Cuba Tour

Davids versus Goliaths. Jews in Cuba

The Cuban Jewish community has dealt with considerable challenges in order to survive in Cuba. While the friendly, assimilative nature of the Cuban cultural identity led to tens of thousands of European Jews calling Cuba home in the 20th century; it also represented a threat for the preservation of Jewish traditions. The turn of events during the first few years of the officially atheistic revolution did not help either; 90 percent of the Jews left the island-nation, which – on top – does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Thus, the fascinating history of Jews in Cuba, which can be traced over 500 years back, is that of a struggle “with God and with men”.

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Sarah Foda, Sales & Travel Design

Sarah Foda
Sales & Travel Design
+1 305 508 4424

8 days / 7 nights
Destinations: Havana, Santa Clara, Caibarién
Operated in: English, Spanish


Day 1
Arrival (Thursday)
  • Arrive in Havana.
  • Transfer to your casa particular Cary y Nilo
  • Dinner at paladar La Concordia
Day 2
Old Havana
  • Starting at the Cathedral Square, walk through the famous four Spanish Squares in direction of the premises of the former synagogue Shevet Achim, one of the first founded in Cuba.
  • Along the way, take in icons, including the foundational building of the city, El Templete; the Arms Square, La Real Fuerza Fort and the Captains Generals Palace. Down Mercaderes Street, you will come across the Old Square. Continue onto Teniente Rey in direction of Saint Francis of Assisi Square. Proceed along the Port Avenue, past notable buildings, such as Our Lady of Kazan Orthodox Cathedral, and climb to the lovely terrace of the private boutique house Loft Habana.
  • The view from the terrace includes the ruins of the Shevet Achim synagogue and a wide swath of the gorgeous bay of Havana.
  • Choose to enjoy lunch at paladar Yarini, at the heart of the picturesque neighbourhood of San Isidro. You will notice a flourishing movement of young artists and entrepreneurs galvanizing the dynamics of the community with art galleries and local business.
  • After lunch, visit the orthodox synagogue Adath Israel, in Old Havana. Meet Salomón Souci, President, to learn about the functioning of the institution and its relationship with the community.
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 3
  • Participate in the services at the synagogue Beth Shalom. Meet Adela Dworin, Head of the House of the Patronage of the Hebrew Community of Cuba. Tour the pharmacy, the computer centre and the library, which treasures over two thousand books in Yiddish. As you engage in the activities of the centre and meet members of the congregation, learn the personal story of Mr. Dworin, one that reflects vividly the struggles of the community she staunchly serves.
  • Rest of the day at leisure to observe your Shabbat traditions or explore the city on own.
Day 4
East of Havana
  • Visit the Sefardic Centre in the Vedado neighbourhood. Meet the President, Mayra Levy. Learn about the activities within the community and appreciate the exhibition of the Holocaust.
  • Leave for a visit to the Jewish cemetery of Guanabacoa. Of especial symbolism you will find the burial of soap bars made with dead bodies of Jews from the concentration camps, a powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust.
  • Continue to the fishermen town of Cojímar, a favourite of Hemingway. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Ajiaco Café.
  • On your way back, stop at the iconic Christ of Casablanca, in the heavily Santería-leaning municipality of Regla, to admire one of the most spectacular views of the city.
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Dinner at own expense at a paladar.
Day 5
Havana - Santa Clara
  • Depart for Santa Clara where the influence of “Che” Guevara runs deepest. Visit the final resting place of the epoch-making revolutionary, the Che Guevara Memorial. Continue to the place where his troops derailed an armoured train in an action that effectively determined the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Short break at Café Revolución, where you will find an interesting collection of objects from that battle. This is a great stop for a "Café Revolución" or a small snack.
  • Meet David Tacher, President of the Jewish Community of Santa Clara, and learn about the Jewish heritage in this province and the activities led by the organization
  • Visit the new synagogue and the cemetery.
  • Check in at your casa particular Colibrí Azul.
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own.
Day 6
Camajuaní - Caibarién
  • Depart for one of the most important ports of entry of Jews in Cuba, Caibarién. Julio Rodríguez Bembasat, the first Sephardic Jew from Turkey in the region, arrived here in 1915. He was the paternal grandfather of Julio Rodríguez Ely, actual Vice-president of the Jewish Community in Santa Clara.
  • Stop at the ruins of the old Jewish cemetery in Camajuaní. This small countryside town is home to the Francos, a Sephardic family that created a shoe repair business on the premises of what is today “La Campesina”, a store situated on the Boulevard Street.
  • Learn everything about the sugar mill industry and enjoy a ride across cane plantations on a steam driven locomotive at Marcelo Salado Sugar Mill Museum.
Day 7
Santa Clara - Havana
  • Leave for Havana along the northern road, through a typical sugar cane landscape that includes the sugar mills Esteban Hernández and José Smith Comas.
  • Lunch at paladar La Terraza, in Cárdenas. The paella is highly recommended.
  • Continue along the panoramic seaside road leading to the beautiful city of Matanzas, before crossing the Bacunayagua Bridge, the tallest in Cuba.
  • Check back in at casa particular Cary y Nilo
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Farewell dinner at paladar La Guarida.
Day 8
Farewell Cuba!

Transfer to the José Martí International Airport.


Private tours are available all year round.




+1 305 508 4424


  • Roundtrip in air-conditioned vehicle with chauffeur.
  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the program.
  • During the roundtrip (days 1 - 8) English-speaking Cuban guide.
  • 7 overnight stays at the mentioned accommodations.
  • 7 breakfast, 2 lunches and 2 dinners as specified in the program.

Not included

  • All meals and drinks not mentioned in the program.
  • Personal expenses and tips.

How this toursupport to Cuban people?

Full Time Itineraries

Full Time Itineraries
Stay at Casas Particulares (B&B)

Stay at Casas Particulares (B&B)
Eat at Paladares (Private Restaurants)

Eat at Paladares (Private Restaurants)
Support the Cuban People

Support the Cuban people