Discovering the roots of Cuban Culture and Cuisine

Discovering the roots of Cuban Culture and Cuisine by wandering around the towns and countryside of eastern Cuba.

October 11-23, 2022 delegation

We will hike the hills and visit the neighbors from Santiago to Guantánamo to Maisí with Baracoa in between!

This Friendship Association delegation will encompass nature, the environment, conservation, culture, cuisine and care for our friends in Cuba.

We will meet with biologists, naturalists, conservationists, architects, social workers, historians, artists, artisans, and a multitude of Cubans eager to share their lives and work with us, and to learn about our lives and work.

Hiking Patana-Caleta trail (Maisí)

We will stay in private homes, eat in privately owned restaurants or with our hosts, and visit independent initiatives.  We will hike in the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site; Yumurí Canyon Protected Area for a swim and boat ride; Maisí-Caleta Ecological Reserve in Maisí; climb the Yunque mountain (or at least go to the waterfalls on the way up!); visit the small but fascinating Taino Archaeological Museum “Cueva del Paraiso”; the Stone Zoo in Yateras; the Gran Piedra Protected Area Biosphere and Isabelica coffee plantation ruins, and other smaller natural wonders. Alternative, less strenuous outings will be available parallel to these mentioned.

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…

And yes, we will visit Havana and explore this fascinating capital city of Cuba.


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 conservation in Cuba, especially with regard to the environment, endangered species, birds, and nature in general, while offering support to Cuban civil society. Another goal is to assist our independent Cuban naturalist colleagues in their work; the delegation will bring optics, feeders, books, and educational materials to Cuba. It’s good opportunity to brush up your Spanish.


Payments, Cancellations, and Refunds (final payment by August 12, 2022)

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 Cubs (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 their own drinks, except bottled water.

  • $500 non-refundable deposit due with application.
  • $1,500 due June 1, 2022.
  • $1,500 due August 12, 2022 (Or $1,900 for single occupancy if available).

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.


Tentative Itinerary

Day 1:  Find your way to designated airport (Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando or Miami).

Once in Cuba, our Cuban guide, Maikel Cañizares, and our Cuban driver, Ronel, will meet us with a comfortable, medium-sized, air-conditioned bus. We will head for Sancti Spiritus and spend the night at the Alturas de Banao, a nature reserve located in the mountains of Guamuhaya, just outside of Sancti Spiritus.

Day 2: Breakfast in Banao, and morning hike to the waterfalls.  Leave in the afternoon for Santiago de Cuba. Two nights at Gran Piedra in the Bacanao Park.

Days 3 & 4:  Gran Piedra. Climb the great rock. Hiking and visiting the mountain inhabitants. Visit La Isabelica coffee plantation museum (UNESCO World Heritage site and the delightful botanical garden.

Day 5: Breakfast, check out and drive to Guantanamo. Lunch with Jorge Nuñez, president of UNEAC, and noted Art critic.  Afternoon visit to the Stone Zoo and then continue on to Baracoa. Check in to B&Bs and have dinner together at El Buen Sabor.

Day 6: Walking tour of Baracoa with art historian, Rosendo Romero and architect José Enrique Floirián: visit artists’ studios, historic buildings, and enjoy the Malecón. Lunch at Marco Polo restaurant. Afternoon visit Taino Museum El Paraiso.

Day 7: Excursion to Yumurí. Brief stop on the way to visit a Cacao plantation and learn about this amazing fruit. Be prepared to swim and hike in the canyon.  Lunch with Mirleidi in Yumurí.  Evening free for exploring musical offerings.

Day 8: Excursion to Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site). Lunch at the park and hike or boat ride around Taco Bay, one of the most exquisite coves in all of Cuba. Dinner in town at a private “paladar”.

Day 9: Hike the Yunque or stop at the waterfalls. Be fit or be tired! Picnic lunch!

Dinner at home in Baracoa. Celebration of The WEEK OF CUBAN CULTURE.

Day 10:  Excursion to Maisi, hike the Patana-Caleta Protected area. Local cultural events in the evening.

Day 11: Leave for Havana. We will see HOW….

Day 12: Havana by day and by night.  A Whirlwind tour of the major plazas of Old Havana and an afternoon visit to the National Museum of Cuban Art.

Day 13: Departure.














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