Education, Culture and More

Designed especially for educators and their partners, this 9 day-tour has an additional $200 per person discount for employees of BVSD and SVVSD.  Nov. 19-27, 2022.

The best of architecture, Cuban live music, dancing, bird-watching, Cuban food, UNESCO World Heritage sites, waterfalls, and ocean experiences await you on this phenomenal tour!

This tour is lead by our esteemed Cuban guide with a background in teaching high school and college students, and will give you unique insights into the Cuban educational system.

Cost: $2695 (market value $5195)
*Early Bird registrations 4 months prior to departure receive $200 discount.  DEADLINE EXTENDED to July 26th!

**Additional $200 discount to employees of BVSD and SVVSD.

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What is included:

  • Travel licenses, mandatory Cuban health insurance and visas

  • A bilingual Cuban guide and former school educator

  • 8 nights in Cuban Bed and Breakfasts (casa particulares)

  • 16 meals and private, air-conditioned ground transportation

  • Bottled water always available

  • Curious About Cuba educational program (two 4 hour sessions of instruction provided before the trip) optional

 Deposit: $500 to reserve your spot

  • Payment 1: $1098 payment

  • Payment 2: $1097 payment (+$500 for a single room)

  • Flight costs are on your own.  We help you select the best flights so the group arrives together (these will be purchased 8-12 weeks before departure)https://vivacuba1959.com/tours/2018-viva-cuba-tours/

     

DETAILED ITINERARY

The purpose of this itinerary is to give you an idea of the types of activities you will engage in during the tour, however, it may change based on factors such as availability, weather, and to take advantage of spontaneous activities and events.

 

Day 1: Flight to Havana (most often booked on American Airlines when departing Denver).  Upon arrival and clearing customs we will be greeted at the airport by Roger, our guide.  He’ll take us to our B&B accommodations (casa particulares) in Central Havana.

We will go out for dinner and a first glance at the city.  Maybe even take a walk on the Malecón to enjoy the ocean breezes and see El Morro fortress at night across the bay.  Meals: Dinner

 

 

IMG_0081Day 2: Havana
Wear your walking shoes for this day! We start with a visit to Fusterlandia in the fishing village of Jaimanitas and the home of the famous artist Jose Fuster. Fuster has made his entire home, and much of the surrounding neighborhood, into an outdoor art gallery using tiles in mosaic forms.  A Havana driving tour in classic cars will take you to the forest of Havana, the famous Revolutionary Square and through the gorgeous historic embassy neighborhoods.

The activities will be followed by lunch and a walking tour of Old Havana City, gorgeous architecture and plazas.  In the late afternoon we will return to our casa particulares for free time.  Dinner is on your own, but nearby suggestions will be available.  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Daytrip to Soroa & Las Terrazas (2 hours driving with stops)

Soroa is home to extensive botanical gardens with amazing orchids that have been brought from China. (Wear your bug spray or long sleeves.)

The pioneering ecovillage of Las Terrazas dates back to a reforestation project in 1968.

This is an outstanding UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, started in 1968 under Fidel Castro to reforest a stripped area. Incredible Cuban biologists and artists make this peaceful retreat their home and are eager to share. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Palpite, Playa Girón/Bay of Pigs and Cienfuegos (~5 hour drive with stops)

This is a road trip day with great stops and changing scenery.  On the route to Cienfuegos we will stop in the very small (but special) town of Palpite.  We will visit an ornithologist who is famous for the Bee Hummingbirds that frequent his backyard. Take pictures of the birds and learn the habits of the world’s smallest bird, which resides only in Cuba! We will also meet young Cuban dancers, artists and musicians at the school for the arts, Korimacao.  Enjoy a generous lunch of local foods before heading back to the bus.

Our next stop is a roadside spot popular for swimming/snorkeling and birds.  Take a dip in a sinkhole which resembles a huge natural tropical fish tank.  Be sure to have your swimsuit and water socks (rough coastal area) handy in your backpack. 

From there we will drive on the Playa Girón, home of the Bay of Pigs Museum. Learn about the conflict that happened right here between the U.S.-supported Cubans and locals in 1961, from the perspective of the Cuban government.

The last hour on the trip takes us into Cienfuegos, a city of 400,000 people. known for it’s French architecture.  We will freshen up at our casa particulares before enjoying a delicious dinner together.

  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TrinidadDay 5: Cienfuegos to Trinidad (2 hours driving)
After breakfast at our casa particulares, we will explore the seaside city.. You are likely to see a quinceañera  photo session in the main plaza.  Palacio del Valle is an architectural treat, and admission includes a mojito or coke for your refreshment.  When cruise ships were able to travel legally from the U.S. (2016-2019), Cienfuegos was a popular port city.

After our walking tour we will head into the heart of sugar in Cuba to Trinidad.  Trinidad is a cozy, bustling town of Cubans and tourists, with French and Spanish inspired architecture, stories of slave trade and wealth in the south of Cuba.  Roger will give us a walking tour to get our bearings and learn the stories of the 500+ year old town.  Trinidad’s cobblestone can be brutal on your feet, be sure to have thick-soled walking shoes.  You are welcome to hire a pedi-cab to drive you through the streets of Trinidad when your feet grow weary.

After dinner, stay up late tonight!  Nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and free dance performances in the town square.  You will have the chance to see Afro-Cuban folkloric dances performed in one of the many plazas.  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Trinidad

We will start early with a hike at “El Cubano” through the hills to a gorgeous waterfall where you can dive in and swim a bit.  With any luck, we will see a tocororo (Cuban Trogan), the national bird of Cuba, along with many other birds in the area.  This is a moderate-level hike with uneven footing and loose rocks, about 3 miles round trip.

After the hike, enjoy lunch at a local paladar.

In the afternoon you’ll have time to explore more of the town, or join the group at the beach, where there are umbrellas, lounge chairs, and lovely soft sand.  In the evening, dinner is on your own followed by live music at the outdoor amphitheater, the hub of the action in Trinidad.  Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Travel from Trinidad to Havana (5 hour drive with stops)
Settle in for a drive through the mountains and see the varied landscape en route to Havana.  We will visit a farmer’s house and learn about rural life far away from the cities, as well as have an opportunity to take a dip in nearby waterfall.  Arriving in Havana in the late afternoon, there is time to take a few pictures at sunset or grab a nap before heading to dinner.

This is a great night to check out some of Havana’s historic bars (many of which were Hemingway’s favorites).  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Day 8: Havana

For our last day full day in Cuba, there are some great places to visit in Havana.  We will start the day at the nation’s capital for a tour (when available, admission is based on congressional meetings), then see the train station and the areas of Old Havana (perhaps rum and cigar museums) that you didn’t see when you first arrived.  After lunch, Roger will take you on a tour of the National Museum of the Revolution or the National Art Museum (right next door).  If you need some free time to explore old Havana on your own, this is a great time to do it (just take a cab back to the casa, Roger will tell you how).

Be sure to take time to rest up and shower for tonight!  If luck is on our side, we’ll have reservations at La Torre del Focsa, with its incredible views for our goodbye dinner Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9:  Havana and Departure.

Depending on flight times, you’ll be able to take photos, walk the malecon, or take a pedicab ride.  Our driver will take you to the airport  2-3 hours prior to departure.  Meals: Breakfast

We hope you return to the island again soon!

 

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