Afro-Cuban Culture and Religions


10 days / 9 nights
Departure: On demand
Itineraries: Havana / Cienfuegos / Pinar del Rio / Trinidad / Guanabacoa

Highlights of this trip:

– Original, unique immersion into Cuban culture
– Familiarization with Cuban religious syncretism
– Afro-Cuban influences and origins
– Guided tours of must-see cultural sites
– Sacred dances, music, processions and ceremonies
– Monuments, art galleries, and cultural centres and projects
– Lectures and discussions with renowned anthropologists
– Always bilingual tour guides

Cuba is a beautiful island that makes the most unlikely fusions, creating a wonderful cultural and human mosaic. Commonly known as the island of all rhythms and syncretism, it is now free of racial and social injustice. The Cuban population is known for its culture and music, and nearly all dances that have emerged in the last century were born on the lizard-shaped island, such as the son cubano, cha-cha-cha, mambo, salsa, rumba, conga, yoruba, lucumí, guaguancó, casino and many more.

This cultural and musical wealth is the result of the racial blend that has left its mark on Cuban soil. After carefully rooting themselves, the slaves who were brought by force from Africa were able to cover up their animistic practices in a highly catholic Spanish environment. Although now a known fact, this cover-up with tragic beginnings led to the emergence of the typically Cuban religious syncretism, which cuts through all elements of society, such as culture, gastronomy, nostalgic boleros, frenzied dances, literature and politics. Religious Cuban syncretism is the first pillar of the idiosyncrasy of this Caribbean jewel.

You will be enchanted by the depths of Cuban culture—untold stories by slaves’ descendants, guided tours of timeless cities, museums filled with Afro-Cuban culture, strategic sites where the island’s greatest musical and cultural movements were born, secret dances and ceremonies, and lectures by the most renowned anthropologists and specialists of Cuban-style blending and transculturation.
One thing is certain: No other trip offers such an introduction into Cuban culture, its blending and secret religions. No other trip will reveal the unsuspected links between music and sacredness, religion and culture, and to the grandiose beauty of a population that is open to mixed cultures.

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[wptabtitle]DAY 01[/wptabtitle]

      -Arrival at José Martí International Airport in Havana.


      -Orientation and visit of the grounds.


    -Dinner and free night.


[wptabtitle]DAY 02[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel.


      -Introductory lecture on Afro-Cuban religions by an internationally renowned leader in the field—Ms. Natalia Bolivar, researcher and author of various publications on anthropology and Afro-Cuban religions.


      -Visit of Cuba’s Yoruba society. Folk show and sacred dances linked to Afro-Cuban religion. Discovery of the Batá drum and its sacred aspect.


      -Lunch at the allegoric San Cristobal restaurant in Central Havana, hosted by the Santería priests. Special menu surrounding religion and the food of the first slaves.


    -Visit of the Casa de la Rumba. Show: religious dances and their relation to trances.


[wptabtitle]DAY 03[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel.


      -Visit of the Museum of Regla’s permanent exhibit on Afro-Cuban religions. Visit of the church of the same name (Our Lady of Regla is also known as Yemaya, the Goddess of the Ocean). The port of Regla is the ideal place to witness devotion, offerings made to the ocean, the fulfillment of promises and many other religious events.


      -Visit of the House of Africa, where African objects—the same objects used by slaves immigrating to the island—are on display.


    -Conference at the Fernando Ortiz Foundation, which shares its name with the prestigious anthropologist, lawyer, archaeologist and renowned scholar who brought Afro-Cuban culture to Cuba and the rest of the world.


[wptabtitle]DAY 04[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel and checkout.


      -Departure for the beautiful Pinar del Río Province.


      -Along the way, visit of the old Cafetal Buena Vista coffee plantation, which reveals the cultural heritage of French immigrants who introduced Cuba to grain-planting in the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly owing to the strength of slaves. The historical reconstruction of the plantation is excellent for viewing what remains of the buildings—now ruins behind the Sierra del Rosario.


      -Lunch at Cafetal Buena Vista.


      -Continue to Pinar del Río. Starting in Candelaria, a detailed explanation of highlights of the slave rebellion will be given.


      -Arrival at the city of Pinar del Río. Guided tour of the Machin sociocultural project, where the popular Tambor Yuca ceremony will be held.


    -Arrival at hotel and check-in.


[wptabtitle]DAY 05[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel and checkout.


      -Departure for the province of Cienfuegos.


      -Visit of Benny Moré’s house. Benny Moré was the most popular musician and dancer in the country. He is responsible for the most popular rhythm of the island: el son cubano. Visit of the city’s Palo centre, one of the most secret religious societies, of which Benny Moré was a member.


    -Arrival at the hotel in Cienfuegos. Check-in.


[wptabtitle]DAY 06[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel and checkout.


      -Visit of the Cabildo Mayor in Cienfuegos, the ultimate gathering place for priests of Afro-Cuban religion. Visit of the Cabildo de Palmira and lecture on the specialties of the BATA drums. December 4 is dedicated to Changó, THE RISING SUN CEREMONY, the most important sociocultural event in the country.


      -Departure for Trinidad.


    -Check-in at the hotel in Trinidad.


[wptabtitle]DAY 07[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel in Trinidad.


      -Visit of the Palenque Real in the city of Trinidad. Guided tour of the historic centre of this majestic colonial city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meal at the heart of the historic centre.


      -Guided tour of the Valley of Slaves, the largest old sugar plantation in the country, where some 30,000 slaves work.


    -Return to the hotel and dinner.


[wptabtitle]DAY 08[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the Trinidad hotel and checkout.


      -Departure for the Province of Matanzas.


      -Visit of the National Museum of the Slave Route, San Severino Castle in Matanzas, which had an exhibition on the entire history of slavery in Cuba in 2009. The castle’s rooms are still divided per period and arrival of slaves on the island: the Orishas room, African Art heritage, Cimarronaje and torture chambers (original traps), exhibition of maps and original plans of the slave route, and several other references that highlight and expand on the fusion of Cuban religions, which led to the emergence of transculturation.


      -Departure and return to Havana.


    -Check-in and dinner at the Havana hotel.


[wptabtitle]DAY 09[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel in Havana.


      -Guided tour of the Almendares River given by a renowned Cuban anthropologist.


      -Guided tour of the Guanabacoa Museum, which houses the most relevant exhibition on Cuban religious syncretism: Santería, Yoruba, Ifà and Palo Monte. Cultural show with music and dance inspired by each respective religion.


      -Typical dinner near Guanabacoa.


    -Closing lecture and knowledge transfer with our anthropologist.


[wptabtitle]DAY 10[/wptabtitle]

      -Breakfast at the hotel.


    -Free day until departure for airport.



What is included in the price of $ 2799 *:

The package includes 10 days and 9 nights
Hotels 3* and 4 *
All activities proposed in the program
All transportation and all meals
Accommodation / double occupancy
Bilingual guides
International flight **

For information in French: Maya (1) 514. 531. 1454

For the information in English and Spanish Leandro (1) 438. 877. 2011.

* Price is based on a group of five people. For the same trip as an individual or a couple, contact

** The ticket is included in the price from Montreal. Price of the flight may vary from other canadiens and international cities. Certain conditions vary, depending on the price and availability of seats at the time of booking.

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