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Rediscover Cuba A Cultural Exploration 2019-2020 (Santa Clara to Havana)

8 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Santa Clara, Cuba - Tour Begins
Your Cuban adventure begins as you fly to Santa Clara Airport. Transfer to your hotel located in the charming city center. Explore the buzzing and lively Parque Vidal, full of locals going about their daily lives and located just steps from your hotel. This evening gather with your fellow travelers for a mojito-making demonstration, rum tasting and delectable welcome dinner. (D)

Day 2 Santa Clara
Embark on a tour of Santa Clara where we will meet local art or theatre students. Learn about the Cuban arts and the techniques of these students and teachers as you interact with them. Visit the Che Guevara Memorial & Museum and learn about this polarizing figure and the revolution he helped to spark. Spend time with Piquete Melodías Antillanas, one of Cuba’s last Piquete bands. Engage with this vibrant community and discover their passion for music, singing and dancing. Learn how this musical genre emerged in Cuba back in the 17th century. Delight in the band's performance of original scores by renowned composers such as Miguel Faildes and Moses Simons. This special performance is conducted on original wind instruments dating back to the 1800s. Learn Cuba’s national dance, Danzón, as the abuelos give you a dancing lesson before returning to your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Santa Clara - Remedios - Santa Clara
Journey to Remedios and tour the Museo de la Sucre (Sugar Museum). Learn from local producers of the rise and fall of the Cuban region on the back of sugar cane production. Enjoy a walking tour of Remedios, a charming town considered to be the oldest Spanish settlement in the former Las Villas province. Visit San Juan Bautista de Remedios, a 17th-century Baroque church. View the beautiful gold leaf altar made of carved cedar and one of only seven known statues in the world depicting a pregnant Virgin Mary. Later, learn about Cuban cigars - one of the country's most popular products. (B,D)

Day 4 Santa Clara - Cienfuegos - Havana
This morning we embark on a scenic drive to Cienfuegos Province Botanical Gardens, the oldest of its kind on the island. During a fascinating walking tour, learn about the garden’s ties with Harvard University and its founding as a research center (where a sugar mill once stood). Continue to Cienfuegos and explore the historic Plaza Mayor in the heart of the city and view the Tomas Terry Theatre, an impressive opera house situated on the main square. Peruse the shops, converse with the shopkeepers and get a true taste of the local culture before enjoying a seaside lunch. Afterwards, sit back and be amazed by an a cappella choral performance conducted by the Cantores de Cienfuegos, a local student group gaining worldwide recognition. Travel across the countryside to Havana, Cuba’s capital. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Havana
This morning you are in for a treat when we visit a local performing arts school and meet its creative students who will showcase their talents. Then enjoy a tour of Old Havana on foot and visit Plaza San Francisco de Asis, Plaza de la Cathedral, as well as many of the city’s other historical squares and UNESCO sites, which make Old Havana very special. Complete your day with a visit to Almacenes San José Artisans' Market with free time to shop for a unique Cuban souvenir. (B)

Day 6 Havana - Finca Vigia - Havana
Your day begins with a visit to Hamel Alley, a Havana neighborhood known for its Afro-Cuban murals which artist Salvador González Escalona famously began in 1990. Visit the Revolution Museum, located in what was once the Presidential Palace. Gain insight into Cuban history during the 1950s revolutionary war period. Afterwards, visit a local park where antique car owners gather. Discuss how car ownership in Cuba works, along with the ingenious ways they keep these classics running. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at a local paladar where you will meet the proprietors of this family-run, privately-owned specialty restaurant. Tour the grounds which include their own organic farm. We then make our way to Finca Vigia, or Lookout House, Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba home located in the small town of San Francisco de Paula. Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels here: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Havana - Casa Fuster - Havana
This morning, walk through the dramatic evolution of Cuban art at the Cuban Fine Arts Museum. Then spend time in Havana interacting with some professional Salsa dancers. Strike up a conversation with the dancers and hear about their lives and Cuba's dance culture while learning some of the basic steps of this remarkable dance. Later, travel to Casa Fuster for an insider’s look at the work and life of Cuban artist Jose Fuster, whose artwork was inspired by Spain’s famous architect, Antonio Gaudi. This evening, take a trip around Havana in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for. Finally, savor dinner in one of Havana’s finest restaurants as you celebrate an amazing journey and your new Cuban friends. (B,D)

Day 8 Havana - USA - Tour Ends
Your Cuban adventure comes to a close today. Return home with vivid memories of this beautiful country and the rich personal experiences you shared with the people of Cuba. (B)
All This Included
Join us as we cross a cultural divide, exploring the art, history and culture of the Cuban people. Develop an understanding of who they are when meeting with local shopkeepers, musicians, choral singers, dancers, factory workers and more. Discover its rich history visiting historic cathedrals and colonial homes on city tours with your local guide. Learn the rhythm of Cuba while listening to one of Cuba’s last Piquetes bands and learning the national dance Danzón. Come to know the charming city of Remedios. Take in the colonial feel of Cienfuegos, “La Perla del Sur” or Pearl of the South. Spend 4 nights in one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, Havana. Stay at the iconic Hotel Nacional and explore much of the city’s architecture in Old Havana. Meet a Cuban family in their very own paladar, a privately owned restaurant with an organic farm. Throughout your journey, experience the power of travel to unite two peoples in a true cultural exchange.
  • 16 meals
  • Centrally-located hotels provide a home away from home
  • Hotel-to-hotel baggage handling
  • A professional tour manager accompanies you throughout your trip
  • Expert local guides provide insightful, personalized tours
  • Unparalleled sightseeing includes all of the "must-sees"
  • Enriching cultural experiences bring the destination to life
  • Private climate-controlled motorcoach enhances your tour
  • Free round trip sedan service that takes you from your home to the airport when you purchase an air-inclusive Collette tour (within 50 miles of nearest airport gateway)
  • Delve into the world of classic cars as you meet the owners of these restored vehicles.
  • Learn about the Cuban national dance, Danzón, along with a Salsa lesson.
  • Enjoy a musical performance by one of Cuba’s last Piquete bands.
Santa Clara: Hotel Central 
Havana: Hotel Nacional de Cuba 
  • To truly experience the program and destination, you need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs and periods of standing. Some of the touring days may be longer, with select included activities occurring later in the evening.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Collette Vacations terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.