Cuba: Cultural Connection Family Program

Angela Broderick

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Cuba

Cultural Connection Family Program


Cuba family taxi window by Jay Waltmunson, Riveted KidsFamily is everything in Cuban culture, and our network of warm and welcoming local Cubans make it a wonderful place for a family to explore together.

Beginning in the lively city of Havana, your family will explore the arts and culture of this incredible city from guided bike tours to attending a baseball game. Colorful and energetic, the alleys and plazas are filled with musicians and artists, something for everyone to enjoy.

Cuba Family ziplining by Jay Waltmunson, Riveted KidsNext, leaving behind the colonial buildings and urban areas, you will head to Las Terrazas for a visit to an eco-arts community, tucked in the mountains. Explore the gorgeous greenery area with a local guide, then fly above on a zip line. Spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing in the cool waters and shallow pools of the San Juan River.

Continue on to the Valley of Vinales, the breadbasket of Cuba. Meander through the farms and fields on horseback and explore the limestone cliffs and caves. Learn Cuban home cooking in a family house and walk through the quiet streets and rural lanes of Vinales.

PRICE INCLUDES:
All transportation as described in the itinerary
All accommodations (based on double rooms)
English speaking guides
All meals, guided activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary

Photos courtesy of Jay Waltmunson at Travel with Riveted Kids


Sample Itinerary

Our itineraries are designed to let the country and its people guide your experiences. Please be flexible and allow the program to unfold.

DAY 1

Arrive in Havana, Cuba

Welcome to Cuba! After clearing customs, pass through security where a driver will be waiting for you. The driver will take you to your home in Havana, a wonderful casa particular run by our good friends.

Here you will be welcomed by your host and our very good friend Mauricio and enjoy a coffee on his terrace overlooking the Malecon and the ocean. Let Mauricio tell you wonderful wild stories of the city and his incredible life in Cuba.

After lunch, stretch your airplane-weary legs and get a first glimpse of life in Havana on a guided bike tour through the nearby neighborhoods. If would rather be biked than bike yourself, you can also explore from a pedicab with a gregarious biker/guide!

Enjoy dinner at local paladar in Havana, or we can arrange dinner with a local family if you would like.

MEALS:  None


DAY 2

Havana

In the morning, you'll set out to explore Havana on foot, with a guide or on your own. Experience the colonial magnificence and funky art filled alleys of Havana, stroll along the Malecon (the seawall that stretches the length of Havana), and see the Four Plazas and the intense Baroque and Colonial Buildings. Check out the secondhand book market in the Plaza de Armas and browse through the classic and new books and an amazing variety of revolutionary propaganda posters from all over the world. Visit the Camera Obscura with a 360-degree view of Havana. Listen awhile to street musicians practicing and trying out new songs. Don't forget to stop for a Cuban pastry (pastele) and a strong sweet cup of coffee!

In the late afternoon and evening, or even after an early dinner, visit the old Spanish fort guarding the entrance to Havana Harbor. At 9:00 pm you will hear the firing of the cannon which used to indicate that the walls surrounding the city were to be closed and the chain across the bay would be raised to protect against pirates and enemies. The fort is a great place for kids to scramble around and the booming cannons echo across the harbor.

MEALS:  B


DAY 3

Havana

In the morning, visit Callejon de Hamel, a walking artist’s street where followers of the Santeria religion spend their time creating art. On Sundays, there is a festival with live music, drumming and dancing - a spectacular cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed if you are there on a Sunday!

Take the afternoon to explore Havana on your own or alternatively, escape to one of Havana's nearby beaches and spend the day relaxing and playing alongside local families.

MEALS:  B


DAY 4

Havana

Enjoy a morning visit with Mauricio to the artistic creation of Fusterlandia, a fascinating project of mosaics that is the dream of the Cuban artist José Fuster. Compared to surrealist artists such as Picasso, Gaudí, Gauguin and Wifredo Lam, Fuster uses bright colors and simple shapes to create whimsical worlds and fantastical creatures. You will travel in lovingly restored classic 1950's American cars.

In the afternoon, visit the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame at the Estadio Latinoamerica in Havana. Since 1939, players have been honored at the National Stadium. Take in a professional game and see how passionate Cubans are about baseball. Try some yucca chips and sip on sugar cane juice to enjoy the true Cuban experience.

MEALS:  B


DAY 5

Las Terrazas

Today, you'll take a taxi to Las Terrazas, a small rural community set in the heart of a biosphere reserve in the Sierra del Rosario. Excellent for hiking, art and bird watching, the pioneering eco-village of Las Terrazas dates back to a reforestation project in 1968 and the site of the earliest coffee plantations in Cuba.

Check in at one of Cuba's few eco hotels with fantastic views over the Las Terrazas community, managed by our friend Kenny. Or, experience a night in rustic tree houses by the river!

Explore Las Terrazas with Kenny, visiting the small artist collectives and trying out the zip line that zigzags above for a birdseye view of the community. Enjoy lunch in one of the local spots with Kenny.

In the afternoon, head down to the Baños de Rio San Juan and go for a relaxing swim in the river to cool off in the heat of the day.

MEALS:  B,L


DAY 6

Vinales

In the morning, Kenny will pick you up for an adventure in the hills and forests of Las Terrazas. Climb up to the top of the small mountain (Loma del Taburete) to see the memorial to Che Guevara, who hid out in these hills and trained guerilla fighters. Visit a local coffee farmer with his small but flourishing crop and hear the stories of the enormous French run coffee plantations that once dominated the area. From the ruins of the once powerful Buena Vista, built at the crest of a mountain, get a glimpse of the ocean.

OR spend a relaxing morning on your own!

At midday, take a taxi to the Valley of Vinales, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is arguably one of Cuba's best natural settings. Check in at casa particular and have lunch with a local family.

In the afternoon, experience a horseback ride through the red clay paths of Vinales, around the limestone cliffs and tobacco fields. Our friend Carlos, a real character known as "El Cowboy", will tell you the stories of these lands, and you'll meet some of the farmers who are working in the lush fields and raising livestock.

MEALS:  B,L


DAY 7

Vinales

A free day for adventure! The hills around Vinales Valley are full of miradores (viewpoints) with long sweeping views of the limestone cliffs and tobacco fields. Rent bikes to take up and above, or hike on tree-lined paths to reach the best spots. Visit the botanical garden at the edge of town to learn about the cultivation of medical and ornamental plants as well as native plant species. Or explore the local caves of the Cueva del Indio or the Palenque de los Cimarrones, where escaped slaves created a community in the hills. Don't forget to stop by the small local baseball stadium.

In the afternoon, return to your our casa particular to learn the art of true Cuban food with our friend Dunia, with an informal introduction to the dishes and taste of home cooking. Create your meal with her and enjoy!

MEALS:  B,D


DAY 8

Departure

Check out of the casa particular and take a taxi to the airport for your flight home.

MEALS:  B


PRICE

From $1750 per person

DURATION

8D / 7N

DEPARTURE DATES

Available year-round


ACTIVITY LEVEL

Easy

ROUTE

Havana - Las Terrazas - Vinales - Havana

PROGRAM ELEMENTS

Customizable, great for families



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