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Cuba

Cuba

Tour Dates:
MAY 11 - 20, 2018

6,600 (per person)


Future Dates:

Cuba - A Cultural Exploration A rich blend of cultures from across the Caribbean and around the world, Cuba is unlike any other country. Join us on an exclusive journey as we spend six nights in the city of Havana soaking in the island’s timeless culture, history, and art.

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DAY 1, May 11: HAVANA

We arrive at Havana Airport and head straight to lunch. After we eat we will begin a walking tour of Old Havana. On our tour we will go to the 2 remaining plazas and Arte Corte. Dinner tonight will be at well-known local paladar.
     Meals | Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2, May 12: HAVANA

After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the Fototeca; a photography studio showing works from local artist as well stunning historic photographs. One of our favorite activities in Havana is a tour of a classic car workshop; guided by the owner and artist responsible for the beautifully restored cars.

Following our tour we will get the opportunity to enjoy a ride in a classic car from Havana to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s home while he was in Cuba.
After the tour of Hemingway’s house, we will head to of the local Farmers Markets. Our last tour of the day is a guided visit of Havana Fine Art Museum.
Tonight, you will have the evening to yourself. Choose from one of the many fantastic local restaurants and take in the beautiful city.

     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3, May 13: HAVANA/SANTA CLARA

We will have breakfast at the hotel; prior to check out, and then we are off on a three-hour drive through rural Cuba to historic Santa Clara.
Upon arrival in Santa Clara we will meet a group of local innovators who are responsible for community project that reclaims and rejuvenates environmentally degraded public lands. The location we will see was once an industrial waste site that has been converted into a self-sustainable nature-art park and urban farm.
When we leave the park it will be to relax and have lunch in Santa Clara.

In the afternoon we will meet with the artists and performers of a piquete group. We will be given a lecture on the history of small bands and their role in theaters, plays, and silent movies at the beginning of the 20th century. This occasion will end with a performance!

After we are all settled, in the hotel, we will have dinner together
    Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, May 14: SANTA CLARA/CAMAGUEY

Before we leave for Camaguey, we will have breakfast in the hotel. The drive is not too long, sit back and experience rural Cuba. We will arrive in time to have lunch in a beautifully restored square, Plaza de Carmen. After we eat, we will meet with a local sculptor and painter in their studio. Then we head to the art school. Our last visit for the day is to a polyclinic. Where we will learn about medical practices in Cuba. Tonight we have dinner in downtown Camaguey.
     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, May 15: CAMAGUEY

Breakfast in the hotel before our day in historic Camaguey. This exceptional city was first settled in 1528 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our first stop this morning is to a local ballet company, where we will give these burgeoning dancers an opportunity to develop and hone their skills in the form of a private performance. Subsequently, we’ll get a talk about the support structure put in place for the students by their dedicated director and have a chance to hear, directly from these young dancers, about their the aspirations and dreams.

The next stop is the UNEAC, the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, where we will learn about and discuss Cuba’s socio-political influences on its art.
Lunch in Camagüey.
In the afternoon we will get to wander through the colonial streets of Camaguey. Our guide will show us the strong colonial facades and elegant plazas of this town, otherwise known as the city of “City of Squares” and a UNESCO site.

Our even will be filled with music and dance in Camagüey’s Casa de la Trova; “the most Cuban of institutions for social exposure in the provinces”. Learn the steps with local residents of this central city, while enjoying the rhythms of notable bands that keep the dancing going well into the night!

Dinner tonight will be with the group at the hotel.
     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, May 16: CAMAGUEY / BAYAMO / SANTIAGO DE CUBA

We have a morning departure for Santiago de Cuba, after breakfast at the hotel. The drive will be broken up with a few great stops. The first of which is the historic city of Bayamo, to visit with residents and learn about the city’s history. This quiet town offers more than a chance to stretch our legs. While in Bayamo we will meet a local choir as well as their artistic director.
After lunch, we will stop at the village of Cobre. Here we will see the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre. The Basilica is well know throughout the country and is visited by both locals and tourists alike. Hike up the hills to view the Cimarron memorial (sculpture by Alberto Lescay, 1997, the first monument erected in the slave route established by UNESCO). Tonight you will have the evening to relax or explore Santiago de Cuba.
    Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, May 17: SANTIAGO DE CUBA/BARACOA

Enjoy a coffee and delicious breakfast at the hotel before we start another action packed day. This one starts with conversation on the Afrocubanismo movement, with a local expert. Our talk will focus on local culture and
vibrant traditions of Santiago de Cuba.
Once the discussion ends, we will return to the hotel to check out. After hotel check-out, enjoy a panoramic tour of Santiago de Cuba, including Revolution Square, Cuartel Moncada and Loma San Juan from the back of a bici-taxi!

Our last stop before we go to Baracoa we will have lunch at El Morro fortress, overlooking the sea. Our drive following lunch is gorgeous. The Remote city of Baracoa will stun you with its colorful buildings framed by breathtaking views of the water.
     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, May 18: BARACOA

Breakfast at the hotel
trailed by a city tour of Baracoa with a city historian. While walking through this one of a kind town our guide will point out all the landmarks and stop at several places of
historic significance, including La Punta Fort, Hotel La Rusa, the Cathedral and a 19th century pharmacy.

We will rest our legs and take a boat tour down the Rio Toa, Cuba’s longest river as flanked by panoramic views, we will have a pick nick lunch on the boat.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit Fabrica de
Cucuruchos, a factory where they make a local delicacy made with honey, coconut, nuts and fresh seasonal fruit is served in cones of palm bark. Here we will get a glimpse of how important regional foods are in Cuban culture. We will relax and have dinner together, chatting about our favorite parts of our day.

     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, May 19: BARACOA/SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Breakfast at the hotel
and a visit a Casa Particular, where we will discover the details of the cottage industry. Guided by the owners! Learn about the challenges they face and the successes they enjoy, buy being on the frontline of private industry in Cuba.

Our departure from Baracoa sends us into the Sierra del Purial Mountian range. In route to Santiago we will pause to meet with a member of the indigenous Taino population. This cultural visit will offer us the chance to see traditional dance and community practices of the Taino. We will also have the pleasure of joining community members in a meal made from locally grown ingredients. This tour is special and is not something the average tourist would get to do.

Before departing for Santiago de Cuba, we’ll get our hands dirty during a visit to a cacao farm, where
we’ll discuss the crop’s history, cultivation, and current role in Cuba’s economy with local farmers.

Check-in to hotel and have our last dinner in Cuba together.

     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, May 20: SANTIAGO DE CUBA/ADIOS CUBA!

Breakfast at the hotel
On our final day in Cuba, we’ll head to a unique community located on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba, to meet with a remarkable group of painters and learn about their work, aspirations and the importance of their admirable community project.
After lunch, bid farewell to Cuba and board your flight from Frank País Airport in Holguin, back to Miami.
     Meals | Breakfast, Lunch
*A significant portion of your in-country programming is customized for each group to maximize your cultural experience. Many of the places we visit are not tourist destinations and are thus not always available. Therefore, this program should be considered as a sample only – please keep in mind that your particular tour may vary. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.
** Paladares are family owned restaurants for visitors seeking a more vivid interaction with Cuban life, and they are noted the finest homemade Cuban food.

Superior accommodations at the Meliá Santiago in Santiago De Cuba

Superior accommodations at the Parque Central in Havana

What’s Included:

  • Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
  • Most meals while in Cuba
  • U.S. Treasury Department License and Letter of Authorization
  • Biotrek Cuba Tour Leader
  • Cuban Guide
  • Small group size of no more than 12 guests
  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
  • All in-country ground transportation, and airport transfers
  • Travel health insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and trip cancellation coverage (up to $1,000)
  • 24 hour emergency customer service hotline
  • Cuban Visa

Not Included in Tour Price:

  • US domestic flights are not included in the cost of the program.
  • Tips for your guide, driver, chambermaids, bell hops and waiters are not included in the program fee.You are remined to be prepared to pay for this yourself while in Cuba.
  • Alcoholic Beverages and bottled water are not included.
  • Meals include 1 beverage. Bottled water can be requested at meals and additional bottles of water can be purchased on a daily basis. Alcoholic consumption is on your own account.

 

Biotrek Adventure Travel, LLC is partnering with Insight Cuba, a division of Cross-Cultural Solutions, which provides authorized legal travel to Cuba. Participants will be taking part in “people-to-people” travel which provides purposeful travel and will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful exchange with Cuban people.

Many of the best Cuban tourist attractions are found in the capital city of Havana. Havana Vieja (old Havana) alone is packed with sights and delights. Key points of interest include:

  • Visit with an expert in Cuban architecture who will discuss Old Havana’s rich architectural heritage and UNESCO designation. Cuba architecture is an eclectic mixture of Spanish colonial/baroque, art deco and art nouveau.
  • During our walking tour of Old Havana learn about the state of architecture in Havana and restoration efforts throughout the city from a Cuban specialist.
  • Take a short drive to the small town of Jaimanitas to meet renown artist Jose Fuster. Known as the Picasso of the Caribbean, he has turned his home and community into a living art gallery that has transformed old facades into colorful murals.
  • Visit Colon Cemetery, Plaza of the Revolution, and the Malecon.
  • Explore the Cuban Fine Arts Museum and enjoy a presentation by local art historian.
  • Meet the dynamic artists and musicians behind Muraleando, one of Havana’s groundbreaking projects, where artist converted an old water tank into an art-and-performance space. Interact with artists at Murealando Community Project who use art to empower their community. They transformed the old facades of their neighborhood into colorful murals, turned dump yards into public parks and even used recycled materials to build their own Arc de Triomphe!
  • Visit the home of Ernest Hemingway (Lookout Farm). It was here he conceived his final masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Take a trip to the Plaza de San Fancisco de Asis in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for.

Outside Havana, explore the charming coastal city of Matanzas. Here your Cuban guide introduces you to:

  • Matanzas, where our first stop is a unique book publisher that makes handmade paper and hand-bound books. Signed copies of books can be purchased for a small fee.
  • We will visit a dance and performing arts center to meet with the performers and learn about rhumba and other folkloric dance forms.
  • The beat goes on during a special visit with AfroCuba de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s most respected folklore groups, performing traditional African dances, percussion and songs.

Rediscover Classic Cuba – A Cultural Heritage Exploration

Cuba is a country that can’t be singularly defined. Just when you think you have it pegged by the raw energy and hustle of Havana, its urban hub, its softer side – the outlying rustling tobacco fields, the farms tended by ox-driven plows – beckons to be explored. Cuba’s most famous city, Havana stir visions of brightly painted Colonial buildings, pounding mambo rhythms and barrios that bustle well into the night.

With U.S. travel to Cuba long forbidden until recently, these images may seem hazy, like paintings unfinished. Alongside Insight Cuba, you are finally able to complete the picture. At each destination, a generous Cuban spirit unfolds as the locals open their hearts and shed light on their colorful and often complex way of life.

As your first morning in Havana breaks, set out with your Cuban guide through the historic corridors of Old Havana. The UNESCO heritage area is spangled with 16th and 17th century buildings and cobblestone squares animated by the impromptu blare of trombones and lilt of guitars. Meet with experts regarding Cuba’s economy and burgeoning cottage industries. Linger in the company of musicians. This is true city rhythm. It’s the beat of life as the Cubans themselves know it.

To truly understand the social currents swimming beneath the surface, Biotrek takes you to places the typical traveler would never see. Meet with university students and professionals for candid discussions about daily life in Cuba before visiting an artist in his studio. Converse with an expert in Cuban architecture who will discuss Old Havana’s rich architectural heritage and UNESCO designation. Cuba architecture is an eclectic mixture of Spanish colonial/baroque, art deco and art nouveau. During our walking tour of Old Havana learn about the state of architecture in Havana and restoration efforts throughout the city from a Cuban specialist.

Meet the dynamic artists and musicians behind Muraleando, one of Havana’s groundbreaking projects, where artist converted an old water tank into an art-and-performance space. Interact with artists at Murealando Community Project who use art to empower their community. They transformed the old facades of their neighborhood into colorful murals, turned dump yards into public parks and even used recycled materials to build their own Arc de Triomphe!

Explore the charming coastal city of Matanzas, where our first stop is a unique book publisher that makes handmade paper and hand-bound books. Signed copies of books can be purchased for a small fee. We will visit a dance and performing arts center to meet with the performers and learn about rhumba and other folkloric dance forms. The beat goes on during a special visit with AfroCuba de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s most respected folklore groups, performing traditional African dances, percussion and songs.

Stroll along with an art specialist for an insightful tour of Havana’s Museum of Find Art. Visit Revolution Square where you will see a fantastic collection of colorful old classic cars.


Includes
  • All Excellent Accommodations
  • Ground Transportation
  • Most Meals and Additional Tours
  • International Air Travel Booked Separately; Call for Quote
  • This tour will be accompanied by Sunny Reyonds. Biotrek is partnering with a travel specialist that holds the legal necessary licensing and permits for Cuba.

* Minimum of 8 total participants are required for this private tour.

Travel

Travel with tour guide Sunny Reynolds, who has been showing the world to travelers since 1992. While this is not exclusively a photo tour, Sunny Reynolds as a professional photographer is happy to help all levels of photographers take better photos of their adventures.

  • Rates Based on Double Occupancy
  • Single Supplement Applies
  • Subject to Availability
  • All Prices subject to change