Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: This daily schedule is a representative guide. Program elements in Cuba are controlled by the Cuban government and are subject to change on short notice, as are flight times. Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously). Before the leaving the USA, if your flights are canceled or delayed, please call the Road Scholar Flights Emergency Number 802 254 7190
Afternoon: After checking in at the hotel, take some time to freshen up. We will gather in the hotel lobby with our Group Leader before dinner. Your Group Leader for this program is also a highly experienced Cuban Guide.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead. A reminder: The regulations that govern our program and are set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Program elements in Cuba are controlled by the Cuban government and are subject to change on short notice; therefore, the daily schedule is a representative guide. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. 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. Road Scholar programs are carefully crafted to comply with these regulations. All itineraries reflect this emphasis. Visits with independent social projects, religious organizations, and members of civil society are included in every program. Thank you for your understanding.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving about 10 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Walking up to 1.5 miles, approximately 2 hours. Standing on paved and unpaved paths with limited places to sit.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant.
Morning: Orientation: 8:30 a.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Our accommodations in Cuba feature clean, comfortable rooms with private baths and standard amenities. Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that any potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade-off for the authentic connections and enrichment we will experience. Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings, so if you use a walking aid, please bring it with you on the program. Periods in the schedule designated as “At leisure” offer opportunities to make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Next, we will engage in a lecture about Cuban architecture with a renowned urban architect and city planner. In the late morning we will visit several new, private enterprises.
Lunch: At a local paladar.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll continue our exploration of Havana. Visits include a jewelry maker and a clothing designer. Our visits will support their private initiatives. We’ll return to the hotel in the late afternoon.
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 glad to offer suggestions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 10 miles, approximately 45 minutes riding time. Walking up to 2 miles and standing, approximately 1.5 hours; mainly pedestrian-only streets, cobblestones, high curbs, sunny conditions, limited shade.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We will have a lecture by a member of the Cuban Music community who will explain the history and diversity of styles in Cuban Music. We’ll then set out with our Group Leader on a walking field trip into two of Old Havana’s four plazas: Plaza de la Catedral that originated in 1592, with its main feature the ornate Catedral de San Cristóbal; and Plaza Vieja, laid out in 1559 when it was the “new” square, now surrounded by elegant, historic buildings. Along the way, we'll visit the studios of two contemporary painters to see how their works reveal a look at life in Cuba today. We will also visit an outsider art group "Art Brut".
Lunch: On your own to choose from the many independently owned paladares in Old Havana.
Afternoon: We'll see a rehearsal by a private dance company and meet with the dancers afterwards to discuss their career paths and how they have shaped their lives in Cuba.
Dinner: At a local private paladar.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 5 miles, approximately 30 minutes riding time throughout the day. Walking up to 1.5 miles, approximately 2 hours. Standing on cobblestone streets and navigating uneven sidewalks, high curbs and stairs without railings.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach for a short ride to begin exploring Old Havana’s two other plazas, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de Armas, with our Group Leader. Across from the old port, the main feature in Plaza de San Francisco today is what was the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis, built from 1580-1591. The bell tower, nearly 140 feet (42 meters) high, was the tallest in Havana. The edifice now serves as a multipurpose concert hall. The Plaza de Armas was the old parade ground in colonial times, used for military drills and parades, concerts, and promenades. We will meet with members of the private, community improvement organization founded by a group of artists and then visit community projects at the Iglesia Milagrosa. In the late morning, we'll set out by motorcoach on a field trip to a farm outside the city. A member of the farm will lead our exploration as we learn about organic farming methods and the crops crown there.
Lunch: At the private farm.
Afternoon: Following lunch, we'll meet up to return to the hotel by private motorcoach. In the late afternoon, gather with your fellow participants in the hotel for a performance by an independent contemporary band playing music which resonates in today's Cuba. Afterwards, have the opportunity to talk with the band members about the music tourists come to Cuba to hear versus the music locals enjoy.
Dinner: At a private paladar. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s “Transportation Information” regarding transfers at the conclusion of the program.
Breakfast: At the hotel or boxed breakfast depending on flight times. This concludes our program.
Morning: Whether you are returning home or departing for your next adventure, safe travels. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!