The intriguing island nation of Cuba is roughly 780 miles long. It’s a rich, geographically disparate stretch where virgin forests hug rustling tobacco fields, colonial cities sprout from the foot of rugged mountains, and rivers reach blue tentacles around fertile valleys. We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to see it all. In fact, that’s exactly why we’ve introduced our 12-day Undiscovered Cuba Tour. For those of you with a real zest for adventure and a desire to leave no stone unturned, this is the ultimate excursion.
From the moment you touch ground in Havana, your Cuban guide is here to not only help navigate country roads and labyrinth streets, but to offer a unique perspective and understanding of the place they call home. Experience Cuba as an active participant, coming to know lifelong locals through small-group discussions and behind-the-scenes excursions. This cross-country tour, along with the rest of Insight Cuba’s people-to-people journeys, offers unique access to people and places the average tourist rarely sees.
Your trip begins in Old Havana, a famous UNESCO heritage area swathed in Hispanic-Andalusian architecture. Immerse yourself in Cuban culture from the very onset, as you get to know Cubans across multiple generations at Los Abuelos, a Grandparents Home, and La Casa del Niño y la Niña in Centro Habana, an after-school academic outreach program for kids.
From Havana, it’s off to Cuba’s central province of Villa Clara, where you’ll have the chance to discuss political expression through alternative art and music with local artists. Nearby, the carefully preserved town of Remedios beckons with a historic square overlooked by a Baroque cathedral.
As you journey east, stops include Ciego de Avilla, where you’ll chat with local students and teachers at a primary school, and Camaguey, where your guide will help navigate winding, maze-like streets flanked by red-tiled Colonial houses and historic churches.
To keep you connected to the lifeblood coursing through Camaguey’s age-old buildings, we introduce you to residents, including members of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, and the instructors and students of the Ballet de Camaguey.
Then its on to Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city in the country and birthplace of the Cuban Revolution. Santiago is Afro-Cuban to the core, witnessed by the white clothing of Santeria initiates and the fast-talking nature of its residents.
Next, make your way to Baracoa. Wrapped in tropical forests and hugged by the sea, Baracoa will leave a photograph on your mind. As the oldest city in Cuba, its way of life is refreshingly simple; many people make a living fishing and cultivating coconut and banana. You’ll see strong work ethic in action on a private tour of a cucurucho (sugar and coconut candy) factory. The pride the locals have in creating this unique island delicacy is a treat unto itself.
You’ll then return to Santiago de Cuba to immerse yourself one more time in this soulful city before heading back to Miami.
For us at Insight Cuba, this cross-country expedition is about far more than taking you from Point A to Point B. It’s about seizing the beauty, spirit and soul of Cuba and its people, while making personal connections and feeling the island’s beat of life. We look forward to going the distance with you.
- First-class accommodations
- Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
- All meals while in Cuba
- U.S. Treasury Department License and Letter of Authorization
- Insight Cuba Tour Leader
- Cuban Guide
- Small group size of no more than 24 guests
- All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
- All in-country ground transportation, and airport transfers
- Guaranteed flights from Miami to Cuba and priority handling (flight cost is additional)
- Travel health insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and trip cancellation coverage (up to $1,000)
- Insight Cuba Travel Guidebook
- 24 hour emergency customer service hotline
*A significant portion of your in-country programming is customized for each group to maximize your cultural experience. Many of the places we visit are not tourist destinations and are thus not always available. Therefore, this program should be considered as a sample only – please keep in mind that your particular tour may vary. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.
Day 1: Miami / Havana
Welcome to Havana! After clearing immigrations and customs, your Cuban guide will accompany you to your hotel in the heart of the country’s capital. Get your feet wet with an afternoon program orientation. Later that evening, celebrate your arrival with a welcome dinner at the hotel. (L*, D) *For morning arrivals
Day 2: Havana
Kick off the day with a lecture about the history of Cuba before sparking conversation with the patients and staff at the Casa de Los Abuelos (Grandparents Home). After lunch, meet with local residents involved in Cabildo Quisicuaba Community Project in Los Sitios, Central Havana. With this grassroots group, learn how a high-risk neighborhood is being transformed by Afro-Cuban art, music and dance workshops that strengthen health, unity and Cuban identity. Next, get to know the children, teachers and headmistress at La Casa del Niño y la Niña in Centro Habana, an after-school academic outreach program for kids in troubled neighborhoods. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Havana / Santa Clara
This morning we depart for Santa Clara. After checking in at our hotel we’ll get together with the artists from the Saiz Brothers Association of Villa Clara to discuss political expression through alternative art and music. From there we’ll meet another group of local artists, this time from the NaturArte Community Project, an initiative aimed at reclaiming environmentally degraded public lands and putting them to good use in the community. The project we’ll visit, now a self-sustainable nature-art park and urban farm, was once deemed an industrial waste site. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Santa Clara / Remedios / Santa Clara
Our journey continues to Remedios, where a striking main plaza and Colonial-era churches fetch glances. While there, we’ll visit the homes of some local seamstresses before gleaning an inside perspective on Cuba’s music industry from the artists at Centro Cultural Las Leyendas. Here we may also enjoy a live and jazz, bolero, son or salsa, performance. After lunch we’ll visit a local cigar factory – take in the sweet scent of tobacco as you learn about traditional cigar manufacturing methods. Wrap up the day with a discussion about the history of Remedios, and the impact that religion and the celebration of “Las Parrandas de Remedios,” one of the Caribbean’s largest and oldest traditional festivities, has on the town and its residents. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Santa Clara / Ciego de Avila / Camaguey
This morning set off for Ciego de Avila, where we’ll meet with local students and teachers at a primary school to learn about Cuba’s educational system. After lunch in Ciego we’ll continue on along winding roads to Camaguey to chat with prominent local artists about their various art forms, the influence of Cuban art on society and how artists earn a living in Cuba. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Camaguey
After a morning visit with the writers, musicians and artists at the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, we’ll meet with distinguished local artists to discuss Cuba’s socio-political influences on its art. After lunch we’ll visit Ballet de Camaguey, founded by renowned ballet instructor Vincentina de la Torre. Wrap up the day chatting with patients and doctors at a local polyclinic about Cuba’s socialized medicine and healthcare. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Camaguey / Bayamo / Santiago de Cuba
Depart this morning for Santiago de Cuba, stopping in the historic city of Bayamo along the way to visit with members of the town and to explore La Casa de La Trova to learn about the city’s history. Get to know the singers at the Professional Choir of Bayamo before checking out the Muñequería y Artesanía community project, dedicated to displaying the work of local artists unaffiliated with a cultural institution. We arrive in Santiago de Cuba after dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Santiago de Cuba
The day begins with a discussion on Afro-Cubism and a visit to a local artist’s studio. This afternoon, get to know the musicians from Centro Provincial de la Música Miguel Matamoros to learn how aspiring Cuban artists find professional outlets and earn a living. The Centro Provincial de la Música Miguel Matamoros helps commercialize talented musicians in the area. Top off the day with a visit to the Museo de Carnival to discuss the history of the slave trade, and how African roots have permeated the local culture. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Santiago de Cuba /Guantanamo / Baracoa
This morning we depart Santiago de Cuba for Guantanamo, where we’ll get to know the students and teachers at the Argelio Lucas Petrono High school. We’ll arrive in the harbor town of Baracoa in the afternoon in time for a meeting with local dancers and actors at the Proyecto Proposiciones. Here we’ll have the chance to discuss history and challenges facing local dance and theater in Cuba. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Baracoa / Santiago de Cuba
The day begins at Nuevas Estrellas in Baracoa, where we’ll discuss the value of local community centers in Cuba. Next we’ll meet with the young members of the Mi Amigo el Libro Project to learn how the project encourages children and teenagers to become interested in reading by providing books to town and local libraries. This afternoon, visit with the factory workers at the Fabrica de Cucuruchos, where we’ll talk about the importance of regional and cultural foods, and the defining role they play in Cuban culture. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Baracoa / Santiago de Cuba
This morning we’ll visit Proyecto “Proposiciones” to discuss local dance and theater groups. After lunch, we’ll head back to Santiago for a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Adios Cuba!
After breakfast, bid farewell to Cuba and board your flight from either Antonio Maceo Airport in Santiago de Cuba, or Frank País Airport in Holguin, back to Miami. (B)
Tour Dates & Prices
Undiscovered Cuba Tour
|Date||Double Occupancy (per person)||Status|
|May 27, 2013 – Jun 7, 2013||$4,295||Sold Out|
|Jun 10, 2013 – Jun 21, 2013||$4,295||Sold Out|
|Jul 15, 2013 – Jul 26, 2013||$4,295||Only 8 spots left!||Save $600 for Two. Call for Details.||Book Now!|
|Aug 19, 2013 – Aug 30, 2013||$4,295||Save $600 for Two. Call for Details.||Book Now!|
|Sep 16, 2013 – Sep 27, 2013||$4,295||Only 7 spots left!||Book Now!|
|Oct 21, 2013 – Nov 1, 2013||$4,295||CALL NOW|
|Nov 4, 2013 – Nov 15, 2013||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Nov 25, 2013 – Dec 6, 2013||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Dec 23, 2013 – Jan 3, 2014||$4,795||Book Now!|
|Jan 13, 2014 – Jan 24, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Feb 3, 2014 – Feb 14, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Feb 24, 2014 – Mar 7, 2014||$4,495||CALL NOW|
|Mar 17, 2014 – Mar 28, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Apr 7, 2014 – Apr 18, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Apr 28, 2014 – May 9, 2014||$4,495||CALL NOW|
|May 19, 2014 – May 30, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
|Jun 16, 2014 – Jun 27, 2014||$4,495||Book Now!|
Single Supplement: For single-occupancy pricing, add $400.
Pricing increases to $500 after Nov 3rd, 2013.
All departures after September 30, 2013 are pending license approval.