Breakfast daily including a Continental Breakfast in Miami, 7 lunches, 6 dinners including a farewell dinner in Havana
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Miami
Arrive in Miami and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Globus Group Leader for a 6 pm welcome drink. This is a good time to meet fellow program participants, get your questions answered, and prepare for your trip to fascinating Cuba.
Day 2 Miami–Camaguey, Cuba
This afternoon, 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 Camagüey 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. Enjoy a bici (bike) taxi RIDE before dinner this evening.
Day 3 Camaguey. Excursion to King Ranch
Today, meet dancers with the world-renowned Camagüey BALLET COMPANY, which has performed in over 40 countries. You’ll have a chance to meet and interact with the dancers, teachers, and costume makers. Journey to KING RANCH, an expansion of the famous Texas ranch of the same name, and its neighboring village, including stepping inside a 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, a symbol of the city. See the traditional way of making the vessels and interact with the artists to learn the local legend. A relaxing dinner is at a local paladar (special, privately owned restaurant). Over dessert, discuss with the owner and staff the differences between a paladar, co-operative, and government-run restaurant in Cuba. Before returning to the hotel, meet members from the American Car Association and enjoy a ride in an OLD STYLER car.
Day 4 Camaguey–Trinidad–Cienfuegos
Travel to Trinidad, crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities, founded in 1514 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a Casa Particular (bed & breakfast) and discuss private enterprise in Cuba with the owners and staff. This afternoon, stroll 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 are a Trinidad tradition. 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. Spend time at TEMPLO YEMAYA to discuss the Santeria religion. The religion was first brought to Cuba by African slaves who worked at the sugar plantation, and it has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions. Continue to Cienfuegos for a two night stay.
Day 5 Cienfuegos
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. Your Cuban Tour Director will take you for an informative walk around the city’s main square. 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. Join in a discussion with artists at a graphic arts STUDIO and learn more about their lives, work, and how their art is created. Lunch is served at a waterside paladar. Before returning to your hotel, enjoy a performance and discussion with the CIENFUEGOS CHOIR.
Day 6 Cienfuegos–Bay of Pigs–Havana
After breakfast, travel through the countryside, passing sugar cane fields and banana plantations. We’ll stop in Playa Girón 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 dinner this evening, 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. Afterward, enjoy a tour of the illustrious HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA, a symbol of history, culture, and Cuban identity. The hotel has hosted celebrities and world figures over the decades, including Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and Steven Spielberg.
Day 7 Havana
Your day begins with a DISCUSSION with a local architect. Topics include 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 cobblestone streets of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while participating in open dialogue with the local architect on architectural topics of interest. Our attention then 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. Before returning to Havana, visit a DAYCARE CENTER to interact with the children and workers who run the program.
Day 8 Havana
A photo stop is made at REVOLUTION SQUARE before exploring the world-famous COLON CEMETERY with its 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.” Next, enjoy a visit to JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you’ll discover a surreal world—like nothing you have seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. Enjoy an afternoon choir performance, and join a discussion with choir members and their director from the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC. Before dinner, meet former Cuban baseball players for a DISCUSSION about the history and the love of this favorite pastime in Cuba and the United States. This evening, join your Cuban Tour Director and Globus Group Leader for a festive farewell dinner—the perfect ending to your time in Cuba.
Day 9 Havana–Miami, USA
After breakfast, depart for the airport and your return flight to Miami. Those returning to Miami on Sundays, please schedule connecting flights after 6:50 pm; those returning to Miami on Fridays, please schedule connecting flights after 2:15 pm.