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Inside Cuba: An In-Depth Island Journey

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Road Scholar
Program #20612RJ
17 Days | 16 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
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 Dec 5 — Dec 21, 2014

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: 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: To be determined
Contact Road Scholar Participant Services at (800) 454-5768 for details.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Friday, December 05 - 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: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Melia Santiago is part modern city hotel, part resort-style hotel, situated in a residential area in the heart of Santiago. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the city, providing views of the entire area including the Sierra Maestre mountain range. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M
Santiago de Cuba, 90400 Cuba
phone: +02-268-7070
web: www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: 300 rooms with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV with 24 multi-language channels, in-room safe (additional charge), direct dial telephone, mini-bar (additional charge), private bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, café, bars, Panoramic rooftop bar, foreign currency exchange, Internet center with PC, WiFi in lobby (additional charge), gift shop, 24-hour doctor on-call, 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, evening entertainment program with live music, fitness center, massage and sauna. Hotel voltage 110v (60Hz) and 220v (60Hz).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Two: Saturday, December 06 - Flight to Santiago de Cuba and Discover EL Morro
Note: Please note: Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings, so if you use a walking aid, please bring it on the program. All accommodations in Cuba feature clean, comfortable rooms with private baths and standard amenities. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Breakfast: Breakfast boxes are provided for early morning departure from the hotel.

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 the scheduled departure time. Transfer to the airport and check in to the charter flight to Havana. PLEASE NOTE: Flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet. Upon arrival in Santiago de Cuba, meet your Cuban Study Leader who will provide local history and knowledge throughout the program.

Lunch: Near the El Morro fortress.

Afternoon: Discover El Morro fortress with your Cuban Study Leader. The fortress, overlooking one of the oldest ports in Cuba, protected the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. For the hardy, the winding steps to the top of the fortress provide expansive views over the eastern coastline. Late afternoon check in at the hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel’s buffet restaurant.

Lodging: Melia Santiago de Cuba

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

Description: The Melia Santiago is part modern city hotel, part resort-style hotel, situated in a residential area in the heart of Santiago. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the city, providing views of the entire area including the Sierra Maestre mountain range. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M
Santiago de Cuba, 90400 Cuba
phone: +02-268-7070
web: www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: 300 rooms with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV with 24 multi-language channels, in-room safe (additional charge), direct dial telephone, mini-bar (additional charge), private bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, café, bars, Panoramic rooftop bar, foreign currency exchange, Internet center with PC, WiFi in lobby (additional charge), gift shop, 24-hour doctor on-call, 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, evening entertainment program with live music, fitness center, massage and sauna. Hotel voltage 110v (60Hz) and 220v (60Hz).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Sunday, December 07 - Discovering Santiago de Cuba and the Culture of t...
Note: Walking and standing for up to one hour / one mile at a time, on paved paths and on cobblestone streets with high curbs.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Explore Santiago de Cuba. We start with a stop at the Plaza de la Revolution and the Mencado barracks for photo stops and learn a bit about Santiago during the revolution. Later in the morning 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 discovery witnessing the changing of the guard at the tomb of Jose Marti. We end the morning at the Diego Velázquez House and Museum, said to be the oldest standing house in Cuba, the Spanish colonial structure is an excellent example of how Spaniards built and lived in Cuba.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: Walk to the nearby Cultural House to meet professional dance instructors for an hour of Salsa lessons, a truly cultural connection. Return to the hotel for an expert presentation on the Culture and Religions of Oriente (Eastern Cuba).

Dinner: Free Enterprise: Dine at a Paladar (privately owned restaurant) and learn how enterprising individuals are operating their own businesses.

Lodging: Melia Santiago de Cuba

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

Description: The Melia Santiago is part modern city hotel, part resort-style hotel, situated in a residential area in the heart of Santiago. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the city, providing views of the entire area including the Sierra Maestre mountain range. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M
Santiago de Cuba, 90400 Cuba
phone: +02-268-7070
web: www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: 300 rooms with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV with 24 multi-language channels, in-room safe (additional charge), direct dial telephone, mini-bar (additional charge), private bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, café, bars, Panoramic rooftop bar, foreign currency exchange, Internet center with PC, WiFi in lobby (additional charge), gift shop, 24-hour doctor on-call, 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, evening entertainment program with live music, fitness center, massage and sauna. Hotel voltage 110v (60Hz) and 220v (60Hz).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Monday, December 08 - Guantanamo's Musical Cultural Heritage: Chengui a...
Note: Travel by motorcoach over winding roads.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Full day Field trip to the city of Guantanamo (55 miles, approximately 1.5 hours), founded by Catalan (Spanish) and French colonists who eventually intermingled with native people and slaves. The area’s deep-rooted musical and dance traditions were also influenced by Franco-Haitian immigrants. (Please note: The US base of Guantanamo is in a different location and is neither accessible nor visible.)

People to People Connection: La Tumba Francesca Pompadour. Meet and interact with dancers and perfomers who carry on this Franco-Haitian tradition. The dance, song, and drumming style known as “Tumba Francesa” (French drum) was brought to Cuba by Haitian slaves who were resettled in the island’s eastern regions during the 1790s. It embodies one of the oldest and strongest links to the Afro-Haitian heritage -- a fusion of music from Dahomey in West Africa and traditional French dances. La Tumba Francesca is inscribed on the UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

People to People Connection: Casa del Changüí. Meet and interact with musicians who play this style of popular Cuban music and see how each instrument is played. Changüí originated in the early 19th Century, combining elements of Spanish canción with African rhythms and percussion instruments.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Return to Santiago. En route, a People to People Connection: Meet and interact with a local family. Their home, as is typical with many Cuban families, houses three generations. Over coffee and conversation, learn what life is like for typical Cubans in this area.

Dinner: Explore the selection of private enterprise Paladars in Santiago. A list of suggestions will be provided.

Lodging: Melia Santiago de Cuba

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Melia Santiago is part modern city hotel, part resort-style hotel, situated in a residential area in the heart of Santiago. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the city, providing views of the entire area including the Sierra Maestre mountain range. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Contact info:
Avd. de las Américas y Calle M
Santiago de Cuba, 90400 Cuba
phone: +02-268-7070
web: www.melia.com/hotels/cuba/santiago-de-cuba/melia-santiago-de-cuba/home.htm

Room amenities: 300 rooms with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, LCD TV with 24 multi-language channels, in-room safe (additional charge), direct dial telephone, mini-bar (additional charge), private bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, café, bars, Panoramic rooftop bar, foreign currency exchange, Internet center with PC, WiFi in lobby (additional charge), gift shop, 24-hour doctor on-call, 3 swimming-pools set in spacious gardens and terraces, evening entertainment program with live music, fitness center, massage and sauna. Hotel voltage 110v (60Hz) and 220v (60Hz).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Tuesday, December 09 - Performing Arts Education and a Fishing Community
Note: The ferry crossing to Granma Island is approximately 7 minutes each way.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Begin with a stop at San Juan Hill, to view the monuments commemorating this decisive battle of the Spanish-American War. People to People Connection: At a school for the performing arts, meet students and faculty for discussion and to learn about education and vocational training in Cuba. Take a ferry for the short crossing over to Granma Island to visit the main village.

Lunch: People to People Connection: Share lunch with local fishermen and learn about their way of life.

Afternoon: Continue the discussion with the fisherman and examine the tools available for them to ply their trade. Take some time to explore the village before returning by ferry to the mainland.

Dinner: At leisure in the hotel buffet restaurant.

Lodging: Melia Santiago de Cuba

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: +03-229-2093
web: 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, 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 Six: Wednesday, December 10 - Transfer to Camaguey: Discover El Cobre Sanctuary...
Note: Today is a full day of travel from Santiago de Cuba to Camaguey, about 200 miles / 8 hours with stops and visits en route. Road conditions vary and can be bumpy at times. The hotel in Camaguey is situated in a pedestrian street, about 2 blocks from the coach drop off point. Coach access in Camaguey is limited.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Depart Santiago de Cuba to Camaguey via Bayamo. Journey into the heart of Cuba and witness some of the most beautiful scenery. The drive through the countryside is a unique and interesting experience as you observe the forms of transportation available to Cubans, including an abundance of horse drawn carriages.

Stop at 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 country’s most cherished saint. Continue on to Bayamo, the second city founded by the Spanish in Cuba, in 1513.

People to People Connection: Meet woodworkers and craftspeople who build horse carriages – both real and model – that are used all over the country as one of the main forms of transportation. Then, experience this mode of travel first hand during a short carriage ride through the city, an enlightening change of perspective from riding in a motorcoach.

Lunch: In a local restaurant

Afternoon: Continue the drive to Camaguey, arriving in the late afternoon.

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: +03-229-2093
web: 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, 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 Seven: Thursday, December 11 - Discovering Camaguey, its Squares and its Artists
Note: Extensive use of bicycle rickshaws this morning. 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 buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Camaguey is reputed to have some of the most talented dancers in Cuba, and is home to three of the country’s best dance companies. People to People Connection: Visit a dance company and observe dancers during their daily rehearsal, and learn from the company manager the challenges of operating a performance company. Speak one on one with the staff, perhaps instructors or the seamstresses who have to be creative in their use of the few available resources to make costumes.

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. The third-largest city in Cuba, the historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that just celebrated its 500 year anniversary. 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.

People to People Connection: Meet the creator of a unique 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. Return to the hotel on foot.

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: +03-229-2093
web: 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, 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 Eight: Friday, December 12 - A Cattle Ranch and Life in Rural Cuba
Note: While on the ranch some steep steps (10 steps) are unavoidable to get onto the observation area seating, and climbing into a horse drawn wagon is required for the village visit (1 - 1.5 foot climb up.)

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Drive into the countryside surrounding Camaguey to visit a working cattle ranch. People to People Connection: Learn the story of the ranch from the manager and meet real Cuban cowboys who demonstrate their skills and share their daily work and life experiences with you.

Lunch: Enjoy an authentic pig roast.

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 in the late afternoon.

Dinner: In a privately owned Paladar on San Juan Square.

Evening: Pack an overnight bag for tomorrow night in Trinidad.

Lodging: Gran Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Bed and Breakfast

Contact info:
Historic District
Trinidad, Cuba
Room amenities: All rooms are air conditioned and have a private bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Soap is the only toiletry provided.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Saturday, December 13 - Travel to Trinidad, Gem of Colonial Towns
Note: Plan to have an overnight bag for the one night in the Trinidad B&B. Large luggage will remain securely stored on the motorcoach. Extensive walking over very uneven cobble stone streets is unavoidable and can be strenuous in Trinidad.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Depart Camaguey to Trinidad, about 160 miles / 4 hours with two rest stops en route.

Lunch: On arrival in Trinidad, at La Ceiba Paladar - The restaurant is built around a giant Baobab tree, sacred in Africa, and these traditions, along with the tree, are carried over in Afro-Cuban culture. The tree is over 400 years old.

Afternoon: Field Trip On Foot: Explore the historic center of Trinidad de Cuba, one of the original Spanish Settlements and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is a pristine example of Spanish colonial Caribbean architecture and has just celebrated its 500 year anniversary. People to People Connection: Meet your host families for these evening, residents who operate bed and breakfasts in their homes and some of the first people in Cuba to practice the new spirit of free enterprise.

Dinner: Enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by your hosts at your Casa Particular.

Evening: Relax at your bed and breakfast accommodation or take an evening stroll through the town.

Lodging: Casa Particular (Privately Owned Bed & Breakfast)

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

Description: Hotel America is located very close to Leoncio Vidal Central Park and Santa Clara´s Civic Square, the main socio-cultural and economic center of the territory, a place where you can enjoy museums, night clubs, shops, cafes and restaurants. 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:
Ave. Eucaliptos y Circunvalación. Santa Clara, Villa Clara
Santa Clara, Cuba
phone: +04-220-1585
Room amenities: Air conditioning, radio, telephone, and satellite TV.

Facility amenities: Swimming pool, safe (extra charge), internet cafe (24 hrs but very slow), a la carte restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace, snack-bar, sunbathing area, ideal for entertainment and stage shows, international and national phone service, custodial service for luggage, hair dryers, minibar.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Sunday, December 14 - Travel to Cienfuegos and Santa Clara
Note: Travel by motorcoach over winding roads. Walking and standing on pavement in Cienfuegos.

Breakfast: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast prepared by your hosts.

Morning: Reconvene with the group to depart on the motorcoach to Santa Clara, via Cienfuegos. The drive to Cienfuegos is 50 miles / 1.5 hours.

Lunch: In a Paladar in Cienfuegos.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP ON FOOT: Explore the main square of Cienfuegos, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but a city founded by the French, who came to Cuba after the Haitian revolution. The city offers outstanding architecture and is home to a large artistic community and one of the most beautiful theaters in Cuba.

People to People Connection: meet with members of a professional choir and learn about their work, their performance travels and their daily lives. Continue on to Santa Clara, about a one-hour drive.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel America

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Hotel America is located very close to Leoncio Vidal Central Park and Santa Clara´s Civic Square, the main socio-cultural and economic center of the territory, a place where you can enjoy museums, night clubs, shops, cafes and restaurants. 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:
Ave. Eucaliptos y Circunvalación. Santa Clara, Villa Clara
Santa Clara, Cuba
phone: +04-220-1585
Room amenities: Air conditioning, radio, telephone, and satellite TV.

Facility amenities: Swimming pool, safe (extra charge), internet cafe (24 hrs but very slow), a la carte restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace, snack-bar, sunbathing area, ideal for entertainment and stage shows, international and national phone service, custodial service for luggage, hair dryers, minibar.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Eleven: Monday, December 15 - Meeting the People of Santa Clara
Note: The Museum of Decorative Arts, the main square of Santa Clara and the Senior Center are accessed on foot from the hotel, about a 15 minute walk to each.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Walk to the Museum of Decorative Arts for a People to People Connection with Santa Clara’s Trobadours. Enjoy a performance then a discussion with them about classical guitar and Cuban music. Walk to a nearby arts center for a People to People Connection with a group of vivacious seniors, who demonstrate some of their favorite activities, including Danzon, the most traditional of Cuban dances. Discussions include learning about their social club and retirement in Cuba.

Lunch: People to People Connection: Continue the conversations over lunch at the café with the seniors.

Afternoon: Field Trip: Gain insight into a central figure in the Cuban revolution as you explore the Che Guevera Memorial and Museum.

Dinner: Your choice to explore the Paladars of Santa Clara. A list of suggestions will be provided.

Lodging: Hotel America

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

Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Contact info:
Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana, 10400 Cuba
phone: +07-836-3564 (67)
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp

Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.

Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Twelve: Tuesday, December 16 - Transfer to Havana / Meet a Modern Dance Company
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Depart to Havana, the drive is about 3.5 hours (with stops) and covers 188 miles.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Havana.

Afternoon: During this People to People Connection, visit one of Cuba’s only independent dance companies, MalPaso, to watch a rehearsal, then interact with them for one-on-one conversation, an opportunity to practice some Spanish!

Drive through the famed Colon Cemetery to see the spectacular crypts built prior to the revolution. Late afternoon arrival at the Hotel Nacional. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and an orientation walk through this historical and beautifully preserved national monument. This sprawling property includes a Hall of Fame, featuring photographs and folklore about its many famous past guests: Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Meyer Lansky and more.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Contact info:
Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana, 10400 Cuba
phone: +07-836-3564 (67)
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp

Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.

Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Thirteen: Wednesday, December 17 - Discovering Old Havana and the Museum of Fine Art...
Note: Walking and standing outdoors in the sun for up to 2 - 2.5 miles over uneven, cobblestone streets in Old Havana for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Begin with an Expert Presentation on the evolution of Havana’s modern architecture: Havana City of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Learn about the restoration work being done and discuss the challenges and the vision for Havana’s future.

Field Trip: Explore the Fine Arts Museum of Havana. Cuban art is renowned world-wide. Delve into the stories that each work of art relates and the statement on politics, culture and society that each artist conveys.

End the morning in Old Havana with a People to People Connection: Meet with members of a graphics workshop and discuss what they do.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in Old Havana.

Afternoon: Field Trip on foot to discover 2 of the main squares of Old Havana: Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza Vieja. Each square has its own unique features.

People to People Connection: At the San Jose Artisan Market, interact with artisans selling their original works. Here, see paintings, photography, crochet, wood crafts and many other forms of art. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask the artisans about their inspirations and their daily lives.

Dinner: On your own to discover one of the many Paladars that have opened in Havana (suggestions will be provided).

Lodging: Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Meals Included: Breakfast

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Contact info:
Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana, 10400 Cuba
phone: +07-836-3564 (67)
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp

Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.

Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Fourteen: Thursday, December 18 - Cuba - US Relations and Las Terrazas Biosphere Re...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: An Expert Presentation: US - Cuba Relations: A Cuban Perspective will provide new insights as to many of the historical conundrums between the two countries.

Depart to the Artemisa region for a full morning of People to People Connections as you interact with students and faculty at a small rural school in Las Terrazas. Learn about this UNESCO Biophere reserve that was a pioneer in ecovillages when it was founded in 1968. Meet residents, Artists, Artisans and many others who make their lives here in this unique community.

Lunch: Enjoy a unique vegetarian meal at the Las Terrazas restaurant, El Romeo, which focuses on sustainable farming practices and produces most of its own ingredients.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet Maria and learn how she, like many Las Terrazas residents, conceived an idea and developed her own business in the community. At the town square, meet with local residents at the ration store, the doctor and artisans. Return to Havana.

People to People Connection: At San Lazaro Hospice, meet with the nuns to learn about the hospice care provided. (Please Note: Road Scholar makes a financial contribution to the hospice on your behalf but if you wish to bring donations, the most up-to-date needs are listed on the Road Scholar Discussion boards. This hospice is able to continue to exist in large part, due to the support of Road Scholar participants.)

Dinner: On your own to discover one of the many Paladars that have made Havana a foodie destination. (Suggestions will be provided).

Lodging: Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Contact info:
Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana, 10400 Cuba
phone: +07-836-3564 (67)
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp

Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.

Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Fifteen: Friday, December 19 - Expert Presentation, Community Center and La Caba...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Begin with an Expert Presentation on the Role of Religion in Cuban Identity.

Visit the famous Revolution Square in Havana and learn about the monumental events that have taken place there.

People to People Connection: Meet the members of a community center and learn about the variety of activities that the center sponsors in their neighborhood.

Lunch: Enjoy a meal prepared for you by the ladies of the community center.

Afternoon: Cross the harbor to take in the view from La Cabana Fortress, overlooking the city skyline and the mouth of the harbor. also known simply as "El Morro" This fortress protected the mouth of the Havana harbor in its day.

People to People Connection: Visit the home of a family who all work in the medical fields and at the same time operate a private business.

Dinner: Free Enterprise: Farewell dinner in a Paladar.

Lodging: Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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: 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: To be determined
Contact Road Scholar Participant Services at (800) 454-5768 for details.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Sixteen: Saturday, December 20 - Hemingway in Cuba and Return to the U.S.
Note: Remember to save 25CUC for the Airport Departure Tax.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. Field Trip: Walk through Old Havana and focus on the oldest part of the city at the Plaza de Armas (Arms Square). People to People Connection: Meet booksellers for one on one conversation to discuss the importance of literature. Continue to Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.

Lunch: On your own in Old Havana.

Afternoon: Drive to the outskirts of Havana to Finca La Vigia, the Hemingway Farm. This beautiful property hosts the house where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived with his third wife Mary for over 30 years. Look into the open windows and doors to see the home in perfect condition with Hemingway’s personal belongings as he left them. Walk the grounds to see his private writing studio, swimming pool, and beloved fishing boat, Pilar. The boat is featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream."

Transfer from to the airport in Havana for your return charter flight to the US.

Dinner: On your own in the airport café.

Evening: Upon arrival at Miami International Airport, clear U.S. Customs and Immigration then transfer to the hotel using the hotel shuttle. Check in to the Miami Airport hotel. Program ends.

Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day Seventeen: Sunday, December 21 - Independent Departures from Miami
Breakfast: Buffet Breakfast in Impressions Restaurant at leisure.

Morning: Independent departures. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 ...
16 nights of accommodations
40 meals: 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 11 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips
26 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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