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CUBA

The Spirit of Eastern Cuba: Experiencing “Oriente”

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Road Scholar
Program #20613RJ
9 Days | 8 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 May 1 — May 9, 2014

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Explore a full range of attractions within minutes of Miami Airport hotel's front door- including Downtown Miami, South Beach, University of Miami, the Miami Beach Convention Center, Coral Gables and countless golf courses. The airport is 10 minutes from the hotel and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel which runs every half hour. Look for a red colored Marriott shuttle curbside at the "Arrivals" level.

Contact info:
1201 N.W. Lejeune Rd.
Miami, FL 33126 USA
phone: 305-649-5000
web: www.marriott.com/miaap

Room amenities: AC, hair dryer, cable TV, telephone, free in room high-speed internet

Facility amenities: Business center, pool, fitness center, restaurant on-site, room service

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

Elevator: Yes

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

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Thursday, May 01 - 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.

Afternoon: PLEASE NOTE: This day-by-day schedule should only be used as a guide only. Program elements are subject to change as availability is controlled by the Cuban government. Individuals will arrive at the Miami International Airport with an independent transfer to the hotel using their free shuttle service. Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and relax until orientation. Please arrive no later than 4 PM. The Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 4:45 PM to accompany the group to the orientation room. Welcome and orientation begins at 5:00 PM .

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport South Hotel

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: 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: Friday, May 02 - Arrive in Camaguey from MIA / Dance rehearsal
Breakfast: Boxed breakfast from the hotel

Morning: 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 Havana. PLEASE NOTE: Flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet.

Lunch: Lunch in Camaguey.

Afternoon: 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 (which is dependent on their touring schedule and we cannot confirm which group until just a few days prior) and we meet the dancers and enjoy an opportunity to talk about their careers and their art. Afterwards check into your hotel and enjoy a welcome cocktail, followed by a visit to San Juan Square.

Dinner: Dinner at a local Paladar (Private restaurant).

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: 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: Saturday, May 03 - Discovering the Spirit of Camaguey, its Squares a...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban centre 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 Heritage Site. We start at Agro Market, the farmer's market, to see some of the agricultural products available in this area. We end the morning with a People to People Connection: Meet the creator of a very unique public art program that has received UNESCO awards for cultural heritage. 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: Lunch in the Carmen Plaza.

Afternoon: Later on bicycle rickshaws we explore the city. We start at the workers square, La Iglesia Nuestra Senor de la Merced, Principe theater, Agromonte park, the farmer's market and end at Carmen square.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel at your own pace.

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: 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: Sunday, May 04 - Camaguey and Rural Ranching Traditions
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. Later we enjoy another People to People Connection: Next to the ranch is a small rural village were the workers and their family live, meet the local teacher and see and speak with students in the one classroom school. Later visit a humble home and meet the family to hear about life in this very isolated and poor community.

Lunch: Lunch at the King Ranch.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: We will visit a unique Artist studio and meet with 3 artists each 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. After our meeting we enjoy the performance of a string quartet.

Dinner: Dinner in 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: 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: Monday, May 05 - 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: Explore a traditional horse-drawn carriage factory unique only to Bayamo. Meet the craftspeople and learn about this disappearing art.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Bayamo.

Afternoon: Later, we stop to 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. Upon arrival in Santiago de Cuba, check in to your rooms.

Dinner: Leisure dinner buffet at the hotel.

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: 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: Tuesday, May 06 - Exploring Santiago de Cuba and Afro Cuban Influen...
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 ending 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: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: This afternoon we walk over to the Casa de la Trova where you meet with your dance instructor and spend the hour learning the Salsa while you engage in a truly cultural connection. Later this afternoon a presentation and meet with an expert on Afro Cuban culture and learn about their unique customs.

Dinner: Dinner at a paladar. People to People Connection: 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: 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: Wednesday, May 07 - 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. People to People Conection: Visit the Ludoteca Infantile and participant in an activity with the local children. Afterwards, return to Santiago. Upon arival enjoy a People to People Connection: Visit with the Vincente Family in La Maya.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to discover one of the local paladars (private Cuban restaurants run out of people's homes).

Lodging: Melia Santiago

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
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: 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 Eight: Thursday, May 08 - Art in Santiago de Cuba, El Morro Fortress, and t...
Art in Santiago de Cuba, El Morro Fortress, and the History of the Spanish American War and San Juan Hill

Note: Many uneven steps at the fortress and in the Artist Collaborative uneven paths

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: People to People Connection: Explore a Performing Arts school and meet with students and faculty. Learn and discuss education in Cuba and especially artistic education in Cuba. Later, enjoy the historic El Morro Fortress that guards the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. The views from El Morro are spectacular.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: This afternoon we drive outside of Santiago to an artist colony where we meet and have a chance to talk with the artists about their work and the role and freedom of artists in Cuba. Later we explore the Museum of the Spanish, Cuban, American war (Spanish American War) and learn about what the Cubans call the war of independence. Later wander San Juan Hill and learn about the battle fought here and made famous by Teddy Roosevelt and the rough riders.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at the Melia Santiago.

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 ...
8 nights of accommodations
21 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
1 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
12 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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