Tour: YV - 2013 (YV) - 2013

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Itinerary

DAY 1Miami

Arrive in Miami and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Globus Group Leader for a 6 pm discussion on U.S. and Cuba relations, political differences between the two countries, and Cuban influences in Miami. This is a good time to meet your fellow program participants and get your questions answered. Afterward, enjoy a welcome drink and prepare for your trip to fascinating Cuba.

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DAY 2Miami–Camagüey, Cuba

This morning, a short flight brings you to Camagüey, Cuba’s third-largest city. Meet your Cuban National Tour Director, who will show you the city’s beautifully restored plazas and explain why it is nicknamed the “City of Squares.” One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards, much of the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch at a local restaurant, join in a DISCUSSION with local artists about the inspirations for their work, importance to the community, and how art motivates people. Over dinner, enjoy traditional Flamenco dance and music brought to Cuba by Spanish settlers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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

DAY 3Camagüey. Excursion to King Ranch

Today, meet the dancers of the world-renowned Camagüey BALLET COMPANY, which has performed in over 40 countries. You’ll have a chance to meet and interact not only with the dancers, but teachers and costume makers as well. Then, journey to KING RANCH, an expansion of the famous ranch of the same name in Texas, and its neighboring village, including stepping inside a rural home and school to discuss rural life and education. Then, over a barbecue lunch, connect with the cowboys who call the ranch home. Stop at Casanova POTTERY STUDIO to learn about Camagüey’s famous tinajones—large red pots found outside homes, the symbol of the city. See the traditional way of making the vessels and interact with the artists to learn about the local legend. A relaxing dinner is at a local paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant). Over dessert, discuss with the owner the free enterprise system in Cuba and the USA. Afterward, meet members from the American Car Association and enjoy a ride in an OLD STYLER car. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Camagüey, Cuba Camagüey, Cuba Camagüey, Cuba Camagüey, Cuba 
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DAY 4Camagüey–Trinidad

Travel to Trinidad, the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities, founded in 1514 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No other city in Cuba is preserved as well or so charmingly. Explore the Valle de los Ingenios (VALLEY OF THE SUGAR MILLS). This lush and picturesque valley was once the center of the sugar trade industry and home to Old World haciendas. Meet with local community members while here. Spend time walking the streets of Trinidad, a cobblestone showcase of colonial architecture and pastel-colored houses decorated with wooden shutters and wrought-iron grilles. Caged songbirds outside the home is a Trinidad tradition that is still kept alive. Interact with the librarian at the local LIBRARY, built from the estate of an American woman in the early 1900s, and learn about the library system in Cuba, including censorship and how the facilities are supported. Before arriving at the hotel, discuss the rhythms and history of Cuba’s traditional forms of music with musicians at the PALENQUE DE LOS CONGOS REALES. Known as “Music Alley,” you’ll hear typical salsa, rumba, and son (Cuban popular music). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Trinidads Town Square in Cuba Palenque contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, and carvings the Maya produced Trinidad, Cuba Trinidad, Cuba 
[STORIES]
The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 5Trinidad. Excursion to Cienfuegos

Travel to Cienfuegos and get acquainted on a walk around the main square. Settled by French immigrants more than 150 years ago, Cienfuegos is often referred to as the “Pearl of the South” because of its impressive beauty and colorful history. Join in a discussion with artists at a graphic arts STUDIO and learn more about their lives, their work, and how their art is created. Next, an opportunity to engage with tobacco rollers at a CIGAR FACTORY and to learn about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially, for Cuba. Before dinner this evening, enjoy a fun interactive DANCE LESSON. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Cienfuegos, Cuba Valley of the Sugar Mills outside Trinidad, Cuba 
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DAY 6Trinidad–Bay of Pigs–Havana

After breakfast, travel through the countryside, passing sugar cane fields and banana plantations. We’ll make a short stop in Playa Giron for a guided visit of the BAY OF PIGS MUSEUM. Nearby is the old sugar mill used by Fidel Castro as his center of operations during the 1961 invasion. Over lunch, join in a DISCUSSION with a local Naturalist as well as the family that runs the restaurant. Arrive in Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital city. Before checking into 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 discussion to share the importance of music in everyday life and then be treated to a performance. This evening, experience dinner at the illustrious HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA, a symbol of history, culture, and Cuban identity. Afterward, take a tour of this landmark hotel, which has hosted celebrities and world figures over the decades, including Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and Steven Spielberg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba 
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DAY 7Havana

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 building, and the future of these restorations. Then, the opportunity to explore the charming cobblestone streets of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while participating in open dialogue with the local architect on architectural topics of interest. This afternoon takes us 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. We’ll also stop at the FERIA DE ARTESANIA, where you can meet local artists and see the wares sold at this flea market. A photo stop is made at REVOLUTION SQUARE before exploring the world-famous COLON CEMETERY with a local expert who shows you some of its most elaborately sculpted memorials. Hear the cemetery’s 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 dinner, stop at the FORTRESS DE SAN CARLOS. Soldiers outfitted in traditional 18th-century garb will greet you, then you will 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)

Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba 
[STORIES]
The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 8Havana

This morning 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. Lunch is at a local ORGANIC FARM, where you’ll join a discussion with the owners and learn about organic urban farming in Cuba. Return to Havana and participate in a workshop at the CASA DE AFRICA museum about how the African culture and Santeria religion have impacted Cuba and the U.S. Learn about Santeria, first brought to Cuba by slaves imported to work at the sugar plantations. The religion has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions, as well as special ceremonies. Next, enjoy a choir performance and participate in a discussion with choir members from the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC and their director. Before dinner, meet a former Cuban baseball player and join in a DISCUSSION regarding the history and the love of this favorite pastime in Cuba and in the U.S. At your farewell dinner, take in incredible views of Havana from the top floor of the Habana Libre Hotel—the perfect ending to your time in Cuba. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba 
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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: “Cuba’s Charming Colonial Cities & Havana” 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.

Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba 
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