Sports Travel and Tours is offering a baseball trip like never before—or, should we say, un viaje de béisbol. Brush up on your Spanish, fly overseas and experience the sport from a whole new perspective during Sports Travel and Tours’ “Cuba Baseball Experience.”
Baseball originally landed in Cuba in the 1860s as citizens returned from travels abroad in the United States and as American sailors arrived in Cuban ports. The sport took the island nation by storm and firmly rooted itself in Cuban culture with the founding of the Cuban League in 1878.
Today, baseball is the national sport of Cuba. It is played by children in schools and in the streets, and passionately discussed at La Esquina Caliente, a café in Havana’s Parque Central whose name is translated as “The Hot Corner.”
Don’t miss the chance to trade hot takes with Cuban locals. Allow Sports Travel and Tours to take you there through this eight-day trip that kicks off Saturday, November 5 in Miami.
Travelers are asked to arrive in Miami by 4 p.m., in time for a trip reception and dinner, and will spend the night at the Pullman Hotel, which features complimentary shuttle service to the airport and a lagoon-side pool with a cascading waterfall.
On Sunday, travelers will take flight from Miami International Airport to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba’s capital. Once there, they’ll visit the community art project of Muraleando, where murals that are the natural outgrowth of art classes taught in the streets depict fanciful celebrations of Cuban life.
Travelers will enjoy dinner at La Guarida, Havana’s most well-known privately-owned restaurant, and spend the night at Meliá Cohiba, a five-star hotel overlooking the Havana coastline.
The hotel features a cigar bar, the Casa del Habano cigar store, a gallery selling artwork and antiques, a nightclub with live shows, a beauty salon and a market. Hotel employees will even change your American dollars into Cuban pesos, so no need to find an exchange bureau. Get comfy—travelers on the “Cuba Baseball Experience” trip will be staying at Meliá Cohiba for all six nights spent in Cuba.
Starting Monday morning, travelers will meet with a representative of the Baseball Federation of Cuba, the governing body of baseball in Cuba, for a briefing on the Cuban baseball system. No need to worry if you’re new to Cuban baseball—Sports Travel and Tours has got you covered!
Travelers will explore Old Havana with a walking tour that will also give them a chance to meet business owners and learn about the 500-year-old city architecture. On the way, they’ll stop at Hotel Ambos Mundos, a home to author Ernest Hemingway for seven years. Room 511 now serves as a small museum to Hemingway.
To round out the day Monday, travelers will watch a game at Estadio Latinoamericano, a 55,000-capacity stadium known as “The Colossus of Cerro.” The stadium is currently the home of Havana’s most popular team, Los Industriales.
On Tuesday, travelers will learn more about the history of baseball in Cuba from sports historian Ismael Sene, visit La Esquina Caliente, enjoy a guided walk around the University of Havana campus, learn about the role tobacco has played in Cuba’s history with a tour of a tobacco factory and a game at Estadio Nelson Fernández featuring one of Cuba’s newest teams, the Mayabeque Huracanes.
Come Wednesday, travelers will spend the day touring Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” and the “City of Bridges” for the 17 bridges crossing the city’s three rivers. The tour will include the Pharmaceutical Museum, containing medicines from the early 1800s, and Ediciones Vigia, an independent publishing collective specializing in handmade books.
Travelers will also visit Castillo de San Severino on Wednesday, a military fortress built by the Spanish in 1735 that was once used as a prison for Cuban patriots and as a slave trading port. They’ll finish the day with a game at Victoria de Girón Stadium, home of the Matanzas Cocodrilos.
Thursday will bring visits to: one of the most distinguished cemeteries in Latin America, Cementerio de Colon; Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s 12-acre home that contains original furniture, artwork and personal memorabilia; and the Children’s Academy of Baseball, where many major league Cuban players got their start.
On Friday, the final full day spent in Cuba, travelers will attend a performance by Habana Compás, an Afro-Cuban dance group renowned for its energetic performances. After, travelers have a final chance to get all their questions about Cuba and Cuban baseball answered by a panel of Cuban experts. They’ll dine together one last time at Paladar San Cristobal, an eatery in a restored 19th century mansion.
Finally, on Saturday, Nov. 12, a plane will take the travelers back to the United States, to Miami International Airport, concluding the trip.
The trip cost includes all transportation within the itinerary, breakfast and lunch every day and tips to all porters, escorts, drivers and guides. Twenty-four-hour travel assistance is just a call away, and all guests will receive a souvenir to remember their stay in Cuba. Additional add-on nights at Pullman Hotel are optional.
Interested in seeing baseball like you’ve never seen it before? Learn more about Sports Travel and Tours’ “Cuba Baseball Experience.” But act quickly—the trip is limited to only 20 travelers.