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6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
La Caridad del Cobre | Cayo Granma | El Morro de Castillo | Visit an old fashioned Print Shop | Visit a cacao farm | See where Columbus landed in Cuba | 4 UNESCO World Heritage Site
It’s often said that visiting Cuba is like traveling back in time.
Indeed, the classic cars, weathered buildings, and unique history create an unforgettable experience in this enchanting country, one that stays with visitors long after they return home.
While Cuba is changing more than ever, its one-of-a-kind yesteryear is the inspiration for our Cuba East tour. This six-day trip takes guests on an extraordinary journey through Cuba’s colorful and complex history via the places and people who bring it to life.
We are very happy to do private groups with custom dates, contact us for pricing.
Start the day with a stroll through the streets of historic Santiago de Cuba with a local historian, and discuss the various architecture types, restoration projects, and damage still present from Hurricane Sandy. Next, enjoy a panoramic cruise in Santiago Bay, arriving at quaint Granma Island. Over lunch, join a discussion with local fishermen and learn about their fishing practices and their community project that helps sustain the environment. Then, visit legendary San Pedro de la Roca Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1638, it has been the site of battles against pirates, smugglers, and home to many well-known prisoners. During your visit, meet a local vocal group that will impress you with their musical talents. Discuss the inspiration for their songs, various backgrounds, and future aspirations. A stop is made at San Juan Hill, where Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and America’s Buffalo Soldiers emerged victorious in the Spanish-American War. Before returning to your hotel, encounter local university students and their professors to learn more about Cuba’s educational system.
The day begins with a presentation by an expert on Afro-Cuban culture and traditions. Afterwards, a local historian will show you around Santiago de Cuba’s Plaza Delores. Over lunch, take in the breathtaking view at El Morro de Castillo, the colonial Spanish fort, before journeying to Baracoa.
As this is known as the “Land of Cocoa,” our first stop is FINCA DUABA to learn about the world of cocoa production and the strong cocoa bean traditions in this region. Meet workers and discuss the process still used by farmers in the area. Next is an interactive exchange with the semi-indigenous GUIRITO community to experience traditional Kiriba and Nengon music and dance. Over a light lunch with the locals, sample some of the most typical foods that are found only in this part of Cuba. Visit the Matachin Museum, located in an old fortress. Interact with the city historian and staff, and hear tales of Baracoa’s past and some of the village’s unique citizens.
Start the day with a visit to the church of Cuba’s patron saint, La Caridad del Cobre (Our Lad of Charity). Located near a copper mine, the church sits on a hillside overlooking the beautiful valley below. Interact with local parishioners and discuss the history of this amazing shrine as well as some of the traditions, holidays, and special events celebrated here. Visit the sanctuary which holds everything from the humblest of offerings to precious jewels, sports trophies, military decorations and once held the Nobel Prize for Literature medal placed here by Ernest Hemingway. Return to Santiago de Cuba, where we visit Jardin de los Helechos, the Garden of Ferns. Here you’ll interact with workers to learn about the various ferns and orchids found in the garden. Next, visit Casa caribe to discuss the Santeria religion, and its connections to Roman Catholicism and Native Indian Traditions. This afternoon, visit Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where Cuba’s national hero, Jose Marti, is laid to rest. Witness the Changing of the Guards, hear the interesting folklore, and admire the magnificent architecture of this beautiful cemetery. Before returning to your hotel, stop at a Rum Factory to discuss the history of this factory and the important of the rum industry in Cuba. This evening, enjoy a festive dinner, the perfect ending to your time in Santiago.
Today, includes time in Holguin, with a visit to a traditional Print Shop. Interact with staff and learn about the process used to make paper, print and bind their one-of-a-kind books. Continue to a mechanical Music Organ Factory to see these impressive instruments from yesteryear.
After breakfast, spend the day exploring the splendor of Holguin before our return flight to Miami this afternoon.
*Customary end-of-tour gratuities for the Cuban guide, driver, and tour leader are left to the guest’s discretion and should be based on your satisfaction with the level of service received.