Cuban culture is quite a mix. There is a Spanish and French influence that gave them the incredible architecture and the many stories of bravery in revolutionary wars. The American influence that gave them a second draft of revolutionary wars, the dark history of slavery and the sugar high. Their dance, their music, and their art are all inspired by a combination of all this. An expression of defiance. It’s wonderful and something that must be experienced first hand.
Once you arrive at Havana, meet and greet with your English speaking guide and check in hotel in Havana.
In the night, you have various options:
- Jazz at „La Zora y el Cuervo“, where famous Jazz stars from the whole world meet.
- Traditional Son à la Buena Vista Social Club, saloon 1930 at the Hotel Nacional.
- Romantic boleros and „Filin“ at Dos Gardenias or Gato Tuerto
Today, head to Old-Havana, past the imposing Capitolio, the Grand Theatre. Enjoy a horse carriage ride through the Prado to the Cathedral Square. Walk through colonial Havana, a UNESCO world heritage site to see the Palace of the Spanish Governor General, Plaza de Armas, El Templete, Plaza Vieja, the Camara Oscura and the deluxe railway carriage of the Cuban presidents dating from 1900.
Then get inducted into the world of Cigars at Humidor bar at the Hotel Conde de Villanueva, with it's fascinating collection of both private and publically available cigars. The best brands of Habanos are waiting to be tasted.
Take this opportunity to also meet the Torcedor (cigar roller) who will initiate you into the art of rolling cigars, accompanied by a cup of Cuban coffee and rum.
The “World Famous” Cigar Bar humidor, run by the Castiano family has been graced by the greatest names in the industry who cherish the relationships and friendships they’ve made. Their humidors have been engineered to assure freshness and control of their extensive inventory and we provide exclusive memberships and lockers in both locations.
In the evening, drive American classic cars that are waiting along the legendary Malecón on Quinta Avenida to the upper class district of Miramar with its splendid mansions. Aperitif in the garden of the traditional Hotel National, listening to the anecdotes about the US Mafia and other celebrities who stayed at this hotel.
Also, check out the artworks of artist Jilma Madera, the largest statue that was ever built by a woman.
It's all about culture today. Start the day with a drive to Jaimanitas for a visit of the artist José Fuster, the Cuban Gaudí.
Check out his home and gallery. He has also decorated many buildings over the last 18 years in that area. After this, check out the rehearsal of the Dance ensemble Havana Queens. Get a glimpse behind the scenes of this highly talented group and take the opportunity to exchange opinions with the group members.
After this, visit Casa Compay Segundo, the house of the famous member of the Buena Vista Social Club. After that visit the Gallery Santacana. The artist Beatriz Santacana is specialized in ceramic art and gives insights into their work and in their workshops.
There are two options of experiences available.
Havana Queens or Tropicana – Paradise under the stars.
Visit the “Havana Queens” dance ensemble under the direction of Rosario Garcia Rodriguez. Enjoy an unforgettable evening including dinner or tapas in a restaurant with special ambiance and a mixture from Salsa, Mambo, Chachacha, Konga and Rumba to Breakdance and some acrobatic elements.
Tropicana – Paradise under the stars is a nostalgic journey through Cuban Music and Dance from Cha-Cha- Cha to Mambo from Son to Salsa and Afro-Cuba. More than 200 artists, dancers and musicians, including a big 1950s style live orchestra will entertain you in a beautiful garden ambience with a big open air stage. It will be a night to remember!
Early today, leave for Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s greenest province with the best tobacco soil of the world. Continue to the golden triangle Vueltabajo between Pinar del Rio, San Luis and Martinez. Tobacco royalty Robaina will walk you through the tobacco fields, drying house and share interesting facts about tobacco growing. Enjoy a Traditional lunch at the plantation with Cuban coffee and cigar.
Continue through the picturesque Viñales Valley, famous for its Mogotes (limestone towers), stroll through the little village of Viñales where time seems to stand still. Visit of the Jardín de Caridad, a private garden near the Indian caves in Viñales, beautifully maintained with a big selection of various fruits and plants.
It's time to see the Pearl Of The South - Cienfuegos, today. Visit the Bay of Cienfuegos, peninsula Punta Gorda, and moor-like “Palacio de Valle”. Stop at the “Villa Lagarto" for lunch with a beautiful view of the bay. After lunch, stroll over the main square Parque Martí surrounded by magnificent buildings influenced by French colonial architecture. After that visit the splendid Terry Theatre, where Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt once performed. After that drive along the panoramic coastal road to Trinidad a UNESCO world heritage site with unique colonial architecture.
It's time for a romantic night out, and Trinidad is the perfect place for it. It's a place that's suspended in time, keeping its old soul and essence! Step out in the evening to enjoy traditional music and dancing with the locals. Visit the Casa de la Trova or the Casa de la Música near the main square.
Trinidad is the town that you hear about when they talk about Cuban charm. Founded in 1514, this town had its peak during the sugar boom in the 19th century. Stroll through the cobblestone streets to the idyllic main square surrounded by the mansion of the former sugar barons. Visit the Museo Municipal at the Palacio Cantero and the ceramic workshop Casa del Alfarero. Enjoy lunch La Marinera in the fishing village, Casilda or Sol y Son with antique furniture and a beautiful courtyard. In the afternoon time at leisure.
Start the morning with a drive to the Sugar Mill Valley - Valle de Los Ingenios. It has remains of small 19th-century sugar mills, including warehouses, milling machinery, slave quarters and manor houses. Later visit the Hacienda Iznaga home of the former sugar barons of Iznaga with its legendary slave tower. Continue to historic Santa Clara where Che Guevara obtained his most important victory followed by Che Guevara mausoleum and then carry on to Remedios, an idyllic colonial town untouched by tourism. Stroll over the pretty main square with the San Juan de Bautista church famous for its mahogany altar from the 16th century.
On the way, stop at Caibarién to visit an erstwhile sugar factory which is a museum now. You can see well-preserved steam trains and engines here. Drive back to Havana for the flight back home. Afterall, in Cuba, time stands still, why not extend your vacation too? Suspended in the vacation mode!
- Round trip in air-conditioned vehicle (taxi / microbus / bus) in customary quality with chauffeur:
- With 02 participants by taxi (Please note that max. 1 piece of luggage p.p. fits into the car boot)
- With 03 - 05 participants by minivan/microbus (6-8 Seats)
- With 06 - 12 participants by minibus (13-20 Seats)
- With 13 - 24 participants by bus (30 Seats)
- With 25 - 35 participants by bus (40 Seats)
- Transfer Havana airport to hotel Havana
- Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the program
- During the roundtrip day 1-13 English speaking local guide. Other languages on request at the same rate (Due to possible guide shortage, the airport transfer might be carried out by a CARIBBEAN TOURS representative.)
- 6 overnight stays at the mentioned accommodation (according to availability)
- 6x breakfast, 6x lunch
- All meals and drinks that are not mentioned in the program
- Extending nights in city or beach hotel e.g. Guardalavaca
- Personal expenses and tips
- Optional Excursions: Havana Queens Show incl. transfers