Havana is a unique city, with a complex history of colonialism and revolution, and a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. This 11-day study tour led by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Chair of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba, takes you beyond the ‘rum and rumba’ stereotypes, and gives you special access to the knowledge to understand Cuba for yourself – from its fascinating history, its politics and social systems, to its thriving arts scene. This tour includes a day trip to the Las Terrazas ecovillage, an overnight stay in Santa Clara which includes a visit to Mantanzas, and the chance to hear from Cuba’s experts on Cuba.
Understand this unique city and the island’s complex history with the expert guidance of Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Chair of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba
Havana’s vibrant cosmopolitan culture, with its eclectic origins resulting from the city’s location as the gateway between New and Old Worlds
The Cuban revolution, from Che Guevara at Santa Clara to Cuba after Castro
The UNESCO-listed biosphere at Las Terrazas, one of the world’s first eco-villages
The art and architecture of Cuba, from Fusterlandia to the contemporary Fàbrica de Arte Cubano
Days 1–2: Explore the colourful streets of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Havana, on foot and by classic car.
Days 3–4: The Cuban revolution, from where history was made in Havana to the Green Revolution at Las Terrazas, an eco-village founded in the 1960s.
Days 5–6: Revolutionary art and architecture: National School of Arts, Fusterlandia, Fàbrica de Arte Cubano and the National Museum of Fine Arts
Days 7–8: Visit Mantanzas, the birthplace of rumba, and stay in Santa Clara, where Guevara and Cienfuegos defeated Batista.
Days 9–11: Visit Hemingway’s house, explore Havana’s thriving street art scene, and the markets that are so much a part of everyday life.
Start & Finish
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in Havana. For this tour we recommend flights to Havana via either LA and Mexico with Qantas and its partner airlines, or through Canada. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming weeks. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
Dr Stephen Wilkinson
Chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba, he holds a PHD on the subject of Cuban literature.
Dr Stephen Wilkinson is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Buckingham. Stephen first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been travelling to and writing about the island ever since. Now the Chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba, based in the UK, Stephen has a PhD on the subject of Cuban literature. He has written numerous articles on diverse questions such as the history of European and US – Cuba relations, Cuban attitudes and policy towards homosexuals, Cuban art and the nature of the Cuban state. Stephen’s book, Detective Fiction in Cuban Society and Culture, was published in 2006 by Peter Lang.
Among his other commitments, Stephen teaches at King’s College London, is Editor of the International Journal of Cuban Studies, is a contributor to IHS Sentinel Reports on Cuba and consults on a variety of media projects related to the island. He consulted on the film 638 Ways to Kill Castro in 2006: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7zf3cUPAa8
Stephen is an experienced guide and tour leader to Cuba and frequently leads academic study groups and people-to-people exchanges to the island. In 2000 he led and designed numerous study tours for a number of US clients including the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institute. Between 2006 and 2011 he designed and led week-long study tours for MBA students at Cranfield School of Management in the UK. His other tour projects have included leading birdwatching and trekking tours. His wealth of contacts in Cuba adds greatly to the experience.
Hotels have been chosen for their reliable quality and excellent location. Although the hotels are 4-star rated, please understand that not all tourist services will be the same as typical western standards.
Hotel Sevilla, Havana (9 nights)
Located in the centre of Havana’s arts and culture district, and just minutes from the tree-lined promenade, Paseo del Prado. We will keep our rooms while we take an overnight excursion to Santa Clara.
Hotel E Central, Santa Clara (1 night)
Recently renovated boutique hotel in a colonial building in the centre of Santa Clara.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.