20591
Cuba
Authentic Cuba: Cuban Culture, Art & Society With Your Family
Immerse yourself in culture, community, arts, music and traditions as you explore the vibrant culture of Cuba with your family, learning from experts and friendly locals of all ages.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20591RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,999
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Miami
D
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center

Activity note: 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.

Afternoon: The Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 4:45 p.m. to accompany the group to the orientation room. Welcome and orientation begins at 5:00 p.m. This very important meeting prepares you for our educational program and travel in and out of Cuba. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and discuss U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations that govern our program. Flight times to Cuba are subject to change and will be confirmed during Orientation. The day-by-day schedule in Cuba is a representative guide only as program elements are controlled by the Cuban Government and are subject to change on short notice.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Fly to Varadero, Organic Farm, Transfer to Matanzas
Matanzas
B,L,D
Hotel Velasco

Activity note: Please note: Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings and sidewalks are uneven. 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 trade off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. Depart from the hotel to the terminal to check into flight departing to Varadero. Flight times are always subject to schedule changes made by the airline. 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 scheduled departure. Upon arrival in Varadero, we will enjoy a welcome greeting by an experienced bilingual Cuban Guide, who will be with us for the entire program. We will transfer by private motorcoach to a local organic farm en route to our first destination, Matanzas.

Lunch: At the farm, enjoy a home made meal and conversation with the workers.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll board our private motorcoach and depart for Matanzas. Upon arrival, visit a local dance company to see a rehearsal after which we will have an opportunity to talk with the dancers. Next, continue to the hotel for check in.

Dinner: Dinner in a local paladar (privately-owned restaurant).

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Explore Matanzas, Art School
Matanzas
B,L
Hotel Velasco

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile on uneven, paved and cobblestone streets/sidewalks and unpaved ground.

Breakfast: Fresh seasonal fruit, juices, yogurt, cereal are self-service buffet; individual orders are taken for eggs, omelet or toasted sandwich; coffee or tea.

Morning: Start the day with an exploration on foot of the plazas in Matanzas. Next, we'll visit an arts school to learn what types of projects are created and the materials used in the process. Next, we'll board our private motorcoach to explore the area surrounding Matanzas and later venture out to the coast.

Lunch: In a local paladar.

Afternoon: There will be an opportunity to swim before heading back to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Your choice to explore the privately owned restaurants (paladares) in Matanzas. Your group leader will be glad to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Art Workshop, Cuban Baseball, Depart for Havana
Havana
B,L,D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, standing on pavement approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning, we'll visit a local art studio shared by multiple artists. Take advantage of this opportunity to interact with the artists while watching them create. Then, board our private motorcoach and depart to a nearby stadium to have conversation with local Hall of Fame baseball players. Next, we'll begin our journey towards Havana.

Lunch: At a local paladar in Cojimar, a fishing village outside of Havana.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue to Finca La Vigia, the Hemingway Farm. This beautiful property hosts the house where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived with his third wife, Mary, for over 30 years. Look into the open windows and doors to see the home in perfect condition with Hemingway’s personal belongings as he left them. Walk the grounds to see his private writing studio, swimming pool, and beloved fishing boat, Pilar. The boat is featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream." After our visit, we'll depart for the center of Havana where we'll have a driving overview of the city including Plaza de la Revolución, El Capitolio, the Malecón – Havana’s seafront promenade, the U.S. Embassy, La Rampa, and Havana University. Next, on foot, we'll visit a nearby farmer's market to see what types of goods are grown and sold locally. Afterwards, continue to the hotel for a late afternoon check in.

Dinner: Buffet dinner at your leisure in the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Old Havana, Colon Cemetery
Havana
B,L
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking and standing on cobblestone streets with high curbs and limited shade for 2 hours in Old Havana, mainly on pedestrian streets.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Begin with a walking tour of two of Old Havana's four squares, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the city's restoration project, with fascinating before and after images around the squares. Next, we'll board our private motorcoach to visit Fusterlandia, the unique vision of Jose Fuster, one of Cuba’s iconic artists, whose hand-made mosaics cover an entire neighborhood.

Lunch: In a local paladar.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll make a stop at El Morro Castle to explore the historic landmark and its surroundings. Next, explore Colon Cemetery with a local expert. Learn the stories of the monumental architecture and of the famous Havana personalities who are buried there.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to enjoy what you like. Your group leader will be glad to provide suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
History of Cuban Music, Dance Performance, Dominoes
Havana
B,L,D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, walking and standing on pavement,

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: A lecture by a musicologist takes you on a journey through the history and different styles of Cuban music. People to People Connection: Observe a rehearsal then enjoy conversation and interactions with a modern dance group.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local paladar (privately-owned restaurant).

Afternoon: Meet with members of the local Domino's club. Spend the afternoon learning the game with members of the club while talking to them and getting to know each other. Teams will rotate tables and each American will play with one Cuban. Return to the hotel via private motorcoach and enjoy a break before departing for dinner.

Dinner: In a local paladar (privately-owned restaurant).

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Youth in Cuba, Old Havana, Community Arts Center
Havana
B,D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking and standing on cobblestone streets with high curbs and limited shade for 2 hours in Old Havana, mainly on pedestrian streets.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: At the hotel, an expert lecturer will discuss the influence of Cuban youth throughout the country's history. Then, discover the second two "plazas" of Old Havana.

Lunch: On your own in Old Havana.

Afternoon: After lunch, depart for a local crafts market where artisans display their handicrafts. Enjoy this opportunity to walk, explore, and interact with the artists.

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 Connection: Interact with locals at the neighborhood community arts center and enjoy their music and dance party.

DAY
8
Return Flight to Miami, Program Concludes
Depart Havana
B

Activity note: The Group Leader will announce check-out time. The walk from the arrival gate in Miami International airport to the U.S. Immigration and Customs area is 10-15 minutes. Assistance can be requested at check-in.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast or bagged breakfast will be included based on the final flight time.

Morning: We’ll transfer to Havana airport for the return flight to Miami. Flight times are always subject to change. Please allow at least 3-4 hours after arrival before making onward flight connections to allow for possible delays with the flight and time to pass through U.S. Customs and Immigration.






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