Expert's Corner

Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC) high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!
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On January 14th, 2011 President Obama announced new categories of legal Cuba educational travel, they went into effect immediately. Right now, accredited universities and colleges no longer need to apply for a Specific License for Cuba education tour by their students, professors, faculty and staff.
Cuba Study Tours

At the end of basic secondary education, Cuban students can choose between pre-university education and technical and professional education. Those who complete pre-university education are awarded the Bachillerato (high school diploma). Technical training leads to two levels of qualification- skilled worker and middle-level technician.

Be in the know and sign up for email updates from Authentic Cuba Travel. Free Cuba Explorer Tours for teachers. Last minute discounts on Cuba Study Tours & Educational Cuba tours to keep you updated on Authentic Cuba Travel.

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Havana Jazz Festival
Havana Film Festival
havana book fair
habano cigar festival
Cuba's Fire Festival

Cuba Education Tour I

Cuba Educational Tours March 2017 Discount Cuba Education Tours Hotel Riviera de Cuba Hotel Nacional de Cuba Cuba Travel to Cuban UNESCO Heritage Sites Cienfuegos Cuba Tours Trinidad: featured Cuban city

Attention American Educators!
Authentic Cuba Travel Offers Cuba Education Tours for University Faculty, Primary and Secondary School Teachers,and School Administrators!

Including Havana City, Cienfuegos and Trinidad | From March 6-13, 2017
Cuba tours out there do not offer so much bang for your buck!

Go to Cuba for $2,229 (All Taxes Included)

Referral Discount: $100

Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2,129 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2,029 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $1,929 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $1,829 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0 only
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!

When you think of Cuba, what comes to mind? Is it images of beautiful beaches and terrific, Cuban jazz music, or maybe classic American cars in vibrant, tropical towns, or is it dramatic historical and political events? However you imagine it, until recently, that’s all a U.S. citizen could do, as a first-hand experience of authentic Cuba wasn’t possible—but now that’s changed!

Authentic Cuba Travel welcomes professional educators to our Cuba educational tours. These Cuba cultural trips are designed to assist American professors, teachers, and administrators in understanding Cuba’s educational history, its educational institutions, and current changes in educational standards and programs. Our Cuba educational tours make it possible for U.S. citizens to gain intimate access to Cuba’s educational system and to experience the warmth of Cuban culture —legally.

Whether you are engaged in research on Cuba, the Caribbean, or Latin America, interested in educational exchange, or curious about the development of a system that has almost eradicated illiteracy, our Cuba educational tours will give you a well-rounded view. Stops during your Cuba tour include Cuba’s oldest university, a specialized arts conservatory, a primary school, and a medical training program—where you will meet with educators and students. Your program also includes visits to other prestigious cultural institutions such as the National Literacy Museum, and you’ll visit no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Take A Sneak Peak at the Cuban Destinations You Will Visit Outside Havana

Along the way, you’ll learn how recent changes in the country have shifted the focus away from the liberal arts and universal university education, to an emphasis on agricultural and technical training. You’ll see how changes in admission standards and a need for workers in the skilled trades are transforming Cuba’s educational system by making entrance to university-level education more competitive, as well as affecting the secondary school curriculum. Participation in our Cuba educational tours makes it possible to engage many pressing questions such as how these changes are impacting employment, societal expectations, and individual achievement.

In a country with many challenges, Cuba’s educational system has been hugely successful. The country has worked hard to eradicate illiteracy, and is a leader in creating gender equality, reaching rural populations, developing and recognizing teachers, and fostering community participation with schools. Join one of our Cuba Educational Tours, and learn about Cuba’s remarkable educational accomplishments—and its hopes and challenges for the future—all while experiencing authentic Cuba hospitality.

Can not travel during these dates? No worries. We have more tour departures!

  • Cuba Education Tour 9Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadDec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 10Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa.. Dec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 11Havana & Santiago de Cuba Dec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 1Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 5- Mar 12, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 2Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 18- Mar 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 3Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa..Mar 26- Apr 2, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Apr 15- Apr 22, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 5Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Jun 17- Jun 24, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 6Havana & Santiago de Cuba Jul 8- Jul 15, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 15- Jul 22, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 8Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadAug 19- Aug 26, 2017Book Now
  • Notice to USA Academic and Educational Institutions, Secondary Schools and similar Educational Organizations:

    In January 2016, the US Government has announced further enhancements to the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba that previously required a specific license (this is, lengthy applications to OFAC). Now travel to the Caribbean island is allowed under a general license (this is, self-completed paperwork with no application to OFAC needed).

    Subject to criteria established for each general license in the Federal Register published in February 1, 2016, travel to Cuba is permitted for educational and academic institutions.

    The purpose of the Cuba travel should be for:

    _ the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution;

    _ educational exchanges sponsored by U.S. secondary schools for secondary students to take part in courses or structured program offered by the secondary school or other U.S. academic institution provided that a reasonable number of adult chaperones escort the secondary students in their Cuba trip.

    _ educational exchanges not involving academic study to promote people to people contact.

    _ attendance at non-commercial academic seminars, conferences and workshops related to Cuba sponsored or co-sponsored by U.S. academic institution.

    _ non- commercial academic research related to Cuba for the purpose of obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree;

    _ the participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided that credits will be accepted toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;

    We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba’s main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

    At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such educational Cuba travel experiences for US educational institutions for many years with great success.

    Cuba Trip Highlights
    Cuba Education Tours

    • Guided tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    • Travel to "The Pearl of the South" Cienfuegos.

    • Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos Centre.

    • Travel to colonial Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    • Travel to UNESCO World Heritage Site Sugar Mill Valley.

    • Tour of Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba's Arts School).

    • Visit to La Colmenita Children’s Theater Company.

    • Visit to the provincial School of Painting of Trinidad.

    • Guided tour of Cuba's Museum of Fine Arts.

    • Guided tour of Havana's Literacy Museum.

    • Follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway.
    • Tour Cojimar fishing village, Hemingway's favourite hangout!
    • Explore Finca La Vigia, where Hemingway lived for over 20 years.
    • Private visit to Lizt Alfonso Ballet School.

    • Tour Havana's Scale Model, guided by arch. Miguel Coyula.

    • Visit the prestigious Cuban art gallery "Maroya".

    • Explore the famous handicraft market of Old Havana

    Notice to US citizens:

    This Cuba study tour is licensable for U.S. professors, teachers, and education professionals interested in conducting professional research on the Cuban education system.

    The easing of restrictions on US travel to Cuba makes it easier for education professionals to get U.S. government licenses for cultural, educational, and people to people and sports exchanges.

    And while the ban on U.S. tourists visiting the island remains in place, as a professional you can legally join any our summer tours.

    No one can say what the future will hold for U.S.-Cuba relations, so it's important to take advantage of the current opportunity.
    National Hotel of Cuba. The National Hotel of Cuba is one of Havana’s most magnificent buildings and Cuba’s signature hotel. Overlooking the ocean, the Nacional de Cuba contains over 400 rooms and it’s been the favorite of Hollywood celebrities from Ava Gardner to Kevin Costner ever since its opening back in the 1930’s. It features a privilege location to explore all that the Cuban capital has to offer. It is alwasy a nice upgrade in our Cuba Tours.
    Since 2007, La Colmenita, a Children’s Theatric Troupe have served as UNIECEF Goodwill ambassador to the world. Touring extensively all through the USA and Canada, the message of peace and hope of The Little Beehive have amazed children all over the world. Authentic Cuba Travel proudly supports this theatre group of young actors. As a participant in our Educational Cuba Tours, you will have the chance to visit their headquarters in Havana, and meet with them… even enjoy a little play in English privately!
    Lizt Alfonso Ballet School, Cuba.
    The Lizt Alfonso Ballet School of Cuba is composed only of women and a music band. It has been acclaimed in Cuba and abroad in the USA, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Venezuela Colombia and France.
    Researching on Cuba's education system is one of the goals of our Cuba tours for educators. Arts education is undergoing huge changes in Cuba as a result of a new emphasis on the develop- ment of agricultural and skilled trade education rather than the traditional arts and humanities. During your Authentic Cuba Travel to one of the premier art academies in Cuba, the Instituto Superior de Arte, you can discuss the impact of these changes with faculty and students and share in their ideas for the future.
    A unique Cuban cultural institution, the Museum of Literacy celebrates the incredible achieve- ment of the Caribbean island in ending illiteracy. Housing photos and documents of the 1961 campaign to teach everyone in Cuba to read and write, the Museum is a testament to what can be accomplished with dedicated volunteers. Cuba education tours include a visit to this museum where you’ll meet the museum’s director, Luisa Campos, who knows first-hand the difficulties faced by the literacy volunteers- and the joy of having a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
    Hemingway Cuba Tour, Havana.
    With the possible exceptions of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, Cuba has had no more famous former resident than author Ernest Hemingway. The hard drinking, womanising, American author fell in love with Cuba after visiting it several times. He lived on Cuba from 1940 until 1960, shortly before his death. Known affectionately as "Ernesto" or "Papa", Hemingway is still beloved by the Cuban people.
    Cienfuegos city, Cuba.
    Originally founded by French settlers inside a Spanish territory, Cienfuegos is both a delightful venue and an architectural treasure. Nowhere else in the Caribbean will you find such an impressive collection of neoclassical buildings. With an extensive visit to its charming historical center, you’ll experience the best Cienfuegos offers during your Cuba Travel.
    Photography excursion to the Sugar Mill Valley.
    The Sugar Mill Valley is one of the most photographed landscapes in Cuba. The monumental value of the 65 sites that form the valley increases the interest to visit this place, where important vestiges of the island's sugar colonization still survive.
    Authentic Cuba travel is pleased to offer unparalleled access to Cuba’s educational system while also incorporating a fun and fascinating experience of authentic Cuba culture into your itinerary. And we do it all at a reasonable price, with a superior team of guides and drivers to make your Cuba educational tour simple, safe, and satisfying. By combining visits to Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, you will get a well-rounded experience of the authentic Cuba.

    Not an education professional but still want to go to Cuba legally from US

  • Cuba Real Tour 6Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jun 18- Jun 25, 2016Sold Out
  • Cuba Real Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 16- Jul 23, 2016Sold Out
  • Cuba Real Tour 8Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesAug 13- Aug 20, 2016Sold Out
  • Cuba Real Tour 9Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesSep 17- Sep 24, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 10Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesOct 08- Oct 15, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 11Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesNov 19- Nov 26, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 12Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesDec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 1Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesJan 21- Jan 28, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 2Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesFeb 18- Feb 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 3Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMar 18- Mar 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesApr 15- Apr 22, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 5Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMay 20- May 27, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 6Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jun 17- Jun 24, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 8- Jul 15, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 8Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesAug 19- Aug 26, 2017Book Now

  • Just a US traveler looking to go to Cuba on people-to-people tours?

  • Cuba Engage 10Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Oct 08- Oct 15, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 11Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Nov 19- Nov 26, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 12Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Dec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 1Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jan 21- Jan 28, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 2Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Feb 18- Feb 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 3Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Mar 18- Mar 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 4Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Apr 15- Apr 22, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 5Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..May 20- May 27, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 6Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jun 17- Jun 24, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 7Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jul 8- Jul 15, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 8Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Aug 19- Aug 26, 2017Book Now

  • Day 1. Sunday 5 March 2017. Hello Cuba

    Your first day in Cuba begins with your arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, a short 9 miles from Havana's downtown, Vedado district. As you exit your plane, you’ll clear customs and immigration, collect your luggage, and then meet your Authentic Cuba Travel guide.

    As your knowledgeable liaison to authentic Cuba, your guide will be with you during the entirety of your stay. Before arriving at your hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to exchange money, and you’ll also meet another important member of your Authentic Cuba Travel team—your bus driver. Your seamless hotel transfer takes about thirty minutes.

    Two different Cuba educational tour hotel packages are available. Stay in historic landmark hotels with a history of celebrity guests. Choose either the Economy accommodations [the “E” package] which features The Riviera Hotel, or the Premium Package [P] featuring rooms at The National Hotel both in downtown Havana.

    Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Day 2. Monday 6 March 2017. Exploring Old Havana

    Morning: visit to the headquarters of La Colmenita Children’s Theater Company. This internationally acclaimed children's theater group was created in 1990. Since then, it has charmed audiences in more than 25 countries with its message of joy, peace and understanding.

    The company, which was given the UNICEF Goodwill ambassador status in 2007, recently toured the United States with performances in Washington, New York and San Francisco. Enjoy a private performance, and exchange with directors, teachers and children!

    Lunch: Featuring a beautiful open garden, La Mina restaurant is not only a convenient spot for lunch, it’s also a favorite local spot. Known for its tasty food and welcoming atmosphere, don’t be surprised if you spot a peacock in the middle of Old Havana! The house musicians will also treat you to some authentic Cuba sounds as you enjoy a relaxing lunch.

    Afternoon: The afternoon begins with an introduction to Old Havana by one of the primary architects guiding the development of the Havana city. Dr. Miguel Coyula, founding member of the Group for the Integral Development of the Capital (GDIC) will talk about the unique aspects of Old Havana, as well as the need for proper development in the future. You will also be able to view a unique architectural representation of the old city’s footprint and how it evolved, the Old Havana Scale Model.

    Afterwards: Your Authentic Cuba Travel guide will take you on a walking tour of some of the most important squares in the “Habana Vieja”— the old walled city. Beginning with the Square of Arms, you’ll learn about the history of Spain’s long involvement in Cuba. The Square of Arms marks the point from which the Village of San Cristobal de la Habana spread, receiving its name from the military exercises that the Spanish Army started holding there in 1584.

    Marked by the baroque façade of the Cathedral of Havana, the intimate but beautiful Cathedral Square is a lively spot, and one of the most well preserved areas of Old Havana. A great place to people-watch, you’ll find the Museo de Arte Colonial opposite the Cathedral, as well as cafes and imposing post office. The Museo is itself an architectural delight, built around a courtyard, and houses exhibits of colonial era art and decoration.

    The home of the beautiful Lion’s Fountain, the Square of San Francisco of Assis takes its name from the church and Franciscan monastery located there. Originally constructed at the end of the 16th Century, a Baroque remodeling took place in 1730. Now a concert hall and museum, you’ll find on the square a bronze statue of a famous Havana street character known as El Caballero de Paris, the gentleman from Paris. There is also another bronze of Father Serra— a Franciscan friar beatified by Pope John Paul II—and an Indian boy named Juaneño. Historically, the square is important as a storage site for commercial goods arriving on Spanish vessels.

    Ironically, Plaza Vieja, “Old Square” was originally named Plaza Nueva, “New Square” when it first came into use in 1559. Surrounded by elegant buildings where the aristocracy once lived, Plaza Vieja has seen more than its share of excitement over the years. From fiestas to bullfights, this square has historically been an important site. It has a beautiful marble fountain featuring four dolphins, and is home to lovely shops, restaurants, galleries and museums as well as residences. Some noteworthy sites on the square include the art-nouveau Palacio Viena Hotel; the Fototeca de Cuba, an important photographic gallery; the Center for the Development of Visual Arts; and the magnificently restored Colegio del Santo Angel.

    The final stop before returning to the hotel is Old Havana’s charming handicraft market. Whatever you might purchase, from hand thrown pottery to handmade traditional clothing and jewelry to leather goods and whimsical paper maché figurines, you’re sure to enjoy strolling through Cuba’s largest market to find the best that authentic Cuba can offer. In addition to artisanal souvenirs, you may also purchase original art from some of Cuba’s most promising talents.

    Evening: Ready to Rhumba? Or maybe you’re a fan of Salsa? The evening features some authentic Cuba sounds with Elsa’s Band. With an open-air performance on a rooftop in Old-Havana, enjoy the lighter side of your Cuba educational tour! Not only will you be treated to some wonderful music, you’ll learn about what makes it authentically Cuban.

    Day 3. Tuesday 7 March 2017. Havana

    Morning: We’ll visit our first Cuba educational institution with a stop at the Cuba Higher Institute of Arts (ISA). Comprised of individual schools for modern dance, ballet, drama, design, music, and fine art, the ISA is facing new challenges with the current shift away from the arts and humanities as the government places more emphasis on technical and agricultural training. During our visit, you will meet with school administrators and members of the faculty to discuss the future of the ISA. A tour of the main facilities will also be conducted.

    Lunch: Today’s complimentary lunch is a unique opportunity to meet with an individual representing the best of Cuban education during the post-revolutionary period. A student at the ISA during the 1960s, Jose Fuster is now an internationally recognized artist, producing fascinating paintings and murals, as well as dynamic sculptural installations. More than just an individual artist, Mr. Fuster incorporates art into the life of his community with projects such as a chess park, a local swimming pool, and the decoration of more than 80 homes in the fishing village of Jaimanitis. Mr. Fuster will host the Authentic Cuba tour for lunch at his residence and studio where everyone can participate in a delightful session of show-and-tell!

    Afternoon: The National Museum of the Literacy Campaign is the repository of materials documenting the remarkable year of 1961 when Cuba set out to eradicate illiteracy. Through a government- supported campaign, more than 700,000 people were taught to read and write in a single year with the help of 260,000 volunteer teachers, from teenagers to professionals, housewives to retirees. The host of the Authentic Cuba visit is Luisa Campos, director of the museum. She was one of those volunteers and now consults for literacy programs in numerous countries.

    Evening: There’s nothing like real cannons and a bit of pageantry to get people excited. Tonight, your Authentic Cuba tour guide will escort you to the “Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock.” A favorite of locals and visitors alike, this ceremony was started by the Spanish, and takes place each evening at the Fortress of San Carlos de Cabana. In addition to some very Cuban pomp and circumstance, you’ll also have a fantastic panoramic view of the city below.

    Day 4. Wednesday 8 March 2017. Havana

    Morning: visit to Finca Vigia, a hilltop villa 20 kilometers east of Havana, where famed author Ernest Hemingway lived from 1939 to 1960. It is here where the writer completed some of his greatest works, including The Old Man and the Sea, Across the River and into the Trees, and Islands in the Stream.

    The villa has been maintained as a museum for the past 49 years. It contains original book and short story manuscripts, letters, over 3000 photographs, Hemingway’s fishing tackle and gun collections, furniture, priceless art collection, and a 9000 volume library that contains rare first editions of his books and those of other famous writers.

    Finca Vigía has made both the World Monuments Fund List of 100 Most Endangered sites, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places.

    Lunch in Cojimar fishing village.

    Tour around Cojimar fishing village, where Hemingway kept his boat Pilar. The writer is remembered by the town with a small gazebo that encircles a commemorative bust, sculpted from the melted down propellers donated by local fishermen.

    Afternoon: visit to the Lizt Alfonso Ballet School founded in 1991. Lizt Alfonso’s choreographies are dance and music of a kind no one else creates: a seamless fusion of Spanish classical dance, ballet, flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance.

    During the afternoon, your Authentic Cuba educational tour will also visit the Palace of Fine Arts, a tremendous institution housing several hundred years of authentic Cuban masterpieces including works by Wilfredo Lam, René Portocarrero, and modernist sculptor, Rita Lonja. Beginning with the 17th century, the museum’s collection is a comprehensive overview of Cuban art movements from the colonial era until the present day.

    Evening: Although there is no included activity this evening, Authentic Cuba Travel recommends an optional outing to one of Cuba’s hottest jazz scenes, The Fox and the Raven Jazz Club. Your Authentic Cuba guide will make sure you have the latest information on who’s playing live at the club. It’s a must for any jazz enthusiast, or for anyone who wants to experience a different side of the authentic Cuba sound.

    Day 5. Thursday 9 March 2017. Cienfuegos- Trinidad- Cuba Explorer Hats on!

    Morning: It is time to wear our Cuba Explorer hats. An early morning departure with your Authentic Cuba Travel team takes you out of Havana City and puts you on the road to different part of authentic Cuba, its center. Over the next two and a half days, you’ll get to visit a variety of Cuban cultural and educational sites and institutions in two different UNESCO World Heritage cities, Cienfuegos and Trinidad.

    Upon arrival in Cienfuegos City, we’ll have a complimentary lunch at the stunning Palacio de Valle, a former palace combining elements of Venetian, Moorish, and Gothic architectural styles among other influences. The Palacio de Valle also affords an excellent view of the harbor. A look at the bay will help you understand why Cienfuegos City is one of the busiest seaports in Cuba. The center of Cuba’s sugarcane industry, coffee is also grown nearby. Cienfuegos City is a fairly small metropolitan area, with a population of approximately 188,000, although in the entire province, there are closer to 400,000 people.

    Afternoon: In the afternoon, our Cuba education tours feature a visit to the historical center. We’ll walk off our excellent lunch with an guided tour of the oldest part of the city. The historic center of Cienfuegos was given its status as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO based on its being the preeminent, surviving instance of urban planning from the Spanish Enlightenment period of the 19th century, and demonstrating that movement’s attention to gracious civil engineering, harmonious order, and hygienic accommodations. Originally, the town was laid out in grid pattern containing twenty-five blocks.

    There is no other place in the entire Caribbean region that has such a collection of Neo-classical structures, although other styles were later woven in. In the downtown center, there are 333 extant buildings that date before 1900. The area is now a mix of both residential and public buildings.

    Our Cuba cultural walk will begin in the Jose Marti park, where you’ll see the only Arch of Triumph in all of Cuba. From the park, one can easily walk up the Cienfuegos Boulevard to the main thoroughfare of the city, the Paseo de Prado, which has the distinction of being the longest street bordered with trees in all of Cuba.

    One interesting fact about Cienfuegos City is that is wasn’t founded by the Spanish colonialists, but rather by French settlers in 1819. Although it was a Spanish colony, and the Spanish had established a fort nearby to protect their trading vessels from pirates, the founders came primarily from Bordeaux and Louisiana.

    During our educational tours to Cuba, tour participants will have the chance to learn more about this fascinating place known as both “The City of Domes” and “The Pearl of the South.” Interesting points include the Palacio Ferrer, an eye-catching blue building combining eclectic styles, the 19th Century Cathedral de Cienfuegos with its two towers of different heights, and the Tomas Terry Theater, an Italian-style building with elegant wrought ironwork and distinctive murals.

    Our Authentic Cuba visit to historical Cienfuegos will wrap up with a little free time to shop in the Galleria de Arte Maroya. Featuring original art by Cuban painters and sculptors, your Authentic Cuba Travel guide can be of assistance with the paperwork needed to take your art purchases back home.

    Late in the afternoon, you’ll depart for our beachfront hotels just beyond the city on a white-sand peninsula. Economy [E] accommodations are at the festive—and recently renovated— Costa Sur Hotel on Maria Aguilar Beach. Premium package [P] accommodations will be on Ancon Beach at the lovely four-star hotel, Trinidad del Mar Hotel.

    Day 6 Friday 10 March 2017. Trinidad

    Morning: On our Cuba Education Tours, we like to begin the morning with a visit to the Academy of Painting "Oscar Fernandez Morera". Teachers and students will give you an intimate guided tour of the school, and engage you on the nature of the work they are performing there. A rare chance to experience the Cuba educational system outside of Havana City, the principal will also join you.

    Lunch is back at your hotel, as all meals are included in the hotel packages for Trinidad.

    Afternoon: This afternoon you will discover why the well-preserved old part of Trinidad is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded nearly at the same time as Havana City by the Spaniard, Don Diego Velázquez, the site for Trinidad was chosen based on its location midway between the ends of the island, and because it was protected on the north side by mountains. It was a perfect staging point for further incursions into the Americas, as well as quickly becoming an important commercial center for cattle and tobacco, and later, the production of sugar. Both Hernández de Córdova (in 1517) and Cortez (in 1519) departed from Trinidad in their conquest of the New World.

    Trinidad received World Heritage Site status not only because of its historical importance to Cuba, to the sugar industry, and to the exploration of the Americas, but also because of its architectural preservation. Gorgeous buildings such as the Palacio Brunet and the Palacio Cantero have survived with many of their original features such as murals, marble floors and earthenware tiles intact. Homes are typically painted in tropical, pastel colors, have open windows covered only by wooden grillwork or shutters, and red-tile roofs.

    Another centerpiece of the old city is the Church of the Holy Trinity, finished in 1892 and built to replace a previous church destroyed by a hurricane. It contains one of the most sacred objects in Cuba, a wooden statue called “The Lord of the True Cross” which left behind in Trinidad after the ship carrying it to Mexico was sent back to port three times because of storms. Local worshippers decided that God intended for the statue to remain in Trinidad and have venerated it ever since.

    You will continue your authentic Cuba tour of this amazing World Heritage Site with a short bus ride into the valley, a living testament to the history of the sugar industry in Cuba. The Valle de los Ingenios contains what has survived of numerous sugar plantations, the summer mansions of their owners and living quarters for the slaves who worked the plantations. It is the end of the slave trade that contributed to the decline of Trinidad and allowed the magnificent preservation of both the city and the outlying plantations.

    After a photo opportunity from which you will be able to take in the entire Sugar Mill Valley, our Cuba educational tours usually continue with a visit to a family of authentic Cuba artisans, the Santanders. The Santander Family has been making pottery for many generations, and follows in the long tradition of potters in Trinidad.

    Finally, we’ll wrap up our busy day with a chance to stroll and shop in the outdoor artisanal markets featuring local handicrafts, especially textiles and crochet.

    Return to hotels.

    Evening: You’re free to enjoy the restaurants and music at the hotels this evening, but for anyone that wants to have an authentic Cuba dance experience, we recommend Casa de la Trova. With lively, traditional, folk music, visitors will feel welcome to break out their dancing shoes and hit the dance floor.

    Day 7. Saturday 11 March 2017. Trinidad- Havana

    Morning: Our final educational Cuba travel stop will be a visit to the Cuban Family Doctor and Nurse Program. Despite working within the framework of a developing country, Cuba is internationally recognized for its excellent healthcare system. Although it spends less per capital than the U.S. on health care, it achieves comparable results.

    The Cuban Family Doctor and Nurse Program is a unique approach to dispatching medical care to where it is most needed, in a cost effective manner. The program trains one primary care physician and one nurse to work together as a team. Find out what the U.S. might learn from the success of this particular Cuba educational program.

    Return to Havana City, check back into hotels.

    Day 8. Sunday 12 March 2017. Departure

    Morning: Time to say good-bye to your Cuba travel and head home to share what you’ve learned! Your Authentic Cuba Tours guide and bus driver will see you safely back to the airport in plenty of time for your international flight. Please be advised that there is an airport departure tax of 25 Cuban Pesos that must be paid in cash.

    Want to Take Your Students to Cuba?

    Cuba School Tours
    Do not wait any longer. Now is the time to start planning the next Cuba tour for your students. Your students will consider traveling to Cuba an experience of a lifetime. They will come home optimistic and inspired by fresh perspectives on what is possible not only personally but also socially. Request a custom-made Cuba Educational Trip and complimentary no-obligation Quote for your students, and check some of the resources we put at your service. Request School Tour to Cuba Now!

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