Cuba Revealed - Alumni
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Cuba Revealed - Alumni - Sold Out!

Alumni Exclusive, registration to be verified by UAlumni

February 02-08, 2025
Double Occupancy: $5300 per person
Single Occupancy: $5700 per person
Airfare is not included.

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Cuba Revealed: Overview

The entire trip left me with many wonderful memories of Cuba...The Cuban people we met revealed the soul of Cuba by generously sharing their passion, creativity and knowledge with us. I especially enjoyed the last night in Havana when we gathered at the very cool tapas bar at sunset. Two authentic troubadours serenaded us with song and acoustic guitars. Wow!" — Go Learn Traveler

Can We Still Travel to Cuba?

Go Learn is thrilled to partner with U Alumni in offering this amazing trip! Something magical happens when traveling and experiencing new places in a small group--that's what makes this opportunity for alumni to connect so exciting! Having a chance to engage in activities that are enriching, educational, and fun in a place as fascinating as Cuba is rare. This trip is exclusively for U Alumni and their family or friends.

One participant in a reservation needs to be a U of U alum, verified by the Alumni office.

Cuba, also known as the Pearl of the Antilles, was once the vacation destination for rich American pleasure-seekers, mobsters, and those looking to let loose. Now people come from all over the world to enjoy the rich culture, gorgeous sights, and beautiful sunsets. We'll explore this beautiful place by meeting locals and getting an insider’s look at the real Cuba! Learn about the past, present, and future of Cuba while seeing the people, architecture, and food that make it great.

Join trip leader, Al Campbell, U Professor Emeritus in Economics, on this incredible Go Learn journey to Cuba, where he has researched, lived and played for the past thirty years. The trip starts in Miami, where the group will spend the night before boarding a flight to Havana the following morning. When in Cuba, we have included all ground transportation, entrances and local guides, and some of the most beautiful and charming accommodations and scrumptious meals Cuba has to offer. This meticulously planned and executed trip was created in partnership with Cuba Educational Travel, who holds a license from the U.S. Treasury Department (CT-2013-303986-1) to arrange educational trips to the island, meaning your memorable visit to Cuba is fully sanctioned by the U.S. government.

Old Havana

Trip highlights include:

  • Round-trip airfare from Miami to Havana (airfare to and from Miami is not included)
  • All Cuban ground transportation, accommodations, guides, speaker fees, entrances, daily breakfasts and delicious lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Discussions with local experts in economics, politics, and restoration
  • Guided walking tour of Old Havana
  • Private tour of the newly restored Capitol Building in Havana
  • Private music events and dance lessons (optional)
  • Explore Viñales Valley National Monument
  • Private Cigar and rum tasting with local experts
  • Visit to Habana Compas Dance studio and meeting with the owner, Liliet Rivera
  • Time with Cuban historian Ayleen Robaina
  • La Finca Vigía, former home of Ernest Hemingway, tour with a private specialist guide
  • Behind-the-scenes art tour with independent Cuban artists
  • Private air-conditioned coach

Daily Itinerary

Day One: Sunday, Feb 2 2025

MiamiToday is the first leg of our Cuban adventure. You’ll travel to Miami at your leisure and catch the shuttle to the hotel. Today, your assignment is to check into the hotel, explore Miami, and get ready for Cuba in the morning.

Hotel: The Sonesta Miami Airport
Activity Level: Moderate

Day Two: Monday, Feb 3 2025

cuba havana art deco buildingWe’ll meet in the hotel lobby bright and early (around 7am) to catch our private shuttle to the airport. We’ll check in at the American Airlines desk and make our way to the gate to await our departure. Once in Cuba, we’ll clear customs, pick up our luggage, and be met by our fearless leader, Al Campbell, as well as our local tour guide. We’ll board the private coach that will be with us for the duration of our visit and enjoy the tropical scenery as we head to a delicious lunch at Paladore Marea. In Cuba, restaurants are either state-owned (and therefore off-limits to Americans) or they are located in private homes. Located on the outskirts of Havana next to the water, Marea offers stunning views and a delicious menu. (Bring your towel!)

After lunch we’ll visit the Habana Compas Dance studio for a show and discussion with instructors and students. Liliet Rivera, protege of the renowned List Alfonso Dance Company, established Habana Compas in 2004 to reclaim and preserve Cuba's dance heritage from Spain and Africa.

Next, we’ll check into our hotel. Located on the world famous Malecón, this new hotel has a modern and elegant design, which embodies the new urban Caribbean lifestyle, and an amazing view of the historic bay of Havana.

After a brief rest, we’ll hear from local historian Ayleen Robaina and learn the history of Cuba and Havana as well as hear about the Cuban Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the world UNESCO Heritage site that is Havana. We’ll spend the evening gaining insight into housing, infrastructure, investment, and restoration programs in the city.

Then it’s off for our Welcome dinner at La Guarida. #418 Concordia’s story begins in 1913 as the Camagüey mansion, a space known for its opulent parties and visitors. In 1994, it appeared in the groundbreaking and Oscar-nominated Cuban film Fresa y chocolate, and in 1996, Enrique Nunez opened La Guarida, one of the early private eateries in Cuba’s state-controlled dining scene.

After dinner we’ll return to the hotel for some much-needed relaxation. It’s been a full but exciting day. Get some sleep, tomorrow brings more adventures.

Welcome to Cuba!

Hotel: Private Hotel or Casa Particulares
Meals: L, D
Activity Level: Moderate

Day Three: Tuesday, Feb 4 2025

Tour of Old HavanaAfter breakfasting at the hotel, we’ll board our private coach and make our way to the city to visit with the female hip hop duo Reyna y Real for a discussion about race, gender issues, and their life as female rappers.

Afterward we’ll head to La Finca Vigía for a tour with a private specialist guide. Formerly the home of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigía still houses his expansive collection of books and his boat El Pilar. Your private guide will show you around and share some of the bizarre and captivating tales from Hemingway’s many years in Cuba. The group will also visit with private merchants on the way to the estate.

We’ll stop for lunch at Doña Eutimia paladar. Famous for its ropa vieja and frozen mojitos, its location in the beautiful cathedral square is unbeatable.

After lunch we’ll explore Old Havana’s Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, via a walking tour. Bring your walking shoes and camera as we wander through its main four Plazas and streets and learn about the historic structures as well as important monuments and churches before returning to the hotel.

In the evening, we regroup and make our way to Creative Happy Hour and Music at Ama, a trendy store started by two young women offering colorful designs and accessories from various local designers. We’ll meet the owners and learn about their story and experiences as entrepreneurs.

Afterward, it’s Dinner at Paladar Atelier. This restaurant is equally known for its atmosphere and exquisite cuisine. The lighting and textures of the house, which was home to a prerevolutionary senator, coupled with walls adorned in modern art, create a cozy, but modern setting (this meal not included – pay in cash on the ground).

Hotel: Private Hotel or Casa Particulares
Meals: B, L
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Four: Wednesday, Feb 5 2025

Travellers in a classic carAfter we breakfast at the hotel, we’ll meet with Cuban expert Oscar Fernandez and get an update and real insight into the state of the Cuban economy: currency reform, foreign investment, and economic changes.

Then we’ll board our private bus and head to the Cuban Capitol building for a private tour. Similar to our Washington, D.C. Capitol, but actually modeled on the Panthéon in Paris, the building was initiated in 1926 and took 5000 workers three years to construct at a cost of US$17 million. It’s been restored recently, recapturing the original beauty and power of the building.

Afterward, we ‘ll lunch at Grados - private restaurant defender of the traditional Cuban cuisine and member of the slow food movement. Each dish has a history which is thoughtfully laid out by chef Raulito Bazuk.

Following lunch, we’ll embark on a Behind the Scenes Art Tour and visit the homes and studios of independent Cuban artists:
- AltaMira art loft, the home and studio of a family of artists located on a top floor apartment facing the sea and the beautiful Hotel Nacional.
- Cristina Figueroa, an art historian who helps run the family’s private art gallery out of her stylish, art-filled home in Havana.

We’ll return to the hotel for a brief break before everyone’s favorite activity: A driving tour of the city in classic American cars from the 1950’s. Coast along Havana’s seawall, the famous Quinta Avenida and visit Miramar neighborhood, a residential district of the municipality of Playa, where many embassies are located. Explore Vedado Neighborhood stopping off at the Revolution Square, the gathering place for political demonstrations and the home to many important government offices.

We’ll end the tour with a rum and cigar tasting at Café Madrigal. A local expert will explain the qualities and traits of fine Cuban rum and cigars, pairing them together for the perfect match. Café Madrigal, owned and run by film director Rafael Rosales, is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion with walls lined with captivating artwork. No worries if you don’t smoke or drink, the café has a lovely balcony where you can still listen to the lecture (if you wish), order a non-alcoholic beverage, and enjoy the evening breeze.

Once back to the hotel the rest of the evening is yours. You can have dinner in the hotel or wander to a nearby restaurant. We will make sure you are safe and know where you’re going!

Hotel: Private Hotel or Casa Particulares
Meals: B, L
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Five: Thursday, Feb 6 2025

Tobacco farmToday after breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out of the hotel and depart to Viñales. Considered by many to be the most beautiful place in Cuba, the Viñales Valley National Monument holds stunning landscapes. The area is also famous for being the premier tobacco growing area in the world.

For our first stop we’ll visit a private farm in the valley owned by the large family of Concha and Paco Hernandez. Their descendants have farmed the same plot of land for generations and their land is involved in the production of a multitude of fruits, vegetables, grain, and tobacco. Members of the family will give us a tour of this beautiful 40-acre farm before bringing us back to the farmhouse. We’ll enjoy a lunch at the farm before visiting a nearby tobacco farm for a tour and discussion about the cultivation and production process, followed by a cigar rolling demo.

Later we’ll enjoy a farm-to-table meal at El Cuajaní, a restaurant set in a rural home next to Viñales’ imposing mogotes, and then we have special optional entertainment for the evening: salsa lessons with a private instructor! Tonight, you’ll be able to learn the moves of Cuba’s most famous type of dance.

Hotel: Casa Particulares
Meals: B, L, D
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Six: Friday, Feb 7 2025

A group of organic farmersAfter breakfast we’ll take a morning hike through the Valley and learn about the Viñales’ most important crops and meet with farmers and their families.

Afterward we’ll check out of our Casa Particulares and depart for Havana. We’ll check into our hotel around 3:30pm and you’ll have time to rest and recharge for the evening’s events.

Tonight, we’ll experience all the joy that Cuba has to offer. During our Havana rooftop jam session, we’ll get down with Cuban music and watch the sunset while jamming out with local musicians. Afterward, we have our farewell dinner at Tierra, Havana’s newest international dining spot. Located inside a container in the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the restaurant mirrors the eclectic crowd, serving dishes from around the world.

Following dinner, enjoy live music, art, and dancing at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano, the brainchild of Afro-Cuban fusion musician X-Alfonso. This is one of Havana’s finest new art projects, an intellectual nexus for live music, art expos, and fashion shows that has turned into a meeting spot for a young, eclectic crowd of Cubans and foreigners.

Hotel: Private Hotel or Casa Particulares
Meals: B, D
Activity Level: Moderate

Day Seven: Saturday, Feb 8 2025

We breakfast early at the hotel and then it’s time to bid Cuba farewell. We’ll once again board our private coach and make our way to the airport. Once back in Miami, our time together is done. We hope you enjoyed your time in Cuba and are leaving us with a new love and understanding for this beautiful country and its people. We’ve loved showing them to you.

We’ll see you soon at our reunion!

Meal: B
Activity Level: Moderate

Professor Al Campbell

Headshot of Al CampbellAl Campbell is a retired Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. The Cuban economy has been one of his central research areas throughout his career. Being engaged in professional research there has allowed him to visit the island yearly since 1991, and hence to follow in person the deep changes in Cuban society that have occurred over the last three decades in a way that has not been possible for most Americans. In 2013 he published an edited collection of works by Cubans on their economy titled Cuban Economists on the Cuban Economy. He is currently a co-editor of the International Journal of Cuban Studies out of London, and is working on a book on the cooperative part of the Cuban economy, which manuscript will be delivered to the publisher by this fall.

In Partnership with:

Collin Laverty, Founder and President of Cuba Educational Travel

A headshot of Collin LavertyRun by Collin Laverty, a leading expert on Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations, Cuba Educational Travel organizes educational exchange programs and people-to-people travel for U.S. citizens and residents to Cuba. We believe our two countries have much to learn from each other and meaningful exchanges that foster dialogue can be highly beneficial to strengthening the artistic, environmental, medical, scientific, and social science communities in the U.S. and Cuba. Most importantly, increased travel and people-to-people contact will strengthen ties between ordinary Americans and Cubans.

Cuba Educational Travel's mission is to connect the people of the United States and Cuba. This is done through coordinating travel between both countries – in both directions – to facilitate two-way learning; as well as producing studies and publications about issues of mutual concern and organizing events in the United States that deal with issues related to Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations.

Details and What to Expect

an old man smoking a pipe


Like all Go Learn journeys, the adventure begins at home. We’ll meet about two months before the trip to discuss travel logistics and packing. This trip may appeal to travelers from all over the U.S. and we’re happy to send you any information you’ll need ahead of time if you cannot join us in person.

As part of the pre-departure planning, we’ll offer lectures with Al to help prepare the group for what they’ll be seeing and learning in Cuba. We’ll discuss economics, culture, and Cuban history during two lectures held over Zoom. We’ll record these lectures and make them available for those unable to attend.

Our program starts and ends in Miami, and the tour price includes airfare to and from Cuba, as well as all ground transportation.

Visa to Cuba

Our partner, Cuba Educational Travel, who holds a license from the U.S. Treasury Department (CT-2013-303986-1) to arrange educational trips to the island, is taking care of our visas to Cuba. Please make sure your passport is valid for more than six months after our return date in August 2025. Visa processing fees are included in the tour price.


Cuba’s weather can be unpredictable. It can vary from mild and pleasant to extremely hot and humid. You should be prepared for either. This time of year, the expected average daytime high is 81°F with around 80% humidity and expected average low temperatures is 63°F. It may rain occasionally, so pack a light rain jacket, but expect sunny skies!

Activity levels and restrictions

Because of an unstable infrastructure and possible extreme heat, this trip is considered an Activity Level 3. To fully explore the sights on our itinerary, we’ll be walking every day. Most city walking is on paved surfaces, however, the surfaces may not be even or in good repair.

When visiting museums and sites, we may be walking long distances or standing on our feet for prolonged times. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes! We will often start our days early and continue until sundown. Our exciting itinerary and daily learning adventures will keep you happily exhausted.

Learn More about our .

February 2 - 8, 2025

Trip is limited to 20 Alumni participants. One participant in a reservation needs to be a U of U alum and will be verified by the Alumni Office.

Double occupancy: $5300 per person
Single occupancy: $5700
Payment options are available upon request. Contact for information.
See for payment and cancellation details.

Traveling in classic carIncluded

  • 7 nights’ hotel stay at 4-5 star accommodations
  • Roundtrip Airfare between the US and Cuba (airfare to and from Miami is not included)
  • Daily breakfast
  • Small group size to maximize learning, comfort, and flexibility
  • All local ground transportation
  • Local guides and experts, including their fees
  • Admission to all museums and public buildings listed in itinerary
  • Coordination of all listed activities
  • Pre-trip departure information
  • Comprehensive trip insurance, which includes coverage for sickness, accidents, emergency evacuation. (For trip cancellation insurance, please see a travel agent immediately after booking with Go Learn!)
  • Cuban Visa
  • Compliance with U.S. Treasury Department regulations

Not included

  • Airfare to and from Miami
  • Meals that are not specifically noted in itinerary
  • Cancellation and lost luggage insurance
  • Any costs outside of the itinerary
  • Individual house/hotel expenses (mini bar, room service, laundry fees, etc.)