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22143
Cuba

The Best of Cuba: From Viñales Valley to Habana Vieja

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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22143RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,249
Cuba

The Best of Cuba: From Viñales Valley to Habana Vieja

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.
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,249
Length
12 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
4,249
Program No. 22143RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 6 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
4,249
Jan 10 - Jan 21, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Jan 17 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Jan 24 - Feb 4, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Jan 31 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Feb 7 - Feb 18, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Feb 14 - Feb 25, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Itinerary Note

Friends of Julie Paik

Feb 21 - Mar 4, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Feb 28 - Mar 11, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Mar 7 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Mar 14 - Mar 25, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Mar 21 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Apr 4 - Apr 15, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Apr 11 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Apr 18 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Apr 25 - May 6, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 16 - May 27, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 23 - Jun 3, 2023
Starting at
4,399
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 6 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
4,679
Jan 10 - Jan 21, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Jan 17 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Jan 24 - Feb 4, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Jan 31 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Feb 7 - Feb 18, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Feb 14 - Feb 25, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Itinerary Note

Friends of Julie Paik

Feb 21 - Mar 4, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Feb 28 - Mar 11, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Mar 7 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Mar 14 - Mar 25, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Mar 21 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Apr 4 - Apr 15, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Apr 11 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Apr 18 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
4,829
Apr 25 - May 6, 2023
Starting at
4,829
May 16 - May 27, 2023
Starting at
4,829
May 23 - Jun 3, 2023
Starting at
4,829

At a Glance

Join local experts in Cuba’s western cities for an immersive look at this island nation’s people, natural spaces and cultural treasures. Journey through Havana, Viñales, Matanzas and Cienfuegos 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.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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 charter 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 Experts
Profile Image
Jose Luis Sande
Jose Luis Sande has been a Cuban travel leader for more than 16 years. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and his far-reaching knowledge about Cuba makes him especially capable of providing a world-class educational experience. Jose was a high school English teacher before training to become an exploration leader. He lives with his wife, an English teacher herself, and his two sons in Havana. Jose is also an avid cyclist and specializes in leading groups in Cuba by bicycle.

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

Profile Image of Jose Luis Sande
Jose Luis Sande View biography
Jose Luis Sande has been a Cuban travel leader for more than 16 years. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and his far-reaching knowledge about Cuba makes him especially capable of providing a world-class educational experience. Jose was a high school English teacher before training to become an exploration leader. He lives with his wife, an English teacher herself, and his two sons in Havana. Jose is also an avid cyclist and specializes in leading groups in Cuba by bicycle.
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 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.
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.
Cuba, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Ann Louise Bardach
Bardach (Without Fidel) samples terrific contemporary writers for this anthology, organized geographically.
Dreaming in Cuban
by Cristina Garcia
A short, poetic novel of three generations of Cuban women, their reaction to the revolution and the complex relation between those who remained in Cuba and those who settled in the United States. Excellent reading.
Cuba Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed, double-sided laminated map at a scale of 1:1,000,000.
The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics
by Aviva Chomsky (Editor), Barry Carr (Editor), Pamela Maria Smorkaloff (Editor)
Organized chronologically, this multi-faceted portrait of a nation, with most of the selections by Cuban writers, includes not only history, journalism and literature but also songs, paintings, poems and cartoons and speeches.
Moon Handbook Cuba
by Christopher P. Baker
Baker's comprehensive, indispensable guide leaves no stone unturned, covering the natural, cultural and political life of the island with style.
The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
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.
Cuba, Art and History from 1868 to Today
by Natha Bondil (Editor)
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
by Julia Sweig
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.
This is Cuba
by Ben Corbett
Corbett interviews everyday people living on the fringe's of Castro's official Cuba for this account, both a stinging indictment of government policy and a testimony to the Cuban spirit.
Without Fidel
by Ann Louise Bardach
A PEN award-winning journalist who has covered Cuba for 15 years, Bardach (Cuba Confidential) brings knowledge, tenacity and verve to this report on the future of the country.
Our Man in Havana
by Graham Greene
The classic story of a British vacuum cleaner salesman who gets accidentally drawn into cold war espionage with disastrous results.
Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Claudia Lightfoot
An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals.
Teachings of the Santeria Gods, The Spirit of the Odu
by Ocha'Ni Lele
Ocha'Ni recounts 100 sacred stories of Santeria, collected from the oral tradition of the African diaspora, ranging from creation myths, to love stories and share the wisdom and spirituality of Yoruba people.
The Sugar King of Havana
by John Paul Rathbone
John Paul Rathbone recounts "elegant, decadent and whirligig years" of pre-revolutionary Havana and the dramatic life of Julio Lobo, the richest man in Cuba (until Castro’s revolution did away with such men). Surviving assassin's bullets and making and losing two fortunes, Cuba's last tycoon went from glittering man about town in pre-Revolutionary Havana -- and one of the world's richest men -- to solitary exile in Spain. With a mother that traveled in those same circles in Havana, Rathbone brings depth and the perspective of an insider to this fantastic story.
Cuba
by Pierre Hausherr (Photographer), Francois Missen
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.
Culture Smart! Cuba
by Mandy Macdonald
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
Trading with the Enemy
by Tom Miller
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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