Ayelet Tours Traveling University's Tour to Cuba
with Professor Stephen Berk
December 3-10, 2023

Tour Rates & Dates:

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*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
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Roundtrip group flights are included in the cost of your tour and will be added to your reservation when clicking the "BOOK" button above.
AA607 03DEC MIA-SNU 8:59AM-10:05AM
AA402 10DEC HAV-MIA 10:30AM-11:40AM

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Tour Overview:

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Cuba: A land frozen in time - so close, yet decades away. A Jewish community dedicated to its heritage across half a century of isolation and prevalent atheism. A rich and vibrant island culture, filled with dance and song, classic cars and donkey carts, rum, and cigars. Experience all this and more as we step back in time together.


  • Hear fascinating lectures by Prof. Stephen Berk
  • Enjoy a week of vibrant cultural discovery and a Jewish humanitarian effort via a special US State Department license
  • Experience Cuba with all our senses amidst a mixed, vibrant and vital culture locked in time; step back to 1959 and see the cars smell the unique foods, hear the incredible music and sway to the sounds of Cuba!
  • Visit the communities of Santa Clara, Cienfuegos and Havana, and experience their unique joie de vivre
  • Visit with Cubans and see their culture, art and Latin flair!
  • Share Shabbat with locals in a land essentially absent of anti-Semitism
  • Meet with community leaders and hear their rich stories going back 500 years to Columbus


Roundtrip international airfare from Miami, FL
2 nights
Melia Trinidad Peninsula, Trinidad
5 nights
Hotel Grand Aston La Habana, Havana
All touring on an air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast & lunch daily
6 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Havana

Entrance fees and activities per itinerary
Bottled water on the bus
Whisper headsets
Exit tax
Cuban emergency medical insurance


Roundtrip domestic airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Checked baggage fee
1- night pre-Stay at Courtyard Miami ($300 per room)
Cuban travel visa (purchase directly from airline on day of departure - Religious Activities category CFR515.566)
Tips to guide, driver & dining room personnel ($25 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Gifts and aid (suggestions provided in advance)
Any costs associated with testing or related to proof of Covid/vaccine status
Travel insurance (
group policy is available)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 0: Saturday, December 2, 2023: PRE-NIGHT

• Pre-arrivals overnight at the Courtyard Marriott Miami Airport.

Day 1: Sunday, December 3, 2023: DEPARTURE/WELCOME TO CUBA!

• Pre-arrivals can take their grab and go breakfast
• We depart Florida on our non-stop flight to Cuba - AA1755.
• We arrive at the Abel Santamaria Airport in Santa Clara and meet our English-speaking guide and driver.
• We begin with a panoramic tour of Santa Clara, an important city founded in the 1600s. Here, in 1958, Che Guevara and his troops won a crucial battle in securing victory for the Cuban Revolution. We stop at the Che Guevara memorial for a photo opportunity in the square.
• This afternoon, we meet with Victor Tacher, a leading representative of the Santa Clara Jewish community to deliver our gifts and learn about the community he has lived and worked in for many years.
• We enjoy lunch together at La Aldaba private restaurant with Victor.
• After lunch, we travel to Trinidad. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel, with a chance to refresh before coming together again for a welcome drink and orientation, followed by dinner at your restaurant of choice at our all-inclusive resort.

Overnight in Trinidad (L, D)

Day 2: Monday, December 4, 2023: TOURING TRINIDAD

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin with a lecture by Professor Stephen Berk.
• Today, we set out in a walking tour of historic Trinidad, a 500-year-old city with Spanish architecture. Only a few square blocks in size, historic Trinidad is famous for its lovely cobblestone streets, pastel houses with wrought iron grills, as well as beautiful palaces and plazas. Along the way, we visit some of the village landmarks, including Plaza Mayor and La Parroquial Mayor Church.
• We watch rumba being played at Palenque de los Congos Reales, then visit a rationing store “bodega” and learn how the locals buy staple foods.
• Next, we visit Yudit Faife's private art gallery, where we meet the artist and learn about his work.
• We stop for lunch at private restaurant San Jose.
• Following lunch, we head to the workshop of the famous Santander family, well-known local potters who have been making handmade pottery for over 100 years.
• The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the village and enjoy the atmosphere of this quaint town or return to our hotel to relax and freshen up.
• Dinner is at leisure at our all-inclusive resort.

Overnight in Trinidad (B, L, D)

Day 3: Tuesday, December 5, 2023: TRINIDAD to CIENFUEGOS

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Cienfuegos, Cuba's “Pearl of the South”. Here, we meet with Rebecca Langus, leading representative of the city's Jewish community and deliver our aid.
• We continue with an interactive waking tour around Cienfuegos' historic center to vie the landmarks such as Jose Marti Memorial Park, Palacio Ferrer and the Terry Theater.
• Next, we visit the Cantores de Cienfuegos choir at Museo Provincial and enjoy a performance and a chance to interact with the singers.
• We drive to Playa Larga, a tranquil village set on the beach at the head of the Bay of Pigs. It was here that the failed April 1961 CIA sponsored invasion took place.
• This afternoon, we meet with a naturalist to discuss the Cienaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve, followed by lunch together at local paladar, Casa de Enrique.
• Following lunch, we drive to Havana, where we check into our hotel and freshen up.
• This evening, we enjoy a buffet dinner at our hotel or at private restaurant L'Atelier.

Overnight in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 4: Wednesday, December 6, 2023: GETTING TO KNOW HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Our day begins with a lecture by Professor Berk.
• We depart the hotel and visit a cigar factory, where we learn about the history of tobacco and the tradition of cigar rolling in Cuba and interact with some of the rollers and locals.
• We continue to the Sephardic Center, where we meet with community leader Mayra Levy for an update and to deliver gifts. We then walk through the Holocaust exhibit, the only of its kind in Cuba.
• We enjoy lunch at private restaurant La California.
• After lunch, we enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana (Havana Vieja), a UNESCO World Heritage site. We learn about the history of Havana as we visit highlights of the city and the colonial plazas. We also visit Jewish points of interest, such as the Jewish-themed Raquel Hotel.
• Later this afternoon, we stop at Almacenes de San Jose craft market, where we stroll through the stalls of arts and crafts made by the locals, an excellent opportunity to interact with the artisans, learn about their challenges and purchase souvenirs!
• After returning to our hotel for time to relax and refresh, we set out again for dinner at private restaurant Al Carbon.

Overnight in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 5: Thursday, December 7, 2023: HEMINGWAY IN HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we listen to a lecture by Professor Berk.
• Today, we visit Patronato Beth Shalom, where we meet with community leaders. We tour the center and learn about the Pharmacy and Sunday school, with time to deliver our gifts and aid.
• This afternoon, we head to Café Ajiaco and begin with a visit to their organic farm for a “mojito” making and tasting class prior to lunch.
• Next, we visit the Jewish cemetery in Guanabacoa, including a special stop to the site of the Holocaust memorial.
• We continue to Finca Vigia, former home of Hemingway for over 20 years and now a museum. We peruse the museum, which is supported by several non-governmental and independent organizations and meet the caretakers to learn about his life and work as a writer in Cuba.
• We return to our hotel for dinner on own.
Optional: Attend the world-famous show at the Tropicana Cabaret, an old-world Vegas-style show in production since 199 (separate cost).

Overnight in Havana (B, L)

Day 6: Friday, December 8, 2023: DANCING INTO SHABBAT

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Professor Berk begins the day with another informative lecture.
• We set out for a panoramic overview of the city, including Revolution Square, dominated by the José Martí Memorial. This square is where Fidel Castro delivered the majority of his lengthy political addresses. Along the way, we pass by the Rosenberg Memorial, Lennon Park, and Havana University.
• We continue with a guided tour of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), including a visit to the Cuban art collection.
• We enjoy lunch at ChaChaCha.
• This afternoon, we the headquarters of Habana Compas Dance to enjoy a performance and interact with the dancers and instructors.
• We return to our hotel for time to prepare for Shabbat
• This evening, we join together for Shabbat services at the Patronato Synagogue with community members, followed by Shabbat dinner at La Mansion Castillo, a nearby private restaurant.

Overnight in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 7: Saturday, December 9, 2023: A HAVANA SHABBAT

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We hear a final closing lecture by Professor Berk this morning.
• Today, we visit the impressive Fusterlandia to see the unique mosaic masterpiece and learn about the artist's ongoing project to beautify his hometown.
• We continue to Vocal Clave del Sol, a musical education program for children ages 5 to 19, founded in 2009. We meet and interact musically with some of the students and teachers and learn about the importance of this program to the students here.
• We enjoy lunch together at Buenaventura Restaurant, then return to the hotel to refresh.
• We gather this evening and enjoy a classic car ride from our hotel to our farewell dinner at Vista Mar Restaurant, where we savor our closing dinner as a group and recall all that we have experienced together on this enlightening journey.
• The hearty among us will set out after dinner for a late evening visit to the artists of Fabrica D'la Arte (FAC), a former cooking oil factory, which comes alive on weekend nights and features the best avante garde art in the country.

Overnight in Havana (B, L, D)

Day 8: Sunday, December 10, 2023: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our flight back to Florida.

The Memories Last Forever!!
*Itinerary subject to change