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Cuba Insider Tour
Cuba Insider Tour

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.

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 of our other itineraries; as a guest, you will have a full schedule of enriching people-to-people educational exchange activities.

Educational Travel

The educational exchanges on this trip allow for some walking. However, the overall level of physical activity is much less than on other Backroads trips.

Itinerary Changes

When traveling abroad, things don’t always go according to plan and, particularly in Cuba, itinerary changes or shifts mid-trip are quite common. In the event of a last-minute change to the scheduled activities, your Backroads Trip Leader will do their best to ensure that any unforeseen changes are addressed, with the ultimate goal being our guests’ utmost trip enjoyment.

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. Please note that meals will be simple and the variety will be limited, with many of the same ingredients featured (such as poultry, pork, beans and rice).

Shuttle Time

Our busy yet compelling schedule involves a substantial amount of time spent in the shuttle to add variety of scenery and regional depth.

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.

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
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Casual Inns

Meliá Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa (3 nights): An all-inclusive resort offering a multitude of amenities and a waterfront location. (pool, spa, tennis)

Meliá Habana (4 nights): With modern amenities and sweeping views. (pool, tennis)

2015 Dates & Pricing*

  • 5/9-16 Price: $5698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $900 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $620

*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.

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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.

If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

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.
Internal flights from $620.

All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.

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

Guest Trip Reviews

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

Visiting Cuba with Backroads far exceeded my expectations! I was so touched by my experiences and had so much fun learning from and communing with the people. I think your company does an excellent job making wonderful memories for people.
Terri Shubin- Laguna Beach, CA

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.
Joe Evangelisti- New York, NY

Not only was this a trip of a lifetime, our leaders made the week extra, extra special. Their enthusiasm for each place we visited, the meals we ate and the people we met was incredible. They made a terrific team and kept us laughing at all times. I feel very privileged to have them as our guides. Everything we did was fantastic and gave us the understanding and feel for the Cuban culture.
Lynn Graze- Annapolis, MD

A thought-provoking and amazing trip. Enjoyed being with our fellow Backroads travelers and guides more on this trip than any other.
Deb McDonald- Erie, PA