The Laws Family music trip

CUBA & The Havana Jazz Festival!

ITINERARY - December 14-20, 2016

Cuba People to People Trip with special emphasis on Jazz 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, 14 December 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 five star Hotel Meila Cohiba one of Havana's most luxurious and well located hotels. Right on the Malecon Seawall in the Vedado district this fine hotel will provide the comforts of home away from home.


[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 much of the talent from the Festival will be playing and jamming for fun

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[2] Thu, 15 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.


[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.


[3:00 pm] - 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.


[7:30 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.


[10:00 pm] - The Havana Jazz Festival Opening Night. We will attend the star studded opening night festivities of the festival and hear the great music to be presented (Music program not announced to-date)

[3] Fri, 16 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] - Folklorico Nacional de Cuba private rehearsal

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


[6:30 pm] - StarBien 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.

[9:00 pm] - The Havana Jazz Festival The Laws Family Concert. We will attend the historic first concert of the Laws Family, featuring Hubert Laws, Eloise Laws, Ronnie Laws and Debra Laws. In their first Cuban Concert as special invitees of the Havana Jazz Festival The Laws Family will present their music to the Cuban People! We will be there with them in the front row cheering them on and enjoying the festivities!
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[4] Sat, 17 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.


[10:00 pm] - The Havana Jazz Festival. We will continue to hear some of the world’s major Latin Jazz musicians tonight at the festival and after hours at the jazz clubs in and around the hotel.

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[5] Sun, 18 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.


[11:30 am] - Farmers Market 19 y B

On the way to lunch we will visit one of a large network of Farmers Markets in Havana which provide fresh and wholly organic vegetables and other foods to the citizens of Havana.


[12:30 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.


[3:00 pm] - Walking tour of Vedado

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.


[4:00 pm] - Hotel Nacional Visit

Is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon of mojitos and sunset, on the beautiful grounds of the back patio.


[6:30 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.


[9:00 pm] - Havana Jazz Festival Gala closing event. Enjoy the star studded closing concert with a varied line up of Jazz Greats.


[12:00 pm MIDNIGHT] - Fabrica de Arte Cubano

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.

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[6] Mon, 19 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] - Capitolio Central Park and Prado

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.


[12:00 pm] - La Guarida Paladar

Anyone who has been to La Guarida will find it difficult to disagree that Enrique and On the top floor of a spectacularly dilapidated Havana tenement, La Guarida's lofty reputation rests on its movie-location setting (Fresa y chocolate was filmed in this building) and a clutch of swashbuckling international newspaper reviews. The food is up there with Havana's best, shoehorning its pioneering brand of Nueva Cocina Cubana into dishes such as tuna with a sugar-cane glaze. (the Lonely Planet)


[2:30 pm] - Miramar

[3:30 pm] - Fuster Studio/home

Visit the Gaudí-like whimsical park-residence of Cuban painter, printmaker, and ceramicist José Fuster. For more information see, www.josefuster.com


[6:00 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] - Rio Mar Paladar

This contemporary Restaurant is located in the Miramar neighborhood, it has wonderful views of the Almendares river and the Malecon. Offering some of the best seafood in Havana.


[10:00 pm] - Tropicana nightclub. The Tropicana was the most famous nightclub in the world from 1939 to 1959. Built in the gardens of an early 20th century residence, it contains one of Cuba’s most significant modern buildings, the Arcos de Cristal (1952), a thin-shell concrete structure. The club continues to operate and is the only one of Havana’s famed clubs to survive the revolution. The price of the show is not included in your trip price (Optional).
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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)

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