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Visit Cuba with the IISC

A hugely enjoyable trip with a good balance of learning and fun’
(2023 participant)


Fully guided, 7 nights with flights, breakfasts and lunches.


Following successful tours in 2018, 2019 and last year, the IISC in conjunction with the Department of Politics at the University of Buckingham, is planning another study visit to Cuba led by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, who lectures on Latin American and Cuban Politics, Steve is Editor of the International Journal of Cuban Studies and the Director of International Institute for the Study of Cuba. Steve has been visiting Cuba since 1987, holds a PHD in Cuban Literature and has led more than twenty study tours to the island.

The flights and itinerary will be organised by the ATOL protected Cuba Specialist Travel company Captivating Cuba. The itinerary includes visits to two of Cuba’s top Universities to meet students and staff.The tour will deepen participants’ understanding of history, politics, economics and international relations as well as expand their knowledge of Cuba, its unique character and history. But it is not all study, there will also be plenty of time to relax by the pool and explore Havana!

The plan is to fly economy with Air Europa via Madrid departing from Gatwick on Saturday 14th September and returning overnight on Saturday 21st arriving in Heathrow on Sunday 22nd. The group will stay at the Hotel Telegrafo in Havana the Hotel America in Santa Clara and the Hotel Barcelona in Remedios, Villa Clara.

The price of £2,210* includes the visa, flight, hotels, English speaking tourist guide, transfers, visits, and stated lunches, based on a shared double room. A single supplement of £319* is estimated for those who would not wish to share a room.

The tour is open to all students, alumni, staff and their relatives or friends.

An excellent complement to my course’

‘Fantastic organisation, interesting itinerary with a good variety of visits.’

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING PART IN THIS TOUR, PLEASE EMAIL Dr Stephen Wilkinson immediately in the first instance. We need a minimum of 10 participants to make this trip work. Please provide your full name DoB and Passport number in your email and please reply by May 15th, 2024.

ONCE WE HAVE A LIST OF INTERESTED PARTICIPANTS, we will arrange a meeting on teams where Dr Wilkinson and Gemma from Captivating Cuba will explain the programme. (A non-refundable deposit of £150 will be required to make the fight reservations. Payment must be received by the beginning of June. The balance for the tour must be paid by the beginning of July).

Proposed Itinerary*

Day 1 Saturday 14th Sept

Arrive Havana. Check-in to Hotel.

Evening: Welcome dinner in a nearby restaurant.


Day 2 Sunday 15th Sept

9.30 am Guided tour around Old Havana.  Visit to the Hemingway room at the Ambos Mundos Hotel

Lunch in the Ambos Mundos.

2:00 pm: visit to Revolution Square and Jose Marti Monument Museum. Cocktail at the Hotel Nacional.

6:00 pm: Transfer to hotel – evening free.


Day 3 Monday 16th Sept.

8:0 am: Pick up at hotel and visit to the University of Artemisa. Visti to the Orchid Garden research centre and waterfall of Soroa. Opportunity to bathe in the waterfall.

6:00pm: Return to Hotel

Evening: Dinner in a private restaurant.


Day 4 Tuesday 17th Sept.

8.30am: Check out of hotel

9.30am visit to the Calixto Garcia Hospital.

12.30pm Lunch in a private restaurant

2pmTravel to Santa Clara.

5.30pm Check into Hotel.

7pm Dinner in Santa Rosalia restaurant.

Evening in the city.


Day 5 Wednesday 18th Sept

8:45 am: Pick up at hotel and visit The University of Villa Clara ‘Marta Abreu’

9.00 am. Meet and greet.

10.00am Activity with language students.

11.30am: Salsa lessons

1.30pm. Lunch in Santa Clara.

2:00 pm: Visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara and the historic train monument. Coffee in the Revolution café.

Evening Free.


Day 6 Thursday 19th Sept

7.30 am Breakfast. Check out

8.30-Depart for Remedios.

Visit the Sugar Mill museum

1.30 Lunch at beach restaurant on the Cayos

Afternoon on the beach.

Return to Remedios Check into the Hotel Barcelona

Dinner in local restaurant.


Day 7 Friday 19th Sept

8am Check out and transfer back to Havana.

Lunch in Kilometro Zero

2pm Visit National Arts Museum and Museum of the revolution.

4pm Check into Hotel Telegrafo

19:00. Farewell dinner in El Cocinero restaurant and night club.


Day 8 Saturday 14th Sept.

8 AM. Free to do last minute shopping. Late checkout.

  1. transfer to Havana Airport for return flight.


Flights with Air Europa (Economy Class)

The prices are based on the below flights as a group fare. The flights are with Air Europa in Economy.*

14/09/2024 LGW-MAD UX1014 1000-1330

14/09/2024 MAD-HAV UX0051 1605-1950


21/09/2024 HAV-MAD UX0052 2155-1250

22/09/2024 MAD-LGW UX1015 1500-1625


- service of guide (English language) and Dr Stephen Wilkinson (Cuba academic specialist)

- private bus for the group in all transfers.

- Lunch and excursions as per described on the itinerary.

- accommodation at hotels as per itinerary.

Price per person based on a double occupancy room £2,610

Price per person based on Single occupancy £2,929

The deposit on this is £150 per person and the balance is payable 8 weeks prior to departure

Please note the price and itinerary is subject to confirmation at this stage. Some of the visits may be retimed or altered but substitute activities will be arranged.


If you are interested in this tour:

We will tell you when sufficient numbers have expressed their desire to go. You should only book at that point. Please let Steve Wilkinson stephen.wilkinson@buckingham.ac.uk know that you are interested. As soon as we have sufficient numbers we will then provide details on how to book and pay your deposit..

VISAS: Travel to Cuba requires you to purchase a Tourist Card/Visa. These will be supplied by Captivating Cuba and the cost is included in the price.

INSURANCE: If you are a student or employee of the University, you may be covered by the University’s policy (pending confirmation). We will provide details after booking. If you are not a student or employee, you will need to acquire travel insurance, Captivating Cuba can advise on this.

ADD ON WEEK: If you wish to extend your stay in Cuba for an extra week, this may be possible to arrange. Please inform Gemma at Captivating Cuba and she will be able to offer packages to suit your needs.

QUERIES: Dr Stephen Wilkinson 07956 381640 stephen.wilkinson@buckingham.ac.uk

COVID: Currently there are no restrictions on entry to the country. But passengers must have a valid health insurance policy.

*Please note: All prices and details are approximates only and depend upon numbers of passengers. A minimum of 10 passengers is required. The flights are subject to availability and restricted to the group, itinerary and passenger numbers. Any changes made will be subject to a new quote from Air Europa. The group must travel together in all flights. In Santa Clara the hotel may be subject to change depending on availability.

Reflections from Havana

Lessons from the Missile Crisis 60 Years On

In those years, we Cubans were not just used to be on the brink of a war with the US, actually, we were already at a war with the Americans. That war was part of our daily lives for 3 years. We had Bay of Pigs 18 months earlier. A civil war, with thousands of counterrevolutionary guerrillas, fueled and supplied by the US, had extended to the whole island. Teenagers teachers like me had been assassinated by those guerrillas.

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Radamés Giro

Radamés Giro, musician, author, editor, and self-taught researcher and musicologist was a central figure of Cuban music over the last 50 years.

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Study for a PHD on Cuba at the University of Buckingham

The University of Buckingham offers PhDs in the study of Latin America and the Caribbean and the IISC is able to welcome applicants for PhDs in the study of Cuba within that framework. This programme can be accessed via supervision online from anywhere in the world.

This is a postgraduate qualification by research. You will be appointed a primary supervisor who will be a specialist in the field  of study (this can be in any discipline) and a second supervisor appointed from the University of Buckingham.

If you have a proposal for academic study in the region or on Cuba then please go to the University of Buckingham webpage. Click on the link below. Informal inquires can be made to the IISC Director Dr Stephen Wilkinson: stephen.wilkinson@buckingham.ac.uk


Reflections on a visit to the island February 1st-17th 2022

Cuba: Revolution in ruins or still being built?

At the risk of sounding facetious, if capitalism is renowned for the process of “creative destruction” then in an ironic sense one might have to concede that on the face of it, Cuban socialism is marked by a sense of “entropic decay.” At least that is the initial impression one gets walking through the streets of Vedado, Havana, as I made a point of doing on a recent visit for 17 days in February, seven months after the ‘social explosion’ of 11 July 2021, when people took to the streets in unprecedented scenes of protest. These protests were against the government’s handling of the economy, food scarcity and a perceived lack of Covid response that has produced a general anxiety about the future of this socialist revolution, now in its seventh decade with no utopian end anywhere in sight.

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What are Cubans currently saying about 15N?

“I do not think that it will succeed. Last July was a surprise, not now, the government is prepared.”

Cubans speak for themselves on 15N

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