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Cuba Tours

Viva La Revolucion Sempre?

On our Cuba tours, we explore whether or not the revolution can survive as Cuba renews ties with its old foe the United States. Cuba Travel with a difference on our week-long expert led tour.

Dates: March 2018

Costs: £3510.00

Single supplement: £450.00

 

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    Tour Itinerary

    Cuba’s long awaited rapprochement with the United States appears in check as President Trump seems determined to roll back the opening up of ties introduced by his predecessor. Still Cuba is rapidly changing.

    Our tour examines all aspects of Cuban society, it’s politics and recent history as it enters this uncertain period. From the backstreets of Havana to the tobacco plantations of Vinales – where farming has remained unchanged for centuries – we’ll travel across the island looking at Cuba’s experiments with the market economy, and speak to some of the island’s most senior commentators and political experts.

    The communist regime is intent on remaining in power while introducing free market reform. Ordinary Cubans hanker for greater freedom, but want to hold onto the social benefits delivered by the revolution.

    The tour is led by Michael Bustamante, a Cuban American and Miami based academic; and Claire Boobbyer, journalist and author of the Frommers Guide to Cuba, both have worked in Cuba for over a decade.

    We talk with international and Cuban journalists, as well as academics and meet with ordinary people. We get to grips with the issues which Cubans face daily. Key speakers include the FT & Reuters Correspondent, Marc Franks, who is widely regarded as the best international political analyst on the island.

    The tour includes all meals, transport and accommodation: 4-star heritage hotels in Old Havana, home stays in the rolling hills of Vinales, as well as dining in atmospheric local restaurants.

    Can the revolution survive the renewal of old ties with its old foe the United States? Join us for an in-depth and unique insight into this fascinating and maverick island state.

    As with all of our tours the itinerary focuses on current affairs, and owing to the dynamic nature of politics means that local conditions may lead us adjust the final schedule.

    Day One: Havana

    Meet at 6.30pm for an introduction to the week ahead with Michael Bustamante and Claire Boobbyer. Dinner at a local café “the best food that exists in modern day Cuba”.
    Overnight in Havana.

    Day Two: Havana

    Breakfast on the Roof Garden before a walking tour of Old Havana with a local architect, who has helped to restore the historic areas of the city. We explore the city’s history, the efforts to restore it and the impact on the local population. We’ll hear how Fidel Castro came to power, and how the government has endured so long after the collapse of Communism elsewhere in the world. After a Tapas lunch, we meet with a leading Cuban economist, for a discussion on the challenges Cuba’s economy faces as it opens up to the world. Take a ferry, accompanied by a writer who speaks to us on race relations, across the bay of Havana. We visit Regla a focal point for the Afro-Cuban religions of Santeria, and the all-male secret brotherhood Abakua.
    Overnight in Havana.

    Day Three: Viñales

    We head out early to Viñales, a small town in the west of the island that is home to fruit and vegetable farming, and more famously the island’s tobacco plantations. Most things here are still farmed by hand – will that change? We’ll meet with local farmers in an ‘Eco Community’ that was established during Fidel Castro’s revolution for an overview of Cuban agriculture, including a visit to their bodega and health clinic. Lunch is at the island’s only authentic vegetarian restaurant, where the owner is a slow food champion and helps to train local youth to become waiters and chefs. Homestay with local families all 5 minutes walk from the main street.
    Overnight ‘casas particulares’.

    Day Four: Viñales

    Breakfast in your own casa, a great chance to find out about everyday life in Cuba. We drive south to visit one of the island’s most beautiful tobacco plantations which produces some of the best leaves in the country, used for top cigar brands. We meet with local farmers, enjoy a cigar rolling class and lunch. We cap off the day by meeting the regions official historian to hear about local issues, historical and agricultural, and sustainable tourism. An optional night out to listen to live music.
    Overnight ‘casas particulares’.

    Day Five: Havana

    We visit Finace Marta, Artemisa, a privately run organic farm who sells much of their produce direct to private restaurants. This is an excellent place to see Cuba’s experiment with market reforms in action. After lunch we return to Havana and meet with an entrepreneur who runs a cultural centre that is the only organisation to offer private individuals training on how to run a business. We’ll stroll down to the Prado for dinner in a Soviet-Cuban private restaurant; meet the Ukrainian owner, who has lived in Cuba for two decades, the Russian cook, and the academic son of a Cuban-Soviet marriage. A look at the Soviet legacy on Cuba.
    Overnight in Havana.

    Day Six: Havana

    This morning we’ll meet Reuters bureau chief and author Marc Franks, who’s been reporting on Cuba for more than 20 years. After coffee, we speak with a revolutionary fighter of the 26th of July Movement who fought alongside Che Guevara. In the afternoon we explore Cuba’s art scene and meet with local artists known for their political activism. Dinner with the BBC’s correspondent in Havana.
    Overnight in Havana

    Day Seven: Havana

    After breakfast we meet with a professor of architecture at the prestigious Havana Science University, CUJAE. He is working on the Transformation of the Bay of Havana. Lunch in an artisanal bread shop, with the Michelin Star chef and baker, who met President Obama on his 2016 visit to Cuba. We delve into Cuba’s vibrant music scene, we visit the studio of local band to hear about their music and activism. Our final dinner is overlooking the sea in Miramar where we look back over the week. Optional visit to the Fabrico de Arte Cubano, an interesting art gallery with political art and a nightclub.
    Overnight in Havana

    Day Eight: Havana

    Tour ends after breakfast.

    If you would like to book a tour please click here to fill in our booking form. Or call us on 0843 289 2349 or email us at [email protected] to find out more.

    Essential Information

    Please contact us for further information about visas. Flights are not included, but all transport, accommodation and main meals during the tour are.

    Further Reading

    Marc
Frank Cuba Revelations

    Julia
 Cooke The Others Side of Paradise: Life in the new Cuba.

    Ann
-Louise
 Bardach Without Fidel