Special Programs

  • Look here for upcoming Special Events, Special Tours to join, and Special Pricing





  • A great month for gardens, celebrations, and all of our tours

November 2013

  • Bi-annual International Choral Festival. Calling all choristers and music lovers – international choirs invited. Non-competitive festival.

Eastern & Central Cuba

From Santiago de Cuba, the first Colonial capital, to the medieval style city of Camaguey, this tour takes you to the music, dance and theatre, museums and historical sites of this magical island. Three full day tours of Santiago and the surrounding area, two days of tours en route to and within Camaguey. Area tours include visits to specialty gardens, cloud forests and artists’ studios, historical sites, and much more.

Day 1 – Arrival Day

However you arrive in, Santiago de Cuba, you will be met by our staff and transferred to your homestay. All homestays are near the centre of the city on quiet streets. This will be your home for the next three days. Dinner or late Snack at homestay.

Day 2 – History of Cuba Part 1: Pre-Columbia to Independence

From Indians and slaves, buccaneers and Spanish grandees, pirates and indentured servants, has come a vibrant people. Explore their history and their struggles. From the oldest house in the Americas (quite a few others burned down) to the solid fortress at the harbour, and the living remembrance of the Peace Tree, Cuban history is told in stone and wood, and the faces of its people.

We begin the day with a short orientation to the history of this island. Then we go out to see where it happened. We begin at the “oldest house” in the Americas, visit Museums to see the specific items we have talked about,. We jump ahead to the end of the War of Independence at San Juan Hill. The little launch which circles the bay will take us to one of the main islands for lunch and an afternoon stroll in this friendly community. Returning to the mainland we visit the magnificent castle which dominates the entry to the bay. Dinner in your homestay.

Day 3 – Eco-tour: Ferns, Orchids and Clouds


An early start will take us out of the city and on a journey along the coastal plain with its highly productive farms for field crops, fruit, milk and vegetables grown under cover. We turn from the coastal plain and climb through plantations of coffee, oranges and bananas high on the Gran Piedra. A short hike will take you into this protected cloud forest of giant ferns and orchids. We will take time to visit the house and grounds of a 19th century Haitian style Cafetal near the summit of the extraordinary rock A visit to a Bird of Paradise Nursery and a tour a commercial high altitude garden. Fragrant hedges circle beds of roses, gladioli and camellias. Every path provides a vista of mountains and plain.

For a marvelous view of the coast and the mountains of the Sierras, climb to the very top of this volcanic plug.

While we are on the mountain we visit a modern cafetal and a private garden across a river, down a track, across a pasture! Well named the Secret Garden it is the work of a mother and daughter team.

Lunch at the beach.

Dinner in your homestay.

Day 4 – Early morning departure for Camaguey

Established initially as a sea-port this town was moved three times to escape the ravages of pirates – including the famous Henry Morgan. En route Lunch and a tour of two national reference gardens in the Urban Agriculture program. In Camaguey our homestays are located in the centre of the city. A pleasant evening stroll will often bring you to music and dance in the central square.

Dinner in your homestay.

Please note that for one or two people we use the intercity bus to Camaguey, not private transportation We can arrange an early departure in a taxi for the visit to the gardens Return to Santiago for the express bus to Camaguey.

Day 5

Camaguey is the most recent of the Cuban cities to have been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage city. Our walking Tour of Old Camaguey (2)(3) is led by an architect.and artisan Special visits to churches, museums for fine furnishings, Baccarat Crystal, and elaborate table settings and objets d’art.


Gallery and Studio visits Camaguey is known for the excellence of its ceramicists and sculptors. Some of the leading artists in Cuba have generously agreed to open their private studios (located in their homes) so that you can enjoy an intimate interaction with them and their art in progress.

Free Evening to enjoy the fun of impromtu nightlife in the city squares.

Day 6

Early visit to Camaguey’s Ballet School – if possible we shall be invited to view a class in progress. Exclusive visits behind the scenes to the wardrobe and shoe making shop.


Free Afternoon to Enjoy the city.

Return to Santiago Dinner in your homestay.

For those traveling by intercity bus the bus departs shortly after lunch.

Day 7 – Religion in Cuba

The coming of the Spanish brought European 16th century Catholicism to Cuba and an attempt to impose it on the aboriginal population. Within a few years the aboriginal populations were decimated by European diseases, starvation and the brutal work in the mines and fields. Very quickly the Spanish starting importing African slave labourers. The Africans brought with them music, dance, art and religion. Suppression of outward displays of their religion led to a blending of cultures. This is an opportunity to explore the culture which emerged when the two great cultural streams mixed and merged.

The Afro- Cuban religion of Santeria informs much of the art (2), music and culture of Santiago and the island of Cuba. After an introduction to some of the fascinating aspects of Santeria and how they appear in Cuban art, we will pay a visit to a cultural centre with various temples from some of the major Afro-Cuban religions. Lunch in the city. Afternoon visit to the Basilica of the Virgin, Cuba’s patron saint. Dinner in your homestay.

Dinner and Entertainment by local Afro-Cuban dance group, an opportunity to say goodbye to the Cubans who have been part of your experience. For groups of 4 or more.

Day 8 – Departure

This tour includes:

  1. Airport Pickup and transfers in Santiago de Cuba – other transfers arranged
  2. B&B style Accommodation including breakfast and dinner
  3. Tours including expert lecturers, translators, transportation, and lunches
  4. Entrances and photography fees at all sites visited
  5. Airconditioned transportation – private bus or inter-city bus link

This tour does not include:

  1. Flights and expenses associated with entering or leaving the country
  2. Personal expenditures
  3. Transportation prior to start or after conclusion of tour
  4. Evening entertainment except where specified

(Some substitutions of tours are permitted – contact us for your special interests)

Prices and Availability

Available Anytime
Travel by Commercial Inter-city Bus (Mercedes Benz, airconditioned etc.)

Travel by Private Bus (airconditioned – dedicated chauffeur)

PRICES ON REQUEST – Please contact us.