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Cuba People-to-People Educational Exchange

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Trip Highlights
  • Legally travel to Cuba with Backroads on this special People-to-People 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

Call 800-462-2848, Every day 6am-6pm,PST

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From the Rural Provinces to Historic Havana

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.

Straight Talk 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. Read the Straight Talk

Straight Talk
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 Travel

In order to adhere to the US 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 & Meals

As "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 Time

Please 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 Changes

When 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 Educational exchanges with artists, poets and historians uncover cultural treasures in the colonial city of Matanzas Gain insight into Cuba's organic farming movement at a pioneering organopónico, or cooperative urban garden Follow the lead of expert dancers and learn the steps of danzón and salsa.

Day 3 Hike through a subterranean wonderland filled with fantastical limestone formations in an off-the-beaten-path cave system with an expert speleologist Trace the deep roots of Cuban baseball to the nation's first stadium and perhaps meet a few up-and-coming local players.

Days 4-5 Venture from the provinces to Havana  Meet the students of an escuela de arte, where talented artistic youngsters enjoy an arts-focused education A midday farm-to-table meal awaits at the property of a rural project that mixes art and nature with organic farming In La Habana, join an award-winning journalist who has lived in Cuba for over 20 years for an informative Q&A session  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.

Day 6 Learn about Cuba's coffee industry at Cafetal Buenavista, a restored French coffee plantation in the countryside west of Havana  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 reserve.

Days 7-8 Engage with musicians and artists of all ages during a shared meal and cultural exchange at the unique headquarters of an urban art project An internationally celebrated local artist opens his gallery, workshop and home to us Peruse the stalls of a neighborhood market for a close-up look at the local food economy.

Casual Inns

Meliá Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa
Meliá Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa

Varadero (3 nights) An all-inclusive resort offering a multitude of amenities and a waterfront location. (pool, spa, tennis)

Meliá Habana
Meliá Habana

Havana (4 nights) With modern amenities and sweeping views. (pool)

Guest Reviews About This Trip

Backroads did an amazing job developing an itinerary that encompassed so many aspects of Cuban culture. I absolutely love my Backroads trips. The locations are exciting, evocative of the culture, and the leaders are superb.
Susan Miller - Pleasanton, CA
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.
Mary Ann Beckley - Upperco, MD
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.
Lois Grossman - Waxhaw, NC

Trip Dates & Prices

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
November 2015
December 2015

Don't see your ideal travel date? Call us at 800-462-2848 for Private Trip date availability.

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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.

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 from $6,098 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,198 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $5,798 pp dbl. occ.


8 - 9 guests from $5,998 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,198 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $5,498 pp dbl. occ.
Internal flights from $550.

For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.

For 35 years, Backroads has been perfecting the art of active travel. We are the Cuba tour experts. See our award-winning Latin America Insider tours, Latin America biking tours, Latin America walking and hiking tours and Latin America multisport tours.


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Miami, FL

Detailed Itinerary

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Trip Notes

All meals included except 1 dinner

Backroads is licensed (CT-2013-305334-1) by the United States Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to engage, organize and conduct authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba that engages participants in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.

Recommended Reads

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