Havana ITINERARY

with Ruthie Foster & Seth Walker

November 30 - December 6, 2016

Cuba People to People Trip with special emphasis on music and art.

Please note that this Itinerary is subject to change and will be continually updated until departure to ensure the best trip possible.

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[1] Wed, 30 November, 2016 - Havana City

[11:00 am] - Meet at designated place in the Miami International Airport where agents of Cuba Tours and Travel will greet you and assist you in checking in


[2:00 pm] - Arrive in Havana


[3:00 pm] - Orientation and familiarization

We will take a few moment to offer an Orientation to the city and familiarization of the neighborhood around the hotel.


[4:00 pm] - Check into the four star Hotel Capri one of the City's nicest and well located hotels. Just off the famous Rampa area, walking distance to the Malecon Seawall in the Vedado district this fine hotel will provide the comforts of home away from home.


[5:30 pm] - Hotel Nacional Visit

This is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon in the back patio and order a snack or a full meal with mojitos on the beautiful grounds, just a few steps from your hotel.


[7:30 pm] - San Cristobal Paladar

This is the Paladar that President Obama chose for his family lunch on his historic visit to the island in March 2016. Rated by The Guardian as the number one Paladar in Havana, This paladar, is in a space that is cluttered and eclectic on the bottom floor of an early 20th-century mansion. Piles of old books are stacked atop beautiful old furniture; black and white photos jostle for space with antique record covers and bullfighting posters, while a selection of clocks, religious artefacts and, even a full-size zebra pelt, add to the mix. The food is Cuban-Creole: malanga, yucca, cerdo asado (roast pork), lobster, fresh fish, shrimp and other traditional fare. This is not, however, the bland standard cuisine found in many state restaurants. The dessert menu is expansive: pudding San Cristóbal (eggs, fruit, milk and almonds) is excellent while the fruit tart and rice puddings are pretty passable, as well as the omnipresent flan. The wine list is broad enough and reasonably priced. We will have a chance to speak with the Chef and the owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba.


[10:00 pm] - We will visit some of the Jazz Clubs in and around your hotel where major Cuban musicians will be playing and jamming for fun.

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[2] Thu, 1 December 2016 - Havana City

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[10:00 am] - Old Havana Four Plazas

Tour Old Havana on foot, walking between the four main plazas that comprise Cuba’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start at Plaza de Armas, the site of the oldest Spanish fortress in the Americas, the 1519 locale of the first mass in Cuba, and the massive Baroque seat of government, known as Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. Continue to Plaza de San Francisco de Assis and Plaza Vieja, where we will visit artists galleries and historic buildings and get a sense of the structure of the colonial city. Wind through historic streets spanning 5 centuries of historic architecture and end at Plaza de la Catedral and see the Baroque cathedral.


[11:30 am] - Taller experimental de Grafica

The Taller was established in1962 by a small group of artists lead by Orlando Suárez, a muralist whose initiative also helped found the Superior Art Institute. Mr. Suarez was supported in this effort by the Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda and by Che Guevara who applauded his efforts to create a center where all artists of the City of Havana can go to produce prints. The Taller is more than a workshop. It is a studio, a school and most of all, an art institution that preserves and develops the sophisticated art of print making with relative freedom of spirit and form. While at the center you will see artworks produced there and have a conversation with the artists present about their works, and about life as an artist in Havana.


[12:30 pm] - La Moneda Cubana

Close to la Plaza de la Catedral in colonial Old Havana, serving a wide variety of Cuban food and liquor in a historic setting with beautiful views.


[7:00 pm - 9:00 pm] - Dinner on your own. Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. The tour guide will make the reservations. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. You will take a taxi to the meal that we will find for you. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.

[3] Fri, 2 December 2016 - Havana City

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[10:00 am] - Ferry ride across Havana Bay

Take the ferry from Old Havana across Havana Bay, to visit the historic City of Regla.


[11:00 am] - Ernest Hemingway's Finca La Vigia

Visit Ernest Hemmingway's Finca La Vigia, located on a hilltop in the rural village of San Francisco de Paula, just southeast of the City of Havana. The home, now the Hemingway Museum, has recently undergone a massive preservation effort by America's National Trust for Historic Preservation, to preserve the home as the author left it in 1961. You will also see Hemingway's sport-fishing boat, the Pilar. The Finca Vigia estate and the fishing village of Cojimar are considered the most significant locales for those interested in Hemingway’s history.


[12:30 pm] - Ajiaco Paladar

Considered among the very best restaurants on the Island, this paladar, located in the fishing village of Cojimar (where Hemingway kept his boat the Pilar) features traditional Cuban flavor. The menu includes such things as "Crema de Malanga", Ajiaco (a stew made up of various vegetables and roots), Bacalao (codfish), "fricase de pollo" (chicken fricasse), plus the traditional moros (rice and beans), white rice, fried bananas, fried yuca, etc. If you have room at the end of the meal, enjoy delicious home made flan.


[3:30 pm - 5:30 pm] - Muraleando

When local artists Manuel (Manolo) Diaz Baldrich and Ernesto Quirch Paz began teaching art workshops in the neighborhood school in 2001, they had no thoughts of starting community development project. They quickly moved the workshops into the streets, and there the seeds of Muraleando (literally "muraling" or mural-making) were sown. The murals that started springing up throughout the neighborhood were a natural outgrowth of the art classes. The murals depict fanciful celebrations of Cuban life.


[7:30 pm - 9:30 pm] - Dinner on your own.

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. The tour guide will make the reservations. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. You will take a taxi to the meal that we will find for you. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.


[10:00 pm - 11:00 pm] - La Zorra y el Cuervo

Listen to the finest jazz performers in Cuba. This famous jazz club is considered as one of the best in town. You can't miss the location on La Rampa, the entrance is a replica of a red English telephone box and lead you to the basement where the club with a capacity of 120 people is situated. The venue is popular among Cubans and tourists, many renewed names like Roberto Fonseca and Chucho Valdes have given performances at this club. After the music you can casually stroll back the two blocks to the Hotel Nacional and enjoy a nitecap a the hotel’s vibrant inner courtyard.

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[4] Sat, 3 December 2016 - Havana City

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[10:00 am] - Callejon de Hamel

We will start right up today by visiting this very interesting public art and culture installation. This Alley is located in the working class Cayo Hueso quarter that serves as an open-air Afro-Cuban Religious Sanctuary. It is the work of local artist Salvador Gonzalez who has adorned its walls with evocative Santeria murals paying homage to religious cults and currents of African origin. Callejon de Hamel hosts the famous Afro-Cuban rumbas that take place every Sunday afternoon.


[12:00 pm ] - Atelier Paladar

Calling Atelier contemporary is like calling Havana a little rundown: true, but enough of an understatement as to miss the point. The large main room is decorated with sparse modern lines, inside a typically idiosyncratic Vedado mansion. Two balconies have boundless cushions for the outdoor lounge. An antique hob outside, old sewing and adding machines inside make the place retro yet not old. The food changes every day, every week, hence the handwritten menus.


[2:30 pm] - Museo de Bellas Artes Cuban art collection

You will visit the Cuban collections in this striking modernist building which was completed in 1953 and exemplifies the combination of sculpture with architecture in Cuban mid-century modernism. The Palace of Fine Arts houses a collection of Cuban visual art that spans 4 centuries.


[7:30 pm] - Paladar Mediterraneo

Elegance and locally sourced food are the remarkable characteristics of this restaurant, the creation of a Cuban dreamer who lived in Italy for many years and a Sardinian chef, where you can enjoy the most delicious ravioli in Cuba.


[10:00 pm] - Fabrica de Arte Cubano--Ruthie and Seth in concert!

This is a new artist space in the Vedado district of Havana created by well known musician X Alfonso and his band Synthesis. A repurposed oil factory given a new life and it’s tall chimney now announces the cultural resurgence of the neighborhood. This giant space which is adjacent to a fine restaurant is an all purpose art space that hosts visual artist projects and concerts for Cuba’s most adventurous artists. Ruthie Foster and Seth Walker will be in concert tonight!

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[5] Sun, 4 December 2016 - Havana City/Pinar del Rio

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[9:00 am- 2:30 pm] - Day trip to Vinales Valley

Enjoy this all day excursion to Vinales, an area located in Western Province of Pinar del Rio. a UNESCO world heritage site Vinales Valley has one of the most beautiful views in Cuba, the "mogotes" are limestone mountains that come out the valley floor. Take a boat ride through a mogote and enjoy a typical Cuban lunch while enjoying traditional country music, and a visit to a tobbaco farm.


[11:00 am] - Cueva del Indio

This cave was discovered in 1920 and it was outfitted to be visited in the 1940’s, paving its floors and electrifying it. This large grotto was thus named because the local indigenous Guanahatabey people used it as graveyard and a refuge during the Spanish conquest period, the main reason why remains of this native culture were found inside. This cave is 1700 meters long (5100 feet) but only one third of it is visited, combining a short walk and a motorized boat ride through marvelous limestone formations.


[7:00 pm] - Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. The tour guide will make the reservations. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. You will take a taxi to the meal that we will find for you. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.

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[6] Mon, 5 December 2016 - Havana City

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[9:00 am - 3:00 pm] - Vedado and Havana Moderna visits

After breakfast - Visit Vedado, Plaza and Modern Havana districts. The morning starts with a visit to Plaza de la Revolucion or revolution Square followed by a visit of the Vedado district which highlights the architecture of the area, drive by the Battleship Maine monument and the Malecon, Copelia park the Havana Libre hotel and the Rampa district. The group will visit the farmers market, and other places of interest in Havana where they will have the opportunity to interact with the Cuban people.


[10:00 am - 10:30 am] - Revolution Square


[11:00 am - 12:00 pm] - Cementerio de Colon

Visit Havana's Cementerio de Colon. Laid out between 1871 and 1886, the cemetery includes more than 500 mausoleums, chapels and family vaults, sculpted in bronze, granite, marble and limestone by leading Cuban and European artists. Learn about the relationship between this cemetery and the Catholic Church in Cuba.


[12:30 pm - 2:30 pm] - Estar Bien Paladar

The art and style of the 1930’s can be seen in every detail of this El Vedado mansion. The friendly staff offers very tasty fusion cuisine, combining traditional Cuban and international dishes. EstarBien has always attracted artists, cultural figures and businessmen, whom we are loyal customers. You will enjoy the tranquil setting and professional service. Try our delicious fixed-price lunch menu.


[3:00 pm - 6:00 pm] - Afternoon on your own


[6:00 pm - 7:00 pm] - Classic cars

No trip to Havana would be complete without a ride in one of the classic American cars you see everywhere. Tonight, a fleet of these colorful autos will drive you through Havana in style on your way to dinner.




[7:00 pm - 9:00 pm] - Farewell dinner at Kadir Lopez Studio

Kadir Lopez, and his brother Kelvin Lopez are graduates of the Instituto Superior de Arte. Their expansive studio and exhibit spaces are located in A 1930’s Havana mansion that has been re-purposed by the artists for their home-workspace. Here the group will enjoy a great and delicious traditional Cuban home-made dinner cooked by the family of the artist.You will have a chance to talk with Kadir, Kelvin and other artists who will join us and beyond having a fabulous dinner you will enjoy warm conversation about everything Cuban.

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[7] Tue, 20 December 2016 - Havana City

[7:00-9:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel Enjoy a casual but sumptuous tropical feast this and every morning in the Hotel dining room.


[10:00 am] - Check out of Hotel (Miscellanea - Checking Hotel)


[11:00 am] - Transfer from a Havana hotel to the airport (Miscellanea - Transportation)

Transfer to and from hotel to airport.


[3:00 pm] - Depart Havana for Miami (Miscellanea - Transportation)