May 11 - 20, 2024 Cuba

Overview

Embark on a captivating journey this spring with our Flora and Fauna Tour, and an exploration of the profound impacts of climate change and development on one of the Caribbean’s most biologically dense islands — Cuba!

Engage with experts in birding, botany, sustainable development, and marine biology as we delve into the island’s rich biodiversity.

Highlights of your adventure include visits to Cuba’s national botanical garden in Havana, the tobacco-growing region of Viñales, and the enchanting orchid gardens of Soroa. Immerse yourself in meaningful conversations with professors of environmental education, preservation experts, urban and rural farmers, tobacco growers, and environmental conservationists.

Discover the natural wonders of Cuba through visits to several national parks, UNESCO heritage sites, and Cayo Levisa to gain insights into coastal preservation efforts. This journey isn’t just about nature; it’s an opportunity to delve into Cuba’s history and culture, explore organic urban gardening initiatives, and engage with important community projects that contribute to the island’s vibrant tapestry.

Join us for an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of Cuba’s flora and fauna with an exploration of its history, culture, and environmental initiatives.

For questions or a draft itinerary please contact drea@globalexhange.org

What’s Included

Double Rooms
Single Room Upgrade

Available for $315 extra

In country transport

Private group transportation throughout program in air-conditioned transportation

Trip leader

Fluent English speaking Cuban guide to facilitate

Meals

Breakfast and one additional meal per day

Admission fees

Guest speakers, visits, entrance fees covered as per itinerary

Accommodations

5 star in Havana and Casas in Vinales.

Pick-up

Group pick-up from airport upon arrival and departure

Donations

What’s Not Included

Airfare and tourist visa

Tips to guides, drivers, hotel staff, wait staff

Items of personal nature

Travel Insurance

Itinerary

Times and events subject to change

 

Draft Itinerary for the Flora and Fauna Trip 2024

  • Arrival in Havana, welcome by AMISTUR Guide
  • Enjoy lunch
  • Walking tour of Old Havana, a designated UNESCO Heritage site, visiting the four main historic plazas; Plaza de last Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza Catedral and Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.
  • Check in at the hotel Gran Aston
  • Dinner included
  • Evening on your own
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9.00am Meeting with the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP); your host institution while in Cuba. Discuss US/Cuba relations, solidarity, and more.
  • 10.30am Walking tour of the Almendares River of Havana with a specialist (wear comfortable shoes). Learn about the river and surrounding geography, impacts of urban life on the river and efforts to preserve it.
  • 1.00pm Lunch included
  • 3.00pm Tour of the National Botanical Gardens of Cuba; a large educational, research and conservation based garden located on the outskirts of the city of Havana.
  • Dinner and evening on your own
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit with a Specialist to learn about environmental impacts of development in the city and port areas.
  • Visit with FANJ; The Antonio Nuñez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity. FANJ is one of the few non-governmental organizations in Cuba with a socio-cultural and environmental focus. It has relationships with more than 100 partners in the Americas, western Europe and Australia carrying out research, development and advocacy in the areas of: Geo-historical Research, Environmental Education and Protection of Biodiversity,Sustainable Local Development, The Environment and the Consumer and Preservation of the Foundation’s Archives.
  • Visit to a community project to see how the community has rehabilitated the area to serve the community.
  • Dinner across the bay of Havana (payment on your own)
  • Following dinner enjoy the beautiful night view of Havana and then the historic cannon firing ceremony.
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Depart for Soroa to visit the renowned Orquideario de Soroa and Soroa Waterfall.
  • Lunch in a paladar nearby (payment on your own)
  • Visit to the University of Pinar de Rio to meet with Professors to discuss their work in the area of environment, climate change and preservation.
  • If possible we will meet with students in the program there and also learn about the schools work and exchanges with US Institutions to share and broaden understandings in the area of environment and conservation.
  • Continue on to Vinales for check-in at casas       
  • Dinner included
  • Enjoy a cultural Activity at Casa de Cultura (payment on your own)
  1. Breakfast at your casa
  2. Today we will tour the picturesque region and make our way through the most lush green valley where some of the finest tobacco grows.
  3. We follow up with a visit to a farm cooperative to learn about the organic movement, which rose from the collapse of the USSR and Cuba’s economy in 1991.
  4. Lunch included exploring the local food movement.
  5. Visit to the community project Patio Pelegrin, an artist community and agricultural project.
  6. Return to your casas.
  7. Dinner on your own.
  8. After dinner we will reconvene to participate in a CDR Visit. The CDR’s or Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, are essentially a block organization that can be found in every Cuban neighborhood since the time of the revolution. During this visit you will learn how the committees serve the community now. This is also the best time to bring donations to the community as well as enjoy snacks and beverages together and more importantly to exchange with Cuban’s in their neighborhood and learn about the realities of their day to day life.
  • Breakfast at your casa
  • 9.00am we are off to Cayo Levisa this morning to learn and experience Cuba’s preservation of her coastal waters.
  • Here we will be joined by an environmental specialist from CITMA (Cuba’s ministry of Science, Technology and Environment) who will share with us more about the work of the nation towards a sustainable future and discuss rising seas levels, degradation of coral reefs, mangroves, and beach erosion.
  • Lunch included there.
  • Return to Vinales
  • Dinner and evening on your own.
  • Breakfast at your casa
  • 10.00am Visit to a FANJ Project
  • 12pm. Visit a Tobacco Farm and enjoy lunch at the farm
  • After lunch visit to the awesome limestone mogotes
  • Return to your casas
  • Dinner at Finca Paradiso, an organic farm to table experience. (Not included thus, payment on your own)
  • Breakfast at your casa and check out.
  • Depart for Las Terrazas, a sustainable mountain community that once was deforested but has reemerged as a profound statement to environmental recovery.
  • Upon arrival, tour of the community and take a birding walk with a specialist
  • 12.00pm lunch at the unique El Romero Vegetarian Restaurant
  • Return to Havana

  • Check into hotel

  • Dinner and evening on your own

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit to San Jose Artisan market, also an excellent example of small business enterprises in Cuba
  • Visit to Coral Falso community project to learn of their work in the community.
  • Return to hotel
  • Afternoon on your own to prepare for return.
  • Farewell dinner
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Depart for airport and return to the US

 

 

*draft itineraries are subject to change

Price

From

$

2925

Questions?

Do not hesitate to call us. We will be happy to help you with any questions.

 

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