Cuba People-to-People Educational Exchange
- Legally travel to Cuba with Backroads on this special People-to-People Educational Exchange
- Enjoy performances by musicians, dancers and other artists
- Learn about Cuban private enterprise from budding entrepreneurs and talk conservation with national park naturalists
- Exchange ideas with participants in community art projects
- Every moment of this special itinerary is packed with memorable interactions with the local people
From Historic Havana to the Rural Provinces
Some places in the world are worth the wait. The romantic, rumba-infused Republic of Cuba is one of those places. Join Backroads for an eight-day People-to-People Cultural Exchange Program on this enigmatic Caribbean isle. Learn about its culture and history through meaningful interactions with community members, business leaders, artists and educators. Experience the land from the perspective of farmers and naturalists. And delve into Cuba's rich traditions of music and dance. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy every imaginable occasion to interact and connect with the Cuban people.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Educational TravelIn order to adhere to the U.S. government requirements for travel to Cuba, this trip does not allow for the degree of flexibility we build into all other itineraries; as a guest, you will have a full schedule of enriching People-to-People Educational Exchange activities. Our exchanges allow for some walking, but the overall level of physical activity is much less than on other Backroads trips.
Accommodations & MealsAs “luxury” accommodations in Cuba can generally be characterized as large all-inclusive, resort-style hotels, our accommodations on this trip are not typical of the Backroads experience. While the hotels are the best available and offer numerous amenities, even the nicest properties in Cuba do not come close to equaling the accommodations on other Backroads trips. Due to the limited supply of goods imported into Cuba, meals feature many of the same ingredients and limited variety.
Shuttle TimePlease note that our full yet compelling schedule involves a substantial amount of time spent in the shuttle to add variety of scenery and regional depth.
Itinerary ChangesWhen traveling abroad, things don’t always go according to plan. Particularly in Cuba, itinerary changes or shifts mid-trip are quite normal. In the event of last-minute changes to the scheduled activities, your Backroads Trip Leader(s) will do their best to ensure they are addressed, with the ultimate goal being your utmost enjoyment of the trip.
Days 1-2 History & arts of Old Havana Explore vibrant Habana Vieja (Old Havana) with an expert from the city planning office and witness firsthand the restoration efforts under way to preserve countless architectural gems in Havana's historic district Homemade meals at family-run paladares (privately owned restaurants) are accompanied by insightful conversation about private enterprise in Cuba, an emerging sector of the economy Participate in a special event with professional dancers who demonstrate and discuss the influences of Afro-Cuban music, culture and religion in modern-day Cuba An internationally celebrated local artist opens his gallery, workshop and home to us.
Day 3 Agriculture, ecology & private enterprise in Las Terrazas Head to the rural countryside west of Havana to learn about Cuba's coffee industry at Cafetal Buenavista, a restored French coffee plantation Keep an eye out for the elusive tocororo, Cuba's colorful national bird, while hiking in the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve Artists and entrepreneurs welcome us to Las Terrazas, a sustainable eco-village within the biosphere reserve Join an award-winning journalist who has lived in Cuba for over 20 years, for an informative Q&A session.
Days 4-6 Venture eastward to Matanzas Peruse the stalls of a neighborhood fresh foods market for a close-up look at the local food economy Gain insight into Cuba's organic farming movement at a pioneering organopónico, or cooperative urban garden Educational exchanges with artists, poets and historians uncover cultural treasures in the colonial city of Matanzas Follow the lead of expert dancers and learn the steps of danzón and salsa Trace the deep-seated roots of baseball in Cuba to the island nation's first stadium and perhaps meet a few up-and-coming local players Hike through a subterranean wonderland of fantastical limestone formations in an off-the-beaten-path cave system.
Days 7-8 Return to Havana Meet the students of an escuela de arte, where talented artistic youngsters enjoy an arts-focused education Before returning to Havana, a midday farm-to-table meal awaits at the property of a rural project that mixes art and nature with organic farming Back in La Habana, engage with artists and musicians of all ages during a shared meal and cultural exchange at the unique headquarters of an urban art project.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
This trip was everything that I wished it would be and more. The local guides were great. They were interested in showing us their country and having us leave with a sense of what Cuba and its people are all about.- Waxhaw, NC
My husband and I absolutely thought our trip to Cuba through Backroads was fantastic, educational, informative and enlightening. We cannot say enough positive things about Backroads as well as our trip.- Upperco, MD
This was a first-ever trip with Backroads, and our leaders rose to the occasion -- taking every unpredictable occurrence in stride and ensuring a smooth, warm and wonderful experience for all of their guests. They are extremely hard-working and truly gifted.- New York, NY
Havana (4 nights) With modern amenities and sweeping views. (pool)
Meliá Marina Varadero
Varadero (3 nights) An all-inclusive resort offering a multitude of amenities and a waterfront location. (pool, spa, tennis)
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests $6,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests $5,198 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests $5,798 pp dbl. occ.|
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Trip Activity Level
Most of our activities involve easy to moderate walking distances on city streets with uneven surfaces (cobblestone, etc.). On two days, our activities include moderate hiking on rocky (and potentially muddy) trails. To fully enjoy this trip, you should be comfortable walking several hours daily.