fbpx
Top

CUBA Revolution Past & Present

CUBA

REVOLUTION PAST & PRESENT

Santiago de Cuba  |  Santo Domingo  |  Sierra Maestra  |  Camagüey  |  Trinidad  |  Santa Clara  |  Cienfuegos  |  Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)  |  Caletón  |  Havana

DURATION

16 Days

EXPEDITION LEADER

Michael Bustamante

DATES

9th – 24th May 2022

GROUP SIZE

Maximum 12 travellers

FITNESS LEVEL

Moderate

TOUR STATUS

Available

THE STORY

Revolution Past & Present

In the 1960s, Cuba underwent the greatest period of social upheaval and change in its history. Led by Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution bucked traditional U.S. influence over island affairs and forged an alliance with the Soviet Union that put Cuba on the front line of the Cold War. Critical events such as the CIA-backed Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis, which bought the world closer to the brink of nuclear war than it had ever been, catapulted the country to the forefront of a global power struggle. Against all odds, the Cuban revolutionary experiment continues today, with Cuba remaining one of the last outposts of state socialism in the world.

Taking in the captivating highlights of Cuba, this one-of-a-kind expedition is led by renowned Cuban-American historian Michael Bustamante and takes a deep dive into the history of the Revolution and its fraught contemporary legacies. As we follow the course of the Revolution’s rise to power across the island from east to west, we stay in the country’s most atmospheric luxury boutique accommodation and, with extended stays in the colonial gems of Trinidad and the capital Havana, there is plenty of time to experience Cuba’s iconic pastimes. From riding in classic cars and snorkelling over war relics, to taking a percussion class and sampling the very best Cuban cigars and rum with local experts, each day offers an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the vibrant energy of this beautiful country.

Throughout our journey, we will learn about Cuba’s fascinating past and vexing present by going behind the scenes with Cubans from all walks of life. Specially curated meetings with local journalists, artists, academics, and entrepreneurs give us a rare insight into daily issues faced by Cubans and their diverse hopes for change.

Expedition Highlights

Visit the stunning highlights of Cuba including UNESCO World Heritage listed sites such as Old Havana, the Valley of the Sugar Mills and historic Camagüey

Follow the course of the Cuban Revolution in the company of renowned historian Michael Bustamante

Spend 4 nights in Trinidad and 5 nights in Havana, allowing time to immerse yourself in the history and culture of these magnificent places

Sample the very best Cuban rum and cigars with local experts

Join a private salsa dancing or percussion class, or learn how to cook Cuban specialities with a local chef

Ride in Havana’s iconic classic cars and snorkel over war relics in the turquoise waters of the Bay of Pigs

Stay in Cuba’s most atmospheric luxury boutique accommodation and experience a farm stay in the isolated village of Santo Domingo

Learn about Cuba’s changing, complex present, including efforts at economic reform and the diverse hopes and dreams of its people

ARCADIA EXCLUSIVES

On every Arcadia expedition we give you insider access to the most unforgettable and thought-provoking local experiences, curated exclusively by us for our guests. Here are some of the Arcadia Exclusives on this trip:

Day 01 – Arrive Santiago de Cuba

Revolutions in Cuba have historically moved from east to west, and we faithfully follow this route by beginning our expedition in the island’s second city, Santiago de Cuba. Upon arrival at Santiago de Cuba airport, you are met at the arrivals gate by an Arcadia representative. You will then be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

 

Following a 6pm group meeting with our Expedition Leader at the hotel, we will have a lavish welcome dinner at a local paladar – a private restaurant – opened by entrepreneurial Cubans and chefs. After dinner, we stroll to the atmospheric city centre and visit Casa de la Trova, a legendary music hall frequented by locals where we hear vintage son.

 

Imperial Hotel or similar | Meals: D

Day 02 – Santiago de Cuba

This morning we explore the historic heart of Santiago, founded in 1515 by the Spanish. We visit the Moorish-influenced Spanish governor’s mansion, the oldest house in Cuba, and stop in at the small Museum of Rum to meet a rum sommelier and learn the fascinating story of rum in Cuba’s history.

 

We will break for coffee at the oldest tavern in the city on the edge of the popular Plaza de Dolores. French plantation owners, fleeing the Haitian Revolution (often with their slaves) at the end of the 18th century, cultivated the aromatic bean in the surrounding mountains, introducing coffee culture to the island. We visit the upmarket Vista Alegre, a neighbourhood of pastel mansions and tree-lined roads. It’s here where we’ll meet local historians in their stylish home and enjoy a light lunch.

 

This afternoon we will meet a Santiago brotherhood who rehearse all year for annual dance parades and congas, especially during the city’s July carnivals. Slaves, bought to Cuba from West Africa starting in the 1520s, formed these brotherhoods (cabildos) on the sugar plantations in eastern Cuba to preserve cultural traditions from their territories and nations of origin. We will learn about the central role of slavery in Cuba , Afro-Cuban religions, and more.

 

We then drive south to the coast to visit the imposing UNESCO World Heritage listed El Morro Fortress that guards the tip of the Bay of Santiago. We learn about Cuba’s colonial legacies and the pivotal naval battle between the Americans and the Spanish that took place here in 1898. Trying to break out of the harbour, the entire Spanish fleet was decimated in two hours by the Americans. This not only signalled the end of 400 years of Spanish rule, but it also dashed many Cuban’s hopes of independence free from U.S. control. We will tour the fort’s small shipwreck museum and watch the atmospheric sunset cannon firing ceremony.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
We finish our day dining at the home of a local Santiaguero family, relatives of our Expedition Leader Michael Bustamante, who live just a few blocks from the city’s central square. We’ll gain a unique insight from our hosts about life in modern Cuba and how the city has changed over the years.

 

Tonight you are free to explore this vibrant city – we can take you to some of Santiago’s best live music venues or for a dance at a local bar.

 

Imperial Hotel or similar | Meals: B, L, D

Day 03 – Santiago de Cuba to Santo Domingo

This morning we visit the site many consider the beginning of Fidel Castro’s revolution, the Moncada Barracks. Determined to directly confront Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship, Castro decided that only armed rebellion could bring an end to the regime. On the night of July 26, 1953, Castro and his rebel group attacked Moncada, the country’s second largest army base. The assault was an abject failure, with 68 rebels executed soon after and Castro himself arrested. Acting as his own defence attorney at his subsequent trial, Castro’s lengthy self-defence speech, famously known later by its last line ‘History will absolve me’, became one of the Cuban Revolution’s foundational texts. Though the future of the anti-Batista movement was in doubt, after two years, Castro and other survivors were amnestied from jail. Members of a renamed 26th of July Movement, organised from exile in Mexico, turned to Moncada for inspiration.

 

A short drive away we will visit the magnificent Santa Ifigenia Cemetery of marble tombs. Here lies José Martí, the venerated poet, journalist, and mastermind of Cuba’s 1895-98 war of independence against the Spanish. Nearby sits the prominent, yet in some ways modest grave of Fidel Castro, who died in 2016.

 

Following lunch, we leave for the Sierra Maestra, the dramatic mountains where in 1956 the 18 or so surviving rebels from Castro’s disastrous return to Cuba by sea from Mexico on the cruiser Granma sought refuge. En route we enter the El Cobre sanctuary, an isolated church that houses the most important image of the patron saint of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity, and once displayed Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel Prize for Literature medal. We learn more about the role of the Catholic Church in Cuba historically, as well as the syncretism of Catholic saints with orishas in Afro-Cuban religions like Regla de Ocha (popularly, if sometimes despairingly referred to as santeria).

 

We continue to the isolated hamlet of Santo Domingo and will enjoy a riverside dinner at our accommodation for the next two nights, a delightful farm stay in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Maestra.

 

B&B | Meals B, L, D

Day 04 – Santo Domingo (Sierra Maestra)

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
This morning our travellers can choose from the following included options in Santo Domingo:

 

Fidel Castro’s 1958 Base Camp
Trek to Fidel Castro’s rebel headquarters in the Sierra Maestra – Comandancia de la Plata. This cluster of bedrooms, offices, a hospital, and a radio station founded by Che Guevara, is hidden in epic high-altitude terrain. A four-to-five hour round trip from Santo Domingo, this hike is rated an intermediate level.

 

Horse Riding Adventure
Embark on an exhilarating horse ride through the village of Santo Domingo and along the River Yara, which rushes through this wild mountain outpost. Ride at your own pace and witness tranquil scenery completely off the tourist trail.

 

Farm Cooking Class
Learn with the chef at our B&B how to cook the very best of Cuba’s culinary repertoire. Pluck fresh herbs from the garden and learn Cuban cocktail mixology tricks to take back home with you.

 

Following the day’s adventure, we’ll talk to the B&B and farm owner over dinner about life in Cuba’s countryside, and meet a farmer who has lived in this mountain village since Fidel set up camp in the late 50s.

 

B&B | Meals B, D

Day 05 – Camagüey

We leave Santo Domingo to head for historic Camagüey. Originally founded as Puerto del Príncipe on the island’s north coast in 1514, the city was moved inland in 1528. Legend relates that its higgledy piggledy maze of roads evolved to deter roving buccaneers. We take time to walk the UNESCO World Heritage listed old quarter, made up of gorgeous white colonial buildings, churches, plazas and museums.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
Following lunch at a local paladar, we meet with students and teachers of Cuba Emprende, the first entity in Cuba training entrepreneurs in the skills of running a business. Thousands of Cubans launched their own small businesses after Raúl Castro reformed parts of the economy in late 2010. Yet, there was no educational program in the country to teach would-be entrepreneurs how to write a business plan. Cuban Americans joined forces with the Catholic Church to adapt the model of a Mexican Ngo ‘Fundación Pro-Empleo’ and Cuba Emprende was born.

 

The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to enjoy at leisure in Camagüey.

 

B&B | Meals: B, L

Day 06 – Trinidad

We leave Camagüey this morning and stop by the historic small city of Sancti Spíritus. The city was founded in 1514 and is home to one of the best-preserved colonial churches on the island. The local history museum is inside a grand 18th-century mansion, which once belonged to one of the country’s most important sugar families.

 

After a light lunch at a riverside tavern, we arrive into Cuba’s best-preserved Spanish colonial town, Trinidad, our home for the next four nights. This afternoon is free for you to start exploring the charming cobblestone streets, atmospheric plazas and sumptuous pastel mansions of this pretty UNESCO World Heritage listed town.

 

Tonight we will dine at a local paladar in the town centre before spending the evening at leisure – enjoying a digestif in a local bar or checking out the best live music venues.

 

B&B | Meals: B, L, D

Day 07 – Trinidad

To gain a deeper understanding of Trinidad’s colourful colonial history, we stroll the beautiful old quarter with a Conservation Architect. We immerse ourselves in this extraordinary town, once called the ‘Florence of the Caribbean’, and hear stories of famed visitors such as the conquistador Hernán Cortés and the controversial Apostle of the Indies, Bartolomé de las Casas, known for denouncing the cruel treatment of Indigenous people in the Caribbean but, curiously, not African slaves.

 

We visit Trinidad’s most important museum, the Museo Histórico Municipal. Housed inside a sugar baron’s palace, this intriguing museum features chandeliers, ceramics, furniture, frescoes and a lookout tower. We also visit the Museo de la Lucha Contra Bandidos, a small museum where we learn about the anti-Castro counterinsurgency campaign from 1960-1965 in the mountains surrounding Trinidad. The original plan for the Bay of Pigs invasion was for the U.S.-backed forces to link up with these counterrevolutionary groups.

 

We share a light lunch today with a local restaurant owner and B&B host at his paladar. This Trinitario will speak candidly about running a business, or three, in Cuba, giving us a valuable insight into the highs and lows of entrepreneurship in a socialist system.

 

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
This afternoon our travellers can choose from the following included options in Trinidad:

 

Salsa Dancing Class
Salsa is Cuba’s second language and dancing with confidence is a passport to Cuba’s rich musical culture. In fact, what foreigners think of as generic ‘salsa,’ Cubans know as a series of more specific genres: songo, timba, or the more classic son. In this entertaining class, you learn the basic footwork of these electrifying dances with a local teacher.

 

Percussion Class
The rich percussive sounds of Cuba’s music are addictive. Explore the role of individual instruments and learn to play an instrument of your choice in this fun class with our expert musicians.

 

Artists’ Studio Tour
Trinidad was recently named a World Craft City and is known for its arts and crafts, especially lace work. This immersive tour gives you the chance to visit the studio of some local artists, meet with them and observe their work.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
Tonight we have invited some locals to join us for some casual intellectual exchanges to further enhance our understanding of what we are seeing. Dinner will be at a local paladar with a young journalist to get the inside track on the stories behind Trinidad’s picture perfect facade. After dinner, we share a cocktail with a young Trinitario entrepreneur who opened one of the town’s hippest bars.

 

B&B | Meals: B, L, D

Day 08 – Trinidad

This morning we take a short drive to Valley of the Sugar Mills, the ideal place for us to learn more about a crop that has influenced Cuba’s history for centuries.

 

Sugar arrived in the Caribbean by way of Spanish and Portuguese empires, that had first developed the crop in islands off the African coast like São Tomé and Príncipe. Yet it wasn’t until the slave uprising in the French colony of Saint Domingue, beginning in 1791, that sugar production in Cuba acquired truly industrial proportions. In the aftermath of what became known as the Haitian Revolution, as sugar production in that country declined, Cuban planters jumped on the opportunity to fill the void. However, as it had in Saint Domingue, the sugar business in Cuba depended on slave labour. All told, more than two million slaves were forcibly brought to Cuba across the island’s history as a Spanish colony. In fact, more enslaved Africans were sent to Cuba in the nineteenth century alone than in the entire history of slavery in what became the United States.

 

After emancipation in 1886, the island’s economy remained wedded to sugar production and export – increasingly to the United States. “Without sugar, there is no country” went the saying. However, the reliance on a single crop made Cuba highly vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles. Across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, reformers of different stripes agreed on the need to diversify Cuba’s agricultural base, and to industrialise. Yet, while the Cuban revolutionary government initially made those goals its own, it too failed to break the island’s sugar curse, mobilising large portions of the citizenry to participate in sugar harvests in the late 1960s, all to generate exports sold to the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc at subsidised prices.

 

The UNESCO World Heritage listed Valley of the Sugar Mills, where 56 mills were once located, once powered Cuba’s sugar revolution. Today, by contrast, Cuba’s sugar industry is in steep decline. We tour a select number of under-the-radar restored sugar estates with an expert guide and learn how the industry’s huge profits led to the growth of Trinidad.

 

After a leisurely lunch, the afternoon is free for you to enjoy Trinidad and its surrounds. Perhaps a swim by the Caribbean sands of nearby Ancón beach or a walk to a waterfall.

 

B&B | Meals: B

Day 09 – Santa Clara

Today we spend a fascinating day in Santa Clara, an urbane colonial city famous for its connection to Argentine doctor-turned-rebel Che Guevara. Che met the Castro brothers in Mexico and, with his growing communist leanings and fervent commitment to fighting for the rights of the oppressed, quickly joined the group.

 

Santa Clara was the sight of the Revolution’s greatest victory in battle, with Guevara leading a column that captured an armoured train carrying armaments for Batista’s forces. It marked the Batista military’s last stand. We will visit the site of the battle, a small museum and the mausoleum where Guevara’s remains (recovered years after his execution by Bolivian Special Forces in 1967) are laid to rest.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
We lunch with a paladar and restaurant owner who will share his experiences of Santa Clara’s lively music and theatre scene in his pretty patio garden. Following lunch, we meet a rare female cigar sommelier who runs a private cigar bar in her house. We learn from the master the finer details of one of Cuba’s most famous exports.

 

We return to Trinidad late this afternoon, with the evening free for you to enjoy at leisure.

 

B&B | Meals: B, L

Day 10 – Cienfuegos & Play Girón (Bay of Pigs)

We leave Trinidad via a coastal road to the Bay of Pigs. En route, we will make a short stop in the French-founded historic centre of Cienfuegos city. Among its imposing neoclassical architecture, the stand-out building here is the Tomás Terry Theatre with its Spanish frescoes, marble statues, mirrors and beautiful U-shaped auditorium.

 

After the revolutionary forces were victorious in 1959, Castro began an extensive reform program that included expropriating US companies and seizing US land. The US reacted by cutting trade ties with Cuba, with first Eisenhower, then Nixon, hatching plans for a CIA-backed invasion by Cuban exiles in the hope of promoting a popular uprising against Castro.

 

Kennedy learned of the plans upon assuming power and agreed to a slightly watered-down version, which went ahead in April 1961. 1,400 exiles arrived in three ships at the Bay of Pigs, but with a much larger military force mobilised to repel them, they were quickly defeated. This represented a major turning point for the Revolution. On the eve of the invasion (which Cuba knew was coming, just not where), Castro declared his revolution to be socialist. Thereafter, Cuba’s government moved to strengthen ties with the Soviet Union to protect the country from further U.S. aggression.

 

We visit the fascinating Bay of Pigs Museum and walk along the beach where the exiles landed with our expert Expedition Leader Michael to learn more about the context of this momentous battle.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
Tonight we have the very special experience of sharing dinner with a local escaping the attack on the Bay of Pigs. Over a seafood meal, we hear stories from the battlefront and gain a rare glimpse of this famed event through Cuban eyes.

 

We spend the night in a B&B in Cuba’s only bohemian sea-front village, Caletón.

 

B&B | Meals: B, L, D

Days 11 – Caletón (Bay of Pigs)

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
This morning our travellers can choose from the following included options at the Bay of Pigs:

 

Snorkelling over war relics
This aquatic adventure at the Bay of Pigs begins with a dip in the turquoise water of a limestone sinkhole close to the coast. We then travel a short way for shore access to the Caribbean proper and the chance to snorkel over a sunken landing craft from the ill-fated 1961 invasion, along with the eye-popping colours of sea life.

 

Birdwatching at a wildlife refuge
The largest wetland in the Caribbean that fringes the Bay of Pigs is home to rare endemic birds including Cuba’s famous Bee Hummingbird – the smallest bird in the world – as well as Cuban crocodiles and flamingos. Rise early to head out with an expert birding guide and take in the rare wildlife.

 

This afternoon we enjoy an early lunch on the beach and meet a conservationist to learn about the area’s important Ramsar-protected wetland and endemic wildlife. We discuss climate change in Cuba and the island’s active plan to tackle it.

 

After lunch we leave for Havana. On the way we stop at the city’s outskirts at Finca Vigía, Lookout Farm, where writer Ernest Hemingway made his home from 1939 to 1960, and penned many of his novels.

 

Tonight we enjoy dinner in a private paladar and drinks at one of Havana’s new, cool city bars.

 

La Reserva | Meals: B, L, D

Day 12 – Havana

It is said that Cuba has two distinct histories, one of the global city of Havana and one of the territory around it. We spend the next four days immersed in the capital, peeling back the layers of past and present and meeting with fascinating local people, whose stories bring this glorious city to life.

 

After breakfast, we wander through the Old City with an expert Cuban architect. La Habana Vieja, founded in 1519, brims with old churches, mansions and portals, and restored, lively squares. We stop for lunch in an Old City paladar where we have invited a foreign journalist to dine with the group. An expat’s view can give insightful perspective to what we are seeing, particularly one who reports on contemporary Cuba for the international press.

 

This afternoon we visit the Museum of the Revolution inside the opulent former Presidential Palace, of pre-revolutionary governments, whose interiors were fashioned by Tiffanys of New York. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure in Old Havana for shopping, bar hopping and other museums. We will let you know what’s in store this evening for live music, jazz, ballet, and 1950s-style cabaret.

 

La Reserva | Meals: B, L

Day 13 – Havana

We have curated a number of informal meetings with local people today, beginning with a visit to several Cuban artists in their studios across the city, where we see their works and talk with them about their hopes for the city’s future. Lunch is at Havana’s only Russian restaurant, where we talk to the Ukrainian-born owner and the academic son of a Cuban-Russian marriage, the ideal way to learn about the Russian legacy in Cuba and the catastrophic effect the collapse of the Soviet Union had on the country. This afternoon we will talk to a Cuban economist about Cuba’s current conundrums at our B&B.

 

After freshening up at our B&B, we head out in the late afternoon to see Cuba’s first privately designed hotel, where we’ll talk to young architects, designers and creatives to learn about the challenges of running a private business in Cuba.

 

Drinks will be at one of Havana’s coolest spots, El Cocinero, before we head next door to the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, Havana’s hippest spot – an old peanut oil factory turned into a pioneering culture venue and photography space run by a rock musician. We’ll enjoy dinner inside the Fábrica and we’ll stay for the music and dance.

 

La Reserva | Meals: B, L, D

Day 14 – Havana

After breakfast we will visit Havana’s impressive Capitol Building. Lavished with a gold dome, courtesy of the Russians, this recently restored building boasts magnificent marble and mirror interiors. Once the home of Cuba’s bicameral legislature before the Revolution, it is slated to become the seat of Cuba’s present-day one-party National Assembly.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
To help in our quest to look at Cuba’s politics and history from every angle, this morning we meet a loyal supporter of the Revolution. We continue on for lunch in the modest Vedado home of a Cuban family. The older generation in this family are committed Revolution loyalists whilst the younger generations have forged their own way. We discuss with the family how they make ends meet in Cuba’s moribund economy.

 

Arcadia Exclusive
Our group will have the privileged chance to meet Ernesto Guevara, Che Guevara’s youngest son. With an uncanny family resemblance, Ernesto talks with us about his tourism business and the legacy in Cuba of his famous father.

 

This afternoon is free for you to further explore Havana’s sights and sounds or to relax in our B&B to have some down time to absorb what you are seeing.

 

Tonight we will experience one of our most memorable dining experiences of the expedition, a dinner and private music concert in an upmarket Havana neighbourhood.

 

La Reserva | Meals: B, L, D

Day 15 – Havana

Today we travel an hour outside of Havana to meet with one of Cuba’s leading agricultural lights and join him for lunch at his farm. The organic, family run farm is dedicated to horticulture, bee-keeping, cattle and horse farming and agrotourism. Some 30 employees from the local community are invested in this hard-working co-operative. The farm sells its herbs and greens to private restaurants in Havana and honey to the state.

 

Back in Havana, we’ll visit a rations store and agricultural market to learn about food supply in Cuba. The functioning of such markets has recently been thrown into confusion due to a tricky process of currency devaluation and unification currently underway.

 

This afternoon, we’ll visit an interesting social project where hairdressers and bartenders are trained for future work placement. This visit takes in a tour of a fascinating vintage hair salon-cum-hairdressing-museum. We talk to one of the directors of this project plus some of the students.

 

After a rest at our B&B, our expedition culminates with the thrilling experience of riding in Havana’s iconic classic cars. Used as a test track by American car manufacturers in the first half of the 20th Century, Havana had almost 100,000 Chevrolets, Cadillacs and Chryslers by 1956. With the U.S. embargo after the revolution, no new cars (or car parts) arrived and locals had to innovate to keep these cars functioning. These classic cars drop us off to our special farewell dinner venue, where we reflect on our expedition and say farewell to our new found friends.

 

La Reserva | Meals: B, L, D

Day 16 – Departure from Havana

After breakfast, our expedition comes to an end. You will be transferred to Havana’s José Martí Airport or embark on further touring around Cuba.

 

Meal: B

Important Note

Cuba is a developing country and has recently experienced an economic downturn that has caused local infrastructure and communications to deteriorate in some places. As such, we are unable to confirm all of the elements in the above itinerary, but will endeavour to do so closer to the departure date.

 

Therefore, due to the general unpredictable nature of travelling in Cuba, included activities as stated cannot be guaranteed. However suitable substitutes will be arranged in case of last-minute cancellations. We ask our clients to join us in adapting a flexible attitude to this adventure.

OPTIONAL PRE AND POSTEXPEDITION TOURING

YOUR EXPERT EXPEDITION LEADER

Cuba-ExpeditionLeader-Michael-Bustamante

Michael Bustamante

Born into a Cuban-American family and raised in South Florida, Michael is an Assistant Professor of Latin American history at Florida International University in Miami. His research, writing, and teaching focus on the history of Cuba and the Cuban-American community. He is a frequently sought-after commentator on contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American affairs for U.S. and international media. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Michael is the author of Cuban Memory Wars: Retrospective Politics in Revolution and Exile and co-editor of The Revolution from Within: Cuba 1959-1980. Additional academic writing has appeared in journals such as Journal of American Ethnic History and Latino Studies. His writing on contemporary Cuban politics has been featured in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Post, among other publications. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Cuban Studies. Prior to his career in academia, Michael served as Research Associate for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank.

He has been traveling to Cuba since 2005, at which time he connected with relatives on the island that no one in his immediately family had seen in decades. Since 2013, Michael has served as a study-leader for diverse educational trips to Cuba. A gifted storyteller, Michael’s quick wit and infinite source of anecdotes gives him the ability to convey detailed history in a lively and fascinating manner. He remains a firm believer in the power of cultural exchange, and welcomes the opportunity to introduce new visitors to Cuba’s contentious history, the contradictions of its present, and the resilient people who navigate both.

ACCOMMODATION HIGHLIGHTS

DATES & PRICES

$11,750

PER PERSON, TWIN SHARE
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $990 per person

9th - 24th May 2022
16 DAYS

INCLUSIONS

  • Meals as per itinerary (15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 dinners) including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Private airport transfers (arrival and departure)
  • Accommodation as stated on a twin-share basis
  • Porterage at hotels
  • All land transport by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Services of an Arcadia Expedition Leader and tour escort
  • Sightseeing as specified including entrance fees to sites mentioned in itinerary
  • Reusable responsible travel water bottle with daily drinking water provided
  • Gratuities/tipping for local guides, drivers, accommodation staff and restaurants for included meals
  • All taxes

EXCLUSIONS

  • Return international flights
  • Passport and Cuba Tourist Card charges
  • Items of a purely personal nature (i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc)
  • Excess luggage
  • Lunch and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in itinerary
  • Travel insurance with health cover (a compulsory Cuba entry requirement)

MORE ADVENTURES

DON’T MISS OUT!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Be the first to get the latest on new expeditions, updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
SUBSCRIBE
close-link