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Inside Cuba: An In-Depth Island Journey

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Road Scholar
Program #20612RJ
17 Days | 16 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.
Karen from Carlisle, PA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/08/15
I liked best: Cutumba Ballet Folklórico salsa lesson; Martha Jimenez-contemporary artist; King Ranch; Havana Queens Dance Company; Endedans Ballet Contemporaneo; Las Terrazas; Hemingway Farm; 15 days of Cuban music groups with CDs for 10 CUC and sunshine: rice pudding with coconut; and flan.

Uta from Berkeley, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/27/15 - 03/15/15
The Cuba trip was excellent, I highly recommend it. We got a good overview of the culture in different parts of Cuba by visiting and interacting with different people of various institutions. I especially enjoyed the music and dances, bought many CDs and the drum beat/rythm is still going in my head after 1week. The program is packed with information and activities but we still managed to visit several Casa de la Trobas independently which we enjoyed tremendously.

Patty from Saint Louis, MO Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/06/15 - 03/22/15
Try to read and prepare on your own before the trip and then you will be able to better keep up with the lectures and field trips provided. Expect to encounter some marginal hardships on the road but are worth the effort if you are flexible. Arrive willing to learn and share and you will have a rich experience and be able to bring back a real travel adventure tale to tell.

David from Baltimore, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/08/15
Although frequent travelers, this was our first group tour and an excellent way to learn about Cuba and meet its people. Our tour team – Gigi from Road Scholar, Ismar and Juan from Havana Tour – were exceptional. They shared their knowledge and skills with good wit and humor. Our experience was enriched by the 21 other interesting and well-traveled participants. The people-to-people activities each day were outstanding and would draw us back to a group tour. We learned from and talked with very talented performers, artists and lecturers about life in Cuba as well as watched and participated in several dance and music performances. Our stay at a family run B and B was a unique opportunity to talk with Cuba’s new entrepreneurs. For just pure fun, our ride in a 1952 Cadillac convertible with four in the back seat and two in front was a highlight. With no seat belts, we were glad that every other person on the street is a doctor! We appreciated multiple opportunities to learn about the sweep of Cuban history; the role of key people like Che and Marti; the war(s) of independence over five decades in the 1800s; the revolution events of the 1950s. The impact of the “special period” was clear. There was opportunity to explore what lies ahead as the relationship between the U. S. and Cuba changes. Ismar expressed his desire for gradual building of the private sector, lifting the economic standard of living, while maintaining the strong health, education and cultural base the revolution has spawned. Finally, we hope many others can experience Cuba as we did. It would be wonderful if the increase in tourism and business/industry preserves the environment, architecture, history and culture of Cuba instead of resulting in additional “all-inclusive” beach or casino resorts.

Dan from Atlanta, GA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/08/15
Probably the most informative and educating trip I have taken. It was well conceived and well planned. The tour leader, Gig Austin, was outstanding. Cuba is much more complex and interesting than our media has represented.

Judy from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/20/15 - 03/08/15
This is an amazing trip and I recommend it highly. You will be changed when you return home! I think that it is more strenuous than indicated because the pace is very fast, each day is full of activities and there are few breaks. It was not what I would call a small group because there were 23 of us. The Road Scholar team (Gigi, Ismar and Juan) were all fantastic!

Patricia from Chapel Hill, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/13/15 - 03/01/15
This was a timely, fabulous trip with excellent guides. We were treated to an inside view of many of Cuba's cultural programs-dance, art, etc. People were so friendly, not suspicious of "Yumas' at all. My only regret is that we did not have much free time and we were not able to visit some major monuments such as the Guevara Museum, nor did we set foot on a beach or venture into the Sierra Maestra. But otherwise the trip was fabulous..highly recommended.

Carolyn from Dexter, MI Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 02/06/15 - 02/22/15
The trip exceed my expectations. If you have thought about going to Cuba, go now!

Gary from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/13/15 - 02/28/15
It's an action-packed program of two solid weeks of interesting activities. You can't help but meet a lot of lovely people, both Cubans and other tourists. I feel like I really got to know and appreciate the country in a way that would not have been possible traveling on my own.

Imogene from McMinnville, OR Number of programs attended: 29
Date attended: 02/13/15 - 02/28/15
Cuba! Be prepared learn a lot, see a beautiful country, be flexible with your thoughts and schedules. it is an eye opening experience and well worth the time.

Marie from Seattle, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/06/15 - 02/22/15
This was an amazing experience. We learned so much and felt we came to understand the Cuban people to some degree. Our activities were fun and provide a nice variety of experience we would not have had on our own.

Miriam from Chicago, IL Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 02/06/15 - 02/22/15
If you're thinking of visiting Cuba, come now. It's a time of flux and change as the economy evolves. Cubans we've met welcomed Americans with smiles.

David from The Villages, FL Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 02/01/15
Road Scholar did an outstanding job in helping us learn about and understand a country and people in profound transition. Even as the US government relaxes travel restrictions, we recommend that you go with Road Scholar rather than on your own: This program peels back the layers. And, do it now.

Bara from Tustin, CA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 01/23/15 - 02/08/15
To add to Doug's remark which I fully support: The Cuban people want to hold on to their strong sense of identity and life style.

Doug from Edgewood, WA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/23/15 - 02/08/15
Wow! Cuba was an incredible experience. So many stereotypes were changed and so many wonderful people were met. Our bus driver "Willie", guides Mark and Jose were beyond any expectation. Their knowledge of history, geography and the culture never ceased to amaze. I truly recommend this trip, the Cuban people are a resilient, proud and inventive group of people only more beautiful was their warmth and in sharing their culture with us.

Donald from Germantown Hills, IL Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 02/01/15
An excellent program. Can't imagine how our American and Cuban guides and the bus driver could have been better. We were received warmly everywhere. I certainly don't wish to live in Cuba, not with their repressive government and chaotic economy. But it was useful to learn how people there view their country and its situation. I only hope Cuba can transition away from rule by the Castros to a much better system.

Charles from Gig Harbor, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/23/15 - 02/08/15
Cuba can teach us a lot.

Rick from Durham, NC Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 01/31/15
I wrote a review and then it disappeared. Did you get it? Rick Searles

Martha from Farmington, NM Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 02/01/15
Mike and Bob are right on---start packing!

Michael from Santa Barbara, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 02/01/15
If you think you should go before Cuba changes, you are right. Get going.

Robert from The Villages, FL Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 01/16/15 - 02/01/15
If you have ever thought of visiting Cuba, do it now and do it with this program! This destination, the program and the people you meet will have a profound effect on you.

Janet from Lexington, MA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/09/15 - 01/25/15
Hi Mary Lou! It was such a great trip and comprehensive. I learned more about Cuba than I hoped for. Our local guide was by far the best guide I've ever had. He had such a depth of knowledge and was able to answer almost everything we threw at him. Our RS facilitator was able to help us create a warm and supportive community. I felt I knew my fellow travelers forever! I highly recommend this trip.

Mary Lou from Rockville, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/09/15 - 01/25/15
I am so glad to have gotten the opportunity to see Cuba with an amazing group of people and a great tour team. What a wonderful experience!

Sally from Banner Elk, NC Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/07/14 - 11/23/14
The trip to Cuba is an incredible eye-opening experience. I especially enjoyed interacting with the Cuban people who are very warm and friendly. We were able also to visit in homes that were poor, lower middle class, upper middle class, and wealthy,an opportunity not available to most tourists in Cuba. This trip goes above and beyond!

Celia from Fort Collins, CO Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 11/07/14 - 11/23/14
Unless you have a Cuban background, you probably don't remember much about Cuban events, 1959, 1961, or know much about the role Cuba has played in history. After this program, the island takes on a real personality. And you might just consider your own practices just a little differently after meeting this resourceful (but resource-less) people.

Alicia from San Jose, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/22/14 - 06/06/14
This trip is a must for getting first hand information about the reality of Cuba and its people. Wonderful experience ! Alicia Rojas

Steve from Santa Rosa, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/10/14 - 04/25/14
After an organizational night in Miami, a charter flight takes you to Santiago de Cuba for four days to delve into the history and culture of the eastern end of the island before moving in stages through the differing history and culture of the island's largely rural mid-section and finally spending four days investigating the largest city and capitol, Havana. Very educational and truly worth while.

Ted from Coleville, SK Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/13/14 - 03/29/14
A very warm and satisfying experience.

Lauren from Brewerton, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/20/14 - 04/04/14
I just returned from the 15 Day Inside Cuba: An In-Depth Journey. I highly recommend it. The days were filled with experiences learning about the rich Cuban culture and meeting the wonderful people. You need to see as much of the island as possible.

Katherine from Atlanta, GA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/27/14 - 04/11/14
This visit made me realize what a complex and fascinating place Cuba is--the problems Cubans face, their spirit, creativity, and energy, as well as the thoughtful intelligence, insight, and concern of Cuba's intellectuals. Their children are a delight--hope for the world.

Gladys from San Rafael, CA Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 03/27/14 - 04/11/14
I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning what makes Cuba tick. Human inventiveness is demonstrated in Cuba to an extent exceeding Silicone Valley. This is making Lemonade out of Lemons beyond one's wildest imagination. When a country can call an economical disaster a "Special Event", that is the ultimate in PR. It now brags about about all food products grown "organically". That wasn't a choice (although a good result), it was a forced outcome from the "Special Event". Go and Learn!

Vicci from Lake Oswego, OR Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 03/13/14 - 03/29/14
The two week experience on the Cuba trip was exceptionally well organized with both lectures and visits to various educational/cultural/medical establishments. The Road Scholar Guides and local guides were outstanding. Solo travelers were warmly greeted by other participants. I would strongly recommend this experience to others.

Barbara from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/13/14 - 03/29/14
This was an amazing trip! I so enjoyed the "People to People as mmeting Cubans in their own homes and at their vocational/avocation areanas was extremely interesting.Fortunately my group was very interactive and the staff (manager,guide and driver) were all knowlegeable and wonderful, fun people also.

Linda from Sacramento, CA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 02/20/14 - 03/07/14
At first it seemed like two weeks would be interminable. At the end, it seemed like it was not quite enough! Cuba is such a mystery to Americans: what we thought we knew once no longer applies. Every day was like an unveiling of another part of the Cuban picture. A worthwhile trip for anyone interested in "getting to know our neighbors" to the south!

Virginia from Cambridge, MA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/20/14 - 03/07/14
Inside Cuba An in-depth Island journey is amazing! I came away with a totally new understanding of the history, politics, landscape and it's people! I would encourage all who want to learn more about this treasure of the Caribbean islands, the struggles of its people to take this trip. It will chance you forever!

A Joanne from Seven Hills, OH Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/13/14 - 02/28/14
My suggestion: take pencils, lots of pencils. They are not heavy in your luggage, & the children [& their teachers] will be eternally grateful. We wish we had known how popular they are.

Melissa from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/13/14 - 02/28/14
By experiencing the country; the people; the culture--music, dance, beliefs, history; our tour leaders; my fellow tour participants, I have grown as a mature adult.

Richard from Schererville, IN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/30/14 - 02/14/14
The Cuban people are wonderful. Their politicians are not quite as dumb as the American Congress. The embargo is shameful. We have much to learn from the cuban spirit, art, and music.

Mark from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/30/14 - 02/14/14
How fortunate that U.S. citizens can take a trip like this. The people to people interactions left powerful impressions. I am now a passionate advocate of fully normalized governmental relations between the USA and Cuba. I am hoping that others who experience Cuba feel inspired to advocate for a similar outcome.

Linda from Davis, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/30/14 - 02/14/14
We had a fantastic trip in February with like-minded participants. Everyone cooperated and we were like family at the end. Great group, wonderful leaders, and a skilled driver! I would like to repeat almost every moment. My only wish was that we could have had the intense, full days of contacts and also have more free time to wander. We learned so much about this beautiful island and its wonderful people. Yes, it was hot. But I love the heat and the sun. When it rains, it pours! And then the island is even more lovely. Worth every penny and I will be sorting out my impressions for years, I think.

Tana from Chicago, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/30/14 - 02/14/14
Loved this program. Would consider doing it again. If you go remember it is hot not warm. I loved the people, visiting their homes, chatting with them and seeing their art music and daily considerations.

Grace from Milford, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/23/14 - 02/07/14
Grace from CT Date attended 01/23-2/7/14 Fantastic people to people contacts and a very meaningful overall experience. Few observations: -participants who complain about Cuban coffee don't know what good coffee is all about -hotels were very comfortable and well equipped-hair dryers in all of them and plenty of toiletries like soap,shampoo,lotions etc. -food is wonderful most of the time with great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that taste better then at home.Chicken and pork taste like real food.Fantastic offerings in family run paladars!

Lloyd from Anchorage, AK Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/23/14 - 02/07/14
Fascinating and informative. Overall a fun experience that provided some real insights into and appreciation of Cuba today.

Ursula from Brooklyn, NY Number of programs attended: 27
Date attended: 01/02/14 - 01/17/14
First: No need to feel any anxiety about going to Cuba. Second: The comprehensive "Cuba in Depth" program is very well organized and carried out. The two-week program (in my case from Santiago de Cuba to Havana) is jam-packed with events and encounters with groups and individuals and is rounded out with first-rate presentations by experts on architecture and historical preservation, US-Cuban relations, and religion in Cuba, but one tends to feel a bit exhausted toward the end. If you plan to go, familiarize yourself with the changes that have occurred recently by reading articles online that have appeared in the New York Times and other news organs in 2013 to date. Your knowledge may contribute to spirited exchanges with your Cuban tour guide, who will accompany you throughout the program.

Joy from Brooklyn, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/02/14 - 01/17/14
This was a fascinating trip where we ere entertained by dance troups and singers, learned to dance the salsa, met many artists, had interesting and informative lectures about Cuban life and traveled in all sorts of unusual vehicles. The Cubans we met were open and warm and although the country is very, very poor, we felt that it is on the brink of moving forward and incorporating private ownership and private business into its model. I recommend the experience.

Virginia from Boston, MA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/02/14 - 01/17/14
Very interesting, informative and fun trip to Cuba. Also it was nice to be out of the New England winter but it was hotter than I had imagined.

Jean from Richmond, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
My visit to Cuba was a thrill of a lifetime. The country is beautiful; the people are friendly, and the music, food, dancing and performances are outstanding. If you are fortunate enough to get the American and Cuban travel guides and the bus driver that we had, you will have a wonderful time.

Vicki from Napa, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
Vicki from Napa, CA I wholeheartedly agree with the comments of all below, especially Jack (John) and Phyllis. I just want to add how impressed I was with the Cubans we met and with whom we interacted. There is generally among such, a focus upon the positive, largely through maintenance of the culture: art, music, dance, theatre, architecture, etc. And there is a definite focus upon giving the children as much advantage as is possible within the constraints of the situation, e.g. poverty and societal/governmental rules, as well as making a meaningful place for all individuals. I was also incredibly impressed with the more rural and Eastern parts of Cuba, and this tour was one of the rare ones that took a tourist through these parts of the country. It took great flexibility, good humor, and superb adaptability to guide us through this trip, and our two guides (one from American and one from Cuba) as well as our driver notably exhibited these characteristics.

Phyllis from Raleigh, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
I, too, thought that this was a great trip--excellent guides, good bus driver, and congenial co-participants. This was the perfect trip for me because we really did see, observe, and experience Cuba. The people-to-people connections were good and numerous. We danced with children, seniors, and professionals; talked to children studying English in an afterschool program; visited in the home of a woman who wrote love letters for hire; shopped in a farmers market; talked to student and professional artists; rode in horse and buggies, horse carts; bicycle taxis; and 1950's cars; listed to varied musical groups; walked the streets and squares making our own individual people-to-people connections; hears several lectures; as well as visited all the important sites of the Revolution and several museums. For me, it couldn't have been better.

John from Los Angeles, CA Number of programs attended: 19
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
This is an eye-opening and thoroughly enjoyable trip. It's enjoyable because of the openness and talent of the Cuban people--great conversations, great dancing, marvelous music. It's eye-opening because of the great hardships the Cubans have experienced since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hard-hearted legislation of the U.S. to prevent aid from the U.S. and other countries. Cuba is a nation in transition, and it's now at the point where pure socialism meets expanding private enterprise and private ownership of homes, small businesses, and cars. The open question is whether Cuba can maintain free universal education through the university level and free universal health care with an emerging emphasis on a market economy.

Shannon from Plantation, FL Number of programs attended: 18
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
Cuba is getting ready to celebrate its 500th year since the founding of the first Spanish colony. (1514 to 2014) They are very busy restoring many of their magnificent buildings to get ready for this historic milestone. There will be lots of festivities. Don't miss it!

Dale from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 27
Date attended: 12/05/13 - 12/20/13
This is an excellent program for people wishing to gain a general (and sometimes detailed) understanding of how Cuba has responded to the 1958 Revolution, the USSR's overseer interjection into the Cuban economy, the departure of the USSR from Cuba, and Raul Castro's modifications in the Cuban economy since he has stood in for his brother Fidel. The program is a bit pricey but in my opinion the cost is justified. Things are changing fast in Cuba, and if one wishes to see what it has been like in the past half-century he or she should visit soon, because it's going to be a modern Cuba in a few years.

Sonny from Moraga, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/07/13 - 11/22/13
This was my first R/S adventure and glad I chose them for Cuba. Our group was very homogenous with older, inquisitive, well-traveled participants. Tipping is a great concern of mine, especially in Cuba. Since R/S took care if that, I never gave it another thought. The program has a lot of variety and well-planned. Safety was never an issue but keep your wits about you, especially when on your own. US dollars are easily converted to CUCs and the same conversion rate throughout Cuba. Obtaining Canadian money not worth time and expense. The only drawback, for me, is the food becomes predictable and bland and don't expect great coffee.

Janet from Denver, CO Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 10/24/13 - 11/08/13
Most educational tour I've been on. Packed full with information; friendly people wanting to share their lives with us, adults and children alike; artists, musicians, craftspeople of great talent; lecturers of high caliber; and terrific food.

karen from Berkeley, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/24/13 - 11/08/13
This is a great trip for anyone who wold like to understand the complexity of Cuba.

Shirley from Marstons Mills, MA Number of programs attended: 27
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 05/03/13
this was one of the most rewarding program we have done with Road Scholar. I still think of the experience every day, mostly about the wonderful Cuban people. The experience has truly changed my life in a positive way. I feel that I had the opportunity to become an ambassador among peoples

Sonja from Indianola, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 04/11/13 - 04/26/13
Take the Cuba road scholar trip to gain understanding of our political relationship with them, experience l

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
16 nights of accommodations
40 meals: 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 11 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
24 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)


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