Explore old Havana’s history and architecture. Enjoy a private flamenco performance by some of Cuba’s best dancers. Discuss U.S. foreign policy and economic changes during lectures with thought leaders in the country.
Visit the fantastic Museum of Fine Arts, a private gallery and a neighborhood mosaic project. Learn about Cuban music during a live music lecture. See the site of the Bay of Pigs and the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos.
Arrive Havana and enjoy lunch and a visit to the Plaza de la Revolucíon, before checking into the Hotel Parque Central, perfectly located in the central part of the city. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and introductions, followed by our welcome dinner.
After a morning lecture by a prominent economist, attend a private dance performance of the Compañía Irene Rodríguez (flamenco). Meet Irene and the company, considered by many to be the finest flamenco dancers in Cuba. We then embark on a walking tour of Old Havana, a treasure trove of architectural styles spanning six centuries. Explore the Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco (with buildings dating from the 18th century) and the Plaza Vieja, the oldest plaza in Havana, dating from the 16th century. Stop in the Taller de Grafica Experimental, Havana’s printmaking workshop. In the early evening join a lively musical lecture/performance about the history of Cuban music by a professor and musicologist.
After a morning lecture by a Cuban journalist, take an architect-led tour of Western Havana, including the University of Havana, the Hotel Nacional, the Riviera Hotel and the Christopher Colon Cemetery. Lunch is at the whimsical home of artist Jose Fuster, who has made a major contribution to rebuilding and decorating the fishing town of Jaimanitas. Finally, relax in the beautiful home of collector and art dealer, Milagros Borges. Enjoy a free evening and dinner on your own.
Attend a briefing by our foreign service staff at the newly reinstated U.S. Embassy. Continue to Callejon de Hamel, a street in Havana known for its vibrant murals, and an area popular with followers of the Santeria religion. Learn about Santeria and visit the home of a babalao. After lunch at a paladar, enjoy a curator-led tour of the Museum of Fine Arts which is dedicated exclusively to Cuban art. Schedule permitting, you have the option to attend a baseball game. Dinner is on your own at one of Havana’s many new restaurants.
Depart Havana early this morning towards the Bay of Pigs and Zapata National Park. Visit the Playa Giron Museum with displays about the failed invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles and the CIA. Continue to Cienfuegos for lunch. Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it contains six buildings from 1819–50, 327 buildings from 1851–1900, and 1,188 buildings from the 20th century. There is no other place in the Caribbean that contains such a remarkable cluster of Neoclassical structures. See the architecture, visit with artists, and experience a concert and discussion with the highly respected Cienfuegos choir. Check into the Hotel Jagua, before dinner at the Palacio Del Valle.
Depart for Trinidad and the Valle de los Ingenios (valley of the sugar mills) the most important sugar producing region during colonial times and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. Explore this charming town of cobblestone, Spanish colonial style architecture, museums, and galleries. Meet with local artists, before returning to Cienfuegos for dinner and possibly some local music.
Depart by coach for Havana this morning, returning in time for an independent lunch and a final afternoon to explore museums, galleries and the famous Malecon on your own. Tonight celebrate your Cuban journey at La Guarida. Housed on the third floor of a large old town house, this paladar carries
the charming ambience of the 1920s. Late in the evening, visit Fabrica de Arte Cuba, the most collaborative art project in Havana.
Check out of the hotel and depart for the airport for flights home.
Cost & Details
Included: 5 nights accommodation at 4–5 Star Hotel Parque Central Havana; 2 nights at Hotel Jagua or similar; Cuban departure tax; Meals as listed in itinerary (B=Breakfast L=Lunch and D=dinner. Includes at least one beverage: water, beer, mojito, or soft drink. Wine with welcome and farewell dinners); Bottled water; Air conditioned bus throughout the trip equipped with water; Admission to all museums and public buildings listed in itinerary; Speaker fees and conference room rentals; Professional tour manager throughout; Commonwealth Club tour representative with 15 travelers; Gratuities for all group activities – including meals, baggage handling, bus driver, and local Cuban guide; Cuban Tourist Visa; Compliance with US Treasury Department
Not included: Airfare; Hotel in Miami (if needed); Airline baggage fees; Meals and beverages other than listed on itinerary; Individualized hotel expenses (mini bar, room service, laundry fees, internet); Personal activities and additional gratuities
What to Expect
Travelers must be in overall good health and with good mobility in order to enjoy this program fully. There is considerable walking over uneven terrain and old city streets throughout the tour. Many places have stairs without handrails. In addition, many buildings do not have elevators, or the elevators may not be functioning. Restaurants in private homes often require walking up several flights of stairs. This is a busy program, with many activities. We are sure you will enjoy the trip, but want you to be aware of the physical requirements and pace.
Terms & Conditions
Reservations: A $1,000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 90 days prior to departure and must be paid by check.
Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
• 91 days or more prior to departure: $500 per person
• 90-60 days to departure: $1,000 deposit
• 59-1 days prior to departure: 100% fare
Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. CWC does not accept liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance:
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave trip while it is in progress. A brochure describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation.
Participation in this program requires that you be in good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.
Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay:
Itinerary is based on information available at the time of printing and is subject to change. We reserve the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed, or the itinerary changed, due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, airline schedules, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which CWC or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included.
Limitations of Liability:
CWC and Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective
services. CWC hall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine,
epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CWC for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be
made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.