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Arrive in Havana, Cuba’s capital city, and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, meet your Globus Group Leader and Cuban National Tour Director for a 7pm welcome dinner. This is a good time to meet fellow program participants, get your questions answered, and prepare for your time in fascinating Cuba.
Your day begins with a walk through the streets of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discuss with your Cuban Tour Director Havana’s unique architecture, the challenges of renovating the city’s exquisite historic buildings, and the future of these restorations. 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 FINCIA VIGIA, his beloved home, and see his fishing boat, El Pilar. Enjoy lunch at a local paladar (a special, privately owned restaurant) where you will be treated to a special interactive cooking DEMONSTRATION. Before returning to the hotel, 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, Muhammed Ali, and Steven Spielberg. This evening is free to explore Havana on your own. Your Cuban Tour Director will have suggestions for dining and additional activities.
Today, travel through the countryside passing sugar cane and banana plantations. Arrive in Cienfuegos often referred to as the “Pearl of the South” because of its impressive beauty and colorful history. Take a walking tour around the main Square and learn more about the immigrants from France and Louisiana that settled here more than 150 years ago. After time for lunch, join in a discussion with artists at a GRAPHIC ARTS STUDIO and learn more about their lives. Next, enjoy a performance and interaction with the Cienfuegos ORCHESTRA. Dinner tonight is at a local paladar.
tart the day engaging with tobacco rollers at a CIGAR FACTORY, and learn about the importance of tobacco, both culturally and commercially, for Cuba. Then, travel to Trinidad, the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities, founded in 1514 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a paladar and discuss the 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. Spend time at TEMPLO YEMAYA to discuss Santeria. African slaves who worked at the sugar plantations first brought the religion to Cuba and it has connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian traditions. Return to Cienfuegos.
Today’s travels bring us to PLAYA GIRON for a visit to the BAY OF PIGS MUSEUM. Nearby is the old sugar mill used by Fidel Castro as the 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. Continue to the white sand beaches of Varadero. Before dinner tonight, enjoy an interactive DANCE LESSON.
This morning, visit Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” for the many renowned artist and intellectuals it has produced. Visit TRIOLET PHARMACY, which dates back to 1879 and is preserved in its entirety. Then, interact with workers at EDICIONES VIGIA, a print and binding shop, and learn about the traditional craft that is still done by hand. Return to Havana where this evening is free to explore the city on your own. You may wish to see the exciting show at the famous Tropicana Nightclub, visit some of Hemingway’s old haunts, or explore the charming cobblestone streets of Old Havana.
This morning, enjoy a workshop at HAVANA COMPASS DANCE COMPANY. Watch one of their rehearsals, then take some time to speak to the dancers and teachers about their training, daily lives, and future careers. 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. Next, visit JOSE FUSTER’S STUDIO; cleverly nicknamed the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Here, you will 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. Before your farewell dinner this evening, enjoy a ride in a classic 1950’s OLD STYLER car – the perfect ending to your time in Cuba.
Your program ends after breakfast with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
The historic Gran Hotel, located on the city's pedestrian street, was built in 1939. The lobby features high ceilings, chandeliers and antique furniture. With 72 rooms, an outdoor pool, patio courtyard, rooftop terrace, restaurant, and cocktail bar.
Built in the modernist style of the 1950's, and recently renovated to new levels of sophistication, the Jagua hotel features a lobby with contemporary art, avant-garde furniture and three sides of glass walls. The hotel also has a pool and spacious pool-deck overhanging the bay, as well as a lobby bar. Rooms are comfortable with clean lines and modern colors. Jagua´s unique setting allows you to enjoy the ocean landscape of the bay as well as great restaurants and city activities.
The Melia Cohiba is a modern five-star property featuring 462 rooms. It is located in the El Vedado district, facing the famous Havana Malecón and is near Havana's historic center. The hotel has an outdoor pool, fitness center, sauna, squash court, spa services, hair salon, business center, gift shop, five restaurants, coffee bar, cigar bar, lobby bar, nightclub, and 24-hour room service.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.