Havana-Cienfuegos-Trinidad 7 Nights

Havana-Cienfuegos-Trinidad 7 Nights

8 Days Tour

Day 1 - HAVANA CITY

ARRIVE IN HAVANA

Havana’s enchantment is not limited to her timeworn charm or rich and diverse cultural identity -- it’s in the light, the sounds, the Caribbean Sea at her feet and most of all, in her people.  Welcome to Havana!

CHECK INTO HOTEL

You will be accompanied by your guide every step of the way to assist with check-in. There will be a brief orientation at the hotel.

SUNSET COCKTAILS AT HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA

Prior to 1959, Cuba was a favorite destination for the “mob”. The Hotel was the favorite hotel of the era, founded in 1924 and located high on a coral rock bluff looking out over the Caribbean and the opening of Havana Harbor. A cocktail on the natural coral terrace of the Hotel Nacional will make for a perfect aperitif.

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

JAZZ AT LA ZORRA Y EL CUERVO

The nightclub (The Fox and the Crow) is located on La Rampa (23th street) between N and O street close to the Habana Libre hotel. 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 renowned names like ROBERTO FONSECA and CHUCHO VALDES have given performances in the jazz club.

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Day 2 - HAVANA CITY

BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

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

THE FOUR PLAZAS OF OLD HAVANA - A FAVORITE PASTIME OF THE LOCALS!

The morning begins with a walking tour of the Four Plazas; a magical journey through five centuries of history and architecture that culminate to comprise Cuba’s first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites – “La Habana Vieja” or Old Havana. The tour takes you on a stroll through the four main 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. You’ll see colonial fortresses and opulent palaces highlighting the majestic architecture spanning from Spanish Colonial to Neoclassical interspersed with a mix of Baroque. Old Havana is packed with churches, cathedrals and monuments, as well as a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought iron gates and internal courtyards -- many evocatively time-worn, but many restored to their original majesty.  The plazas host outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants where live music is always playing, as well as art galleries and quaint shops that can range from touristic items to handcrafted gourmet chocolates and exotic spices. You will want to return to explore La Habana Vieja on our own to explore and discover its magic and mystery for yourself.

LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

The food is mostly traditional Cuban cuisine; but, with the creativity that Cubans do everything, each one has a special twist to its dishes and its recipes. Bon Appetit!

RUM MUSEUM

Situated in the historic district of Habana Vieja ("old Havana"), the museum is housed in a renovated 18th-century "solar" (colonial townhouse). Downstairs is a shady patio, with its broad stone columns and ferns, yuccas and potted palms. A visit to the Havana Club Museum of Rum isn't merely a journey back to the origins of Cuba's most famous beverage, the museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture.

EL CALLEJÓN DE LOS PELUQUEROS COMMUNITY PROJECT

 

The Hairdressers' Alley has become an attractive proposal in just a few years. In this street, as its name indicates you can find barbershop and hairdresser, but you also services of Art, crafts and gastronomy. Nestled in the most historic part of Havana, near Avenida del Puerto is a sample of fusion between different knowledges among which highlight culture and history combined with a new look.

SALSA CLASSES

Learn all about the many traditional and modern Cuban dances such as the Cuban Salsa, Rumba, Son, Mambo, etc. Participate in a custom class based on your individual needs, considering your knowledge, capabilities and wishes.

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.  The venue opened in 1817 under the name “La Pina de Plata” or The Silver Pineapple in English, and almost 100 years later the name was changed to “ El Florida”, but in time became known as “El Floridita”.  One the famed Old Havana corner of Obispo and Monserrate, the bar was not only frequented by Hemingway, but was a regular haunt for generations of Cuban and foreign intellectuals and artists including Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos and British novelist, Graham Greene.  The Bar, complete with the bronze bust of Hemingway (2003), still preserves much of the atmosphere of the 1940s and 1950s and no trip to Havana would be complete with a visit to this iconic location.

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

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Day 3 - HAVANA-CIENFUEGOS

BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL


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

TRANSFER TO CIENFUEGOS CITY

Founded by the Spaniards in 1819, but immediately settled by the French, this impressive port city was once the center for the sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee production and trade. There is a regal, old-world aura to the city with some of the most elaborate neoclassical buildings on the entire island. The City of Cienfuegos was the first town in Cuba to be developed in the neoclassical style and represents what were then new and cutting-edge ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning in 19th century Cuba. The center of neoclassical architecture and home to dozens of palaces, theaters and structures, you can fill a day with a walking tour. You can also visit the artist markets and meet many of the young, cutting edge artists residing in Cienfuegos.  The port of Cienfuegos, complete with marinas offer tourist services and recreational boating, is a nautical door to the magnificent archipelagos off the south coast of Cuba and offers a plethora of marine adventures and educational experiences throughout the nearly untouched cays and coral reefs.

CITY TOUR OF THE HISTORIC CENTER

Enjoy the neoclassical style and French influence found in the facades with arches, glass stained windows and fences. Visit to the historic center, a unique 19th Century monument declared National Monument for its architectural values. The tour includes the Jose Marti Park, the Purísima Concepción Church, visit to Tomás Terry Theater, to the Cultural Goods Cuban Fund, to the Mesón El Palatino, the Provincial Museum and La Union Hotel. It is followed by a tour getting the Paseo del Prado, the longest in Cuba, heading to the residential area of Punta Gorda passing by the great view of  Cienfuegos' Malecon and Jagua Bay.


LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

VISIT TO TOMAS ACEA CEMETERY

The Tomás Acea Cemetery is the unique cemetery-garden in Cuba builded on the outskirts of the city of Cienfuegos. Declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 by its artistic values, architectural, historical and environmental factors.
It Opened on November 21 and despite having been built for the poor, there are all a waste of monumental sculptures made of Carrara marble, high quality, brought from Italy.
The design and execution of the work was done by engineers Paul Donato Luis Carbonell and Philip Ross, who was inspired by the most modern ideas of the time on the construction of cemeteries, which resulted in a beautiful garden cemetery where vaults, mausoleums and tombs are integrated harmoniously into the landscape.

TRANSFER TO TRINIDAD

CHECK IN AT THE HOTEL

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

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Day 4 - TRINIDAD

BREAKFAST

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

TRINIDAD CITY TOUR

Trinidad is a town in the province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba. Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. The city  was founded on December 23, 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar under the name Villa de la Santísima Trinidad.

Trinidad is one of the best-preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time when the sugar trade was the main industry in the region.The city is  known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets. Its neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings. Museo Romántico, in the restored Palacio Brunet mansion, and Museo de Arquitectura Colonial display relics from the town’s sugar-producing era. Iglesia de la Santísima is a 19th-century cathedral with a vaulted ceiling and carved altars.

LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

THE CRAFT MARKET

This craft market offers an impressive diversity of goods and artwork crafted by local artists and artisans in Cuba. Traditional artisanry is a relatively new tradition in Cuba, stemming from economic need combined with an extraordinarily talented natural human resource. A visit to the market offers the visitor the opportunity to have meaningful interaction with the artisans from all over the island who bring their handmade crafts, from traditional souvenirs, original paintings, an impressive array of fashion, leather goods and accessories, all designed and handmade by local talent.

VALLE DE LOS INGENIOS OR VALLEY OF THE SUGAR MILLS

Valle de los Ingenios, also named Valley de los Ingenios or Valley of the Sugar Mills, is a series of three interconnected valleys about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) outside of Trinidad, Cuba. The three valleys, San Luis, Santa Rosa, and Meyer, were a centre for sugar production from the late 18th century until the late 19th century.
At the peak of the industry in Cuba there were over fifty sugarcane mills in operation in the three valleys, with over 30,000 slaves working in the mills and on the sugar cane plantations that surrounded them. The entire area covers 270 km2 (100 sq mi) and includes the sites of over 70 former sugar mills. In 1988, Valle de los Ingenios and neighbouring Trinidad were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

IZNAGA TOWER

The 45 metre (147 ft) tower was constructed sometime in 1816 by the owner, Alejo Maria Iznaga y Borrell. According to experts, the bell that formerly hung on top of the tower announced the beginning and the end of the workday for the slaves, as well as the times for prayers to the Holy Virgin in the morning, midday, and afternoon. It was also used to sound an alarm in case of fire or slave escape. The height and magnificence of the tower served to display Iznaga power over his slaves and his stature in the sugar industry and local society; at one time it was the tallest structure in Cuba. A recognised landmark of the region, the Iznaga Tower testifies to the area's flourishing material culture in the Spanish colonial period. The large bell now rests at the foot of the tower.

RETURN TO TRINIDAD

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

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Day 5 - TRINIDAD-HAVANA

BREAKFAST

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

TRANSFER TRINIDAD -HAVANA

CHECK IN AT THE HOTEL

LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

CONJUNTO FOLCLÓRICO NACIONAL DE CUBA - PRIVATE REHEARSAL

Cuba’s world-renowned National Folkloric Ensemble was founded in 1962 with the mission of rescuing and revitalizing Cuba’s musical and dance roots for the purpose of showcasing these expressions with true artistic authenticity and recreating them to adhere to the most contemporary of theatrical techniques and production value, while staying true to the folkloric essence.  Over 50 years, more than 100 international tours and over 2,000 performances throughout more than 300 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba has been recipient to dozens of awards and has maintained and continued to evolve an aesthetic and an artistic style that is both deeply rooted in tradition and cutting edge in its purity and vision.  Enjoy a rare, intimate encounter with the entire company at a private rehearsal and receive a pure injection of Cuban culture.

FUSTERLANDIA

Visit the Gaudí-like whimsical park-residence of Cuban painter, printmaker, and ceramicist José Fuster. Fuster has used the fishing of Jaimanitas as the backdrop for his unique work and it is only a couple of blocks away from Marina Hemingway on the Jaimanitas River.

EXPLORE THE MALECON LIVE LIKE A CUBAN

The tour guide can drop you on Havana’s Malecon, the seaside avenue that borders the Caribbean Seas through Centro Havana and Vedado.  The quintessential sea wall is a gathering place for Cubans from all walks of life. Strolling the Malecon as the waves break on the rocks below, you might hang out on the sea wall with friends and enjoy a cigar or a sip of rum, run into musicians playing to the rhythm of the city and tides, pass a couple in love or a whole bunch of local kids swimming in the pools created waves on the rocks.  The Malecon is the city’s artery and the heart of social interaction in Havana and there, you are truly living a Cuban experience like a real “Habanero”.

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Day 6 - HAVANA CITY

BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

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

MODERN HAVANA

When most people envision Havana, they see a Spanish Colonial city of cobblestone streets, baroque palaces and churches, large plazas and the vestiges of ancient fortresses with cannons and dungeons.  What they don’t realize is that most of Havana was built during the 20th Century.  Most surprising is that some of the best examples of mid-20th century modern architecture in all of Latin America can be found in Havana; the most notable of these buildings remaining relatively unchanged from their initial construction. The Cuban modernist movement, active since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reached its zenith in the 1940s and 1950s.  In 1955, the Museum of Modern Art in New York featured the seminal exhibit and publication by Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Latin American Architecture Since 1945, introducing Cuba’s avant-garde modern architects. This driving tour will take you throughout Havana’s neighborhoods, showcasing the inordinate amount of modern architecture in contrast to the size of the city, both commercial and residential, opening your eyes to a Havana that is rarely seen in photos but of great historical and architectural significance.  You’ll bare witness to the surprising number of notable architects that practiced during these two decades in Cuba, and the modern, sophisticated and stylish city they built by the first half of the 20th century.

REVOLUTION SQUARE ( PLAZA DE LA REVOLUCION)

One of the most dramatic examples of modern architecture in Havana, if not the world, is the Plaza de la Revolución José Martí. The Plaza is among the largest civic plazas in the world, measuring nearly 24,000 sq. ft., surrounded by modern construction and featuring the enormous obelisk monument to Jose Marti, built on the highest ground in Havana. It is major attraction for visitors of all walks of life, world leaders and dignitaries, including Pope Francis who held mass there recently and Pope John Paul II who visited in 1998. The plaza was constructed prior to 1959 during the government of Fulgencio Batista, but gained popularity afterward as the center of public celebration and demonstration in Cuba. Two of the government buildings in the square, both mid-century modern (1958), are best known for the iron sculptures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos that cover their facades, both by Cuban artist Enrique Avila. This grand plaza is also home to the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, built in 1979. This plaza is another one of those magical locations in Havana that throw you back in time but simultaneously offer you a great vision and hope for the future.

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS CEMETERY - NECROPOLIS CRISTOBAL COLON

Founded in 1876, the Colon Cemetery is one of the great historical cemeteries of the world and is held to be the most important in Latin America in historical and architectural terms.  Located in the Vedado district, it was built by the Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso, who became Colón’s first occupant when he died before his work was completed.  The great cemetery is 140 acres in size and is noted primarily for the elaborately sculpted memorials and the opulence and majesty of the mausoleums and statues. There are more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels and family vaults.  Among the most notable figures buried here are many of Cuba’s greatest cultural figures including Jose Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Dulce Maria Loinaz, to name only a few; and since the 19th century, Jose Miguel Gomez, president of Cuba and many generals and dignitaries. With 800,000 graves and one million interments, there may not be a more beautiful place to be interred than Havana’s “city of the dead”.

LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

A JOURNEY THROUGH CUBAN MUSIC WITH PROFESSOR ALBERTO FAYA

Experience a rare, intimate encounter with what Cuba is best known for – the music.  There is an old saying, “In Cuba, if you turn over a rock a musician jumps out”. You will take a musical journey through Cuba’s rich and exciting musical history guided by world-renowned and award-winning musician and musicologist Alberto Faya. Faya, the recipient of multiple awards for musical accomplishments, will be joined by a quartet performing authentic Cuban music. Enjoy this magical and interactive experience and feel free to engage the speakers and musicians.

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

FABRICA DE ARTE CUBANO

Fabrica De Arte is probably Havana’s most exciting art and performance venue. FAC is inside an old oil factory that’s now a thriving arts space in Vedado, one of Havana’s residential districts. The eclectic crowd includes the who’s who of the art and music world mixing it up with young people from all over the city who attend regularly to experience art and music. The cavernous space includes an art and photographic gallery, a dance space, a cinema, and a very well-stocked bar. On any given night you can watch a fashion show and a live concert, enjoy a meal, see a film and generally hang out in the most creative scene on the island.  It was Mick Jagger’s favorite hangout in Havana and it will probably be yours.

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Day 7 - HAVANA CITY

BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

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

CIGAR FACTORY

You will learn about the past and present of one of Cuba’s oldest cigar factories, founded in 1845 by “Don” Jaime Partagas y Ravell, will give you a first-hand look at the manufacturing of the Habano. You will also have the opportunity to meet and speak with the master rollers that have inherited and will pass down the fine art of rolling the best cigars in the world. Located in the historic colonial district of La Habana Vieja, the factory also has a VIP lounge and a store, offering the US connoisseur the rare opportunity to purchase and smoke a Cuban cigar at the source made by the master rollers at Partagas.

EL PRADO – CAPITOLIO, PARQUE CENTRAL, PASEO AND MORE...

El Prado is one of the most exquisitely designed and splendid major avenues in all of the Americas and home to the quintessential structures that define Havana, ranging from Colonial to Baroque to Neoclassical to Art Deco. Designed in 1772 by French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, El Prado runs for many blocks from the dramatic fountain, La Fuente de la India, to the iconic Malecon, marking the boundary between Habana Vieja and Centro Habana. El Paseo, a marble promenade lined with a natural canopy of trees, marble benches, and bronze lions was recently chosen by the House of Chanel for one of the most dramatic runway shows in the history of fashion. El Prado encompasses all of the mystery and magic, all of the historic and cultural wealth that Havana has offered from the 17th to the 21st century.

MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES CUBAN ART COLLECTION

Very near El Prado, still in the heart of Havana’s urban center where La Habana Vieja meets Centro Habana, is a notoriously modern structure, housing the largest permanent collection of Cuban art in the world dating from the 16th Century to present. The collection boasts extensive works of the Cuban masters from the 1920s through the post-modernists of the 1980s who influenced a worldwide movement and hang in museums and private collections worldwide. The Palacio de Bellas Artes, curated to show exclusively Cuban works has its international counterpart in the Palacio del Centro Asturiano, devoted to universal art. You might have time for both, but you cannot miss the Cuban collection whose artists exemplify the profoundly multicultural, mysterious and rich history of Cuba and its people. Don’t forget to take a short stroll to catch a glimpse of the original Bacardi Building; an art deco masterpiece and a quick stop at the world famous Sloppy Joe’s bar that was reopened in 2013 after 43 years.

LUNCH AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

FERRY RIDE ACROSS HAVANA BAY TO CASA BLANCA

When driving or strolling along Havana’s “Malecon”, the coastal avenue that hugs the city of Havana along its majestic port and iconic sea, you have a constant view of the iconic lighthouse that stands proudly atop a cliff guarding Havana’s spectacular natural harbor. The towns of Casa Blanca sits at the end of the promontory, across the harbor from La Habana Vieja and home to the famous statue of Christ, the Blanco Cristo.  From the ferry landing on the port side of Old Havana, you will board the ferry and enjoy the views for the 10-minute crossing to Casablanca or Regla. Most locals who live and/or work in portside towns travel across the harbor on a pedestrian ferry boat which crosses to the landings in Regla and Casablanca all day long at 10 minute intervals.

FINCA VIGIA - ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S HOME & MUSEUM

Your transportation will await you at Casa Blanca for the short drive to Ernest Hemingway’s home in the rural village of San Francisco de Paula, also just east of Havana. Named Finca Vigia or “Lookout Farm”, the home was built in 1866 and purchased by Hemingway in 1940.  This property, emerging from a lush tropical flora and fauna, was his primary home from 1940 until his death in 1961.  Hemingway loved Cuba and according to close sources, he spent more time there during those two decades that any of his homes around the world.  Here, Hemingway wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, and his famous fishing boat, El Pilar, is also on display here.  In 1962, Finca Vigia was turned into a museum making it the first institution in the world devoted to Ernest Hemingway and his work. Recently, the feature film, “Papa” was filmed on location in Cuba and much of it at Finca Vigia.

EL MORRO CASTLE AND LIGHTHOUSE

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.  Known as “El Morro”, the castle is actually The Castle of the Three Kings, named for the biblical Magi. The lighthouse stands on the end of a promontory strongly fortified with huge walls and battlements built by the Spanish Conquistadors to defend the city against pirates and bounty seekers.  You will make a brief stop here for photo opportunities of the colonial fort and the magnificent panoramic views of Havana.

CLASSIC CAR RIDE ON THE MALECON

You will be picked up at your hotel and whisked away to your farewell dinner in perfectly restored vintage 1950s convertibles and enjoy an amazing driven tour of Havana’s “Malecon” on the way. The quintessential avenue that wraps around Havana from La Habana Vieja to the Almendares River, hugging the famous seawall that protects the city from the crashing waves of the Caribbean Sea offers the perfect sunset view. This drive is a retrospective, nostalgic journey through time and you can feel you’re in the 1950s with the backdrop of the Cuban skyline, nearly frozen in time.

DINNER AT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT

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.

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.

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Day 8 - HAVANA CITY

BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL

You will be met by your guide at the hotel to assist you with check-out and to escort you to Jose Marti International Airport after your morning activities. We will be with you every step of the way until you bid farewell to Cuba until next time!

CHECK OUT OF HOTEL

TRANSFER FROM A HAVANA HOTEL TO JOSE MARTI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

You’ll be met by your guide and transportation for your airport transfer from the hotel to Jose Marti International Airport.  Your guide will remain with you at the airport, assisting with check-in and to see you off, ensuring a smooth departure.

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