Architecture Itinerary

Architecture Itinerary

6 Days Tour

Day 1 - HAVANA CITY

[TBD]- ARRIVE IN HAVANA 

Arrive in Havana mid-day or early afternoon. The program for the day will be modified depending on what time of day we arrive. Welcome to Havana!

[2:00 pm]- REVOLUTION SQUARE (THE PRIMARY POLITICAL GATHERING PLACE)

Board bus and en route to hotels, stop at Plaza de la Revolución.

One of Havana’s most dramatic examples of modern civic monumental architecture is the Plaza de la Revolución José Martí. Measuring nearly 24,000 sq. ft., surrounded by modern construction and featuring the enormous obelisk monument to Jose Marti, the plaza is built on the highest ground in Havana. Originally built in the 1950s, it has been repurposed in the period of the Cuban revolution as the main gathering place in the city.

[3:00 pm]- DRIVING TOUR OF VEDADO 

Join our experts on an initial driving tour along Vedado’s streets to give you an orientation to the neighborhood where you will be staying.

The tree-lined, elegant residential Vedado district dates back to the second half of the 19th century, but its present day appearance really took shape beginning in the early 1900s. Most of the affluent Cuban families of the period built large and prestigious residential estates and lavish mansions ranging from neoclassical, art deco, beaux arts, eclectic, and moderne. The Vedado district is presently being considered for World Heritage status.

[4:30 pm]- CHECK INTO HOTEL & ENJOY A WELCOME COCKTAIL

[6:30 pm]- AT HOTEL CAPRI: Introductory presentation to the city and its architecture and cocktails.

[7:45 pm]- DINNER AT SAN CRISTOBAL PALADAR

Set in an early 20th Century mansion in the “Centro Habana” district of the city, San Cristobal Paladar is probably, the best restaurant in Havana. The cuisine, Cuban Creole with a very refined and international twist, has a five-star rating by many international food critics and was the site where U.S. President Barack Obama and his family dined during their recent visit to Havana.

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Day 2 - HAVANA CITY

INTRODUCTION TO HAVANA: Colonial architecture and urbanism. Civil, religious and military buildings and spaces (16th to 19th centuries). This day will set the stage for our understanding of Havana’s modern period. It will be a long day with a good deal of walking.

[7:00 am]- BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

[8:45 am]- BOARD BUSSES FOR DEPARTURE

[9.00 am]- DEPARTURE FROM HOTELS (BUSES)

[9:30 am]-  OLD HAVANA FOUR PLAZAS 

The morning begins with a walking tour of the Four Plazas: Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral, giving you an insight to the truly magnificent and powerful place Cuba held in the Caribbean for centuries. 

[12:00 pm]- LUNCH AT 5 SENTIDOS

5 Sentidos is a Cuban restaurant that offers international cuisine located in Havana, in a central corner of Old Havana, with an open space and open kitchen for the enjoyment of the 5 Sentidos. 

[2:30 pm]- DRIVE BY EL MORRO FOR A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Built on the high rock entrance to the Bay and completed in the early 1600s, El Morro Castle guards the Port of Havana, complete with dungeons, cannons and the iconic lighthouse.

AFTERNOON

Recent urban and architectural renovations in the area of the former docks.

Colonial fortifications across the bay: Morro Castle and La Cabaña Fortress.

[5:00 pm]- DRINKS AT EL FLORIDITA

Ernest Hemingway was known to say, “My mojito at La Bodeguita; my daiquiri at Floridita”, the world famous bar and one of Papa’s favorites where it is rumored he invented the “daiquiri” with his regular bartender.

[7:30 pm]- DINNER ON YOUR OWN

You will dine at a paladar of your choice from a list of the best restaurants in Havana. Our staff and your guide will help you with selection and making reservations. You can be adventurous and travel by taxi that our staff will also help you get and your return trip can be arranged by the establishment where you dine. The cost of this meal is not included in the price of the trip.

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Day 3 - HAVANA CITY

IN THE MORNING: Eclecticism, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco architecture in Las Murallas (The City Walls) district.

IN THE AFTERNOON: Two masterpieces of modern architecture: The National Art Schools, and Richard Neutra’s De Schulthess house.

[7:00 am]- BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

MORNING

Las Murallas district. Central Park and Prado Promenade, and their surrounding buildings.

[9:15 am]- PARQUE CENTRAL AND VICINITY 

[12:00 pm]- LUNCH AT PARQUE CENTRAL

Located in the heart of Havana in the Central Park Square, we will enjoy a wide selection of lunch items at the buffet, and those who wish can also take a drink at the stunning rooftop bar overlooking the city.

[2:30 pm]- ISA - INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE ARTE 

Regarded as the single most outstanding architectural achievement of the post-1950s era, the National Art Schools were conceived in the early 1960s and built on the grounds of the former Havana Country Club. Designed by Cuban architect Ricardo Porro together with Italians Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti, these organic Catalan-vaulted structures were partially left uncompleted and are the source of significant efforts for restoration.

[4:30 pm]- HOUSE OF ALFRED DE SCHULTHESS

Visit the house of Alfred de Schulthess (currently the Residence of the Swiss Ambassador in Cuba), designed by Richard Neutra (1954 – 1956). If this visit cannot be coordinated, due to the new Ambassador’s schedule, a similar singular architectural residence will be visited. A cocktail reception is planned if possible.

[7:30 pm]- DINNER AT RIO MAR 

For a city by the sea, Havana has precious few waterfront places to eat with ocean views. Set in a 1950s apartment building, Rio Mar’s terrace overlooks the spot where the Almendares River meets the Straits of Florida. Considered one of the best restaurants in Havana, the selection of fresh seafood is wonderful and the service is five star.

[9:45 pm]- TROPICANA NIGHT CLUB (OPTIONAL NOT INCLUDED)

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 by architect Max Borges Recio. The club continues to operate and is the only one of Havana’s famed clubs to survive the revolution.

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Day 4 - HAVANA CITY

ALL DAY LONG: Eclecticism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modern Movement architecture in El Vedado and Nuevo Vedado neighborhoods.

[7:00 am]- BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

[10:00 am]- VEDADO AND MODERN HAVANA VISITS 

This day will form the heart of the modernism portion of the tour, beginning with a guided walking tour of the heart of Vedado and specific visits to buildings such as the Hotel Riviera (1957), Hotel Habana Libre, 1958 (formerly the Havana Hilton), and the University of Havana.

[11:00 am ]- CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS CEMETERY-NECROPOLIS CRISTOBAL COLON

The Vedado tour will continue with the Colon Cemetery, which was founded in 1876, and is one of the great historical cemeteries of the world. With 800,000 graves and sculpted monuments and mausolea, the cemetery is one of the city’s most significant architectural sites.

[12:30 pm]- LUNCH AT CAFE LAURENT 

A collaboration between Havana restaurateurs Lorenzo Enrique Nieto and José Figueroa, Café Laurent is one of the new chic spots in Havana that is located in a rooftop former apartment. Styled in a shabby chic 50s style, the food is excellent

[2:30 pm]- NUEVO VEDADO TOUR

The area of the city known as Nuevo Vedado or New Vedado was developed in the 1950s and its compendium of medium to large residences from the period, many with original furnishings and decorative features is impressive. We will take bus tours of the area and visit several houses, some of which have been converted into artists studios and residences. In some places you will have the opportunity to view and purchase original fine art.

[7:45 pm]- DINNER AT LA GUARIDA 

The location for the acclaimed Cuban movie, “Fresa y Chocolate”, La Guarida serves delectably sophisticated international cuisine in a building that was once the residence and office of a medical doctor. Owner of the paladar, Enrique Nuñez del Valle is one of the pioneers of the recent wave of fine gastronomy in Cuba. He has been pouring resources from his business venture into the restoration of the impressive 19th-century building where the restaurant is located.

Afterwards, according to available time and to general interests, possible visits to the newly opened Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) an art and performance venue.

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Day 5 - HAVANA CITY

IN THE MORNING: Modern Architecture and Visual Art.

[7:00 am]- BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program. 

[8:00 am]- MODERN ARCHITECTURE TOUR

[11:00 am]- MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES CUBAN ART COLLECTION/ BELLAS ARTES MUSEUM

National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuban Art Branch. Brief introductory lecture by curator Aylet Ojeda. Walking tour of Museum on your own with a prepared guide sheet by Aylet or Rosa detailing highlights to see and why.

[3:15 pm]- AFTERNOON ON YOUR OWN

We will make recommendations for additional visits to art studios, museums, and crafts markets.

[7:45 pm]- DINNER AT CLUB HABANA

This fabulously eclectic 1928 mansion in Miramar, nearly frozen in time, that once housed the Havana Biltmore Yacht & Country Club, is an exclusive club overlooking the Caribbean founded in 1928 as the Biltmore Yacht and Country Club.

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Day 6 - HAVANA CITY

[7:00 am]- BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast

[9:30 am]- CHECK OUT OF HOTEL 

[10:00 am]- TRANSFER FROM A HAVANA HOTEL TO THE JOSE MARTI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

[TBD]- DEPART HAVANA 

Cuba and her people bid you Adios! Hasta la proxima!

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PROGRAM INCLUDES:

  • Arrival assistance at Jose Marti Airport (HAV) (only with purchase of air-sold separately)
  • Transfers in and out from the airport to hotel (only with purchase of air-sold separately)
  • Cuban Visa
  • Licensing cost for People to People travelers
  • B&Bs and hotel accommodations 
  • Daily breakfast at the hotel
  • Meals at the best paladares in Cuba
  • Visits to museums or organizations
  • Experts 
  • Artist studio visits as programmed
  • Luxury motorcoach and/or van transportation for the whole program
  • Translation by professional Cuba-based guide
  • Our Cuba Travel Tips publication and other traveler guidance

PROGRAM PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Airfare to Cuba (priced separately)
  • Air from Home City to Miami
  • Passports
  • Tips (guide and driver, baggage handlers & restaurant staff)
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • All other items not listed in “PROGRAM PRICE INCLUDES”
Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and you will be kept informed of changes and receive final itinerary.

Experience Cuba