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Cuba

The Best of Cuba: From Viñales Valley to Habana Vieja

Program No. 22143RJ
From dominoes to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, experience all things Cuban on a learning adventure that explores the western regions of this fascinating island nation.

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At a Glance

Support the people of Cuba while we take an immersive look at this island nation's natural spaces and cultural treasures. Journey through Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Matanzas and Viñales to meet local residents who share with you their way of life, their arts and community organizations dedicated to giving back to their people. Gain insight into Cuba's natural resources during field trips to Las Terrazas — a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — Casa de Caridad Botanical Garden, and local tobacco and organic farms. Enjoy meals at local paladares, immerse yourself in Havana’s Fine Arts Museum, and discover captivating plazas that invoke the colorful culture and powerful history that makes Cuba, Cuba.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day on a combination of cobblestone streets and dirt paths. Getting on and off of a motorcoach. Navigating high curbs, uneven steps, and stairs without railings. Travel in a tropical climate.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Learn about local crops during a field trip to an organic farm where you will enjoy a home-cooked lunch with fresh ingredients from the farm.
  • Engage with local Cubans as you learn to play dominoes with members of a local club.
  • Explore Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that began as a reforestation project in the 1960s.

General Notes

Note: Round-trip flight from Miami to Havana is included. Road Scholar offers opportunities to travel legally to Cuba under the new OFAC Regulations published June 5, 2019. Following the General License category “Support for the Cuban People,” Road Scholar programs include activities intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Each day's program promotes independence for the Cuban people and results in meaningful interactions with the Cuban people. Questions about traveling to Cuba? Road Scholar has your answers. Learn more: https://www.roadscholar.org/travel-tips/cuba/.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Marta Núñez Sarmiento
Marta Núñez Sarmiento is a retired professor at the University of Havana where she taught methodology and gender studies. Her research has concentrated on women and employment in Cuba, gender studies in Cuba, images of women in Cuban mass media, and transition projects for Cuba proposed by Cuban American and U.S. scholars. She holds a master’s in sociology and a PhD in economics. She has been a visiting professor at universities around the world and a consultant on gender for the UN and other NGOs.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Alejandro Anido
Alejandro Anido View biography
Alejandro Anido is one of the many amazing Cuban leaders, who works with and has been trained by Road Scholar. He is a Cuban expert, and is responsible for relaying local knowledge, and both cultural and historical information for the places we visit throughout the program. He will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Marta Núñez Sarmiento
Marta Núñez Sarmiento View biography
Marta Núñez Sarmiento is a retired professor at the University of Havana where she taught methodology and gender studies. Her research has concentrated on women and employment in Cuba, gender studies in Cuba, images of women in Cuban mass media, and transition projects for Cuba proposed by Cuban American and U.S. scholars. She holds a master’s in sociology and a PhD in economics. She has been a visiting professor at universities around the world and a consultant on gender for the UN and other NGOs.
Profile Image of Camilo Garcia Lopez Trigo
Camilo Garcia Lopez Trigo View biography
Camilo García Lopez Trigo has represented Cuba at its Embassy in Canada, the United Nations in the Netherlands, and in Washington DC. He also is involved in the National Center for Sex Education (Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual, or CENESEX. He shares his experiences representing Cuba in both friendly and adversarial nations, and his views on the current and future state of US-Cuba relations. Dr. García is a professor at the University of Havana International Relations School and an expert in US political studies.
Profile Image of Hector Aviles
Hector Aviles View biography
Hector Aviles is one of the many amazing bi-lingual Cuban leaders who work with and has been trained by Road Scholar. He is the Cuban expert and is responsible for relaying local knowledge, and both cultural and historical information for the places we visit throughout the program. Hector will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Betty Vander Kaaij
Betty Vander Kaaij View biography
Betty Vander Kaaij graduated with a BA in hotel and tourism and jump-started her career in hospitality with Westin Hotels. After stints in Miami, Seattle, and abroad, she moved back to Mexico City and married a Dutch hotelier. In 1997, they were invited to Havana for Cohiba Cigars’ 30th anniversary. Betty fell in love with Cuba and its people and promised herself that one day she would return. Her dream came true in 2011, when she started leading groups to the island.
Profile Image of Jose Diaz
Jose Armando Diaz View biography
José Armando Díaz was born in La Habana, Cuba and moved to Miami at the age of six. He graduated from Florida International University with a marketing degree, then worked for Pan Am and Delta Air Lines. With his passion for travel, history, and culture, he attended the International Tour Management Institute to become a travel director. Jose’s ultimate goal was to lead programs in his homeland. He believes bringing people to see Cuba’s beauty and the warmth of its people creates a positive impact.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.





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