Cultural program in Cuba
This itinerary combines business with pleasure. During these 8 days you will visit beautiful colonial villages, declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco, but also learn Cuban's real customs.Read more
This itinerary combines business with pleasure. During these 8 days you will visit beautiful colonial villages, declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco, but also learn Cuban's real customs.
You will meet local people in particular districts, discover how the business of state shops and "Casas Particulares" works and enter into artists' private houses. Furthermore, you will visit suggestive handicraft and secondhand markets, listen to real life stories and taste local delicious dishes.
This tour proposes an unusual but truly charming trip to Cuba.
Meeting with the guide at Havana airport and transfer to Old Havana, where your sightseeing tour of Cuba’s capital starts. Some highlights are: Plaza de la Revolucion and Christopher Columbus Cemetery.
After lunch at La Barca Restaurant, located along the Malecon in Old Havana, you will enjoy a leisurely orientation stroll with your guide through the lively streets of Old Havana (Habana Vieja). Cuban colors and the sounds will wrap and conduct you at the used Booksellers Market, a cross-cultural treasure trove for those who love to read. Engage yourself in friendly conversation with Cuban readers and exchange your points of view.
At the end of this first short tour, check in to your hotel. Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Today you will visit Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba retreat before going on to Cojimar. This latter is a characteristic fishing village and was the setting for The Old Man and the Sea. Afterwards, you will move toward the District of Alamar, in the eastern part of Havana. This particular neighbourhood is made with pre-fabricated concrete apartment blocks designed according to the old Soviet-style. This district belongs to an expansive social housing project started in the 1970’s. It is now home to hundreds of thousands of Cubans. Not only does Alamar host buildings, but it also contain gardens, called Organoponicos, where residents grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for their own consumption and local sale. Visiting one of these Organoponicos is an opportunity for few visitors.
Lunch at the Hemingway’s favourite restaurant in Old Havana, La Bodeguita del Medio.
Then, the tour continues visiting the colourful Callejon de Hamel, a short but really interesting street of the capital. You can here discover how the African Cuban religion of Santeria is portrayed in street art and music, and meet local artists, including Salvador Gonzalez Escalona (when in residence), whose murals reflect the culture and religious beliefs of this area.
Evening is at leisure. Dinner not included.
Depart for Las Terrazas, renowned for its magnificent natural beauty and part of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve. With the aim to be a model community, Las Terrazas was founded shortly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Here it is possible to admire local farmers, called campesinos, help each other overcome the hardships of sleeping in huts with thatched roofs, of living without electricity and of living without local schools or medical services.
We will meet Maria, the sole owner of the town’s only coffee shop, Café Maria. Here you can enjoy the “best coffee in the country” and discuss coffee culture in Cuba and throughout the world and how cafes act as places for social interaction. Finally, it is also possible to visit the art studio of Lester Campa when he is in residence.
Today we will enjoy an authentic, country-style Cuban lunch prepared and served outdoors at a local farmhouse near Las Terrazas.
Afterwards, going back to Havana, we will stop to discover “Fusterlandia”, the home and surrounding neighborhood of “The Picasso of the Caribbean”, Jose Fuster. Starting with a small wooden home as his canvas, Mr. Fuster has turned his dream into reality transforming his home and the entire district into a unique and colourful artistic landscape. With the money collected by selling his artworks, Jose embellished the community's streets with sculptures and mosaics.
Dinner at a private restaurant located within walking distance of our hotel: Ivan Chefs Justo.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Cienfuegos, drive along Cuba's "autopista" highway. Here, we will admire the main sights of this city, as its important squares, the Punta Gordo Peninsula, and a Cuban ration store where we meet the store manager who explains rationing and Cuba’s two currency system.
Lunch at Palacio del Valle overlooking the Bay of Cienfuegos. Afterwards, the tour continues on to the enchanting Trinidad, an old Spanish colonial town, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it is one of the best preserved towns in all of Latin America.
Dinner at Paladar Villalba (in-home restaurant) within walking distance of our hotel.
The morning is dedicated to the visit of Casa del Alfarero, a pottery house that was founded and has been managed by the Santander family for generations. Here it is possible to discover the ceramic production process and create something on your own. Then, you will meet the owner of a "Casa Particular" who will explain to you how this business works. Continuing to Templo de Yemaya it is possible to learn the basic principles of Santeria, a local religion.
Lunch at Hacienda de Manaca Iznaga, situated in the heart of the Valley de los Ingenios. This "restaurant" was built in the late 1700s and boasts several paintings representing the lives of slaves on sugar plantations. After lunch it is possible to discover a little more about the local history thanks to real stories told by local families.
Homemade dinner at Paladar Solananda, you will meet the multigenerational family members and get an intimate look into local Cuban daily life while enjoying one of the best meals you’ll have in Cuba!
Optional activity in the evening: community block party at Casa de la Musica (also called Casa de la Trova). During this celebration people come to eat, drink, dance salsa and rumba, make friends and discuss neighbourhood matters. It is for sure one of the best experiences during this trip.
Breakfast at the hotel. Then, we will move to Sancti Spíritus, a picturesque village and one of the original seven cities founded in Cuba by the Spanish five centuries ago. Here it is possible to admire the oldest Cuban church: Parroquial Mayor.
Afterwards, the tour continues to Santa Clara where we enjoy a visit of the city and our luch. After a buffet lunch at the Los Cayenes Hotel in Santa Clara, we will go back to Havana arriving in the late afternoon.
Dinner at El Guijones.
Old Havana is the most characteristic part of the town, it boasts several suggestive and picturesque coreners as well as particular shops. This morning is devoted to the real discovery of this mysterious district.
Lunch at El Aljibe Restaurant in Miramar. This restaurant is well-known because of its farmer style atmosphere and delicious chicken.
During the afternoon visit to the artist studio project La Lavanderia and the Artisans Market which is located on the Malecon in Old Havana. Then, if you want, you will have the time to explore and discover Old Havana according to your own style.
Farewell dinner in a privately owned restaurant, Casa Vieja with your fellow travellers. Enjoy your night dancing salsa!
Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel after you check out this morning and assist with your transfer to Havana's Jose Marti International Airport. ¡Adios Havana!