LCHAIM CUBA

Day1 - MON I CIENFUEGOS
This morning depart on your flight to Cienfuegos, Cuba. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After check-in there will be a briefing by your local Englishspeaking guide about your L’Chaim Cuba experience. This afternoon after lunch, there is a walking tour of Cienfuegos where you will have the opportunity to meet with community residents as well as small business owners. Tonight, a flavorful dinner awaits at Los Laureles, featuring authentic Cuban dishes. (L,D)
Day2 - TUE I CIENFUEGOS
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel, then embark on a full-day excursion to the colonial city of Trinidad. Your first stop is at the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens, teeming with towering palm trees, bamboo plants, flowers and lush tropical greenery. Next, an urban planner from the Office of the City Historian leads you on an insightful walking tour of colorful Trinidad, a well preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 1514. The day’s activities and experiences continue with lunch at Sol Ananda Paladar, a locally owned restaurant serving homemade Cuban fare. Later, visit the Canchanchara Bar where you can relax in wooden armchairs and listen to live music while sipping a mojito or the bar’s namesake cocktail served in a small earthenware bowl and made with rum, lime, and honey. Return to Cienfuegos for dinner at your hotel this evening and the opportunity to take in the Trazos Libres art project in Cienfuegos featuring murals on the neighborhood homes surrounding the community center. (B,L,D)
Day3 - WED I HAVANA
After breakfast your adventure continues with a visit to the Benny More Art School where you will have a chance to interact with the students and teachers before enjoying a concert by the Cienfuegos Choir. Next you will join the members of the small Jewish community of Cienfuegos for lunch and an in-depth discussion about Jewish life in Cuba. (There are fewer than 1,500 Jews in Cuba, 85 percent of who live in Havana. At its peak, there were 15,000 Jews, and Havana boasted five synagogues and six or seven Jewish day schools.) After the introduction, depart for Havana and check in to the Hotel Melia Cohiba overlooking the iconic Malecón and vast azure sea. Authentic Cuban dishes are on the menu for dinner this evening at the local paladar La Moraleja. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - THU I HAVANA
After a buffet breakfast at your hotel, embark on a guided walking tour of the pedestrian streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the area’s famous four plazas, engage with artists at the Graphic Arts Workshop, and enjoy the insights of a local architect as he discusses Old Havana’s preservation and continuous restoration processes. Next, visit the Maqueta Vieja Habana Museum that houses the scale model of the City of Havana. Then it’s on to the Orthodox Adath Israel Synagogue, the only synagogue that houses a mikvah in Cuba, before venturing along to Cuba’s only kosher butcher shop. Next it’s time to take a break and sample some typical Jewish-Cuban cuisine for lunch in the Garden of Eden restaurant at the Hotel Raquel. Take note, the hotel’s interior poignantly references Jewish culture through its biblically themed paintings by contemporary Cuban artists. After, you will continue the walking tour of Old Havana. The evening is yours to enjoy as you wish, whether it’s discovering the local culture at a paladar or at a bar, club or foot-tapping live jazz performance or the world-famous Tropicana cabaret. (B,L)
Day5 - FRI I HAVANA
Have breakfast at your hotel and then it’s off to explore! Your morning adventure takes you to experience the area’s local talent with a visit to a working cigar factory to see firsthand how they grow, dry and prepare the tobacco before hand-rolling the famous Cuban cigars. Today you will also discover the Sephardic Community Center and Synagogue where you will participate in a cultural exchange with members of the Sephardic community. Then, it’s lunch at La Guarida, a local paladar, before a moving visit to the Jewish Cemetery and Holocaust Memorial to the east of Havana. This evening you will attend Friday night services at Temple Beth Shalom and take part in a Friday night Kiddush and Shabbat dinner with members of the local Jewish community. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - SAT I HAVANA
After breakfast, head off on a tour of the magnificent Fine Arts Museum. As the day continues, you will visit the Hemingway Museum which was Ernest Hemingway’s winter home from 1939 to 1960. You will see the authors 9,000 volume library as well as his yacht, Pilar and the actual typewriter on which he wrote some of his greatest works. We then savor lunch at Il Divino Paladar. After is a visit to Finca Yoandra to take part in a cultural and educational exchange about their sustainable agriculture outreach project. Late afternoon return to your hotel and get ready for an evening of excitement and entertainment featuring dinner and a Buena Vista Social Club show at Habana Café. (B,L,D)
Day7 - SUNI HAVANA
Following a buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be guided through El Patronato Jewish Community Center (Temple Beth Shalom). Here you will have the opportunity to meet with the center’s president, Adele Dworin, the Hadassah leadership and other members. Take part in a tour of the library, pharmacy and Sunday school (Cuban Jewish kids are as lively as Americans and Sunday morning is a very active time at the Center).* You will then enjoy lunch at the colorfully decorated California Paladar and meet members of their community project. Take your time to discover the unique finds at Almacenes de San Jose, an open-air artisans’ crafts market. You will have time for a quick rest at the hotel before our memorable farewell dinner at Café Del Oriente. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - MON I HAVANA TO USA
After breakfast, say “hasta pronto” or “until soon” to Cuba before departing on your flight back home with a lifetime of memories to share of your L’Chaim Cuba cultural travel experience. (B)

*The Jewish community in Cuba would appreciate your help. All kinds of donations are gladly welcome, clothes, toys and crayons, etc. for the children, supplies for the Jewish Pharmacy, etc…