Cuban school kids by Henk van der Leeden.
Cuban students in Havana say, "Welcome. Come down and meet us!" Witness Cuba on routes less traveled. Meet the people. Experience their culture. Learn their history. Photo Henk van der Leeden.
University of Detroit Mercy’s
Getting to know island people, their history and society

In Cuba from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 March 2014
Cuba Explorer Tours guide.
THE PURPOSE OF this program is to introduce UDM students to the people, culture and history of Cuba. We'll look at various sectors of Cuban society. We will also examine the impact on Cuba and the United States resulting from Washington's embargo of the island in an attempt to better understand U.S.-Cuban relations.
C O S T S  Click here
F L I G H T S  Click here
R E G I S T E R  Click here
I T I N E R A R Y  Click
Your activities in Cuba video.
Your activities in Cuba video.
WATCH six minutes in Cuba!

TELL YOUR friends about this tour and website.

Is Cuban food good? Yum. It is organic and tasty, but not spicy. If you like hot, bring Tabasco sauce.
Am I free to ask all questions? You'll insult your island hosts by being less than candid.
Is the water safe to drink? Yes, but we suggest bottled water.
Are vaccinations needed? No.
Can Americans visit Cuba legally? Yes. They should do so now while the island is pristine and before it is overrun. There is no charge for travel licenses.
Can I stay in Cuba after the tour? Absolutely! We encourage this and assist sans commission and fees.
Do Cubans like tips? Of course! See our gratuities guidelines.

Rooftops in Old Havana.
Rooftops in Old Havana near your hotel.


Cuba Tour Overview :: An elaborate day-by-day itinerary is below
Nine days and eight nights of learning, fun and friendship in Cuba.
Eight nights in an historic four-star boutique hotel in the heart of Habana Vieja [Old Havana] – the city's cultural hub.
An up close highly personal examination of Cuba's renowned education and healthcare systems.
Be part of the authentic daily life of Cubans mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Experience island history, social and ecological achievements first hand.
Glean insights into dynamic citizen engagement in urban development and social policy.
Establish enduring personal and professional relationships with your Cuban counterparts and North American tourmates.
You're in good hands while in Cuba
Cuba Explorer Tours guide.
SAFE, FUN, people-to-people cultural travel. Your tour is fully escorted by Cuban experts from the minute you touch down in Havana until you return home. You're in the conscientious care of our fulltime multilingual guide together with a professional bus chauffeur. They're there for you and eager to assist in everyway.
Official Cuban Travel Health Insurance required for foreign guests.
OFFICIAL Cuban medical insurance is included in tour cost. This excellent coverage applies to all health issues that may arise during travel. There are no out-of-pocket expenses while in Cuba.
WE ENSURE Americans travel to Cuba legally. Discover how you can go to Cuba now.
Cuban water lilly
TRAVEL FOR CHANGE. Cuba Explorer Tours is an American and Canada based organization dedicated to green, ethical travel that benefits Cubans and our guests. Read what past travelers say about our tours.
Apple indicates Cuba tour meals included at your hotel and at fine restaurants
 Tour day
In Air
In Air
In Air
In Air
Get to know Cuba in comfort and safety
Cuba Education and Explorers Tours bus.
YOU EXPLORE CUBA in a modern air-conditioned tour coach with a fulltime professional chauffeur from arrival to departure. Havana is one of the oldest and most architecturally stunning cities in the New World. During your many excursions around the capital, and beyond, your guide provides ongoing historical commentary for all points of interest. We want you to learn everything about our beautiful island.

Several site highlights are Modern Havana, the Capitol building, the Grand Theatre, Central Park, Prado promenade, Plaza de la Revolución, Coppelia Ice Cream Park, Plaza José Martí (in front of U.S. Interests Section), Malecón seawall, Monument to the Battleship Maine, Hotel Nacional, University of Havana, Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón, and the Miramar, Central Havana and Vedado neighborhoods.
Your Cuba tour map
Map of Cuba.
Day 1 in Cuba Saturday 1 March :: Hello Cuba
Cuban girls perform folk dance.
Cuban girls perform folk dance.

Welcome mojito.

Sunset on the Malecón seawall.
Sunset on the Malecón seawall near your hotel – a place for relaxation and new friendships.

Lord Byng faculty Richard Harris and 2009 LB Cuba tour student.
Why is this photo of John Lennon here? Click it to find out.

Cuban women's accomplishments by the numbers.
Click to graphic to learn more.
Concierge Cubana Means Five Star Service on Cuba Explorer Tours.
The city of Havana as seen from the fortress El Morro, across the harbor
The city of Havana as seen from the El Morro castle and San Carlos de la Cabaña fortress, across the harbor from your hotel.
Arrive at Havana's José Martí International Airport.
VIP welcome  You're greeted by Cuba Explorer Tours' concierge as you exit the airplane. Our concierge will usher you through immigrations, assist you in collecting your luggage, and speed you through customs.
In the airport arrivals lobby, you are introduced to your Cuba Explorer Tours guide, together with your professional bus chauffeur.
Followed by a private group transfer to your Hotel O'Farrill located in the heart of Habana Vieja [Old Havana].
Hotel check-in with assistance from your guide.
This is a good time to exchange some money into Cuban Convertible Pesos.
Enjoy a welcome reception with tourmates, hotel staff and your guide.
Free time to settle in to your hotel room and freshen up.
Dinner at your hotel is included in tour cost
Highlight  This evening you'll enjoy a group welcome dinner with your guide and tourmates.
Evening activities are optional and not included in tour cost
Your guide will keep you posted on entertainment options around the city.
Day 2 in Cuba Sunday 2 March :: Getting to know Old Havana
Casa de Africa entrance sign.
Entrance sign to the Casa de África.

Casa de Africa courtyard.
House of Africa museum courtyard.

Dancers perform traditional moves connected to the religion of Santería.

Community Rumba performance in Havana's Callejón de Hamel.
Community Rumba performance in Havana's Callejón de Hamel.

Cuban post box
Decorative mail drop box in Old Havana.
El Capitolio dome
Inside view of the dome of El Capitolio.

Plaza Vieja in Old Havana.
Plaza Vieja in Old Havana.

Exterior of the Cathedral of Havana Interior of the Cathedral of Havana.
Exterior and interior of the Cathedral of Havana initiated by Jesuits in 1748 and completed in 1777. Click photos for larger view.

Cuban soldier guards Carlos de la Cabaña fortress. Turret at Carlos de la Cabaña fortress.
Left Contemporary Cuban soldier in 18th century British military attire guards the Carlos de la Cabaña fortress (click his photo to enlarge). Right Cabaña turret.

Cuban soldiers fire the 9PM cannon.
Soldiers fire the 9PM Cannon at the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, the best-preserved Spanish colonial garrison in the world.

Cuban students watch the firing of the 9PM cannon.
Cuban students watch the 9PM Cannon blast.

Ancient map of Havana.
British map from 1763 shows plan of the original walled city of La Habana (founded in 1519). The city was occupied by British and Canadian colonial troops from 1762 to 1763. Spain ended the dispute by trading Florida for Havana. Click here for another British occupation map. Try to identify it on this interactive Google Map of Cuba.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Casa de Africa logo.Morning visit to the Casa de África. Established in 1986, this museum and cultural center is located in an old tobacco warehouse in Habana Vieja. It focuses on the continent of Africa and Cuba's African heritage, reflecting in a simple, but deep way, history, religion, art, wisdom, and emancipation battles. The Casa de África is devoted to research and the promotion of African culture and how it has shaped and defined Cuban culture. The Casa conducts workshops for youth and hosts theoretical events, special exhibits, and music and dance performances. Cuba claims both Africa and Europe as its mother continents. The museum reflects the traditions, customs and celebrations comprising the ancestral wealth of Africa for the enjoyment and knowledge of new generations.

Fernando Ortíz Fernando Ortíz, master Cuban ethnographer.
Gallery collections include initiation and fecundity masks, large carved wooden sculptures, wardrobes, musical instruments, and paintings. It also holds a vast library for use by academicians, researchers and university students interested in acquiring knowledge of the African culture. Among the most significant objects is the library of Fernando Ortíz, master Cuban ethnographer.
Callejón de Hamel

Callejón de Hamel Rumba artist.
We'll visit the Callejón de Hamel, an alley where all the buildings display murals inspired by Afrocuban culture and religions. While there we'll take in an incredible rumba performance enjoyed by the community every Sunday. Get ready to shake your booty with Cubans and tourmates in Cuba's Disney Land of arts and culture!
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
La Mina mosaic
La Mina mosaic.
Group welcome lunch at the ever-popular Café La Mina. Situated in a former girls' school from the 17th century, the building housing La Mina graces a scenic corner of Plaza de Armas [Square of Arms], Havana's oldest public space. The atmosphere is authentically Cuban as is its menu. Three dining areas face a central courtyard filled with ferns, trees and exotic birds. La Mina serves up excellent Daiquiris and Mojitos. There's a tempting heladería [ice-cream parlor] attached. Yum! The menu includes typical Cuban cuisine specialties, served in a quaint Cuban atmosphere. You can choose among chicken, pork and prawns cooked in a variety of ways. The house specialty is the combo Caribeña La Mina, which is a sauté of chunks of chicken, pork, and shrimp in a tasty sauce with a hint of rum, and comes with a mojito cocktail, black beans and white rice, roasted pork with Cuban flavor, and dessert.
Next we'll take a walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll visit four of the five historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. These plazas contain the largest collection of Spanish colonial-era architecture in the Americas. This is a private tour led by your Cuba Explorer Tours guide. You'll witness:
Havana's Cathedral Square.

Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza on the island. Named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana built by the Jesuit order.
Square of Arms in Havana

Square of Arms, an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by such impressive buildings as:

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City.

Palacio del Segundo Cabo [Palace of the Second Lieutenant] dates from 1770. Today it houses the Instituto Cubano del Libro [Cuban Book Institute] and the Galería Raúl Martínez (famed poster artist).

Museo de Artesanía at Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the oldest remaining fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies.
Plaza San Francisco in Old Havana.

We will continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The square is named after the magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís dating from the 16th century. The basilica is a striking example of Cuba baroque architecture.
Plaza Vieja in Old Havana.

And, finally we'll visit Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. In contrast to the churches and government buildings of the previous squares, Plaza Vieja is surrounded by opulent aristocratic 17th century residences. Here we'll tour an important center for the visual arts.
Return to your hotel and freshen up.
Dinner tonight is included in tour cost
Now for a special group dinner at Restaurante La Divina Pastora. This seafood palace sets just behind the big cannons below Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña where Che Guevara established his headquarters after the Revolution came to power in 1959 – four hundred years after it was built on the backs of African slaves and indentured European laborers. La Divina is noted for its cocktails, good service and live music. You'll eat near the water on the north side of Havana Harbor overlooking Old Havana to the south.
ESPECIAL! Evening activity included in tour cost
Highlight  We will behold a most dramatic ceremony – El Cañonazo – the Firing of the 9PM Cannon at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. This enchanting colonial reenactment dates back to 1519 when the city of Havana was enclosed by a tall thick rock wall to ward off attacks from pirates and the English. The cannon firing signaled the closing of the city gates for the night. If you were outside at the time, you were in "vedado" or the forbidden zone. Today Vedado is an important cultural hub and beautiful section of modern Havana.
Day 3 in Cuba Monday 3 March :: Charity, Education, Afrocubanismo
Restoration of Belén Convent began in 1991.
Restoration of Belén Convent began in 1991 and continues today. It serves as a public health facility for the elderly in the neighborhood and a permanent residence for 50 retirees. Eventually a section of the facility will house a small hotel.

Escuela Taller trains female and male students between the ages of 17 and 23 years old. Here a young woman repairs damaged wooden ornament.

Ferryboat to Regla
Ferryboat traversing Havana harbor to the municipality of Regla.

Yoruban "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá
Yoruban "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá is paraded across the community on the Day of All Saints.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Morning visit to the Convento de Nuestra Señora de Belén [Convent of Our Lady of Belén], a humanitarian health project in Old Havana. Construction on the Convent was begun in 1712. It was expanded and remodeled several times over the centuries. Finally abandoned in 1925, it fell into grave disrepair. In 1991 restoration began and continues with amazing results. Today the Office of the Historian, local Public Health authorities and the Order of the Sisters of Charity jointly manage the Belén Convent. It is home to fifty elderly people and provides physiotherapy and ophthalmological services to many more seniors in the community. Other activities include exercise classes, board games, cognitive rehabilitation, films, crafts workshops, and "love among the elderly" lectures. We'll meet with project Director Nelson Águila and tour the facility.
We'll meet with the professors and students of La Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos [Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos Workshop School]. This unique institution was established in 1992 in an effort to train local youth in the arts, crafts and theoretical knowledge necessary to rehabilitate and preserve their rich architectural heritage. The school teaches archeological and restoration skills to rebuild and sustain Old Havana's physical heritage and cultural patrimony. The Cuban Capital harbors the largest collection of colonial-era Spanish architecture in our hemisphere.
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
El Santo Ángel Restaurant
Fabulous lunch  Set within a beautiful colonial mansion, El Santo Ángel Restaurant enjoys the magical atmosphere of Plaza Vieja. Its stately inner courtyard is lined with plants to which many birds flock. Its menu features nueva Cubana cuisine and superb international dishes. There is always fabulous live music to accompany your meal.
Next we'll cross Havana harbor to the Municipality of Regla. This Afrocuban community has a long, rich and still active tradition of African-inspired religions.
We'll visit Regla's church dedicated to the black "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá, the African goddess of the sea in the Yoruba religion and the patron saint of sailors.
We'll tour the Museo Municipal de Regla and learn of the origins of this unique community and its Afrocuban cultures.
Return to your hotel and freshen up.
Dinner tonight is not included in tour cost
This evening you are free to explore stellar eateries. Tour participants receive a guide featuring Havana's best restaurants for every taste and budget. It includes both paladares [small private diners] and fabulous state owned locales run by acclaimed Cuban chefs.
Evening activity included in cost
Evening entertainment suggestion  Get down at Casa de la Música in Centro Habana featuring some of Cuba’s top salsa bands such as Los Van Van, La Charanga Habanera, Puppy y los que Son Son, and more. Entrance fee is between 10 and 25 CUC depending upon the group performing and is not included in tour cost. Consult with your guide who'll be on stage tonight.
Day 4 in Cuba Tuesday 4 March :: Urban organic agriculture, Hemingway
Merchant at Mercado de Cuatro Caminos
Merchant at a farmers market offers organic pineapple and papaya.

Welcome sign at Vivero Organopónico Alamar.
Vivero Organopónico Alamar welcome sign reads: We sell high quality seedlings, grafted fruits, fresh vegetables, and ornamental and medicinal plants as well as other agricultural products. (UBPC is Unidad Básica de Producción Cooperativa / Basic Unit of Cooperative Production).

Havana youth sells fresh organic garlic on Havana street.
Havana youth sells organic onions from urban gardens on Havana street.

Youth at a Cuban baseball game.Youth at a Cuban baseball game, the island's national sport and pastime. Click photo to enlarge.

A Cuban boy and his grandmother.
Gay boy toasts his grandmother [abuela]. Cuban youth hold elders in esteem. Most older Cubans accept and stick up for their queer grandkids. The island is known as the Jewel of the Caribbean for its natural beauty and the unmatched warmth and kindness of its people.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation  In preparation for this activity, watch this riveting British Broadcasting Corporation feature from Around the World in 80 Gardens on urban organic farms in Havana including a walk-through of Vivero Organopónico Alamar by fab host Monty Don.

We'll visit the UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar, 15 km (9.3 miles) east of Havana. It's one of the most successful urban organic farms in Cuba raising ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, and millions of seedlings for neighboring residential and collective farms. Established in the early 1990s by a dozen people, the Alamar cooperative now has over 400 members and provides a range of healthy, organic vegetables to nearby communities. Produce is raised employing the practice of permaculture. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used. Instead, natural biological methods are used to nourish the soil, frustrate pests and conserve water. The result is an increased rate of yield and reduced costs.
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
Lunch prepared by the farmers at UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar.
Special treat  We'll enjoy a tasty rural lunch this afternoon prepared by the farmers at UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar.
War reporter, activist, man of letters, journalist and titan author Ernest Hemingway. War reporter, activist, man of letters, journalist and literary titan Ernest Hemingway.
Next 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 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. The house has been preserved just as it was when Hemingway lived there. You'll see his personal objects, thousands of books and photographs, as well as some "trophies" bagged on his frequent safaris.
Return to your hotel and freshen up.
Dinner tonight is not included in tour cost
This evening you are free to explore stellar eateries. Tour participants receive a guide featuring Havana's best restaurants for every taste and budget. It includes both paladares [small private diners] and fabulous state owned locales run by acclaimed Cuban chefs.
Evening activity included in cost
Dance in Cuba.
Tour highlight  9:00 PM Noche de fiesta cubana – a special welcome party organized by Cubans for tour participants! Tonight we feature performance by the Afrocuban Grupo Dulce María. It's a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and dance to Salsa, Son, Rumba, Mambo and other popular island rhythms.
Afrocuban dance performance. Afrocuban dance performance. Afrocuban dance performance. Afrocuban dance performance.
An Afrocuban dance performance. Photos Barbara Fudge.
Day 5 in Cuba Wednesday 5 March :: Martin Luther King Center, Sexuality in Cuba
Joel Suárez, general coordinator of the MLK Center in Havana. Joel Suárez, general coordinator of the MLK Center in Havana.

Mural at the entrance to Havana's Martin Luther King Center.
Mural at the entrance to Havana's Martin Luther King Center.

The colors of Cubans.
Diversity of people and their needs is central to social planning in Cuba.

Cuban bongo player Cuban beach boy
"I am Cuban and I am gay! Yes."

Sexologia: Publication of CENESEX. Cuban AIDS awareness and prevention poster by CENESEX.
Left Publication of CENESEX offers in depth coverage on all matters of sexuality and AIDS prevention. Right CENESEX pro-condom poster reads: Disfruta la vida evita el SIDA. ¿Cómo demuestro que te amo? [Enjoy life, avoid AIDS. How I show you that I love you?]. This one shows a woman holding a condom and tulip. A matching version shows a man. They appeal to both gays and straights.

Cuban graphic titled: Maiz-granada

Cuban graphic titled: Maiz-granada (Corn-grenade) proposes food not bombs.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Details from two stone monuments in Havana honoring US civil rights heroes Malcolm X and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
Morning visit to the Martin Luther King Center. This Cuban organization is at the forefront of promoting social responsibility and progressive change on the island and across Latin America. Within Cuba, the organization is involved with the distribution of medicines, HIV prevention programs, and housing projects. In the spirit of popular education, it runs extensive training workshops to empower Cubans and Latin Americans to engage in constructive social justice action. The center also participates in various international solidarity movements such as the Landless Worker's Movement (MST) and the World Social Forum. Led by general coordinator Joel Suárez, the center stands on three founding pillars: the Cuban Ecumenical Movement, Popular Education, and international solidarity.
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
Special lunch  We are honored to dine with the staff of Martin Luther King Center this afternoon. Everyone comments they prepare one the tastiest meals in Havana.
Mariela Castro Espin
CENESEX president Dr Mariela Castro Espín is the daughter of the Cuban president. She works to promote sex education and dignity and equality for LGBT people.
Followed by an exclusive meeting with members and representatives of CENESEX (Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual / National Center for Sexual Education). This organization and its founder Mariela Castro Espín campaign for equality and dignity for lesbians, gays, transsexuals and transgendered people. Its work consists of advocacy at the community and political level combined with national education efforts and sensitivity training. In particular CENESEX leads in the areas of HIV/AIDS awareness and support services, and gender and sexuality counseling. The heroic work of CENESEX has rocketed Cuba into the stratosphere of the most progressive nation in Latin America for queers. As such, Cuba today is ahead of the United States on matters of legality, compassion, safety, health and government supported promotion of equality.
Return to your hotel and freshen up.
Dinner tonight is included in tour cost
Tapas and tasties at Havana's Jazz Café.
Evening activity included in cost
Jazz Cafe in Havana.
Havana's Jazz Café.
Tonight we'll enjoy a light dinner and evening of music at the Jazz Café. It's a popular modern jazz supper club with chrome trimmed tables and fairly bright lighting located on the Malecón seawall in the Galerías de Paseo shopping center. At night the venue swings into action with live jazz, timba and, occasionally, straight-up salsa. It attracts plenty of big-name acts.
Cuban bananas Cuban coffee beans Cuban cucumbers Cuban pineapple Cuban sweet potatoes Cuban eggplant Cuban advocados
Many staples are grown organically in Cuba: Bananas, coffee, cucumbers, pineapple, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and avocados.
Day 6 in Cuba Thursday 6 March :: First of May Celebrations in Havana
Coca-Cola advertisement.
1958 Coca-Cola advertisement reads: "Colorful Cuba, too, enjoys… 'The favorite of the world.'" Click photo to enlarge.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Baby sea turtle in Cuba Cuban tropical fish
Left Baby sea turtle; coastal waters brim with exotic fish and other species. Cuba protects its shorelines from exploitation of marine life.
Beach Trip!  Now we spend the day at the Playas del este [Eastern beaches] 13 miles (20 kilometers) outside the metropolis. Don't forget your swimwear and sunscreen; el sol shines stronger on the island. These beautiful white sand beaches rival the best sun destinations in the Caribbean. Don't like the beach? There's plenty of time to explore surrounding nature and shop.
Lunch this afternoon is not included in tour cost
You are free to explore different eateries. Your guide will advise on restaurants for every taste and budget.
Return to your hotel. Time to rest and freshen up.
Dinner tonight is not included in tour cost
This evening you are free to explore stellar eateries. Tour participants receive a guide featuring Havana's best restaurants for every taste and budget. It includes both paladares [small private diners] and fabulous state owned locales run by acclaimed Cuban chefs.
Optional evening activity not included in cost
You are free to explore the sights and sounds of the city. Your guide will keep you posted on happening venues and entertainment options.
Day 7 in Cuba Friday 7 March :: Art and literacy
"Yo Si Puedo" means "Yes I Can" learn to read 2006 commemorative stamp issued on 45th anniversary of the Literacy Campaign.
Left Plaque at Literacy Museum: "Yo Sí Puedo" means "Yes I Can" learn to read. Right 2006 commemorative stamp issued on 45th anniversary of the Literacy Campaign known in Cuba as "Alfabetización."

Giant mosaic of crab by José Fúster.
Giant mosaic of crab by José Fúster. Click photo to enlarge. Photo Richard Harris.

Fantasy garden and studio of acclaimed artist José Fúster
Fantasy garden and studio of acclaimed artist José Fúster. Click photo to enlarge. Photo Richard Harris.

Entrance to Palacio de Bellas Artes in Havana.
Entrance to the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Sculpture in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana.
Modernist sculpture by noted Cuban artist Rita Longa stands outside the entrance to Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Racial integration in Cuba Cubans come in all colors and are proud of it!
Mural at the entrance of Museo Bellas Artes.
Striking 15 meter (49 foot) mosaic tile mural at the entrance of Museo Bellas Artes.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost

Literacy rates in Cuba are highest in the Americas.
Morning visit to the Museo de la Alfabetización [Museum of Literacy] that exhibits relics of the 1961 literacy campaign. We'll meet with museum director Susana Morejón, who will in addition to explaining the literacy campaign, talk about how Cuba's model has benefited over 6.5 million people in 28 countries.

Museum of Literacy
Museum of Literacy in Liberty City near Havana.
Prior to the Revolution, a quarter of adult Cubans were illiterate and another million were semiliterate. Ten thousand teachers were unemployed and 70% of the rural population had no schools. After 1959 all private schools were nationalized and education became free and universal. Former military garrisons were turned into schools. In 1961 all schools were closed for eight months and some 250,000 students and teachers volunteered to go to rural areas to teach reading and writing, laying the foundation for Cuba's stellar literacy rate today. This campaign also brought tens of thousands of city youth into contact with the country people, breaking down racial barriers and instilling a spirit of national cohesion.
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
We'll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fúster, one of Cuba's most important ceramists and painters at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana.
Victor Manuel's Gitana Tropical Island artist Víctor Manuel's Gitana Tropical, known as the Cuban Mona Lisa.
Followed by a private guided tour of the Palacio de Bellas Artes [Palace of Fine Arts] dedicated exclusively to housing Cuban art spanning three centuries. Sections are devoted to landscape, religious subjects and narrative scenes of Cuban life. A gallery devoted to the 1970s displays the latest generation of Cuban artists whose works reflect the strong symbolic imagery prevalent in recent decades. Together the exhibits account for the richness of the island's Spanish, French, Chinese, African and Aboriginal cultural roots. Notable works include those of René Portocarrero and Wilfredo Lam.
Return to your hotel and freshen up.
Dinner and evening activities tonight are included in cost
This evening you are free to explore stellar eateries. Tour participants receive a guide featuring Havana's best restaurants for every taste and budget. It includes both paladares [small private diners] and fabulous state owned locales run by acclaimed Cuban chefs.
Evening activity included in cost
Singer at Casa de Moda Cuban La Maison
Casa de Moda Cuban La Maison plaque.
How about a gala fashion show and dinner at Casa de Moda Cuban La Maison?
Evening entertainment suggestion  Fashion show at Casa de La Maison! This beautiful facility offers a whole range of services – several clothing stores, a jewelry shop, and piano bar – in an atmosphere of distinction and elegance. It was built in 1946 by architect Manuel Gamba Alvares de la Campa, as the residence for a wealthy family. We'll dine at its open-air restaurant and watch the 9:30pm fashion show complete with live music and a modest cabaret.
Day 8 in Cuba Saturday 8 March :: History of the revolution
Dr Manuel Eugenio Yepe Menéndez Dr Manuel Eugenio Yepe Menéndez will lead this morning's session. Click here to learn more about him.

Old car in front of the Museum of the Revolution
Museum of the Revolution: old car not part of exhibit. One in ten autos are pre-1959!
Ceiling of the Museum of the Revolution, former presidential palace.
Museum of the Revolution ceiling. Click to enlarge.

Restaurante El Polinesio
Restaurante El Polinesio located in the Hotel Habana Libre.

The elegant El Patio Restaurant.
Farewell dinner at El Patio Restaurant.

Cuban billboard reads: 200 million kids in the world sleep in the streets, none of them are Cuban.
Island billboard reads: 200 million kids in the world sleep in the streets, none of them are Cuban.
Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
Private guided tour of the Museum of the Revolution by Dr Manuel Eugenio Yepe Menéndez. He will lead us through the vast Museum of Revolution, the former Presidential Palace. Today it exhibits the history of the Cuban Revolution through documents and objects among which we find the famous Yacht Granma that returned Fidel and his 82 guerilla fighters from México to Cuba to launch the struggle for liberation from the Batista dictatorship.
Lunch this afternoon is included in tour cost
Restaurant Bar La Imprenta is a fabulous new eatery in Havana that's getting rave reviews for its menu and décor. Set within a gorgeous building that once housed the printing press for a major 19th century publisher of La Habanera magazine. Old bits of printing equipment serve as decoration in the new bar. The restaurant offers a wide variety of cocktails and beverages in addition to light snacks and grilled meats and delicious seafood.
Return to your hotel to freshen up.
Dinner tonight is included in tour cost
Wow!  En route to our restaurant, we tour the Malecón in a motorcade of old American convertibles. One in ten cars in Havana is pre-1959.
Farewell group dinner at the popular El Patio Restaurant. Located in the Cathedral Square, in the heart of Havana's colonial district, El Patio is housed in a beautiful 18th century residence, the former Palace of "Marqués de Aguas Claras." Construction began in 1751 and ended in 1755, with distinguishing elements that makes the house one of the most interesting among Cuban architecture of that era. El Patio's menu will please even the most diverse tastes. It offers stellar service and tasty international cuisine.
Optional evening activities not included in cost
Club La Zorra y El Cuervo.
Evening entertainment suggestion  Shake your booty to the best Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo [The Fox and the Raven] featuring astonishing performances by island bands and soloists. It's a popular haunt for Cubans and foreign guests (entrance fee is 10 CUC and is not included in tour cost).
Day 9 in Cuba Sunday 9 March :: Goodbye Cuba
Goodbye Cuba girl.
We'll miss you and hope you return soon! In Cuba we say: A true friend remembers the song in your heart when you have forgotten the lyrics.

Breakfast at your hotel is included cost
United colors of Cuba.
Check-out of your hotel.
Transfer to Havana's José Martí International Airport for your return home.
Don't forget to save 25.00 CUC for your Cuban airport departure fee and some money for meals on the airplane and while in transit
Want to stay longer in Cuba following your tour? Contact us and we will help make it happen at a price you can afford.
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