Posted by Janice Kane
Grapevine RC invites District 5790 Rotary  members to join them in Cuba Jan 13 - 18, 2019
Grapevine Rotary invites fellow District 5790 Rotarians to join the third annual Rotary Wheelchairs to Cuba trip January 13-18.  Cost for the tour is $2,650 plus airfare, which is half of what most tour companies are charging.  The tour guide will be former Rotary Scholar Dr. Graham Sowa who received his M.D. at the University of Havana last year.  Accommodations will be at the renowned Hotel Nationale and bus provided by Experience Cuba LLC.   An itinerary is attached of daily activities for your review. 
Deadline to sign up is November 30, 2018
The tour group total will be capped at 20 Rotarians and guests.   Additional participants will be added on a first come-first serve basis until full.  Please contact Rotarian Bruce Stacy at cell 337-296-5475 for details.
Rotary Club January 13-18, 2019
*Itinerary is subject to change
Sunday January 13: Day 1 Havana (D)
  • Arrival into Havana
  • Graham Sowa and your local Cuban guide will greet you at Jose Marti International Airport
  • Visit to Revolution Square, the epicenter of political and governmental buildings of the Cuban government, and it is the site where millions listened to speeches given by Fidel Castro.
  • Check into Hotel Nacional
  • Dinner in Habana 61, one of Havana’s best paladares
Monday January 14: Day 2 Havana (B,L)
  • Visit to the Capitol building and enjoy a guided tour of this beautifully restored building.
  • Walking tour of Old Havana with local expert guide, with stops specified to the interests of your group-artists workshops and galleries, thriving private enterprises, or architecture-to name a few options
  • Visit with the founders of Clandestina, a successful private enterprise clothing shop in Old Havana. Learn more about entrepreneurial activities in Cuba and how this duo built their brand and business.
  • Lunch at El Figaro restaurant, which donates part of its earnings to the successful Arte Corte community project
  • Visit to Arte Corte salon, a successful community project that began with a barber shop that now has impacted the whole neighborhood.
  • Free time in the afternoon to spend time in Old Havana. Wandering the
    streets of Old Havana with a map in hand is truly the best way to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Dinner paid on own (group reservation name Bruce Stacy at 7pm at San Juan Bar and Grill in Old Havana, 7864-7422, 1061 San Juan De Dios Street)
Tuesday January 15: Day 3 Viñales (B,L)
  • Depart after breakfast and enjoy a beautiful drive through the countryside to the western side of Cuba, to Piñar Del Rio, the tobacco capital of Cuba
  • Drive to Pinar Del Rio, visit to Hector Luis Farm, one of the most well known tobacco farms in all of Cuba. Have a tour of the farm and interact with the family and workers, learning how tobacco is grown and cultivated
  • Enjoy a countryside lunch on the farm complete with perhaps roasted pork, black beans, rice and yucca.
  • After lunch you will drive back to Havana
  • Dinner paid on your own (group reservation name Bruce Stacy at 8pm at Elizalde Restaurant at 521 Empedrado between Monserrate y Villegas, 7867-2157)
Wednesday January 16: Day 4 Havana (B,L,D)
  • Take part in a volunteer project with Caritas organization
  • Lunch in Mediterraneo farm-to-table restaurant in Vedado neighborhood
  • **Cultural/volunteer project with Caritas organization**
  • Visit to Rum Museum
  • Free time to explore Havana on your own
  • Dinner in San Cristobal Paladar
Thursday January 17: Day 5 Havana (B,L,D)
  • This morning, take part in an interactive cooking class in Cojimar at a thriving private paladar. Enjoy a short tour of this small fishing village before touring a small neighbors farm and learning about farming in Cuba
  • Get a hands on cooking class demonstration by getting into the kitchen and learning the ingredients of traditional cuban cuisine. Also, learn how to make a mojito from an expert bartender.
  • Enjoy lunch at the paladar afterwards.
  • Free time in the afternoon at the beach
  • Dinner tonight at Grados restaurant in Vedado neighborhood with live music
Friday January 18: Day 6 Havana (B)
  • After breakfast depart for your flight back to the States
Cost per person: $2,650/person
Single supplement: $600
  • Graham Sowa as tour leader to accompany group
  • Experienced bilingual local guide
  • Bottled water during trip
  • Legal, licensed people-to-people tour requirements completed
  • Meals outlined in the itinerary
  • Accommodations outlined in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees for activities in itinerary
  • Air-conditioned transportation while in Cuba
  • Airport transfers to/from Havana airport
  • Tips included for local guide and driver
Not Included:
  • Airfare to/from Cuba and tourist visa
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Items of personal nature-laundry, internet, alcohol etc.