Join the Pacific Horticulture Society March 4 – 14, 2016 for a cultural journey with a botanical slant. Our itinerary begins with a tour of Havana whose old town is rich with culture, music, museums, architecture, and more. Your travel around this island nation continues to Zapata National Park, the Escambray Mountains, and the Spanish colonial cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, where you’ll see Cuba’s diverse landscapes, including the plains or llanos, mountain regions, and coastal wetlands.
Throughout your journey, there will be special emphasis on meeting the people of Cuba—botanists, environmentalists, teachers, scientists, students, and national park personnel—and learning about their lives and work, culture and traditions.
During your stay in Cuba, you’ll:
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Havana and Trinidad.
Spend time in the Spanish colonial city of Cienfuegos, on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its representation of a19th century Spanish city.
Visit leading botanic gardens where you’ll see amazing plant collections that thrive in this climate.
Explore the mountain station at Topes de Collantes, and take in the extraordinary views from these highest peaks in the Escambray.
See the extraordinary plant life in the Sierra del Escambray, including Cuba’s national flower, the white mariposa (Hedychium coronarium).
Learn about Las Terrazas reforestation project, the site of Cuba’s earliest surviving coffee plantation and today a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
See the orchids at the Orquideario Soroa with it collection of 700 species in a hillside garden (pictured, from www.thecubanhistory.com).
Visit Vivero Alamar, an impressive project for sustainable agriculture in suburban Havana where fresh vegetables and fruits are grown for the community. For costs and complete itinerary visit www.pacifichorticulture.org.