CUBA: Culture, People, Politics, Art, Music & More …
Cuba is a country with considerable diversity in its topography, architecture, art and people. Since December 2014 and the announcement by President Obama that Cuba and the U.S. were entering into a new level of diplomacy, the political front is changing constantly, with 2015 having brought full diplomatic relations between our two countries.
Cuba is also changing from within. More and more private businesses are being allowed to operate, thus breaking from the long held Socialistic policies of the last decades. From restaurants, to private home stays known as Casas Particulares, to art galleries and more, this allows visitors to Cuba the opportunity to enjoy many new benefits as tourists. At the same time, the new diplomatic changes, coupled with Cuba’s constantly evolving policies are creating a Cuba that within a matter of a couple of years, may be a very different Cuba from today as more and more tourists visit this island country of eleven million people.
NOW is the time to enjoy Cuba, as one does not know the future of Cuba’s tourism scene or how ever-changing policies by the Trump administration may impact tourists from the US and elsewhere. Hotel shortages are considerable and thus, dates for booking are becoming more and more limited.
We look forward to having you on our tour to Cuba. You’ll have a wonderful time…I promise!
Jerry Sorkin, Founder and President
Iconic Journeys Worldwide
Day 1, Saturday – Arrival in Havana
Upon your arrival in Havana, you will be met at the airport by our English speaking Cuban guide. You will have an afternoon orientation including a visit to Revolution Square. Then transfer to your hotel in the Vedado district and this evening, join your fellow travelers for your “Welcome Dinner”. Dinner and overnight in Havana. (D)
Day 2, Sunday – Havana
This morning, visit Cuban medical professionals to hear about Cuba’s progress in the world of medicine and the opportunity for Cubans to have free healthcare, despite the any impositions resulting from the blockade.
Depart for a drive out of central Havana to the local farm” La Yoandra.” This environmental exchange will be conducted at the farm with the one of the arborists who maintain the over 100 indigenous fauna that are cultivated for food production as well as for ecological preservation. This farm is part of network of sustainable community operated farms. The crops are also used to sustain the co-owned privately owned restaurant Il Divino.
Visiting the organic farm at La Yoadra
Lunch at the privately operated Il Divino, preceded by a tour of their sustainable organic
Drive into the Havana neighborhood known as Callejon de Hamel, where you will learn about the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, as well as see how this neighborhood has been transformed by encouraging urban art. This religion melds Catholicism and native African beliefs developed by slaves to hide their true religions from their owners. Morning opportunity to interact with Santeria practitioners and participate in a music and dance performance by the Santeria deities.
A visit will be made at some point today to a cigar factory.
Dinner at Cocinero, one of Havana’s hottest paladars. Following dinner, you go next door to Fabrica del Arte, possibly Havana’s leading night spot for the latest in music, art, dance and more…filled with Cubans. Overnight in Havana. (B, L, D)
Day 3, Monday – Havana
Depart for a full day tour of Havana and beyond, following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. Drive by bus to the “Finca Vigia,” Hemingway’s beloved home, where he lived for 21 years and worked on some of his most famous literary works, such as, “The Old Man and the Sea” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Lunch will be served at the “Finca El Divino,” one of the best examples of Cuban Urban Agriculture and the finest restaurant in the area. Enjoy a short presentation and “People to People” exchange on the subject of sustainable agriculture, followed by Cuban food specialties and a cooking demonstration.
On the return, stop in Havana to see where the many cars from the 1950’s and 60’s are repaired and how Cubans have so creatively managed to keep these cars running over the decades, despite the limitations on importing the parts.
Next, drive to old Havana where we will have a walking tour introducing us to the heart of Havana, visiting such sites as the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de San Francisco with its cobblestone and surrounding 18th century buildings, as well as the Plaza de la Catedral while hearing about the process of restoration in Havana.
We then drive to the nearby San Jose Art Market, the largest arts and craft marketplace in Havana where artists and craftspeople show their wares…from the refined to kitsch!
Dinner tonight at a Paladar. Overnight in Havana. (B, L, D)
Day 4, Tuesday – Havana , Las Terrasas
This morning we depart for a ride out of Havana to an eco-village surrounded by mountains, greenery, coffee growing land, and the San Jose River. During your visit to this region, you will have an enjoyable hike and learn from community locals about their environmentally friendly village, while also having lunch in a beautiful setting among the greenery and local cuisine and local “live” music.
Upon your return to Havana in the late afternoon, you will have the opportunity to attend a musical performance at your hotel. For dinner tonight, restaurants suggestions will be provided. Overnight in Havana. (B, L)
Day 5, Wednesday, May 23 – Santa Clara/Cienfuegos
After breakfast, check out of your Havana hotel and depart for another day of rural Cuba settings.
We stop mid-day in Santa Clara. Santa Clara is perhaps most famous, having been the location of the last battle of the Revolution between Che’s troops and those of Battista. There is a monument in Santa Clara in memory of Che.
From Santa Clara, we continue on to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city, with its rich architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas, it is sometimes referred to as the “museum city” of Cuba.
From Trinidad, continue on to Cienfuegos, arriving around dinner time.
Dinner and overnight in Cienfuegos. (B, L, D)
Day 6, Thursday – Cienfuegos
A short ride out of Cienfuegos one comes to the Botanical Gardens of Cienfuegos. The setting is natural, rural and filled with specimens of many types of plantings, flowers and trees. Throughout the years of the US embargo, Harvard University has maintained an important role as one of the sponsors of the studies and the development of the Botanical Gardens. We will have an escorted tour as we walk through portions of the beautiful setting.
This afternoon, we visit the central business district of Cienfuegos. Our visit will include the opportunity to visit a Cuba pesos only store, providing you with a sense of what the availability of food and goods is for the ordinary Cuban who does not have access to the convertible CUC.
We will have an opportunity to hear a musical performance prior to dinner. We gather tonight for your “Farewell Dinner” in a nice venue with live music complementing the food. Overnight in Cienfuegos. (B, L, D)
Day 7, Friday – Cienfuegos/Havana
After breakfast, drive back to Havana airport, with a stop en route, arriving in sufficient time for your airport check-in for your departure flight. Your guide will be remaining with you throughout this procedure. (B)
Cost per person: $3,875, based on double occupancy
Single supplement of $875.
- 6 night accommodations in Cuba deluxe hotels
- Daily breakfast
- Lunches and dinners (as specified on the itinerary by B L and D)
- Full time, professional, bilingual guide
- All local ground transportation
- Pre-trip departure information
- Compliance with U.S. Treasury Department regulations
- Speaker fees
- Admission to all museums and public buildings listed in itinerary
- Coordination of all listed activities
- Airfare to/from Havana
- Airline baggage fees
- Meals other than listed on itinerary
- Individual house/hotel expenses (mini bar, room service, laundry fees, etc.)
- Tips for local guides
- Recommended tips for guides and drivers range from $12 to $20 per person per day depending on group size.
SPACE IS LIMITED!!!
Cuba November 10 – 16, 2018 Registration
For additional information, contact
Iconic Journeys Worldwide at:
or call 888-474-5502.