National Council for Geographic Education

For an island so geographically close to our shores—less than 100 miles separates Key West from the Cuban coast—in our geographical imagination Cuba couldn’t be more distant. To many in the United States, Cuba is a time capsule, a cultural relic, a place frozen in a bygone era of communism, Cold War, and ‘57 Chevys. Given the recently announced warming of ties between the two countries and the increasing ease for Americans to travel to Cuba, geography educators occupy a prime position to advance our geographical knowledge of Cuba and its relationship to the United States. Thus the purpose of this field trip is to bring professional geographers and geography educators into the field to engage with the geography of Cuba in a way that goes far beyond the all-too-common stereotypes and clichés. The goal will be to see, experience, and learn about Cuba on its own terms, rather than simply (and problematically) through the lens of Cuba’s relation to the United States. On this 9-day, 8-night field trip we’ll get to know Havana and also take excursions to other notable sites in Western Cuba. Activities and excursions will focus on different aspects of geography, including historical, cultural, urban, economic, and physical geography, the geography of agriculture and food, and US-Cuba relations. On a broader level, the field trip will provide field-based learning for geography educators, develop educational resources for teachers, and demonstrate the importance of experiential learning. 

When: July 2-10, 2017 

Per Person Cost: $3,000 (Double Occupancy Room) / $3,500 (Single Occupancy Room)

*You must be a current NCGE member to attend this trip. Please visit our membership page on how to purchase or renew your membership.

Deposit of $1,500 due by May 15, 2017 / Full Payment due by May 30, 2017

Pay deposit here

*Space is limited. In order to reserve your spot, please pay deposit.

Please e-mail application, scanned passport and travel affidavit to

What the program fee includes:

  • US License to travel to Cuba

  • Cuban visa

  • Cuban medical insurance (as required by Cuban law)

  • Lodging for eight nights in Cuba (double occupancy)

  • Breakfast every day

  • Lunch every day

  • Three of eight dinners

  • In-country transportation & guides

  • All activities listed on the itinerary 


What the program fee does not include:

  • Airfare (domestic and international)

  • US passport costs

  • Baggage fees for charter flight to Cuba (domestic and international)

  • Five of eight dinners

  • Internet/phone charges while in Cuba 

  • Gifts, souvenirs, etc.


Trip Organizers

Johnny Finn (Assistant Professor of Geography, Christopher Newport University) 

Amy Stalker (High school teacher, Fleming High School) 

Jeremy Stalker (Jacksonville University)   

Yulia Garcia Sarduy (Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de las Villas)


Tentative Itinerary:

Day One: Sunday, July 2, 2017

Location: Havana

Topic: Arrival & Welcome

  • Arrival and Welcome Lunch in Havana
  • Walking tour of Old Havana
  • Check in to Hotel Telegrafo
  • Welcome dinner
  • (Lunch and dinner included in program fee)


Day 2: Monday, July 3, 2017

Location: Havana

Topic: Urban Geography

  • City tour, combination of walking and driving, with visits to the University of Havana, Centro Habana,  Marianao, 10 de Octubre, among other neighborhoods.
  • Visit to US Embassy
  • (Breakfast and lunch included in program fee)


Day 3: Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Location: Viñales

Topic: Environmental Sustainability

  • Visit Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve
  • Visit Viñales
  • (Breakfast and lunch included in program fee)


Day 4: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Location: Rural Havana

Topic: Sustainable Agriculture

  • Visit Finca Marta, a sustainable small farm (recently written about in the Washington Post, here)
  • Return to Havana
  • (Breakfast and lunch included in program fee)


Day 5: Thursday, July 6, 2017

Location: HaVana

Topic: Urban Agriculture

  • Visit, tour, and volunteer on the Vivero Alamar urban farm
  • (Breakfast and lunch included in program fee)


Day 6: Friday, July 7, 2017

Location: Havana

Topic: Arts & Culture

  • Visit Callejón de Hamel
  • Visit K’cho’s studio & social project
  • Music/dance classes/performance
  • (Breakfast and lunch included in program fee)


Day 7: Saturday, July 8, 2017

Location: Bay of Pigs and Trinidad

Topic: US-Cuba Relations (Trinidad)

  • Visit Bay of Pigs
  • Arrive at all-inclusive resort in Trinidad
  • (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included in program fee)


Day 8: Sunday, July 9, 2017

Location: Trinidad

Topic: Colonial Cuba

  • Visit the Manaca Iznaga Plantation via steam engine train
  • Visit Santader pottery studio in Trinidad
  • Afternoon options:
    • Snorkeling
    • Trinidad city tour
  • Optional dinner in historical center (not included)
  • (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included in program fee)


Day 9: Monday, July 10, 2017

Location: Depart Trinidad for Santa Clara Airport

Topic: Return to US via Santa Clara

Depart early from Trinidad for Santa Clara International Airport to catch


Click here for more information on how to schedule your flight and other inquires about the trip. 


Questions?!?! Please e-mail Melissa Lepak, NCGE Events Coordinator or Trip Organizer, Johnny Finn