Arrive Havana, Cuba
Arrive at José Martí International Airport in Havana, complete immigration and customs formalities and meet your guide. Transfer to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. This evening, you may wish to attend a cigar-rolling demonstration at the hotel before savoring dinner at a private paladar. During tonight’s dinner, you are joined by your local guide and two special guests who share additional insight into daily Cuban life.
Havana | Cuba’s Capital
Take a short tour of Havana, seeing Revolution Square and the José Martí Memorial by Coco Taxi. Stop briefly at the historic Hotel Nacional for a mojito and narrative on its fascinating past, and then visit the Arte Corte project. Gilberto “Papito” Valladares was a local barber who wanted to give back to the community. His legacy is Arte Corte (Art of the Haircut) project, is transforming the neighborhood. Arte Corte offers painting, archaeology and hairdressing classes and sponsors a soccer team. This afternoon, witness panoramic views over Havana during a brief visit to Morro-Cabana fortress. Stop at the studio of a contemporary Cuban painter or sculptor who speaks to you about his work, art education in Cuba and the key role the arts play in the everyday life of Cuban people. Cap your day with a stroll through Old Havana with a local architect, discussing the challenges and successes of city reconstruction projects amid vibrant, extraordinary architecture.
Las Terrazas | Art & Nature
Drive to the pioneering eco-village of Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and site of the earliest surviving coffee plantation in Cuba. After a family-style lunch in a campesino (farmhouse), explore the Jaimanitas neighborhood, stopping at the whimsical studio of José Fuster, a renowned Cuban painter and ceramicist. Take part in a discussion about the artist’s work and the role the arts play in contemporary Cuba. Return to your hotel, and have dinner on your own.
Havana | Fashion & an Evening of Music
Today’s exploration of historic Havana begins with a visit to Museo de Bellas Artes, an art museum dedicated to the progression of Cuban art from the colonial times to present day. Visit the Fashion District, a thriving new scene in Havana, and meet with up-and-coming designers who share their insights into emerging Cuban styles and the challenges they face in sharing their vision with the world. In the afternoon, attend a dance rehearsal and learn about the remarkable art of Cuban dance, an eclectic fusion of styles from the Americas, Spain and Africa. This evening, attend a Tropicana show, an energetic Cuban cabaret.
Havana | Dominoes & Hemingway’s Home
Stroll through storied Colon Cemetery. Founded in 1876, it is the site of more than 800,000 graves and one million interments. Under the guidance of a local specialist, learn about its history and significance. Then, discover the country’s second-most popular pastime (after baseball) when you take part in a dominoes competition, first getting a brief lesson from a local pro. After the match, the players join you for lunch and a lively discussion of this uniquely Cuban activity. Continue to Finca La Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s former home, where The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls were penned. Early this evening, take a drive in “Yank tanks” (vintage cars) along the Malecón to your farewell dinner at one of Havana’s premier paladars.
Transfer to the airport, where you have access to the VIP Lounge before departure. Board your international flight home.
SPECIAL PROGRAM NOTES: PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE
The schedule of activities may vary on each departure