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November 14 - November 24

Nature and Nurture Trip Registration





Main Trip: November 14-24, 2024

Optional Extension: November 25-30, 2024 (Thanksgiving in Havana)


Main Trip: $3500

Optional Extension: $1100


Join us for a unique adventure to Eastern Cuba, organized by Optics for the Tropics, Environment for the Americas, and The Friendship Association—nonprofit organizations dedicated to bird conservation and cultural exchange. Over ten days, you’ll explore the stunning landscapes and rich culture of Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa.

Travel to Cuba for tourism is still prohibited by the U.S. State Department. However, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued general licenses covering 12 categories of travel. Individuals meeting the regulatory conditions of these general licenses do not need to apply for additional permits. The authorized travel categories include support for the Cuban people and humanitarian projects. We will provide a full-time itinerary to facilitate legal travel under these provisions.

Our trip includes:

  • Flights from Miami
  • Visa and in-country transportation
  • Lodging for ten nights
  • All meals with the group
  • Entrance fees
  • Your fee also supports Environment for the Americas and its work across the Americas promoting bird conservation through research, education, and trainings.

Excluded from the package are accommodations for the night prior in Miami, incidental expenses, souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, and additional tips (for musicians, housekeeping, drivers, etc.). An overnight stay in Miami on November 13th is required, as our early flight departs at 8:52 AM on the 14th. This stay will provide an opportunity for us to connect and address any questions before departure.

We will be flying with American Airlines, the sole carrier to Santiago de Cuba.

Please ensure your passport remains valid for at least six months beyond your entry into Cuba, meaning through July 2025.


**Itinerary is subject to change

Itinerary: Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa and Return

Santiago de Cuba, the capital of Cuba’s southeastern Santiago de Cuba Province, faces the Caribbean Sea. Founded by the Spanish in 1515, it is renowned for its colonial architecture and revolutionary history.

Nov. 13: Day 0

  • Meet in Miami for an overnight stay at a hotel. Evening briefing session.

Nov. 14: Day 1

  • Depart for Santiago de Cuba. Overnight stay in the city.
  • Visit Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This intricate complex of forts and batteries, constructed in the 17th century, exemplifies Spanish-American military architecture.
  • Tour the historic center, Government House, and Bacardí Museum. Meet leading Santiago artists Israel Tamayo, Carlos Rene Aguilar, Lawrence Zuniga, and others.
  • Evening at Casa de la Trova, dinner at Ste Pauli, and then Jazz Club.

Nov. 15: Day 2

  • Breakfast followed by an early departure to Jardin de los Helechos and/or visit the Flor y Fauna project. Continue to La Gran Piedra. Overnight at Gran Piedra.

Nov. 16: Day 3

  • Visit the Orchid Garden and climb Gran Piedra. Explore Isabelica Coffee Plantation. Dinner at “La Presidente”. Overnight at Gran Piedra.

Nov. 17: Day 4

  • Breakfast and early departure for Guantánamo. Walk around the Historic Center and meet Jorge Nuñez, president of UNEAC. Lunch in town and visit the Stone Zoo. Continue to Baracoa via the famous Farola mountain pass. Check into B&Bs and meet our host, historian and author Elexis Fernandez, at Alberto’s restaurant for dinner.

Nov. 18-22: Days 5-10

  • Optional participation in the International Conference on Conservation of the Environment, Food Security, and Climate Change.
  • If not attending, various excursions are available:
  • Guided walk around Baracoa with art historian Rosendo Romero, visiting studios of leading artists.
  • Day trip to Yumurí Canyon, including a short boat ride, swimming, and a visit to a Community Social Project. Lunch at a charming criollo restaurant.
  • Visit La Ruta del Cacao to learn about cacao farming.
  • Hike up Yunque mountain, or stop at the waterfalls for a swim.
  • Morning at Maguana Cove with lunch on site.

Nov. 23 (dependent on flight schedules)

  • Departure for Santiago. Either overnight in Santiago or catch a flight home.

Nov. 24

  • Flight home or optional bus departure for Camagüey (6 hours). Meet artist Oscar Lasseria at his gallery and other artists. Guided visit of Camagüey’s UNESCO World Heritage historic center by bici-taxi. Dinner with artist and singer friends. Overnight in B&Bs.

Nov. 25

  • Breakfast and early departure to Trinidad UNESCO World Heritage Site (4.5 hours). Explore cobblestone streets and colonial-era museums. Check into B&Bs. Dinner at La Botija with creative food and great music.

Nov. 26

  • Morning guided walk with Osmara around the historic center. Light lunch and excursion to Manaca Iznaga open-air museum and former sugar plantation. Evening music at Las Escalinatas (Stairs) and/or Casa de la Trova.

Nov. 27

  • Breakfast and departure for Havana (5 hours). Lunch on the road. Check into B&Bs. Early evening walk around Old Havana with historian Ruben Javier. Visit main colonial squares and small museums. Dinner in town.

Nov. 28

  • Breakfast in iconic Maria de los Angeles square and visit with artist Kamyl Baullaudy. Short walk to the National Museum of Cuban Art for a guided tour with docent Glenda. Thanksgiving dinner at a surprise restaurant. Optional Jazz club or bar-hopping.

Nov. 29: Day 17

  • Morning excursion to Finca Vigia, lunch at El Ajiaco in Cojimar, then visit Plaza de la Revolución in Havana in the afternoon. Evening free.

Nov. 30: Departure

  • Leave for Miami.


Register now to secure your spot for an unforgettable experience! email:



Travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains prohibited by the United States State Department. However, we will provide a full-time itinerary for legal travel under authorized categories including support for the Cuban people and humanitarian projects.

Join us and immerse yourself in the beauty, culture, and conservation efforts of Eastern Cuba while creating lifelong memories.


November 14
November 24