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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General Travel License

U.S. Cuba Legal Travel University & College faculty, staff & students, K-12 teachers are eligible to travel to Cuba under the General License, a process that can be completed by individuals & educational institutions without submitting the application to OFAC.

Cuba Legal Travel

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Cuba Study Tours for Spring Break 2018
Catholic Pilgrimage Cuba Tour

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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 no-obligation Cuba Study Trip for your students, and check some of the resources we put at your service.

Request a Cuba School Tour Today!

Notice to US Academic Institutions, US Secondary Schools and other US Educational Organizations on Cuba Travel:

In January 2016, the US Government 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).

After President Trump’s policy change on USA Cuba travel on November 9, 2017, the General License for Educational Activities remains in place. Accredited U.S. graduate or under graduate degree-granting institutions; U.S. Academic Institutions; and U.S. Schools can organize and sponsor an educational trip to Cuba for their students, faculty and staff under the General License for Educational Activities, provided that the trip meets OFAC guidelines; and that an employee or other representative of the organization escorts the trip to make sure such guidelines are followed by all participants.

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 Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution, and led by a teacher or other secondary school official are authorized. This authorization allows for participation of a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.

_ 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;

_ participation in a 10-week structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered at the U.S. institution;

_ participation in a formal 10-week course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s undergraduate or graduate degree at the U.S. institution;

_ teaching for 10 weeks at a Cuban academic institution by an individual regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the U.S. institution.

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, Los Angeles, 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 and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.

Check Our Most Popular Cuba Study Trips

With customizable Cuba study tours, it is easy to offer North American Universities and Schools the educational experiences they expect out of Cuba travel. Not only is there a Cuba study trip to fit any group size, educational interest and budget, but each one also immerses Canadian and US Professors and students in the authentic Cuba and takes you deep into the heart and soul of the Cuban people.

Cuba Study Tours Include:

  • Nice, Safe, Clean 3 & 4 Star Hotels
  • Most Meals
  • Complimentary Professor(s) Participation
  • Official Asistur Cuban Health Insurance
  • Luxury Air-conditioned Coach Transportation
  • An Expert Cuban English Speaking Guide
  • Activities & Exchanges as Described
  • 24/7 Support Before, During and After
    your Cuba Study Tour
  • Resources for Educators

  • Free Exploration Tour
  • 100 Educator Loyalty Points per student!
  • Complimentary Custom Website
  • Complimentary Facebook Page
  • Fundraising Ideas
  • Parents Updates
  • Won’t be alone when introducing
    your Cuba Educational Tour
  • Request a Cuba School Tour Today!

    Are you a US K-12 teacher, university or school professor? Check these tours!

  • Cuba Education Tour 1Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 3- Mar 10, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 2Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 10- Mar 17, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 3Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa..Mar 17- Mar 24, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Mar 24- Mar 31, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 5Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Jun 16- Jun 23, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 6Havana & Santiago de Cuba Jul 7- Jul 14, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 14- Jul 21, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 8Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadAug 18- Aug 25, 2018Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 9Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadDec 29- Jan 5, 2019Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 10Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa.. Dec 29- Jan 5, 2019Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 11Havana & Santiago de Cuba Dec 29- Jan 5, 2019Book Now

  • Day 1. Saturday. Arrival

    Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana.

    Group welcomed by the Authentic Cuba Travel Cuban guide and driver. Transfer to your hotel Park View, located in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Private group check-in.

    Breakfast and dinner are complimentary.

    Day 2. Sunday. Havana

    Morning: Attend mass at the Cathedral of Havana, a masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture, built by the Jesuit order in the 18th century.

    Followed by guided walking tour of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Visit to Square of Arms, ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers and surrounded by impressive buildings such as:

    Palacio de los Capitanes Generales was the former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City.

    Palacio del Segundo Cabo. The seat of the second authority of the island. Today it houses important publishing concerns.

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The second oldest fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies. The castle was recently renovated and reopened in June 2008 to hold the impressive maritime museum. Well laid out exhibits chart Spain and Cuba's naval history.

    Lunch in La Mina restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Cuban dishes and music live!

    Continue walking tour onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest in the historical quarter.

    Visit to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Notice it doesn't have a church or government building around. Here we will visit important institutions for visual arts.

    Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.

    Return to hotel.

    Evening: tonight we have a Cuban band playing for us! You'll learn to dance to Salsa, Son, Rumba, and other popular Cuban rhythms with instruction from bandleaders.

    Day 3. Monday. Havana

    Morning reflection mass with the elders and friends of the Convent of Our Lady of Belén.

    Followed by a tour of the Convento de Nuestra Señora de Belén [Convent of Our Lady of Belén], a community center in Old Havana housed in an ancient convent. Construction on the Convent was begun in 1712. It was expanded and remodeled several times over the centuries. Finally abandoned in 1925, it fell into grave disrepair. In 1991, restoration began and continues with amazing results.

    Today the Office of the Historian, local Public Health authorities, and the Order of the Sisters of Charity jointly manage the Belén Convent. It is home to fifty elderly people and provides physiotherapy and ophthalmological services to old folks in the community.

    The Convent also houses an orphanage, storm shelter, pharmacy, daycare, eye and medical clinic, computer workshop, museum, art gallery, and services for handicapped and disabled kids. We'll meet with project director Nelson Aguila and tour this world famous project.

    Special opportunity for students to present donations to the residents and staff of the Convent of Our Lady of Belén. We'll spend the balance of the day helping out Convent staff and residents with improvement projects and chores.

    Dinner at the hotel.

    Evening: attend baseball game at Latinoamericano Stadium, popularly known in Cuba as "The Colossus of Cerro” is home of Ciudad Habana Industriales. The stadium holds 55,000 people. In 1999, it hosted an exhibition series between Cuban National Team and the Baltimore Orioles.

    Day 4. Tuesday. Havana

    Today we'll spend our time volunteering at the Convent of Our Lady of Belén.

    We'll help out with projects that are priorities for children with special needs and the elderly.

    Dinner at the hotel.

    Evening: attend one of the most traditional and popular ceremonies in Cuba, The Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock at the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana.

    Day 5. Wednesday. Havana

    Morning: visit to the Abel Santamaría School for visually impaired children. There are 102 students living at the school and another 70 students attending on a daily basis.

    The staff consists of 54 teachers with specialties in psychology, eyesight, and special education. Programs for the students include basic academic courses and in addition classes in sports, music and culture which assist the students in integrating into society. Many of the students upon graduation attend higher level schools.

    Tour around the school and meet with teachers and students to learn how the children are being prepared to play a full part in society.

    Lunch hosted by Jose Fuster, one of the most important Cuban ceramists and painters today.

    Afternoon: visit to the community-based project Cintio Vitier in Nuevo Vedado neighbourhood. This project offers painting, papier-mache, drama, music, dance, and other skill development workshops to elementary and secondary students. We’ll meet with director Pedro Pulido for a presentation on his outreach work in the community of Colon.

    Followed by coach tour of the most important sites of Modern Havana such as the Capitol building, the Grand Theatre, Central Park, Prado promenade, Sevilla Hotel, Revolution Square, Malecón seawall, Monument to the Battleship Maine, Hotel Nacional, University of Havana, Cristóbal Colón Cemetery, and the Miramar, Central Havana and Vedado neighbourhoods.

    Dinner at the hotel.

    Day 6 Thursday. Havana- Las Terrazas- Vinales

    Morning departure to Las Terrazas, in Sierra del Rosario where we start the morning tour of the rural town at Rancho Curujey for explanation of the area.

    Enjoy the view of the village that lies above the shores of San Juan Lake and beneath the mountains.

    We also visit the home/studios of local artists and artisans.

    Visit to rural Primary and Secondary schools.

    Visit to the ruins of a French Coffee Plantation built in 1801.

    Continue to La Moka, an ecological hotel with trees growing up through the balconies and ceiling.

    Later we can take a swim at San Juan River cascades and pools. Lunch by the river.

    Check-in at Los Jasmines hotel with breakfast and dinner included.

    Day 7. Friday. Vinales

    Exploration of Viñales Valley, containing the most spectacular scenery in Cuba and some of the most interesting and varied geological formations on the island. The valley is particularly famous for its great freestanding rock formations called mogotes.

    Lunch at Cueva del Indio restaurant.

    After lunch we will visit the Cueva del Indio, used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians as a burial site in ancient time, and as refuge from the Spaniards for both Indians and Black slaves alike. We’ll take a short boat ride on the subterranean river running through the cave.

    Meet with local farmers that have been passing from generation to generation the secrets of growing the best tobacco in the world.

    Visit to Mural de la Prehistoria, a huge painting on the side of a Mogote.

    Explore Viñales Village at your leisure: its open-air craft market, Parque Marti, town church, and other interesting sites of this charming colonial hamlet.

    Visit Carmen and Caridad Miranda’s botanical and herb garden, called the Viñales Botanical Garden. The two widows maintain a garden full of fruits, orchids and medicinal plants.

    Day 8. Saturday. Departure

    Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.

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