On your first day in Havana you are taken on a short walking tour - usually within 24 hours of your arrival - to familiarise you with your new surroundings, such as money change and internet services, and to give you a flavour of the opportunities to enjoy your free time in this exciting location. While in Havana during weeks 1, 2 and 4 your time will feature the following activities.
Intensive Spanish lessons from Monday to Friday take place shortly after breakfast at 09:00 sharp. Your teacher is licensed and on day 1 you receive a short test to establish your level and objectives. Lessons take the format of 3 x 45 minutes each morning, with 15-minute breaks to refresh, making approximately 3 hours of Spanish lessons each day (15 hours per week).
There are 2 dance classes per week, usually Tuesday and Thursday from 14:00-15:00. You are taken through your paces - lessons feature Salsa but depending your progress you may also be introduced to Son, Rueda de Casino, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba and perhaps a few moves you haven’t even heard of! The lessons are delivered a short walk from your accommodation by a licensed dance instructor, and in the evenings there are MANY free live music venues where you can do your homework.
Hop onto a Wah-Wah (fume belching local bendy bus) or Colectivo (classic car/communal taxi) and take to the streets to discover the real Habana. Understand how Habaneros live; the practical day to day issues Cubans face living in this complicated country at this exciting time and help us take away some answers to our own ‘first world’ problems!
Three times weekly (usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons approx. 14:00-17:00) we take you on an adventure to help you understand and enjoy the history of Cuba and Habana - the source of the amazing wealth, the rich cultural mix, marvel at the faded patina of Habana’s famous gorgeous neo classical architecture, the rumble of classic American cars, curious Soviet era high rise buildings, ubiquitous live music on every street, dance, exotic religions etc. The list is endless! You will quickly feel at home, gain the knowledge and confidence to enjoy the city in your own time, with new-found traveller and Cuban friends. You have been immersed into the Cuban culture - enjoy!
These cultural experiences and excursions are with our trained local guides who will show you how to buy (and spend!) local pesos, take local transport and generally make you feel at home and comfortable with your new surroundings.
The Discover Cuba content also features additional Spanish language tuition, oral comprehension and dialogue (approx. 4 hours per week).
Two weekends will be in Havana and we go on a day trip to the beaches directly east of Havana. Journey time is 30 minutes by bus and you can enjoy the exhilarating rollers that break on these pristine sandy beaches.
At the end of your second week, on Sunday we head west on a 3-hour drive to the central western region of Cuba. Viñales is a beautiful agricultural town utilising horse power to cultivate plantations including the best tobacco fields in the country. The perfect contrast to your time in Havana here we enjoy the fresh air and natural world including stunning UNESCO heritage status limestone mountains and tobacco drying houses.
Spanish lessons continue from Monday to Friday in the morning, but after lunch we explore. Get ready to hike, horse-ride and cycle through some of the most wonderful landscapes in Cuba. Accommodation, breakfast and lunch, Spanish lessons each morning and an adventure activity every day Monday to Friday help you maximise your time in this special place. The following Sunday we head back to Havana for our final week in Cuba.
The adventure activities in Viñales include horseback exploration Viñales valley including a traditional tobacco drying house to learn more about growing, curing and drying and rolling cigars, trek through plantations to learn about other crops including a sunrise trek to learn about some of the history - and mythology - of this beautiful area. We also take bicycles heading out of town to explore distinctive limestone caves. If you don’t like horses or bikes, alternative arrangements can be made to enjoy the countryside.
Breakfast & lunch
3 weeks of Spanish lessons in Havana
2 dance lessons a week while in Havana
3 'Discover Cuba' cultural excursions/activities a week while in Havana
2 guided weekend trips to the beach
Adventure week in Viñales including transfers, Spanish lessons & activities