Sunday, May 20, 2012

Indiana Travel Agent Promotes Collette Tour

Referred By: Lifestyle Tours
Collette Travel Service, Inc. d/b/a Collette Vacations (“Collette”) has been issued a license (license number CT-18568) by the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which authorizes registered guests of our programs, under the auspices of Collette, to legally travel to Cuba, to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized educational exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between you and people in Cuba. Prior to departure, Collette will provide you with a Letter of Authorization to confirm your legal travel status, the authorized travel agenda and activities, and your recordkeeping responsibilities.

Day 1: Sunday, July 15, 2012 Fly to Miami, Florida - Tour Begins 
Join us and explore the cultural and historic treasures of Cuba - just 90 miles off the coast of the United States - but a world away. Fly into Miami, our gateway to Cuba. Tonight, get acquainted with your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a popular Cuban restaurant. (D)

Day 2: Monday, July 16, 2012 Miami - Trinidad, Cuba 
Today your adventure begins as you fly from Miami to Cienfuegos Airport. Transfer to Trinidad, famous for its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses. Tonight, a welcome dinner at a local restaurant introduces you to the vibrant culture of the Cuban people. Afterwards, enjoy some live traditional music at your hotel. This includes a fascinating lecture on the instruments used to produce the distinctive “Sounds of Cuba." (B, D)

Day 3: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Trinidad - Manaca Iznaga - Trinidad 
Visit Manaca Iznaga’s sugar factory and estate, located in the beautiful “Valle de los Ingenios,” or “Valley of the Sugar Mills.” Learn about sugar production and its importance to the Cuban economy. Enjoy lunch at the estate before learning about the local craft of linen-making from the residents. Next, embark on a Trinidad city tour. Visit the Palacio Cantero, the city’s history museum housed in a restored Neoclassical palace. Explore the Old Cathedral, churches, and unique houses of this museum of a city. This afternoon, visit a ceramic studio and participate in a hands-on pottery class while the owners discuss their traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Return to your hotel to enjoy some grilled local specialties at its outdoor restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Trinidad - Cienfuegos - Trinidad 
This morning, drive towards Cienfuegos, the city known as La Perla del Sur (The Pearl of the South). Visit the Cienfuegos Province Botanical Gardens, the oldest of its kind on the island. During a fascinating lecture, learn about the garden’s ties with Harvard University and its founding as a research center where a sugar mill once stood. After a picnic lunch, a city tour highlights the Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion. Later, set out on a spectacular harbor cruise* where local fishermen will share stories and insight into their industry. Tonight, dine at Club Cienfuegos, an elegant restaurant at Cienfuego’s marina, once home to the city’s yacht club. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Thursday, July 19, 2012 Trinidad - Bay of Pigs Museum - Havana 
Embark on a scenic drive this morning, past lush mountains and forests, charming country towns and farms and the pristine Caribbean Sea. Visit the Bay of Pigs Museum in Playa Giron. Through an interactive presentation given by museum staff, discover the history behind one of the major events of the Cold War and how the “Victory of Giron,” as it’s locally known, impacted Cuba. Enjoy lunch at La Cueva de los Peces, which is named for the nearby “Cave of the Fish,” a “cenote” or sinkhole filled with multicolored sea life. You may even spot Cuba’s national bird, the Tocororo, and some of the islands’ most colorful fish. Learn about preservation efforts from local marine biologists and conservationists. Next, travel across the countryside to Havana, Cuba’s energetic capital. Explore the Hotel Nacional, an iconic national landmark. Tonight, dine at the Divina Pastora Restaurant overlooking Havana and its harbor. Visit La Cabaña Castle and take in the Cañonazo, Havana’s cannon firing ceremony. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Friday, July 20, 2012 Havana 
Step back in time as you tour Old Havana. Learn about the city’s architecture and restoration efforts as you visit the Maqueta de le Ciudad de La Habana Museum which houses a model of the city and listen to a lecture from a city planner. Enjoy lunch at El Patio, located in an 18th-century mansion overlooking the cathedral. Visit the inspiring Catedral de la Habana. Meet the students of a primary school in the city’s center and enjoy a talk given by the school administrator. Visit the Caritas Cuba, a Catholic non-governmental charity focusing on at-risk persons, notably the elderly and physically challenged. Tonight, enjoy Cuban favorites as you dine at El Aljibe, just outside the city. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Saturday, July 21, 2012 Havana - Guanabacoa - Havana 
While visiting an orphanage in Havana, meet with the nuns who dedicate their lives to helping these children. Next, discover the secret of Cuban cigars at a cigar factory and learn why they are treasured around the world. Savor lunch at La Torre restaurant overlooking the city. Travel to the colonial township of Guanabacoa and learn about Afro-Cuban religion while at its museum. Explore the Cuban Fine Arts Museum and enjoy a presentation given by a local art historian. Dinner is included tonight as you visit one of Havana’s paladars, a small specialty restaurant. Meet the proprietors of this family-run and privately-owned business as they share their stories about opening a privately run restaurant in Cuba. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Sunday, July 22, 2012 Havana - Ernest Hemingway Home - Casa Fuster - Havana 
Visit the home of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm). It was here that he conceived his final masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea. This cultural time capsule remains much like it did when the author left in 1960. Next, head over to the Casa Fuster, the colorful home to Jose Fuster. One of his apprentices or even the artist himself will be on hand to talk about his work, inspired by Gaudi. Experience lunch at La Ferminia, a popular restaurant that resides at the end of the legendary 5th Avenue. Visit the Latin American Medical School to meet American, Cuban and foreign-born medical students and talk to them about their goals, schooling, what their plans are after graduation, and the challenges of studying medical care abroad. Later, visit the U.S. Interests Section and learn about U.S. policy towards Cuba. This evening, take a trip to the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for. Finally, savor dinner at the Cafe del Oriente as you celebrate an amazing journey to Cuba. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Monday, July 23, 2012 Havana - Miami, Florida - Tour Ends 
Fly from Havana to Miami. Your tour ends today. (B)

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