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Until recent years, few U.S. citizens have been able to experience Cuba travel. Today, meet face-to-face with local residents from different professions, share thoughts, gain knowledge, and connect with Cuba’s cultural heritage on our 7-day, Havana-based Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture .Through cultural exchange activities built around key themes including Cuban culture and the arts, history, architecture, agriculture, cigars, vintage cars, baseball and more, you'll interact directly with the people of Cuba on Tauck's Havana-based People-to-People trip. Meet Cuban students, educators, entrepreneurs, architects, artists and artisans, dancers, musicians, technicians, baseball players and coaches and more. Explore Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his preserved home. Discuss art and private enterprise with artists in their studios. Visit with agricultural workers to talk about agrarian reform, tobacco production and organic farming. Interact with members of Havana organizations about their work, from dance to historic preservation to baseball. Learn about Cuban cultural traditions… have meals at paladares (small, privately operated Cuban restaurants)… and connect with the people of Cuba, their passions and their culture in many ways through unique Tauck Experiences.
Day 1: Arrive Miami
Tour begins: 4:30 PM, The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami. Guests flying to Miami should plan to arrive at Miami International Airport by 2:00 PM, and take a taxi from the airport to The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami (for a flat fee of USD $35 plus tip, for which you will be reimbursed by your Tauck Director). Guests who are arriving by car may park at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami for USD $38 per vehicle per night for the duration of the tour; guests arriving into Fort Lauderdale Airport or the Miami Train Station will be responsible for their own transfer to the hotel. Your small group of 20 to 30 travelers gathers this afternoon at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami for a welcome reception and Tauck Director briefing about tomorrow morning’s included flight to Havana and the start of your educational exchange trip to Cuba; dinner is included this evening.
Day 2: Bienvenidos a La Habana
After an early breakfast, your group boards an included flight from Miami to Havana’s José Martí International Airport, where your local Cuban guide greets you. From the airport, you'll drive past the iconic Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square), dominated by a memorial tower honoring 19th-century Cuban patriot José Martí. After stopping for lunch at a local paladar – one of Cuba's many private small restaurants converted from private homes, individually owned and operated under a license from the Cuban government – head to the Museum of the Revolution, whose exhibits chronicling the late-1950s Cuban Revolution occupy the neo-Classical building in Habana Vieja that had served as Cuba’s Presidential Palace from 1920 through 1959. Next, visit the Rex Neon Center, home of artist Kadir Lopez’s Habana Light project, preserving and restoring many of Havana’s vintage pre-1960 neon signs, housed in the historic former Rex Duplex Cinema, built in the 1930s. Then engage with students and staff at Havana’s La Casa del Niño y la Niña (House of the Boy & Girl), an educational outreach program for local school children in Centro Habana. Arrive and check in at your home for the next five nights, the Meliá Habana in the city's Miramar section, where you'll have dinner at your leisure tonight.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Historic Havana & the Arts
Begin today’s People-to-People exchange at Habana Compás, a thriving Havana dance and cultural performance group; talk with company members about their mission, and watch a demonstration of music, dance or art. Then take a walking tour with a local historian through Havana’s Colón Cemetery, one of the largest in the world, and the final resting place of noted Cubanos from all walks of life. After lunch at a paladar, take a guided walking tour through Habana Vieja – the city’s nearly 500-year-old heart, now a pedestrian-only UNESCO World Heritage Site – with a local expert to discuss the city’s architecture and historic restoration efforts. See Havana’s beautiful Catedral de San Cristóbal, begun under the Jesuits in 1748 and completed by the Franciscans in 1777; learn about the cathedral’s ongoing preservation and restoration. Back at the hotel, attend a discussion on U.S. - Cuban relations; enjoy dinner at a Havana paladar this evening.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Cuban Baseball, Dance, Crafts & more
Today's People-to-People exchange in Havana begins with a close-up look at a cultural passion shared by Cubans and Americans alike – the sport of baseball! After a morning discussion about baseball in Cuba with a highly regarded retired Cuban ballplayer at your hotel, head out to meet with the players, coaches and parents of a local Little League-level baseball team on the field in Havana. Next, travel to a local farm to enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at its organic restaurant. This afternoon, meet the dancers and enjoy a program at Havana's Kubasoy Dance Company, then visit the bustling San Jose crafts market – Havana's main enclosed local arts and crafts market and cultural fair, housed in the restored and renovated historic San Jose warehouses, originally built in the 1880s – on the Avenida del Puerto, followed by an opportunity to explore more of Habana Vieja and San Francisco Plaza. Enjoy dinner tonight at a Havana paladar.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Agriculture in the Viñales Valley
Managing Cuba’s land, water and other natural resources more effectively through agrarian reform, conservation, entrepreneurship and other initiatives is the focus of our activities today. Travel outside Havana and across the countryside to the tobacco fields of the Viñales Valley, where you'll talk to agricultural workers about agrarian life and tobacco production in today's Cuba. After a family-style lunch at an organic farm, meet the workers who process tobacco leaves before they reach the cigar factory at El Despalillo. Return to Havana for dinner at your leisure this evening at the hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Hemingway's Cuba & Centro Habana
Depart Havana today for Finca Vigia (“Lookout Farm”) in San Francisco de Paula, American novelist Ernest Hemingway’s preserved winter home from 1939 to 1960, initially purchased and shared with his third wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn, and later with fourth wife Mary Welsh. See the author’s 9,000-volume library, his beloved yacht, Pilar, and his typewriter; talk with a docent about his life here and his strong connections to Cuba and its people (who simply called him “Ernesto”). Return to Havana for lunch at a paladar, then engage in a cultural exchange with the owners and staff of Nostalgicar, a family-owned restoration garage and rental company that specializes in restoring and maintaining vintage vehicles from the 1950s, an iconic part of contemporary Cuban culture. After returning to your hotel, join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at another paladar in Havana.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Journey Home
Tour ends: José Martí International Airport. After breakfast, transfer from the Meliá Habana to Havana’s José Martí International Airport for your included return flight to Miami. Allow three hours for flight check-in. Please book flights from Miami to your final destination no earlier than 3:00 PM.
Until recent years, few U.S. citizens have been able to experience Cuba travel. Today, meet face-to-face with local residents from different professions, share thoughts, gain knowledge, and connect with Cuba’s cultural heritage on our 7-day, Havana-based Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture.Through cultural exchange activities built around key themes including Cuban culture and the arts, history, architecture, agriculture, cigars, vintage cars, baseball and more, you'll interact directly with the people of Cuba on Tauck's Havana-based People-to-People trip. Meet Cuban students, educators, entrepreneurs, architects, artists and artisans, dancers, musicians, technicians, baseball players and coaches and more. Explore Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his preserved home. Discuss art and private enterprise with artists in their studios. Visit with agricultural workers to talk about agrarian reform, tobacco production and organic farming. Interact with members of Havana organizations about their work, from dance to historic preservation to baseball. Learn about Cuban cultural traditions… have meals at paladares (small, privately operated Cuban restaurants)… and connect with the people of Cuba, their passions and their culture in many ways through unique Tauck Experiences.
- Five days of "People-to-People" educational exchange in Havana, Finca Vigia and the Viñales Valley
- All hotel accommodations - 1 night in Miami at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami and 5 nights in Havana at the Meliá Habana
- Tauck's "Leave Your Worries at Home" service, with all day-to-day travel details taken care of for you
- Escorted travel from the moment your People-to-People trip begins in Miami, accompanied by a professional Tauck Director and experienced local Cuban guides, all fluent in both English & Spanish
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Our trip was amazing and we had to he most amazing guide Leah she went above and beyond
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Maya was absolutely wonderful! I only want to book with her for any future travel.
The Tauck tour exceeded our expectations.Our tour director was exceedingly well informed and organized.She was the best.
The tour was one of our best. Tauck's attention to detail and covering nearly 100% of our costs or fees and booking 5* hotels is why we liked the trip.
Fantastic vacation! Exceeded all our expectations! Trip of a Lifetime!!!
Tauck delivered as promised and more. The tour director was very helpful and knowledgeable. We wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.
Tauck provides great tours. This is our 4th with Tauck. They provided transport for us even when our itinerary was different than usual. The Tauck tour director was wonderful.
The Tour director (Mark) is excellent, the accommodation were first class and convenient and most included meals were very good. We also were blessed with a wonderful group of fellow travelers which I believe is due to Tauck's reputation.
Tauck does a wonderful job in providing a variety of great travel experiences in a worry free environment where every small detail is taken care of.
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