Cuba is poised on the brink of dramatic changes, and its heritage may soon be lost forever. So a just-announced tour of America’s once-forbidden Caribbean neighbor is a timely opportunity to witness and experience Cuba’s unique sights and sounds before they disappear.
Sacred Earth Journeys is offering a “Discover the Heart and Soul of Cuba” tour led by writer and TV host Phil Cousineau April 1-11, 2017. The group program will explore cultural, historical and sacred sites, with opportunities for participants to appreciate the country’s gritty genuineness. There will be personal encounters with artists, writers, filmmakers, teachers, farmers and even baseball players, in a journey that covers the whole island, from Havana to Santiago de Cuba.
Tour leader Phil Cousineau is a teacher and documentary filmmaker as well as a storyteller and the author of more than a dozen books including the international bestseller, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred. He delights in investigating sites that are off the typical tourist trails and reveal the true heart and soul of a place.
The itinerary of this Cuba tour offers visitors a rare taste of times gone by, including the vibrant colors of ‘50s vintage “Yank Tank” American cars, the intoxicating mambo rhythms of the Buena Vista Social Club, and the 600-year-old colonial buildings of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The group will visit such attractions as the oldest Spanish fortress in the Americas, the home studio of the artist known as “the Cuban Picasso,” Ernest Hemingway’s “Lookout Farm” home, a fishing village, a dance troupe, the Che Guevara mausoleum and an ancient cave dwelling.
Perhaps the most unusual element will be a special visit to an Afro-Cuban “house of saints” with a discussion about Santeria ceremonies and rituals, an important part of Cuban spiritual life.
Other highlights include tours of a cigar factory, lush beaches, museums, and – with a little bit of luck – the opportunity to take in a game of Cuban baseball at beautiful Guillermon Moncada stadium.
There will be a balance of quiet time for journaling, writing, and drawing at inspiring locations, as well as lively authentic dinners and live music at some of the best restaurants and hotspots, including La Guarida, the restaurant made famous by the 1996 movie Strawberries and Chocolate.
“This is a rare opportunity to explore the heart and soul of Cuba before the island nation changes forever,” said Helen Tomei, President of Sacred Earth Journeys. “Cuba is like a land where time stood still, but its passionate, swashbuckling, revolutionary lifestyle is not to be missed.”