City & Countryside +Trinidad
Saturday, April 6 to Saturday, April 13
Havana, Viñales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad
8 Days/7 Nights
Looking to stay in Cuba for a longer time? Our City & Countryside Tour plus a trip to the Cuban UNESCO Heritage City of Trinidad. Trinidad is a town in central Cuba, known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets. Its neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings. Feel like you are going back in time as you see the spectacular old American cars on the road and the fascinating old world architecture.
This spectacular tour focuses on our specialty: Cuban music, dance and art. We present several prominent Cuban musicians in Cuba and the United States. We have also been fortunate enough to have arranged and produced over 100 Cuban music performances in the United States over the last several years. Since we are so involved in the jazz, salsa, and son scene in Cuba, we want to make sure you have the best possible musical experience this amazing country has to offer.
On our expert-guided tour, you will be invited to attend some of Havana’s most exclusive finest jazz, salsa, and son performances in the style of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club ensemble. Being around all this music still leaves room for you to see some of Havana’s dance and fine arts scenes as well.
Expert Cuban Tour Leader
4 Night 5* Hotel/3 Night B&B
ALL breakfasts and lunches
Each included meal will include one beverage
Private ground transportation during day
Pre-trip departure information
Admission to ALL museums/public buildings listed on itinerary
Coordination of ALL listed activities on itinerary and admission to those activities
(this includes private music concerts, dance performances, artist visits etc.)
Compliance with U.S. Treasury Department regulations
Pay-in-Full: $3295 (BEST savings!) (ends 12/23 must pay in full at time of booking)
Early Bird Price: $3395 (NOW ENDS 1/19)
Base Price: $3495 (After 1/19)
Single Supplement $595
$1000 deposit to reserve your spot!
Price is for double occupancy (we match up solo travelers)
*See below for payment due date and procedure*
Not Included: Flight to Havana ($400-$500 non-stop), tips ($12-$15/day), dinners and extra evening activities
Suggested flight from NYC on Delta or Jet Blue Need help with flights? Email US- firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, April 6-Depart to Havana/Hotel National/Classic Convertible Ride
Note for flights: Please have your flight arriving Havana by 1:30pm at the latest. If your flight arrives later, you will be responsible for your airport transfer to meet the group. Check in for flight from departure city and arrive at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. Our guide will meet you at the airport upon arrival and head to the hotel for check in and orientation.
In the afternoon upon arrival, we'll visit the famed Hotel Nacional. The upscale, 457-room Hotel Nacional de Cuba is the country's grande dame, with a fascinating and storied history, ranging from a major mafia meeting in the '40s that took place on-site to tunnels in the gardens used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The common spaces, including the lobby and the ocean-view gardens, are gorgeous, casting light on Havana’s golden age of Cuban hospitality, nightlife and entertainment.
This will be followed by a ride in a classic convertible car around Havana City! Havana is a beloved by American visitors as a cache of thousands of vintage American cars, manufactured before the revolution and subsequent US embargo in 1960. In the absence of automobile imports, these living relics are preserved by Cuban mechanics and improvised fixes by the owners themselves. Experience an hour in a classic convertible Chevy, Ford or Oldsmobile.
Sunday, April 7-Architecture Tour/Private Concert/Ernest Hemingway Home
We’ll start our morning off by a walking tour to visit Old Havana and learn about Havana’s world-renowned UNESCO heritage designated architecture. There is no better introduction to Havana than a walk through Old Havana. On this walk you will see Old Havana’s 5 major plazas and explore the interiors of cathedrals and other important buildings. UNESCO designated Old Havana as a world heritage site in 1982. Although today, Havana is a sprawling metropolis of more than 2 million people, the old center retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, beautiful balconies and courtyards.
Visit the Taller de la Grafica to meet lithographers at their collective Located in the heart of the old city, Taller de La Grafica de la Havana is one of Havana’s most revered artistic attractions, featuring Lithograph artists who create and sell their own experimental work on site. Visitors are treated to explanations of the collective’s equipment and techniques from the artists themselves and can purchase art directly from the Taller.
After lunch at a paladar, we’ll experience a private concert with a professional music group followed by a visit to the home of Ernest Hemingway: “Finca la Vigia”
In 1940 Hemingway, with his new wife Martha, purchased a home outside Havana, where the couple lived for the next twenty years. The Hemingway’s named the site Finca Vigia, or “lookout farm,” and shared their home with dozens of Hemingway’s beloved cats, as well as trophies from many successful hunts and fishing expeditions.
Monday, April 8-Fine Arts Museum/Callejon de Hamel Afro Cuban Dancing and Drumming
We’ll start our morning off with a visit to the Fine Arts Museum with an expert private guide. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana is a museum of Fine Arts that exhibits Cuban art collections from the colonial times up to contemporary generations. It was founded on February 23, 1913 due to the efforts of its first director, Emilio Heredia, a well-known architect. In 1954, a new Palacio of Bellas Artes was opened, designed by the architect Rodriguez Pichardo. You will have the opportunity to explore this gem with an expert, private guide.
After the museum, we’ll visit the Callejon de Hamel for an Afro Cuban dancing and Drumming. Callejón de Hamel is a small alley derived from the name of a wealthy trader Fernando Hamel who maintained the entire district. Today it has become a place where the Afro Cuban art and Cuban traditions are practiced. The surrounding houses and buildings are covered with large murals in vivid colors. Tiny shops sell small pieces of Cuban art, hand carved wooden statues, paintings, and Santeria art. Aside from its funky street murals and psychedelic art shops, the main reason to come here is the frenetic rumba music that kicks off every Sunday at around noon.
After lunch at a paladar we’ll visit Fusterlandia, the home and gallery and mosaic art neighborhood of Jose Fuster, the Picasso of the Caribbean. As you leave Havana and enter Fusterlandia, you find yourself at the studio and residence of José Rodriguez Fuster. Geographically you will be in Jaimanitas, at the northwestern edge of the Cuban capital, but Jaimanitas has changed a lot since Fuster (as everyone here calls him) got to town 30 years ago and set about remaking the neighborhood in his own image.
The late afternoon will take us to see a Cuban Jazz concert with a young, award-winning artist A nighttime suggestion is a visit to the Cuban Art Factory
The idea is borrowed from Brooklyn and Berlin and everywhere else where old warehouse spaces are being repurposed as art galleries and/or performance venues. However, the Factory is 100 percent criollo, all Cuban, in both its ownership and operation. The Factory is the creation of X Alfonso, a popular Cuban rocker and features a 4-floor art gallery/film space/live music space as well as several outdoor and indoor bars.
Tuesday, April 9- Vinales Valley Day Trip
We'll start our morning by traveling in private transportation to Viñales. Here, we'll experience the gorgeous Venales Valley. This area is so beautiful, it is considered one of the "must see" when visiting Cuba. Here we'll meet a farmer in Cuba's famed tobacco fields, enjoy a delicious farm to table lunch, and visit the community project "Patio Pelegrin". This is often called the secret garden, which is not only an organic farm, but also a community hub for dance, literature, debate, music, and theater for local residents to cultivate their artistic and intellectual interests.
Wednesday, April 10 Havana to Cienfuegos and Trinidad
Today we’ll start out visiting one of Havana’s famed cigar factories before driving to Cienfuegos which is about a 3.5hr drive. We’ll have lunch at a paladar here and visit the neighborhood of Punta Gorda and enjoy its stunning ocean views.
The city of Cienfuegos, known as the pearl of the south, is one of the prettiest cities in Cuba and is famous for its French-inspired architecture. Its parks, plazas, and monuments showcase the sum of neoclassical, art nouveau and art deco styles.
In the late afternoon, we’ll head to Trinidad (1hr drive). Upon arrival, you’ll have a chance to take stroll by sunset (pending arrival time) and take photographs of the city center, restored mansions and other structures offer a rare glimpse of the wealth and prosperity that came to the island through the sugar trade. At night, everyone congregates in the old square at the top of the steps for an open-air performance of salsa and contemporary Cuban popular music.
Thursday, April 11-Trinidad
Experience the city of Trinidad! Take a city tour of Trinidad with a local expert and become acquainted with its 500-year-old historical sites. A unique combination of city, mountains, and beaches, Trinidad is one of the loveliest cities in the world.
In the afternoon we’ll enjoy lunch at Paladar Sol Ananda, one of the top paladares in the area. Later get ready to experience a Cuban salsa dance lesson.
Cuban salsa is dynamic and fascinating to watch and experience. It is quite different from Puerto Rican and New York style salsa as it is less ballroom and has more influences from Africa and Spain. Dance is an integral part of everyday Cuban culture. During Pope Francis’ visit he exclaimed that the Cubans dance and sing while walking down the street and that they truly live. Dance is part of that celebration of life!
Our visit to the Casa de La Trova,a great place to experience traditional Cuban music and dance, especially the Son, Cuba’s national dance and the type of music performed by the Buena Vista Social Club!
Friday, April 12-Return to Havana
We’ll depart for our journey back to Havana (4.5 hour drive) and enjoy lunch at a paladar upon arrival, followed by checking into our hotel. Last night in Havana-let’s live it up!
Saturday, April 13-Return to USA
If time permits before your flight, we’ll visit the San Jose Craft Market. San Jose craft market is Havana s largest craft market, offering clothing, paintings, tourist souvenirs, ceramics, baseball bats, jewelry, and a multitude of other products. It typically open 9am to 5pm.. This harbor side warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana.
Payment Due Dates and Procedures
All payments must be made on time to secure your spot. You may pay the balance in full anytime on/before the first due date.
You can pay the balance in either 3 ways:
-Venmo or Zelle
-Pay online through website (a 3% service fee will be added to total-please inquire for link)
$1195 Jan 11th
$1100/$1200 Feb 17 (final payment)
(if you signed up after sale price, your final balance is $1300)