BRAC's Havana Bienal Itinerary

May 21-28, 2015

Please note that this itinerary is subject to constant change and improvements until you arrive in Cuba!

[1] Thu, 21 May 2015

[1] Thu, 21 May 2015

- Havana City



Check-in: Hotel Ambos Mundos



[3:00 pm] - Arrive in Havana



[5:00 pm] - check in to hotel



[7:30 pm] - Welcome dinner At Kadir Lopez Studio (Artist Studio--Dinner)

Start the week off with a party at an artist 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.




[9:45 pm] - Welcome party at the American Club (Restaurant - International cuisine)


at The American Club on the Prado with a stellar group of American Artists, curators and Museum directors from throughout the United States who have travelled to the Bienal from the USA. A variety of Cuban artists, curators and musicians will also be invited. This historic hall right on the Prado was specially chosen for this festive event that will celebrate the US presence at the Bienal because it was the American Chamber of Commerce before the Revolution. It was the place where all the good ole boys from the States gathered for dinner, cigars and camaraderie, as well as business tips, during the first half of the 20th Century. The main hall still has all of the state seals of the US States on the wall. We are converting this venue into a big dance party for all of our travelers and inviting many of the artists and musicians from Havana.

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[2] Fri, 22 May 2015

- Havana City


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel


[9:30 am] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)


[9:30 am] - Old Havana Four Plazas (Tour - City tour)

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.



[12:30 pm] - NAO paladar (Restaurant - International cuisine)

A mixture of good taste, elegance and service excellence are the most remarkable characteristics of this restaurant, where you can enjoy the most delicious lemonade in Havana. Located a few steps from the port of Havana and one block from the Plaza of the Captains General and the Santa Isabel hotel in the historic center of Old Havana, the restaurant NAO is one of the nicest places to visit while in Havana.


[2:30 pm] - Taller de Grafica (Museum - Art Gallery)

Stroll to Plaza de La Catedral to visit Havana’s premiere graphics arts workshop. This public center for local artists was established by Pablo Neruda and Che Guevara at the beginning of the Revolution as a place where artists living and visiting Havana can work on printmaking. Over the years they have developed an inventory of prints by unknown artists as well as more celebrated artists. This is an excellent time to purchase art gifts for yourself and others at great prices.



[4:00 pm] - Artist Studio Visit (Artist Studio)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)



[5:00 pm] - Return to Hotel to freshen up and relax before dinner



[7:30 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. Your 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 restaurant. 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.



[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)

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[3] Sat, 23 May 2015

- Havana City


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel



[9:30 am] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)



[9:30 am] - Capitolio Central Park and Prado (Tour - City tour)

Lying on the border of old Havana and Centro Havana municipality, this area is notable for containing numerous architecturally and historically significant buildings that exemplify mid-19th c. urban center. We will begin at the 1877 Central Park, then walk along the 1772 Prado Promenade, see the Moorish-style Inglaterra Hotel, oldest in the city, the 1929 Capitolio building, which is modeled on the US capitol, and the Bacardi building, the best example of tropical Art Deco.



[10:00 am] - Museo de Bellas Artes Cuban art collection/Bellas Artes Museum (Museum - Art Museum)

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.



[12:30 pm] - Sloppy Joes (Restaurant - International cuisine)

The restoration project of the mythical Sloppy Joe's of Havana is great news for bar and cocktail lovers of the whole world. The project completed in 2013 with much care and intelligence to reopen the bar with all its splendor, just as it used to be. Now you will be able to enter there as Alec Guinness did in "Our man in Havana" and will be able to have a sip at the amazing mahogany drinks cabinet, opposite the large windows Just like Hemingway did in his day. The food includes tapas and the Sloppy Joe Sandwich as well. There is a great collection of fine liquors and wines from all over the world.



[7:30 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. Your 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 restaurant. 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.



[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)

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[4] Sun, 24 May, 2015

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel



[9:30 am] - Walking tour of Vedado (Tour - City tour)

This walking tour highlights the architecture of the Vedado district. The mane monument and the Malecon, Copelia park the Havana Libre hotel and the Rampa district.



[9:30 am] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)



[10:00 am] - Revolution Square ( Plaza de la Revolucion) (Tour - City tour)

Havana’s famous Plaza de la Revolucion, a compendium of 1950s commercial buildings that now form the center of the government. This is the site where the most famous speeches in the country are made and where Pope John Paul II held his legendary 1998 Mass.



[11:00 am] - Callejon de Hammel (Tour - Cultural)

This Alley is located in the working class Cayo Hueso quarter that serves as an open-air Afro-Cuban Religion Sanctuary, 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. It hosts the famous Afro-Cuban rumbas that take place every Sunday afternoon.



[12:30 pm] - El Aljibe criolla cuisine (Restaurant - Cuban cuisine)

An outdoor thatch roof restaurant located in the residential area of Miramar, a few minutes from downtown Havana. A flavor created and maintained by the family tradition since the first restaurant was founded on the El Aljibe farm. The specialty is the El Aljibe Chicken, which combines roast chicken with French fries and fried plantain, delicious black beans, white rice, salad and, for dessert, national sweets.



[7:30 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.



[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)

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[5] Mon, 25 May 2015

- Havana City


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel


[9:30 am] - Ferry ride across Havana Bay

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



[10:30 am] - Ernest Hemingway's Finca La Vigia (Museum - History Museum)

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 has recently been the subject of a massive preservation effort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the author left it in 1961. At this farm you will be able to see his sport-fishing boat, the Pilar. This place houses the Hemingway Museum. The Finca Vigia estate and the fishing village of Cojimar are considered the most significant locales for those interested in Hemmingway’s history.


[12:30 pm] - Ajiaco Cafe (Restaurant - Cuban cuisine)

This Paladar serves meals that could easily make you think you are dining at one of the best restaurants in New York or LA. But as soon as you look up at the scenic tropical scene you will realize you are eating at one of Havana’s best new paladares.



[7:30 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.


[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)
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[6] Tue, 26 May 2015

- Havana City


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel


[9:00 am] - Day trip to Las Terrazas (Tour - Nature)

Depart in the morning drive west to the province of Pinar Del Rio. Arrive at the Las Terrazas biosphere reserve. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and learn about the history and development of the biosphere. Visit the Buena Vista Coffee Plantation for the 16th century. Learn about coffee production in Cuba. Have lunch at Casa del Campesino a typical rural house enjoy local delicacies prepared over a wood burning stove. After lunch visit the communities of Las Terrazas enjoy local coffee and meet local artisans and world class artists. Finish the day by visiting the San Juan River take time to swim in this beautiful river or just enjoy the surrounding nature.


[6:30 pm] - Classic cars (Tour - City tour)

We will be picked up by a fleet of classic American cars and ride through Havana in style to dinner tonight.


[7:30 pm] - San Cristobal Paladar (Restaurant - Paladar)

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.


[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)
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[7] Wed, 27 May 2015

- Havana City


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel


[9:30 am] - Vedado and Havana Moderna visits (Tour - City tour)

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 mane 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.


[9:30 am] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)


[12:30 pm] - Lunch on your own

Eat on the go today while you are experiencing the many programs of the Havana Bienal! By know you know your way around this wonderful city. We wil give you a list of our favorites.


[2:30 pm] - Folklorico Nacional de Cuba private rehearsal (Tour - Music)

Go behind the scenes and witness this extraordinary ensemble of Afrocuban folkloric music and dances.After 35 years and 93 international tours you can't find more authentic Afrocuban performance than this.



[7:30 pm] - Club Habana (Restaurant - Cuban cuisine)

Farewell dinner and party Havana Style with a group of Cuban artists and American visitors to the island. Club Havana was built by Former President Fulgencio Batista this beautiful Club house, now like before the Revolution is the most exclusive place in Havana catering to the business elite and diplomats.


[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities (Tour - Cultural)

You will visit a variety of exhibitions, installations, public artworks, openings and events of the Havana Bienal (TBD)
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[8] Thu, 28 May 2015

- Havana City


Checkout: Hotel Ambos Mundos


[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel


[9:00 am] - Check out of Hotel


[11:30 am] - Lunch on your own

Eat on the go today while you spend some final time in the City.


[12:45 pm] - Transfer from a Havana hotel to the airport

Transfer to and from hotel to airport.


[4:00 pm] - Depart Havana to Miami