Recognized as one of the safest places on Earth, Cuba remains a U.S. favorite for a student experience. And in light of the recent U.S. – Cuba rekindling of diplomatic ties, there no better time for one. Although worlds apart from your typical school break getaway, trust us when we say Cuba will offer the time of your life. Join us for a fully immersive cultural experience, a boot camp of sorts filled with pioneering culture, witty creativity and fun exploration.
Starting from the lure of Old Havana, a famed UNESCO World Heritage site draped in Hispanic-Andalusian architecture, continuing down the memory lane in Playa Girón and Santa Clara, where full honors are in place for El Che, you’ll discover Cuba is indeed a happy place to be discovered, and a life lesson on its own.
Rest assured, you won’t be bored! On numerous occasions, we’ll meet with Cuban students just like yourselves, to learn about their life in Cuba. You’ll surely find their resourcefulness inspiring, and their oomph for life, contagious. We’ll linger on the buzzing streets of Old Havana and stroll along the beach in Playa Girón. All along, your newly made amigos will show you fun times – Cuban style. All while practicing your Español!
With its effervescence and welcoming to all, close-knit Afro-Cuban society, learn how despite the struggles, Cuban kids are a walking bundle of joy; they laugh like none others and dance like none others. Come prepared to hone those salsa moves, learn to play ball street style, and as your jaunt in Cuba ends, to beg to stay more.
Upon landing at José Martí International Airport in Havana, proceed in clearing customs and immigration. A city tour by bus awaits, passing through iconic sights of Havana you’ve only ever seen in movies.
Following a brief hotel check-in, you’ll meet your insightCuba tour leader, your go-to source for any questions or concerns during your excursion, as well as your local Cuban guide, guaranteed to spoil you with Cuban tales and tips for the best fun spots.
After a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, grab your friends for an evening of Habanera shenanigans. Any corner will do; people watching alone in Cuba is sure to entertain you for hours.
The day starts with breakfast at your hotel. Following, we’ll head to the Cuban Institute of Friendship of the Peoples, an NGO promoting healthy ties “of friendship” with other countries, while opening the doors into Cuban culture to the world. A brief presentation of the Institute’s official travel agency AMISTUR Cuba S.A follows - your host in Cuba.
Next, representatives from student and youth organizations will shed light into the complexities of today’s Cuban youth: their daily life, struggles, dreams and aspirations.
After lunch, compare notes at the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) regarding sex education provided in Cuba as they relate to the one received at home.
The day ends with a visit to an educational community project, sure to prepare you for yet another fun evening in Havana. Looking for a bit of late night salsa? Your Cuban guide can make local recommendations on the most sought out music and dance venues in town.
Following breakfast, a slice of architecture will be served as we take on a tour of the Museum of the Revolution, a Havana landmark that accounts the history behind the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
Then, an exchange with students will ensue at the Computer Center, founded in 1991 in Havana Centro. In a world of ever-changing gadgets, smartphones and the latest innovations, discover how students in Cuba make do operating at a decreased rate.
Soon after lunch, join the fun in Old Havana. A UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, this is where you’ll want to dawdle for hours - musicians jamming, colors abounding, sweeping colonial plazas humming with an unparalleled, joyous Cuban life - open your eyes and observe. The tour includes visits to the Arms Square, the Saint Francis of Assisi Square, the Old Square, the Cathedral Square and the Bodeguita del Medio, a symbol in Havana.
We’ll end the day with a visit at the “Retoño Group” community project.
A new day in Cuba calls for a new adventure. We’ll check out to depart bright and early for a daytrip to Playa Girón, a beautiful nature bound region in Matanzas province.
Upon arrival, we’ll visit the Korimakao community project, an esteemed art school, for a meeting with young artists in training: musicians, dancers, writers and actors. Here, students just like yourselves will share their world of Cuban crafts and arts.
Lunch today will be at Playa Girón Hotel. Next, an intriguing history lesson will take place at the famous Bay of Pigs Museum. Learn why the controversial Bay of Pigs Invasion has remained in history books for decades to come.
An excursion in Playa Girón can’t go without a leisurely session at the beach. Kick off your shoes and relax.
After dinner at the hotel, the day ends with an exchange with members of a Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).
Following hotel check out, departure for Villa Clara province is in store, located in the central region of the island country. The imposing yet humbling Che Guevara Memorial marks the first stop, attesting Cuba’s adoration of the legendary martyr. The tour follows along Santa Clara’s Revolution Square, a visit to Che Guevara’s Museum and the Martyrs of Santa Clara Battle’s Mausoleum.
Next, meet with representatives of local youth organizations and of the Provincial Delegation of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.
In the afternoon, you’ll visit NaturArte, a community project in Santa Clara, unlike any other of its kind. What was once a garbage-filled wasteland has been recycled and marvelously transformed into an oasis, complete with garden art. Lunch today will be on premise.
The excursion ends with a city tour of Santa Clara, including a visit to the historical monument of the Armored Train.
We’ll return to Havana as the evening sets.
Your final day in Cuba starts with a visit to the popular University of Havana, where you’ll meet with fellow students. To follow, a walking tour around Ciudad Escolar Libertad will prove resourceful as a former military encampment turned school.
Continuing the education-themed morning, a guided visit to the Literacy Campaign Museum tells the story of the far-reaching 1961 literacy campaign, whose extraordinary efforts led in teaching over 700,000 people to read and write in one year. Most remarkably, 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old, all of which contributed to an astonishing 96% rise of the national literacy rate.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll head to the National Botanical Gardens for a discussion with specialists on the environmental projects currently running. For a refreshing end to the day – and your Cuban school getaway – enjoy a tour of the gardens.
Upon return to the hotel, do as Cubans do – sing, dance, and embrace your newly made Cubans friends. For pen pals, the time for address swap would be now.
Following breakfast, it’s time to bid Cuba farewell. Until the next time! Prepare for departure to José Martí Airport, where you’ll board your flight home.