For students currently in grades 9–12
Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Cuba
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Ecuador & the Galápagos
France
Spain
Barcelona
Tokyo
Tuscany
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
France & Holland
Iceland
Italy & Greece
France
Spain
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i
Need help choosing the program right for you? Call us! 802.387.5000

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Our Programs

High School
For students currently in grades 9–12

Cuba

Music & Dance in the Pearl of the Caribbean

July 1 — July 15
$6,890 + airfare

Cuba

Music & Dance in the Pearl of the Caribbean

July 1 — July 15
$6,890 + airfare

Experience the vibrant rhythms of Cuba this summer and engage with this island’s rich tapestry of dance, music, and visual arts. Explore a country where artistic expression flows through every street corner, dive into the colorful world of salsa, rumba, and Afro-Cuban beats, and learn from passionate local artists, dancers, and musicians who will guide you through the infectious rhythms of Cuban music. From the iconic Malecón in Havana to the lively streets of Trinidad, immerse yourself in the world of the arts, learning from professionals and gaining inspiration from their creativity.

• Traverse this island nation from Havana to Trinidad
• Visit historic sites and museums to learn about Cuba’s past
• Embark on art walks to explore galleries and street murals
• Learn to salsa dance in Old Havana’s vibrant dance studios

Experience the vibrant rhythms of Cuba this summer and engage with this island’s rich tapestry of dance, music, and visual arts. Explore a country where artistic expression flows through every street corner, dive into the colorful world of salsa, rumba, and Afro-Cuban beats, and learn from passionate local artists, dancers, and musicians who will guide you through the infectious rhythms of Cuban music. From the iconic Malecón in Havana to the lively streets of Trinidad, immerse yourself in the world of the arts, learning from professionals and gaining inspiration from their creativity.

• Traverse this island nation from Havana to Trinidad
• Visit historic sites and museums to learn about Cuba’s past
• Embark on art walks to explore galleries and street murals
• Learn to salsa dance in Old Havana’s vibrant dance studios
“I felt like I gained a greater sense of adventure. This trip has made me realize how much there is to see in the world, and left me with a strong wanderlust.”
—Hannah H., The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, CA
Featured

Expert

An Expert joins each Career program for a portion of the itinerary, lending their insights and perspectives to the experience. Our program Expert for 2024 is coming soon!
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Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in Miami, and fly together to Havana, Cuba. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Havana — 3 days

Begin in Havana with an in-depth orientation to get to know your peers and get acquainted with the city. Explore Havana’s vibrant neighborhoods, including the remarkably preserved colonial seat of Habana Vieja, the crowded streets and funky folk art alleyways of Centro Habana, and the elegant subdivided mansions. Walk around the Malecón and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Spend the next few days meeting with and learning from local artists, dancers, and musicians. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, home to the best of Cuban art. Attend lectures and practical classes on Cuban music and rhythms. Participate in a dance workshop with a local professor, and explore what Cuban rhythms have to offer. Learn about the history of this fascinating country through visits to historical sites, and learn about Cuba’s impressive efforts towards universal health care and literacy.

Viñales — 3 days

Travel west to the valley of Viñales. Also known as “The Garden of Cuba,” it is home to a unique mesa limestone formation and full of opportunities for short hikes and interactions with local people. Explore the valley and town to learn about agro-ecological initiatives and stay in traditional casas particulares. Visit an organic farm and learn about sustainable farming methods. Join a music masterclass with a local teacher, and learn to play traditional Cuban instruments like the conga drums, maracas, or the tres guitar. Sketch, paint, or take photographs of the breathtaking scenery, and visit a local gallery in the evening.

Havana — 3 days

On your way back to Havana, stop in Las Terrazas, a community in the mountains deemed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Get the chance to experience rural Cuba, connect with nature, and learn from local ecological projects. After returning to Havana, spend the next three days diving even deeper into art, music, and dance. See examples of how art can change an entire neighborhood through examples of mosaic art, graffiti, and mural expressions. Break into smaller groups to get a more personalized experience to practice music and dance.

Trinidad & Playa Larga — 5 days

Traverse Cuba’s interior to discover the colonial city of Trinidad, perched on the edge of the Sierra del Escambray Mountains overlooking the southern coast. Stay in private homes, casas particulares, and get to know your Cuban hosts. Explore the town and put your salsa skills to the test. Complement your knowledge by learning about rumba and Afro in a dance class. Get outdoors to hike and explore the region’s gorgeous natural surroundings, including its beaches, waterfalls, and mountains, birds, and flora. Travel west to Playa Larga, stopping on the way at historic Playa Girón, site of the 1961 U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. Swim and snorkel over pristine coral heads, explore coastal mangroves, and reflect on your journey thus far. Enjoy a farewell dinner, present your independent project to your group and Cuban friends, and prepare to return to Havana.

Return — Travel Day

Return to Havana, fly from Havana to Miami with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in Miami, and fly together to Havana, Cuba. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Havana — 3 days

Begin in Havana with an in-depth orientation to get to know your peers and get acquainted with the city. Explore Havana’s vibrant neighborhoods, including the remarkably preserved colonial seat of Habana Vieja, the crowded streets and funky folk art alleyways of Centro Habana, and the elegant subdivided mansions. Walk around the Malecón and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Spend the next few days meeting with and learning from local artists, dancers, and musicians. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, home to the best of Cuban art. Attend lectures and practical classes on Cuban music and rhythms. Participate in a dance workshop with a local professor, and explore what Cuban rhythms have to offer. Learn about the history of this fascinating country through visits to historical sites, and learn about Cuba’s impressive efforts towards universal health care and literacy.

Viñales — 3 days

Travel west to the valley of Viñales. Also known as “The Garden of Cuba,” it is home to a unique mesa limestone formation and full of opportunities for short hikes and interactions with local people. Explore the valley and town to learn about agro-ecological initiatives and stay in traditional casas particulares. Visit an organic farm and learn about sustainable farming methods. Join a music masterclass with a local teacher, and learn to play traditional Cuban instruments like the conga drums, maracas, or the tres guitar. Sketch, paint, or take photographs of the breathtaking scenery, and visit a local gallery in the evening.

Havana — 3 days

On your way back to Havana, stop in Las Terrazas, a community in the mountains deemed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Get the chance to experience rural Cuba, connect with nature, and learn from local ecological projects. After returning to Havana, spend the next three days diving even deeper into art, music, and dance. See examples of how art can change an entire neighborhood through examples of mosaic art, graffiti, and mural expressions. Break into smaller groups to get a more personalized experience to practice music and dance.

Trinidad & Playa Larga — 5 days

Traverse Cuba’s interior to discover the colonial city of Trinidad, perched on the edge of the Sierra del Escambray Mountains overlooking the southern coast. Stay in private homes, casas particulares, and get to know your Cuban hosts. Explore the town and put your salsa skills to the test. Complement your knowledge by learning about rumba and Afro in a dance class. Get outdoors to hike and explore the region’s gorgeous natural surroundings, including its beaches, waterfalls, and mountains, birds, and flora. Travel west to Playa Larga, stopping on the way at historic Playa Girón, site of the 1961 U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. Swim and snorkel over pristine coral heads, explore coastal mangroves, and reflect on your journey thus far. Enjoy a farewell dinner, present your independent project to your group and Cuban friends, and prepare to return to Havana.

Return — Travel Day

Return to Havana, fly from Havana to Miami with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_SVNMA_Adnor Cruz Nunez
Adnor Cruz
View Bio
2023_MSSDRA_Vanessa Rivera
Vanessa Rivera
View Bio
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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_SVNMA_Adnor Cruz Nunez
Adnor Cruz
View Bio
2023_MSSDRA_Vanessa Rivera
Vanessa Rivera
View Bio
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About the Destination

The largest island in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba captivates travelers with its vibrant blend of history and culture. The echoes of its colonial past resonate through the cobbled streets and colonial architecture of Havana, while the rhythmic beats of salsa and Afro-Cuban music infuse the air with energy. From its sandy beaches to its historic landmarks, Cuba beckons with a unique charm, promising an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

Language

Spanish is the official language of Cuba.

Climate

Cuba has a tropical climate with two seasons: wet and dry. We visit during the wet season, when rain showers are common, but not a daily occurrence. It is hot and humid during the day—ranging from 80–90°F (27–32°C) most days—so the occasional rain shower is welcome.

Cuisine

Cuba’s cuisine is based on rice, beans, plantains, fish, and pork, as well as vegetables and tropical fruits. Many of the best meals can be found in paladares, independent government-sanctioned house-restaurants. Vegetarian options are widely available.

About the Destination

The largest island in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba captivates travelers with its vibrant blend of history and culture. The echoes of its colonial past resonate through the cobbled streets and colonial architecture of Havana, while the rhythmic beats of salsa and Afro-Cuban music infuse the air with energy. From its sandy beaches to its historic landmarks, Cuba beckons with a unique charm, promising an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

Language

Spanish is the official language of Cuba.

Climate

Cuba has a tropical climate with two seasons: wet and dry. We visit during the wet season, when rain showers are common, but not a daily occurrence. It is hot and humid during the day—ranging from 80–90°F (27–32°C) most days—so the occasional rain shower is welcome.

Cuisine

Cuba’s cuisine is based on rice, beans, plantains, fish, and pork, as well as vegetables and tropical fruits. Many of the best meals can be found in paladares, independent government-sanctioned house-restaurants. Vegetarian options are widely available.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Themes

Cuba's rich and tumultuous history, intertwined with diverse cultural influences, creates a fertile ground for artistic expression, making it the perfect place to explore and immerse yourself in the world of art, music, and dance. Students will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with various art forms throughout the program, through lessons, meetings, and workshops with professionals in these fields. Whether an aspiring dancer or a budding art historian, students will be inspired to chart their future course.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required. However, if you speak or study Spanish in school you will have opportunities to use it while communicating with local people. If you don’t speak Spanish you will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—become an expert on an artist’s most famous pieces, create a recipe book with traditional Cuban recipes, or learn a traditional song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. Movement is a part of daily activities, whether walking the streets of Havana, dancing, or hiking. On excursions there will be opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, and more. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations

Living accommodations in Cuba are simple. In Havana, we stay at a hotel in mostly double and triple rooms, each air-conditioned, with private bathrooms. In other locations along our journey, we stay in a combination of private bed and breakfasts hosted by Cuban families, and simple, clean bungalows where students share a room with other students in the group. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

We begin each day with a traditional Cuban desayuno at our residence or with our Cuban hosts. For lunches and dinners, we often find small house-restaurants, called paladares, or hit the markets to purchase food for a picnic.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Themes

Cuba's rich and tumultuous history, intertwined with diverse cultural influences, creates a fertile ground for artistic expression, making it the perfect place to explore and immerse yourself in the world of art, music, and dance. Students will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with various art forms throughout the program, through lessons, meetings, and workshops with professionals in these fields. Whether an aspiring dancer or a budding art historian, students will be inspired to chart their future course.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required. However, if you speak or study Spanish in school you will have opportunities to use it while communicating with local people. If you don’t speak Spanish you will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—become an expert on an artist’s most famous pieces, create a recipe book with traditional Cuban recipes, or learn a traditional song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. Movement is a part of daily activities, whether walking the streets of Havana, dancing, or hiking. On excursions there will be opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, and more. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations

Living accommodations in Cuba are simple. In Havana, we stay at a hotel in mostly double and triple rooms, each air-conditioned, with private bathrooms. In other locations along our journey, we stay in a combination of private bed and breakfasts hosted by Cuban families, and simple, clean bungalows where students share a room with other students in the group. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

We begin each day with a traditional Cuban desayuno at our residence or with our Cuban hosts. For lunches and dinners, we often find small house-restaurants, called paladares, or hit the markets to purchase food for a picnic.

A Day in the Life: Havana​

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Havana.
9:00am
Enjoy breakfast as a group at our accommodations
10:00am
Head out to visit a printmaking or artist’s studio in Old Havana
1:00pm
Explore by bici-taxi and grab lunch at a paladar in Old Havana
2:00pm
Visit the Museo de la Revolución and wander an open air market
6:00pm
Return to our residence for down time or take a trip to the beach
7:00pm
Enjoy dinner at a family-run paladar
8:00pm
Attend a jazz concert and walk to the seaside malecón to practice your Spanish
10:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and plans for tomorrow

A Day in the Life:
Havana​

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Havana.
9:00am
Enjoy breakfast as a group at our accommodations
10:00am
Head out to visit a printmaking or artist’s studio in Old Havana
1:00pm
Explore by bici-taxi and grab lunch at a paladar in Old Havana
2:00pm
Visit the Museo de la Revolución and wander an open air market
6:00pm
Return to our residence for down time or take a trip to the beach
7:00pm
Enjoy dinner at a family-run paladar
8:00pm
Attend a jazz concert and walk to the seaside malecón to practice your Spanish
10:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and plans for tomorrow
“I expected a professionally run, organized, and challenging program with heart. My expectations were met and we are very pleased—this is our second year trusting Putney with our son.”
—Rachel & Jonathan A., Mill Valley, CA

This Program is Directed by

Juliana Gutierrez & Gregorio Rojas

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

This Program is Directed by

Juliana Gutierrez & Gregorio Rojas

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Cuba
Music & Dance in the Pearl of the Caribbean

2024 Dates
July 1 — July 15

Duration
15 days

Tuition
$6,890 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently in grades 9–12

Typical Group
14–16 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami


 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
July 1 — July 15

Duration
15 days

Tuition
$6,890 + airfare


 

Eligibility
Currently in grades 9–12

Typical Group
14–16 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

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Request More Info

Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Cuba
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Spain
France
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Tuscany
Barcelona
Tokyo
Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
Iceland
France & Holland
Italy & Greece
Spain
France
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i

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