Cuba: The People & Culture - 2017

Cienfuegos • Trinidad • Bay of Pigs • Havana
  • TOUR THE CITY OF HAVANA IN A VINTAGE AMERICAN CAR
  • TOUR OLD HAVANA TO SEE THE FADED GLORY OF ITS SPANISH-COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE, AND BROWSE THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MARKET
  • ADMIRE TRINIDAD'S WELL-PRESERVED 16TH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE ON A WALKING TOUR
  • TOUR THE HISTORIC PORT CITY OF CIENFUEGOS AND SEE ITS FRENCH-INFLUENCED PALACES AND MANSIONS
DATES & PRICES
Moderate Deluxe
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Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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Itinerary at a Glance

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DAY 1:

Depart Miami / Arrive Cienfuegos, Cuba

Today you'll depart from Miaimi to the historic port city of Cienfuegos, Cuba’s “Pearl of the South,” where we’ll begin our explorations. Cienfuegos soothes the eye with harmonious architecture and Spanish-colonial urban planning. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel this evening.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 2:

Cienfuegos

Active Feature: You’ll begin with a walking tour of the graceful Old Town, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s French neoclassical architecture and 19th century city planning. During your visit, you’ll see the Tomás Terry Theatre, the Government House, and the Cathedral de la Purísima Conceptión. Then, after lunch at a local restaurant, visit the lush, fragrant Cienfuegos Botanical Garden, and enjoy a discussion about its unique species. The garden, actually a botanical experimental station, was developed in the 19th century by a wealthy American sugar planter from Boston, in concert with Harvard University, to develop more productive sugar cane. The university maintained a connection to the garden, using it as a field laboratory for the study of tropical botany, until the Cuban revolution in 1959. This afternoon, you'll get a taste of Cuba's strong musical heritage at an evening performance by the world famous Cienfuegos Choir, Cantores de Cienfuegos. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 3:

Cienfuegos (Trinidad)

Today, ride through fields of sugar cane, Cuba’s most important agricultural product, en route to the colonial city of Trinidad. Trinidad and the nearby Valley de los Ingenios – Valley of the Sugar Mills – were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a testament to the prosperity generated by Cuba’s sugar industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Active Feature: A guided walk reveals the historic city center around the Plaza Mayor, with its wealth of buildings clearly reflecting their Spanish heritage. You’ll also witness how traditional crafts are made when you visit locals in their workshops. After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll visit Valley de los Ingenios, actually three interconnected valleys, where up to 50 sugar mills processed cane from the fertile fields into syrup, and where 11,000 slaves labored.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Cienfuegos / Havana

Today, you’ll cross the island to Cuba’s capital Havana. First stop is the Bay of Pigs, where the Cuban government maintains a memorial and museum at the spot where forces under command of Fidel Castro successfully repelled a 1961 invasion force made up of Cuban exiles trained and financed by the CIA. You’ll also stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, stopping in the town of Papite, visit the Korimaccao Community project, where you’ll enjoy a student performance. Upon arrival in Havana, check into the famed Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which was once the most glamorous destination in the Caribbean. Enjoy dinner this evening at a family-run restaurant.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Havana

Today you begin with a stop at Morro Castle, where you’ll enjoy the best panoramic views of this iconic city. Vantage Cares: We'll then visit the Sister Teresa Vaz center, our Vantage Cares site in Cuba. The center's dedicated staff provides day care and other programs and services to the underserved youth of Havana. In addition to supporting the day care center, Vantage provides uniforms for the center's youth soccer program. Active Feature: Afterwards, continue on a guided walking tour of Old Havana, the historic center of Cuba’s capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the four main plazas of Old Havana, the basilica of San Francisco de Assisi, the beautiful Havana Cathedral, and El Templete, a Greco-Roman monument marking the spot where Havana’s first Catholic mass was celebrated in 1599. Continuing on, we visit the studio of a local silk screener and eat lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, you’ll continue your highlights tour in New Havana. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 6:

Havana

Start your day with a visit to visit Finca Vigía, the beloved home where “Papa” Hemingway lived for 21 years and worked on “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea.” The house is maintained as a museum and remains almost exactly as Hemingway left it when he last visited in 1960. Then, you’ll see another side of Cuba’s lively dance culture when you watch a dance performance at Havana Compass Dance. Following lunch in a local restaurant, you will have the opportunity to visit an arts and crafts market. You’ll have the evening at leisure, with dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 7:

Havana

Today, you'll stroll through Calle Hammel, an alleyway in Havana that has been transformed into a living work of Afro-Cuban art, with vivid murals covering entire buildings and the streetscape transformed by funky sculptures and mosaics. Continue your artistic explorations with a guided visit to the National Museum of Fine Arts. Here you'll admire the most comprehensive collection of Cuban art in the world, spanning from colonial times to present day. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore, or take the opportunity to relax before this evening's events. 

Tonight, prepare for a Farewell Dinner at a Havana restaurant that begins with a ride in a vintage American car. Before the 1962 embargo against Cuba, such classics as 1957 Chevies, 1953 Fords, and 1958 Dodges were prevalent in the island nation. In the decades since the embargo, ingenious Cuban mechanics have kept thousands of these "Yank tanks,” as they are known, in meticulous running condition. They are one of the most distinctive sights to be seen on this vibrant island that in many ways seems frozen in time.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Havana / Return home

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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Journey Cuba: The People & Culture Cuba: Connecting With People & Culture
Price including airfare between Miami & Cuba* $4,199 $5,590 Save $2,782 per couple!
Trip Length 0 days 7 days Better pacing plus enjoy our Vantage Cares charitable initiatives!
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Small Group travel Yes! No more than 24 travelers per departure! Group size of up to 30 travelers! Smaller group size!
Sightseeing Full program of People-to-People interactions Full program of People-to-People interactions Learn about Cuba through daily interactions with the local people including artists, students, musicians and visits to workshops, choir performances a daycare center & much more
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