Cuba's Charming Colonial Cities & Havana (YV) - 2014

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9 days from Miami to Miami


Cubas Charming Colonial Cities & Havana
Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Camagüey, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Trinidad, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Camagüey, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Camagüey, Cuba
Havana, Cuba

Vacation Overview

A once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits participants in this rare opportunity. Be among the first American travelers in five decades to visit Cuba and its most fascinating cities with Globus! This program allows Americans and Cubans to share in special people-to-people interactions while enjoying the rich history and culture of this amazing country. Every day of your program will be wrapped in compelling education and conversation, where both Cuban and American residents can openly share their ideas and opinions. Join in a variety of discussions about Cuba’s history, agriculture, music, religion, and art. You can fully embrace Cuban culture when you meet and join in a discussion with the dancers of the world-renowned Camagüey Ballet Company, interact with local artists and exchange views on the importance of art to a community, visit Trinidad’s “Music Alley” and engage with musicians who will introduce you to son, Cuba’s popular music, and be introduced to a Cuban baseball player and discuss this favorite pastime in both Cuba and the U.S. The people-to-people interactions you’ll experience weave seamlessly into the daily visits around the country, serving to enrich and enlighten. Fascinating, informative, and insightful discoveries await every participant, both Cuban and American, on this trip of a lifetime to this great island—the “Pearl of the Antilles.”

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.


CAMAGÜEY
Discussion with independent artists, city orientation, Flamenco show, Camagüey Ballet Company, spend time at King Ranch and interact with local cowboys and village residents, program at Casanova Pottery Studio, paladar dinner and discussion with the owner; meet with the American Car Association owners and enjoy a ride in an Old Styler car

TRINIDAD
Visit the Valley of the Sugar Mills & meet with the local community, historic city center, discussion at a library, interaction and performance with musicians at Palenque de los Congos Reales, dance lesson

CIENFUEGOS
City orientation, discussion with a local artist and studio visit, interact with tobacco rollers at a cigar factory

PLAYA GIRÓN
Visit the Bay of Pigs Museum, interact with a local family and Naturalist over lunch

HAVANA
Performance and discussion with jazz musicians, dinner and tour at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, architect presentation, Old Havana, interaction with members of the Santo Angel neighborhood, interaction with artists at the Feria de Artesania, Revolution Square, guided visit of Colon Cemetery, Fortress de San Carlos, Finca Vigia (Hemingway’s home), discussion and lunch at an organic urban farm, workshop at Casa de Africa, choir performance and discussion with members of the Cuban Institute of Music; discussion with a Cuban baseball player

NOTES:

  • The “Cuba’s Charming Colonial Cities & Havana” program requires walking on cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, climbing stairs, and participating in a full-time schedule of people-to-people activities.
  • Due to the special requirements to visit Cuba, participants will be required to complete visa application and travel reservation forms and sign an affidavit confirming that they are traveling under a people-to-people license and are aware of the travel rules. Participants are also required to send a copy of their passport photo page. These items must be sent to Globus within 7 days of making a reservation.
  • In Cuba, activities that have been scheduled far in advance can sometimes become unavailable for a number of different reasons. The purpose of the trip is to have meaningful interactions with the locals and if the planned people-to-people educational exchange isn’t available, rest assured that another that will be just as enriching will be substituted.
  • Small-Group Discovery – We never allow more than 24 travelers on our Small-Group Discovery programs, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.


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.

[PHOTOS]
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]

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 
[STORIES]
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 
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]

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)

Trinidad, Cuba Trinidad, Cuba Palenque contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, and carvings the Maya produced 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 
[STORIES]
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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 
[STORIES]
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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 
[STORIES]
[CULTURAL]


Meals Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 7 dinners including a farewell dinner in Havana

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Transportation
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride.