google and trip advisor cannot ever compare to the wisdom and knowledge of a lifelong resident of Cuba.
Maximize your time off. If you only have seven or eight days in Cuba, do you really want to spend it wondering around aimlessly, looking for that non-existent street sign to get to that great art gallery? What about ending up in a ridiculously expensive taxi to get out to Fusterlandia. Doing it all yourself can be time consuming in Cuba. Having a sound itinerary is vital when time is short and you want to see and experience as much as possible.
Meeting new friends not only in Cuba but those who are traveling in the group. It’s widely known that the best part of travel is sharing memories with other people. Independent travel does not necessarily mean it is going to be a more “authentic, closer-to-the-people¨ trip, in fact it could be less since one is relying on limited knowledge of the place. Small group tours offer a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, a real Cuban life experiences.
Why travel to Cuba with Espíritu Travel?
Espíritu Travel is a company that believes travelers want to experience authentic trips in a way that makes a positive impact to local communities and the places that they visit.
It is not easy in a destination like Cuba but we try our best.
Our goal is connect travelers with meaningful, unique and well… awesome experiences while in Cuba.
Our tours help to promote the small but growing number of entrepreneurs that is why we almost exclusively work with casas particulares, paladares and other privately owned businesses.
- You won’t see any tour buses with our programs, our groups are small, never more than 6 people.
- We offer tours that showcase both the rich culture of the island but also its natural beauty.
- Personalized service, from the first phone call until the time you set off for Cuba.
- Tour dates don’t fit your schedule? We can customize programs to fit your interests and dates of travel.
- When you book one of our tours, we take care of all the details so that you can relax and truly enjoy Cuba!
What’s in a name?
Espíritu, clearly comes from the word spirit which we believe captures the essence of our company.
- The spirit of traveling: A sense of wanderlust and to explore beyond one’s comfort zone
- The spirit of friendship: Friendship that knows no borders
- A kindred spirit: Having a deep connection to someone or even a place
- That’s the spirit: To be vivacious to embrace spontaneity
- In good spirits: To be in a good mood
- A free spirit: one who is not restrained by convention or obligation; a nonconformist.
Join us, Espíritu Travel for your adventure in Cuba!
Our commitment to responsible travel
At Espíritu Travel we are passionate about Cuba, as is natural we want to help to maximize the benefits that tourism can bring to Cubans.
Responsible Travel (RT) does not mean having to compromise on the enjoyment of your trip or the quality of your accommodation.
We strongly believe that our tours should directly benefit the communities we visit whenever possible through the principles of sustainable travel; minimizing environmental impacts and optimizing community benefits, without sacrificing comfort or the character of your vacation.
In a place like Cuba, where sustainable tourism is practically unheard of, it is no easy task but we believe that slowly this will change and we hope to be a part of that change.
Planning your trip to Cuba
Insurance to travel to Cuba: simple & flexible
You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travelers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
Accommodations to travel to Cuba
Espíritu Travel exclusively uses casas particulares throughout Cuba. There is no better way to have a people-to-people experience than staying at one of this ‘micro’ bed and breakfasts. What they lack in amenities such as a pool or a spa, they make up for in oodles of charm, genuine hospitality and the opportunity to speak to locals in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Your understanding and appreciation of Cuba will grow far richer as a result. Casa owners are excellent hosts and their houses can be deceptively small from the outside. Many of them feature beautifully maintained interior patios with trees and flowering plants, more often than not you will be enjoying your breakfast in these small oasis’. The rooms will all have a private bathroom, hot and cold running water, air conditioning as well as a fan and some of have kitchens and/or fridges. However, the hosts are more than happy to store food for you if there is not one available in your room.
Casas particulares are private houses licensed by the government under strict conditions to rent en-suite rooms to foreigners.
Flight Information to travel to Cuba
Flying to Cuba has never been easier with several major airlines servicing not only Havana but airports throughout the island.
You are able to book directly with the following airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
JetBlue has direct flights from JFK.
The first step is to secure your place on one of our tours then to book your flights with one of the above mention airlines. All our programs begin and end in Havana except A Week in Cuba which ends in Cienfuegos (American Airlines services this airport) and Nature of Cuba which ends in Santiago de Cuba, however you can also opt for Holguín airport which is a short drive from Santiago de Cuba.
Please note that when choosing your flights, it is necessary to arrive to Havana before 1:15pm. If you must arrive later than this time, then it would be necessary to arrive the evening before. We would be happy to make this additional arrangements for you including airport transfers.
If you have questions in regard to booking flights, please call one of our travel consultants at 1-800-347-1370.
Exchanging US dollars you will be charged an extra 10%.
The Cuban Convertible (CUC) is pegged 1:1 to the US dollar. So an item in Cuba that is for example 15CUC is $15.
Cuba has a dual currency system, Peso Cubano (referred to as moneda nacional, abbreviated MN) and Peso Convertible (referred to as CUC$).
In general, travelers will pay almost exclusively in CUC.
However, it is a good idea to have a small amount of Peso Cubano for paying for ítems you might purchase from a street merchant such as bottled water, an ice cream or often you need to leave a tip for the bathroom attendant.
You will be able to exchange money once you arrive in Cuba either at the airport or at a CADECA (bureau de change).
Also, larger chain hotels can exchange money and are often the most convenient place.
Be sure to have proper ID (passport) on hand and make sure you receive a receipt for the transaction and count your change.
Do not ever accept offers to exchange currency from anyone who approaches you on the street.
It is illegal and a common scam that is practiced all over the world to take advantage of travelers, who are unfamiliar with new currencies.
This is particularly applicable in Cuba due to the dual currency system.
Securely carry your funds in a money belt and leaving excess funds behind in your accommodation is also a good idea.
US credit cards are now accepted in Cuba but you will not be able to use them in most places.
Cuba is still a cash economy so you will need to bring all the money that you will need for your trip in cash. Bring a credit/debit card for emergencies only.
A few scams to look at for while in Cuba.
Make sure to check your restaurant bill to make sure that only the items that you ordered are on the bill.
When paying in CUC, make sure that the change you get back is also CUC. It is common scam to give change back in Peso Cubano which is virtually worthless.
The unique way of Espiritu Travel
Our tours help and promote the small but growing entrepreneurial activity that is why we almost exclusively work with casa particulares, paladars and other privately owned businesses. We want you have the best possible vacation while at the same time making an amazingly positive difference in the local areas.
LONG WEEKEND IN HAVANA
4 Days / 3 Nights
Havana / Las Terrazas /
NEW YEAR'S EVE IN HAVANA
5 Days / 4 Nights
Havana / Las Terrazas / Havana /
5 Days / 4 Nights
Havana / Viñales /
A WEEK IN CUBA
7 Days / 6 Nights
Havana / Santa Clara / Trinidad / Cienfuegos /
8 Days / 7 Nights
Photography Tour in Havana /
9 Days / 8 Nights
Havana / Bay of Pigs / Trinidad / Cienfuegos / Havana /
SOUL OF CUBA
9 Days / 8 Nights
Havana / Santa Clara / Sancti Spíritus / Trinidad / Trinidad / Bay of Pigs / Havana /
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EAST
9 Days / 8 Nights
Holguín / Bayamo / Guantanamo / Santiago de Cuba / Baracoa / Playa Pesquero /
HAVANA AND THE WEST
9 Days / 8 Nights
Havana / María la Gorda, Peninsula Guanahacabibes / Viñales / Havana /
14 Days / 13 Nights
Havana / Trinidad / Camagüey / Bayamo / Baracoa / Santiago de Cuba /
Latest blog post
Oscar was a fantastic guide. Always on time, smiling, joking, teaching us to dance and taking good care of us.
We were able to do almost everything on our itinerary and then some.
I would definitely go back now that I know how it all works.
We met many wonderful people and learned an immeasurable amount about Cuba’s history and culture.
I thought the trip was an unforgettable lifetime experience.
Why travel with Espíritu Travel?
Espíritu Travel is a company that believes travelers want to experience authentic trips in a way that makes a positive impact to local communities and the places that they visit. It is not easy in a destination like Cuba but we try our best. Our goal is connect travelers with meaningful, unique and well... awesome experiences while in Cuba.