Tuesday April 16, 2013: West Coast travelers will Depart LAX on a non-stop flight to Havana (air not included). Once we arrive in Havana, our air-conditioned coach will take us to check in at the Parque Central Hotel.  Today is free to explore Havana – we can make recommendations to you of the wonderful cultural and religious sites available to see in and around Havana.  With a deep history of Catholicism, Christianity, and Judaism, plus the recent rise in popularity of Santeria (The way of the Saints), a much misunderstood fusion of an Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, and Roman Catholicism, there is a lot of opportunity for places to see.

Parque Central Hotel

Departing from the East Coast? Arrive in Miami any time and stay overnight at the hotel of your choice (not included).  On April 16th: Check in at Miami International Airport, meet your fellow pilgrims, and take an early morning flight to Havana.


photo by mickou http://www.flickr.com

April 17th: As the primary purpose of our pilgrimage, we will attend a Christian church service, then view some of the many religious sites this city is home to.  Get to know this unique and unusual island as we explore its culture.  Our assistance is much needed by the locals, and we will go to Church La Merced, meeting those who will bring our humanitarian aid to Havana children and expectant mothers. This evening, we will enjoy a welcome dinner at the Parque Central. (B/D)

A vintage car tooling around Havana

April 18th:   Today we will take a full day to visit the city of Havana.  The UNESCO heritage sites are powerful examples of Cuba’s history and architecture. We’ll be seeing locales including  the Cathedral, Opera House and Capitolio Building, and museums, as we explore Havana’s culture and history.

Havana's Chinatown

April 19th: We’ll enjoy the UNESCO heritage site of Old Havana this morning, as we walk the cobblestone streets. The flea market gives us insight into the culture of the locals, and an optional excursion to Havana’s Chinatown, lets us see the remarkable, thriving culture of the Asian community here.


The largest military fortress built by Spaniards in Hispanic America is now the backdrop for one of the city’s oldest traditions.   This evening, we will have a night-time visit to Morro Castle to see the “Ceremonia del Canonazo” (Ceremony of the Cannon), an important cultural experience.  (B, L)

Cuba tour country farm houseApril 20th: In the morning, we board our air-conditioned coach for Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known as the city time forgot — it is said to be unchanged for the last 500 years.  On the way, we will visit Valle de los Ingenios, the valleys of the sugar cane plantations.  Also a UNESCO World Heritage site, here we will see some of Cuba’s slave history, the ruins of the sugar plantations and gracious old homes for which the slaves paid the price. A great opportunity to see the old culture of Cuba.

Cuba tour Trinidad City This afternoon, we will walk the cobblestone streets, gaze at the cathedral and town square of Trinidad, and catch a glimpse into the living history of Cuba.  Then check in at the Hotel Iberostar.  (B, L)

Trinidad waterfallApril 21st: Today we will really get into the feel of Sancti Spiritus – the name of this region means “Sacred Spirit” and we will experience the spirit of this marvelous place.  We will visit the Guarabo River and have a nature walk at the farm at Hotel Maria Antonia.  We will also attend a Santeria service, learning more about this newest Cuban religion. (B)

Main square in Trinidad

April 22nd
:  Explore Trinidad on your own, or come with us as we climb to Tope de Collantes, the site of a former healing sanctuary and later a military hospital. Or, seek your own inner peace in the town center.(B)

April 23rd: After breakfast, we return to Havana.  On the way we stop in Santa Clara to visit the Jewish Cemetery and explore a surprising aspect of religion in Cuba – Judaism.  Back in Havana,  check into the Hotel Saratoga.

Cuba musician with guitarThis evening, share memories of our time in Cuba at the Havana Club, where a performance by the Buena Vista Social Club, an award-winning collective of Cuba’s best musicians, gives you insight into another aspect of Cuba’s spirituality – its music.  (B, L, D)

April 24th: Early morning pick-up for our return flight to LAX — we will bring home amazing memories of our spiritual, sacred journey to the island of Cuba.