Glory of Cuba with Nadia Eckhardt
Art, Culture, History, Music, Scenery & Fun
January 11 – 22, 2018

Overview:

Join Africa Easy & Expedition Easy Founder, Nadia Eckhardt, on a special January 2018 journey to experience Cuba’s fascinating culture, art, history, and nature. This 12-day itinerary features the diverse “must sees” of Cuba, including Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Bay of Pigs, Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba. Experience the glory of Cuba, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a close-up look at the Cuban cigar and history of Havana rum, spectacular scenery, visits with local artists, farmers, and community leaders; and following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. Throughout the trip, you’ll enjoy top-notch historic hotels and casa style accommodations, delicious cuisine, and an insight into this vibrant country. Join us as we explore Cuba together, an intriguing one-of-a-kind destination!

*Note: The Glory of Cuba trip is operated on a U.S. Department of Treasury approved License. Our program includes a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities. The License we travel on is 1 of 12 categories authorized for travel to Cuba – Educational – People to People License. Citizens of the United States can participate in this travel program and visit Cuba legally. Travel under an Educational People to People License does not require prior written authorization from the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control).

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: USA / Havana
Day 2: Touring in Havana
Day 3: Touring in Havana
Day 4: Havana / Playa Larga
Day 5: Playa Larga / Cienfuegos
Day 6: Cienfuegos / Trinidad
Day 7: Trinidad & Cayo Largo
Day 8: Trinidad / Santa Clara / Camaguey
Day 9: Camaguey
Day 10: Camaguey / Bayamo City / Santiago de Cuba
Day 11: Santiago de Cuba
Day 12: Santiago de Cuba / Holguin Airport / USA

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.

Glory of Cuba with Nadia Eckhardt
Art, Culture, History, Music, Scenery & Fun
January 11 – 22, 2018

Day-by-day Itinerary:

Day 1 – Thursday, January 11, 2018 – Fly USA / Havana (D)

Arrive Havana on independent flights from the US. Upon arrival clear customs and immigration, pick up luggage at baggage claim and meet your local Cuban tour guide outside baggage claim and transfer to Hotel Saratoga. Enjoy some time at leisure before meeting at the Hotel Saratoga Rooftop Bar for Welcome Drinks, Dinner & Briefing. Overnight at Hotel Saratoga.

Day 2 – Friday, January 12, 2018 – Havana (B,L)
Start the morning with a walking tour around the historic center of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visit Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and the 16th-century Convento de San Francisco de Asis. This is one of the finest buildings from the colonial period. The basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Asis (Saint Francis of Assisi) were built in Havana at the end of sixteenth century (1580–91) as the home of the Franciscan community, and were altered in the Baroque style in 1730. The church was used for worship by the English during the year they ruled Havana. When it returned to Spanish rule, they chose not to use it as a church. It is now used for concerts.

See Plaza Vieja, one of Havana’s historic squares dating from the 16th century, and its surrounding art galleries.
Visit La Casa de Africa, showing a wide array of items from over thirty African countries and a large collection from Don Fernando Ortiz, an Afro-Cuban Culture researcher. Displays include items associated with the period of slavery in Cuba, works of modern Central and South African art, objects used in rituals, handcrafts and musical instruments. Casa de Africa is a center of study and a principal meeting place of ethnologists, researchers, linguists and experts on African and Afro-Cuban studies, including Santeria religion and the secret society know as Abakuá.

See the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales at Plaza de Armas, where the city was originated. Built in 1776, this stately palace remains as a testament to Cuba’s importance as Spain’s principal port of the Americas during the 18th century.

Visit Plaza de la Cathedral, where the most prominent building is the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, seat of Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, the Cardinal Archbishop of Havana, Cuba. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Christopher (San Cristóbal) and is also known as Cathedral of Saint Christopher.

The construction of the cathedral was started by Jesuits in 1748 on the site of an earlier church and finished by Havana City in 1777. The cathedral is set in the former Plaza de La Ciénaga or Swamp Plaza. The Cathedral is said to be the only example of a Baroque facade that was designed with asymmetrical features – one of the towers is wider than the other. This particular feature was conceived in order to allow the water that accumulated on the plaza to freely flow. Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier famously described the cathedral as “music set in stone.”

Lunch will be served at Cafe Oriente at San Francisco de Asis Square. This is the best government owned restaurant in Havana.

After lunch, continue for a Cuban Cigar experience at Conde Villanueva Cigar lounge. Learn about the history of the cigar in Cuba and the production process.

Visit the famous El Floridita Bar, birth place of the daiquiri and one of Hemingway’s favorite Havana bars. In 1953, “Esquire” magazine, called it one the world’s seven best bars (drinks not included and are $7 each). Since that time, El Floridita has been frequented by distinguished visitors to Havana, ranging from artists to official guests of the government, such as: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Gene Tunney, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gary Cooper, Tennessee Williams, Charles Scribner, Spencer Tracey, Rocky Marciano, Ava Gardner, Samuel Eliot Morison, Buck Lanham and Herbert Matthews.

Stop for pictures outside El Capitolio Nacional (Capitol building). Built in 1929 as the Senate and House of Representatives, the colossal building is recognizable by its dome, which dominates the city’s skyline. Inside stands the third largest indoor statue in the world, La Estatua de la República. Today the Capitolio is home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (the National Museum of Natural History), with the largest natural history collection in the country (The building is currently under renovation and may not allow visitors inside).

Return to our hotel for some time at Leisure.

Dinner tonight is on your own account, ask your guide to recommend a paladar (private home hosting foreigners for dinner).

Day 3 – Saturday, January 13, 2018 – Havana (B,L)

A morning visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, where one of the museum’s most senior curators will guide you through exhibits of some of the most interesting Cuban art in the country, as well as works from outside Cuba.

Visit the Convento de Belen, a world-renowned community center and social services facility that serves Havana’s poorest neighborhoods, with special focus on the elderly and disabled children. The vitality, hope and cooperative spirit of Convento de Belen is truly inspirational and visitors come away deeply touched and eager to support this work. You will have the opportunity to make contributions hers.

Continue to the Centro Hebreo Sefaradi de Cuba. Meet with Dr. Levy, the head of the community and hear about the congregation, their programs and challengers and visit their new Holocaust Remembrance Hall.

Next, we will visit Christopher Columbus Cemetery with the lavish tombs of wealthy Cubans from before the revolution.

Lunch will be served at Moneda Cubana Restaurant, a paladar that specializes in true Cuban food, with exquisite flavors.

Visit the Havana Club Museum of Rum and journey back to the origins of Cuba’s most famous beverage. From freshly cut stalks of sugar cane to a refurbished distillery and ageing cellars, the museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture. An upstairs gallery features an authentic mule-driven cane mill used in the earliest ingenious (sugar refineries). A historically accurate model of a steam locomotive reminds us that Cuba was the first country in Latin America to use a railway for the transport of sugar cane. The next door leads to a much larger model, the achievement of a master Cuban craftsman. This masterpiece captures the essence of the great sugar refineries and rum distilleries whose immense chimneys rise as landmarks over the Cuban countryside. At the end of the visit you will have a tasting of the famous Cuban rum.

Dinner tonight will be at La Habanera Paladar. Transfers to the restaurant will be done in vintage cars. The restaurant is located in a beautiful house in Miramar, just off of 5th Avenue in a quiet neighborhood. It is neat, well apportioned, and provides some of the most upscale yet relaxed dining choices in Havana.

After dinner, take in a show of the famous Bueno Vista Social Club, reputed to being Cuba’s most famous cabaret. Return to your hotel for the night.

Day 4 – Sunday, January 14, 2018 – Havana to Playa Largo (B,L,D)
Today we walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. One of Havana’s best-kept treasures is its close relationship with writer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), known affectionately as Papa. The lovely Finca Vigia was Hemingway’s home in Cuba for two decades. He bought the house in 1939 and it was opened as a museum in 1964. It contains more than 22,000 original items that belonged to Hemingway, including records, books, paintings, personal documents, photographs, and hunting weapons. Peering inside the house through large windows and strolling around the peaceful grounds, visitors get a good feel for the daily life of the great writer.

Visit the fishing village of Cojimar, 7 miles southeast of the center of Havana, inspired his novel The Old Man and the Sea (the 1954 Nobel Prize winner).

Lunch will be at Ajiaco Paladar, a newly opened, private restaurant with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Chef Raidel de los Rios and his team are masterful. Together with the chef, you will prepare a gourmet Cuban meal.

Then depart for the Zapata Peninsula, arriving in time for a late afternoon bird-walk on the hotel grounds. The Zapata Peninsula has more than 900 species of flora. A mosaic of dry forest, swamp, mangrove, mudflats, and coast, this is one of the best-preserved ecosystems on the island. Over 200 species have been recorded here including the endemic Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, Zapata Rail, Cuban Trogon and Cuban Tody. We will also look for species such as the Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Greater Antillean Oriole, and Cuban Emerald. Continue to our hotel in Cayo Largo for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel Playa Larga
Playa Larga is a 3-star hotel situated at the extreme north end of the Bay of Pigs on a beach with fine sand and warm, safe waters and within the Montemar Nature Park, the most important bird sanctuary in the country. All 44 rooms are air-conditioned, with in-room safe, telephone, radio, TV, and mini-bar. Hotel services and facilities include a restaurant, a bar, a pool, fitness center, water sports.

Day 5 – Monday, January 15, 2018 – Playa Largo to Cienfuegos (B, L, D)

After breakfast this morning, leave for the Bermejas site, a popular nest-building area, especially for different species of woodpeckers. Endemic species we may observe here include the Blue Headed Quail-dove, Grey-headed Quail-dove, Key West Quail-dove, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Pygmy-owl, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Woodpecker, Fernandina’s Flicker. Other possible birds include the, Greater Antillean Nightjar, Tawny-shouldered Blackbird, and Palm Warbler. You then depart for the city of Cienfuegos.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 as the Colony Fernandina de Jagua. The first inhabitants came not only from Spain, but also from a number of French colonies, as well as Bordeaux, Louisiana, Philadelphia and Guárico. This formal foundation followed a series of earlier attempts in this region, where the economy was based on cattle raising and cultivation of tobacco. From the 18th century, there was wax production, as well as timber and sugar. In the 1830s, the colony grew based on sugar production and the favorable geographical location. The settlement was recognized with the category of “Villa” as a confirmation of its urban aspect and was authorized to trade in domestic and foreign fields. In 1840, there were already registered companies in the town and the growth continued in the following decades. In the 1860s, it was the third city of the country. By 1914, American investors owned the most important sugar mills in the province. Trade developed mainly with the United States, the principal market for Cienfuegos. During the Cuban Revolution the city saw an uprising against Fulgencio Batista and was bombed on September 5, 1957.
With the new administrative division of 1976, the city of Cienfuegos became the capital of the province with the same name, increasing its development further. The local administration remained concentrated in the downtown area. As a whole, this area has retained its historic fabric.

Visit the city’s foundation, José Martí Park, where the most representative buildings include the Government Palace (City Hall, current office of the Provincial Assembly of the Popular Power), San Lorenzo School, Bishopric, Ferrer Palace, the Terry Theater, Cathedral de la Purisma Concepción, the former Lyceum building and some residential buildings. At present, in the Historic Center, six buildings remain from the first half of the 19th century and 327 buildings from the second half. There are 1,188 buildings from the 20th century, most of them from the first half. In all there are some 300 public buildings, and the rest are mainly residential. Lunch is at Finca Del Mar followed by a visit to the Botanical Gardens.

Arrive at your Casa Particular (private home B&B) for check-in and also enjoy dinner at Villa Lagarto Paladar, one of Cienfuegos’ best paladars.

Day 6 – Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – Cienfuegos to Trinidad (B,L)
Drive approximately 90 minutes and start your walking tour of Trinidad, a living-museum of Spanish colonialism.

The whole city, with its fine palaces, cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs, is a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trinidad’s prosperity rested on the sugar industry. The city was a cultural center with theaters, schools of language, music, dance and a wide variety of artisans, including gold and silversmiths. Lavish public and private buildings filled the city. During the second half of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution and increased sugar beet production in Europe led to the decline of Trinidad’s slavery-based economy. Construction ceased and the city remained frozen in time. The maze of cobbled streets is lined with terra cotta roofed houses in soft pastel colors. Much of the architecture is Neoclassical and Baroque, with a Moorish flavor reflecting the town’s heritage of conquistadors. Visit the Plaza Mayor in the center of town. Around the plaza are the Museo Romantico and the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad. The Cathedral is the largest church in Cuba and renowned for its acoustics. This is a place to leave donations. Explore the Museo Historico, which houses a collection of Romantic-style porcelain, glass, paintings and ornate furniture. The museum is located in a colonial mansion with beautiful views over the square from the upper balconies. The adventurous are invited to climb up to the Antiguo Convento de San Francisco de Asis. The tower and church are all that remain of the original convent. Enjoy lunch at a local Paladar, Sol Ananda.

After lunch, we drive to visit the Valle de los Ingenios, or Valley of the Sugar Mills, a series of three interconnected valleys about 7.5 miles outside of Trinidad. The three valleys, San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer, were a center for sugar production from the late 18th century until the late 19th century. At the peak of the industry in Cuba there were over fifty cane sugar mills in operation in the three valleys with over 30,000 slaves working in the mills and the sugar cane plantations that surrounded them.

Sugar production was an important industry for Cuba from the earliest settlement by the Spanish, who introduced sugar cane to the island in 1512, and trade in the commodity enriched Trinidad and the surrounding areas. The island became the world’s foremost producer of sugar during the late 18th and 19th centuries, when sugar production was the main industry.

In 1988, Valle de los Ingenios and neighboring Trinidad were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Although most of the sugar mills are in ruins, intact structures endure at some sites, including Guachinango, where the plantation house remains. Visit the plantation of Manaca Iznaga, where the owner’s house, a tower and some barracones (the original slave quarters) still stand. Although the barracones are now used as housing, they are in poor repair. The owner’s house has been converted into a restaurant. See the magnificent view from the Iznaga Tower. The 147 ft. tower was constructed sometime in 1816 by the owner, Alejo Maria Iznaga y Borrell. According to experts, the bell that formerly hung on top of the tower announced the beginning and the end of the workday for the slaves, as well as the times for prayers to the Holy Virgin in the morning, midday and afternoon. It was also used to sound an alarm in case of fire or slave escape.

Continue to our Casa Particular. Dinner will be on your own account and suggestions for paladars will be provided by your guide.

After dinner, we suggest you enjoy one of these famous music venues:
– La Casa De La Musica de Trinidad – where locals and foreigners gather after dark to listen to Cuban music. When it gets “hot” the outdoor arena fills with people dancing to the irresistible beat, an unforgettable experience for any visitor!
– La Cancháchara – famous for its eponymous house cocktail made from rum, honey, lemon and water. Local musicians regularly drop by for off-the-cuff jam sessions and it’s not unusual for the Cancháchara-inebriated crowd to break into spontaneous dancing.
– Palenque de los Congos Reales – where traditional music groups play and the Folkloric Ballet of Trinidad and the Cuba-Haiti Dance Company perform. This is the main place for African and Haitian roots music and dance.

Day 7: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – Trinidad & Cayo Largo (B,L,D)

Today in Cuba will be pure fun. We drive to the Marina and board our catamaran for a sail in the amazing Caribbean waters to Cayo Largo, an unspoiled reef a little way off the coast. At Cayo Iguanas, uninhabited islets surrounded by rich coral reefs and crystalline water, protected as a national marine park teeming with tropical fish. Swimming and snorkeling if you wish or you are free to wander around the island and mingle with the iguanas and other endemic animals. Lunch will be served ashore before we sail back to Trinidad. We return to our Casa Particular for overnight. Dinner will be at the Guitarra Mia Palada.

Day 8: January 18, 2018 – Trinidad / Camaguey (B,L,D)

Today we drive about 3 hours to the city of Santa Clara to visit the Ernesto (Che) Guevara Mausoleum. The Argentinean Che Guevara was one of the commanders who fought with Fidel Castro in the war against the dictatorship of Batista in the 1950s. He died in Bolivia in 1967 while leading that country’s revolution. His remains were recovered in 1998 and buried in this memorial in Santa Clara Revolution Square.

Visit the Armored Train Battle Monument, the site where guerrilla forces commanded by Che Guevara defeated reinforcements sent in an armored train (tren blindado) by Batista’s army in 1958. The monument site includes original armored boxcars with displays of photos, armaments and artifacts inside, and a bulldozer used by the rebels to derail the train.

Lunch will be served at Finca Ta Paladar. A contryside ambience with different spaces, a personalized service and an exquisite gastronomic experience. We continue our drive to Camaguey and to our Casa Particular (private home B&B) where we check in for 2 nights. Dinner tonight is on your own, ask your guide to recommend a Paladar.

Day 9: January 19, 2018 – Camaguey (B,L)

Camaguey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camaguey played a prominent role as the urban center of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. Once settled in its current location in 1528, the town developed on the basis on an irregular urban pattern that contains a system of squares, minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys and irregular urban blocks, highly exceptional for Latin American colonial towns located in plain territories. Religious buildings, associated with the main squares, constitute a system of landmarks in the urban fabric, characterized by its homogeneity. Architectural values are associated with typical domestic architectural typologies and the use of consistent construction materials and techniques, especially the extended use of earthen components, which reveal influences from Andalusia. The use of truncated pilasters at the entrance gates and of clay vessels for water storage is what identifies Camagüey’s domestic architecture.

After lunch we continue the tour to the historic center that acts as the city core and the place for social and cultural activities. As we will have to navigate small narrow streets, we will use a Bici-Taxi (a tricycle that is peddled by a local guide) to see some of the highlights in the old historical center, like the Plaza of San Juan de Dios, Plaza del Carmen, Plaza de los Trabajadores and a local art gallery. Then we will explore Parque Agramonte named after a local hero, the Cathedral, originally established in 1530. Return to our casa particular for overnight. Dinner tonight is on your own, ask your guide to recommend a Paladar.

Day 10: January 20, 2018 – Camaguey / Santiago de Cuba (B,L)
Depart Camaguey and drive to historic Bayamo, the second of the seven villages founded by Diego Velázquez. The area was first colonized in 1513 on the river bank, where an indigenous community once settled. By the end of 1514, the unhappy colonizers, their houses already taken, moved their church to the indigenous town where, with fertile soil and an influx of immigrants from Baracoa, the village thrived. In the 19th-century struggle for independence, Bayamo was the capital of the First Republic in Arms. Inhabitants set the town on fire rather than see it fall to Spanish occupation.

Visit the house of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. In 1868, Céspedes was the first Cuban sugar cane planter to free his slaves and declare Cuban independence, thus starting the Ten Years’ War. Céspedes was deposed in 1873 in a leadership coup. Spanish troops killed him in February 1874 in a mountain refuge, as the new Cuban government would not let him go into exile and denied him an escort. The war ended in 1878 with the Pact of Zanjón. The pact made some concessions: liberation of slaves and Chinese who fought with the rebels and no action against political offences, but there was no freedom for the majority of slaves and no independence for Cuba. The Grito de Yara had achieved something, though not enough; but it had lit a long-burning fuse. Lessons learned there were later put to good use in the Cuban War of Independence.

Visit Céspedes Park where you will see engraved the words of the National anthem, first performed during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868. Perucho Figueredo, who took part in the battle, wrote and composed the song. Lunch at La Bodega Restaurant in Bayamo City.

Continue to Cuba’s sacred pilgrimage site, the Basilica of La Virgen del Cobre, a dark Virgin. Many come to Santiago de Cuba to climb the hill of this sanctuary dedicated to the Patron Saint of Cuba. Some come to keep a promise, others take offerings which are added to the hundreds of objects that have been dedicated to the Virgin, among which is Hemingway’s Nobel Prize medal. Pilgrims often collect copper stones from the mine close to the church. According to legend, the Virgin of Charity appeared over the waters of the Bay of Nipe, and upon recognition of the event by the Catholic Church, the sanctuary was built in 1927.
Continue to Santiago de Cuba for overnight at the hotel.

Dinner tonight is on your own account; we recommend 2 sites at your hotel: the gourmet restaurant La Isabelica (the best in Santiago), or the Italian La Fontana.

Don’t miss the fantastic view from the Bello Bar located on the top floor of the hotel. Enjoy great cocktails and music starting at 10:00pm.

Day 11: January 21, 2018 – Santiago de Cuba (B,L,D)
In the morning visit the historical center of Santiago de Cuba, a UNESCO world heritage site founded by Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in 1514. In 1516 the settlement was destroyed by fire and was immediately rebuilt. This was the starting point of the expeditions led by Juan de Grijalba and Hernán Cortés to the coasts of Mexico in 1518, and by Hernando De Soto to Florida in 1538.

Return to Céspedes Park and continue touring the house of Don Diego Velazquez, the oldest house in Cuba, built in 1522. Once the official residence of the first Cuban governor, today it is the Colonial History Museum.

Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, the first cathedral built in Cuba, in 1522, and the tallest wooden building in Cuba at the time. Today it houses the Archdiocese Museum, the only one of its kind in Cuba. Walk a few steps to see the famous Padre Pico Street (Calle Padre Pico), Santiago’s most typical street. In a series of curves and hills, it plunges into the working-class neighborhood of Tivolí via a long flight of stairs, the local children’s favorite playground. This area was founded and inhabited by French settlers who arrived in Santiago de Cuba starting in 1791. It has served as the setting for numerous films and is a hot spot during Carnival.

Visit the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum. Emilio, son of the rum king Bacardí, was a great benefactor of Santiago and the first mayor of Santiago de Cuba city. The first museum was founded in 1899 by Emilio Bacardí, but his wife, Elvira Cape, took charge of its construction. The original structure was small and not very secure. In August of 1922, the construction of this great museum-library began on its current site, chosen for its proximity to downtown. This museum has three exhibition rooms that coincide with its three levels. The first floor is dedicated to the history of Cuba, from colonization until the pseudo-republic. The second level exhibits fine art of Cuban and foreign artists. The archaeology room is located in the basement, with artifacts from Egypt and the Americas.

After lunch at Matamoros El Morro Restaurant visit the Morro Castle, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved Spanish castles in Cuba, built to protect the strategic Santiago Bay. This intricate complex of forts, magazines, bastions and batteries is the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles. Here the city was plundered by French forces in 1553 and by the British forces under Christopher Myngs in 1662.

Then visit Moncada Garrison, the scene of one of Cuba’s most notorious events. On July 26, 1953, this military barracks was the scene of a famous revolutionary episode against the tyrannical Batista regime. Despite the failure of that particular military venture, the attack served to highlight the will of many young Cubans to struggle for their freedom. The building has a plaque on the front wall in remembrance of an assault on November 30, 1956 by the 26 of July Revolutionary Group. Today, inside you will find the Museo de la Clandestinidad, covering the period from the Spanish conquest to the guerrilla movement of the 1959 revolution in the Sierra Maestra Mountains.

Enjoy a visit to San Juan Hill, where Spanish troops faced their main defeat on July 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. After capturing the surrounding hills, General William Rufus Shafter laid siege to the city. Spain later surrendered to the United States after Admiral William T. Sampson destroyed the Spanish Atlantic fleet just outside Santiago’s harbor on July 3, 1898.

Our farewell dinner will be at the Roof Garden Restaurant in the beautifully eclectic 1914 Casa Grande Hotel, with a spectacular view of downtown Santiago.

After dinner you may want to experience La Casa de la Trova, just a step away from the Casa Granda Hotel, to listen to the traditional Cuban music and try your dance moves.

Day 12: Janauary 22, 2018 – Santiago de Cuba / Holguin / Miami (B)
After breakfast, we drive along one of the largest avenues in Santiago de Cuba, Avenidas Las Americas, flanked by the buildings of the Universidad de Oriente, the Instituto Superior de Constucción, the Villa Pan Americana and the Baseball Stadium Guillermo Moncada, which can hold about 25,000 spectators. See the theatre Heredia and, opposite, view the vast Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo, where the region’s major political and cultural gatherings are held.

Continue to Frank Paise Airport in Holguin where we check in for our scheduled flight to Miami:
AA flight # 1482 departing Holguin at 2:00 pm and arriving to Miami at 3:45 pm.

On arrival at the Miami International Airport, collect your luggage and check in for your onward flights home.

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change, including accommodations and touring. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Glory of Cuba with Nadia Eckhardt
Art, Culture, History, Music, Scenery & Fun
January 11 – 22, 2018

Rates:

January 11 – 22, 2018

$5,420 approx per person sharing based on 8 travelers with a US tour leader & local guide
$6,070 approx per person sharing based on 7 travelers with a US tour leader & local guide
$6,165 approx per person sharing based on 6 travelers with a US tour leader & local guide
$6,305 approx per person sharing based on 5 travelers with a local Cuban guide
$6,980 approx per person sharing based on 4 travelers with a local Cuban guide
 
$1,725 approx per person additional supplement for single accommodations

Please note: An Expedition Easy Tour leader will join on Glory of Cuba with 6 or more confirmed travelers, less than 6 travelers there will be a local Cuban guide.

Rates are based on per person sharing and are approximate until the time of booking. Rates are quoted in USD and subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Flights:

International Airfare:
International air is not included. Expedition Easy does not book international flights, however we can put you in touch with our airline partner at if you would like assistance booking your international air.

Suggested Flight Itinerary:
Economy Class Airfare:
AA 1345 11Jan Miami / Havana 3:05 pm / 4:20 pm
AA 1482 22Jan Holguin / Miami 1:10 pm / 2:40 pm

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc. Airfare prices are subject to change until booked and ticketed

Included:

• Services of an Expedition Easy Tour Leader throughout the Cuba program and local guide.
• 11 nights of accommodations in Cuba with buffet breakfast daily
• All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 6 dinners as per the itinerary
• Drink package during lunches and dinners as follows: 1 glass of Mojito and/or Wine (Chilean or Spanish) and/or Mineral Water
• 2 bottles of water per person per touring day
• All transfers in Cuba
• 11 days of touring in a private, air-conditioned mini-bus. Catamaran boat trip from Trinidad.
• The services of a licensed, English-speaking local Cuban guide
• All entrance fees as per itinerary
• Hotel service fees and taxes
• Tips for guide and driver and at hotels & tips to bellmen
• Cuban Tourist Card application fee
• Cuban departure taxes

Not Included:

– Any International and domestic flights within the US
– Meals and drinks other than those specified above on the itinerary or if mentioned on own account
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance highly recommended.

Deposit & Payments

A completed & signed Expedition Easy Reservation Form, along with your 25% trip deposit and full regional and/or domestic air payment (if applicable) is required at the time of booking.

Reservations

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.

Glory of Cuba with Nadia Eckhardt
Art, Culture, History, Music, Scenery & Fun
January 11 – 22, 2018

Trip Leader

Nadia Eckhardt

Nadia Eckhardt, Africa Easy & Expedition Easy Founder, is the full-time Trip Leader on this 12 day Cuba land program from Havana to Santiago de Cuba in January 2018. Nadia has enjoyed leading trips to Cuba by land and sea over the last few decades and says: Please join me….Now is the Time to visit Cuba before it opens up completely!


January 11 - 22, 2018