Join Angela Davis and a lively group of fellow music and art lovers on a diverse and culturally rich adventure to Havana, Cuba. Our customized itinerary includes experiences that ensure we take part in the “Support for the Cuban People” travel category courtesy of Earthbound Expeditions. We’ll enjoy performances in venues scattered throughout Havana and also be hosted at private concerts where we’ll meet the musicians. In addition, we’ll visit social projects aimed at helping disadvantaged youth, take salsa dance lessons from private instructors, eat in private paladar restaurants to support local families and attend a special jazz workshop with Cuban musicians. Stroll the famous Malecón, wander in the picturesque historic center of Havana, lounge in a doorway in your fedora and ride in a classic convertible, all to the sultry sounds of the rhythms of Cuba. Celebrate music and a diverse culture and support the Cuban people at the same time! Note: Earthbound Expeditions guests have been discovering Cuba since 2012.
Meet Your Host
Angela Davis is the host of MPR News with Angela Davis, a weekday talk show that airs at 9 a.m. She joined MPR News in November 2018 after more than 25 years of television reporting and anchoring in the Twin Cities and other cities throughout the country.
Davis leads conversations on a wide variety of topics including how the state is changing, Minnesota’s persistent racial disparities, economic issues, education and mental health. The program includes insight from experts as well as listeners who call in during the live broadcast.
Before joining MPR News, Angela anchored morning and evening newscasts at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and KSTP-TV in St. Paul. She has won five regional Emmy awards for anchoring and covering breaking news. Her television career included jobs at CNN in Atlanta and local stations in Washington, DC, Dallas, TX and Lexington, KY.
Angela holds a journalism degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and grew up in southern Virginia. She also did graduate work in urban affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a member of the local and national chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Angela is the mother of two college students. Her son attends Morehouse College in Atlanta and her daughter is a student at the University of Maryland in College Park. She is married to fellow journalist Duchesne Drew. In 2020 he joined her at Minnesota Public Radio after a long career as a reporter and editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. They live in St. Paul.
Day 1: Arrive in Historic Havana
After clearing Cuban immigrations and customs, you are welcomed by your Cuban National guide
outside the terminal, who will assist with a private transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a stroll on the waterfront
or relax by the pool with a mojito before meeting your guide and host for a welcome dinner at one of
Havana’s best known, privately owned paladars. Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (D)
Day 2: Cuba's National Art Schools
This morning we’ll see the Plaza de la Revolución and the Miramar area before arriving at the National Art Schools (Instituto Superior de Arte). These structures are
considered by historians to be among the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. These innovative, organic Catalan-vaulted brick and terra-cotta buildings were built on the
site of a former country club in the far western Havana suburb of Cubanacán, which used to be Havana's
"Beverly Hills" and was then mainly reserved for Communist Party officials. The schools were conceived
and founded by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961, and they reflect the utopian optimism and
revolutionary exuberance of the early years of the Cuban Revolution. Over their years of active use, the
schools served as the primary incubator for Cuba’s artists, musicians, actors, and dancers. The schools’
design fell out of favor by 1965 and was nearly completely decommissioned until preservation efforts
were mounted in force in the 1990s. Now tentatively on the list of World Heritage sites, they are in use,
though still in various states of disrepair. We’ll tour the facility with the Director of the school and meet
with art students and have an opportunity to purchase some of their art work.
Lunch today is in the elegant Miramar section of Havana. In the afternoon we’ll have a jazz workshop led by some of Cuba’s most respected jazz musicians. Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (B, L)
Day 3: The History of Dance and Conservatorio Guillermo Tomas
Early birds may wish to soak up the sun and walk along the
Malecón before breakfast. Then we set off to learn about the
history of music and dance in Cuba. We’ll meet with multiple
instructors and learn to dance the Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa
This afternoon we’ll visit the Conservatorio Guillermo Tomas.
This music school has 500 students ranging in age from 8 to 19. The 40 annual graduates go on to join
the best symphony, chamber and popular orchestras, or become music professors for new students. This
is your opportunity to bring music-related donations or other items most needed. One year we bought
fans for their rehearsal room! (“Gift” suggestions will be included in your pre-departure information).
Enjoy lunch together and a free afternoon in Havana. Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (B, L)
Day 4: Hemingway and Open Air Market
This morning we're off to visit Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm) where North America's literary giant, Ernest
Hemingway, spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years penning building blocks of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island his true home. We will meet with a local Hemingway expert and to discuss his life.
We will also visit an organic farm and local market and with the assistance of your guide, meet and
converse with growers, vendors and shoppers.
Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 5: Architecture Walk and Sacred Marriage Ceremony
One of Havana’s many charms is the “elegant decay” of the buildings. Enjoy a stroll today that focuses on
the splendid architecture of this city, unlike anywhere in the world. Discuss with local experts, then have lunch together, after which we will learn the art of making a humidor. Later, you are invited to partake in a very special marriage ceremony…of rum and cigars. One can’t come to Cuba without appreciating these two fixtures of Cuban culture.
After dinner, you can check out the Havana arts scene with a visit to La Fábrica de Arte Cubano or FAC,
an old oil factory that is now a thriving arts space. Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 6: An Excursion west to Las Terrazas and Fusterlandia
This morning we leave for Las Terrazas. En-route we’ll travel through the lush countryside planted with sugar cane, corn, rice, and taro. With few vestiges of modernization, the region seems set back in time with farming communities still harvesting by hand and using horse and carts to transport goods to free markets. Las Terrazas is located in the Pinar del Rio province and is now part of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve, much of it reforested coffee plantation. We’ll visit with the local farmers who will serve a delicious traditional lunch and also visit a medical center where you can bring medical-related gifts.
Upon our return to Havana, we stop at the private home and studio of famed Cuban artist, José Fuster
who is known as the Picasso of the Caribbean. Mr. Fuster is a ceramicist and painter whose work has contributed to the upgrading of his entire community. When you drive through the neighborhood which
is known as “Fusterlandia,” you see ceramic tiled walls in fanciful designs. You’ll learn about his work
and are will also be able to purchase some of his art. This evening we head out to enjoy a concert out of
the town! Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston Hotel (B, L)
Day 7: Santeria and Muraleando
After breakfast, we’ll visit a private Santeria house where we’ll converse with local believers about the
religion, which is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba religion (brought to the New World by
enslaved West Africans sent to the Caribbean to work on sugar plantations) with Roman Catholicism
and Native American traditions.
After lunch together we will head to Muraleando, a cultural community center that has transformed a
neighborhood into an art gallery. Created to build artistic skills in children, classes are offered in pottery,
painting, music, dance and engraving.
This visit will serve as an exceptionally inspiring high note on which to end the tour. Our farewell dinner
this evening will be celebrated at a local paladar. Sleep in Havana at the Grand Aston (B, L, D)
Day 8: Depart Cuba for the US
Transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport and check in for your return flight to the States. Buen Viaje! (B)
WHERE WILL YOU STAY
The NEW! Hotel Grand Aston La Habana
(OFAC- US Treasury Department Authorized hotel)
Set one block from the famous Malecon, this upscale hotel is in the Vedado district. The new modern rooms have spectacular views of the ocean, the city and the majestic Malecon ocean drive. There are four
restaurants and several bars including a Cuban cigar
and rum sampling bar for connoisseurs. Hotel
amenities include an outdoor pool, as well as a fitness room, a sauna and a beauty salon.
- Travel with MPR News host Angela Davis
- Dedicated expert bilingual Cuban guide
- Four-star hotel accommodations as listed in itinerary (approved by new OFAC regulations)
- Multi-course traditional meals highlighting Cuban cuisine in Havana’s hottest private paladars! (All meals included except for 1 breakfast and 2 dinners)
- Music workshops with respected Cuban jazz artists
- Salsa dancing and drumming lessons
- Bottled water daily and national drinks (local beers and mojitos)
- All entrances as listed in your itinerary
- Airport transfers in Cuba
- Special insider “Support for the Cuban People” experiences
- Certification of travel to Cuba under the U.S. Department of the Treasury general license
- Gratuities for luggage handling at hotel, drivers, guides and restaurants
- Transport by private motor coach while in Cuba
Pricing and Terms
$4,795 per person based on double occupancy land, $995 single supplement (waived if you are willing to share and a roommate is found)
Ways to save $250 - MPR and Earthbound travel alumni save $100 * Pay your final balance by check and save $100 * Reserve by September 1st and save $50
Please Note: The Cuban National Tourist Agency, a department of the Republic of Cuba, has the ability
to make changes to lodging arrangements and individual tour activities at any time. It is an uncommon
practice, but such itinerary changes are sometimes a reality for groups traveling in this communist
country. Earthbound has been leading successful trips to Cuba since 2012 and we will do our best to
ensure a quality experience for you on this journey. Nevertheless, to enjoy Cuba, it is essential to bring a
spirit of adventure, a high degree of flexibility, and a keen sense of humor.
NOT INCLUDED: Airfare, Cuban Tourist Card (aka visa) fee of $100, Travel Insurance (in addition to included $1,000 mandatory medical coverage), *specialty beverages other than those listed in itinerary, 1 lunch and 2 dinners, laundry, room service, mini-bar service, gratuities for housekeeping staff, items of a personal nature anything note listed in the "It's Included" section above
This legal Cuba tour is operated under the OFAC (The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset
Control) general license, section 31 CFR § 515.572(a)(1) which allows us to provide travel services to U.S.
travelers to Cuba, in the category of “Support for the Cuban People.” It requires that each traveler utilizing this authorization engage in a full-time schedule of activities that enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities and that result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba. The traveler’s schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule in Cuba. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.574.
Cuba is a developing country and still lacks many modern conveniences. It’s not unusual to experience short power black-outs or to find that your hot water, internet, TV or phone in your hotel room does not work properly (or at all). Further, the Cuban government and incoming Havana agency has the right to change the itinerary without notice (and often does). We’ll be travelling under a “Support of the Cuban People” license, which means that our days will be filled with independent activities intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Your day will begin around 8:30am and end around 5:00pm. This is not a trip for those looking for a leisurely, five-star beach holiday or a deluxe resort experience. Travelers who arrive in Havana with a sense of humor, an open mind, and are ready to be flexible, will absolutely fall in love with the people and culture of Cuba.
Reservations and Deposits: A per person deposit of $500 is needed to confirm your space on most journeys. Once the deposit is processed, a deposit packet is emailed with pertinent journey details.
Final Payment: A non-refundable final payment by check or credit card is due 60 days before departure. It is the responsibility of each passenger to make a timely payment. A final packet of information will be emailed shortly before departure.
Cancellations: All cancellations must be made in writing and are effective upon receipt in our office. Deposits are fully refundable for 60 days from the processing date or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first.
Deposits made 90 days prior to a trip departing are not refundable. A $150 per person processing fee applies to all cancellations.
No refunds are made for cancellations after the non-refundable deposit date. It is for this reason we strongly encourage the purchase of travel insurance at the same time you reserve your journey with us.
Concert and Events: If a planned concert or event is cancelled for any reason, another concert or event will be included in its place. This will not be cause for refund.
Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guest is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions and MPR will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents and expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.
Read full terms and conditions at: https://earthboundexpeditions.com/termsconditions
Need more information?Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.