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Cultural Journey in Cuba, Highlights of Havana

offered by supplier M21560 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 14 - 22 people
Destination(s): Cuba  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3099 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3349 US Dollar (USD)

Why spend over $5000 on a trip to Cuba just to paint? You will miss some of Cuba's most extraordinary cultural treasures. I will create for you a balance between painting and touring like no one else can! Since 2013 I have brought over 250 Americans - (painters and non painters) to Cuba and the memories they've brought back will stay with them forever. I have worked exclusively with Cuba Explorer - the Travel Service Provider that has brought thousands of Americans to the "Forbidden Island".

Day 1: Ariival / Hello Cuba (dinner).
Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Collect your bags and go through customs. You’re welcomed at the airport lobby by your Cuba Education Tours guide and professional bus chauffeur. Get ready for a bus tour of Havana. You will tour of the most important sites of Modern Havana such as the Capitol building, the Grand Theatre, Central Park, Prado promenade, Revolution Square, Coppelia Ice Cream Park, Plaza José Martí (in front of US Interests Section), Malecón seawall, Monument to the Battleship Maine, Hotel Nacional, University of Havana, Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón, and the Miramar, Central Havana and Vedado neighborhoods.
- Private transfer to your hotel located in heart of Havana’s entertainment district
- Private check-in with assistance from your guide
- Free time to settle in and rest up at your hotel
- This evening you’ll enjoy a group welcome dinner in hotel with your Cuban guide and tourmates, included
- Après dinner: Your guide with keep you posted on local entertainment options.

Day 2: Exploring Old Havana, our common heritage (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Breakfast in hotel. Followed by a walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit four of the five historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. It contains the largest collection of remaining colonial-era architecture. This is a private tour led by your Cuba Education Tours guide. Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza on the island. Named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana built by the Jesuit order.
- Square of Arms, an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by impressive buildings such 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 houses the Instituto Cubano del Libro (Cuban Book Institute) and the Galería Raúl Martínez (famed poster artist).

We continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The square is named after magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís dating from the 16th century. The basilica is a striking example of Cuba baroque architecture. And then on to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Absent are churches and government buildings, and is in contrast surrounded by opulent aristocratic 17th century residences. We’ll visit an important center for the visual arts. Group lunch at El Templete Restaurant. This bayside fish joint is the latest newcomer to the city’s list of upscale eateries. Basque chef, Arkaitx Etxarte does wonderful things with seafood. Opened in late 2004, it is situated less than 100 m from its namesake temple, where the city of La Habana was founded in 1519. Overlooking the harbor, the eating space is split into two halves: an outdoor alfresco area accommodated under a large awning, and a pleasant indoor dining room with starched tablecloths and expensive-looking wine glasses. The quality of the food lives up to the pretensions of its fancy decor, with seafood specialties spearheaded by shrimps and lobster (included in tour cost)!

Visit Callejón de Hamel (Hamel Alley) to see the artwork of famed Afro-Cuban Artist Salvador González for a chance to see rumba performances. Evening highlight: We witness a most dramatic ceremony – El Cañonazo – the Firing of the 9 PM Cannon at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. This enchanting colonial reenactment dates 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 beautiful section of modern Havana.

Day 3: Cigars / organic agriculture / Hemingway. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Breakfast in hotel. Visit to the Partagás Cigar Factory (included). We'll visit the UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar, 15 km (9.3 miles) east of Havana. It's one of the most successful urban organic farms in Cuba raising ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, and millions of seedlings for neighboring residential and collective farms. Established in the early 1990s, the Alamar cooperative has over 20 members and provides a range of healthy, organic vegetables to the community. Produce is raised employing the practice of permaculture: no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, natural biological methods are used to nourish the soil, frustrate pests and conserve water. The result is an increased rate of yield and reduced costs.
- Tour Highlight: Special lunch prepared by private restaurant El Ajiaco, included
- Visit Finca La Vigía (House and farm of Ernest Hemingway Museum)
- Return to hotel.
- Dinner at private restaurant Prado 115, included.
- Evening is free.

Day 4: Arts / Education (Breakfast, lunch).
Breakfast in hotel. Visit Escuela taller Gaspar García de Jovellanos (school where students are trained in restoration of old buildings, paintings, etc.) 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.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Cuban collection. It was founded on February 23, 1913 due to the efforts of its first director, Emilio Heredia, a well-known architect. It’s dedicated exclusively to housing Cuba Art collections. Spanning the 17th and 19th centuries has rooms devoted to landscape, religious subjects and the Costumbrismo narrative scenes of Cuban life. Return to hotel. Dinner tonight is not included. You are free to explore different eateries. Evening is free.

Day 5: Arts / History (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Breakfast in hotel. Visit Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana (Serigraphy workshop graphic center). Visit community project Arte Corte in Old Havana. One of the most interesting projects of social rescue for Old Havana is the famous and internationally awarded Arte Corte project (hairdressing salon). This is one of the projects supported by the work of the Office of the Historian of Old Havana, which stimulates different plans emerged in the community. Lunch at private restaurant El Figaro, included. Visit the Museum of the Revolution. The Museum of the Revolution is a museum located in the Old Havana section of Havana. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents from Mario García Menocal to Fulgencio Batista. It became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban revolution. Return to hotel. Dinner at private restaurant La California, included. Evening is free to explore the sights and sounds of the city.

Day 6: Havana / Las Terrazas (Breakfast, lunch).
Breakfast in hotel. Early departure to Las Terrazas Eco-community, which was declared a biosphere reserve by the United Nations. Visit a rural village called Rancho Curujey. Visit the art studio of a local artist. Lunch at an open-air restaurant La Casa del Campesino, included. Free time to enjoy Las Terrazas, or a swim at San Juan River. Return to Havana. Dinner not included. Evening is free to explore the sights and sounds of the city.

Day 7: Community services / arts / rum (Breakfast lunch and dinner).
Breakfast in hotel. Visit Project 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.

Lunch at restaurant El Divino (included in costs). Visit the Museum of Rum. Discover the history of rum in Cuba; learn how Havana Club’s Maestros Roneros make the world’s best Cuban rum; take a virtual tour of Havana Club’s Museum of Rum; and meet some of the world’s best bartenders. Visit the 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 craftspeople.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price: $3099 is the cost per person in double occupancy.

About This Supplier
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: May 2015

I've been organizing art related travel to France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, England, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba since 1993. As founder and first president of the Art Students League of Denver in 1987 I received an award from the Denver Chamber of Commerce for contributing to the quality of life in Downtown...

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