Journey of Purpose & Discovery to Cuba

Cuba is a country steeped in mystery. Connect with the warm Cuban people while enjoying a unique mix of vibrant music, eclectic art, and 1950s cars. Delve into the complexities of Afro Cuban customs and thought. Our Journey of Purpose & Discovery to Cuba draws people closer together but does not whitewash the challenges that the Cuban people face.  Experience the real Cuba, filled with culture, creativity, art and loving people. Explore the reality of Cuban living standards, which are often difficult and impoverished. Our journey to Cuba will provide you with a host of experiences that will allow you to truly connect with the Cuban people in their local communities going about their every day lives.  It will also will afford you an opportunity to look past politics and into the heart and soul of a culture and its reality. Come back with an appreciation for Cuba’s music, arts, and culinary cultures after exploring local museums; taking part in a cooking class, salsa class, and community block party; and visiting the world’s largest ballet school, Hemingway’s residence and much more! Experiencing these elements first-hand will change your understanding of the roles of those involved in creating a positive social structure and give a broader perspective on this nation.

Day 01: Depart for Cuba
Depart from Miami this morning and arrive in Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival at the Jose Marti International Airport, you will meet your local guide after clearing immigration and customs procedures.

Enjoy some sites of the city in a panoramic bus tour of Havana including a stop to see Revolution Square and Vedado. The Plaza is the 31st largest city square in the world and notable as being where many political rallies take place.


Transfer onward to the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, your home for the next five nights. Boasting elegant architecture and a unique merger of colonial charm and contemporary style, Four Points by Sheraton Havana is in the upscale Miramar district. It’s a short ride from Old Havana and the Havana International Airport. Guest rooms have a minibar, individual climate control, coffee & tea amenities and international direct dial (for a fee). Time permitting use their spa, outdoor pool, and other amenities like their fitness center.

Enjoy your first taste of locally sourced food this evening as you join your guide and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the La Fontana Paladar. 


Overnight:  Four Points Sheraton (or similar)
Meals: Lunch, Dinner


Day 02: Havana - Cultural Exploration & Community Connections
Meet with representatives from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with People. This mandatory meeting focuses on Cuban/U.S. relations, and is a required component of all U.S. visits to Cuba. 

From there begin your walking tour of the historic center of Old Havana, a village founded in 1519 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982. There will be an explanation of the projects carried out by the City Historian’s Office for the rehabilitation of Old Havana.

Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant.

This afternoon we are working on finalizing a special visit to the Cuban National Ballet School (Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet). With 4,350 students, it is the biggest ballet school in the world and the most prestigious ballet school in Cuba and is directed by Ramona de Saa. Continue to the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes to visit and talk with private sector owners of more than 300 different booths selling art, handicrafts, clothing, and a variety of Cuban products.

Dinner is on your own this evening. Later this evening, attend a neighborhood street party with the residents of the block. It’s a great opportunity to interact with the locals!


Overnight:  Four Points Sheraton (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch












Day 03: Havana, Cultural Exploration

After breakfast, visit the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum). Dedicated exclusively to Cuban art collections beginning in the mid-16th century, but spanning the 17th and 19th centuries, the museum has galleries devoted to landscape, religious subjects and the Costumbrismo narrative scenes of Cuban life. Other galleries are devoted to more current work and are recognized for the extensive collection of Hyperrealism and the latest generation of Cuban artists whose works all reflect the strong symbolic imagery prevalent in recent decades.

Lunch will be provided at Bodega las Brisas, in the small town of Cojimar, near Ernest Hemingway’s beloved Finca Vigia.

This afternoon you will visit the Hemingway House. Tour the home and gardens where he penned many of his great novels and short stories.

Dinner is on your own this evening. Enjoy a performance of “Parisien Cabaret” at the Hotel Nacional this evening. 


Overnight:  Four Points Sheraton (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 04: Havana, Cultural Exploration 
Visit the Cecilio Avilés Imagen 3, a project that combines music, plastic arts and design. It brings together about 200 artists in the middle of the street and they offer free workshops mainly for children and the elderly while they exhibit and sell their own pieces. Imagen 3 offers three different variants: entertainment so that people have fun learning through culture; learning for developing their own business in the self-employment sector; and learning through self-discovery and improvement of people’s artistic gifts.

Lunch will be provided at a local paladar.

After lunch get ready for your dance class at one of Havana's best dance schools specializing in salsa lessons. They will also guide you through rumba, chachachá, mambo and more. It's based out of El Salón Chévere, a popular dance club in Parque Almendares.

Return to the hotel where dinner is on your own.
 
Overnight: Four Points Sheraton(or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch











Day 05: Havana, Cultural & Cooking
After breakfast, depart for the city of Regla. Visit the church of Nuestra Señora de Regla, one of Cuba’s most frequented pilgrimage churches. The most impressive is the statute of the Virgin of Regla who is black and cradles a white infant in her arms.  She is the patron and protector of sailors. Visit the Municipal Museum of Regla, where you may get lucky and see a ritual dance of Santeria, the religion brought to Cuba by African slaves.

Enjoy lunch and a cooking class at Jardin de los Milagros Private Restaurant this afternoon.

Visit the Havana Compás Dance Company, recognized nationally and internationally for combining dance and percussion. It has accumulated more than a decade of work in favor of Cuban culture. The use of batá drums, tumbadoras, drumsticks, castanets, shekerés, heels, flip flops, keys, stools and percussive chairs, mostly made by the maestro Eduardo Córdova, makes this dance company one of the best scenic proposals of Cuba.

This evening’s farewell reception is at the Santa Isabel Hotel terrace in Old Havana. The stilt walkers dance group will entertain you as you follow them dancing in the streets to your farewell dinner at a local restaurant in the historic center.


Overnight: Four Points Sheraton (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

​​Day 06: Depart for home

Return to the local airport for check-in for your flight home. Depending on the flight time, lunch is by individual arrangement.


Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.

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Travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens is still restricted. Under the general “people-to-people” education license (515.560(c)) posted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, you can legally visit Cuba with Nanda Journeys only if adhering to the guidelines outlined below. The general license allows U.S. visitors to make contact with professionals, as well as local Cuban citizens, as long as the visits support civil society in Cuba, and/or helps promote independence and the notion of peace through interaction. Only U.S. citizens, and non-U.S. citizens living within the jurisdiction of U.S. territory with a valid green card, are allowed to travel under this license. If you were born in Cuba, please contact the program office for details. A full-time schedule of educational exchange activities will be coordinated that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. Your commitment to full participation in the program is required if you choose to join the program. Most tourist-oriented activities are forbidden by the people-to-people license which does not allow time for independent exploration. Given those parameters, all accompanying guests (18 and over) must take part in the complete professional and educational program along with the registered traveler. The overall goal is to enhance contact with the Cuban people through interaction and exchange of information between travelers and Cuban citizens. The cost of obtaining a Cuban visa is included in the journey cost.

Cuba: Havana| 6 days | November 6-11, 2019 | $3,699

What's Included

Detailed Itinerary

LEADER SPOTLIGHT: Alex Lopez


Alex Lopez was born in Cuba and now resides in Washington DC. He has been facilitating Cuban/American exchanges since 1977 and is the first and longest provider of travel related services from the USA to Cuba.  He conducted the first familiarization tour of Cuba in 1977 after President Jimmy Carter lifted the travel restrictions. In 1979 was selected to organize the transportation of the U.N. Missions attending the 6th Summit

of the Non-Aligned Nations in Havana,

which brought Cubana Airlines to

John F. Kennedy Airport for the

first time since diplomatic relations 

between the U.S. and Cuba were

broken in 1961. We are excited to

have Alex’s expertise and unique

insight as you explore Havana!


LEADER SPOTLIGHT: Nicola Balmain

Nicola Balmain is the CEO & Founder of Nanda Journeys. She is an avid traveler who has been working in the travel industry for 30 years, both in the US & UK. She have visited 43 countries and has conquered 6 of the 7 glorious continents (once all in the same year!) Meeting people in their daily environment has opened up a world of friendships and memories for her, she

wants to share those experiences

with others, most especially in

Cuba! This will be Nicola’s fourth

journey to Cuba and she and Alex

can’t wait to take you behind the

scenes and show you the real Cuba.