A Culture of Art: Visual and Culinary


Uncovering the roots of Cuban art and cuisine while learning about the unique way Cubans survive and thrive against all odds!

OCTOBER 19 – 01 November, 2023

 We will visit UNESCO World heritage site cities across the country from Havana, the fascinating capital city of Cuba, to Camaguey, and Trinidad all the way to Baracoa with Santiago and Guantánamo in between!

This Friendship Association delegation will encompass culture, cuisine, and care for our friends in Cuba. We will meet with artists and artisans, architects and archaeologists, historians, chefs and cooks, and a multitude of Cubans eager to share their lives and work with us, and to learn about our lives and work.

We will stay in private homes, eat in privately owned restaurants or with our hosts, and visit independent initiatives.  We will visit the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site; Yumurí Canyon Protected Area; visit the small but fascinating Taino Archaeological Museum “Cueva del Paraiso”; the Gran Piedra Protected Area Biosphere and Isabelica coffee plantation ruins, and other smaller natural wonders.

We will meet with established and well-known artists as well as young, emerging artists and musicians.  There will be new taste sensations as Baracoa’s cuisine is closer to Caribbean than the rest of the country which is Spanish influenced. Private restaurants offering unique dishes such as tetí, bacán, conch and fish in coconut sauce will compete for our attention. We will dance to the Salsa, Bachata, Kiribá and Ningón…

Day 0, 18 Oct:

Meet in Ft Lauderdale overnight or catch up with group at the airport on 19 Oct.

Day 1, 19 Oct:

Jet Blue flight #1499 from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana.  Leave: 12:27 pm, arrives Havana 1:45 pm. check in to B&Bs. Afternoon guided walk of Old Havana (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Dinner at the Brújula just below our apartments. Start with a Havana Libre, Mojito, Caiperinia or all three!

Day 2, 20 Oct:

Group breakfast at Cinco Esquinas. Morning guided visit to National Museum of Cuban Fine Arts.  See outstanding works by famed Cuban artists: Wilfredo Lam, Alfredo Sosabravo, Leopoldo Romañach, Renee Portocarrero, Victor Manuel, Rita Lonja, Amelia Pelayo, Roberto Fabelo, and many others.

Light lunch at the museum or nearby. Afternoon visit with innovative artist Kamyl Bullaudy Rodríguez at his eclectic studio. Dinner at Doña Eutimia for your first taste of the famous Cuban dish: Ropa Vieja. Possible cultural event in the evening.

Day 3, 21 Oct.

Breakfast at Cinco Esquinas. Excursion to Hemmingway’s home Finca Vigia. Lunch in Cojimar at the Ajiaco restaurant for classic Cuban Ajiaco soup. Afternoon free for wandering around town. Dinner at Cinco Esquinas for a Cuban style pizza.

Day 4, 22 Oct.:

Breakfast, check out and leave for Matanzas (2 hours) for lunch. Visit artists, archaeologists and environmentalists on the banks of the San Juan River. Continue on to Trinidad (4 hours) (UNESCO World Heritage site). Check in to Gustavo & Lili’s colonial home.  Evening walk around town. Experience the famous Trinidadian Canchanchera drink.  Dinner at La Botija restaurant.

Day 5: 23 Oct.:

Check out and visit Valle de Los Ingenios and Torre Iznaga Manaca. Learn about the embroidery tradition of Trinidad. Continue on to Camaguey (4 hours). Lunch on the way. Check in to B&Bs…

Dinner with Artist Oscar Lasseria and other well-known local artists.  Taste the traditional Vaca Frita from this cattle-raising area and their outstanding FLAN dessert.

Day 6, 24 Oct:

Breakfast and check out. Morning, a whirlwind bici-taxi visit of the old colonial center of Camaguey (UNESCO World Heritage Site).  Continue on to Holguin (3.5 hours). Lunch on the road. Overnight in Holguin. Dinner and meeting with famous historian and author, José Abreu.

Day 7, 25 Oct:

Breakfast and check out and drive to Guantanamo  (3.5 hours). Lunch in Guantanamo with President of UNEAC, Jorge Nuñez. Then visit UNEAC art gallery and meet with local artists. Continue on to Baracoa.  Check in to B&Bs. Begin the Baracoa Art and Culinary Experience with dinner at Aristides’ Vegetarian restaurant!

Baracoa from the River Miel

Day 8: 26 Oct:

Guided walk of the town, with stops at art studios of Roel Caboverde, Galeria de Arte, Piedra, Casa de Cultura, Mildo, The Church and the Cruz de la Parra and statue of Father Varela. See the recently donated statue of Dr. Enriqueta Favez by the Swiss government. Lunch at Marco Polo with amazing finds from the many rivers of Baracoa. Afternoon: Meet with young, emerging artists. Evening cultural presentation. Dinner of Baracoan specialties and local “tapas”:  Tetí, camarones de rio, bacan, fufu, ajiaco, congrí, puerco asado, yuca, mojo criollo, casabe, calalú, flan, etc., etc.!!!

Day 9, 27 Oct:

Excursion to Yumurí. On the way, stop for a visit to a prominent Cacao plantation and meet with the workers to learn about cacao production.  Lunch on the Atlantic Ocean with our hostess, Mirleidy, with delicacies from the sea and shore. Visit open air museum of former international banana production. You will need a bathing suit to get to the ruins.  Afternoon back to Baracoa. Dinner in a private home. Then, participate in a poetry recital or optional music at local nightclub.

Day 10, 28 Oct:

Excursion to Humboldt National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site). On the way visit TOART community project. At Taco Bay, visit the mangroves by rowboat and learn about conservation efforts of the Park Specialists. Lunch prepared on an open fire by long time Park cook, Maria.  Return to Baracoa for evening cultural presentations.

Day 11, 29 Oct.

Check out and leave for Santiago de Cuba

(5 hours). Lunch on the way. Check in to B&Bs with Margarita. Dinner at Ste. Pauli restaurant for authentic Cuban criollo food.

Day 12, 30 Oct.

Guided walk around the town center of Santiago de Cuba. Visit the Old Government House, the Cathedral, coffee break at Casa Granda Hotel.  Lunch, then visit Carlos Renee art gallery; Ceramic Coop with Xiomara; Israel Tamayo art gallery; Lawrence Zuniga home/studio.  Contemporary Art Exhibit.    Jazz or Cuban Son in the evening.

Day 13, 31 Oct.

Meet Ines & Group from Flor y Fauna for expedition to see environmental conservation projects with school children. Day visit to Gran Piedra. Lunch with “La presidente” with food from her garden and patio. Overnight with Margarita.

Day 14, 01 Nov.

Leave from Santiago de Cuba for Miami on American Airlines. Flight #AA516,  Lv: 11:25 am, arr. 1:00 pm. Some will continue on American Airlines #319 to Jacksonville, FL. arriving at 4:49pm.

Gran Piedra

Purpose and goals

 This delegation is in support of the Cuban people as permitted by the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  We have an intense itinerary with a strong focus on meaningful interaction with our Cuban counterparts through formal and informal meetings. Each participant is obligated to keep records for possible review by the US Treasury Dept.

Our goal is to help you understand more about Cuba and the Cuban people, especially with regard to art and artists, including the creative culinary arts, while offering support to Cuban civil society. Because of the difficult economic situation in Cuba, the delegation will bring material aid in the form of over the counter medicines, shoes and apparel, and educational materials.


Payments, Cancellations, and Refunds (final payment: Oct. 1).

Cost: $3,500 (per person, double occupancy). Add $400 for single supplement (if available).  Includes airfare from an airport in Florida to an airport in Cuba (to be determined), health insurance in Cuba, all group meals in Cuba, all ground transportation, all B&Bs, entrance fees, and tour guides.  Does not include travel to Florida airport, Florida motels, visas, extra suitcases and overweight, travel insurance, and all tips. Since people’s drinking habits vary greatly, to be fair, participants are responsible for all their own drinks, except bottled water.

  • $500 non-refundable deposit due with application.
  • $1,500 due August 15.
  • $1,500 due October 2, 2023 (Or $1,900 for single occupancy if available).

To get started with this Cuban adventure, Email, WhatsApp or snail mail a COLOR copy of your signed passport (photo and signature pages), application form and release from liability to aimisoledad@gmail.com or +904 808 2030 (WhatsApp)

Don’t forget to Zelle or Venmo your deposit to: 904 808 2030 or aimisoledad@gmail.com

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If you cancel before one month from departure, you will receive a refund of 50% of the payment you have made so far (excluding the non-refundable deposit of $500). If you cancel after the last payment date you will lose your entire amount. Leaving a delegation in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds can be made for any unused portions of the trip.

We reserve the right to cancel any delegation for good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants, major political shifts from either or both governments, or international health crises. If canceled prior to departure, you will be eligible for a full refund except for money already dispersed that may be non-refundable. The Friendship Association cannot be responsible for missed connections to and from Cuba for any reason.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.