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Cuba Trip 2

February 12 – 20, 2016

Ramon Espinosa / AP
 

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Music * Art * Culture * Dance * Literature


Join Capital Public Radio listeners as they embark on an in-depth cultural exploration of the isle of Cuba. Enjoy the rhythms of Latin jazz and the beat of hot salsa. Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba’s leading music school and Hemingway’s home. Plus, take a salsa dance lesson!
0826-cuba-tower-wide
Back by popular demand. Three Capital Public Radio trips sold out quickly in 2014/2015. Space is limited to join Capital Public Radio in Cuba in 2016!

CUBA TRIP AT A GLANCE
  • 1 Night Miami
  • 5 Nights Historic Havana
  • 2 Nights Colonial Trinidad

WHERE YOU’LL STAY…
  • Miami: Crowne Plaza Miami Airport Hotel
  • Havana: **** Hotel Memories Miramar
  • Trinidad: Las Brisas Beach Resort ****

IT’S INCLUDED
  • A Capital Public Radio Host
  • Accompanied by an Earthbound Program Director
  • An expert bilingual Cuban guide
  • Accommodations as listed in your itinerary
  • Cuban government emergency medical insurance plan up to $1,000
  • Multi course traditional meals as listed in your itinerary
  • Bottled water daily & national drinks (local beers & mojitos)
  • Live music while dining and an included evening jazz concert
  • Transport by private motor coach while in Cuba
  • Roundtrip charter flight from Miami
  • All entrances as listed in your itinerary
  • Airport transfers while in Cuba
  • Special insider “People to People” experiences
  • Gratuities for your driver and guides
  • City and country maps
  • Alumni discounts applied towards future trips with Capital Public Radio
  • An informational gathering in Miami the night before we fly to Cuba

TRIP FACTS
  • 9 Days/8 Nights
  • $4,350 per person double occupancy (land and charter air from Miami to Havana)
  • $675 Single Supplement (waived if a willing to share & a roommate is found) Starting in Miami on Friday, February 12, 2016
  • Returning to Miami Int’l airport on Saturday, February 20 (exact charter time TBA)

RESERVATIONS

  • A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your space, payable by check or credit card. Please make checks payable to Earthbound Expeditions and mail to: PO Box 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
  • CUBAN VISA / RESERVATION FORM (last page of PDF)

NOT INCLUDED
  • Air from your home city to/from Miami
  • Cuba visa fee of $75
  • Travel Insurance up to and above the included $1000 mandatory medical coverage
  • Cuban airport departure tax of $30
  • Extra baggage fees
  • Additional concerts

Your Capital Public Radio Adventure begins…

0826-cuba-carDay 1: February 12 ~ Arrive in Miami 

Plan to arrive in Miami no later than the evening of February 12th. Meet your Capital Public Radio host and Earthbound Expeditions representative at 8pm in the private reception room at the Crowne Plaza Miami International Airport hotel. The Crowne Plaza is located just 10 minutes away from the airport and offers a complimentary shuttle service. Sleep in Miami.

Day 2: February 13 ~ Depart Miami & Arrive in Historic Havana

Check in for our charter flight from Miami to Havana, Cuba.

After clearing Cuban customs and immigrations, you will be welcomed by your Cuban guide, who will be holding a “Welcome Capital Public Radio” sign outside of the terminal. Your guide will assist with the transfer to the heart of Old Havana (Habana Vieja), where we have lunch together. After lunch our guide will lead us on a stroll through the colorful cobblestone streets of Old Havana.

Check into our hotel later this afternoon and relax with a cool mojito on the patio overlooking the sea.

Meet your Capital Public Radio host and guide at 7:00 p.m. and walk to dinner to one of Havana’s best known paladars (private home restaurants). Sleep in Havana (L, D)

Day 3: February 14 ~ Cuba's National Art Schools & Education in Santeria

We will head out after breakfast this morning and visit the Plaza de la Revolucion, the Cemetery of Christopher Columbus, and the Miramar area before continuing on to Cuba's National Art Schools (Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, now known as the Instituto Superior de Arte).

These innovative, organic Catalan-vaulted brick and terra-cotta buildings are considered by historians to be one of the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. They were built on the site of a former country club in the far western Havana suburb of Cubanacán, which used to be Havana's "Beverly Hills" and was then mainly reserved for Communist Party officials.

0826-cuba-license-plateThe schools were conceived and founded by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961, and they reflect the utopian optimism and revolutionary exuberance of the early years of the Cuban Revolution. Over their years of active use, the schools served as the primary incubator for Cuba’s artists, musicians, actors, and dancers.

The schools’ design fell out of favor by 1965 and the buildings were nearly completely decommissioned until preservation efforts were mounted in force in the 1990s. Now tentatively on the list of World Heritage sites, they are in use, though still in various states of disrepair.

Lunch today is served at El Aljibe Restaurant located in the elegant Miramar section of Havana. Then we’ll depart for the “Callejon de Hamel Socio-Cultural Project” in the Centro Habana. The aim of this venture is to rehabilitate traditional folk culture in the neighborhood, taking into account the spiritual, cultural and material needs of this population.

Here we’ll also have the chance to visit a private Santeria house. The Santeria religion is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba religion (which was brought to the New World by enslaved West Africans sent to the Caribbean to work on sugar plantations) with Roman Catholic and Native American traditions. These Africans carried with them various religious customs, including a trance for communicating with their ancestors and deities, animal sacrifice and sacred drumming and dance.

We’ll also attend a neighborhood Rumba performance.

Cultural Note: In 1985 the Cuban Minister of Culture stated the obvious: "Rumba without Cuba is not rumba, and Cuba without rumba is not Cuba." Today Cuban rumba is a genre involving dance, percussion, and song. There are three main forms: yambú, guaguancó, and columbia. Rumba is an amalgamation of several transplanted African dance and drumming traditions, combined with Spanish influences.

We’ll have dinner together tonight accompanied by another live musical performance. Sleep in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 4: February 15 ~ The History of Dance & School Visit

After breakfast we’ll set off to the Havana Country Club to learn about the history of music and dance in Cuba. Multiple instructors will explain how this small island became a major powerhouse when it comes to music and dance. The Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa and Merengue all come from Cuba. After a thorough demonstration you’ll be invited to learn some of the dances with the instructors.

We’ll lunch together and then continue to an elementary school where we will have the opportunity to meet children in their classrooms and participate in a discussion session with some of the school’s administrators and teachers about Cuba’s education system. (This is the opportunity for you to personally deliver school supply gifts to the children or school. Any donations are greatly appreciated). Should an elementary school not be available, or not in session, we will substitute this activity with another opportunity to interact directly with local Cubans.

Dinner is at another of Havana’s wonderful paladars. Sleep in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 5: February 16~ Havana to Colonial Trinidad

After breakfast, we’ll depart for Cienfuegos province, also known as the "Pearl of the South.” Here you’ll see remnants of French-style architecture built by immigrants from Bordeaux, France. The majority of the city, however, displays 19th-century early Spanish Enlightenment implementation in urban planning and was declared a UNESCO heritage for that reason. Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, we’ll take a brief city tour before enjoying lunch at the former Cienfuegos Yacht Club ocean-side restaurant (Club Naútico de Cienfuegos).

After lunch, enjoy a special performance by the Choir of Cienfuegos or the Chamber Society of Cienfuegos. Later this afternoon, we’ll make the short drive to Las Brisas Beach Resort. There will be time to freshen up or take a swim before dinner. Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Sleep in Trinidad (B, L, D)

Day 6: February 17 ~ Trinidad and Topes de Collante National Park

This morning, we’ll head off to the stunning and lush Topes de Collante National Park. Boasting caves, rivers, falls, grottos, canyons, and natural pools with crystal clear water, this is a park for nature lovers! There will be time to hike to the gorgeous Caburni Waterfall. Lunch will be at Mi Retiro restaurant.

In the afternoon, we’ll have a walking tour of the Old Center of Trinidad and an opportunity to enjoy a dance and music performance by the Ballet Folklorico! Dinner is out on the town this evening. Sleep in Trinidad (B, L, D)

Day 7: Friday, February 18 ~ Return to Havana via Santa Clara & Che Guevara’s Mausoleum 

En route back to Havana, we’ll stop in the town of Santa Clara to learn more about one of the 20th century’s most complex and controversial figures, Che Guevara. The Mausoleo Che Guevara is a memorial that houses the remains of executed Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and 29 of his fellow combatants killed in 1967 during Guevara's attempt to spur an armed uprising in Bolivia. The monument contains a 22-foot bronze statue of Guevara, who was buried with full military honors on October 17, 1997, after his exhumed remains were discovered in Bolivia and returned to Cuba. At the site, there is also a museum dedicated to Guevara's life and an eternal flame lit by Fidel Castro in Che's memory.

Santa Clara was chosen as the location in remembrance of Guevara's troops taking the city on December 31, 1958, during the Battle of Santa Clara. This final battle of the Cuban Revolution resulted in Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista fleeing into exile. We will arrive back in Havana in the late afternoon. Time permitting we’ll stop and visit a cigar factory. Dinner is on your own this evening. Your guide can assist you with suggestions and reservations. Sleep in Havana at Memories Miramar Hotel (B, L)

0826-cuba-hemmingwayDay 8: February 19 ~ A Day with Hemingway & Museum of Fine Arts

After breakfast, we're off to visit Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm) where North America's literary giant, Ernest Hemingway, spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years penning some of the building blocks of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island his true home. Before returning to Havana we stop by the quaint fishing village of Cojimar which served as the setting for The Old Man and the Sea.

After lunch, we will visit the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), known for its international and Cuban art. The comprehensive Colección de Arte Cubano comprises three floors of art, spanning works from the 16th to the 20th centuries by prominent Cuban artists concentrating mostly on pieces from the 20th century.

Across the street from the Fine Arts Museum is the impressive Museum of the Revolution. Sitting outside are the American Jeeps and planes used during the failed Bay of Pigs landing. Also worth noting, the very yacht named “Granma” that was used to transport 82 Cuban fighters and Fidel to the shores of Cuba from Mexico in 1956.

Arrive in Havana, check-in to the Hotel and commemorate our time in Cuba with a special farewell dinner hosted by Capital Public Radio Sleep in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 9: February 20 ~ Depart Cuba for Miami

We transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport where we check in for our flight back to Miami. (Charter flight time TBA). (B)

 

*** Itinerary Details Subject to Change ***


THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW…

0826-cuba-girlCuba is a developing country and still lacks many modern conveniences. It is not unusual to experience short power blackouts or to find that your hot water, internet, TV or phone in your hotel room does not work properly (or at all). Further, the Cuban government and incoming Havana agency has the right to change the itinerary without notice (and often does). We’ll be travelling under a “people to people” license, which means that our days will be filled with many educational experiences. They will begin around 8:30am and end around 5:00pm. This is not a trip for those looking for a leisurely, beach holiday. Travelers who arrive in Havana with sense of humor, an open mind and are ready to be flexible will absolutely fall in love with the people and culture of Cuba.

RESERVATIONS

Reservations and Deposits: Early reservations are essential to guarantee space on the date you wish to travel. A per person deposit of $500 is needed to confirm your space on most journeys. For our Cuba journeys we accept payment by check or credit card. Deposits are refundable for 30 days from the date received or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. A $75 dollar per person processing fee will be applied to all cancellations, regardless of when they are made. Once the deposit is processed, a deposit packet is sent with pertinent journey details. Trips which include barges, boats and/or flights may require an additional deposit.

Final Payment: You will be sent an invoice approximately 75 days prior to departure. A nonrefundable final payment, payable by money order, check or credit card, is due 60 days before departure. It is the responsibility of each passenger to make a timely payment. A final packet of information will be sent approximately one month before departure. Pay online or mail checks to: Earthbound Expeditions, PO Box 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Cancellations: All cancellations must be made in writing and are effective upon receipt in our office. Deposits are fully refundable for 30 days from the processing date or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. Deposits made 90 days prior to a trip departing are not refundable. A $75 per person processing fee applies to all cancellations.

No refunds are made for cancellations after the non-refundable deposit date. It is for this reason we strongly encourage the purchase of Travel Insurance at the same time you reserve your journey with us. Please refer to your specific journey details, especially private and hosted journeys, as policies may differ.

Earthbound Expeditions is licensed by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) organize and operate “People to People” programs to Cuba.

CUBAN VISA / RESERVATION FORM (last page of PDF)