Tour: YU - 2013 (YU) - 2013

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Itinerary

DAY 1Miami

Arrive in Miami and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Globus Group Leader and fellow program participants for a 6 pm discussion on U.S. and Cuba relations, political differences between the two countries, and Cuban influences in Miami. This meeting will prepare you for your arrival in magical Cuba and will answer any questions you may have about the program. Afterward, enjoy a welcome drink.

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DAY 2Miami–Havana, Cuba

A short flight this morning brings you to the capital city of Havana, where you’ll meet your Cuban National Tour Director. See cultural and historic landmarks as you transfer to your hotel. Stop to take photos at REVOLUTION SQUARE, where political rallies and demonstrations took place during the Cuban Revolution and the site of many important speeches, including regular addresses by former President Fidel Castro, Pope John Paul II during his 1998 visit, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Next, an interactive exchange with specialists at the MUSEUM OF THE REVOLUTION, housed in the ornate former Presidential Palace. Discussion will include historical policy issues related to the significance of the Cuban Revolution as well as the War of Independence with Spain. Before dinner this evening, there is an opportunity to engage with tobacco rollers to learn about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially, for Cuba, followed by the opportunity to participate in a cigar rolling demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 3Havana

From graceful 16th-century castles to modern high-rises, Havana is one of the most beautiful and visually diverse cities in the world. Even in 1492, Christopher Columbus proclaimed this the “loveliest land ever beheld by human eyes.” Your day begins with a PRESENTATION from a local architect who talks about Havana’s unique architecture, the challenges of renovating the city’s exquisite historic buildings, and the future of these restorations. Then, the opportunity to explore the charming cobblestoned streets of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while participating in open dialogue with the architect on architectural topics of interest. A delicious lunch in Old Havana is followed by a visit to the SANTO ANGEL neighborhood. Here, you’ll have a chance to interact with members of the community and learn how the project was founded to better the neighborhood by offering services such as a beauty school, community cafeteria for the elderly, art galleries to enrich the neighborhood, and more. Next, join a discussion and enjoy a choir performance with choir members from the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC and their director. Dinner is at the renowned El Aljibe restaurant, famous for its open-air ambiance and special slow-roasted chicken. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 4Havana. Excursion to Pinar Del Rio

Today, travel to the western end of the island to the province of Pinar del Rio. With some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, you’ll see lush, emerald-green tobacco fields and dramatic limestone formations called mogotes, which are the height of skyscrapers and tower over the Viñales Valley floor. An afternoon exchange includes a local farmer and his family at their TOBACCO FARM. Learn about the process of growing and drying tobacco, and take a little time to get acquainted. Afterward, spend time in the lovely town of Viñales, where your Tour Director takes you on a walk through the handsome square and along the wide main street, lined with turn-of-the-century cottages with red-tiled roofs. While here, share in a discussion with the people who call this part of the world home. After lunch, stop at an ORGANIC FARM and participate in a discussion with the farmers regarding the challenges of organic farming in Cuba. You’ll also get to admire some incredible views of the beautiful valley below. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 5Havana

This morning starts with a visit to a community DAYCARE CENTER, where you will interact with the children and the nuns who run the program. Then, our attention turns to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba for over 30 years and left behind an enduring legacy. It is here that he wrote several books, participated in fishing contests, and enjoyed the laid-back ambiance and warmth of the Cuban people. Engage with staff at FINCA VIGIA, his beloved home, and see his fishing boat, El Pilar. Continue to the nearby fishing village of Cojimar, the inspiration for Hemingway’s The Old Man & the Sea, where you’ll enjoy lunch and dialogue at Las Terazas, the restaurant where Hemingway often stopped after a day of fishing for marlin or sailfish. Return to Havana and participate in a workshop discussion at the CASA DE AFRICA museum about how the African culture and Santeria religion have impacted Cuba and the United States. Learn about Santeria, first brought to Cuba by the slaves imported to work at the sugar plantations. The religion has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions, as well as special ceremonies. After dinner, stop at the FORTRESS DE SAN CARLOS. Built around 1774, the fort was built by the Spaniards to control access to the Port of Havana. Soldiers outfitted in traditional 18th-century garb will greet you, then watch their reenactment of the official cannon-firing ceremony. The thunderous boom of the cannon is fired precisely at 9 pm, which historically signaled the end of the day and the time to close the city gates for the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 6Havana

Today, meet with students and discuss the educational system in Cuba when you visit the UNIVERSITY OF HAVANA. Then, explore the world-famous COLON CEMETERY with a local expert who shows you some of its most elaborately sculpted memorials. Hear its captivating history, folklore, and stories about the many noteworthy people laid to rest here, including musicians, filmmakers, writers, politicians, Major League Baseball players, and La Milagrosa—the “Miraculous One.” After lunch at the illustrious HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA—a symbol of history, culture, and Cuban identity—enjoy a tour of this landmark hotel that has hosted celebrities and world figures throughout the years, such as Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and Steven Spielberg. On to Callejón de Hamel, a neighborhood known as “SALVADOR’S ALLEY” that is a showcase of eclectic artwork, vibrant Cuban street music, Rumba dancing, Santeria shrines, and colorful murals by local artist Salvador Gonzáles. Hear about the artist and how he gives back to the community. Before returning to your hotel, stop at the famous La Zorra y el Cuervo jazz club to meet with jazz musicians from the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC. Enjoy a performance and discussion about the importance of music in everyday life. (Breakfast, Lunch)

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DAY 7Havana. Excursion to Matanzas

Journey past vast fields of sugar cane and citrus orchards as we make our way into the province of Matanzas, the heart of Cuba’s agriculture and sugar cane industry. Learn more about Cuba’s recent history and its struggles that have led to the present day. Our first stop will be CASA DUPONT, built in 1926 by American millionaire Irénée du Pont at a cost of over $700,000. Enjoy lunch at this mansion that has hardly changed since 1959. We then journey into Matanzas City, known as the “Athens of Cuba” for the many renowned artists and intellectuals it has produced. Visit the TRIOLET PHARMACY, which dates back to 1879 and is preserved in its entirety. See French porcelain jars lining the shelves, along with medicine bottles—some still containing the original medications. Also see the back laboratory with its 55 recipe books and fabulous old cash till. Interact with the workers at a visit to EDICIONES VIGIA, a print and binding shop, and learn about this traditional craft. Before returning to Havana you’ll have the chance to interact with the musicians and directors at Ermita de Monserrate, a former church now used as as a concert hall, then enjoy a CLASSICAL CONCERT. Dinner tonight is at a local paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant), where you’ll meet the owners over dessert and discuss how the private enterprise system works in Cuba. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 8Havana

Your day begins with a discussion at the LITERACY MUSEUM. Topics will include the 1961 Literacy Campaign and its importance in Cuban history. Next up: a visit to artist JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you’ll discover a surreal world—nothing like you have seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood community to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. After lunch we meet the artists, discuss their work, and enjoy a hands-on experience at an independent Cuban SILKSCREENING STUDIO. We’ll also stop at the FERIA DE ARTESANIA, where you can meet local artists and see the wares sold at this local flea market. Before dinner tonight, meet members of the local Old Styler Car Club. Hear why Havana’s streets are filled with vintage American automobiles, and converse about how these cars are obtained and what it takes to keep them running. Ride in an OLD STYLER CAR to your farewell dinner on the top floor of the Habana Libre Hotel, where sweeping views make the perfect ending to your time in Cuba (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 9Havana–Miami, USA

After breakfast, depart for the airport and your return flight to Miami. Please schedule connecting flights from Miami after 3:30 pm. (Breakfast)

Group Voyagers, Inc. (doing business as Globus), has been granted License No. CT-298139-1 by the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which authorizes those who register as participants in our programs to visit Cuba legally. Our unique itinerary for 2013-2014 travel to Cuba:  “Undiscovered Cuba” provides a full-time schedule of people-to-people educational exchange activities designed to result in meaningful interactions between our travelers and individuals in Cuba.  United States law requires that all participants in our programs adhere to the full-time schedule of people-to-people activities.

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