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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.
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.
Discussion Board

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Joyce Tayer Feb 26, 2015 at 06:51 PM

Thanks so much, Marcia. I'm pleased I can use my IPad, etc.

Joyce Tayer Feb 25, 2015 at 09:36 PM

Any suggestions about adapters for IPhone and IPad? Are there
places to charge these in our hotels? Also, anyone traveling from SFO to Miami, 7 A.M. 3/20 on American? Joyce Tayer
Marcia Miller Feb 25, 2015 at 11:24 PM

I didn't need any adapters, just plugged it into the outlets, which were available in every hotel room.
Stephanie Hudson Feb 26, 2015 at 01:45 PM

very helpful, thanks

Joyce Tayer Feb 25, 2015 at 09:36 PM

Any suggestions about adapters for IPhone and IPad? Are there
places to charge these in our hotels? Also, anyone traveling from SFO to Miami, 7 A.M. 3/20 on American? Joyce Tayer

Stephanie Hudson Feb 25, 2015 at 04:13 PM

thanks Marcia- hope your trip was good. What were temps during your time?
Marcia Miller Feb 25, 2015 at 05:23 PM

I don't know the numbers, but the cold weather here made it down to Havana. I think it was probably in the 40's at times, especially at night. Santiago was nice and warm.
John Cubit Feb 26, 2015 at 10:48 AM

You can get weather statistics for Cuban cities online, including predictions. Do a Google search.

Stephanie Hudson Feb 25, 2015 at 03:29 PM

these were all good comments and answered a few questions I have had also- going on the March 20 trip. How many were in your groups for those of you who have just been there?
Marcia Miller Feb 25, 2015 at 03:38 PM

I just got back from the Feb.6 trip. We had 24 participants: 7 couples, 4 single women, 2 single men and 2 groups of 2 women friends.
Diane Gruver Feb 25, 2015 at 08:22 PM

22 participants in my 1/30-2/15 group, Santiago to Havana. Weather was perfect for me, maybe 73 to 88, mostly in the mid 70s.
Stephanie Hudson Feb 26, 2015 at 01:44 PM


Uta Swiatecki Feb 17, 2015 at 05:42 PM

thank you all for responding to my question about how much money to take. You all provided great information and raised additional questions. I especially appreciated Stevi's thorough response.
I look forward to the trip!

Stevi S Feb 17, 2015 at 11:44 AM


Just returned from the 15 night tour of Cuba. Don't drink the water. Road Scholar will provide bottled water. As for alcoholic drinks, we often had beer as a choice and sometimes wine without having to pay extra.

As for how much money to bring, just bring it and keep it safe and change it as you go. The exchange rate is exactly the same whether you change $5.00 or $500. I probably spent about $350. I bought one painting for $40, 4 CD's at $10 each, some necklaces, some coffee, cigars for a friend, and rum. There was not all that much to buy. Much of the art I saw was "tourist art" - paintings of old cars and such. I found one portrait I liked in Trinidad. Trinidad also has some crocheted things. Seed and shell jewelry are common as are wooden boxes and carvings of dancers, cars, etc. Best shopping was in Trinidad and Cienfuegos. But I did not really find all that much special or unique to buy.

Tipping - Road Scholar tips maids, porters, waiters, guides, drivers. You don't have to do so. (I did leave something for the maid where I was ill and created a mess for them to clean up.) They compensate the tour leader and head guide well.

Other things that will require local money are shows and drinks in the bar on your own. I did go to a show at the hotel in Havana that was touring and it was very good (not the Paris show, it was just music). Also saw a show in Santiago de Cuba and bought a drink, and some hotels have some entertainment where there is not a charge, but they ask for tips and hope you will buy a drink. Drinks are not all that expensive - $3 to $5. There are also some meals on your own you will need money for as well as coffee, ice cream, soda or some such when you make a stop on the bus rides.

So, unless you have an agenda to purchase art, you will not need $1,000. But better to have extra money in an emergency and not use it. I have a belt that looks like a regular belt that I wear on my pants and it has a zipper and I tuck my money in that. It is quite safe. Just don't change a large quantity as you will have to change it back. And be sure to keep the 25 CUC's you need to pay prior to leaving.

Cuba is in a fascinating time and place. I learned a lot. Enjoy your trip!
Diane Gruver Feb 17, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Tipping RS guides/bus driver - I know RS compensates them and we don't need to tip, but I found that most did tip all 3 and one person told me the Cuban guide, when he asked her, said she preferred to be paid in dollars...so, just in case you are thinking of tipping you can do that in US dollars.
Martha Ressler Feb 17, 2015 at 12:35 PM

Thank you Stevi and Diane (and Virginia!). I think you've answered all my questions. I appreciate it so much.
Charlotte Drayer Feb 17, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Thanks for the detailed feedback from all of you!
Richard Hannegan Feb 17, 2015 at 03:53 PM

Tips......our trio was just excellent, but from the perspective of someone who once drove tour buses...if you're going to tip anyone, please think about him. Driving a larger vehicle there is a daunting job....ride shortun for a half a day and watch him avoid the animals, bicycles, trucks, etc that are seemingly oblivious to the bus.
Martha Ressler Feb 17, 2015 at 04:07 PM

Nice thought, Richard. I do have one more question that I asked earlier. What little items can I bring that would be useful to the groups we meet with? What did you wish you'd brought with you but didn't? I know there are so many shortages in Cuba. The simplest things . . .

Virginia Marcotte Feb 17, 2015 at 10:11 AM

One of the drink choices at restaurants is a bottle of water. On my trip, a year ago, RS allowed us each two bottles. As I remember they did say hotel water would be ok to brush your teeth (unlike a trip I took to Beijing.) So no, don't drink the water. Even though the official allotment was 2 bottles it seemed like there was plenty and I needed some to mix a med I needed daily, so don't worry.

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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
4 Expert-led lectures
18 Field trips
24 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)


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