The Culture and Enigma of Cuba

Embark on a unique Cuban expedition with the L.A. Times. On this specially designed eight-day program, explore Cuba through firsthand interactions with local artists, journalists, historians and filmmakers. Trace the history of Cuba, and discover how the island, less than 100 miles from the U.S., reflects an air of nostalgia, embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and stimulates hope for the future. Explore the capital city of Havana, admire the French colonial architecture of Cienfuegos, and wander through the cobblestone streets of colorful Trinidad. Learn about the U.S.-Cuban relations, religion, music, art, architecture, healthcare, race, and economics on this in-depth program. Throughout, meet with everyday Cubans sharing their stories, expertise, and passion for this island. 

Nov 11-18, 2018

8 Days

7 Nights

Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad

North America

History & Politics

8 Days, 7 Nights

Trip Cost, Per Traveler

$5,995 double occupancy
(Single supplement: $1,170)
$500 Deposit
or Call 855.890.5298
Phone Hours - M-F, 7AM – 5PM PT
Print Itinerary
Expedition Highlights
Meet with Cuban journalists from Granma, 5 de Septiembre and Cubadebate to discuss the state of media in Cuba.
Experience the art, culture and music of Cuba with special evening performances.
Visit the FUNDECINE to meet with young Cuban documentary filmmakers.
Learn about agriculture and urban gardening during a tour at a renowned organiponico.
Our Expedition Experts
Catherine Watson - LA Expeditions Expert

Catherine Watson

Award-winning Los Angeles Times contributor.

November Departure

Day 1

Arrive in Miami

Arrive in Miami, and check in to an airport hotel. Tonight, gather for a reception and panel discussion. Hear from Miami-based experts on U.S.-Cuban relations to develop context for the upcoming expedition. (R,D)

Day 2


Depart Miami this morning for a group flight to Havana. After arriving and passing through customs at Jose Marti Airport enjoy an orientation drive of Havana. Stop at El Morro castle for a scenic overlook of the city and Plaza de la Revolucion, where many political rallies and speeches have taken place. Check-in to the Hotel Parque Central, located at the edge of Old Havana. Enjoy a group dinner at the local paladar, or privately-owned restaurant. Following dinner, attend a jazz performance at a local jazz club.  (B,L,D)

Day 3

Focus on Journalism in Cuba

Begin your day exploring U.S.-Cuba relations with a meeting with Rosa Miriam Elizalde. Elizalde, a Cuban journalist, contributor to The Nation and editor of the site Cubadebatei, will discuss the state of media in Cuba, comparing it with issues being faced by media in the United States. After lunch, visit Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, to learn about the paper's influence around Cuba today. End the day with a visit to Fábrica del Arte, a former factory-turned-art gallery showcasing some of Cuba’s contemporary art scene. During this private, pre-opening visit, meet with one of the local artists whose work is currently exhibited. Enjoy dinner tonight as a group at a local paladar, followed by a musical performance. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Cuba Past and Present

Understand the history and architectural heritage of Havana with a morning lecture by a renowned Cuban architect and urban planner. Discuss the restoration efforts being carried out throughout the city before embarking on a walking tour through the streets of Habana Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, visit the FUNDECINE to meet with young Cuban documentary filmmakers. Learn about the growing importance of Cuban filmmaking around the world and the ways film is being used to touch on important topics in Cuba like race, religion, and entrepreneurship. This afternoon, attend a lecture on US-Cuba relations featuring a leading Cuban foreign affairs expert. Discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and gain a comparative perspective on Cuba's relationships with other countries. Tonight, enjoy a dinner at leisure to explore Havana's dining scene. (B,L)

Day 5

Cienfuegos: The Pearl of the South

Check-out of the Havana hotel this morning. Visit the Organipónico Alamar, an urban organic farm. Meet with a local farmer to discuss urban gardening and agriculture in Cuba. Then, enjoy a guided tour of Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba. Meet with a museum expert as you learn about Hemingway’s strong connection to the Cuban people and the Cuban way of life. Enjoy lunch at a local paladar before driving three hours southeast to Cienfuegos. After checking into the Hotel Jagua, have some time to relax before a group dinner at a local paladar. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Trinidad Preserved

Depart Cienfuegos to travel to Cuba’s best-preserved colonial city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad. Meet with a representative from the Office of the City Historian for a lecture and walking tour, learning about the city’s preservation efforts and challenges.This afternoon, attend a panel discussion with local experts to discuss healthcare and the economy in Cuba. Learn how Cuba’s healthcare system is recognized internationally. Return to Cienfuegos late in the afternoon, and enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 7

Cuba’s Future

This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour through the port city of Cienfuegos, viewing the French colonial architecture. Engage with local cuentapropistas (independent business owners) on Cienfuegos’ main commercial street. After lunch, visit 5 de Septiembre, the local Cienfuegos newspaper. Meet with journalists and editors to discuss the role of media in Cuba. End the day with a private performance by the Orquestra de Guitarras of Cienfuegos. Tonight, enjoy a farewell reception and dinner to toast your Cuban expedition. (B,L,R,D)

Day 8

Homeward Bound

After breakfast, depart for Jaime González Airport to check in for the group flight back to the U.S. (B)

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