Cuba: The Country, Its Culture and Its People

JuNE 9-16, 2019

This workshop is $3,090 for 8 days & 7 nights in Havana, Pinar Del Rio, and Bay of Pigs.  The single room supplement is an additional $200.

Teacher relicensure credit:  3 semester credit hours through the Colorado School of Mines Enhancement Program.

 

This tour is a view of Cuba and its people through the soul!  The natural beauty of the land and the uniqueness of the country’s history collaborates to make Cuba an extremely photogenic destination.  Colonial Spanish architecture, UNESCO heritage sites, dramatic valleys, pristine beaches and untouched, rural communities that open their arms to travelers are a few reasons that people are fascinated with Cuba.  Additionally, the country’s political history has created a mid-century time capsule where 1950’s American autos and abandoned Soviet investment clashes, a microcosm that only exists on the island of Cuba.  Combine all that this beautiful country has to offer along with its people, to create a perfect educational and cultural adventure not to mention personal growth.

 

Your Trip Includes:

  • 8 days & 7 nights in Havana, Bay of Pigs, and Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. 
  • Round-trip airfare from Florida departing city to Havana.
  • Cuban visa processing and fee (There is an additional fee for Cuban born travelers).
  • Medical insurance while visiting Cuba.
  • All airline and airport fees (U.S. & Cuba except baggage & excess weight fees).
  • Ground transportation within Cuba.
  • All accommodations while visiting Cuba (Private Bed & Breakfast).
  • Entrance fees when applicable.
  • All gratuities are included.
  • Experienced tour guides (English, Spanish, Portuguese and French speaking are available).
  • Included meals:  Full breakfast made to order each morning, seven lunches and seven dinners.  Please advise us about any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

 

Not Included:

  • Baggage fees are common upon check-in at the airport.  These fees are the responsibility of the passenger.
  • Fees for theatrical or live performances outside of our tour itinerary are the responsibility of the passenger.
  • Travel insurance is recommended for all travelers, in the event that they have need to cancel.
  • Relicensure credit tuition.

 

The Originating City (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Tampa):

  • Lodging arrangements for travelers who do not live in the originating city can be made for an additional fee.
  • We can assist clients who need travel arrangements to the originating city of the tours.
  • Travelers who wish to travel to Cuba from a different city will receive a credit for the cost of the round-trip airline ticket from the tour's originating city to Cuba.

Itinerary

 

Day 1:  HAVANA, CUBA

Arrive at Jose Marti Airport, Havana, Cuba.  Hola, Cubita Linda.  After clearing customs and getting luggage we begin our travel. 

10:00am - Hemingway’s home and visit “Finca Vigia”.  Visiting the Hemingway home gives us insight into how much Hemingway loved Cuba, and the location that inspired him to write several notorious novels.  This will be a guided tour by the museum's professional tour guide.

Lunch is included.

We move to our private residences to get settled in.  A welcome cocktail will be served to discuss the week ahead.

5:00pm - Speaker:  University of Havana Arts Professor.

Dinner is included.

9:00pm - Casual walking tour around Central Park (Parque Central) in Old Havana for some music and site seeing.  We will stroll past the Capital Building (Capitolio), the National Museum of Beautiful Arts (Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes) and the Grand Theater (Gran Teatro).  In the evenings, these architectural beauties are powerful and elegant with dramatic lighting effects.

 

Day 2:  HAVANA, CUBA

8:00am - Breakfast in your homes, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Cuban people and share in their lives.  After breakfast we begin our journey to visit the art studio of Jose Fuster and his mosaic “city”.  This small fishing village outside of Havana, was once a sleepy town today the art and creative mind of Fuster and his apprentices have made it a must visit.  We will also make a stop at the Hemingway Marina, the largest marina in Cuba.

Lunch is included.

2:00pm - After lunch we will embark on a panoramic tour of Havana:  Plaza de La Revolucion (Plaza of the Revolution), Colon Cemetery, El Bosque de la Havana (Botanical Gardens) , 5ta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) y El Malecón (Famous Seawall).

3:15pm - Tour of the Colón Cemetery-founded in 1876 and named after Christopher Columbus.

5:00pm - Roundtable with a local Entrepreneur to discuss the impacts of tourism in the Island.

Dinner is included.

We end the day with a dedicated photography stop at the Hotel Nacional, a historical luxury hotel, circa 1930.  There are terrific sunset views of Havana and El Malecón from the hotel.

 

Day 3:  BAY OF PIGS, CUBA

7:00am - Breakfast at your residence.

Today we visit the Bay of Pigs area in the province of Matanzas.  The untouched beauty of this region is overwhelming, the arrival into this area will be mid-morning.  We will spend the day touring Playa Larga Village and the surrounding area.

Lunch is included.

1:00pm - Guided tour of the Bird Sanctuary/Flora and Fauna, an area with over 24 endemic bird species.  This area of the Zapata Peninsula is still untouched and splendidly beautiful.

The Bay of Pigs is a true time-capsule where nature is the owner.  This region is a great spot for snorkeling, swimming or scuba diving.

3:30pm - Lecture and discussion with a local Dive-Master regarding the Marine life in the area and efforts to keep the waters healthy.

4:30pm - Travel back to Havana.

Dinner in a local home and discussion with a retired Dean of Havana University.

 

Day 4:  HAVANA, CUBA

8:00am - Breakfast.

9:30am - Today we tour Havana’s Old Town (La Habana Vieja), which in 1982 was awarded UNESCO Heritage Site status.  You will walk through squares surrounded by the impressive baroque and neoclassic-style buildings that have made Havana one of the most architecturally significant cities in the Americas.  A stroll through Central Park (El Parque Central) provides a magnificent view of the beautiful surrounding buildings while the large shade trees act as umbrellas to shelter visitors from the sun.

Lunch is included.

2:00pm - Visit to St. Francis (Monastery).  Today the Monastery is home to the Music School of Violin (Rooftop Photo Opportunity).

3:15pm - Tour of Havana Cathedral, one of the oldest Cathedrals in the Western Hemisphere.  This stop is a favorite of all religious denominations because of the building’s history and beauty.  Next, we travel down Obispo Street which is one of Havana’s most populous streets.  For those who wish to shop, this route is lined with stores from Bernaza Street to Plaza de Armas.  Casual Stop at the Bodeguita Del Medio for a delicious Mojito.

4:30pm - Lizt Alfonso Dance School.  A behind the scenes tour of the internationally known Cuba dance school.

5:45pm - We visit Hotel Ambos Mundos, built in 1924 and home to Ernest Hemingway for seven years in the mid 1930s.

Dinner is included.

9:00pm - Visit to some of the local venues and Fabrica del Arte.  The Fabrica de Arte is home to four levels of local art from artists around the Country, much depicting the life of Cuba.

 

Day 5:  PINAR DEL RIO, CUBA

8:00am - Breakfast.

We depart to Pinar Del Rio, the Western-most province of Cuba, famous for its rich soil, tobacco production and picturesque scenery.  We will visit the charming village of Viñales nestled in the Sierra de los Organos mountains.  Viñales Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and settlement dating back to the Spanish colonial era.  The area while quiet, is booming with excitement and a lively population.

We stop and visit the Balcony (El Mirador) (A view of the Valley of Viñales) ** Time Permitting today or tomorrow**

Lunch is included.

Settling into the Private Homes - Rest period prior to dinner.  Walking and exploration of the town of Viñales.

6:00pm - Conversation with a local farmer regarding the economics and future of the area with a local cocktail.

Dinner is included with a presentation on tourism by a local entrepreneur.

We finish the day with a guided view of the Cuban night sky in the southern latitudes.

 

Day 6:  PINAR DEL RIO, CUBA

7:00am - Breakfast and departure for further exploration of Viñales.

This day allows us to continue to enjoy the natural beauty of the region before heading back to Havana after lunch.  For the tobacco aficionado and those just curious, this morning we visit one of the largest operated tobacco farms, which is a favorite stop among our groups.

We will discuss all of the products of the region: coffee, honey, and the local rum.

Lunch is included.

2:00pm - Guided horseback experience with a demonstration of the local fruits and vegetables specific to the region of the Valley of Viñales.

5:00pm - Tour of the caves in the Mogotes.

Departure for Havana.

Dinner is included.

 

Day 7:  RURAL, CUBA

8:00am - Breakfast.

Departure from our residences.  We begin with a trip to rural Cuba, an area not often seen by tourists.  We will interact with many of the locals and hear their passionate stories of the past and present.

Lunch is included.

2:30pm - Guided tour of the EFCH-Photography School.  A view of the work of students and their passion for photography.

4:00pm - Guided Visit to “La Disqueria” in Marianao: Behind the scenes tour with a question and answer session with the staff.

Dinner is included.

 

Day 8:  HAVANA, CUBA

8:00am - Breakfast.

We end our visit to the island with tours of the Museum of the Revolution and the Fortress “El Morro".

Lunch is included.

Departure process.

 

*** Cocktails in excess of those provided in the package are the responsibility of the travelers.

Travel authorized by license through the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that authorizes registered guests of our programs to legally travel to Cuba to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between travelers and people in Cuba.


Deposit

A deposit of $700 per person is required to guarantee your reservation, which will be applied towards the cost of your tour.  Deposits are generally non-refundable, except in rare cases when we cannot confirm all components of a booking at the purchase price. 

 

Final Payment

Any pending balance must be paid in full at least 90 days prior to departure.  If your booking falls within the 90 days, payment in full is expected at the time of booking.


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