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CUBA

The Spirit of Eastern Cuba: Experiencing “Oriente”

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Road Scholar
Program #20613RJ
8 Days | 7 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Mar 14 — Mar 21, 2015

Expand all
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Situated one mile from Miami International Airport (MIA), this modern Miami, Florida hotel adjoins the Miami Airport Convention Center and the Miami International Merchandise Mart, which is also open to the public.

The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the airport and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. To call the shuttle upon arrival at the airport: On the 2nd Level / Departure Level, go to the nearest outside door and identify the Door number. Call the hotel on (305) 261-3800 and tell them your location. The shuttle will come and pick you up upon request.

Contact info:
711 NW 72nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33126 USA
phone: 305-261-3800
web: http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-miami-airport-and-convention-center-MIAMADT/index.html

Room amenities: 334 oversized guest rooms with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, individual temperature and air-conditioning control, alarm clock radio with MP3 connection, coffee maker with coffee, iron and ironing board, 2 line speaker phone and an in room safe.

Facility amenities: Warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in; restaurant, bar, Automated Teller (ATM), baggage storage, beauty salon, clothing store, gift shop, laundry/valet service, room service, fitness room, heated outdoor pool, the hot tub and whirlpool spa, 24-hour complimentary airport transportation to and from Miami International Airport and the Waterford Blue Lagoon Office Park.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Saturday, March 14 - Flight to Miami / Orientation / Overnight in Miam...
Note: Please note: Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings, so if you use a walking aid, please bring it on the program.

Arrive To: PLEASE NOTE: This day-by-day schedule should only be used as a guide since program elements are subject to change as availability is controlled by the Cuban government. Individual arrivals at Miami International Airport with an independent transfer using the hotel’s courtesy shuttle service. Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and relax until orientation.

Afternoon: Please arrive no later than 4 p.m. The Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 4:45 p.m. to accompany the group to the orientation room. Welcome and orientation begins at 5:00 p.m. This very important meeting prepares you for travel in Cuba. Review travel documents, discuss OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) regulations that govern our program, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, tomorrow’s schedule.

Dinner: In the hotel’s Rioja Restaurant.

Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Rural hotels in Cuba are very basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Maceo 64 e/ General Gomez e Ignacio Agramonte
Camaguey, Cuba
phone: +3229209332292094
web: http://www.hotelgran.com/hotel-gran-hotel-facilities.htm

Room amenities: Air conditioning, baby's cot (on request), balcony (subject to availability), bathroom, double beds, hot & cold water, safe box, radio, satellite TV, telephone and twin beds.

Facility amenities: Bar, café, restaurant, grill, international cuisine, snacks and drinks 24 hours a day, no internet, money exchange, reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, medical service, safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs, shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts, taxis desk, telephone - national & international calls

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Two: Sunday, March 15 - Discovering the Spirit of Camaguey, its Squares a...
Note: Early morning airport check-in for charter flight. Extensive use of bicycle rickshaws. You must be able to share the seat with another participant and get on and off the rickshaw with no assistance (step up is 1 - 1.5 Feet)

Breakfast: Breakfast bags provided for early departure.

Morning: Early morning departure from the hotel to the terminal (final flight times will be confirmed during orientation). The Road Scholar Group Leader will meet the group in the hotel lobby to transfer to the airport. Please be in the hotel lobby with your luggage and be ready to depart the hotel 15 minutes before departure schedule. Transfer to the airport and check in to the charter flight to Camaguey. PLEASE NOTE: Flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet. Upon arrival, meet your Cuban Study Leader.

Field Trip: One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban center of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. It is the 3rd largest city in Cuba and the historic center is a UNESCO World Heriatge Site. Explore the main squares, the church and the city park by pedicab, each uniquely decorated by a local artist. Traveling by pedicab is an intimate introduction to the pulse of the city's streets and residents.

Lunch: Light lunch in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet a family of potters who have been making the Tinajones, the large terracotta pots that Camaguey is famous for a generation. In their beautifully landscaped garden, examine the skill of the potter as he practices his craft and learn the stories of the family members who are each artists in their own right.

Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy the evening breezes and views from the rooftop terrace of the hotel.

Lodging: Gran Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Rural hotels in Cuba are very basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Maceo 64 e/ General Gomez e Ignacio Agramonte
Camaguey, Cuba
phone: +3229209332292094
web: http://www.hotelgran.com/hotel-gran-hotel-facilities.htm

Room amenities: Air conditioning, baby's cot (on request), balcony (subject to availability), bathroom, double beds, hot & cold water, safe box, radio, satellite TV, telephone and twin beds.

Facility amenities: Bar, café, restaurant, grill, international cuisine, snacks and drinks 24 hours a day, no internet, money exchange, reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, medical service, safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs, shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts, taxis desk, telephone - national & international calls

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Monday, March 16 - The Arts and Artists of Camaguey
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

Morning: People to People Connection: Camaguey has been blessed by some of the best dancers in Cuba and the city is home to 3 of the best dance companies in Cuba. Today we attend a rehearsal of one of these companies (dependent on their touring schedule) and we meet the dancers and enjoy an opportunity to talk about their careers and their art.

People to People Connection: Meet the creator of a very unqiue public art program who has received UNESCO recognition as an intangible cultural treasure of Cuba. Martha Jimenez is a world-renowned sculptor and painter, she created the Plaza Carmen Sculpture project and will share with us her motivation and her community around Carmen Square.

Lunch: In a paladar on Carmen Square.

Afternoon: Free Time in Carmen Square: Examine the sculptures of every day life by Martha Jimenez. Stroll at your leisure to peek into the other independently owned art galleries on the square and speak with the artists on your own.

People to People Connection: This evening we visit a unique artist studio and meet the owner and some of the resident artists, each one using a different medium. This presents the unique opportunity to discuss the role of the Artist in Cuban society and to better understand the level of freedom they are given in their pursuit of creativity. It is also an opportunity to engage with the owner who is a member of the Cuban Jewish community.

Dinner: Walk to dinner in a restaurant nearby.

Lodging: Gran Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Rural hotels in Cuba are very basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Maceo 64 e/ General Gomez e Ignacio Agramonte
Camaguey, Cuba
phone: +3229209332292094
web: http://www.hotelgran.com/hotel-gran-hotel-facilities.htm

Room amenities: Air conditioning, baby's cot (on request), balcony (subject to availability), bathroom, double beds, hot & cold water, safe box, radio, satellite TV, telephone and twin beds.

Facility amenities: Bar, café, restaurant, grill, international cuisine, snacks and drinks 24 hours a day, no internet, money exchange, reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, medical service, safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs, shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts, taxis desk, telephone - national & international calls

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Tuesday, March 17 - Exploring Rural Camaguey Province
Note: While on the ranch some steep steps (10 steps) are unavoidable to get onto the seating observation area and climbing into a horse drawn wagon is required (1 - 1.5 foot climb up)

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning we leave the city center and explore the region outside of Camaguey. People to People Connection: We meet with real Cuban cowboys. Camaguey is the center of livestock in Cuba and outside of the city are a number of ranches. We explore a working ranch and witness the work and the games before engaging the ranchers in a conversation about rural life in Cuba.

Lunch: Lunch at the King Ranch.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: The ranch supports a village where the workers and their families live. Meet the teachers and students of the two-room schoolhouse and discuss how education works in this remote village. Then visit a humble home and meet the family to hear about their life and how they sustain themselves. Return to Camaguey.

Dinner: Dinner in a privately owned paladar on San Juan Square.

Lodging: Gran Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Hotels in Cuba are basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M, 90400
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
phone: +88895MELIA
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: Tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV in all rooms with 24 multi-language channels, telephone internal channel, CD player, safe (additional charge), telephone with outside line (additional charge), mini-bar (additional charge), air conditioning, writing desk, table for breakfast, bathtub – shower, hair dryer, make up mirror, weighing scales, coffee maker, radio / alarm clock.

Facility amenities: Business center with secretarial services, foreign exchange service, car rental, tourism bureau, boutique and shop with local art, 24-hour medical attention, parking, exclusive reception area with Concierge service (9th floor), exclusive lounge bar (9th floor) named "Sierra Cristal" with LCD TV, continental breakfast service from 7 am. to 11 am. in the lounge bar (9th floor), 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, daytime and evening entertainment program with dancing lessons, shows, etc., domino, gym with new equipment including sauna and massage services.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Wednesday, March 18 - Transfer from Camaguey to Santiago and Explore Ba...
Note: Today we cover 300 KM as we make our way from Camaguey to Santiago de Cuba. Roads can be bumpy at times.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning we transfer from Camaguey to Santiago de Cuba via Bayamo. The road takes us into the heart of Cuba and you witness some of the most beautiful scenery. This will take about 3 hours with a rest stop along the road. Bayamo was the second city founded by the Spanish in Cuba in 1513. Explore the city's main square before lunch. People to People Connection: Visit a print artists' cooperative to converse with the artists and learn about life in this small town.

Lunch: In a local restaurant in Bayamo.

Afternoon: En route to Santiago, discover the El Cobre Sanctuary, dedicated to the Patron Saint of Cuba. Here pilgrims from all over Cuba come to pray and ask for favors of the most cherished saint. Late afternoon arrival in Santiago.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel's Buffet Restaurant, at your leisure.

Lodging: Melia Santiago

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Hotels in Cuba are basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M, 90400
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
phone: +88895MELIA
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: Tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV in all rooms with 24 multi-language channels, telephone internal channel, CD player, safe (additional charge), telephone with outside line (additional charge), mini-bar (additional charge), air conditioning, writing desk, table for breakfast, bathtub – shower, hair dryer, make up mirror, weighing scales, coffee maker, radio / alarm clock.

Facility amenities: Business center with secretarial services, foreign exchange service, car rental, tourism bureau, boutique and shop with local art, 24-hour medical attention, parking, exclusive reception area with Concierge service (9th floor), exclusive lounge bar (9th floor) named "Sierra Cristal" with LCD TV, continental breakfast service from 7 am. to 11 am. in the lounge bar (9th floor), 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, daytime and evening entertainment program with dancing lessons, shows, etc., domino, gym with new equipment including sauna and massage services.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Thursday, March 19 - Exploring Santiago de Cuba and Afro Cuban Influen...
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Explore Santiago de Cuba. We start with a stop at the Plaza de la Revolucion. Then we make our way to the cemetery to see some of the most beautiful burial crypts built in Cuba and to learn about Jose Marti, the Cuban National Hero. We end our visit witnessing the changing of the guard at the tomb of Jose Marti.

Field Trip: Enjoy the historic El Morro Forteress that guards the entrance to the Harbor of Santiago de Cuba. The views from El Morro are spectacular.

Lunch: Take a ferry for a short crossing over to Granma Island to visit the fisherman's village. People to People Connection: Share lunch with local fishermen and learn about their way of life.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: At Casa de de la Trova meet with your dance instructor and spend the hour learning the Salsa while you engage in a truly cultural connection.

Dinner: Private Enterprise: Dinner in a paladar. Talk with the family and learn about what it's like to run a private enterprise in Cuba.

Lodging: Melia Santiago

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: PLEASE NOTE: Hotels in Cuba are basic by American standards, while this hotel is the best available, clean and safe, it may not meet our higher expectations.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M, 90400
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
phone: +88895MELIA
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: Tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV in all rooms with 24 multi-language channels, telephone internal channel, CD player, safe (additional charge), telephone with outside line (additional charge), mini-bar (additional charge), air conditioning, writing desk, table for breakfast, bathtub – shower, hair dryer, make up mirror, weighing scales, coffee maker, radio / alarm clock.

Facility amenities: Business center with secretarial services, foreign exchange service, car rental, tourism bureau, boutique and shop with local art, 24-hour medical attention, parking, exclusive reception area with Concierge service (9th floor), exclusive lounge bar (9th floor) named "Sierra Cristal" with LCD TV, continental breakfast service from 7 am. to 11 am. in the lounge bar (9th floor), 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, daytime and evening entertainment program with dancing lessons, shows, etc., domino, gym with new equipment including sauna and massage services.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Friday, March 20 - Guantanamo's Musical Cultural Heritage: Chengui a...
Guantanamo's Musical Cultural Heritage: Chengui and the Tumba Francesa

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: People to People Connection: Interact with dancers at the Tumba Francesa Pompadour, a Franco-Haitian dance. La Tumba Francesa is a traditional cultural dance and style that emerged in the 18th century in Oriente, Cuba. It combines music from West Africa and traditional French music. It is on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Speak with the members of this group and learn about their cultural heritage. Later enjoy another People to People Connection: Interact with musicians from Casa del Chengui. Chengui, is the original Cuban musical style and rhythm made famous all over the world and originating in the country side around Guantanamo. During this activity, interact with the musicians and learn how each instrument is played.

Lunch: Lunch at the Hotel Marti.

Afternoon: Explore the main square of Guantanamo - Plaza Marti, which features the smallest Cathedral in all of Cuba and which was once a busy commercial city center. Depart for the return drive to Santiago. En route, enjoy a People to People Connection during a visit in the home of the Vincente Family. Hear their unique history and see how multi-generational families live together in a typical home.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner in a Paladar

Lodging: Melia Santiago

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
19 meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
5 Field trips
13 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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