22461
Cuba
Cuba Today: People and Society: Havana & Cienfuegos
Discover the unique social and cultural heritage of Cuba as you enjoy a musical performance, converse with locals and embark on a walking adventure of historic Havana.
Rating (4.98)
Program No. 22461RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,999
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8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 6 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit, Arrive in Havana, Registration, Orientation
Havana
D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Transfer from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, to your hotel. Meet your Road Scholar Group Leader in the hotel lobby for Program Registration and hotel check in. The Program Welcome and Orientation will begin at 6:00 p.m. Your Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 6:00 p.m. to accompany the group to the Orientation room. This very important meeting will prepare you for your travel in Cuba. We will discuss OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) regulations that govern our program, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, our program schedule, and answer any questions you may have. The Group Leader will also lead introductions. PLEASE NOTE: The day-by-day schedule that follows should be used only as a representative guide. Program elements are subject to change on short notice as availability is controlled by the Cuban government.

Dinner: Welcome dinner in a local paladar (privately-owned 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
Transfer to Cienfuegos, Bay of Pigs, Musical Performance
Cienfuegos
B,L,D
La Unión Hotel

Activity note: Travel by motorcoach. Walking up to 2 – 2.5 miles over uneven cobblestone streets in Cienfuegos with limited places to sit. There may be time during the lunch stop to swim in the Caribbean Sea, so be sure to pack your swimsuit.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart Havana to the southern part of the island. The drive through the countryside is a unique and interesting experience as you observe the forms of transportation available to Cubans, including an abundance of horse drawn carriages. En route, stop at Playa Larga, in the heart of the Zapata Wetlands to learn about ecology and conservation in Cuba.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a privately owned seaside restaurant, with an opportunity to take a short swim in the Caribbean Sea or a walk along the beach.

Afternoon: Continue to Playa Giron, also known as the Bay of Pigs, a small coastal village and the site of the historic 1961 clash between CIA-trained Cuban exiles and Cuban rebel forces. Explore the small Bay of Pigs Museum, which reveals the Cuban perspective of the infamous invasion and houses many historical artifacts including a Sea Fury fighter aircraft, photos and maps outlining each step of the failed mission. Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, enjoy a performance by a talented local musical group after which there will be an opportunity to converse with the musicians about their work and lives. Next, explore the city and enjoy a short walking tour through Plaza Jose Marti, the main square in Cienfuegos. Talk briefly about the square's history while you have the opportunity to see local life and observe the beautiful buildings that surround it, including the Tomas Terry Theater. Check in to the hotel.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Meeting the People of Trinidad
Cienfuegos
B,L,D
La Unión Hotel

Activity note: Strenuous walking up to 2 - 2.5 miles over uneven cobblestone streets in Trinidad with limited shade and places to sit. The historic center of Trinidad is not accessible to motorcoaches and must be accessed on foot.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Depart on a full-day excursion to Trinidad, the crown jewel of colonial Cuban cities. Founded in 1514, this time capsule of a city is a mix of historic landmarks and majestic natural beauty. On foot, discover the historic center of Trinidad with your Cuban Guide. Walk to Plaza Mayor to explore the historically and architecturally significant landmarks of this colonial town.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch in a paladar.

Afternoon: People to People Connection. We’ll meet a local artisan who uses abandoned wood from houses to create his unique sculptured portraits. Then we'll return to our hotel in Cienfuegos via private motorcoach.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Santa Clara, Che Memorial, Havana Overview
Havana
B,L,D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: There will be standing and walking through the Che Memorial & Museum for about an hour with limited places to sit. The center of Santa Clara is inaccessible to motorcoaches and must be accessed on foot.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We discover a local Farmers Market, to understand the cost of living and interact with local vendors and market goers. Depart for Havana by way of Santa Clara, the beautiful provincial capital of the region Villa Clara. Visit the Che Guevara Memorial and Mausoleum which features unique historical pieces from one of the most influential revolutionary leaders. The displays chronicle the events of an era in this extraordinary man's life. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his companions.

Lunch: At a paladar in Santa Clara.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we will continue our journey to Havana. Upon arrival, we'll check into the hotel in the late afternoon.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Expert Presentation, Old Havana
Havana
B,L
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: The exploration of Old Havana is on foot through pedestrian-only areas and necessitates walking and standing outdoors for 2 hours/ 2 miles over uneven, cobblestone streets with high curbs.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a presentation by a local architect involved with the government-funded restoration project of Old Havana; learn about the work being done and discuss the challenges and the vision for Havana’s future. Next, discover the historic “plazas" in Old Havana on foot. Each square has its own unique features.

Lunch: At a paladar in Old Havana.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Old Havana. People to People Connection: Meet with members of a graphic arts cooperative and discuss what they do.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Your group leader will be glad to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Expert Presentation, Dance Performance, Hemingway's Home
Havana
B,L
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking outdoors. Walking and standing for one hour at Finca La Vigia, with some uneven stairs with no railing.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Today’s presentation is on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations with an expert in the field. Gain an understanding of the Cuban perspective of the tumultuous relationship between the two countries, followed by open discussion on the topic. People to People Connection: Observe a rehearsal then enjoy conversation and interactions with a modern dance group.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local paladar.

Afternoon: Drive to the outskirts of Havana 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 return to the center of Havana via private motorcoach.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Your group leader will be glad to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Expert Presentation, Fine Arts Museum, Colon Cemetery
Havana
B,L,D
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Activity note: Walking and standing in the museum for 40 minutes. Walking and standing for one hour at Colon Cemetery.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: This morning, hear a presentation on women in Cuba. Gain an understanding of women in today's Cuban society from an expert in gender studies and sociology. Next, explore the Fine Arts Museum of Havana. 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: At a local paladar.

Afternoon: Explore Colon Cemetery with a local expert and learn the stories of the monumental architecture and of the famous Havana personalities who are buried there. Visit the famous Revolution Square in Havana and learn about the monumental events that have taken place there.

Dinner: People to People Connection: As an “appetizer”, enjoy a performance by a women’s a capella chorale. This is an opportunity not only to hear beautiful voices, but to discuss what life is like for women today in Cuba. Then enjoy dinner in a paladar.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for tomorrow's return to the U.S.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Depart Cuba
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast or boxed breakfast will be included based on flight schedules.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer to the Havana airport. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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