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 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 & 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 itinerary means we have a lot of ground to coverrest assured that the substantial time spent shuttling allows us to experience Cuba's incredible variety of culture and scenery.
Itinerary ChangesWhen traveling in Cuba things don't always go according to plan and itinerary 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 address these changes and ensure your next extraordinary encounter is always within reach. If you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you'll enjoy your trip to the fullest!
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.
- Legally travel to Cuba with Backroads and your family 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
Meliá Habana (4 nights): With modern amenities and sweeping views. (pool)
Meliá Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa (3 nights): An all-inclusive resort offering a multitude of amenities and a waterfront location. (pool, spa, tennis)
2015 Dates & Pricing*
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|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.|
Guest Trip Reviews
I hope you''ll share our excitement over this People-to-People Educational Exchange trip in Cuba. Every moment of this special itinerary is filled with insightful interactions with the local people, as we exchange thoughts and learn about each other's culture and traditions. Speaking with artists, musicians, students, educators and community leaders, you'll discover and learn firsthand about the country's vibrant art and music scene, its splendid colonial cities, and about everyday life through the eyes of our welcoming Cuban hosts.- Regional Manager,