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 the fabulous Buena Vista Social tour performance. Though the original social club shut down in the early 1960s, the Buena Vista Social Club’s influence in music still lives on to this day. Its story has been made into major albums and even an award-winning film, defining the careers of many talented musicians once lost in the past. With these factors, we explore the critically acclaimed and publicly praised legacy of the Buena Vista Social club. (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 Centro para la Interpretación de las Relaciones Culturales Cuba - Europa [Center for the Interpretation of Cultural Relations Cuba-Europe].

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 the private restaurant El Divino, a model farm with two community projects supported by proceeds from its amazing restaurant. El Divino serves lunch to some 20 local elders who also enjoy a place of entertainment, socialization and recreation. Together for several hours a day from Tuesday to Sunday, they play games and engage with other groups of elders. Another project is a circle of interest called "La Rosa Blanca" that welcomes about 20 community kids aged 8 to 11 years. They take classes on ecology, environment, care and protection of land, and link their studies to Cuban culture and manners: to be men and women of good will in the not too distant future. This incredible Cuban project donates a portion of its meager proceeds to similar projects in Latin American, and holds a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor.

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 an open group discussion led by a longtime member of the the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba [Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, UNEAC]. The theme is “Cuban Society Today.” The workshop is a freewheeling opportunity to exchange ideas about Cuban culture and US-Cuban relations. Our American guests consider this close encounter a tour highlight.

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 vintage cars 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.

Tour cost based on double room occupancy (sharing a double room during tour). Cost of a single room for duration of tour is $350.

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Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
Day1234
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
  • Small group size, rarely more than twelve guests
  • Certificate of Legal Cuba Travel in compliance with US Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations (OFAC)
  • 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
  • Modern air-conditioned bus and professional chauffeur
  • Bottled water on 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