W20 Havana, Cuba – Cultural & Language Immersion

An island brimming with vibrant art, soul-stirring music and villages cloaked in colonial charm. Home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a population as warm and scintillating as its tropical climate and colorful arts!

Day 1| Havana

February 22, 2020

Hola Havana! Pack your bags and prepare for the trip of a lifetime! As you board your direct flight to Havana from Toronto, prepare to visit the authentic side of Cuba as we look beyond the ‘all inclusive’ side of this beautiful country. You will spend the week learning about the diverse history of Cuba, spending time with wonderful local people, sharing stories over delicious food and maybe even squeeze in a dance lesson or two.

Direct flight to Havana
Arrive at Iberostar Habana Riviera for a 1 week stay
Day 2| Havana

February 23, 2020

Buenos dias! This morning we begin our day with an incredible tour of Old Havana. Have your cameras ready as you set out to visit the historical and colonial parts of Old Havana. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, take a step back in time as you walk through Francisco de Asis Square, the magnificent Arms Square, The Cathedral Square, Obispo Street, Ambos Mundos Hotel and many more amazing sights.

Following an amazing lunch at Café Opera Restaurant, you will visit the Callejon de Hamel where you might be lucky enough to see a demonstration of the Rumba, a typical Cuban dance. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Panoramic Tour of Old Havana
Lunch at Café Opera Restaurant
The Capitolio
Museum of the City
Café Opera Restaurant
Callejon De Hamel
Day 3| Havana

February 24, 2020

This morning we begin our day by doing a panoramic tour of Modern Havana.  Compare the different sides of Havana by touring the metropolitan and modern areas of the city including The University of Havana, The Revolution Square, the famous “Malecon” seawall promenade and the Vedado Residential from a vintage car!

For lunch, we test our culinary skills as we take part in a cooking class at La Foresta Restaurant.

Following our delicious lunch, we visit a local Cuban school to interact with students. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Panoramic tour of Modern Havana from a vintage car
Cooking Class and Lunch at La Foresta Restaurant
Visit to a Cuban school
Day 4| Vinales

February 25, 2020

Today we leave Havana and head out to the countryside of Cuba to visit Vinales Valley, located in Pinar del Rio Province. The Valley of Vinales is the region with the highest tobacco production in Cuba. Located in Western Cuba, fields with tall palm trees and extensive tobacco plantations are a part of the lush landscape as you venture into the heart of the jungle and visit the true Cuba. Highlights of the trip out to Vinales include a stop at Los Jazmines Lookout to take pictures, a tour of VinalesTown, a visit to the Indian Cave by boat and a visit to the prehistoric wall.

Upon our return to Havana, the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Day trip to Vinales Valley
Stop at Los Jazmines Lookout to take pictures
Panoramic tour of Vinales Town
Visit to the Indian Cave with a boat trip
Visit to the Prehistoric Wall
Lunch included at a local restaurant


Day 5| Vinales

February 26, 2020

Get your cameras ready as today we prepare to take a step back in time as we retrace the steps of Ernest Hemingway. As we go in search of the Hemingway route, we will visit places that became famous by Hemingway such as his home-Casa MuseoFinca La Vigia where he wrote “For whom the bells ring”, “Through the river and among the trees” and “The Old Man and the Sea”. The tour continues in Cojimar, east of Havana. Cojimar, whose name comes from the Arauco language,  meansentry of water into fertile land. Here is where we will visit the Hemingway Monument. This iconic monument was erected by Fernando Boada in 1962. The bust rests on a limestone pedestal and was cast by the sculptor using bronze propels donated by the fishermen of Cojimar. We break for lunch at Paladar BodegonLas Brisas and return to the hotel after lunch.

After some free time at the hotel, we depart for the Fortress of the Cabin. The construction of this impressive fortress began in 1763 by military engineer Silvestre Abarca but was named after King Carlos III. On route to this iconic fortress, we will see Paseo del Prado and the Tunnel of the Bay of Havana. We will stop for a great photo op outside the Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro. Enjoy free time to explore La Cabana Fortress.

Hope you are hungry! Tonight we go to dinner at La DivinaPastora Restaurant. Enjoy a delicious meal and some time together with your new friends before heading back to the Fortress of La Cabana to see a Cannon Ceremony.  With exact precision, everyday of the year at 9:00pm since 1898, the Fortress of La Cabana has witnessed this unique event. Minutes before the appointed time, a drum roll is heard and then the impressive majesty soldiers appear forming a squad while dressed in the style of the time, to maintain and continue this important tradition.

Hemingway Tour
Hemingway Monument
Lunch at Paladar Bodegon Las Brisas
Fortress la Cabana
Dinner at La Divina Pastora Restaurant
Cannon Ceremony


Day 6| Las Terrazas

February 27, 2020

Lace up your sneakers as you embark on a day trip to Las Terrazas. Las Terrazas is a pioneering ecovillage that dates back to a restoration project in 1968. Today, Las Terrazas is a UNESCO-Biosphere Reserve that attracts visitors from all over the world. Upon arrival, you will visit Rancho El Curujey where everyone will be met with a welcome cocktail and will learn all about the community project of Las Terrazas. From here, you will tour the Las Terrazas community, visit the Moka Hotel and the San Juan River. Lunch will be included.

Upon return to the hotel, the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Tour of Las Terrazas
Lunch included
Day 7| Havana
February 28, 2020

Today is a bittersweet day as we head out for our final day of exploring in the beautiful Havana. We kick off our morning with a tour of a tobacco factory, followed by a visit to the rum museum. At the Rum Museum we will take part in a specialized tour and cap it off with a rum drink.

Next, we visit the San Jose Handcraft Market. This market is located in large warehouses that were built in 1885 on Avenidadel Puerto and have since been converted into functional installations to display beautiful works of art and crafts from local vendors. Be sure to bring some spending money!

After picking up a few souvenirs to mark our great journey through Havana, we will have lunch at Paladar Café Laurent one final time as a group.

This afternoon, we put on our dancing shoes and go to Club Chevere to take a dancing class with Cuban teachers and dancers.

Upon return to the hotel, the remainder of your day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Tour of a tobacco factory
Tour of the rum museum
Visit San Jose Handcraft Market
Lunch at Paladar Café Laurent
Dance lessons at Club Chevere


Day 8| Depart for Toronto

February 29, 2020

This morning we don’t say goodbye, but until next time. Hasta la proxima vez, Cuba. We return very early to Havana airport to depart for Toronto.


Second Payment
Third Payment
Final Payment


50 +/-



*Price may increase or decrease depending on exchange rates, final vendor quotes and number of participants.

$1699 +/- ($500 BWR grant applied)

TRIP DATE 02/22/2020





This opportunity is available to all Niagara College students and alumni within 6 months of graduation. Please note that part-time students are not eligible for the Be World Ready Grant.


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*Note: if we will be flying through the United States of America, you must have permission to enter and leave the United States. If you require a U.S travel visa it is your responsibility to obtain this document and email [email protected] a copy/photo.