What you will
experience in Santiago
Barrio Los Hoyos by foot
The famous Los Hoyos neighbourhood is wherejulio was
raised. These streets exude history, tradition, and allow to get a sense for the authentic spirit of Santiago de Cuba. You will pass by the house of Antonio Maceo a.k.a. “the Bronze Titan", one of the greatest heroes from the independence war, and the house of your trip organizer so that you can meet the neighbours, hehe! This barrio is also well-known for its legendary Conga Los Hoyos. Conga is a music and dance tradition that takes place in the streets just twice a year, and reflects a manner in which afro - descendants expressed their culture during oppressing
times. We’ll do some conga, too!
African Roots of Cuba
A day in the township of Guanabacoa. We are going to travel to the community of Guanabacoa, a cradle of Afro-Cuban culture, to visit a local centre and learn about the history of African traditions and religions that have survived until today. Faith and music are hand - in - hand in our African legacy. Therefore, in addition to becoming acquainted with the rhythmic manifestations that have survived, we will also meet a “babalawo”(a type of priest in the Santeria religion) who will explain their role in the faith and the community. If you wish, you may also book a consultation with him/her, so they can look into your future and give you advice on how to best continue your path in life. Lunch will be included, featuring traditional dishes influenced by African cuisine.
Dance the night away
Get your dancing shoes ready as you will be taken to several Cuban discos to practice your newly acquired dance moves. You will be accompanied by a friendly group of Cuban dancers who will share a good time with you on the dance floor. Most of the dancers coming out will be the same dancers who instructed you during your dance workshops, so you will have plenty of time to improve your skills and build an amicable rapport with them.
Art, rum, and museums
History unfolds bellow your footsteps as you visit the various historical sites in Santiago. Did you know that the Bacardi family had one member who was obsessed with collecting rare, beautiful art and archeological pieces from all around the world? Luckily, you will have the chance of admiring his collection. Although the Bacardi family does not produce rum in Santiago anymore, you will visit the nearby rum museum and learn about how sugar cane is transformed into this sweet liquor. This city tour will include checking out the Moncada Barracks, where the Cuban Revolution started, and el Castillo del Morro, the fortress that guarded Santiago de Cuba from the attacks of the real pirates of the Caribbean.
Real Pirates of the Caribbean
Visiting a real fortress at the edge of the Caribbean sea will
give you the thrills as you hear about the times when pirates attacked the coasts of Santiago de Cuba. The Castillo del Morro just outside the city has been well preserved. You will be able to walk through its many corridors and imagine life back in the day, as you understand how important this site was for the development of the island and the entire American continent. For over a century, it served as the most important site of defense for the Spanish crown against invasions, standing strong to protect the island.
Afro-Haitian influence in Cuba
Afro-Haitian migration in the eastern part of the island
occurred in the 19th century, when white French settlers from Haiti fled their island and took their slaves to Cuba. This migration brought about new and distinct music traditions that are still heard and danced, primarily in eastern Cuba, until today. One of Santiago de Cuba’s most prestigious folkloric dance companies will delight us with a performance showcasing our Franco-Haitian rhythmic legacy. Your eyes and ears are in for a treat!
Solving the Cuban riddle
Converse with a well-informed scholar while enjoying a cocktail. Let yourself be transported in time as you learn about Cuba’s unique history and how it has evolved into today’s complex society - the last remaining of its kind. Through this discussion, you will comprehend something few people can: how Cuba works! This will also allow you to better understand how Cubans organize their every day life, their finances, and how the singular political system shapes the island’s society and culture. This two-hour "crash - course” will allow you to appreciate Cuba at a whole different level, heightening your awareness and sensitivity for the rest of your trip, and perhaps beyond!
Ocean, palm trees, and coconuts
A day trip to the beach to relax your muscles and warm up
your soul. The aqua blue Caribbean ocean is waiting for you to jump in it! You will be happy to learn that a common ritual on a Cuban beach is to stick a straw in a coconut and refresh your body with its sweet water. Some of us like to pour in a little bit of rum to enhance the experience. And of course, we bring a boom box to enjoy our music and continue practicing our dance moves on the warm sand around our toes!.
Learn with the best. Santiago de Cuba is known for its great
dancers. You will learn popular Cuban dances like Son, Casino, Rumba, in a class setting where each of you will be assisted by an accompanying local instructor. It is very important to provide you with the opportunity of dancing with someone experienced, so as to maximize your learning potential. Thus, we create an ideal class setting for you. No matter what your level is, you’ll be able to improve.
An Island of Music
Treat your senses to live music in known venues such as La
Claqueta and La Casa de la Trova where various bands rotate on a daily basis. Seize the opportunity to witness some of the best music in the world in a country where becoming a musician requires many years of studying. Your ears will be buzzing the next day and the contagious energy will make you come back for more!
In addition to the experiences,
this is also included in the package price
Casa Particular in a centrally located neighbourhood. You’ll be staying with a Cuban family who has experience hosting international visitors. All precautions are taken to ensure the house is well - ventilated, well - lit, and the neighbourhood is not too loud, but remember you can’t escape music and sounds in Cuba. Roosters, vendors, birds, children and many other colourful manifestations of life are inevitable.
Airport Pick up/Drop off
Pick up and drop off at the airport. Everyone will be received at the airport and provided inland transportation to their accommodation and a return ride to the airpot.
These expenses go beyond the package price:
airfare / lunch / alcohol / snacks / most Casas don’t have Wi - Fi but we’ll show you were to go for internet access.
Breakfast and Dinner
Homemade meals. All your breakfasts and dinners are included to ensure you’re well - fed first thing in the morning. These meals consist of breads, proteins, fresh juice, fruits,jam, Cuban coffee. For dinners, expect tasty traditional Cuban cuisine with nutritious options for vegans and vegetarians. Meat lovers should know that pork and lamb are guaranteed organic; all seafood is wild caught. We take great pride is showing you our most delicious culinary traditions.
Group bus for inland transportation. We will provide transportation whenever it is needed to carry out the activities included in the package.
Your day-by - day schedule will harmoniously accommodate all the activities listed above and will include suggestions of optional, additional things we can do, like concerts, cultural hangouts, places to check out, etc, as well as indication of costs so that you can properly budget yourself for all those not-included stuff. There will also be a free day for you to do your shopping, internet, or whatever. The day - by-day schedule will be made available to you closer to your date of arrival in Cuba.
The prices vary depending on group size.
Our team works hard to always reach a minimum of 10 people per group (unless othenNise established through a customized trip). However, you can let us know what is your maximum budget, and in the event that you cannotjoin a smaller group, we will refund your deposit. We welcome you to also spread the word about the trip and invite your friends to join the group!