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Polar bears to mariachis - Rocky Mountains to tranquil, turquoise bays and beaches - the historic charm of New England and soulful cities of the South .. these are only a few facets of the great North American continent. So many options for exploration and relaxation - on our doorstep!

Wait No Longer .. Travel to Cuba Now!


What the New Cuba Policy Means for You
"The new policy will make it more difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba on their own. However, it's still a great time to go. GeoEx has successfully operated trips to Cuba on and off since 2000, and our experts are adept at navigating changing policies." Jennine Cohen, Cuba expert and GeoEx's Managing Director of Americas

CUBA TRAVEL OPTIONS
Private Trip Tailored to Your Interests
Yes, we can take you to Cuba on a custom trip, even after the policy changes. We'll design the trip just for you, arranging special-access visits and a stay at a stylish, tough-to-book colonial mansion. Would you like to explore up-and-coming art collectives, drum alongside Afro-Cuban music legends, learn about architecture, or meet conservationists at nature reserves? We’ll make it happen.

Group Trip: Now 6 or 7 Days with Hotel Upgrade
Join a small group (no more than 14 travelers) for authentic cultural experiences and fascinating discussions with professors, artists, economists, and everyday Cubans. Nights are spent at a new boutique hotel.

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Intoxicatingly colorful, deeply intriguing, and on the brink of change, Cuba offers an experience like no other. Old Havana - with classic Chevys honking at bicycle rickshaws, with people smoking cigars on the steps of their dilapidated home just steps from a beautifully restored foreigners-only hotel - is a paradox at every turn, an eye-opener in every sense of the word, and one of the world’s most romantic and alluring cities, bar none. The countryside is also captivating, a tableau of rambunctiously gorgeous scenery, charming colonial towns, and more warmhearted, resilient people. On our eight-day US government-sanctioned education exchange program, we are cheerfully greeted by Cubans intent on comparing perspectives, treated to fresh lovingly prepared food, and welcomed like the neighbors we inescapably are.

  

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly to Havana 
This morning we meet at Miami International Airport and board our flight to Havana. After touching
down at Jose Marti International Airport, we’re met by our guides and together we drive to the city center. As we pass by classic American cars and billboards proclaiming the wonders of socialism, we get our first taste of the once glamorous capital. We also pass Plaza de la Revolucion, the center of Cuban political life in which grandiose portraits of national heroes Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos hang, and millions of Cubans have stood while listening to Fidel Castro’s speeches.

We eat lunch at El Aljibe, a restaurant known throughout Cuba for its black bean soup and grilled chicken with orange sauce. Afterward, architect Maria Elena Martin takes us through the lanes of Havana Vieja (Old Havana), introducing us to individuals and families who relate stories of the neighborhood and how it has changed over the years. As we stroll down the Paseo del Prado, we see remnants of the city’s opulent past and learn about how the buildings are used today. We also visit Havana’s Central Park and the first monument erected in Cuba (1904), dedicated to national hero Jose Marti.
After checking into the well-located Hotel Parque Central, we head out for the short walk to one of Havana’s newest paladars, Casa Vieja, for a festive welcome dinner.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 2: Havana
This morning we gain insight into the history of Cuban-American relations from the time of the Monroe Doctrine to the Cuban revolution of 1959 during a lecture by Professor Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union and former Director of the Institute of Foreign Relations. Professor Alzugaray describes the circumstances surrounding Spanish colonialism and the first war of independence, the Spanish-American War, the sinking of the battleship Maine, the Platt Amendment of 1898, and the period of political upheaval leading to the revolution.
Following the lecture, we join art historian Nelson Herrera, a curator for the Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art—organizer of the Havana Biennial, the country’s largest art event—for a guided visit of the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Cuban Art). As we move through the museum, Nelson highlights some of the most important works and offers perspective on the progression of Cuban art from the earliest days of colonization to the latest generation of national artists.
Later we’re met by economist Juan Alejandro Triana Barros for a walking tour through the streets of Central Havana to learn about ever expanding private enterprise, property ownership, real estate transactions and new taxes that are having a serious impact on the lives of Cubans.
In the early evening, we make our way to Café Bar Asturias to hear University of Havana professor Alberto Faya and a host of musicians speak about and play the different genres of Cuban music that have flourished on the island over the years.
We have dinner at Paladar Doña Carmela, before returning to the hotel.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 3: Havana
On our second morning we attend a lively dance performance by Compañía Irene Rodríguez.
Considered by many to be the finest flamenco dancer in Cuba, Irene introduces us to dancers and talks about the cultivation of artistic talent in Cuba. Then we head out to explore more of Havana Vieja on foot. As we amble down Obispo Street, visit the Plaza de Armas, Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, Museo de la Ciudad, Plaza de la Catedral, and the Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana, we learn about the area’s history and the daily struggles of the inhabitants, most of whom left their lives in the campo in hope of finding something better in Cuba’s big city.
We then meet with artist Yamilis Brito at Taller de Grafica Experimental. The Taller is more than Havana’s printmaking workshop; it is a studio, a school and an institution that preserves and develops the sophisticated art of printmaking. Come midday, we fuel up on authentic Cuban dishes such as pescado a la plancha con moros y cristianos (grilled fish with rice and black beans) at Paladar Los Mercaderes. Afterward, we pass through the restored Plaza de San Francisco, a cobbled square surrounded by buildings dating from the 18th century, including the baroque Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco.
Following some time at your leisure back at the hotel, we regroup and head over to the undisputed king of state-run fine dining for dinner, Café del Oriente. Seated on the second-floor ballroom, we enjoy our meal accompanied by live music - everything from traditional Cuban tunes to Sinatra classics and Beatles songs.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 4: Viñales 
After a morning at your leisure and lunch at Paladar Rio Mar, we depart Havana and drive about three hours to the stunning, mountain-encircled Viñales Valley. Considered by many to be the most beautiful place in Cuba, it is dotted with dramatic limestone outcroppings known as mogotes. The area is also the premier tobacco-growing region in the world.
Late this afternoon, we arrive and check into Hotel Los Jazmines, whose patio provides dramatic views of the valley’s mogotes. In the evening we venture down into the town itself where we dine at La Casa de Don Tomas, housed in the town’s oldest home.
Hotel Los Jazmines 

Day 5: Viñales; return to Havana
We start our morning with a visit to the home and studio of artist Ramon Vasquez Leon who studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Havana, graduating as a draftsman, painter, and professor of painting and drawing. Ramon crates fantastical Cuban landscapes chock full of magic and bright colors. We then stop by the despalillo, a tobacco factory, to gain a better understanding of the process from the removal of the leaf’s central nerve and its fermentation and classification.
From here we head to a beautiful 40-acre farm, owned by Concha and Paco Hernandez’ extended family. Their descendants have farmed the same plot of land for many generations and their land produces a multitude of fruits, vegetables, grain, and tobacco. We tour the farm with some of its residents and then sit down to a community lunch.
In the afternoon we drive back to Havana leaving the evening on your own. Your guide will be happy to provide recommendations and assist you in making reservations at another atmospheric paladar.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 6: Havana
We start the day by visiting La Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s former residence located in the Havana suburbs. Afterward, we make our way to El Divino in time for a cooking class and lunch. This afternoon we spend time at Organoponico de Alamar, an urban organic farm located in the Havana suburb of Alamar. As an agricultural cooperative, every farm worker receives a percentage of the profit. The farm sells its produce to some well-known restaurants in the city, including El Aljibe and the Parque Central.
Tonight we drive just outside of Havana to the small fishing town of Jaimanitas to dine in the home of world-famous artist and ceramicist Jose Fuster. Jaimanitas itself is a unique work of public art thanks to Fuster, who has decorated more than 80 houses with colorful ornate murals and domes. We spend time with Fuster’s family and residents of the town, who converse with us about the influence of the artist’s work on their lives. If we are lucky, Fuster himself might be home.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 7: Havana
We begin our last full day in Cuba with a lecture given by Marc Frank, author of the book Cuba Revelations. Marc is an American journalist living in Cuba, and he offers unique insights into important current economic and political issues. 
We then go to 7ma y 60, the studio of four young Cuban artists: Adrian Fernandez, Alex Hernandez, Frank Mujica, and Maria Cienfuegos. Through photography, painting, and drawing, the artists explore conflicts and challenges in present-day Cuba. We have the chance to meet with the artists, talk about their work, and hear about their experiences as artists and Cubans.
After lunch and time to relax or explore at your own pace, we convene for our farewell dinner at La Guarida. This privately owned paladar is one of the best in the country. Walking up the enormous sweeping staircase to La Guarida, we enter the abode in which one of the country’s most famous, and at the time, controversial films, Fresa y Chocolate, was shot. We swap stories of our favorite interactions and most impactful experiences in Cuba.
Hotel Parque Central

Day 8: Depart Havana
This morning we are taken to the airport for our flight to Miami. After landing in the United States, we say our goodbyes and catch our flights home.

courtesy of Geographic Expeditions

   

Scheduled Departures:

2017 Dates
12/26/2017 - 01/01/2018 
2018 Dates
01/08/18 - 01/13/18
01/28/18 - 02/02/18
02/12/18 - 02/17/18
03/05/18 - 03/10/18
04/02/18 - 04/07/18 

Custom Departures offered November through April. Private trips can be customized to your liking. We can tailor your trip to the length you want and introduce you to the aspects of Cuban culture that most interest you.

Pricing from $5,585 per person (for scheduled departures)
Note: For round-trip airfare between Miami and Havana, your Cuban visa, and Cuban health insurance (required) add an approximate $500 per person.

Call 800-757-6422 for additional details and current pricing based upon the number of participants. Dates and pricing are subject to change.

by GeoEx (Geographic Expeditions)

 


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