Travel to Cuba with ASC

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By ASC Staff

Join ASC and Cross Cultural Journeys on an unforgettable experience of the arts and culture of Cuba

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Daily Itinerary:

Day 1 | Friday, March 17 | Miami / Havana

Upon arrival in Cuba, meet your Cuban guide and drive to your hotel. On the way, your guide will show you the historical memorial to José Martí at Plaza de la Revolución and give you a short driving tour to see the general layout of this beautiful city including the Malecón. Lunch at famed El Ajibe, known for their delicious traditional Cuban cuisine, most notably their special chicken recipe. After settling into your accommodation, set out on a short walk to absorb your first impressions of the tropical air, rhythm and color wafting out of the doorways you pass, laughter and conversation bouncing amongst neighbors easily, meeting local people along the way. Dinner will be at a beautiful paladar. A paladar is a small family-run restaurant licensed to provide meals in a private home. Here, you will taste some of the best food in Cuba as well as experience being in the intimate, warm spaces of local people. Havana Accommodation (D)

Day 2 | Saturday, March 18 | Havana

After breakfast we begin our day with a talk on the history of the city’s fascinating past as told to us by an expert architect and city planner. Our knowledgeable Cuban guide will then take us on a walking tour of Havana Vieja meeting local people along the way, and speaking with local entrepreneurs about their new businesses, and to NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) who oversee sustainability projects. Enjoy lunch at a local paladar. After lunch visit the Ambos Mundos hotel room where Ernest Hemingway lived for seven years and wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.Then enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore the capital city on your own. Wander the streets to experience the people hanging around the doorways, offering friendly smiles. Dinner is enjoyed on your own at a local restaurant or paladar.  Havana Accommodation (B/L)

Day 3 | Sunday, March 19 | Havana / Las Terrazas

Today we depart Havana after breakfast, driving west towards the coffee growing countryside. We stop at Las Terrazas, an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and ecological planned community focusing on sustainable living and environmentally friendly farming practices. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch prepared at a local eco-friendly restaurant. Discover this green space with a meeting and walking tour of the town by a local historian. Head back to Havana in the late afternoon. Dinner on your own. Havana Accommodation (B/L)

Day 4 | Monday, March 20 | Havana

After breakfast take the local ferry to the island of Regla to visit Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla (Church of Our Lady of Regla) with the Black Madonna, their patron saint. Explore the grounds and talk with the Santeria priestesses, learning about the rich roots of an African tradition still very much alive in Cuba. Enjoy a lunch at a paladar then visit Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s primary residence from 1939 to 1960 for a guided tour and where Hemingway penned much of his classic “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. In the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with an optional visit to a local dance and music venue. Havana Accommodation (B/L)

Day 5 | Tuesday, March 21 | Havana

In the morning, head out to walk through the Colon Cemetery. Founded in 1876, it is nearly the 140 acres in size, and is famous for its elaborately sculpted memorials. There are more than 500 distinct mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults. Lunch on your own. After lunch, we will head to Bellas Artes, showcasing a range of Cuba art from colonial to contemporary times.In the late afternoon, attend a dance performance by Habana Compás with its unique fusion of flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance that is unlike anything else in Cuba. Then you will have the rest of the afternoon free to visit the Revolutionary museum or to explore Havana’s streets and shops. Dinner on your own. Havana Accommodation (B/D)

CIENFUEGOS a seaport city, is located in the southern part of the island 250 miles from Havana. The city was first settled by French immigrants in 1819 and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 6 | Wednesday, March 22 | Cienfuegos

After breakfast, leave for Cienfuegos, the French Colonial town known as “The Pearl of the South” for its spacious, sea-misted streets and plazas. Throughout its history, ships used the surrounding bay as a refuge during storms in the Caribbean. Following lunch at a local restaurant enjoy a private performance by a local choir with a reception to meet the performers afterwards. In the late afternoon visit a local graphic arts studio and speak to its artists. This evening, dinner is on your own at a local restaurant or paladar. After dinner you may wish to visit a local jazz club or salsa club. Cienfuegos Accommodation (B/L)

TRINIDAD was founded in 1514 and was the center of the profitable sugar trade in the region at that time. It was, for centuries, the major sugar exporter in the world. Trinidad is located 208 miles from Havana and 50 miles from Cienfuegos.

Day 7 | Thursday, March 23  | Cienfuegos/Trinidad

This morning, depart Cienfuegos on a day trip to Trinidad. Upon arrival we will meet with a local historian who will give us a walking tour of the colonial city and the artist studios that fill the streets and make Trinidad so unique. There will be time to explore the cobbled streets on your own and an opportunity to visit the Romantico Museum, an intact, furnished historic residence once owned by a plantation owner.  Lunch on your own at one Trinidad’s charming restaurants on the Plaza Mayor.  Return to Cienfuegos in time for dinner on your own.  Cienfuegos Accommodation (B)

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Day 8 | Friday, March 24 | Havana 

After breakfast, visit the Escuela de Arte Beny Moré, named after the famed Cuban tenor who lead one of the most famous Cuban big bands of the 1950’s. Speak to the highly regarded students who are trained in visual and musical arts despite hardships such as proper materials or new instruments. Then, depart for Havana. Stop for lunch along the route back to the capital city. Upon arrival in Havana, spend the evening at your leisure, sampling one of the many paladars of the city with an optional performance at the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.  Havana Accommodation (B/L)

Day 9 | Saturday, March 25 | Havana

Begin your last full day in Cuba with a visit Organoponico Vivero Alamar, a cooperative urban farm focusing on agricultural production and services. Meet with the founder and his family to discuss their experience and vision. After lunch, spend time at the home studio of José Rodríguez Fuster, a Cuban artist specializing in mosaics. En route to our hotel, drive through the Miramar neighborhood where palatial homes of the pre-revolution wealthy residents once lived, now home to numerous embassies and government offices. End your day with a special farewell dinner. After dinner there is an optional visit to La Tropicana or the famed Buena Vista Social Club.  Havana Accommodation (B/L/D)

Day 10 | Sunday, March 26 | Havana / Miami 

Following breakfast, we bid Cuba farewell as we transfer to the airport for our flight to Miami then onward flights home. (B)

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JOURNEY DETAILS:

INCLUDED: In country transportation per itinerary; best available accommodations in Havana (double occupancy); full breakfast buffet daily at the hotel plus 7 lunches and 3 dinners (B/L/D per itinerary); Cuban English speaking local guide, CCJ Trip Manager; all entrance fees on itinerary; preparation materials; tips for bellman and hotel staff, included meals on itinerary and bottled water on the bus

NOT INCLUDED: International air, Cuban visa, departure tax and medical insurance while in Cuba; meals not on itinerary, 2 lunches and 6 dinners (B/L/D per itinerary); alcoholic drinks; excursions not on the itinerary; tips for local guide and driver (optional, yet customary); travel cancellation and evacuation insurance (strongly recommended, info will be sent upon registration).

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change to take advantage of the serendipity of the moment when we are in Cuba; to meet someone special, to engage in an activity that might occur unexpectedly, or to accommodate circumstances beyond our control. Restaurants or hotels may change in similar category.

March 17 – March 26, 2017

$4,890 (Double Occupancy)

Single Supplement $900.00

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