NEW for 2013Cuba: Music, Culture & the Roots of Revolution
Santiago de Cuba - Baracoa - Havana
13 days from $4395
Our newest program in Cuba travels to the east of this island nation, where People-to-People meetings in two unique locales offer special insight into the Cuban identity: Santiago de Cuba (4 nights) and Baracoa (3 nights). The program also visits the vibrant Cuban capital of Havana (4 nights). Few Americans have had the opportunity to visit eastern Cuba—so we expect that our People-to-People exchanges in this region will prove as enlightening for the people of Cuba as they're bound to be for us.
You will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements to Miami, where our group meets for one overnight before flying together to Cuba the next day.
We will center our People-to-People visits in the three cities below. More details about this program's itinerary and departure dates are hosted on the Overseas Adventure Travel website. However, please note that this is a representative itinerary, and that features are subject to change as availability is controlled by the Cuban government.
Santiago de Cuba (4 nights): With a past steeped in revolutionary history and Afro-Cuban influence, Cuba's second-largest city remains a cultural melting pot. Founded by the Spanish in 1515, the port of Santiago de Cuba was the point of arrival for the first wave of slaves from West Africa. To trick the Spanish into believing they were worshipping Christianity, they disguised the deities of their native religion; the resulting fusion became known as Santeria, which is practiced throughout Cuba today. Santiago is also recognized as the home of son music—the Afro-Cuban musical style that has become synonymous with Cuban culture worldwide. And in 1953, it was from here that Castro launched his ill-fated assault on the Moncada Barracks, which resulted in the deaths of 70 of his supporters.
Baracoa (3 nights): Baracoa is Cuba's oldest Spanish settlement and the country's first capital—yet the town is perhaps best known as the landing place of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Throughout Cuba, the indigenous Taíno population was all but eradicated by violence and communicable disease—yet while no full-blooded Taínos remain today, their descendants still live in Baracoa, and their cultural heritage has been preserved. In fact, the so-called guajiros who live here are the gatekeepers of many traditions that can't be found elsewhere on the island, from local delicacies to farming techniques. The small town is isolated by a deep curve of mountains, and was accessible only by sea until the 1960s. With a town center of quaint streets lined with pastel-colored colonial homes, many consider Baracoa to be Cuba's most enchanting.
Havana (4 nights): In spite of pockets of faded glamor, Havana remains one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the Caribbean. Founded early in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadores, today's Havana is a sprawling metropolis of more than two million residents. Three of the city's popular boroughs—Centro Habana, Vedado, and Habana Vieja—radiate from the Malecon, Havana's famous oceanfront promenade. Centro Habana is a densely-packed residential area whose lively streets pulse with the rhythms of daily Cuban life. The city's cultural heart, Vedado, is a more upscale district of restored colonial charm situated not far from the Plaza de la Revolucion, the vast city square that has witnessed so much Cuban history.
But it's in Habana Vieja—Old Havana—where the city's sense of the past is brought most vividly to life. In many ways a time capsule of the 1950s, Old Havana is home to meticulously-restored colonial buildings, cobblestone squares, historic plazas, cafés, and restaurants. Both a mecca for travelers and a vibrant local neighborhood, strains of salsa music spill out onto Habana Vieja's narrow streets that teem with vintage American cars and horse-drawn carriages. The colonial core and fortifications of Habana Vieja were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
Reservations can only be made through Grand Circle Foundation:
9:00 am-8:00 pm (EST)
9:00 am-7:00 pm (EST)
More details about this program are hosted on the
Overseas Adventure Travel website.
Click here to learn more.