Spring Break in Cuba

Spring 2018

Explore the old world charm of Cuba and spend your Spring Break in the Caribbean!

During the Spring semester 2018, students will enroll in the on-campus course and learn about the places, people and history of the Caribbean, with a special emphasis on Cuba. Students will meet twice weekly prior to the Spring Break trip to familiarize themselves with the cultural and physical geography of the Caribbean Region and take a detailed look at Cuba.

On site, students will have a variety of tours and field trips providing context for topics discussed in class.  Students will also have scheduled class discussions during our trip as well as free time to explore the sights and sounds of Cuba.

Courses (3 credits each)

GEOG 300/IS 304: Caribbean

HIST 357/IS 357: Cuba

*students can select 1 course


Program Itinerary

March 9 –  Hello Cuba!
Arrival at Holguin International Airport.
Meet your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide and bus driver.
Transfer to Santiago de Cuba.
Check-in at Las Americas Hotel
Dinner at the private family-run restaurant paladar ‘Aurora’.

March 10 – Santiago de Cuba
Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Visit to a local elementary school for an introduction to Cuba’s famous educational
system. Exchange with students and teachers. Visit Parque Cespedes, located at the heart of the historical center of the city. Visit the oldest house in Cuba, the Museo de Ambiente Historico Colonial.  Lunch at the private family-run restaurant paladar ‘St. Pauli’.

Afternoon: Visit to Moncada barracks, one of the largest military barracks of Batista
government. Visit Santiago’s Museum of Carnival.  Enjoy a performance of African-
inspired dance on Santeria and the Orishas.

Evening: Enjoy traditional local music at Casa de la Trova. All the greats have played here!
Eliades Ochoa, one of the Grammy winners of the well-known Buena Vista Social Club, is one
of the habitual musicians in these spaces.

March 11 –  Santiago de Cuba
Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Visit to Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre [Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre].  Visit the ‘Monumento al Cimarrón’ (Monument to the Runaway Slave), by local artist
Alberto Lescay.  Lunch at El Morro Restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit to San Pedro de la Roca Morro Castle, one of the settings of the Spanish
American War.  Return to your hotel.

March 12 – Santiago de Cuba
Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Visit to a community clinic for a briefing on the island’s world renowned healthcare
system.  Visit to Cemetery Santa Ifigenia.  Lunch at Don Antonio restaurant.
Afternoon: Free time at Siboney Beach.
Free evening.

March 13 – Santiago de Cuba – Bayamo – Holguin
Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Check out of your hotel and transfer to Holguin.
En route, visit Bayamo, the second of the seven cities founded by Diego Velázquez de
Cuéllar and was one of the most important agricultural and commercial settlements of the island.
Visit to Casa Natal Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the birthplace of the “father of the Cuban
nation.” Visit to Bayamo’s Cathedral.   Lunch at Royalton Hotel.

Afternoon: Continue on bus ride to Holguin.
Check in at Pernik Hotel.
Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy local music at ‘Casa de la Trova’.

March 14 – Biran, Fidel Castro’s birthplace
Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Visit to Biran, the birthplace of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his brother, President
Raul Castro.  Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Guided walking tour around Holguin historic center.
Dinner at the hotel.

March 15 – Hill of the Cross
Morning: Hike up to the top of Loma de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)Climb up the 465 steps to reach the 275-meter-high peak of this historic hill to enjoy panoramic views of the city of Holguin.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit to a community clinic for a briefing on the island’s world renowned healthcare system. Cuba’s healthcare system is notable for achieving developed country health outcomes despite a developing country economy. We’ll also talk about localized health problems and learn about preventive care.

March 16 – Good Bye Cuba!
Breakfast at hotel
Transfer to Holguin International Airport for departure.
Arrive in Miami for exploration of Little Havana.

March 16 – Return to Jacksonville

*itinerary subject to change


  • Roundtrip airfare
  • In-country transportation in Cuba
  • Housing in shared hotels
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Program related excursions
  • On-site English speaking, Cuban guide
  • 14 Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 3 dinners

Not Included

  • Some meals