Spotlight on Havana 2018-2019
6 days with Collette Vacations Rating:
Day 1 Havana, Cuba - Tour Begins
Your journey begins as you fly to Havana, Cuba. See Revolution Square as you transfer to your hotel in the heart of historic Havana. Meet your fellow travelers during a rooftop dinner with amazing views overlooking Parque Central, the Great Theatre of Havana and El Capitolio (the National Capitol Building). (D)
Day 2 Havana
Your morning begins with a visit to the Revolution Museum in what was once the Presidential Palace. Gain insight into Cuban history during the 1950s revolutionary war period. Enjoy a tour of Old Havana on foot and visit Plaza San Francisco de Asis, Plaza de la Cathedral, along with many of the city’s other historical squares and UNESCO sites which make Old Havana very special. Then it’s time to salsa! Continue to enjoy Havana while you interact with some professional salsa dancers. Strike up a conversation with the dancers and hear about their lives and Cuba's dance culture while learning some of the basic steps of this remarkable dance. This afternoon you are in for a treat as we visit a local performing arts school and meet its creative students who will showcase their talents. (B)
Day 3 Havana - Finca Vigia - Havana
Arrive at Colon Cemetery, officially known as Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón. Named after Christopher Columbus, this 140-acre cemetery contains more than 500 mausoleums and chapels. Considered one of the most elaborate and historical cemeteries in the world, you are sure to be impressed by its architectural beauty. We then make our way to Finca Vigia, or Lookout House, Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba home located in the small town of San Francisco de Paula. Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels here: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local paladar where you will meet the proprietors of this family-run, privately-owned specialty restaurant. Tour the grounds which include their own organic farm. This evening the sounds of yesteryear come alive when you attend a Buena Vista Social Club performance. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Havana - Pinar del Rio - Viñales Valley - Havana
Venture into the westernmost province of Cuba, Pinar del Rio, and visit Viñales Valley (UNESCO). Referred to as the “Yosemite of Cuba,” the valley is surrounded by limestone cliffs called mogotes. The valley itself is quite fertile. Tobacco and other crops are still cultivated here using traditional agricultural techniques. Visit a local tobacco plantation and meet the farmers who still adhere to these timeless methods. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at a local finca (countryside home). Return to Havana for an evening to explore on your own. (B,L)
Day 5 Havana - Casa Fuster - Havana
Your day begins with a visit to Hamel Alley, a Havana neighborhood known for its Afro-Cuban murals which artist Salvador González Escalona famously began in 1990. Then, walk through the dramatic evolution of Cuban art at the Cuban Fine Arts Museum. Later, travel to Casa Fuster for an insider’s look at the work and life of Cuban artist Jose Fuster, whose artwork was inspired by Spain’s famous architect, Antonio Gaudí. Afterwards, visit a nearby park where local antique car owners gather. Discuss how car ownership in Cuba works, along with the ingenious ways they keep these classics running. This evening, take a trip around Havana in one of those antique American cars that the city is known for. Finally, savor dinner in one of Havana’s finest restaurants as you celebrate an amazing journey and your new Cuban friends. (B,D)
Day 6 Havana - USA - Tour Ends
Your Cuba adventure comes to a close today. Return home with vivid memories of this beautiful country and the rich personal experiences you shared with the people of Cuba. (B)
All This Included
Join us as we cross a cultural divide, exploring the art, history and culture of the Cuban people. Spend 5 nights in Havana, one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, at the iconic Iberostar Parque Central. Explore the city’s architecture and UNESCO sites during a walking tour of Old Havana. Discover Havana’s rich history at historic cathedrals, colonial homes, the Revolution Museum and the Cuban Fine Arts Museum. Visit Colon Cemetery, one of the most elaborate and historical in the world. Learn the rhythms of Cuba during a salsa dance lesson, a performance at an arts school and a Buena Vista Social Club performance. Visit Casa Fuster, inspired by Spain’s famous architect, Antonio Gaudí. Marvel at Viñales Valley’s breathtaking vistas and tobacco plantations. Meet a Cuban family in their very own paladar, a privately owned restaurant. Make your way to Finca Vigia, or Lookout House, Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home. Complete your visit with a trip around Havana in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for.
Havana: Iberostar Parque Central
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