Breakfast daily including a continental breakfast in Miami, 9 lunches, 6 dinners including a farewell dinner in Havana
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Miami
Arrive in Miami and transfer to your hotel. This evening, meet your Globus Group Leader for a 6 pm welcome drink and briefing. This is a good time to meet your fellow program participants, ask questions, and get prepared for your trip to fascinating Cuba.
Day 2 Miami-Santiago de Cuba
This morning, fly to Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second-largest city. Start your exploration with a visit to SAN PEDRO DE LA ROCA CASTLE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1638, it has been the site of battles against pirates, smugglers, and home to many well-known prisoners. During your visit, meet an interactive VOCAL QUARTET in the castle’s chapel that will impress you with their musical talents. Discuss the inspiration for their songs, their various backgrounds, and future aspirations. This afternoon, stroll through historic Santiago de Cuba with a local HISTORIAN or architect. Included is a visit to the beautiful CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF ASSUMPTION, where you are invited to interact with local parishoners. Your hotel is the modern Melia Santiago de Cuba Hotel.
Day 3 Santiago de Cuba
Today, visit the community of LA CARIDAD DEL COBRE (the Virgin of Charity and patron saint of Cuba). Learn about the 400-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary and the local lore of how she came to this place. She is one of the most powerful Catholic icons in the world, and an object of pride and reverence for thousands of island faithful. Immerse yourself in Cuba’s roots by attending Mass at the church and interacting with the parishioners. Next, enjoy a panoramic CRUISE in Santiago Bay, arriving at quaint Granma Island. Over lunch, join a DISCUSSION with local fishermen and learn about their fishing practices and their community project that helps sustain the environment. We then visit SANTA IFIGENIA CEMETERY, where Cuba’s national hero, José Martí, is laid to rest. Witness the Changing of the Guard, see the elaborately sculpted memorials, and hear the cemetery’s captivating folklore and stories about the many noteworthy people laid to rest here. Your evening is free to explore Santiago de Cuba.
Day 4 Santiago-Holguin-Gibara
Travel to Holguín and visit LOMA DE LA CRUZ (Hill of the Cross). This is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Cuba, offering incredible views of the city below. Learn about its fascinating history and the celebration that accompanies this site every year. Enjoy lunch and then head to a traditional paper PRINT SHOP. Interact with staff and learn about the process used to make paper, print, and bind their one-of-a-kind books. Continue to a mechanical MUSIC-ORGAN FACTORY to see these impressive instruments from yesteryear. Discuss with workers how these organs came to Cuba, what it takes to maintain and repair them, and listen to the familiar whistle sounds. Arrive in the charming village of Gibara. Before dinner, enjoy an interactive DANCE LESSON on the hotel’s rooftop. Dinner tonight is a “farm-to-table” experience at a local paladar (a special, small, privately owned restaurant). Visit the restaurant’s herb garden and then sit back for an interactive cooking DEMONSTRATION.
Day 5 Gibara-Camaguey
Start your day off with a visit to a SPICE FARM to meet the workers and learn how they grow and use their spices. Then, travel to Camagüey, Cuba’s third-largest city, which is nicknamed the “City of Squares.” Much of the town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit PLAZA DE CARMEN, the CHURCH, and a well-known and award-winning ARTIST to discuss the inspiration of her work and how she has given back to the community. Over dinner, join in a DISCUSSION with the paladar owner and staff.
Day 6 Camaguey
This morning, meet dancers from the world-famous CAMAGÜEY BALLET COMPANY, which has performed in more than 40 countries. You’ll have a chance to meet and interact with the dancers, teachers, and costume makers. Next, enjoy a stroll through Camagüey’s historic main square, Plaza San Juan de Dios, and INTERACT with several artists at their studios. After lunch, participate in a workshop at CASANOVA POTTERY. 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 about the local legend. Visit the CHURCH built by the Casanova family, and meet the family and local parishioners. Your evening is at leisure.
Day 7 Camaguey-Sancti Spiritus-Santa Clara-Cayo Santa Maria
Travel to Sancti Spiritus, meaning “Holy Spirit,” one of Cuba’s oldest European settlements. This charming city has brightly colored buildings and plenty of pedestrian areas. Visit the historic city center with a visit to Cuba’s oldest church, the PARROQUIAL MAYOR DEL ESPIRITU SANTO. After lunch, travel to Santa Clara, where you’ll visit the CHE GUEVARA MEMORIAL, the burial site of the revolutionary and symbolic leader. Learn more about his life and the impact he’s had on Cuban culture. We’ll also visit a local church to INTERACT with its parishioners and learn about their community project. Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner.
Day 8 Cayo Santa Maria-Havana
This morning, travel to Havana, the bustling capital of Cuba and your home for the next three nights. Start your time here with a visit to a local ORGANIC FARM, where you’ll join a discussion with the workers. After lunch, visit a DAYCARE CENTER to interact with the children and the nuns who run the program. The children may even delight you with a song or two. Our attention then turns to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba for more than 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. Before dinner this evening, join in a discussion with choir members and their director from the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC.
Day 9 Havana
This morning, visit the CHURCH OF SAN LAZARO, Cuba’s second-most important pilgrimage site. All year long, devotees flock to San Lazaro to pray for good health and miracles of healing. There is time for reflection at this special site as well as the chance to interact with the local clergy and pilgrims. On to CALLEJON DE HAMEL, a neighborhood known as “Salvador’s Alley” that is a showcase of eclectic artwork, vibrant street music, rumba dancing, and colorful murals by local artist Salvador. While here, participate in a discussion on the Santeria religion and how it has impacted Cuba and the United States. Learn about Santeria, first brought to Cuba by the African slaves who worked at the sugar plantations. The religion has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions. This afternoon, partake in a DISCUSSION with a local architect as you explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Topics include Havana’s unique architecture, the challenges of renovating the city’s exquisite historic buildings, and the future of these restorations. Your evening is free to explore more of the vibrant city of Havana.
Day 10 Havana
As you near the end of your time in Cuba, experience Mass at the beautiful CATHEDRAL OF HAVANA. Built in 1748, the cathedral once housed the remains of Christopher Columbus and contains a sculpture of St. Christopher, patron saint of Havana. After Mass, enjoy some time to interact with our fellow parishioners. Next, visit COLON CEMETERY, where you’ll hear the interesting story of the “Miraculous One.” We then visit 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. This afternoon takes us to JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you 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. Before returning to our hotel, we have a special interaction with the students and teachers of the ANGELES DEL FUTURO PROJECT (Angels of the Future). These children will amaze you with their circus-like acrobatics and you’ll learn about their training, daily lives, and future aspirations. A special treat this evening: take a RIDE IN AN OLD STYLER CAR (the 1950s cars found all over Cuba) through the streets of Havana to your farewell dinner. It’s the perfect ending to your time in Cuba!
Day 11 Havana-Miami
After breakfast, depart for the airport and your return flight to Miami. Please schedule connecting flights after 2:15 pm.