Includes airfare, fuel surcharges, hotels, transfers, many meals, educational activities & more. *
This tour program is currently closed.
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|Itinerary at a Glance|
Havana & Las Terrazas
Havana, Santa Clara,
Trinidad & Valle de
|7||Trinidad, Cienfuegos, & Havana|
|Highlights||Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Sanata Clara, Ernest Hemingway's Finca Vigia, and meetings with local community members.|
|Travel Style||This fast-paced, escorted educational program includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
After many years, Americans are again able to travel to Cuba under a new ‘people-to-people’ program authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, which provides an opportunity to interact with Cubans through educational exchanges concerning art, music, culture, and more. The People to People license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control allows you to enjoy a unique adventure to experience this island which sits 90 miles off our shores and shares such an amazing and extraordinary history with the United States.
Cuba’s culture is rich with contributions from its indigenous, African and European roots. But above all, the people of Cuba are the island’s greatest asset. They are friendly, welcoming, resourceful and full of life. This program will introduce you to the Cuban Jewish community and provide ample opportunities to interact with them in meaningful and rewarding ways, learning and teaching each other about life in Cuba versus the USA.
All prices, fees and deposits are per person, subject to change at any time, and not guaranteed until we receive your final payment.
|Additional Taxes & Fees|
|Additional Taxes, Fees, & September 11 Security Fee||included|
|Cuban Visa Fee1||included|
|Cuban Departure Tax2 (paid separately)||+$30|
1. To process your visa, your mother's maiden name is required. Please add this information to the Comments box while making your reservation.
2. All departure taxes are paid locally in cash at the time of departure in local currency 25 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) per person. Amount in USD is approximate and reflects current exchange rates.
|Philanthropy & Culture Program to Cuba|
|Single Room Supplement||+$509|
Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.
Day 1: Saturday, Oct 13: Miami. Accommodation has been reserved for our group tonight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Miami Airport. Join your traveling companions at the orientation which Dr. Steven Derfler will present to the group at 8:00 PM in a private room at the hotel. Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Day 2: Sunday, Oct 14: Miami/Havana. Depart Miami by charter flight to Havana, Cuba. Arrive Havana where your private Cuban national guide will greet and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Lunch is included at a local restaurant before we proceed to our hotel for check in. We will take a stroll this afternoon through the grounds of the famous Nacional Hotel and perhaps enjoy a drink of our choosing at the Hall of Fame Bar.
This afternoon you have a choice of enjoying a little “down time” on your own, possibly relaxing at your hotel, or your Cuban guide will host you on a walking tour of Old Havana.
Before dinner this evening our group will enjoy a meeting and power point presentation on the “History of Jews in Cuba” or some other mutually agreeable topic. There will also be a brief mission discussion and your guide will discuss additional optional activities. Dinner included this evening at our hotel. Hotel Nacional Dinner provided.
by a visit to Guanabacoa and the Jewish Cemetery and Centro Sepharadi where we see the Holocaust exhibit “We Remember – The Holocaust and the Creation of a Living Community,” (subject to availability).
Lunch today is at “Papa” Hemingway’s favorite hang-out, La Bodeguita del Medio, where the classic cocktail known as the Mojito was first “discovered”.
Continue with our pre-arranged reserved visit to the home and workshop of a present day well known Cuban artist. As we learn to appreciate the work there is the possibility of purchasing the art directly from the artist. Depending on availability of artists we will visit the studio and home of famous current day artist Jose Fuster who has been called the “Picasso of the Caribbean”.
This evening our dinner is on the rooftop restaurant of The Ambos Mundos Hotel, where Hemingway lived and wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, with a live musical performance of traditional Cuban Buena Vista style music and salsa dancing. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 4: Tuesday, Oct 16: Havana & Las Terrazas. We depart our hotel after breakfast this morning for Las Terrazas Nature Park, a one hour drive from Havana. Las Terrazas is in Pinar del Rio Province, a “must see” in Cuba and known world wide for its magnificent scenic beauty. We visit the Nature Park and the local community of Las Terrazas, the falls of the San Juan River and the artist workshops of Las Terrazas. Lunch today is an authentic country meal prepared and served outdoors at a local farmhouse.
Returning to Havana, we continue to the Angela Landa Elementary school located in Old Havana. This primary school (ages 5 - 12) is located in a beautiful historical building which has been carefully renovated by Havana’s Office of the Historian. Interact with the children in their classrooms and participate in a discussion session with some of the school’s administrators and teachers about Cuba’s education system and how it compares to that of the United States. (This is an opportunity for you to personally deliver the educational supplies you have brought with you to Cuba.)
This afternoon we stop at the Artisans Market which is located on the Malecon before returning to our hotel. Dinner this evening is included at El Gijon Association Restaurant located only one block from our hotel. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 5: Wednesday, Oct 17: Havana, Santa Clara & Trinidad. We depart our hotel in Havana this morning by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach for the city of Santa Clara where we will visit with the Jewish community, the Jewish Cemetery, the Holocaust Memorial and the Museum and Mausoleum of Che Guevara.
Lunch is included today at Los Cayenes Restaurant in Santa Clara before we proceed to our Caribbean beach resort hotel in Trinidad. After checking into our hotel the remainder of the day and evening are at leisure. Dinner is included at our hotel. Las Brisas del Mar Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 6: Thursday, Oct 18: Trinidad & Valle de los Ingenios. Spanish colonial Trinidad’s former great wealth was garnered not in the town itself, but in the surrounding verdant valley known as Valle do los Ingenios. After breakfast this morning we board the local steam train (subject to the daily operation of the train) and chug to the valley’s focal point, hacienda Manaca Iznaga. This colonial mansion was built by Pedro Iznaga, a former slave trader, in 1795. We have lunch in the Hacienda before returning to Trinidad’s Plaza Mayor with its historic centre of cobblestone streets and squares. We will visit the Romantic Museum and the Casa Cantero with plenty of free time to stroll the local Artisans Market.
This evening our guide will arrange dinner in one of Trinidad’s private homes known as “Paladars”. After dinner an optional visit to a few music cafes such as Casa de la Musica and Casa de la Trova. Feel free to join the locals in some salsa or Afro Cuban dancing on the cobblestone streets! Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 7: Friday, Oct 19: Trinidad, Cienfuegos & Havana. After breakfast this morning we depart our hotel for Cienfuegos which is about an hour drive from Trinidad. We have time to visit the small Jewish community here with an in-home visit to one of it’s members where we deliver additional humanitarian supplies for the community. We will also have time to explore the main square of this French colonial city, including the historical Teatro Terry, before we have lunch at the magnificent Palacio del Valle.
After lunch we proceed back to our hotel in Havana arriving between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM.
Later this afternoon, or early this evening, we visit the Patronato Jewish Synagogue (also known as Beth Shalom Temple), where we celebrate Shabbat, deliver some of the humanitarian medical supplies we have brought with us, and have dinner either with the community or in a local restaurant. Hotel Florida Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 8 : Saturday, Oct 20: Havana. After breakfast this morning we visit the Partagas cigar factory before proceeding with our extended walking tour of Old Havana (Habana Vieja). Your hotel enjoys an excellent location in Old Havana, so this will be a great opportunity to interact with local Cubans, learn about Cuba and immerse yourself in the colors of Cuba which surround you.
Our walk will take us through the wonderful plazas in Old Havana; Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza Vieja as well as the Plaza de la Catedral. We stop for a visit at Adath Israel, the only orthodox synagogue and Chevet Achim, the oldest synagogue in Cuba. We will enjoy lunch at the Hotel Rafael.
Continue your orientation walk through the cobblestone streets of this vibrant area. We will visit the Museo de la Revolution and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and make a stop at the studio of contemporary artist, Eduardo Roca “Choco”.
Our farewell dinner this evening is at El Patio restaurant, an old 18th century mansion overlooking Cathedral Square, in the center of the colonial area of Havana within walking distance from the hotel. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 9: Sunday, Oct 21: Depart Havana. Breakfast will be at the hotel this morning. Afterwards, there will be some brief time at leisure before your transfer to the airport for your return charter flight to Miami. Breakfast provided.
Dr. Steven Derfler -Director Educational Resources, Inc.
Beth Gendler - Adult Program Supervisor
St. Paul JCC
Best trip we have ever taken. Our guides (Gary White and Ari) were so friendly and professional. We saw things we could never have found ourselves. I can't say enough good things about the experience. It all went like clockwork (to the extent anything in Cuba can do so). If you ever want to see Cuba, see it now, and see it with Friendly Planet!
— Valerie Fisher, Portland, OR