Soul of Cuba
January 26-February 2, 2019
8 days, 7 nights
We cringe a little every time we hear someone say, "Go to Cuba before it changes." What we would prefer to hear is, "When you visit Cuba, prepare to be changed." Tourism may not be a magic wand but it inevitably brings about a greater understanding of the people and places that make up our vast, shared planet. We take "responsible travel" seriously. Join us on a conscientious journey through the heart and soul of Cuba.
This is a one-of-a-kind adventure in Cuba. With a group of only six people you will have a truly intimate, all inclusive experience.
We will travel in our own '55 Chevys artfully maintained by our dedicated drivers, who you will get to know over the course of a week together. Drivers in Cuba, as in most countries, tend to have their finger on the pulse of the nation and are a great source of information, as well as entertaining conversation.
There will be food. Not just any food, lip-smacking good food! The only way to experience the flavors of Cuban cuisine is in Cuba. Our local guide, Alain, will share with us his favorite culinary hot spots (paladares) and make sure you stay fueled up on our adventure. Check out his Taste of Cuba.
Alain is also an experienced photojournalist, and has worked with a number of video production companies showcasing Cuba including Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse and AJ Eats.
All along the way we will stay in comfortable, local family homes, giving you the opportunity to get acquainted with Cuban hospitality and the human spirit that continues to forge ahead.
A favorite quote heard on a previous tour was, "Don't try to understand my country. Just enjoy it." Cuba is full of question marks and what better way to navigate them than with a guide who knows his country inside and out, who is willing to provide answers but at the same time get you to relax and just go with the flow. So, let's get going!
La Habana (4 nights)
You will be welcomed to Old Havana by a local architect to learn about about the city's historical significance and the restoration projects taking place along our walk down the Paseo de Martí.
We will seek out the music and rhythm that keeps this island’s heart beating with a unique opportunity to enjoy a private dance presentation performed at a local theater, and meet with the director for a post show discussion. Creativity abounds in all the nooks and crannies of Havana.
Other Havana highlights include Plaza de Armas, Cristo de la Habana, Museo de Bellas Artes with commentary from local artist, Fabrica de Arte, Callejón de Hamel where rumba reigns, Fusterlandia, and the local markets.
Travel to the tobacco-growing region of Valle de Viñales to spend the day talking with Cuban farmers about agricultural practices and slowly ramble through cigar country. We'll peek into the depths of Santo Tomás cave then off to the farm for a pig roast you will never forget. Get a good feel for life as it is lived in el campo (the countryside).
Cienfuegos, Trinidad (3 nights), Santa Clara
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cienfuegos, “Pearl of the South,” Trinidad, and Valley de los Ingenios, home to Cuba’s sugar industry. Sugar cane, which was introduced to the island by Spanish settlers, has been the mainstay of the Cuban economy, and the slaves who once worked the fields, the backbone of the nation.
A boat ride across the bay to the Castillo de Jagua offers a unique vantage point over the Caribbean waters in the Bay of Cienfuegos. This is an intimate experience in which you may have the opportunity to steer the boat alongside the capitán.
The road to Trinidad is simply stunning. Lush green rolling hills, the deep blue ocean, palm trees, and not a single billboard in sight!
In Trinidad we'll trade our cars for horse carts and get out into the countryside. We'll slow way down to really take in the view. On our walking city tour along the cobblestone pedestrian streets we’ll get familiar with the sites of this colonial city skillfully restored down to the details. This is the ideal place to seek out a hand-crafted souvenir.
In Santa Clara, well known for its revolutionary landmarks, we will stop by the Plaza de la Revolución, built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the battle of Santa Clara and is home to the resting place of Che Guevara. For history buffs, the impressive museum is home to all things Che.
What is included
Group is limited to 6 participants so reserve your place early. If you are a group with at least 6 people and would like to arrange your own travel dates, please contact us. Tour cost is for double occupancy. Single room supplement is $425.
Our full-time schedule of educational exchange activities in Cuba will include the following, and is meant to facilitate meaningful interaction between our travelers and individuals in Cuba.
Note: There will be no individually selected and/or self-directed activities on this tour.