Cuba: A People to People Journey

DAY 1 (Miami): After making your own way to Miami, check in to your hotel and gather for an evening briefing.

Day 2 (Havana):  Welcome to Cuba!  Fly from Miami to Havana today, stopping in the Plaza de la Revolución on the way to your hotel. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, followed by beautiful walk around Old Havana in the evening.

Day 3 (Havana):  Explore Old Havana, founded in the 16th century by the Spaniards as a stopping point for Spanish ships traveling between Europe and the Americas.  A restoration project is restoring the glory of the baroque and neoclassical buildings in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  In the afternoon, visit the Fine Arts Museum of Havana, which houses a fantastic collection of works painted in Cuba, to admire works from the Spanish Colonial, post colonial and modern contemporary periods.  Later, enjoy a conversation with Jorge and Tomás Rodriguez about US–Cuba relations.

Day 4 (Havana):  This morning, attend a lecture given by Fernando Saez of the Ludwig Foundation on the influence of dance in Cuba, followed by a visit to a rehearsal by a local dance company. In the afternoon, drive to the outskirts of Havana to the house of José Fuster, the ‘Picasso of the Caribbean.’ Every inch of his house is artistically adorned with his brightly painted sculptures and mosaics, and his style spread to other houses to create an eclectic neighborhood known as Fusterlandia. Enjoy dinner this evening.

Day 5 (Trinidad):  Travel south to Trinidad, on the Caribbean side of the island, stopping on the way in the town of Santa Clara to see the mausoleum of Che Guevara.  Enjoy seeing the countryside of Cuba along the drive.  The balance of the day is free before dinner.

Day 6 (Trinidad):  Explore the highlights of this Spanish, town founded in the early 16th century, on foot today.  Admire the cobble stoned streets and pastel colored houses with wrought iron windows, and visit local pottery maker Azariel Santander. Continue to the Valle de los Ingenios, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the center of sugar refining in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Visit the old sugar refinery of Manaca Iznaga, then enjoy a free afternoon. In the evening enjoy some local music in the old town. Enjoy dinner this evening.

Day 7 (Cienfuegos):  Take a short drive to the colonial Spanish of Cienfuegos.  Stop on the way at a botanical garden, where an expert will introduce us to the local flora on the island.  An afternoon walking tour of Cienfuegos, known as the ‘Pearl of the South’ because of its beauty, shows the wealth that came from the sugar trade, exemplified in the neoclassical buildings that are prevalent in the city.  After dinner, enjoy a people to people musical activity.

Day 8 (Cienfuegos):  This morning, meet with the local members of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) to discuss the strong influence of the arts in all aspects of Cuban culture, then visit the workshops of a few artists.  Enjoy a free afternoon to interact with the locals. After dinner, take part in a people to people musical activity.

Day 9 (Havana): Return to Havana today, stopping along the way at Finca Vigía, the house where Ernest Hemingway spent many years of his life and wrote ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’ Enjoy dinner this evening.

Day 10 (Miami):  Fly to Miami and spend the night.

Day 11:  Travelers are responsible for their own flight arrangements home.