The tour commences with the arrival of your charter flight Florida. While waiting for your luggage, consider exchanging your money for some Cuban Convertible Pesos.

You receive a warm welcome from your Cuban guide, and fulltime bus driver after you exit Cuban customs.

Hop aboard our modern air-conditioned tour coach, and on the way to your hotel relish views of one of the oldest and most stunning cities in the New World. During our many excursions around the capital, and beyond, your guide provides commentary on all points of interest.

Upon arrival at your hotel located in the heart of Havana’s cultural district, you receive fast check-in with assistance from your guide. Hotel staff greets you with a welcome drink while your luggage is being delivered to your room.

After having settled in and had a chance to rest and freshen up, enjoy a first taste of island cuisine at one of Havana’s most popular restaurants: El Aljibe. Always filled with clued-in locals and foreign diners having the time of their lives. Barbecued chicken served in bitter orange and lemon sauce is the house dish. Your pollo is served with black beans, rice, tostones and ensalada – a resplendent all you can eat delight.

Afterwards you will attend to one of the world famed Cabaret Tropicana that set the benchmark for Las Vegas floorshows and Hollywood musicals. Established in 1939, the cabaret constantly evolves adding a contemporary twists to already dicey sensual performances dating back 70 years. You’ll enjoy unobstructed views of the dancers, as well as snacks and cocktails. (Men must wear shoes and pants. Sandals and shorts not permitted.)

Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.

Ernest Hemingway described Havana as the “Paris of the Americas.” He was alluding to its incredible architecture, arts, and of course the joie de vivre of its engaging people. We’ll have a chance to share Hemingway’s impression on a walking tour of four historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. These plazas contain the largest collection of Spanish colonial-era architecture in the world, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You’ll witness Cathedral Square, the most beautiful 18th century colonial plaza on the island. Named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana it was built by the Jesuit order.

Next we’ll visit Plaza de Armas [Square of Arms], an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by such impressive buildings as Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City. Palacio del Segundo Cabo [Palace of the Second Lieutenant] dates from 1770. Today it is home to the Instituto Cubano del Libro [Cuban Book Institute] and the Galería Raúl Martínez (famed poster artist). We’ll inspect Museo de Artesanía at Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the oldest remaining fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies.

We will continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The square is christened after the magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís dating from the 16th century. The basilica is another striking example of Cuba baroque architecture.

And, finally we’ll visit Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. In contrast to the churches and government buildings of the previous squares, only opulent aristocratic 17th century mansions surround Plaza Vieja.

Rum has been produced in Cuba for more than four hundred years. This excursion presents the fascinating history and art of production of the island’s most popular spirit. The Havana Club Museum of Rum opened in the year 2000 by the Fondacion Havana Club in a grand restored private palace. It houses incredible artifacts used in the ancient rum making process. It also has an expansive well stocked Rum store and a chance to literally taste the experience at a beautiful bar restaurant always alive Cuban music.

Now we explore Havana’s famed arts and crafts mall Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes de Depósito San José. This marvelous restoration of an old dock warehouse has resulted in a gigantic market exhibiting the wares of hundreds of Cuban artists and craftspersons.

Lunch is held at Antiguo Almacén de la Madera y el Tabaco. It’s a huge open-air affair with several barbecue grills, and a brewery on site! Everyone loves the food and especially the beer made on premises. There are three flavors: light amber lager, medium ale, and dark stout ale with a slightly smoking taste. The beer is served in giant 6-liter carafes. You dispense at much as you like right at your table. The facility is a former abandoned warehouse and factory that sits on pilings in the middle of Havana harbor. The renovation work is world class and this joint would be super popular if located in any major city. We’ll take a tour of the brewery led by the brewmaster. The place holds 500 people, all thirsty. The brewery is necessarily very large. The house dish is “chuleta de puerco a la cerveza” (beer marinated pork chop). The menu also includes grilled seafood, barbecued and grilled meats, brochettes and escabeches (fish in seasoned marinade), as well as sandwiches and hamburgers. Kids and vegetarians have their own special menus.

Now we’re off to visit Finca Vigía [Lookout Farm] where North America’s literary bard Ernest Hemingway spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years adding to the building blocks of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their native son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island his true home. His house has been preserved just as it was when Hemingway lived in it. You’ll see his weird eclectic personal objects, thousands of books, manuscripts and photographs, as well as some animal trophies he bagged on his safaris to even more exotic places than Cuba.

Return to hotel to freshen up

We have a special dinner arrange for you at Ajiaco paladar [private restaurant]. It’s considered one of the best private eateries in Havana and ranks tops on TripAdvisor’s restaurant list. Hands down it’s a Cuban dining highlight. It’s located off the beaten path in the sleepy romantic coastal fishing village of Cojímar (the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”). Ajiaco is noted for fantastic service, atmosphere and scrumptilicious authentic Cuba cuisine. Organic produce and other ingredients are supplied by Vivero Organopónico Alamar and other nearby private gardens to give every dish an delightfully fresh aromatic flavor you’ll always remember.

ESPECIAL! Behold a most dramatic ceremony – El Cañonazo – the Firing of the 9PM Cannon at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña where Ché Guevara established his headquarters after the Revolution came to power in 1959 – four hundred years after the fortress was built. El Cañonazo is an enchanting colonial reenactment dating back to 1519 when the city of Havana was enclosed by a tall thick rock wall to ward off attacks from pirates and the English. The cannon firing signaled the closing of the city gates for the night. If you were outside at the time, you were in “vedado” or the forbidden zone. Today Vedado is an important cultural hub and elegant modern Havana neighborhood.

Breakfast is served in your hotel.

We’ll participate in a roundtable discussion led by retired University of Havana professor, sociologist and noted feminist author Dr. Marta Núñez Sarmiento. Ms. Núñez holds a Master’s in Sociology from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Santiago de Chile, a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia, and has served as a visiting professor at universities in the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Spain and Argentina. Núñez is an engaging presenter who will explore with you many fascinating and unique aspects of Cuban society including family rights, property laws and gender issues. Theme: An Overview of the Cuban Society Today. Venue: Hotel Florida.

Arts and dining tour highlight. We’ll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fúster, one of Cuba’s most important ceramists and painters, at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana. Fúster is known as the Picasso of the Caribbean and his art is acclaimed internationally. His artistic mission has been the rehabilitation and decoration of the village of Jaimanitas where he lives. Fúster has decorated over 80 houses with ornate murals and domes to suit the personality of his neighbors. Nowadays, Fúster’s art is a cherished part of Cuban culture and joins the rank of other public artworks such as that of Gaudi in Barcelona or that of Brancusi in the Romanian city of Targu Jiu. He supports his community project through the sale of his paintings and ceramics.

Return to hotel to freshen up.

Enjoy a ride in authentic 1950s American convertibles on your way to dine at the marvelous Café del Oriente.

Farewell group dinner at Café del Oriente. This elegant upscale eatery is considered tops in the city and gets consistent high marks on TripAdvisor. The menu is one of the more extravagant in Havana, offering exotic entrees available nowhere else.

Optional evening entertainment. Shake your booty to the best Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo [The Fox and the Raven] featuring astonishing performances by island bands. It’s a popular haunt for Cubans and foreign guests. Not included in tour cost.

Breakfast at our hotel is followed by packing and checking-out of your hotel for transfer to Havana’s José Martí International airport for your flight home.

Keep in touch with your new Cuban friends – exchange email addresses! Bring some business cards to pass out. Take pictures and keep a journal. Upon your return, we’ll post them on this website for all to see and enjoy.

We’ll miss you and hope you will return soon! In Cuba we say: A true friend remembers the song in your heart when you have forgotten the lyrics.

Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.

Tour cost based on double room occupancy (sharing a double room during tour). Cost of a single room for duration of tour is $400.

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Oct 19 to Oct 22, 2018
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Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
Day1234
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
  • Small group size, usually sixteen or fewer guests, never more than twenty-four
  • US Department of the Treasury authorized people-to-people Cuba travel
  • Havana airport and hotel transfers on tour start and end days
  • Quality Cuban hotels
  • An expert English speaking guide and tour leader throughout the program
  • Luxury air-conditioned bus and professional driver (bottled water on the tour bus)
  • All activities, entrance fees, services, speakers and meetings in tour itinerary
  • Flexible monthly tour payment options
  • Emergency telephone and internet access to America from Cuba
  • Cash advances for participants facing money problems while in Cuba
  • Participants become Club Cubano alumni and receive future tour discounts
  • Ongoing support from our US and Cuban staff before, during and after travel