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Inside Cuba: An In-Depth Island Journey

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Road Scholar
Program #20612RJ
16 Days | 15 Nights
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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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.
Discussion Board

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Gladys Gilliland Aug 20, 2014 at 06:37 PM

You can probably get most books from your Library. I didn't buy any except Telex from Havana takes place just as Fidel and his army starts the take over of Cuba.
Many of places names in that book have been renamed by Castro, but it is fairly easy to figure out where this all began. I would get a map of Cuba as it is a big help in figuring out where you are going. .
John Cubit Aug 20, 2014 at 09:27 PM

I do believe in reading-up on a place before traveling there, so I bought the $100 set. It was not worth it. Take Gladys' advice and get a GOOD detailed map of Cuba. Pay attention to the proximity of Havana to Miami and the proximity of the other end of Cuba to Haiti. This will help explain much of the culture and history you will encounter. The most important book I read for the trip was "Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914" by J.R. McNeill. I'd also recommend reading up on the the Cuban war of independence from Spain--myopically named the Spanish-American War in the U.S. In reading this history, pay attention to Maceo, an amazingly remarkable hero of the war. The same goes for Jose Marti. This is a great trip. Keep an open, inquisitive mind. You will learn a lot. I posted a lot of trip photos at

Donald Schoengold Aug 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

My wife Carole and I are signed up for the Feb. 6 - 21 trip. My brother and his wife took the same trip last year and he said that it was a wonderful trip. Can't wait although we do have a couple of trips scheduled before the Cuba trip and we just got back from one.

I wonder - Rhodes Scholars suggests that we buy and read $100 worth of books before we leave. Is it really necessary? Are they available for the Barnes and Noble Nook?

Nancy Cunningham Aug 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

You can get all of the Road Scholar recommendations on Amazon or Alibris. If you buy new copies, and spend $35 or more, shipping is free from Amazon. You can also find many of their recommendations from other vendors on the Amazon site, sometimes for as little as $.01 but you will pay $3.98 postage for each book. Also, try your public library. A big advanatage to Amazon is reading customer reviews, and also getting referred to other books on the same subject. I didn't buy any books from the Road Scholar vendor and saved $$$$. The more you know going in, the better your trip will be.
Nancy Cunningham Aug 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Add: some books are available from Amazon on Kindle. To put Road Scholar's recommendations in perspective, they listed a Hungarian writer (for the Central Europe trip) as having won the Pulitzer Prize when in fact he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. A big diff, don't you think?

Gary Lawson Jul 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

How 'free' are travelers on the Cuba trips, to wander away from the official activities?
Virginia Marcotte Jul 22, 2014 at 07:31 AM

A total of 5 people in my group (two couples and me) had personal contacts in Cuba. The brief time I spent with my friends was totally un policed. And the two couples spend much longer with their friends. I wold say that if you speak Spanish you could wander around pretty much on your own. In fact the friends I took a walk with were surprised our group had been told not to take pix of anyone in uniform or our camera would be confiscated. We happened to see someone in uniform and they said, take his picture. , sort of jokingly. I diidm't but he was a traffic cop anyway.
Virginia Marcotte Jul 22, 2014 at 07:32 AM

But I would say, don't be foolish about where you go, just as you would any where.

Gladys Gilliland Jul 14, 2014 at 08:28 PM

I have written this answer to Judson Harper's request for what one can bring home form Cuba twice already with RS password problems. It is getting shorter each time.
Judson, no rum or cigars. I brought home small works of art (wonderful painting done on a cigar box cover), ceramics, jewelry, CDs . by performers who entertained us.
If you are taking things down I would not suggest things for young, but children things like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitizer and auto parts that might fit a 1948-1959 Ford or Chevy. Something like a distributor or other small parts.

Miriam Kelm Jun 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Went in mid-March. Weather was not a problem. A couple of hot days, but we took it easy and I used my little umbrella for shade. Don't worry about dress. Cuban women seem to wear as little as possible on hot days. Crop pants, not short shorts,men in shorts. Not like going to a Muslim country. If you have not read Cuba Real by Yoani Sanchez, do it. Will give a context not to be gotten other ways. Also, check out her blog at She was just in Chicago for a lecture for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. A wonderful person who has received many international honors for her brave work.

Gladys Gilliland May 14, 2014 at 01:43 PM

This will be the third time I have written this, hopefully this time it goes. Dec to May is the best time to visit Cuba with January being my preference. It is a great learning experience, but not for sissies. I'm 85 and there was one other of the same age on the trip. We did as well as the other newly retired folk, but probably it took us a little longer to rest up when we got home. Would not have missed it. Best trip. Road Scholar has made a supreme effort to return my iPhone left on a remote Ranch. It has been a person to person transfer until it made it to Miami. Now UPS has picked up the trip and I should have it in a couple of days. RS have been wonderful during the entire trip.

Barbara Rabon May 14, 2014 at 08:52 AM

What is the best time of year to travel to Cuba when it isn't so hot and humid?
John Cubit May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

You can get the weather statistics for Cuba online. Cuba is not too far south of south Florida, which is cool in winter, but hot and humid in summer. However, along with the heat and humidity you get longer day-lengths (better for sight-seeing and photography). As far as I was concerned, the weather for our trip in April was fine.

Virginia Marcotte May 07, 2014 at 02:59 PM

To anyone going to Cuba in the future -- I know it may be too hot there to go now, a suggestion for your donation might be condoms. Seriously, I just read in the mag, The Week that they had a condom shortage because they destroyed their inventory because they were mis-labeled as having expired. The shortage spread to an area with a high HIV incidence.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
15 nights of accommodations
40 meals: 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
23 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)


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