loading spinner
Cuba

Cuba Today: People and Society: Havana & Cienfuegos

Program No. 22461RJ
Discover the unique social and cultural changes taking place in Cuba today as you enjoy a musical performance, converse with locals and embark on a walking adventure of historic Havana.
Length
8 days
Rating (4.93)
Activity Level
Starts at
3,399

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

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 21 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Jan 28 - Feb 4, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Feb 4 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Feb 11 - Feb 18, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Feb 25 - Mar 4, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Mar 11 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Mar 18 - Mar 25, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Mar 25 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Apr 1 - Apr 8, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Apr 22 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
3,399
May 6 - May 13, 2023
Starting at
3,399
May 13 - May 20, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Oct 14 - Oct 21, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Oct 28 - Nov 4, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Nov 11 - Nov 18, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2023
Starting at
3,399
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2023
Starting at
3,399
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 21 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Jan 28 - Feb 4, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Feb 4 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Feb 11 - Feb 18, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Feb 25 - Mar 4, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Mar 11 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Mar 18 - Mar 25, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Mar 25 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Apr 1 - Apr 8, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Apr 22 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
3,649
May 6 - May 13, 2023
Starting at
3,649
May 13 - May 20, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Oct 14 - Oct 21, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Oct 28 - Nov 4, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Nov 11 - Nov 18, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2023
Starting at
3,649
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2023
Starting at
3,649

At a Glance

Welcome to Cuba: A mosaic of colorful buildings and diverse locals that comes together to form a country rich in history, culture and art. On a special journey that begins and ends in Havana, support entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, religious institutions and business leaders while learning about their lives. Alongside Cuban hosts, learn about U.S.- Cuba relations as you explore the vibrant cities that make this country so unique. Immerse yourself in colonial architecture, Art Deco buildings, classic cars and lively music while learning how a country shaped by so many outside influences could create such a strong sense of community.
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…

  • Listen to a performance by a local music group in Cienfuegos and speak with the artists.
  • Enjoy a performance from a private Cuban dance company and meet with the dancers.
  • Learn about a community project which, under the leadership of local artists, is transforming a neighborhood through artistic expression.

General Notes

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
Maritza Corrales
Maritza Corrales is a Cuban historian who has dedicated her life's work to researching the history of Jews in Cuba. Born in 1948, she is a graduate of the University of Havana and lives in Havana. She has been a consulting scholar to various research and academic institutions in Cuba and has published numerous articles on the history of Cuban Jews. She has lectured at universities in Israel, Spain, Mexico, and Cuba.

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

Profile Image of Maritza Corrales
Maritza Corrales View biography
Maritza Corrales is a Cuban historian who has dedicated her life's work to researching the history of Jews in Cuba. Born in 1948, she is a graduate of the University of Havana and lives in Havana. She has been a consulting scholar to various research and academic institutions in Cuba and has published numerous articles on the history of Cuban Jews. She has lectured at universities in Israel, Spain, Mexico, and Cuba.
Profile Image of Lian Villanueva
Lian Villanueva View biography
Lian Villanueva is one of the many amazing bi-lingual Cuban leaders who works with and has been trained by Road Scholar in addition to being trained and scheduled by Havanatur, the government-run operator in Cuba. She is a Cuban expert, responsible for relaying local knowledge as well as both cultural and historical information for the sites we visit throughout the program. Karina will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Karina Sanchez
Karina Sanchez View biography
Karina Sanchez is one of the many amazing bi-lingual Cuban leaders who works with and has been trained by Road Scholar in addition to being trained and scheduled by Havanatur, the government-run operator in Cuba. She is a Cuban expert, responsible for relaying local knowledge as well as both cultural and historical information for the sites we visit throughout the program. Karina will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Ilen Chou
Ilen Rodriguez is one of the many amazing Cuban leaders who works with and has been trained by Road Scholar in addition to being trained and scheduled by Havanatur, the government-run operator in Cuba. She 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. She will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Guillermo Mena
Guillermo Mena View biography
Guillermo Mena is one of the many amazing Cuban leaders who works with and has been trained by Road Scholar in addition to being trained and scheduled by Havanatur, the government-run operator in Cuba. She 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. She 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 Viviana Rives
Viviana Rives View biography
Viviana Rives is one of the many amazing bi-lingual Cuban leaders who work with and has been trained by Road Scholar in addition to being trained and scheduled by Havanatur, the government-run operator in Cuba. She is a Cuban expert, responsible for relaying local knowledge as well as cultural and historical information for the study sites we visit throughout the program. Viviana will answer questions pertaining to Cuba and the Cuban people.
Profile Image of Dariem Zamora
Dariem Zamora View biography
Dariem Zamora was born in Cuba. He has lived in Miami, Florida, since 1995 and has been involved in Cuba travel since 2002. He has visited Cuba more than 50 times, leading groups all over the Island. He has a deep understanding of Cuba and is eager to discuss Cuban culture, politics, economics, and history. Every program is a new adventure for Dariem and an opportunity for him to introduce his country’s beautiful cities, landscapes, and the vibrant spirit of 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 Carole Cloonan
Carole Cloonan View biography
Carole Cloonan once traveled the world working as a chef, sometimes on private yachts, a job that naturally flowed out of her move to the Caribbean to live in the Virgin Islands. As a chef abroad, she developed a curiosity for understanding other cultures. Now Carole is eager to combine her love of travel — especially in the islands of the Caribbean — with her passion to help Road Scholars be educated in the culture, culinary traditions, artists and their art, and literary legacy of Cuba.
Profile Image of James Fitch
James Warner Fitch View biography
James “Jim” Fitch is a Vermont native and graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in international business. After several years in the corporate world, he traded in his loafers for trekking shoes, leading educational travel programs for teenagers to Spain and Costa Rica. Jim joined the Peace Corps for three years, teaching entrepreneurship and business skills to underserved communities in the Dominican Republic. He began working with Road Scholar in 2015.
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.
Hemingway's Boat
by Paul Hendrickson
Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961, from Hemingway's pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide, Paul Hendrickson traces the writer's life through the story of his beloved boat, Pilar. On display at Hemingway's Finca La Vigia in San Francisco de Paula, east of Havana, it is easy to see how this sleek craft attracted Hemingway, the setting for so much of what the writer loved and the leitmotif of Hendrickson's supple elegy.
Moon Cuba
by Christopher P. Baker
A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout Cuba.
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.
Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know
by Julia Sweig
Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Julia Sweig traces the geography, history and identity of Cuba in this admirably succinct portrait of the island nation and its role in world affairs.
The Distant Marvels
by Chantel Acevedo
A life-affirming tale of love set during a hurricane in 1960s, post-revolutionary Cuba. To keep hope alive amongst the evacuees, Maria Sirena tells the incredible story of her childhood during Cuba's Third War of Independence.
Cuba, A History in Art
by Gary R. Libby
This slim, yet comprehensive survey of Cuban art between 1725 and 1959 explains the development of artists’ styles and how developments in Cuba (and especially Havana) changed their work.
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.
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.
The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo
by Juan Reinaldo Sanchez with Axel Gyldén
In The Double Life of Fidel Castro, one of Castro's soldiers of 17 years breaks his silence and shares his memoir of years of service, and eventual imprisonment and torture for displeasing the notorious dictator, and his dramatic escape from Cuba.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.