Cuba is a paradise in the Caribbean, just 90 miles off Key West. In fact, Cuba is so close that swimmers have made it from coast to coast, even without a shark cage! Yet Cuba is the forbidden fruit for most American travelers due to the US travel restrictions and the frozen diplomatic relations in between the two countries. The discerning travelers are taken off guard when joining our people-to-people tours to Cuba. They are surprised to find a bubbly atmosphere charged with the smoke of Cuban cigars, the loud music that pours out of the windows of 1950’s vintage cars, the lively salsa dancing in every corner, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Cuban people. Not what they have anticipated for sure! Absorb it all in a short time by the hand of the USA Cuba travel experts!
Accredited schools and universities will no longer need to apply for a Specific License for Cuba travel by their students, faculty and
staff (including but not limited to adjunct faculty and part-time staff). Read More
Traveling to Cuba for educational activities on Cuba cultural trips from USA offers the rare chance to explore Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Sites, picturesque villages and vibrant urban cities. All while advancing people to people exchanges in which US visitors to Cuba absorb side by side with Cubans the mysterious culture of this wonderful island.
Cuba Education Travel takes US Educators to Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Bay of Pigs, Santa Clara From Saturday March 14 to March 21, 2020
No other Cuba educational tour out there offer so much bang for your buck!
Stay at Cuba's Riviera Hotel for $2,429 (All Taxes Included)
Referral Discount: $100
Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2,329 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2,229 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $2,129 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $2,029 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0 only And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!
To get to know the authentic Cuba is to take part in Cuba tours that take you to explore several UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Old Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and the Valley of the Sugar Mills without breaking the bank while staying at landmark comfortable accommodations and enjoying first class transportation and other Cuba travel services.
It is to relive Cuban history by traversing the Caribbean beaches and battlegrounds of Bay of Pigs where the botched CIA-sponsored landing took place in 1961. It is to learn about the life of legendary guerilla fighters like Ernesto Che Guevara whose participation in the struggle against Batista was decisive for the success of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. It is to meet with Cuban doctors, political leaders, teachers, students, and ordinary Cubans and learn about their life firsthand.
Take A Sneak Peak at the Cuban Destinations You Will Visit Outside Havana
With this Cuba education tour (special edition), Authentic Cuba Travel® attempts to reveal the authentic Cuba that lies beyond the walls of full packed tourist beach resorts to American educators, k-12 teachers, university professors, faculty and staff and all those interested in conducting research on the educational system of the largest island in the Caribbean.
Visiting the headquarters of the renowned children’s theatre group La Colmenita; touring the facilities of the world acclaimed Lizt Alfonso dance company at the Great Theatre of Havana; learning new Cuban rhythms at Elsa’s rooftop apartment in Old Havana; having a private lunch hosted by Cuban ceramist and painter Jose Fuster in his residence in Jaimanitas; visiting community projects at humble neighbourhoods; attending popular ceremonies like the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’clock; following in the footsteps of famed American author Ernest Hemingway are just some of the educational and cultural highlights of this authentic Cuba tour.
Researching on the current overhauling of Cuba’s education system is a major goal of this tour as well. Why is Cuba making it harder for students to enroll in university studies these days when it was the goal not long ago that all Cubans would have a degree in higher education? Why the new approach to encourage students since young ages to technical and agricultural studies? These are controversial topics that our Cuba education tours will dig deep into. No doubt these are changing times for the most exciting island in the Caribbean. No question this is the time to go. Experience the real Cuba by the hand of our team of USA Cuba travel experts. Do not miss out!
Notice to US Academic Institutions, US Secondary Schools and other US Educational Organizations on Cuba Travel:
In January 2016, the US Government announced further enhancements to the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba that previously required a specific license (this is, lengthy applications to OFAC). Now travel to the Caribbean island is allowed under a general license (this is, self-completed paperwork with no application to OFAC needed).
After President Trump’s policy change on USA Cuba travel on June 5, 2019, the General License for Educational Activities remains in place. Accredited U.S. graduate or under graduate degree-granting institutions; U.S. Academic Institutions; and U.S. Schools can organize and sponsor an educational trip to Cuba for their students, faculty and staff under the General License for Educational Activities, provided that the trip meets OFAC guidelines; and that an employee or other representative of the organization escorts the trip to make sure such guidelines are followed by all participants.
The purpose of the Cuba travel should be for:
_ the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution;
_ educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution, and led by a teacher or other secondary school official are authorized. This authorization allows for participation of a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.
_ attendance at non-commercial academic seminars, conferences and workshops related to Cuba sponsored or co-sponsored by U.S. academic institution.
_ non- commercial academic research related to Cuba for the purpose of obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree;
_ the participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided that credits will be accepted toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;
_ participation in a 10-week structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered at the U.S. institution;
_ participation in a formal 10-week course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s undergraduate or graduate degree at the U.S. institution;
_ teaching for 10 weeks at a Cuban academic institution by an individual regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the U.S. institution.
We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.
At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.
Professional Research General License Documentation.
Full-Time Schedule of Professional Research Activities.
Tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Havana.
Travel to the Caribbean City of Cienfuegos.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage Site Trinidad.
Explore the Valley of the Sugar Mills in Central Cuba.
Relive the History of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Visit the Ernesto Che Guevara Museum and Mausoleum.
Travel to the Central City of Santa Clara.
Private Visit to Children’s Theatre Group "La Comenita".
Backstage Tour the Lizt Alfonso Dance Company.
Guided tour of Havana's Literacy Museum.
Visit the Community Project “Cintio Vitier”.
Follow in the Footsteps of Ernest Hemingway.
Visit the Playa Giron Museum and others.
Visit the prestigious Cuban art gallery "Maroya".
Explore the famous handicraft market of Old Havana
GENERAL LICENSE FOR PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH CUBA TRAVEL
US University and College Professors, Faculty & Staff, K-12 Teachers, and other Education Professionals from USA interested in conducting professional research on on Cuba’s Educational System can travel to Cuba under the provisions of the General License for Professional Research.
CATEGORY: General license for Professional Research and Professional Meetings- 31 C.F.R. § 515.564(a)(1) of the current Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.
The travel- related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to professional research are authorized, provided that:
(i) The purpose of the research directly relates to the traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise, including area of graduate-level full-time study;
(ii) The traveler does not engage in recreational travel, tourist travel, travel in pursuit of a hobby, or research for personal satisfaction only; and
(iii) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of professional research.
We provide our US travelers with all the required documentation to ensure you are in compliance with 2019 Trump administration’s rules on Cuba travel under the US Cuba Travel category: Professional Research and Professional Meetings. US travelers can choose to depart to Cuba from any US port of their choosing.
With several performances in the most important cities of the United States of America scheduled for 2013, La Colmenita (Little Beehive) is a Children’s Theatre Group whose mission is to share a message of peace in all and each one of its performances. As part of your Cuba educational tour you will have the opportunity to visit their headquarters in the Vedado neighbourhood, learn firsthand about their theatre plays and work as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and even enjoy a small play in English by these young bilingual Cuban actors and actresses.
The Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Habana, one of the prettiest examples of the so called Cuban baroque architecture stands proudly in the Cathedral Square, one of the oldest colonial plazas in Old Havana. An authentic Cuba attraction that draws thousands of foreign visitors each year to the Caribbean island, the construction of the Cathedral was started by the Jesuits at the end of the 18th century, and even though the Jesuit order was expelled from Cuba by the King of Spain, the building was finished in 1787 at which time the diocese of Havana was created.
Exuding finesse, beauty and pride, the Lizt Alfonso womenonly dance troop is acclaimed worldwide because of the high caliber and superb execution of their performances which combines elements of flamenco and classic ballet dancing with Afro-Cuban rhythms. Founded in 1991, by dancer and choreographer Lizt Alfonso, the company originally established its headquarters at the Grand Theatre of Havana. This is a treat for tour participants in our educational tours to Cuba. And an opportunity to learn more about artistic education in the largest island in the Caribbean.
Following in the footsteps of famed American novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway, we will stumble upon the humble working class neighbourhoods where Hemingway preferred to spend his time while in Cuba. We will experience the authentic Cuba in the same manner the US author did for almost 20 years. Visiting Cojimar fishing town and Finca La Vigia are for sure unforgettable Authentic Cuba Travel® memories you will treasure for the years to come.
Bay of Pigs is known as the site of the failed invasion by Cuban exiles in 1961. For Cubans is also celebrated as the “first defeat of US imperialism in Latin America” as the CIA and the US Government were behind the training and preparation of the 1400 mercenaries of the Brigade 2506. This Cuba education tour will hopefully shed lights on the events that took place within the 72 hours that the battles lasted.
The Cuba explorer should not miss traveling to the beautiful Cuban city of Cienfuegos. Sitting on the lovely Bay of Cienfuegos which opens into the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, the city was founded by French settlers from La Louisiana under the guidance of Don Luis de Clouet. It soon became one of Cuba’s largest industrial centers which brought about the fortunes that build the stunning neoclassical palaces that the city proudly showcases to foreign visitors today.
What sets our Cuba education tours miles away from similar Cuba tours by other Cuba travel companies it is the possibility to travel to authentic Cuban towns and breath taking landscapes such as UNESCO World Heritage Site Trinidad and the Valley of the Sugar Mills where the remains of more than 65 sugar mills from the 19th century can be spot all over the valley. Perhaps the most famous of those ruins it is the Manaca Iznaga watchtower that was used to watch over the slaves as they work in the sugar cane fields. You can climb the tower to take amazing pictures of the entire valley.
Ernesto "Che: Guevara was born in Argentina where he graduated as medical doctor. He met Fidel Castro in Mexico during the preparation of the Granma boat expedition of 1956 that he soon signed up for. A year later he was promoted to comandante of the second most important rebel column and in December 1958 his guerilla fighters captured the strategic central city of Santa Clara after an epic battle that led to the surrender of city troops and the fleeing of Batista from Cuba.
Believe it or not a visit to the humble Literacy Museum is a train-stopper when led by the passionate Dra. Luisa Campos, the museum director and a former participant of the 1961 literacy campaign herself that brought about the literacy rate of Cuba to 96% (from about 60% previously).
Day 1. Saturday 14 March 2020. Hello Cuba
Cuba tour participants taking connecting flights from Miami, Mexico, Toronto and Nassau will land at the International Airport "Jose Marti" in Havana City, the largest city in the Caribbean and the capital of the island nation of Cuba where you will be met by your Authentic Cuba Travel® certified Cuba tour guide and bus driver who will be your escorts 24/7 for the entirety of this Cuba Tour for Educators.
A comprehensive orientation will be provided as you enjoy a panoramic bus transfer to the Riviera Hotel, located at Havana’s downtown in Vedado district. Considered as the entertainment district of Cuba’s capital, Vedado district is the best location to explore the best that Havana has to offer.
Your Cuba discovery tour of the Authentic Cuba has just begun! Welcome to this special edition of our Cuba Education Tours series.
Day 2. Sunday 15 March 2020. Cuba Education Tours explore Havana City
Morning: today we will visit the headquarters of the world-acclaimed Cuban children’s theatre group “La Colmenita” (or the Little Beehive in English). La Colmenita has extensively toured around the world including the United States of America where they have several performances scheduled for 2013.
Our Cuba tour participants will meet with children, professors and director Carlos Alberto Cremata to learn firsthand about the history, mission and educational work of La Colmenita as official UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors. We may even enjoy a small play in English, exclusively put in stage for our authentic Cuba tour participants.
Next we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the historical district of Havana city. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Old Havana contains hundreds of colonial buildings that have been restored to its former glory within an area of merely 2 square kilometers.
Our authentic Cuba tour guide will show tour participants to four out of the five Spanish founded plazas of the historical centre. And we will start right at Plaza de Armas so that we go chronologically in time as this is the site where the mass of foundation of the city took place in the early 16th century.
The actual spot of foundation is marked today by El Templete, a little neoclassical chapel that contains three paintings depicting the act of foundation of the city and by a huge ceiba tree below which the foundation of the city took place (this is not the original ceiba tree though).
Housing the Museum of the City today, the Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales stands on the west side of the Square of Arms. With an imposing “Cuban” baroque architecture showcasing ample porticoes and wide balconies, the Palace served as the seat of power for the Spanish rulers since the last 18th century.
Another imposing government building from colonial times it is the Palace of the Spanish Vice- Governor of the island that contains today a prestigious book store, an art gallery and the offices of the Cuban Book Institute.
Next to El Templete, we find the oldest fortress of Cuba known as the Royal Force Castle. Full of history and with wide moats, thick walls and four bastions, the fortress was an important part of the defensive network of the city. Today it contains the Museum of Naval History.
Later on we will also visit the Plaza de San Francisco, conceived with the simple purpose of providing water to the Spanish ships on transatlantic journeys, soon it became the trade hub of the city where goods arriving from Spain and Las Americas were stockpiled. The square was named after the former Convent and Church of San Francisco that stands on the south side of the plaza with the tallest church tower in the old city.
Another colonial square our Authentic Cuba Travel® guide will show us today is the Plaza Vieja (or Old Square in English) that served as a market for many years and it was originally created as the civic square of Havana, a forum for habaneros to discuss the daily political, economical and social events. Surrounded by the impressive palaces of the one-time aristocracy of Havana, Plaza Vieja hosts many of Cuba’s leading art institutions such as Fototeca de Cuba, the Center for the Development of Visual Arts, and the Cuban Fund for Cultural Assets.
The last plaza we will visit this morning is the Cathedral Square that became the religious centre of the island in 1788, a year after the construction of the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Habana was finished, an event that was followed by the creation of the diocese of Havana at which time the bishop established himself in Havana and the church was promoted to Cathedral.
Before we wrap it up our walking tour of Old Havana, we will make a stop at the Arts & Craft Market of Havana where we can buy all sorts of artworks and souvenirs created by local artists and artisans.
Most of our Cuba education tours explore the authentic Cuba that lies off the beaten path. Next an exquisite lunch will be hosted by an authentic Cuban, Jose Fuster, one of Cuba’s most important living ceramists and painters, at his private residence in Jaimanitas town at the western end of Havana city.
Afternoon: to learn about Cuba’s artistic education, our Cuba education tours often include visits to prestigious dance companies like the Lizt Alfonso that we will tour next. Here the Cuba explorer will have the opportunity to exchange with established and up-and-coming dancers, choreographers and dance professionals. The company is also a female-only school that teaches the Lizt Alfonso dancing style which melds Afro-Cuban and Spanish rhythms with classic ballet techniques.
In the late afternoon, we will visit the private residence, art gallery and studio of renowned Cuban artists Alicia Leal and Juan Moreira.
Evening: experiencing the authentic Cuba means taking the time to visit the homes of local residents and learn firsthand about their traditions and beliefs. Tonight we are heading back to Old Havana to pay a visit to Elsa, a habanera that lives in a rooftop apartment of one of those humble colonial buildings in the historical centre. Elsa is the leader of a locally famous band that will play live for us tonight. Be ready to dance to Cuba’s most popular rhythms such as Son, Rumba and Salsa by the hand of Elsa, her family and friends.
Day 3. Monday 16 March 2020. Authentic Cuba Travel® goes to the Neighbourhoods
Morning: today we will follow in the footsteps of famous American writer, novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway who lived in Cuba for almost 20 years. Hemingway chose to live among the humble people he used to fish and play sports with. So it does not come as a surprise that his residence in Cuba is located in a working-class town of Havana city known as San Francisco de Paula.
Built in 1886 by Spaniard Miguel Pascual, Finca La Vigia (or the Lookout Villa) was bought by Hemingway in 1940. The author’s most celebrated novels and short-stories for the next 20 years were written in this villa including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Finca La Vigia serves as a museum dedicated to preserve the memory of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba since 1961. It treasures hundreds of books, photographs, a valuable art collection, Hemingway’s fishing tackle and gun collection as well as original manuscripts and letters.
Another of Hemingway’s favourite places to hangout was the fishermen coastal town of Cojimar where he used to park his boat, Pilar. This was also the home town of Gregorio Fuentes the man that served as the captain of El Pilar boat and as Hemingway's guide to fish in the waters of the Gulf Streams. The presence of Ernest Hemingway can be felt at every turn from the gazebo that shelters the bust of the American writer to the collection of photos and big portrait showcased at Las Terrazas restaurant at the heart of town where we will enjoy our complimentary lunch today.
To learn about Cuba's educational system we have to visit the modest community projects that flourish in the most humble neighbourhoods. Usually the labor of love of its residents, this is the authentic Cuba that mainstream Cuba tourism fails to discover. Next we will pay a visit to the Community Project “Cintio Vitier” the brainchild of Cuban sculptor Pedro Pulido that takes its name from one of Cuba’s most outstanding intellectuals, Cintio Vitier who passed away in 2009. A graduate of Cuba’s oldest art school “San Alejandro”, Pedro Pulido has established different art workshops in his own residence where he teaches local children and even elders drawing, painting and sculpting.
Showcasing the most valuable collection of Cuban arts elsewhere, the Palace of Fine Arts is a world class facility that must be visited in order to get a better understanding of the Cuban culture. Your Authentic Cuba Travel® guide will give you an introduction on the history of Cuban arts and artistic education in Cuba from colonial times until present day.
Evening: as part of the people-to-people component of our Cuba education tours, we include an evening visit to the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana at the other side of the bay of Havana. The reason we go at night time it is to attend one of the oldest Spanish-origin existing traditions in Las Americas, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock that serves as an excuse for hundreds of Cubans from all over the island to gather every night.
Day 4. Tuesday 17 March 2020. The Cuba Explorer traverses Bay of Pigs
Morning: having access to authentic Cuban sites of grand cultural and historical significance away from the beaten path it is a highlight of our Cuba education tours. And over the next three days, this Cuba explorer tour will be traversing picturesque towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historical locations along the Caribbean coasts of central Cuba.
Our Cuba exploration starts today at the Bay of Pigs, the site of the botched invasion launched by 1400 Cuban exiles in 1961 under the Kennedy administration. However, the plan was developed during the times of US President Eisenhower when the CIA trained and armed Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland with the objectives of overthrown the new government of Fidel Castro and establish a US friendly government.
On April 17, 1961, the Brigade 2506 (the Cuban-exile invasion force) landed at several beaches along the Bay of Pigs. Over the next 24 hours the Cuban government moved to the region over twenty thousand troops and a number of planes that played a desicive role in sinking escort ships and causing great damaged to the air support of the Cuban exiles.
On April 19, President Kennedy authorized that unmarked American fighter jets help covering the Brigade 2506’s B-26 planes that took off from Nicaragua to support the attack. Yet they were shot down by the Cuban air forces and anti-aircraft artillery, and soon the invasion was defeated. Within 72 hours 1197 invaders were captured and over 200 killed.
Today we will relive the history of the invasion as we go through the area. Finally we will visit the Museum Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs Museum) that contains artifacts, photos and documentation related to the invasion including a British Sea Fury plane that was used by the Cuban Air Force. We may also enjoy a short movie that tells the story of the “First Defeat of Imperialism in Latin America”.
Lunch in Bay of Pigs (optional).
Afternoon: after lunch we will continue our bus ride eastern bound along the Caribbean coast to the city of Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South. Considered as one on the most important commercial hubs of Cuba today, the city also contains a beautiful historical center that was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its wealth of 19th Century neoclassical buildings.
Upon arrival at the city we will visit the Jose Marti Park which is located at the heart of the old city where the ceremony of foundation took place back in 1819 by a group of French settlers under the ruling of Captain General Jose Cienfuegos.
Among the neoclassical buildings of great historical significance surrounding the square it is worth noticing the Cathedral of Cienfuegos showcasing the original French stained-glass windows of the 12 Apostles; the 950-seat Tomas Terry Theatre (1895) also displaying most original elements such as the ceiling frescoes and Cuban hardwood seats; the Palacio Ferrer, with its magnificent rooftop tower and elaborate marble staircase; the San Lorenzo School among many others.
The Provincial Art Galley "Maroya" will be our final stop to do some shopping before checking in at our hotel. The gallery has many artworks on sale including original oil paintings, drawings, lithographs and sculptures by Cienfuegos leading visual artists.
Next we will check in at the Jagua hotel where we will spend the next two nights. The hotel rises over the beautiful bay of Cienfuegos that opens to the Caribbean Sea and it was built during the times of dictator Fulgencio Batista who intended to convert the nearby Palacio del Valle into a casino.
Day 5. Wednesday 18 March 2020. Authentic Cuba Destination: Trinidad
Morning: today our authentic Cuba tour takes us further east. After enjoying a panoramic bus ride along the Caribbean shoreline and through the Escambray Mountains, Cuba tour participants will arrive at the historical city of Trinidad, the third settlement founded by Diego Velazquez in 1514. It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988.
In order to learn more about artistic education in Cuba’s countryside, we have arranged for a special visit to the Provincial Art School “Oscar Fernandez”. Despite the fact that most students are on vacation during this time of the year, there are summer time programs that students attend eagerly. It is also a good opportunity to meet fellow Cuban teachers as well as the school principal and staff and learn about their life as Cuban educators.
Next we will visit Trinidad’s Maternity Home which will provide tour participants a better understanding about Cuba’s medical education and prenatal health care. Doctors and nurses are available around the clock in these facilities to provide expectant mothers with high risk pregnancies the medical attention they require for a safe pregnancy and smooth delivery.
For lunch we will go deep into the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valley of the Sugar Mills where the ruins of dozens of 19th century sugar mills can be found. We will visit the former estate of the Manaca Iznaga, one of Trinidad’s wealthiest families.
All over the place, we find the remnants of the former sugar mill, including the manor house (a restaurant today serving local dishes where we will have lunch), milling machinery, slave quarters and the famous Manaca Iznaga watchtower that was used to watch the slaves.
Afternoon: we will visit the Casa del Alfarero, the workshop of The Santander family where several generations of pottery makers can be found working daily. Perhaps it is the quality of the local clay, or perhaps it is the set of the techniques that families like The Santanders have been passing from generation to generation orally, the fact remains that Trinitarian pottery making is an authentic Cuba tradition that is well known all over the island because of its artistry, beauty and durability.
Guided by our expert Authentic Cuba Travel® guide, we will explore the historical quarters of the city by foot next. Trinidad is one of those authentic Cuban cities that showcases a 19th century colonial townscape arguably untouched by modern times.
Our afternoon exploration will be centered around the Plaza Mayor which is the central square of the old city and it is surrounded by important colonial buildings such as the Iglesia Parroquial de La Santisima Trinidad, the oldest church and the main Catholic temple in the city; the Museum of Architecture which is housed in the former city residence of the Iznaga family; the Ortiz Palace containing the Provincial Art Gallery today; the Museo Romantico, the one-time Residence of the Brunet Counts with a valuable collection of colonial decorative arts and Cuban wood locally-made furniture; and many others.
Before calling it the day and heading back to the Jagua hotel in Cienfuegos, we will have some free time to explore at leisure the many street markets that dot the cobble stone streets of Trinidad’s historical centre.
Evening: tonight you can dance to live authentic Cuban music at Casa de La Musica, just steps away from your hotel, or enjoy the programmed cultural venues at the Jagua hotel. Your guide will keep you update on other evening venues in the city.
Day 6. Thursday 19 March 2020. Getting to Know the Santa Clara of Che Guevara
Morning: today we are wearing our Cuba explorer hats and heading north to the historic city of Santa Clara, better known in modern history as the battleground of the historic Battle of Santa Clara that led to the fall of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista on December 1958 when Ernesto Che Guevara and its guerilla fighters captured the city.
Upon arrival we will visit the Plaza de La Revolucion where rallies and parades are held and in which center stands the gigantic statue of Ernesto Che Guevara built in 1987 to pay homage to the 20th anniversary of the death of el guerrillero heroico in Bolivia.
Below the monument we find the Museo Historico dedicated to preserve the memory of the Cuban-Argentinian hero and the events of the Battle of Santa Clara. Next to the museum we find the Che Guevara Mausoleum, a crypt that contains the remains of Che Guevara and 16 of his companion guerilla fighters killed in Bolivia in 1967.
We will enjoy a complimentary lunch at Los Caneyes hotel before continuing our journey back to Havana city.
Afternoon: with the assitance of the Authentic Cuba guide and driver, tour participants will check in at the Riviera hotel in Havana city.
Evening: we recommend tour participants to explore the sights and sounds of Havana city at night if they have energies left. A great place to visit it is the nearby La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club to enjoy the performances of Cuban Jazz Musicians (not included/ optional).
Day 7. Friday 20 March 2020. Touring the University of Havana
Morning: our Cuba educational tours always feature a visit to the University of Havana. Founded by the Dominicans in 1728, it is the oldest Cuban institution of higher education and one of the foremost universities in Las Americas. The current location and neoclassical complex dates from the second quarter of the 20th century though.
Every year over 1,600 Cuban professors teach social sciences and humanities, natural sciences, mathematics and physics to about 30,000 Cuban students and a few thousand foreign students. As a matter of fact, Cuba is emerging as a higher education destination in the world. However, 25% less Cuba students will begin studies at the University of Havana the next school year as the Cuban government is implementing a series of reforms with the objective of boosting the agricultural productivity of the country.
Next, we will enjoy some free time for having lunch (optional) in the Vedado district before attending our next visit at the Museum of Literacy.
Afternoon: located inside Ciudad Libertad, a school complex founded in the former military airfields of Cuartel Colombia, we find a small museum of great importance for today’s highest literacy rate in Cuba, the Literacy Museum which describes the successful Literacy Campaign that Cuba underwent in 1961. The museum treasures many object such as the customary Chinese lamps that teachers used at night and the teachers’ uniforms, books, manuals and even a blackboard hit by bullets during the Bay of Pigs invasion.
In 1960, Fidel announced in the United Nations that all Cubans will be literate within one year. In 1961, brigades of teachers went to the countryside to teach illiterate farmers to read and write. The construction of rural schools and the training of local educators was also part of the campaign. Many teachers were killed by counter- revolutionary gangs that were operating in remote areas like the Escambray Mountains and Playa Giron. Yet the campaign was a huge success and Cuba’s literacy rate rose from 60% to 96% in one year.
Evening: tonight we will visit Cuba’s most popular and famed restaurant El Aljibe where we will enjoy a delicious farewell dinner. This is the time when we say goodbye not only to our fellow Cuba tour mates but tour our Authentic Cuba Travel® guide and bus driver.
Day 8. Saturday 21 March 2020. Bye Bye Authentic Cuba
Early morning transfer to Havana's international airport for taking your flight back to North America via Miami, Mexico, Toronto or Nassau mainly.
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