Road Scholar : Home
The Cuban Evolution in the Arts and Free Enterprise

Program Number: 20610RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/12/2014 - 11/20/2014; 12/10/2014 - 12/18/2014; 12/24/2014 - 1/1/2015; 1/7/2015 - 1/15/2015; 1/21/2015 - 1/29/2015; 1/28/2015 - 2/5/2015; 2/11/2015 - 2/19/2015; 2/18/2015 - 2/26/2015; 2/25/2015 - 3/5/2015; 3/4/2015 - 3/12/2015; 3/11/2015 - 3/19/2015; 3/18/2015 - 3/26/2015; 4/15/2015 - 4/23/2015; 5/6/2015 - 5/14/2015; 5/13/2015 - 5/21/2015; 5/27/2015 - 6/4/2015; 6/10/2015 - 6/18/2015; 6/24/2015 - 7/2/2015; 7/1/2015 - 7/9/2015; 9/30/2015 - 10/8/2015; 10/7/2015 - 10/15/2015; 11/11/2015 - 11/19/2015; 12/9/2015 - 12/17/2015; 12/23/2015 - 12/31/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Cuba
Price starting at: $3,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: ; Independent City Discoveries Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 21; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat    

In the heart of Havana, join local artists, performers, dancers and entrepreneurs for an intimate and insightful look at private enterprise, arts, dance and music in Cuba. Discuss the local art scene with artists. Music and dance come to life as you attend rehearsals and private performances with well-known Cuban dance companies and musicians. Meet with artisan farmers and vivacious seniors in the Matanzas region. Enjoy a beachfront location in Varadero.




Highlights

• Meet Cubans engaged in private enterprise, including a joint Cuban-American company.
• Attend a rehearsal by a Cuban dance company and enjoy an opportunity to speak with the dancers about their performance.
• Enjoy interactions with a local Community Arts Project, an organic farmer and a senior dance club.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing up to 2 hours / one mile at a time with high sidewalks and cobblestones. Participants must be able to walk unassisted.



Round trip charter flight from Miami to Cuba is included. Road Scholar is authorized to travel to Cuba under OFAC License #CT-2014-308137-1.

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Miami, Fla., 1 night; flight to Havana (Cuba), 5 nights; coach to Varadero, 2 nights; coach to Havana for flight to Miami.



Arrival Miami, Fla. 1 night
Flight to Havana (Cuba) 5 nights

Prepare for your experience to Cuba during orientation in Miami. Engage with Cubans in private enterprise including a joint Cuban-American publishing company. Delve into Cuba’s art history as you explore the Havana Museum of Fine Arts for added insight. Learn about the process of owning and operating an independent dance company versus working for a government owned company. Spend a morning at a senior community center and take advantage of this opportunity to hear stories of how life has changed in Cuba over the decades. Take in a performance by a musical group. Enjoy expert-led excursions showcasing the beauty of Old Havana.



Day

day




Cuba

It's a time of rapid change on the island of Cuba. After decades of restrictions, dynamic Cubans seize new opportunities created by pro-free-enterprise reforms. Havana’s “yank tanks” (classic American cars) are increasingly joined by late model imports. Literacy and health care statistics outpace many developed countries. At the same time, some Cubans still lack access to goods as basic as toothpaste. It’s a fascinating moment to discover Cuba and meet with its people as they look to the future.



Accommodations
Miami: Hotel near airport. Havana: Historic landmark hotel on the Malecón. Varadero: Oceanfront hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
  Miami, USA 1 night
   Hotel Nacional de Cuba
  Havana, Cuba 5 nights
   Meliá Varadero
  Varadero, Cuba 2 nights
  DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Situated one mile from Miami International Airport (MIA), this modern Miami, Florida hotel adjoins the Miami Airport Convention Center and the Miami International Merchandise Mart, which is also open to the public.

The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the airport and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. To call the shuttle upon arrival at the airport: On the 2nd Level / Departure Level, go to the nearest outside door and identify the Door number. Call the hotel on (305) 261-3800 and tell them your location. The shuttle will come and pick you up upon request.

  Contact info: 711 NW 72nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33126 USA
phone: 305-261-3800
web: doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-miami-airport-and-convention-center-MIAMADT/index.html
  Room amenities: 334 oversized guest rooms with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, individual temperature and air-conditioning control, alarm clock radio with MP3 connection, coffee maker with coffee, iron and ironing board, 2 line speaker phone and an in room safe.
  Facility amenities: Warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in; restaurant, bar, Automated Teller (ATM), baggage storage, beauty salon, clothing store, gift shop, laundry/valet service, room service, fitness room, heated outdoor pool, the hot tub and whirlpool spa, 24-hour complimentary airport transportation to and from Miami International Airport and the Waterford Blue Lagoon Office Park.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: To be determined Contact Road Scholar Participant Services at (800) 454-5768 for details.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
  Contact info: Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana,  10400 Cuba
phone: + 53 7 836 3564 al 67
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.
  Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Meliá Varadero
Type: Resort
  Description: Located beachfront on Varadero Beach, The Meliá Varadero is a modern, five-star all-inclusive resort featuring recently renovated rooms.
  Contact info: Crta. de las Morlas
Varadero,   Cuba
phone: + 53 45 66 70 13
web: www.melia.com/en/hotels/cuba/varadero/melia-varadero-en/index.html
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, telephone, satellite television, in-room safe, minibar restocked every day with included beverages, kettle with coffee, iron and ironing board, private bathroom with shower, amenities and hairdryer. Electrical voltage: 220 V/ 60 Hz.
  Facility amenities: Six restaurants, six bars, 24 hour reception, Currency exchange, non-smoking areas, Lobby Internet Center with PC , Wi-Fi in the rooms and public areas of the hotel (additional fee), doctor and nurse on call, 24 hour security, outdoor swimming pools with hydro massage, waterfalls and lovely sea views, direct beach access, hammocks, fitness center, evening entertainment, gift shop, beauty salon, pool towel service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with orientation in Miami followed by dinner on day one of the program. Please arrive at the hotel by 4 PM. You will be staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends upon arrival of the charter flight in Miami on day nine. Avoid scheduling connecting flights that depart within 3 hours of the scheduled arrival time. You will be staying at Meliá Varadero the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Elderhostel, doing business as Road Scholar, is licensed under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Department of Treasury for participants to travel to Cuba on a Road Scholar program. Participants will receive a copy of this license prior to travel to Cuba in Miami, during orientation.
  Parking availability:
Parking at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center is $7/day (subject to change). It is also possible to park at the airport and take the hotel shuttle.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Miami
  Transportation to site: The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center offers a complimentary shuttle to/from the Miami airport. Please call (305) 261-3800 upon arrival and tell the hotel at which Door you are located on Departure Level 2.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Depart for Miami
  Transportation from site: A group transfer from the hotel in Varadero to the Havana airport for our return charter flight is scheduled for all participants.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival in Miami / Program Orientation / Overnight in Miami
(Wednesday, April 15)
   
 Arrive To: PLEASE NOTE: This day-by-day schedule should only be used as a guide since 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.
 Afternoon: 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: In the hotel’s Rioja Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Fly to Havana, Cuba / Revolution Plaza / Check into Hotel Nacional
(Thursday, April 16)

Note: Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings, so if you use a walking aid, please bring it on the program. All accommodations in Cuba feature clean, comfortable rooms with private baths and standard amenities. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor tradeoff for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast boxes are provided for early morning departure from the hotel.
 Morning: Early 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 the scheduled departure time. 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. Upon arrival in Havana, meet your Cuban Study Leader who will provide local history and knowledge throughout the program. Visit the famous Revolution Square in Havana and learn about the monumental events that have taken place there. This is a great opportunity to take a group picture.
 Lunch: Late lunch: A light meal is planned at a Paladar (privately owned restaurant.) Private Enterprise: Learn the restaurant owner’s story and how he sources his fresh supplies.
 Afternoon: Depart on an overview of Havana's sites to get a sense of the city. See the capitol, the Malecón – Havana’s seafront promenade, U.S. Interest Section, La Rampa, and Havana University. People to People Connection: Meet with local photographers and discuss their inspirations. Late afternoon arrival at the hotel. An orientation of the Hotel Nacional’s sprawling property shows you the services as well as the Hall of Fame, where famous past guests such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Eva Gardner, John Wayne and many more are immortalized.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cuban Art and Historic Old Havana
(Friday, April 17)

Note: Walking and standing for up to 2 hours at a time in the Fine Arts Museum and on cobblestone and uneven streets in Old Havana.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the Fine Arts Museum of Havana with your Cuban Study Leader. Cuban art is renowned world-wide. Delve into the stories that each work of art relates and the statement on politics, culture and society that each artist conveys.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet an artist in his home studio for conversation. Field Trip: Discover two of the historic "plazas" in Old Havana: Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja and learn about the city's restoration project , with fascinating before and after images around the square. People to People Connection: Meet with members of a graphic arts cooperative and discuss what they do.
 Dinner: Dine in a Paladar (privately owned restaurant) in Old Havana.
 Evening: Take some time to enjoy the ambiance of Old Havana at night before returning to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cuban Music Presentation and a Special Community Arts Center
(Saturday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Expert Presentation: Learn about different styles and types of Cuban music. Field Trip: Explore one more of Old Havana’s historic squares, the Plaza de Armas, the oldest part of the city. See the Greek-Roman ‘El Templete' site of the first Mass and town council meeting in 1519. Next, visit the City Museum, which was once the Governors palace.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore the new privately owned restaurants in Old Havana.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: See Free Enterprise in action as you talk with artists and entrepreneurs at the San Jose Feria.
 Dinner: People-to-People Connection: Enjoy homemade cooking prepared by the members of a neighborhood arts center and learn the story of the center’s unique construction.
 Evening: People-to-People: Interact with locals at the neighborhood community arts center and enjoy their Saturday evening music and dance party.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Danza Combinatoria and Art Studios
(Sunday, April 19)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: People to People Connection: Meet with a collaborative of local contemporary artists, the Merger Studio to learn about their work and to have an unscripted dialogue. Then, interact with an emerging dance troupe of renowned dancers from the Danza Combinatoria, and enjoy unique interactions (PLEASE NOTE: This activity may be substituted with another performing art group if they are touring).
 Lunch: Boxed lunch with the performance group, a unique opportunity to have one-on-one conversations.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet the artist Joaquin Crespo Manzano, known throughout Cuba as “Bebo”. Born in 1927, Bebo is one of Cuba’s most important engraving artists. Field Trip: Take in the expansive views of the Havana skyline and visit the fortress of El Morro, built in 1589 to defend Havana harbor.
 Dinner: At El Aljibe, a local favorite, famous for its roast chicken and secret sauce.
 Evening: Return to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Senior Center and Cuban Jazz
(Monday, April 20)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: People to People Connection: Interact with members of a senior community center to learn about the work done by the charity that runs the center. Then, enjoy some time with our hosts over snacks and drinks to play cards and dominos or just chat about family (PLEASE NOTE: We recommend that you bring postcards of your town with landmarks that you can leave as gifts. These can also be used as great conversation starters. Donations are welcomed. Road Scholar also makes financial contribution to the center on your behalf.)
 Lunch: In the OnCuba offices. People to People Connection: Visit the offices of OnCuba Magazine and learn about the first American business to be authorized in Cuba. Meet the writers and artists featured by the publication for conversation. Enjoy the panoramic views overlooking all of Havana from the office’s advantageous location.
 Afternoon: Expert Presentation: Enjoy a demonstration and presentation by the Alex Bosch Jazz Group.
 Dinner: Own your own to explore one of the many Paladars that are turning Havana into a “foodie” destination.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Afro Cuban Dance and a Unique Farm en Route to Varadero
(Tuesday, April 21)

Note: Travel by motorcoach. Walking and standing for short amounts of time around the farm, on unpaved ground.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Depart Havana by private motorcoach for the drive to Varadero. En route, stop in Matanzas for a People to People Connection with a dance company that preserves Afro Cuban culture and the traditions of Santeria. Continue on to Coincidence Farm, home and pottery workshop of a couple whose unique vision is expressed through both their agricultural and artistic creativity.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious array of homemade dishes prepared from the farm’s produce.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Varadero Beach.
 Dinner: At leisure in the Buffet Restaurant La Habana.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Varadero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cuban Dance Traditions of Danzon and Salsa
(Wednesday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: People to People Connection: Meet a group of vivacious seniors who share their enjoyment of the most traditional dance of Cuba, Danzon with you.
 Lunch: At your leisure in the hotel.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet and interact with dance instructors to learn Salsa, the most popular of Cuban dances. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to prepare for the return home.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Varadero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departure to Miami / Return to U.S.
(Thursday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast boxes are provided for early morning departure from the hotel.
 Morning: Early morning check out and departure to Havana airport for return charter flight to Miami. Flight times will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet which is normally sent approximately 4-5 weeks prior to departure. Please do not schedule connecting flights less than 3 - 4 hours of arrival in Miami due to possible delays and airport security (PLEASE NOTE: The flight time is subject to change).
 In Transit: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Simple Habana Melody, From When the World Was Good


Author: Oscar Hijuelos


Description: An unlikely love story and lyrical tribute to Latin music by the author of Mambo Kings.



Cuba


Author: Pierre Hausherr (Photographer), Francois Missen


Description: With full-page photographs, introductory essays on history, architecture, music, food and more, this oversized, illustrated paperback by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Francois Missen and photographer Pierre Hausherr captures the spirit of Cuba, its people, nature and culture.



Cuba and Its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo


Author: Ned Sublette


Description: A thorough and entertaining history of Cuba and its music by the popular radio producer, music historian and cofounder of Cuban record label QbaDisc.



Cuba, Art and History from 1868 to Today


Author: Natha Bondil (Editor)


Description: With ravishing color reproductions of murals, posters, paintings and photographs, this magnificent book documents the history of art in Cuba from independence.



Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know


Author: Julia Sweig


Description: Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Sweig traces the geography, history and identity of Cuba in this admirably succinct history of the island nation and its role in world affairs.



Culture Smart! Cuba


Author: Mandy Macdonald


Description: A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Havana Map


Author: Cognoscenti


Description: A colorful map of the city center of Havana.



Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion


Author: Claudia Lightfoot


Description: An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals.



Havana, History and Architecture of a Romantic City


Author: Maria Luisa Lobo Montalvo, Hugh Thomas (Introduction)


Description: This magnificent history of Havana, featuring 480 color illustrations, shows the city and its growth from Spanish colony to independence.



Inside Havana


Author: Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez


Description: This handsome book showcases the diverse architecture of Havana, from modernist masterpieces to splendid baroque palaces and traditional businesses such as the Partagas cigar factory, one of Havana’s oldest and finest. With expert writing by Hernandez and rich color photographs by Gianni Basso.



Moon Handbook Cuba


Author: Christopher P. Baker


Description: Baker's comprehensive, indispensable guide leaves no stone unturned, covering the natural, cultural and political life of the island with style.



New Art of Cuba


Author: Luis Camnitzer


Description: A survey of Cuban art since 1981, all by young artists who have come-of-age since the revolution, and revised to reflect more recent developments Twenty-four new color plates augment the 200 black and white illustrations.



Our Man in Havana


Author: Graham Greene


Description: The classic story of a British vacuum cleaner salesman who gets accidentally drawn into cold war espionage with disastrous results.



The History of Havana


Author: Raphael Hernandez, Dick Cluster


Description: Co-authored by a Cuban and an American, this multi-faceted history of the city looks at culture, art, politics and economic development.



The Old Man and the Sea


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: Hemingway's brief story of a fisherman who after 84 days with no luck finally makes a big catch is also an affectionate portrait of life in Cuba. It won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.



Trading with the Enemy


Author: Tom Miller


Description: Miller captures the openness, sensuality and pride of Cuba and the Cubans in this eloquent account of entertaining travels in Fidel's Cuba.





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