Cuba: An Immersive Travel Writing Experience

Travel to the Edge of the World
Plaza Vieja, Havana - Cuba Tour
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Cuba: An Immersive Travel Writing Experience

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$1,895.00

There’s no better way to find creative inspiration than to explore somewhere new. And Cuba, a vibrant and tantalizing country with a history, energy, and rhythm all its own is bursting with potential. In this unique travel experience and writing workshop, you will learn to turn your observations and encounters into an evocative piece of travel narrative, while immersing yourself in a fascinating culture. This creative workshop is ideal for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of travel writing, whether you aim to become a published travel writer or simply want to gain a new creative skill-set for personal development.

Each day there will be dedicated time for you to learn and practice the craft of travel writing under the mentorship of two experienced writers and editors. The rest of the time, we’ll explore Cuban culture, landscape, architecture, and food, led by our knowledgeable local guides. We’ll meet local artists, watch incredible live music and dance performances, sample from Havana’s burgeoning food scene, and learn about the forces and stories that shaped this city. Our accommodation will be in a local home operating as a B&B (known as a casa particular), where the opportunity for insight into Cuban life is heightened. Your experiences will provide excellent fodder for writing projects, and you’ll return home with all the necessary tools to complete a travel narrative piece, a supportive writing community, new skills and understanding of travel writing fundamentals, and unforgettable memories of Cuba.

Join us in Cuba for a Travel Writing Experience! DATES: JUNE 1-7th, 2017

Product Description

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Practicing the craft of travel writing in Cuba under the mentorship of two experienced writers
  • Learning about Cuba’s fascinating culture & rich history on this amazing Cuba Tour
  • Meeting locals & learning about life in Cuba
  • Wandering through the bustling streets of Havana
  • Developing new skills and understanding of travel writing fundamentals
  • Enjoying unique Cuban rhythms which permeate the streets

Day 1: ARRIVAL TO HAVANA
Havana has a character all its own: audacious, beautiful, and full of contradictions. It charms visitors with its swashbuckling history, survivalist spirit, indefatigable salsa energy, and vibrant people. Arrive in Havana with an open mind and prepare yourself for a long, slow seduction.
*Please note that most flights from Canada arrive quite late into Havana. As today is arrival day, there are no planned activities.

Meals: -/-/-
Accommodation: Casa particular (B & B)

Day 2: HISTORIC HAVANA
After breakfast we’ll take some time to get to know each other and work through an introductory session on travel writing, with tips on how to start gathering material for your own writing project, before our tour of the historic centre of Old Havana. Habana Vieja, as it’s known in Spanish, features spectacular colonial architecture and certainly beats to its own rhythm. Our walking tour with a local guide takes us along cobbled streets plied with vintage cars to the most important plazas of the old city, where costumed characters and street performers help create a carnival-like vibe.
After the tour, you will have some free time for independent exploration or writing.
This evening we will reconvene to discuss our day, dine together a lo cubano, and have another discussion about writing, as well as a short free-writing exercise.

ACTIVITIES:
Walking tour of Old Havana, including stops at Plaza de la Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, and the Plaza Vieja
Free time to visit the Cuban Fine Arts Museum or the Museum of the Revolution (own expense) or just wander the streets
Daily writing instruction and practice

Meals: B/L/D
Accommodation: Casa particular (B & B)

Day 3: HAVANA – CUBAN BEATS & ART
Cuba’s dynamic capital was once one of the world’s most prosperous ports and the third most populous city in the Americas. As La Llave del Mundo (Key of the World), it saw riches from Mexico, Peru, and Manila pass through its sheltered harbour en route to Spain. Havana shows evidence of long neglect but her beauty still shines, with an amalgam of Spanish, African, colonial, communist, and capitalist influences.
Today we explore history and culture through Cuban art, music, and dance

ACTIVITIES:
Daily writing instruction and practice
Visit a local food co-op and farmer’s market
Stop to take photos in Revolution Square
Visit Compas Dance Studio* to meet the amazing dancers and watch a performance *or similar
Salsa dance lessons
Evening out on the town

Meals: B/-/D
Accommodation: Casa particular (B & B)

Day 4: HAVANA – FREE DAY
After a morning of writing workshops, you’ll have the remainder of the day to further explore the corners of Havana. Your tour leader will be able to help point you in the right direction depending on your interests.

ACTIVITIES:
Free time suggestions include: Hemingway’s House (Finca Vigia), El Morro Castle, Museum of the Revolution, National Fine Arts Museum, Eastern Beaches, Columbus Cemetery, Miramar, stroll along the Malecon, etc.

Meals: B/-/-
Accommodation: Casa particular (B & B)

Day 5: OPTIONAL TRAVEL TO VIÑALES
Located in the province of Pinar del Rio, the lush Viñales Valley is blessed with iron-rich soil, which is ideal for tobacco farming and produces the most coveted cigars on the planet. Viñales Valley also boasts exceptional landscapes, limestone formations (mogotes) and ecological plantations, which are amazing to hike around. It is a wonderfully relaxed, traditional settlement that never fails to impress with its beauty. Those who would prefer to stay in Havana to write and explore independently are welcome to do so.

ACTIVITIES:
Transportation to/from Viñales with a guide
Hike around the stunning Valley learning about sustainable farming techniques
Learn about the tobacco process from seed to cigar
Explore the charming town of Viñales
Daily writing instruction and practice

Meals: B/-/-
Accommodation: Casa particular (Havana)
Day 6: HAVANA – CENTRAL HAVANA
We experience a different side of Havana today and explore the dilapidated streets of Centro Havana. The densely populated streets of Centro Havana throb with life. Though rough looking on the exterior, Centro Havana is a fascinating place and a stark contrast to the beautifully restored district of Havana Vieja. Centro Habana’s streets buzz with people and a cacophony of sounds – street vendors shouting their wares, bicitaxis blasting their sound systems, excited children, and doorstep gossip. We may visit Callejón de Hamel which is well known for its art, musical performances, and Sunday Rumba in the street.

ACTIVITIES:
Daily writing instruction and practice
Explore Central Havana
Visit local artists in Callejón de Hamel
Matinee performance at La Casa de la Musica (or similar)
Wrap-up celebration

Meals: B/-/D
Accommodation: Casa Particulares

Day 7: DEPARTURE DAY
Last moments to soak up in this beautifully bewildering Caribbean Island before departure. You will be transferred to the airport to connect with your flights.
Flights back home or ask to extend your stay!

Meals: B/-/-

Creative Hosts

Rachelle Delaney

Rachelle Delaney is a writer, editor, and creative writing teacher with an insatiable love of travel. She has published six children’s novels with major publishers, and many have gone on to win awards. Her writing, both fiction and nonfiction, always draws heavily from her own travel explorations, from the underground world of the Moscow metro to professional circus school in Montreal. Rachelle has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and has taught students of all ages, specializing in creative nonfiction and the personal narrative.

Shanna & Rachelle

Shanna Baker

Shanna Baker has a degree in creative and professional writing and has worked as an editor and journalist for over a decade, including at the travel publication British Columbia Magazine. She has coached numerous writers of all experience levels on creative ways to knit fact and exposition together into rich, evocative narratives that teleport the reader into the scene. Her own writing assignments have taken her sailing along the storied coast of Haida Gwaii, swimming with a crocodile in northern Australia, and beating through remote jungles of Indonesia, to name a few. Shanna is also an accomplished travel and editorial photographer.

TOUR INCLUSIONS:
Daily writing workshops and activities with Shanna & Rachelle
6 nights accommodation based on double occupancy in Private Homes (Casa Particulares)
All transportation as per itinerary
6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Guiding services as per itinerary
Sightseeing as per itinerary
Service of an experienced Tour Leader & Local Guide
Tips (service staff at group meals, drivers, local guides)
All applicable taxes

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:
International flights (can be arranged through us nicola@finisterra.ca)
Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us nicola@finisterra.ca)
Meals not mentioned
Gratuities not mentioned above
Items of a personal nature
Transportation and services not mentioned

*IMPORTANT NOTES:
– Though we will do our best to follow this itinerary as closely as possible, it is subject to change due to factors beyond our control

IMPORTANT:
Please note that on this tour we stay at private homes/Bed & Breakfasts (casa particulares).

Accommodation: Casa particular (Havana)

PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever changing nature of Cuba, activities, restaurants, hotels, and sites are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.

PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Cuba. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveler.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Please click HERE for our T & C

Date: JUNE 1-7th, 2017

Final Payment

Full payment is due 60 prior to departure and can be paid by cheque, credit card, or e-Transfer.

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