Cuba Cultural Adventure with IVS

8 days
Winter
$4,950

Cuba Cultural Adventure with IVS

Experience the culture, history and natural beauty of Cuba with International Veterinary Seminars and Bio Bio Expeditions!

From the moment you land in Havana, Cuba, you will begin to see why those who travel to Cuba can’t help but fall in the love with the country and it’s people. Your trip will include visits to Revolution Square and El Morrow Castle for a look at the varied history of Cuba. You will also get many opportunities to see everyday life, including a farmers’ market visit to see La Libreta, the ration book system, in use as well as a visit to an organic farm to learn of the famous tobacco cultivation.

You then go to the countryside for snorkeling at Cueva de los Peces, located in the Bay of Pigs. Hiking in the Topes de Collantes National Park will be a welcome reprieve from the heat of the valley as the park is situated at 2,600 feet!

Along the way, your accommodations will be bed and breakfasts where you can interact with locals on a much more personal level. You will also be guided by expert local guides who take pride in their country and as such, like to give you the most authentic experience possible.

Seminar registration is US$845 for 12 RACE approved CE hours.

All are welcome including spouses and friends- only the veterinarian attending needs to register for the CE.

Seminar Topics:
Dr. Terry Marie Curtis will discuss how she manages common behavioral problems in practice today, including:

  • Language and Learning – It’s Everything
  • Behavioral Psychopharmacology – Which Medication to Use and Why
  • Human-Directed Canine Aggression: Why Dogs Bite People – Do You Think You Know?
  • Inter-Dog Aggression: Why Dogs Fight- It’s Not Always What You Think
  • House Soiling in Cats – Part I: Eliminating Outside of the Litter Box – Still The #1 Issue in Cats: WHY??
  • House Soiling in Cats – Part II: Urine Marking – “Normal” Behavior That Drives US Crazy!
  • Departure/Separation/Kennel Anxiety: Why Dogs Panic When Left Alone

Itinerary Snapshot

Day 1
Arrive in Havana, Cuba by 11am. After meeting your guide and group at 1pm, you will visit Revolution Square followed by lunch at a charming private enterprise restaurant. Then, tour El Morro Fortress with your local guide before checking into your private bed and breakfasts and meeting your hosts. Evening orientation and dinner. (L+D)

Day 2
Walking excursion of Old Havana highlighting small businesses and entrepreneurs followed by a bicycle taxi to a local farmers’ market to learn about La Libreta, the ration book system in Cuba. In the afternoon, you will visit with a veterinarian about his work and the veterinarian system in Cuba. Evening visit to Jose Fuster’s house, a well-known Cuba artist with dinner in his home.(B+L+D)

Day 3
Early morning drive through the Cuban countryside to Vinales Valley where you will visit local farmers and learn about tobacco cultivation. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a short hike through the beautiful Vinales Valley led by a local expert guide. (B+L)

Day 4
In the morning, you will have a meeting with the Antonio Jiminez Foundation, then explore Havana by electric bike led by local biking experts. Following lunch, you will drive to Playa Larga and check-in to your bed and breakfast. (B+L+D)

Day 5
After breakfast talk with a conservationist and Cuba’s environmental efforts. Snorkeling at Cueva de los Peces and lunch nearby at a private paladar. After lunch, depart for Cienfuegos and enjoy a walking tour that includes talking with local vendors and a stop at the Casa de la Cultura. Continuing on to Trinidad, where you will check into your bed and breakfast for the next 2 nights. (B+L+D)

Day 6
Hiking in Topes de Collantes National Park led by a local guide followed by a traditional lunch in the countryside. Visit a women’s crochet cooperative in the afternoon with a sunset walk of Trinidad in the early evening. (B+L)

Day 7
After breakfast, you will return to Havana and tour Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s home when he lived in Cuba. Lunch in the picturesque fishing village of Cojimar followed by visiting art galleries or San Jose Handicraft Market, where many private entrepreneurs sell their goods. Farewell dinner in a private paladar. (B+L+D)

Day 8
After breakfast, departure flight for home. (B)

(Legend: B = Breakfast included , L = Lunch included, D = Dinner included)

Flexibility and Patience
As with many travel experiences, flexibility and patience are key to having a positive experience on your trip. Especially in Cuba, things are changing very rapidly. Your itinerary is subject to change, and your local guide will do their best to keep you informed and up to date with any changes in scheduled activities.

This itinerary works within the confines of the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s requirements that “Support for the Cuban People” programs promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society. As such, each day of your trip will include a full-time schedule of activities that (a) enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and (b) will result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba. If a “Support for the Cuban People” activity is changed, it will be replaced with an activity that is similar in nature.

Day One
Arrive in Havana, Cuba. Pass through Immigration and proceed to baggage claim where you will collect your luggage. Clear Customs and continue to the arrivals hall where you will be met by your guide and driver. Your guide will be holding a card with your group name. You should plan to arrive into Cuba no later than 11am to ensure that you have time to go through customs/immigration and meet the group at 1pm.

Your first glimpse of Cuba will be your visit Revolution Square, the epicenter of political and governmental buildings of the Cuban government, and it is the site where millions listened to speeches given by Fidel Castro.

After lunch at a charming restaurant, you will visit to El Morrow Castle, the largest fortress in Latin America that also has a spectacular view of Old Havana. You will then take a ferry ride across the harbor with Cubans to experience everyday travel from a locals’ perspective. In the evening, you will check into your hotel and have dinner in a paladar.

Day Two
After breakfast, we will enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana with a local expert guide, complete with stops specified to artists’ workshops, galleries and thriving private enterprises. We will visit a local farmer’s market and ration store, by bicycle taxi, to see how Cubans shop for their everyday fruits and vegetables. During this visit, we will learn about La Libreta, the ration book system in Cuba.

You will have free time in the afternoon to explore Old Havana or Vedado neighborhood on foot, or visit one of the many museums on your own. This evening, you will visit Jose Fuster’s house in the Jaimanitas neighborhood to learn about his artwork and vision for his community.

Day Three
Breakfast will be followed by an early morning drive through the Cuban countryside to reach Vinales Valley where you will visit a local farmer’s house to learn about tobacco cultivation and tour the farm.

Lunch will be at an organic farm overlooking the Vinales Valley, with time to tour the property and talk with the owners. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to hike through the beautiful Vinales Valley with a local guide. Dinner will be on your own, your guide will have many restaurants to suggest, if you haven’t found any on your own in your travels around Havana.

Day Four
In the morning, you will have a meeting with the Antonio Jiminez Conservation Society to learn about this adventurous explorer and his amazing journey via canoe in the 1980s, studying the indigenous Cubans’ route to Cuba from the headwaters of the Amazon.

Next you will explore more of Havana on a 2-3 hour tour of the city by electric bike, visiting various popular stops and some lessor known hidden gems. After lunch, you will drive to Playa Larga and check-in to your bed and breakfast, where you will also be dining for this evening.

Day Five
After breakfast (but not too closely after!), you will snorkel at Cueva de los Peces. On the way to Trinidad, you will stop at Cienfuegos and enjoy a short walking tour.

You will check into your bed and breakfast for the next couple nights in Trinidad. Following dinner, you have the opportunity for an evening activity at Casa de la Musica with live music and dancing.

Day Six
Today we visit the Topes de Collantes National Park for a morning hike! Sitting at about 2,600, this is a nice, cool rainforest reprieve from the warm valley below. On the way back to Trinidad, we stop for a traditional lunch in the countryside.

In the afternoon, you have free time to explore Trinidad. You will also be on your own for dinner after a sunset walking tour.

Day Seven
After breakfast, we return back to Havana. In the morning we will visit and tour with a local expert Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s home when he lived in Cuba. Lunch will be in Cojimar, a picturesque fishing village that was Hemingway’s inspiration for The Old Man and the Sea!

The afternoon will be a choose your own adventure! A couple of the activities you can choose from are visiting art galleries or the San Jose Handicraft Market.

You will then check into your hotel in Havanna and have dinner in a private paladar. After dinner, you have the option to head to the Vedado neighborhood to visit Havana’s Fabrica de Arte, and old peanut oil factory turned art and music collaborative space that is now one of Havana’s most popular spots for Cuban youth and tourists alike.

Day Eight
After breakfast, we depart for the airport, saying farewell to new friends and carrying fond memories of Cuba back home.

A note on the accommodations from our partners who live in Cuba:

Accommodations are comfortable and clean at the bed and breakfasts we stay, and the hosts are very warm and welcoming. Once people have that understanding, that it’s not a hotel, that their money is directly supporting these people, then they have a really wonderful time. They are businesses (more than 25k rooms to rent in Cuba) and very professional, but it’s an important point to clarify that they aren’t hotels. (please see photos in the gallery for examples of rooms you may stay in on your trip)

Departure Dates:

2025 Dates
February 15-22

Trip Length: 8 days
Trip Price:

2025 Dates
$4,950 per person, based on double occupancy

$700 single supplement fee

Option CE: $825

Includes:
· Experienced Cuban tour guide
· 2 bottles of water per day per person
· Legal, licensed American travel tour requirements completed to the best of the detailed outline for Support for the Cuban People provided by the Office of Foreign Assets Control
· Meals outlined in the itinerary
· Accommodations outlined in the itinerary (private bed and breakfasts &/or hotel in Havana – depending on travel restrictions at the time of travel)
· All entrance fees for activities in itinerary
· Air-conditioned transportation while in Cuba
· Airport transfers to/from Havana airport (1 set airport transfer to/from Havana airport)
· Gratuities for all meals included in itinerary, plus 1-2 drinks per meal included as well

Not Included:
· Airfare to/from Cuba
· Cuban tourist visa
· Travel and medical insurance
· Meals not specified in itinerary
· Gratuities for guide and driver
· Items of personal nature-laundry, internet, etc.

Seminar registration is US$845 for 12 RACE approved CE hours. Speaker: Dr. Terry Curtis DACVB

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