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Santiago de Cuba Fiesta del Caribe

$2,174 – $2,298 US Per Person

Overview
Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city, is located on the eastern side of the island. Considered the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution, it is the center of the Afro-Cuban culture and traditional Cuban rhythms. Founded in 1514, the city has a strong Caribbean vibe, evident in the people, the food, the history, the nightlife and the culture.

Once a year, Santiago de Cuba becomes the capital of the Caribbean! Fiesta del Caribe (Festival of the Caribbean) happens in the first week of July annually. Also known as the Fiesta del Fuego, this is Santiago’s most popular celebration. An exciting array of performances, exhibitions, workshops, and street activities are arranged throughout the city during the festival. With colorful costumes and enthusiastic participants from all over the world, this is certainly a celebration not to be missed. Visitors can immerse themselves in the street parades and traditional “congas,” which can be heard reverberating along the streets!

Tour Highlights

  • Credentials to the Fiesta del Caribe
  • Santiago City Tour
  • Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca
  • Diego Velázquez House
  • Ferry boat to Cayo Granma
  • Visit the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity at El Cobre
  • Cementerio Santa Ifigenia
Cuba Map – Santiago de Cuba 2

Overview
Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city, is located on the eastern side of the island. Considered the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution, it is the center of the Afro-Cuban culture and traditional Cuban rhythms. Founded in 1514, the city has a strong Caribbean vibe, evident in the people, the food, the history, the nightlife and the culture.

Once a year, Santiago de Cuba becomes the capital of the Caribbean! Fiesta del Caribe (Festival of the Caribbean) happens in the first week of July annually. Also known as the Fiesta del Fuego, this is Santiago’s most popular celebration. An exciting array of performances, exhibitions, workshops, and street activities are arranged throughout the city during the festival. With colorful costumes and enthusiastic participants from all over the world, this is certainly a celebration not to be missed. Visitors can immerse themselves in the street parades and traditional “congas,” which can be heard reverberating along the streets!

Tour Highlights

  • Credentials to the Fiesta del Caribe
  • Santiago City Tour
  • Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca
  • Diego Velázquez House
  • Ferry boat to Cayo Granma
  • Visit the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity at El Cobre
  • Cementerio Santa Ifigenia

INCLUDED IN YOUR PROGRAM:

  • Accommodation: 5 nights in Santiago de Cuba
  • Local guide to Cuba and driver for duration of the itinerary
  • 1 group transfer in and out of Cuba
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, 5 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Credentials to the Fiesta del Caribe
  • Tour Highlights listed above

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR PROGRAM:

  • Visa
  • Flight tickets
  • Additional arrival and departure transfers for non-group flight arrivals and departures
  • Gratuities and donations
  • Travel Insurance and Trip Cancellation Waiver (available at an extra charge)

July 4

ARRIVAL DAY

Hello beautiful Santiago de Cuba! Upon arriving at airport, make your way through customs, collect your luggage, and meet with your local Cuban guide and driver. Be greeted by the hotel staff with a welcome cocktail while you check in. Event credentials will be handed out during check in.

Once checked in, those ready to explore can head to the Patio de Casa del Caribe to enjoy a welcome show for Festival participants that starts at 9:00 pm.

Dinner tonight is on your own. Your guide can give you suggestions on some delicious eateries nearby.

View of the cathedral of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

July 4

ARRIVAL DAY

Hello beautiful Santiago de Cuba! Upon arriving at airport, make your way through customs, collect your luggage, and meet with your local Cuban guide and driver. Be greeted by the hotel staff with a welcome cocktail while you check in. Event credentials will be handed out during check in.

Once checked in, those ready to explore can head to the Patio de Casa del Caribe to enjoy a welcome show for Festival participants that starts at 9:00 pm.

Dinner tonight is on your own. Your guide can give you suggestions on some delicious eateries nearby.

July 5

CASTLE & FESTIVAL 

Start the day with a visit to the historical center of Santiago de Cuba, Céspedes Park. Take in the house of Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the oldest house in Cuba, built in 1522. This was once the official residence of the first Cuban governor, today it houses the Colonial History Museum.

After, tour the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a fortress on the edge of the city that overlooks the bay. This fortress was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and cited as, “the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles.” After the tour, eat lunch in the castle!

Head to Teatro José María Heredia to enjoy the Inaugural Gala of the 39th Festival del Caribe!

Return to the hotel. Dinner will be at a local paladar, a privately-owned restaurant.

Optional: Participate in the opening of the Taller de Teatro Popular and Casa de Uruguay at 9:00 pm

SDC – San Pedro de la Roca Castle Sea View 4 – 269

July 5

CASTLE & FESTIVAL 

Start the day with a visit to the historical center of Santiago de Cuba, Céspedes Park. Take in the house of Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the oldest house in Cuba, built in 1522. This was once the official residence of the first Cuban governor, today it houses the Colonial History Museum.

After, tour the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a fortress on the edge of the city that overlooks the bay. This fortress was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and cited as, “the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles.” After the tour, eat lunch in the castle!

Head to Teatro José María Heredia to enjoy the Inaugural Gala of the 39th Festival del Caribe!

Return to the hotel. Dinner will be at a local paladar, a privately-owned restaurant.

Optional: Participate in the opening of the Taller de Teatro Popular and Casa de Uruguay at 9:00 pm

July 6

ART & COMMUNITY

Today, go on a whirlwind of culture and beauty with today’s schedule:

  • 9:00 am – Attend the Opening of Colloquium, “The Caribbean that Unite Us”
  • 10:00 am – Visit the Decorative Art Museum. Join the workshop “Popular Religions in the Caribbean.”
  • 11:30 am – Stop at Casa del Caribe. Enjoy the Fiesta Antillana Celebration.
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch at a local paladar.
  • 3:00 pm – Meeting with young entrepreneurs of the Caribbean “Almas Nuevas”
  • 4:00 pm – Visit Los Hoyos Community Project (Martí and San Ricardo Street). The project will present the Uruguayan delegation with their key

Return to the hotel.

Dinner tonight will be on your own.

SDC – Taller Aguilera – Art 3 – 484

July 6

ART & COMMUNITY

Today, go on a whirlwind of culture and beauty with today’s schedule:

  • 9:00 am – Attend the Opening of Colloquium, “The Caribbean that Unite Us”
  • 10:00 am – Visit the Decorative Art Museum. Join the workshop “Popular Religions in the Caribbean.”
  • 11:30 am – Stop at Casa del Caribe. Enjoy the Fiesta Antillana Celebration.
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch at a local paladar.
  • 3:00 pm – Meeting with young entrepreneurs of the Caribbean “Almas Nuevas”
  • 4:00 pm – Visit Los Hoyos Community Project (Martí and San Ricardo Street). The project will present the Uruguayan delegation with their key

Return to the hotel.

Dinner tonight will be on your own.

July 7

CEMENTERIO & PARADE

Another day of the Festival packed with fun activities!

  • 9:00 am – Start with a visit to Cementerio Santa Ifigenia. Visit the graves and pantheons of important figures in the political history of Cuba such as Fidel Castro, José Martí , Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and Emilo Bacardí. Watch the change of the guards ceremony at the Jose Martí Mausoleum.
  • 10:00 am – Concert by the Steel Band at Casa del Caribe
  • 11:00 am – Visit Salon del Caribe at Francisco Prat Puig Cultural Center
  • 12:30 pm – Take a ferry or catamaran to Cayo Granma. Enjoy the cruise down the bay. View Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca from a distance. Take in the view from the restaurant, which is also overlooking the bay. Return to the city.
  • 4:00 pm – Welcome activity by city hall authorities at Plaza Céspedes .
  • 5:00 pm – Finish today by joining the Desfile de La Serpiente (Serpent’s Parade) from Plaza de Martí to Céspedes Park, with drums honoring the Santería deity Eleguá, which believers call to open the way for religious festivities.

Return to the hotel.

Dinner tonight will be on your own.

Santa Iphigenia Cemetery 3

July 7

CEMENTERIO & PARADE

Another day of the Festival packed with fun activities!

  • 9:00 am – Start with a visit to Cementerio Santa Ifigenia. Visit the graves and pantheons of important figures in the political history of Cuba such as Fidel Castro, José Martí , Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and Emilo Bacardí. Watch the change of the guards ceremony at the Jose Martí Mausoleum.
  • 10:00 am – Concert by the Steel Band at Casa del Caribe
  • 11:00 am – Visit Salon del Caribe at Francisco Prat Puig Cultural Center
  • 12:30 pm – Take a ferry or catamaran to Cayo Granma. Enjoy the cruise down the bay. View Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca from a distance. Take in the view from the restaurant, which is also overlooking the bay. Return to the city.
  • 4:00 pm – Welcome activity by city hall authorities at Plaza Céspedes .
  • 5:00 pm – Finish today by joining the Desfile de La Serpiente (Serpent’s Parade) from Plaza de Martí to Céspedes Park, with drums honoring the Santería deity Eleguá, which believers call to open the way for religious festivities.

Return to the hotel.

Dinner tonight will be on your own.

July 8

RECHARGE & GOOD EATS

Take some time to recharge:

  • 10:00 am – Visit the Haitian/Cuban Party at Casa del Caribe. Take this time to stroll around the city and enjoy the festival at your leisure.
  • 12:30 pm – Eat lunch at local paladar.
  • 4:00 pm – Return to the hotel to relax and get ready for tonight’s dinner.
  • 7:00 pm – Enjoy a farewell dinner at one of the top paladares in the city.

Optional: Uruguay Gala dinner at Teatro Heredia at 9:00 pm

SDC – Cuba Sign – 484

July 8

RECHARGE & GOOD EATS

Take some time to recharge:

  • 10:00 am – Visit the Haitian/Cuban Party at Casa del Caribe. Take this time to stroll around the city and enjoy the festival at your leisure.
  • 12:30 pm – Eat lunch at local paladar.
  • 4:00 pm – Return to the hotel to relax and get ready for tonight’s dinner.
  • 7:00 pm – Enjoy a farewell dinner at one of the top paladares in the city.

Optional: Uruguay Gala dinner at Teatro Heredia at 9:00 pm

July 9

DEPARTURE DAY

The day has arrived, where we have to say, “Hasta la vista, Cuba!”

  • 10:00 am – Enjoy your last day in Santiago! Today is the exciting Rumba Day in Casa del Caribe.
  • 12:00 pm – Return to the hotel to pack up and check out
  • 1:30 pm – Eat lunch at local paladar.
  • 3:00 pm – Continue to El Cobre to visit the National Shrine Basilica of Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre. Our Lady of El Cobre is the Cuban patron saint.
  • 4:30 pm – Depart for Loma del Cimarron and visit El Monumento al Cimarron. This monument commemorates the 17th-century copper mine slave revolt. Enjoy a homage show to the Runaway Slaves.
  • 6:00 pm – Head for the airport.

We hope you had an amazing time in Cuba celebrating the Caribbean culture! Adiós and safe travels!

SDC – El Cobra View – 269

July 9

DEPARTURE DAY

The day has arrived, where we have to say, “Hasta la vista, Cuba!”

  • 10:00 am – Enjoy your last day in Santiago! Today is the exciting Rumba Day in Casa del Caribe.
  • 12:00 pm – Return to the hotel to pack up and check out
  • 1:30 pm – Eat lunch at local paladar.
  • 3:00 pm – Continue to El Cobre to visit the National Shrine Basilica of Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre. Our Lady of El Cobre is the Cuban patron saint.
  • 4:30 pm – Depart for Loma del Cimarron and visit El Monumento al Cimarron. This monument commemorates the 17th-century copper mine slave revolt. Enjoy a homage show to the Runaway Slaves.
  • 6:00 pm – Head for the airport.

We hope you had an amazing time in Cuba celebrating the Caribbean culture! Adiós and safe travels!

Dates & Prices
Travel DatesStandard Room (Single Occupancy) Standard Room (Double Occupancy)
Jul 4, 2019 - Jul 9, 2019 $ 2,174 US $ 2,298 US
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