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Cuba

A Look at Life in Havana

Program No. 23508RJ
Immerse yourself in the culture of Havana through meaningful interactions with locals, and learn about how the complicated history has impacted this remarkable city.
Length
5 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,949

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 2 - Mar 6, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Mar 9 - Mar 13, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Mar 23 - Mar 27, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Apr 6 - Apr 10, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Apr 20 - Apr 24, 2023
Starting at
1,949
May 11 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
1,949
May 18 - May 22, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Oct 5 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Nov 2 - Nov 6, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Nov 16 - Nov 20, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Dec 7 - Dec 11, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Dec 14 - Dec 18, 2023
Starting at
1,949
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 2 - Mar 6, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Mar 9 - Mar 13, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Mar 23 - Mar 27, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Apr 6 - Apr 10, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Apr 20 - Apr 24, 2023
Starting at
2,169
May 11 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
2,169
May 18 - May 22, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Oct 5 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Nov 2 - Nov 6, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Nov 16 - Nov 20, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Dec 7 - Dec 11, 2023
Starting at
2,169
Dec 14 - Dec 18, 2023
Starting at
2,169

At a Glance

Embark on an extraordinary urban adventure as you get to know Cuba’s people, culture and history through its capital city. Discover the plazas of Old Havana with your Cuban host and venture to the outskirts of the city for a taste of rural life. Enjoy interacting with local artists, domino players, community organizers, business owners and farmers while learning about this city by supporting the amazing people that call it home. Support freedom of expression for Cuban artists, engage with owners of private enterprises by exclusively using their businesses, and promote the emergence of Civil Society by openly and freely sharing your own ideas and insights.
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…

  • Gain an intimate understanding about life in Cuba – politically and culturally – as you meet local artists, musicians, dancers and farmers.
  • Learn about the New Cuban Constitution.
  • Engage in authentic Cuban passions as you learn to play dominoes with a local club and enjoy traditional dance from a private dance company.

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: www.roadscholar.org/cubafaqs.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Carlos Alzugaray Treto
Dr. Carlos Alzugaray Treto is a Cuban diplomat, educator and writer. Between 1961 and 1996 he was a diplomat with the Cuban Foreign Service, then served as a regular lecturer on current international affairs, Cuban Foreign Policy and on European political developments at the University of Havana and other Cuban higher learning institutions. He has published four books and has received the Cuban equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. At present he is a member of the Cuban Union of Writers and other civil society organizations.

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

Profile Image of Carlos Alzugaray Treto
Carlos Alzugaray Treto View biography
Dr. Carlos Alzugaray Treto is a Cuban diplomat, educator and writer. Between 1961 and 1996 he was a diplomat with the Cuban Foreign Service, then served as a regular lecturer on current international affairs, Cuban Foreign Policy and on European political developments at the University of Havana and other Cuban higher learning institutions. He has published four books and has received the Cuban equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. At present he is a member of the Cuban Union of Writers and other civil society organizations.
Profile Image of Miguel Coyula
Miguel Coyula View biography
Miguel Coyla is an architect, planner and international lecturer. With an architecture degree from the Higher Polytechnic Institute in Havana, he worked for the Cuban Ministry of Construction and Secretary for Agricultural and Industrial Development. He spent 22 years working for the leading government think tank for that advises the Havana government on issues of urban development. Since retiring in 2012, Miguel has lectured at universities across the world and served as a consultant to a leading renewable energy NGO.
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 Alejandro Anido
Alejandro Anido View biography
Alejandro Anido 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. He is a Cuban expert, and is responsible for relaying local knowledge, and both cultural and historical information for the places we visit throughout the program. He 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 Alberto Faya
Alberto Faya View biography
Alberto Faya is a Cuban singer, researcher, composer, and professor of music. He has a degree from the University of Havana, is a professor of musical culture there, and gives lectures relating to Cuban history, culture, and music. During the 1970s, he worked to better incorporate African and Afro-Cuban music in Cuban society, striving to air Afro-Cuban rumba music on radio stations. Faya is a believer in the ongoing melding of different cultures and considers culture as the means by which personal identity is derived.
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.
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, 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.
A Simple Habana Melody, From When the World Was Good
by Oscar Hijuelos
An unlikely love story and lyrical tribute to Latin music by the author of Mambo Kings.
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.
New Art of Cuba
by Luis Camnitzer
A survey of Cuban art since 1981, all by young artists who have come-of-age since the revolution, and revised to reflect more recent developments. Twenty-four new color plates augment the 200 black and white illustrations.
Havana & Cuba West Map
by ITMB
A full-color map to the city center of Havana, at a scale of 1:10,000. Plus, on the reverse, a regional map of Cuba at a scale of 1:600,000.
Culture Smart! Cuba
by Mandy Macdonald
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
Cuba and Its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo
by Ned Sublette
A thorough and entertaining history of Cuba and its music by the popular radio producer, music historian and cofounder of Cuban record label QbaDisc.
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.
The Spaces Between, Contemporary Art in Havana
by Antonio Eligio Fernandez
This study of shared, communal spaces for Havana artists examines the context of contemporary Cuban art. Including major contemporary figures, the work discusses artists’ techniques, their major themes and the environments in which they create.
Passage to Cuba
by Cynthia Carris Alonso
An wonderful coffee-table book that takes readers through the crumbling, baroque splendor of Havana. Subtitled "An Up-Close Look at the World's Most Colorful Culture."
Cuba, This Moment, Exactly So
by Lorne Resnick
This deluxe coffee-table book organizes 250 black-and-white photographs around micro-stories that immerse readers in the heat and culture of the "Pearl of the Antilles." Includes a foreword by great travel writer Pico Iyer.
Havana, History and Architecture of a Romantic City
by Maria Luisa Lobo Montalvo, Hugh Thomas (Introduction)
This magnificent history of Havana, featuring 480 color illustrations, shows the city and its growth from its founding as a Spanish colony to independence.
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.
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. It’s an affectionate portrait of life in Cuba and winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
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.
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.
Cuba Journeys
by Rowland Scherman (Editor), Charles Fields
Fields presents Cuba in his newest collection, featuring 120 color and 30 black-and-white photographs that illustrate the island's diverse landscapes. He captures the Matanzas coastlands, Vinales Valley tobacco fields and Havana metropolis, which serves as a backdrop to a series highlighting classic American cars. Includes cultural and historical commentary written in English and Spanish.
The Pride of Havana
by Roberto G Echevarria
Professor Gonzalez Echevarria expertly traces the arc of baseball in Cuba, intertwining its heroes and their stories with the politics, music, dance, and literature of the Cuban people.
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.





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