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5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
Explore Habana Vieja | Dine at Bodeguita del Medio, birthplace of the Mojito | Tour the Rum Museum | Visit a Cigar Factory | Take in Tropicana | Visit an Artist in his Home Studio | 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site
Our Havana Only tour is far more than a mere brush with exotic culture – it’s a full-on immersive discovery allowing you to not only pay witness to Cuba’s dynamic rhythm and color, but to dive right in and become part of the canvas.
Like the fiery salsa rhythms that can be heard rippling through its city streets, Havana springs to life with warmth and vivaciousness that never stops taking you by surprise. Removed from the quiet fields of sugar cane and mango trees that thrive further afield, Cuba’s largest city is an urban metropolis – a place of rambling Colonial architecture, endless adventure and unfettered discovery.
We are very happy to do private groups with custom dates, contact us for pricing.
Following our charter flight to Havana and after clearing immigration and customs, you’ll begin your experience right away with a visit to La Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square), one of the world’s largest city plazas, where the monument to Jose Marti overlooks the city.
Then, it’s off to lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio, a bar and restaurant made famous by Ernest Hemingway, and arguably the birthplace of the mojito, the drink he favored. After lunch, you’ll experience the artistic side of Havana with a visit to Callejón de Hamel, a unique street in Centro Habana featuring hundreds of art displays and public music performances. After, we’ll check in to our hotel in the heart of Havana, and meet up again for an orientation program. This evening, we’ll celebrate your arrival with a welcome dinner at the hotel and then take in the world acclaimed show at Tropicana.
This morning, you’ll meet with students and professors from La Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos to learn about the school’s effort to preserve Cuba’s cultural and architectural heritage. Later, get a snapshot into the lives and work of Cuban photographers at Fototeca in Havana, which houses one of the city’s few darkrooms and is a photographer hub.
On your way to lunch, you’ll continue your walking tour of Old Havana’s cobblestone streets and sixteenth-century Spanish colonial architecture. After lunch, you’ll have a very special visit in Centro Habana with a friend and self-taught Cuban artist who opens his home to teach neighborhood children the art of papier-mâché. We’ll wrap up the day by visiting the famous Abdala recording studio, where famous musicians, including Nat King Cole and the Buena Vista Social Club, recorded some of their best music. Tonight, you’ll dine on your own at a paladar, a private, family-owned restaurant. Your tour leader, who is an expert in the dining scene, will make the best recommendations.
We’ll kick off the day by meeting the editor of a popular Cuban newspaper for a presentation on Cuban social issues, economic reforms, and the impacts of U.S.-Cuba policy in Cuba.
Afterwards, we’ll gather with Cuban farmers at Vivero Organopónico to learn how organic farming efforts provide food to urban areas and how Vivero is taking the lead in regarding farm-to-table dining. For lunch, we’ll enjoy an authentic Cuban sandwich at Sloppy Joe’s, a legendary bar in Havana. After lunch, you’ll visit with an internationally known choral group and finish the day at a local farmers market where you’ll see firsthand Cuba’s dual currency at work.
After breakfast at the hotel we will meet self employed taxi drivers who run their businesses in old cars such as Chevy, Chrysler, Oldsmobile, all of them built in U.S. before the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Ride those cars to visit Art Studio of Jose Fuster. He is well known for his work converting a poor fishermen village into an open art gallery. Lunch at “La Cueva del Zorro”. Return to Havana through 5th Avenue, the street where other countries have their embassies. After lunch, complete the Old Havana tour visiting the Cuban Association of Artisans where they will show us the way they express, through their art, the modern living of the Cuban people. Bargain and buy artworks from authentic Cuban painters. Return to the hotel for rest. Farewell dinner will be served at Paladar San Cristobal.
After breakfast, bid farewell to Cuba as you board your flight home.
*Customary end-of-tour gratuities for the Cuban guide, driver, and tour leader are left to the guest’s discretion and should be based on your satisfaction with the level of service received.