Trip provided insights on the life of everyday people in Cuba.
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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. The hotel in Remedios does not have an elevator. Most rooms are located on the 2nd floor; limited ground floor rooms, assigned as available.
Afternoon: Transfer from Abel Santamaría Airport in Santa Clara to your hotel. Meet your Road Scholar Group Leader in the hotel lobby for Program Registration and hotel check in. Take time to relax before departing for dinner.
Dinner: At a local paladar.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, standing; pavement.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: First, we'll gather for Program Orientation. 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. 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. Next, with our local Cuban expert, we’ll stroll through the main shopping street of Remedios to learn the differences between Ration, Cuban Pesos and CUC stores and consider the complexity of the two currency system and the cost of living for locals. Next, we’ll meet a local family and visit their home to see how everyday Cubans live. People to People Connections: We will visit a museum dedicated to las “parrandas” (revels). We’ll learn about the history of Remedios, unique in Cuba for this Christmas festival, Las Parrandas de Remedios, that is one of the most popular events of the region. It takes place on the 24th of December each year. The town, divided in two neighborhoods, spends the entire year preparing for a competition to have the most spectacular float. We’ll then visit a workshop to see first hand the ingenuity of the locals who passionately work all year to create the most spectacular float.
Lunch: Hotel buffet.
Afternoon: We’ll walk to Iglesia Mayor de San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist Church). Remedios is the only town in Cuba with two churches on its main square, though the other, Iglesia del Buen Viaje (Church of the Good Voyage), is awaiting restoration. San Juan Bautista, built in 1692, is an outstanding example of Spanish colonial architecture. It is also renowned for its main altar covered in gold and a statue of the Virgin Mary “encinta” (pregnant). People to People Connection: We’ll stop in to meet a town resident who is a passionate collector of the town’s historic memorabilia. Returning to the hotel, we’ll have a presentation by a local expert on the history of Remedios.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to try one of the many paladares in Remedios. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and assist with reservations.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, standing on pavement approximately 2 hours. Riding in pedicabs shared by 2 people on seat for approximately 1/2 hour; step up is 1-1.5 feet. Most venues not air conditioned.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll head out of Remedios via motorcoach for a field trip to an agricultural museum that preserves the equipment used throughout the centuries for sugar production. The museum is home to an impressive collection of pre-diesel locomotives used to transport sugar cane between the fields, factories, and ports. Continuing north, we arrive in the small town of Caibarién, the gateway to the north coast keys, or Cayos.
Lunch: In a local paladar.
Afternoon: People to People Connection: We’ll visit a music group in Caibarién.
Dinner: In a local paladar.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: The drive to Havana is about 200 miles, approximately 5 hours including stops en route; winding roads. Walking and standing for approximately 40 minutes in mausoleum and museum.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and depart Remedios, traveling along the central highway to Santa Clara, capital of Villa Clara province. The city was the site of the last battle of the 1958 Cuban Revolution and was therefore chosen as the final resting place of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, one of major figures of Cuban history. We’ll learn about this Argentine’s life story at the museum dedicated to him, and the mausoleum where he and other revolutionaries are interred. Walk to the Museum of Decorative Arts and enjoy a sampling of troubadour music.
Lunch: In a paladar nearby.
Afternoon: Afternoon check in to the hotel.
Dinner: In the hotel.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking in Old Havana and standing, approximately 1.5 hours in the morning, 1.5 hours in the late afternoon; cobblestone, mainly pedestrian-only streets, high curbs, limited shade.
Breakfast: In the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers numerous options such as hot foods, meats, cheeses, pastries, juices, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We will begin our guided walk of Old Havana — a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site — including stops at Plaza San Francisco and Plaza Vieja. From the UNESCO inscription: “Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish. By the 17th century, it had become one of the Caribbean's main centres for ship-building. Although it is today a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants, its old centre retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards.”
Lunch: Enjoy lunch in a paladar.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll drive to Finca La Vigia (Lookout Farm), Ernest Hemingway’s home in the small, working-class town of San Francisco de Paula on the outskirts of Havana. Hemingway’s love of Cuba was reciprocated by the people. The Nobel Prize-winning author lived here with his third wife Mary for more than 30 years. We’ll be able to look through the open windows and doors to see the house furnished with Hemingway’s personal belongings as he left them. As we walk the grounds, we’ll see his private writing studio, swimming pool, and beloved fishing boat “Pilar” featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream." People to People Connection: After returning to the center of Havana, we’ll enjoy a performance by a contemporary dance company, then engage in a discussion on their training and daily life.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking and standing in the museum up to 2 hours. The museum is not always air-conditioned; stairs, no elevator.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll be joined by an expert on US/Cuba Relations for a lecture and discussion. We’ll then go out on a field trip to the Fine Arts Museum and meet a museum curator who will lead our exploration and provide commentary. Cuban art is renowned worldwide. We’ll delve into the meanings of various works and what the artists are communicating about politics, culture, and society.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Dinner: People to People Connection. We’ll 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. We’ll interact with local people at a neighborhood community arts center and enjoy their music and dance party. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
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!
Trip provided insights on the life of everyday people in Cuba.
Fabulous trip. Particularly liked the dance school, the water tower community center and the family in Remedios.
I enjoyed reviewing trips and info on the website.
I can't say enough for what Road Scholar provided for our trip to Cuba. What an outstanding company that I would highly recommend for travelers who like difficult areas planned out in minute detail. Their group leaders are so well trained and so competent in their areas.
The print is too small!
This was my first Rhoad Scholar trip and I will consider going on another. The people on the trip and the group leader and guides were well informed, personable and flexible. I learned so much.
We had a delightful time learning about Cuba, seeing the country, seeing a modern dance studio and its dancers, visiting a home, riding in the 1950s convertibles cars, .....and there was more! This has been such an interesting trip and we are so glad we had the opportunity to travel with Road Scholar and their top-notch guides.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Road Scholar adventure to Cuba. This was my first travel through Road Scholar program and I hope to be able to do more. I loved the people of Cuba and hope to go back and see them again some day. Diana
People interested in Cuban history and art would love this week long trip. The program keeps you busy every day with interesting activities related to history and art. Being able to visit Remedios was wonderful. I would feel cheated if I only saw Havana on my first trip to Cuba. We were also well fed and were typically served by Cubans running their own restaurants called paladares. Overall, an outstanding trip by Road Scholar.
If you are curious about one of America's closet neighbors and want to learn more about the country and its people- including its challenges and history- this Cuban program and adventure will meet all your goals.
People at home cringed with fear when I said I am going to Cuba. I don't know why. With a Road Scholar tour guide at your side 24/7, there's nothing to fear. I read four books before I left, but nothing is as explicit as seeing for yourself. Going into people's homes, whether it is for dinner or to learn about their particular chosen dedication, sheds light on the heart of a country that doesn't come across in a book.
My trip to Cuba with Road Scholar was very educational and enriching. Cuba has a lot of history and culture. She is a "poor" (in need) country, but by no means are the people poor, they are rich in spirit, rich in love for family and community and very resilient. It is my prayer that the embargo and the other restrictions placed on her be lifted soon. The world is too rich in resources for any "third world" country to be in need of the basic.
Be prepared to be blown away with wonderful insights and cultural experiences. The guides are exceptional. The ease of traveling with Road Scholar makes learning a joy.
The Cuba tour was everything it was advertised to be and more. The interaction with the Cuban culture and people was phenomenal. Everyone made us feel so welcome and I can honestly say that I have a true love for Cuba and its people.
The trip to Remedios and Havana Cuba was top notch in every way. It opened my eyes to the resourceful, joyful people who love their country as much as their families and communities.
Jam-packed and informational, with people who care a lot about Cuba and about their educational/tour group, too.
I would not generally choose to take a guided trip such as this. However, I was taking my stepmother as an 80th birthday present and this was a perfect way to share this unique experience. We both really enjoyed the people, the educational experience and most of all the exposure to Cuba that this provided.
This is a 5 day program, not 7, you can come early and stay later but its still just 5 days
A wonderful trip! Will return Jim Friederich
Our trip to Remedios and Havana was wonderful! Jocelyn, Yohandra, and Junior were a wonderful team. The best!! The other travelers in our group were wonderful. Our 2nd trip to Cuba. We will return for a 3rd! Liz and Jim Friederich. Class of 18 October 11-17.
First time to Cuba? Take this trip! It is chock full of incredible experiences and you will leave Cuba with a full heart and a thirst to learn even more about this beautiful island. It is hard to convey in words how much we experienced in 6 days. If you want to learn about the history of Cuba, the politics, the economy, the culture including dance, art, music, food, incredible children's programs that will bring you to tears...well, this is the trip. The group leader, local guide, and bus driver all went above and beyond to make this a safe, delightful, organized, mind and heart opening journey.
Just completed my first Road Scholar experience and couldn’t be more satisfied. The thorough planning, intensive program, and experienced and helpful guides, made for a meaningful and enjoyable personal experience. I have been enriched by the travel experience Road Scholar provided. Excellent value for the money as well!
This was an excellent, informative, enjoyable, and well-paced program. It was a great opportunity to meet and learn more about our neighbors in Cuba and the complex relationship between the US and Cuba.
Wonderful trip that really opened my eyes about Cuba. A beautiful country, with friendly, warm people, that has many challenges, that the trip readily displayed. Very worthwhile, learning experience. The 1950 cars will not disappoint, by the way!!
Excellent introduction to Cuba which helped me understand what it is like to live in Cuba and why the US should reexamine its unreasonable embargo policy.
Excellent Excellent Superb Fabulous
I thought in advance that Cuba would be interesting but I never expected it to be fabulous: the people, their music, their warmth, their joy. It could not have been a better experience.
My name is Anthony Morris, and I just spent a week in Cuba. What an experience! I didn't know quite what to expect as this was my first trip with a group. I strongly recommend taking this trip as it was educational, fun, heartwarming and somewhat humbling. The Cuban people are warm and welcoming and are excited to see and interact with vacationers. Please think seriously about this program. I promise you WON'T be disappointed.
My Road Scholar trip to Cuba provided enrichment for my mind and my heart - both very important to me! I came back dreaming in Spanish and unpacking so many truly unforgettable experiences and people!~!~
The Road Scholar trip to Cuba was well beyond my expectations. My biggest joy was meeting the people in Remedios. One of the highlights was when our waitress started to dance and I joined her. Then we had a congo line through the restaurant. I was totally unplugged from my phone and internet and I was happier than I have been in years. I smiled until my face hurt!
Found the web site ok. The difficulty was in talking to someone in the office of RS. Several times the persons were not particularly up to date on the programs.
Remedios and Havana tour - Awesome! Valena Omaha, Ne USA
I cannot say ENOUGH how wonderful my road Scholar trip was ~ a few people in my group to Cuba, had been on several Road Scholar trips...I'm just SO excited to do another journey with them. Once you book with them, to me, it felt like everything was taken care of flawlessly
What a wonderful trip to Cuba! Our guides, Vivian and Alex were wonderful leaders. The people we met, the music we heard and the dance we watched (and participated in) were an exciting way to learn about Cuba. If you want to know more about Cuba and experience the friendly welcoming spirit of Cubans this is a wonderful trip to take!
Magical and delightful. Truly an outstanding experience. I will go back to Cuba.
Amazing trip to Cuba! A complete emersion into Cuban culture led by passionate and well-informed guides. I have never been so intrigued by a people and their culture. I want to learn so much more and am impassioned to do what I can to improve the relationship between Cuba and the USA. You will not find better guides and better local people who will bring you into their homes, country, and culture!
My trip to Cuba,(Remedios & Havana), was truly beyond my expectations.It wasn't just the history of two completely different cities, one rural vs metropolitan. It was the field trips in and around these areas, the people, the customs , the food not to mention the deep and long history. Road Scholar touched on so many aspects of Cuban life which made you hunger to learn more. Have never had more fun. Beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I will go back.
Whatever you thought you knew about Cuba, this trip will change your mind. Go there, and experience it for yourself.
A wonderful trip both the road scholar rep and our Cuban guide were excellent. Would highly recommend this trip
This was a fascinating insight into Cuba today - a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and we look forward to more Road Scholar trips in the future!
Excellent group leader Lillyanne Rhodes,well informed with excellent program events. Guide excellent, Yohandra Perez,super informative with detailed specifics. All food, art, music, dance,politics excellent. Thank You Frank Benante
Just returned from Cuba Today--Remedios and Havana, a delightful week-long adventure in 2 very different cities. Our group was compatible, the guides knowledgeable, and the hotels and coach transportation were top notch. We were able to experience Cuba from an insiders perspective. The Cuban people welcomed us graciously. I highly recommend this trip.
The Road Scholar people were wonderful, warm and welcoming. They had great rapport with the Cuban native and were great with our group. I can't say enough good things about the program, our guides and employees!
A visit to Cuba with Road Scholar helped me see, at ground level, the effects both good and bad that our country, its people and its policies have had on another country and another people. It will inform my actions as a US citizen. (And yes, the people, the smiles, the food, the music and more were all wonderful to experience.) I'd urge anyone to make this their next trip!
This trip will open the eyes and hearts of even the most educated. I learned more than I hoped and gained a much more positive attitude toward Cuba and its people.
An excellent tour with low to moderate physical exertion. All activities were educational and interesting. The trip was well organized and executed.
This is an excellent program for better understanding historical interactions between Cuba and America, problems in the relationship, Cuba's challenges in the 21st Century, and how we might be better neighbors.
This tour gives a great overview of Cuba in a compact timeframe and is better priced that other tours I considered. It was good to experience both rural and urban Cuba and to learn how complicated life is there..
An experience worth having. This program offers many diverse experiences with no redundancy. It will enrich your life and provide insights into how we are living our lives together and the impact we have on each other.
Easy to use.
We had a great trip using Road Scholar and would definitely use them again in the future.
We just finished a trip to Cuba and even the 6 hour layover in Havana airport does not dampen our enthusiasm for the experience we had! Fantastic group of travelers and leader and guide. Highly highly recommend!
Go to Cuba with Road Scholar! They will give you amazing people to people experiences you won' t get any where else and wonderful guides! We can't stop sharing our experiences with everyone! Warren and Sharon Hoffmann
The trip to Cuba exceeded my expectations in every way. Just loved it.
A trip of a lifetime. Fun, engaging and informative; you will leave Cuba a changed person.
Wonderful program which I can recommend highly, providing a nice mixture of activities striking a good balance between too much and too little. Very good for a weeklong tour.
A wonderful trip, especially experiencing a smaller town in the countryside, traveling through the country and then enjoying the color, music and energy of Havana. I learned so much about the Cuban people and truly was said to leave. The skill, generosity, professionalism of our guides, Jim and Yohandra, was spectacular. The group was curious, interested, flexible and engaged. Road Scholar introduced us to so many aspects of the culture, art, music, economy and so many different people which we never could have experienced on our own. I have wanted to go to Cuba for years and am so glad I didn't wait any longer.
MANY times I could not access website information
This educational trip was an excellent representation of people and culture. Visiting Cuba should be on everybody’s traveling list. An eye opening experience
Road Scholar did an outstanding job with the Cuba - Remedios and Havana trip. We loved meeting the local people and learning about their culture.
My trip with Road Scholar was perfect in every way. All the events were better than expected and the people that I met on the trip are new friends. I will be planning another trip soon.
It was a wonderful experience and wish I could have helped more.
If you are considering a trip to Cuba, don't delay! Road Scholar makes the country come alive and the faces you see, the sounds you hear and the sights you witness will stay with you far beyond your return home!
Loved our trip to Cuba many thanks to Jim for making our trip informative, and fun. Can't wait to take another trip on Road Scholar
Cuba is a must, sooner the better. I now have a different perspective on a lot of things. First trip a guide is essential. On my Cuban trip we used Roads Scholars, they were absolutely spot on all facets. Every day was different, well thought out. Both the Roads host and our native Cuban guide were very good, fluent in language and customs. If asked about Cuba,one of my companion travelers said he would answer "it's complicated". So true
I found out after I could no longer withdraw from the program without penalty that I would have to stay in Charlotte overnight both before and after the tour. I therefore had to pay $345.60 addition expenses that was not stated upfront by Road Scholar. I learned from four other participants on the tour that they were reimbursed by Road Scholar for additional expenses that they incurred under these circumstances.
The Road Scholar and Cuban guides in this program conveyed in-depth knowledge and information each step along the way in our itinerary.They answered ALL questions fully and openly, getting back to us in the group with results of research when they needed to.The two of them complemented each other really well - they are smart, experienced, humorous, well-prepared, articulate - by adding their own input on topics the group wanted to hear more about. Our stops to visit the dance studio, community centers, church, museums, sugar cane factory, printing shop, cigar factory, family home, gave us access to places we may not have been aware were available or accessible. The guides also were flexible about the itinerary, adding an optional visit to a beach with swimming in clear blue warm ocean water, with drinks available on the beach, and dinner just steps away afterwards. Our bus driver went out of his way to make the added beach visit possible. Kudos.