Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Approach to a Tour of Eastern Cuba

Exploring Cuba’s Roots:
An Independent Travel Collaboration*
in Support of the Cuban People of the Oriente
at the time of Carnival

An opportunity to combine the freedom and spontaneity of the new general license for individual travel with a structured program that introduces you to Cuban history and culture in the country’s vital east end, and the past and current role of the US. 

Bed and breakfast private housing and intercity transportation will be provided by organizers.  The majority of lunches and dinners and consumption at evening events will not be included.

July 21:  fly Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to Holguin

Holguin 2 nights   July 21-22
Pre Columbus Cuba: Visit the gravesite museum and the replica of a Taino village
Visit the company town of United Fruit and the church in Banes
Visit the landing site of Dynamite Johnny O’Brien to bring arms and soldiers for the mambisis
Enjoy the beach with Cubans at Guardalavaca
Two nights of music and dance with Cuban friends (Club Nocturno, Casa de Iberoamerica?)

Santiago  3 nights   July 23 – 25
Visit Biran, the large plantation of the father of Fidel and Raul Castro
Visit el Cobre, home of Cuba’s patron saint
Dinner at Terrazas La Caridad, a paladar that also roasts its own coffee
Learn about Carnival at its museum and see at least one night’s costumed parade and visit community celebrations
Enjoy traditional Cuban music and dance, learn to dance at Artex
Visit the Spanish fortress that protected Santiago; the Maceo Memorial honoring a leader of the mambisi independence struggle, with US supporters like Clara Barton and Dynamite Johnny O'Brien; the memorial at San Juan Hill to Teddy Roosevelt’s casualties;  the museum of the Cuban-Spanish-American war for the other side of the story; the Moncada Barracks (the site of the first stage of the Cuban revolution); the gravesites of Jose Marti and Fidel Castro,

Guantanamo 1 night  July 26
Enjoy the place that Cuba’s traditional music originated, including Tumba Francesa and the Museum of Changui.  We are requesting a visit to Caimanera, the town that adjoins the Guantanamo base, with a briefing on Cuba’s view of US occupation.

Baracoa  1 night  July 27
The oldest Spanish settlement and first capital of Cuba; cultivation of cacao and production of local chocolate 

Return to Holguin  1 night  July 28
Drive to Holguin
Relax at a beach en route
Night of music and dance with Cuban friends (Casa de la Trova?)
Fly Holguin to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale on July 29

Scheduled visits will be included in cost for all participants but they can, by notifying the organizer, choose to opt out of any segment and take personal responsibility that their planned activity qualifies under “support for the Cuban people”.  The individual option is not available during intercity travel or stops en route.  We strongly recommend that each participant, couple or family bring an unlocked quad band GSM phone and purchase a Cuban SIM card in order to combine independence and group maintenance.                                                                

 * If this approach is not accepted by Cuban authorities, we will organize a conventional group tour.

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