Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 5 dinners including a welcome dinner in Camagüey and a farewell dinner in Havana
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN CAMAGÜEY, CUBA
Arrive in Camagüey, Cuba’s third-largest city and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Globus Group Leader and Cuban National Tour Director for a 7 pm welcome dinner. This is a good time to meet fellow program participants, get your questions answered, and prepare for your time in fascinating Cuba.
Day 2 CAMAGÜEY. EXCURSION TO KING RANCH
This morning, see the city’s beautifully restored plazas and learn 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. Next, meet dancers with the worldrenowned 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, and step inside a home to discuss rural life. 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. This evening is free to explore more of Camagüey on your own.
Day 3 CAMAGÜEY–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 pastelcolored houses decorated with wooden shutters and wrought-iron grilles. Caged songbirds outside the home are a Trinidad tradition. Spend time at TEMPLO YEMAYA to discuss Santeria. The religion was first brought to Cuba by African slaves who worked at the sugar plantations, and it has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions. Continue to Cienfuegos for a 2-night stay.
Day 4 CIENFUEGOS
Start the day by engaging with tobacco rollers at a CIGAR FACTORY, and learn about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially, for Cuba. Next, get acquainted with Cienfuegos on a walking tour around the main square. Settled by immigrants from France and Louisiana 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, 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 ORCHESTRA.
Day 5 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. Join a discussion to share the importance of music in everyday life, then enjoy a performance.
Day 6 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, you have an 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. Next, our attention 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. Lunch is at a local ORGANIC FARM, where you’ll join a discussion with the owners and learn about organic urban farming in Cuba. Next, visit a COMMUNITY PROJECT to interact with the children and volunteers who run the program. This evening is free to explore Havana on your own. You may wish to visit the famous Tropicana Nightclub, see a baseball game (seasonal), visit some of Hemingway’s old haunts, or explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana.
Day 7 HAVANA
Explore 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, visit JOSÉ FUSTER’S STUDIO, cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you’ll discover a surreal world—like nothing you’ve seen before. Interact with members of the neighborhood to discuss the project’s impact on the surrounding area. Over lunch, meet former Cuban baseball players for a DISCUSSION about the history and the love of this favorite pastime in Cuba and the United States. Afterward, tour 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. Before your farewell dinner this evening, enjoy a ride in an OLD STYLER car and a choir performance by the CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC—the perfect ending to your time in Cuba.
Day 8 HAVANA
Your programs ends after breakfast with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided.