CUBA – MEXICO ROUND TRIP

Caribbean Round Trip 11 days / 10 nights WINTER 2017/18.

Cuba and Mexico are without doubt the two most popular destinations in Central America. Although the two countries are only 180 km and 50 minutes away, there are two completely different cultures, two separate worlds, with a wealth of attractions. During our round trip program, you can get to know both impressive countries within one single Caribbean trip. Cuba's cultural and historical economy, architectural masterpieces and unique atmosphere makes it unmissable. Once you visit Cuba you also participate in a time travel as the richness of barbells of the colonial ages, the sign of the American Mafia of the '50s, the retro and socialism are all presented at the same time. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most popular and safest destinations in Mexico. Here you can find beautiful colonial cities, cultural sights, and the mysterious yet fascinating civilization, the memory of the Maya culture. In this beautiful and mysterious country we invite you to a Maya expedition. This tour shows you the most important sights of the two countries in an authentic way, making it as an exciting and meaningful Caribbean expedition. The tour ends on the Riviera Maya.

The program starts from Cuba's legendary capital, Havana, and runs along the west-east route to the country's most beautiful landscapes, most important sights. We look at a tobacco plantation, get acquainted with cigar manufacturing, visit a cigar factory, and get to know the famous Havana Club rum production. We walk through the sights of Havana's old town, look at the modern Havana, then travel to the colonial age and visit the three jewels of the country, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad and Cienfuegos. All this in an authentic way, with lots of local charm. Then we fly to Cancun, where we head for a Maya expedition on the Yucatan Peninsula. Explore the traces of the mysterious Mayan civilization, cruise through the most important cities of Maya culture, from Merida to Tulum. Get acquainted with Maya architecture, admire the Maya pyramids nestling in primeval forests and discover the incredible engineering geometric and astronomical knowledge of this ancient civilization. Our attraction-rich tour ends with an all inclusive beach vacation in Mexico on Maya Riviera. The cruise starts with a guided tour in English!

3 nts Havana–1 nt S. Spiritus–1 nt Cienfuegos – 1 nt Varadero –1 nt Cancun–1 nt Merida-1 nt Valladolid– 1 nt Riviera Maya

Cuba - Mexico round trip package includes:
Accommodation for 10 nights in hotels according to the chosen package (during the round trip in local 3*/4* hotels), in standard rooms. The categories are guaranteed during the trip, but the hotels may vary depending on their capacity! The package during the round trip in Cuba includes breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch during the program, all inclusive in Varadero. In Mexico, breakfast is included during the round trip, optional lunch during the program ($ 75, - USD / person surcharge can be booked separately), dinner individually (in hotels there are A'la carte dining options). During the beach vacation, the service is all inclusive. Collective transfer (in / out), exclusive transfer during cruise with air-conditioned vehicle, depending on the number of people. Programs as described with entrance tickets and guides in English language. Meet & Greet arriving at the airport. Representative office in Havana and Playa del Carmen, where our English speaking colleagues are at your service! Telephone assistance in English. In case of an emergency 24-hour telephone service in English in both countries! The package does not include: International Flights (Havana Arrival/Cancun departure), Exit Tax, Insurance, Local Taxes in Mexico (cca.3 usd / room / night depending on hotel), services excluded in the offer (lunch/dinner during round trip in Mexico) roundtrip, costs of optional programs, tips and other services that are not included in the offer.

 

ROUND TRIP PROGRAM

1. Day Arrival/Accommodation: Havana

Arrival to Cuba in the afternoon. Meet & Greet at the airport, meeting the local tour guide and transfer to the hotel. Check in. Evening at leisure.
Meal plan: Dinner is optional, price excluded.

2. Day Accommodation: Havana

Havana – Rum Museum - Hemingway

After breakfast we start a full day sightseeing tour of Havana, one of the most beautiful cities of Latin America. Havana captivates everybody, this real Caribbean metropolis has a unique atmosphere, where a time travel tempt us, where the Colonial era, the mark of the ‘50s US mob’s mark and the retro, socialist present is simultaneously existing. We start a panoramic city tour of modern Havana, we cross Havana's famous seaside promenade, the Malecon which is a favorite meeting place for locals, we can admire the mansions of the Paseo, then stop at the Revolution Square where the Jose Marti Memorial is located. On the way back to we drive next to the world-famous Colon cemetery that is one of the world’s richest graveyards with more than 500 statues, and arrive to the old town. We visit the Havana Club Rum Museum where we get acquainted with the making of the world famous Cuban rum, the growing and processing steps of sugar cane to follow through the process until it has matured, barrel filling, bottling, and we close the visit with a tasting. We can purchase the original Havana Club memorabilia, as well as can taste the typical Cuban drink called Guarapo made from fresh sugar cane and the excellent Cuban cocktail, Guarabana. After it we start to explore the old town on foot with its rich cultural and historical attractions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. Visit the Plaza de Armas, the "Arms’ Square", the Governor's palace, while we can hunt local antiques at the authentic antique market, walk through the Plaza San Francisco where we look at the old Stock Exchange Palace and St. Francis of Assis Church and the Cathedral Square. Then we visit La Plaza Vieja, the "Old Square". Our optional lunch will be served in a typical local restaurant. After lunch we join in Hemingway's footsteps: we visit the famous Hotel Ambos Mundos where the "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was born. We visit the hotel room and the thematic exhibition. Then stop at Hemingway's favorite places, La Bodeguita del Medio and La Floridita bars, where the world famous "Mojito" and "Daiquiri" cocktails began their journey of conquest. Then visit the outdoor exhibition of the Revolutionary Museum, where the famous ship Granma is exhibited, we can see the boat, which Fidel and the other revolutionaries landed to launch the revolution. In the afternoon return to the hotel. Evening at leisure.
Meal plan: breakfast and dinner at the hotel, lunch during our trip. Optional program opportunity: Tropicana Show

3. Day Accommodation: Havana

Havana – Viñales - Havana

After breakfast we start a full day excursion to the western part of the country, the province of Pinar del Rio, 170 km from Havana, the picturesque Viñales Valley, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Pinar del Rio province is also called the country's "green" part. Our way leads along the lush tobacco plantations. This excellent climate is the secret to the excellent Cuban tobacco, the raw material of the famous Cuban cigars. Today we will learn about the making of cigars, the tobacco production and processing through to wrapping cigars. We turn into the house of an authentic Cuban tobacco producer family, who lead us through the plantation, a tobacco drying barn and we can look at the process of tobacco step by step. We learn how we can recognize high-quality tobacco leafs; learn the art of wrapping cigars as one of the famous Cuban cigars is made before our eyes. Next stop on our way is the exquisite Valley of Viñales, stopping at a lookout point where we can enjoy the breath-taking panorama with the remote scenery of "Mogotes" and mountains make this place deservedly a World Heritage site. Then optional lunch at a local family owned restaurant. After lunch we start hiking the Indian cave, and river boating inside the cave. Closing the program we visit the famous wall painting, the "Mural de la Prehistoria" that fascinates us with its unique technology of gigantic size. Late afternoon return to Havana. Evening at leisure. Meal plan: breakfast and dinner at the hotel, lunch during our trip.
Optional evening program: Buena Vista Social Club Concert.

4. Day Accommodation: Sancti Spiritus

Havana – Santa Clara – Sancti Spiritus

Breakfast at the hotel and we start our trip to Santa Clara. The City that achieved its significance during the Cuban revolution and located in the middle of the country. The fate of the revolution was decided here in December 1958, when the Che Guevara led division took the armored train carrying supplies. Visit the famous armored train, and the Che Guevara Mausoleum where the famous military leader and several companion rest. Optional lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch we continue our trip to Sancti Spiritus, a small colonial town founded 500 year ago in 1514, preserved in almost original state. Cuba's oldest stone bridge, the bridge Yayabo, is within walking distance of our hotel. Optional visit to the Museum of Guayabera. Discover the small colonial city’s nightlife! Not to be missed opportunity to visit the famous Casa de la Trova, where a real, authentic salsa party takes place and we can dance the night away with locals and can peep how to dance the Cuban salsa from the locals while the local Cuban band plays the Caribbean melodies. Evening at leisure.
Meal plan: breakfast and dinner at the hotel, lunch during our trip.

5. Day Accommodation: Cienfuegos

Sancti Spiritus – Escambray Mountains - Sugar Mill Valley – Trinidad - Cienfuegos

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, a real "Cuban Day" is ahead of us. Departure of Cuba's second largest mountain, the Escambray Mountain. The mountain is not only famous for its rich flora and fauna, but also has a special role of climate separation as well. While the North side of the hill has lush and humid subtropical vegetation, with coffee-growing countryside, the southern side has a dry climate, and covered with bushes and many other dry zone plants like Agave. We continue our trip to the famous Valley of Sugar Mills that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and later the Manaca Iznaga estate. It is possible to climb the seven stories tower that offers a beautiful panorama. Then continue our trip to Trinidad, a small colonial town founded 500 years ago that was once attributed by the abundance of its sugar cane plantations. Here, we discover another face of Cuba. Our journey is made not only on ground but in time, too. Trinidad preserves the unique atmosphere of the colonial era. While walking along the small winding streets we have the feeling as if we would have flown back in time. Sightseeing in the UNESCO World Heritage city; visit the Plaza Mayor, The Tower of Contrabandido, the Cathedral, La Santissima Trinidad Square and the exhibition of the Romantic Museum. The museum is located in the palace of the town's richest family with balustrade yard, marble floors, and neoclassical decoration; walking among the frescoes of the city's wealthiest merchant family we can enjoy the assembled exhibition of articles. Later we walk in the old town and stop at the famous Canchanchara bar where you can sample the authentic drink of Trinidad, special cocktail still made from the original recipe of Aguardiente and honey, called Canchanchara. Later we continue our trip to Cienfuegos, also a World Heritage Site city. We arrive to our hotel, check in. Evening at leisure. Meal plan: breakfast and dinner at the hotel, lunch during our trip.

6. Day Accommodation: Varadero

Cienfuegos – Montemar National Park – Guama – Varadero

Breakfast at the hotel, then a panoramic sightseeing on the famous Malecon, we admire the beautiful seaside villas, we stop at Palacio de Valle, whose architectural richness is unique. Then we head towards downtown Cienfuegos, where we take a stroll through the exploration of the city of the former aristocrats. Cienfuegos, founded by French colonists, has a unique European architectural style. We walk through the main street of the city, on Prado, admiring the José Marti Square, the Governor's Palace, the famous Thomas Terry Theater and the Cathedral. Then we go to Cuba's most significant nature conservation area, famous for its bird and fauna, on the Zapata Peninsula where Montemar National Park is located. Our first stop is Guama, the main attraction of the National Park. Here we go on a motorboat tour to the natural lagoon leading to the sea, Laguna de Tresoro, where we can see water birds in untouched nature, and from where we can see the beautiful vineyards. We will sail on the island of the Indians called Taino, where we look at the reconstructed indian village and get acquainted with the habits of indigenous Indians. Then we return to the port by boat and visit the largest crocodile farm in Cuba, where we can observe the giant reptiles in the natural environment, hundreds of them at the same time. We also visit the crocodile kindergarten, where the bravest passengers can hold the newborn babies in their hands. Afterwards, we head to the famous Pig Bay on the Caribbean Sea, which is known for the famous landing of the American’s in order to attempt the Revolution. Beside the history of the Pig Bay, it is also famous for its wildlife. Here we eat at a seaside restaurant with wonderful views of the Caribbean Sea, then we continue our journey to Varadero. Arrival late in the afternoon / evening. End of Cuba's guided service. Check in to the .
Meal: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch during the program. All inclusive dinner at the seaside hotel.

7. Day Flight to Mexico / Accommodation: Cancun

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out from the hotel. Exclusive transfer from Varadero to Havana Airport. Departure to Cancun with scheduled flights. (Transfer and departure from Cuba without separate tour guide or airport assistance).
Arrival in Mexico, Cancun Airport in the afternoon. Meet & Greet at the airport, meeting with the English speaking representative of our office. Then transfer to the hotel, check in. Evening at leisure.
Meal plan: Optional dinner at the hotel's A’la carte restaurant. (Not included!).

8. Day Accommodation: Merida

Cancun – Kabah - Uxmal – Merida

Breakfast at the hotel and then departing to the archeological site of Kabah, one of Puuc's most important settlements, we begin our Maya expedition. Kabah is in a relatively flat, primeval forest on the border of the Campeche State. The meaning of its name in Mayan is "the master of a powerful and mighty hand". Here we look at the typical buildings of the Puuc culture. The word Puuc in Mayan means "mountain", which could point to the high altitudes surrounding Kabah, as the landscape is not disturbed by higher altitudes. The history of the city dates back to the early classical age (260-600), lived its glory days in the IX.-X. century and started to decay in the XI. century, similar to Uxmal. We look at the Teocalli palace, the "Codz Pop" or "Red Hands" building, which is one of the most spectacular memories of the entire Maya culture, whose western façade is embellished by a mask of Chaac Goddess that is graven from about 250 stones. In Kabah, every stone symbolizes the fullness that connects man to the universe.
We continue our journey to Uxmal, which lived its glory days together with Kabah. It was one of the most remarkable cities of the Maya culture during the first centuries of the cultural flowering. Here we look at the Yucatan Peninsula’s best preserved ruined city, where the most famous buildings are the hillside Governor's palace, whose facade is oriented to the south, where the Venus planet rises in order to strengthen the relationship between the majesty and the planet, the building complex known as Nunnery, which is named after a number of cellular rooms around the central building, and the Wizard's pyramid whose rounded corners are unique in the Maya art. Then we visit the Chocolate Museum, where we get acquainted with the whole process of chocolate making, from cultivation to processing, to know how the Maya families lived, to taste chocolate, and then to participate in a Maya ceremony where we sacrifice Chaac deity. Then we continue our journey to the colonial town Merida, founded by the Spaniards in 1542, which was made rich by the Sisal plantations and the textiles that were built on it. We can admire this former wealth in all the palaces and squares during our panoramic sightseeing. In the evening we check in to our hotel. Evening at leisure. Meal plan: breakfast at the hotel, optional lunch during our trip and dinner in the hotel’s A’la carte restaurant. (Not included in the package!)

9. Day Accommodation: Valladolid

Merida – Chichen Itzá - Valladolid

Breakfast at the hotel. We begin our day with a truly authentic program and visit the Lucas de Galves market, which has been operating for almost 130 years now, where local producers sell their portions. We can discover a whole range of tropical fruits and vegetables, a good time to taste exotic fruits. Here we find that banana belongs to the grass family and that it can also be a vegetable. In the local market, we get an insight view into the everyday life of the inhabitants of Merida. Then we go to Chichen Itza, the most popular Maya-Toltec Memorial site on the Yucatan Peninsula, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and one of the seven new wonders of the world since 2007. Chichen Itza was founded by the Mayans between 435 and 455, occupied by the Tolts fleeing from Tula to the east in the 10th century, and then joined the Mayan leaders to become to make it as the capital of the Maya-Toltec Empire. The Tolts have procreated the worship of the “Featherhead God” called Kukulkan, their fighting habits and the sacrifice of human beings. In the belief that the gods were bloodthirsty tyrants, they believed that the sun had to be constantly fed with human blood to rise from the underground house of dawn. The shocking Toltec art evinces constant bloodshed, but the Mayan-style architecture in the archaeological area shows mathematical, astronomical and engineering genius, raising new questions about this mysterious and astonishing culture.
As a result of these two influences, the tourist feels like being in an archaic thriller as the most important buildings of the ruined city come to life in the interpretation of our guide: the "El Castillo" or Kukulkan pyramid church, on which during the equinox thanks to its exact size and orientation a shadow shows the shape of a snake emerging from the temple. We see the Temple of Warriors, the emblematic figure of Mayan culture with the Chac Mool statue, the Ball Game Place, where the "pok te pok" ritual ball games used to be played, during which the 4kg heavy ball was not supposed to be touched with hands or feet. Here our imaginary film reaches its height when we get to know that the prize of the winning team was that they became sacrificed to gods after the game. We also look at the El Caracol astronomical church, the Victory of Victims, and the Nunnery. After this spectacular and rich history, as if nothing had happened, we will continue our trip to Valladolid, the beautiful, colonial city of the Yucatan peninsula, founded in 1552 by the Franciscan monks. Here we go for a quiet sightseeing tour to see the cathedral, the Confalo de Sisal, the main square and other sights of the city in a colonial style. . In the evening we check in to our hotel. Evening at leisure. Meal plan: breakfast at the hotel, optional lunch during our trip and dinner in the hotel’s A’la carte restaurant. (Not included in the package!).

10. Day Accommodation: Riviera Maya

Valladolid – Coba – Tulum – Riviera Maya

Breakfast at the hotel then departure to Coba, one of the most populated cities of the former Mayan (with more than 50,000 inhabitants in the early days) and the largest political and economic power between 200 and 600 BC. Coba controlled the trade in the area, even its water supply which was determinative that time, and it was also a port city that was under the domination of Xel-Ha. It is interesting that this powerful city had several female leaders, and Coba was proud of the longest paved road network. His power and influence diminished around 600 AD, as a result of the strengthening of Chichen Itzá. Our destination is the archaeological site of Coba, where one of the highest pyramid of the Yucatan Peninsula is located. Its specialty is that it is the only pyramid in the area that can still be climbed. As you climb about 130 steps, you will find an exceptional panorama of the jungle from the top of the pyramid. After seeing the main sights of this former Maya city, we continue our journey to the last ruined city of the Mayas called Tulum. Tulum was built late in the thirteenth century, what is known as the Mayan post-classic period and it was the first Mayan city discovered by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th Century. It’s specialty and uniqueness is it’s location. This is the only walled Mayan city known to exist on the seashore. Renowned for its millenary frescos and unique buildings, this mysterious city was a major port-of-call along the Mayan maritime trade routes. We will see the "El Castillo" or "Castle", Tulum's highest building, the "Temple of Frescoes" decorated with serpents, fish and sea animals, and the "Temple of the Sun Gods" the “Templo de Dios del Viento " built in a semicircle, which is very unusual in the Maya architecture. After visiting the ruined city we arrive to our chosen all-inclusive beachfront resort. End of guided tour service. Meal plan: Breakfast in the hotel. Optional: Lunch during the program (Not included in the package price!). All inclusive dinner at the seaside hotel.

11. Day Farewell: Cancun

Free time in the morning. Check out until noon. You can use the hotel facilities until the transfer. For extra cost, you can buy „Late check-out” services on site. In the afternoon transfer to Cancun Airport, leaving to home country without guided service.

The basic program can be extended with extra nights if you want more time to spend relaxing on the beach!

The program can be extended with extra night in Havana before the package in case the flight ticket is more convenient the day before.

The Havana and Varadero hotels can be changed by your choice, depending on the capacity with a surcharge!

The round trip departs guaranteed every week with a minimum of 2 pax on Saturdays with English/Spanish speaking guide.

Bookings and modification requests should be indicated upon reservation. Modification quotes:sales@marysoltravel.com

WHOLESALE NET PRICES
FOR 2 PAX USD/PAX
Round trip,Hotels
Standard 4* package
Hotel,Reef Coco Beach 4*
Superior 4* package
Hotel Reef Playacar 4***
Premium 5* package
Iberostar Tucan Quetzal 5*
Dates
/ Extra night VRA
CubaMexicoDBLSGL
charge
DBLSGL
charge
DBLSGL
charge
Nov.07.,14.,21.,28.;
Dec.05.,12.
 Cuba: Hotels according to Autentica Cuba round trip Mexico: According to the Great Maya Expedition!      
Dec.19.,
Jan.02.; Dec.29.;
NYE group
        
Jan.09.,16.,23.,30.;
Feb.06.,13.,20.,27., Márc.06.,13.,20.,27.
        
Ápr.03.,10.,17.,24.        
* Dates are arrival dates that are always TUESDAYS. First program day Wednesday! The basic package can be extended on the Riviera Maya with extra nights, and the seaside hotels can be upgraded for a surcharge! In the case of extension, a separate transfer is payable! Prices are NET prices; a transaction fee will be added to the invoice. Minimum number of 2 people! Private tour upon request, surcharge of $ 199 USD / person. Extra charge: For Premium packages with Nov. 07. departure 180 usd / person, March 07. departure 90 usd / person! There is no special child price on the cruise!
QUANTITY DISCOUNTS In case of group booking, the discount to be deducted from the package price above!
Quantity / Discount USD/pax 4-5 pax 6-7 pax 8-9 pax 10+ pax
Departures between November 07. 2017 – April 24. 2018. 400,-/pax 650,-/pax 750,-/pax 800,-/pax
*Quantity discounts are valid for group reservations for the same date+ Single supplements and extension prices are the same as the regular prices!
Booking Terms
Booking: Minimum 31 days before arrival. Requested data: travellers’ name, passport number, flight details!
Payment: Latest 21 days before arrival. Invoice will be issued in EUR and the payment should be done in EUR! Please see our T&C for payment terms.
Cancelation: Over 31 days without penalty. 30-15 days 50% of the package will be charged as penalty with $35 administration cost. Within 14 days or No Show the entire package will be charged as penalty. With all confirmed bookings a $35 administration fee will be charged in case of modification. By sending reservation accept our agency’s Terms & Conditions. These conditions apply to individual reservations. Group reservations are subject to different conditions. Please inquire.
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