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Cuba Today: People and Society

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9 Days | 8 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.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. 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.
Discussion Board

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Ronda Stevens Feb 13, 2016 at 02:26 PM

What are folks' experiences with going to or making plans to go to The Tropicana while in Havana? From what I have gleaned, it is somewhat pricey ($75 and up per person) plus a taxi ride, so maybe primarily attended by tourists? Worth it? The only ticket sale I found on-line is in Spanish, though I don't think I'd want to book ahead of being there unless that's necessary. We'll be with the group that begins on 2/23 with Cienfuegos as first stop.
Carolyn Butler Feb 13, 2016 at 02:55 PM

I'm interested in hearing about people's experiences with the Tropicana too. Even if it's pricey and touristy, it's so iconic that it would be fun to actually be there.
Ronda Stevens Feb 13, 2016 at 02:58 PM

Exactly! When are you going, Carolyn?


Linda Osborn Feb 13, 2016 at 08:35 AM

My name is Linda Osborn and I am from Illinois. I'm still trying to connect to anyone going on the Cuba Today: People and Society-Havana and the Countryside from March 15 to 23rd flying out of Miami.


Catherine Hurst Feb 13, 2016 at 08:35 AM

Donations: I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about this before I went; here is what I ended up bringing. Batteries, hair elastics and barrettes, colored pens, crayons, thumb drives, baseballs, sponges, hand towels, band-aids (plain and fancy), and alcohol wipes. As I've mentioned before, I would also include a good quality paperback book or two and condoms (both for the bookstore which requests these items). And I brought Hot Wheels cars to give to kids in public places (not beggars, but apparently there are very few toys in Cuba). And soaps (bar or liquid) for people who ask for it on the street.


Carolyn Hayek Feb 12, 2016 at 09:12 PM

How big an issue are insects?
Carolyn Butler Feb 12, 2016 at 10:12 PM

This will be my first visit to Cuba, and I'll be there in April. Without knowing for sure what to expect in the way of insects, I'm going prepared with both Picaridin and DEET. I've got lotion and wipes. I'm considering pre-treating my clothes by washing them with Permethrin or taking Permethrin fabric spray repellent along with me. This is the same chemical used in the manufacture of insect-repellant-impregnated clothing. Sawyer seems to make a good product. There are others you can check out as well. Here's a link to an article about Permethrin: http://sectionhiker.com/treating-your-clothes-with-permethrin/.
Bonnie House Feb 12, 2016 at 10:55 PM

I was bitten by sand flies on the beach at Bay of Pigs. These bites lasted several weeks and were very itchy.
Carolyn Butler Feb 13, 2016 at 12:57 AM

Good to know, Bonnie. Thanks for the info on the sand flies. They're very bad on the west side of the south island of New Zealand too, so we went very prepared. In that case, it rained the whole time we were there, and the sand flies don't some out when it rains, so we didn't get to put into use our full sand fly assault plan.
Catherine Hurst Feb 13, 2016 at 08:31 AM

I brought a standard insect spray with me and only used it when we were at the botanical gardens in Cienfuegos.


Nicki Hamilton Feb 12, 2016 at 01:24 PM

I didn't notice a smell of smoke in my hotel rooms.


Nicki Hamilton Feb 12, 2016 at 01:23 PM

You can rent a room safe. What I do is I have a light cotton case that hangs around my neck under my clothes and I wear my passport and my money.
Barbara R Carter Feb 12, 2016 at 01:28 PM

I locked things in my suitcase, as did our American guide.


Carolyn Hayek Feb 12, 2016 at 12:21 PM

It looks like we will each be carrying hundreds of dollars of cash. What's the best way to keep it secure? Are there in-room safes? Is there much street crime?
Janet smith Feb 12, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Janet smith Feb 12, 2016 at 12:49 PM

I wearva neck pouch when on the road with my passport, credit card, and cash. no need to worry about street crime at all, virtually non-issue and you are totally safe physically, unlike in much of US. yes, there are roomsafes available. registet at the front desk. at Nacional thry come up and set it up, at Jaguain ".
Janet smith Feb 12, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Janet smith Feb 12, 2016 at 12:52 PM

to continue...at the Jagua in Cienfuegos we registered, paid a fee and that was it. upon checkout they requested the reciept we had been given for the fee and the box is all.
Barbara R Carter Feb 12, 2016 at 01:05 PM

There is no street crime, especially toward Americans!! Cubans are thrilled we are coming there and look out for us.
LaVance Davis Feb 12, 2016 at 01:45 PM

Miramar in Havana had room safes. No,charge to use the I bOught a small piece of original art at a market for 5CUC.
Catherine Hurst Feb 12, 2016 at 05:38 PM

We had safes in both hotel rooms for $1.50-$2 per night fee. I used the safe for my extra cash, passport, and credit cards, and left other items to protect (costume jewelry, etc.) in my locked suitcase.


Ilene Yoffe Feb 12, 2016 at 12:15 PM

I am wondering if the rooms had an odor of smoke. I am staying at the Nacional and the Jaguar in Cienfuegos. I am going on May 17-25 to Havana and then Cienfuegos. Anyone else going on this trip?
Barbara Rice Feb 12, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Stayed at both in July 2015. No hint of smoke in our rooms. And, I would have noticed if there was.
Catherine Hurst Feb 12, 2016 at 05:39 PM

No smoke in either of my rooms at the two hotels, but it's certainly possible.


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