Multi-Day Tour

Cuba: Discovering Its People and Culture (8 days)

National Geographic Expeditions

Havana, Cuba To Havana, Cuba

Cuba: Discovering Its People and Culture (8 days)


Day 1
Havana, Cuba
Hotel Parque Central Dinner

Miami, Florida/Havana, Cuba

Depart Miami for Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival, take a brief driving tour of the city. Then, meet troupe members of an Afro-Cuban dance group and enjoy an energetic private performance. Later, check in to our hotel before gathering for a welcome reception and dinner tonight at a local paladar (privately owned restaurant).

Day 2
Havana, Cuba
Hotel Parque Central Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


The architecture of Havana is astounding in its breadth and elegance, yet years of neglect have left many buildings in need of restoration. Learn about the challenges and successes of historic preservation from a local expert, then set out into Old Havana to see centuries-old gems—and meet the Cubans who live and work in them. After lunch, delight in an exhibition by dancers from one of the preeminent Cuban performing arts companies before participating in a discussion with them. This evening, enjoy a private pre-opening tour of a former factory-turned-art gallery. Meet with local artists to learn about the contemporary art scene in Havana. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to attend a traditional Cuban music performance.

Day 3
Cienfuegos, Cuba
Hotel Jagua Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
CienfuegosThis morning, visit an urban organic farm to meet with a local farmer and discuss agriculture in Cuba. Then drive south to Cienfuegos, a port city with French colonial roots. Stroll along the main commercial street on a walking tour of the city, stopping to talk to cuentapropistas (self-employed workers) about the burgeoning private economy here. At the prestigious Benny Moré Art School, watch students perform music and dance, view their artwork, and hear the stories of these talented youth and their teachers.
Day 4
Cienfuegos, Cuba
Hotel Jagua Breakfast, Lunch


Travel along the Caribbean coast to charming Trinidad, where we explore Cuba’s best preserved colonial city with a restoration expert. Set off along its cobblestoned streets, pausing at colorful houses along the way to meet artisans, antiques collectors, and longtime residents who have transformed their historic homes into guesthouses. One such man is Julio Muñoz, a photographer and union representative for the self-employed, whose family appeared in an October 1999 National Geographic magazine article. At his colonial-era house, learn about his private businesses, such as his bed-and-breakfast, and hear about his program promoting equine care.

Day 5
Cienfuegos, Cuba
Hotel Jagua Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
CienfuegosNear Cienfuegos, explore Cuba’s oldest botanical garden with a botany expert who will educate us about ongoing efforts to maintain the rich biodiversity of its extraordinary plant life. Then stop in a former sugar mill town and meet with the town’s present-day inhabitants. After lunch, hear from a local athlete about the role that sports, such as baseball, play in Cuban culture. Later, enjoy a choral performance and discussion with a world-renowned a cappella group, the Choir of Cienfuegos. After dinner, there will be an opportunity to get to know residents of a typical neighborhood in Cienfuegos.
Day 6
Havana, Cuba
Hotel Parque Central Breakfast, Lunch

Bay of Pigs/Havana

Today, head to the historic Bay of Pigs. Trace the dramatic events that occurred here at a small museum, then step foot on the Playa Girón, one of two landing sites for the 1961 U.S.–backed invasion. Then stop for lunch and enjoy an opportunity to talk with a park ranger visiting us from the nearby Ciénaga de Zapata National Park. Learn about the ecology and conservation efforts of the protected area, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. On our way back to Havana, pay a visit to Finca Vigía, the former home of Ernest Hemingway. A museum expert joins us to share a Cuban perspective on Hemingway’s strong connection to the Cuban people.

Day 7
Havana, Cuba
Hotel Parque Central Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Spend the morning with Cuban professionals, discussing education, economics, social issues, the role of government, and other topics of interest. Then visit a fábrica de tabaco (cigar factory) to meet cigar experts and learn about the role that tobacco has played in Cuban history. Celebrate our Cuban experience together at a farewell dinner.

Day 8
Havana, Cuba
None Breakfast

Havana/Miami, Florida

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Miami.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing


Cuba: Discovering Its People and Culture

Within cities seemingly frozen in time beats the vibrant pulse of Cuba’s most valuable resource: its people. Connect with Cubans of all backgrounds on this unique program, learning about their everyday lives and examining the forces that have shaped Cuban culture. From the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Havana and Trinidad to colonial Cienfuegos, meet historians and scientists, athletes and artists, entrepreneurs and musicians—and experience this fast-changing island nation through their eyes.

Trip Highlights

- Discuss historic preservation with local experts, and meet residents as you explore Old Havana and Trinidad.

- Witness Cuba’s shifting cultural and economic landscape on visits to schools, art studios, and privately owned businesses.

- Soak up rhythms of all sorts—from Afro-Cuban to award-winning a cappella.

- Meet with local dancers and musicians in the colonial city of Cienfuegos.

What To Expect

This trip is permitted through the people-to-people general license category authorized by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The itinerary was designed to provide an in-depth cultural experience with numerous opportunities for meaningful interactions with Cubans.

Information about travel restrictions in Cuba will be provided in your pre-departure materials.

While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary listed here, traveling in Cuba requires flexibility, and changes to hotels and activities may occur.

About Us

National Geographic Expeditions offers a broad array of travel experiences to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents, each led by a National Geographic expert, a dynamic trip guide, or an expedition team. National Geographic taps into their vast network of resources around the world when designing trips to create authentic and transformative travel experiences. The official travel program of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the organization’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

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Reviews and Recommendations for National Geographic Expeditions


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By: Howie

Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2015

Wonderful and busy tour.
Travel Advisor:  Dennis Wallace

Very Well done and professional

By: Judd

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2016

Our 14 day Antarctica adventure was wonderful: the National Geographic team were extremely knowledgeable and very much enjoyed their jobs! All were really in to teaching and conveying their devotion to Antarctica and their particular area of expertise. We are already planning our next adventure with NG!
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart
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By: The ayotollah

Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2016

She has helped me with a number of trips and always shines. I know I can rely on Linda to be certain that all of the details are taken care of, and her recommendations are well though out. She is a superstar.
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Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

This was my third trip with National Geographic and, like the others, it was interesting, professional, and well managed.
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Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2017

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Wild and Windswept, for sure!

By: RobinBG

Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2017

Always the best trip out there if you want history, culture and adventure. We learned so much about the places we visited, were able to hear local musicians play, and went to places that are hard to reach any other way than by a small ship. And - the food and service is beyond compare.
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By: Anissia

Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

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By: oh my

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2018

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Travel Advisor:  Natalie Rael

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By: Lin

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2018

The Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands trip exceed my expectations. Travelling on the National Geographic Orion provided an exceptional experience which included spacious well appointed accommodation, delicious food, attentive good natured staff and interesting daily presentations and outings with knowledgeable experts. I can not think of a better way to explore and enjoy the incredible beauty of this pristine and its abundant wildlife. I now understand why there were a number of returning visitors on this fabulous trip.
Travel Advisor:  Samuel Spencer