PVAC's Havana Bienal

May 21-28, 2015

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

Welcome to Havana!

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[1] Thu, 21 May 2015 - Miami / Havana City

[1:00 pm] Depart Miami


[2:00 pm] - Arrive in Havana


[5:00 pm] - check in to hotel


[7:30 pm] - Welcome dinner At San Cristobal 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.


[9:45 pm] - American Club-Welcome party!

This historic hall right on the Prado 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.

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[2] Fri, 22 May 2015 - Havana City

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel (Included)


[9:30 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] - Las Tres Monedas

This is one of the next generation of paladares in Havana. Its next-gen because it is a combination eating establishment, bar and night-club as well as an artwork in process established and conducted one of the leading new social practice artists of Havana, Kadir Lopez. Unlike many of Havana’s paladares the food here is light and quick with creative tapas being the best description. The bar offers a variety of Cuban and international spirits and the entertainment is high art music and performances.

The place itself is an art work crafted by Kadir. Overall this place gives you the idea that you are in a 1940’s New York City art house looking out at the Old Havana street scene of today.


[2:30 pm] - Taller de Grafica

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


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


[6:30 pm] - Dinner on your own ( 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.


[8:00 pm] - World premier. Cubanacan: A Revolution of Forms at the Instituto Superior de Arte. This is the world premiere of the Cuban production of this opera. This includes a special visit to Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). Havana's famous art schools. Born out of the political utopian aspirations of the Cuban Revolution, the dramatic brick and terracotta National Art Schools on the site of the Havana Country Club represent a particular, fleeting moment in the history of Latin American modernism. Founded in 1961 by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara after a round of golf on the course that was to become the site of the schools, the domed and vaulted forms of the National Art Schools were designed to bring cultural literacy to Cuba in the heady days following the revolution. Castro chose Cuban modernist architect Ricardo Porro in collaboration with Italians Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti to build the schools, which were dedicated to modern dance, plastic arts, dramatic arts, music, and ballet. It was envisioned that students from other nations would be drawn to the schools because of the ideals espoused by learning in an environment meant to foster creativity in service to social improvement. ISA is a venue of the Havana Bienal.

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[3] Sat, 23 May 2015 - Havana City

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel ( Included)


[9:30 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.


[10:00 am] - Museo de Bellas Artes Cuban art collection/Bellas Artes 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

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.


[2:30 pm] - Bienal activities


[7:30 pm] - Dinner on your own ( 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

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[4] Sun, 24 May 2015 - Havana City

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel (Included)


[9:30 am] - Walking tour of Vedado

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


[9:30 am] - Bienal activities


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


[11:00 am] - Callejon de Hammel

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

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

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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

Visit Ernest Hemingway'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

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

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[6] Tue, 26 May 2015 - Havana City

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel (Included)


[9:00 am] - Day trip to Las Terrazas

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. BE SURE TO BRING YOUR SWIM SUITS TODAY!


[6:30 pm] - Classic cars

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


[7:30 pm] - Dinner at La Guarida. Anyone who has been to La Guarida will find it difficult to disagree that Enrique and Odeisys have managed to create their own magical place. It oodles a cosy atmosphere with soft lights, fine table linen, German silver cutlery, candles, Cuban music and good jazz. The effect is magnified by the entrance from a run-down Central Havana street. The building, originally known as La Mansión Camagüey, shows its former grandeur from the magnificent wooden entrance door through the marble staircase up the two flights of stairs to the restaurant itself. Fidel’s famous explanation of [why he said] Patria o Muerte (country or death) is a photographer’s dream on the way down. For visitors to Havana, La Guarida has become a must experience. This is deservedly so for while it may be busy, expensive and has been discovered before, it retains its intimate (somewhat formal) charm and provides a quality dining experience with sensitivity and professionalism.


[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities

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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

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 maine monument and the Malecon, Coppelia 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


[12:30 pm] - Lunch on your own


[2:30 pm] - Folklorico Nacional de Cuba private rehearsal

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] - Farewell dinner at Club Habana

Built by Former President Fulgencio Batista this beautiful Club house is the most exclusive place in Havana catering to business man and diplomats.


[9:30 pm] - Bienal activities

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[8] Thu, 28 May 2015 - Havana City

[7:00 am] - Breakfast at the hotel ( Included)


[9:00 am] - Check out of Hotel


[11:30 am] - Lunch on your own


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


[4:00 pm] - Depart Havana to Miami

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