- Day 1- Havana
- Day 2 - Havana
- Day 3 - Cienfuegos
- Day 4 - Cienfuegos
- Day 5 - Trinidad
- Day 6 - Trinidad
- Day 7 - Trinidad - Santa Clara
- Day 8 - Santa Clara - Havana
- Day 9 - Havana
- Day 10 - Havana
- Day 11 - Havana
- Day 12 - Havana
- Day 13 - Havana
- Day 14 - Havana
- Day 15 - Havana
Day 1 Havana (D) Arrive Jose Marti International Airport Havana and transfer your to your hotel. Take a stroll to acquaint yourself with the beautiful surroundings. Relax and settle in with dinner in the hotel.
Day 2 Havana (B L D)* Breakfast in the hotel. We will have a leisurely start and take a walking tour of Old Havana beginning from the Old Square dating from 1559. Surrounded by gorgeous colonial buildings this square was a site for executions, bull fights and fiestas. Another ‘must-see’ is the Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square). You might find time for a quick Mojito at Hemingway’ s Bar around the corner. We will gain some understanding of Cuba’s political history, visiting the Museum of the Revolution, housed in Batista’s Palace. We will lunch in the Cafe Mercurio in Old Havana. After lunch we will continue our tour in New Havana, visiting the famous Revolution Square, the site of Fidel Castro’s famous speeches to political rallies of over a million Cubans. We return to the hotel where you can join in the fun of a ‘Salsa for Beginners’ lesson. This is a great ice breaker with no experience necessary. Dinner at the Hotel. Enjoy a balmy evening with Cuban musicians serenading you into the evening. *(BDL = breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 3 – Cienfuegos B, L, D After breakfast we check-out early in the morning and drive to Cienfuegos. Lunch in Cienfuegos After lunch we will enjoy a walking tour of the city centre. The unique culture in Cienfuegos is attributed its ancestry as a French enclave. This is the only French city in Cuba, with many French colonists moving here after the slave uprising in Haiti in 1791 with many more coming directly from Louisiana. The French influence is reflected in the wide streets and typical 19th century French colonial architecture. Our tour includes the Tomas Terry Theatre; one of the finest eclectic buildings in the region with both Spanish and French influences. It has been restored to its former glory, embellished with Carrara marble, there are two levels of seating built of hand-carved Cuban hardwoods and topped with whimsical ceiling frescoes. The theatre has seen many famous performers including Enrique Caruso, Anna Pavlova and Sarah Bernhardt. You will see several other examples of UNESCO-listed architecture in this beautiful city. After checking into the hotel we dine in a local Paladar and depending on availability, may attend a cultural activity at the Tomas Terry Theatre.
Day 4 – Cienfuegos B, L, D
After breakfast we will visit a local print making studio where you can see print making and etching done using traditional methods. From here we’ll walk to see some of the art galleries around Cienfuegos square.
Lunch in Local restaurant
After lunch we will take a ferry ride up to Castillo de Jagua. The castle was designed to be a safeguard against pirates in the first half of the 18th Century (between 1738 and 1745). You enter the Castle by a drawbridge over a moat, which is now dry.
Dinner in hotel
Possible cultural activity depending on availability.
Day 5 – Trinidad B, L, D After breakfast, we depart for Trinidad. It’s easy to see why Trinidad is referred to as “the museum city”. There hasn’t been a new building added since the beginning of the 19th century, and the first road to Trinidad was opened in 1972. This meticulously preserved town offers a window into the past, from its sprawling colonial palaces and plazas to the remnants of sugar mills and slave barracks from another era. During your walking tour of this unique city, we will visit some of its fascinating museums, galleries and the artisan’s market where you might pick up a few unique gifts. Lunch in Trinidad Check into your spectacular all-inclusive hotel, right on the Caribbean sea. Have a swim in these warm, gentle waters. Soak up this tropical paradise and enjoy a spectacular Caribbean sunset with a Pina Colada.
Day 6 Trinidad B, L,D Breakfast in hotel. After breakfast we head to the Valle de los Ingenios to the unspoilt colonial town of Sancti Spiritus, founded in 1514. From here we travel to the Iznaga Tower on the property of the Iznaga family’s sugar cane empire. Slavery was at its height in the early 19th century and the culture that defines Cuba came with the many thousands of African slaves brought to the island. From the Iznaga tower, their movements could be closely watched . You can ascend the tower and get a glimpse of the spectacular panorama that the slave owners were privy to. We will visit to a local ceramic artist whose style is peculiar to this region. At lunch time return to hotel, afternoon free to soak up some sun and swim in the Caribbean or explore more of this fascinating city on your own. Make sure you catch a Caribbean sunset. Dinner at the hotel. After dinner you can enjoy an evening of music and dance at the casa De La Trova in Trinidad square.
Day 7 Trinidad – Santa Clara B,L,D After breakfast and an early morning check-out we head to Santa Clara. See the Santa Clara memorial where Che Guevara is buried along with 29 of his fellow combatants, killed in Bolivia in 1967. Their remains were recovered and brought here 30 years later, to be buried on the site of the Cuban Revolution’s final battle, led by Guevara. Lunch in local restaurant After lunch enjoy a visit to a local arts high school where there will be a tour and a short performance by the musicians and dancers. You’ll love this opportunity to mingle with the locals and get some insight into the importance of arts education in Cuba. Check-In at your hotel and dine in the hotel restaurant. After dinner enjoy a walk around the beautiful square in Santa Clara. This is a meeting point for many of the young locals and the magnificent bandstand hosts the accomplished community band twice per week
Day 8 Santa Clara – Havana B,L,D After breakfast we make our way back to Havana via Matanzas. Lunch on route Arrive in Havana and relax before a spectacular evening at the iconic Tropicana Club. The sight of 200 performers, with an incredible variety of live music and spectacular costumes is a must do in Havana
Day 9 Havana Jazz festival B,L,D Following breakfast we will visit Hemmingway’s house ( Finca Vigia). After his death in 1961, Hemmingway’s magnificent house and grounds were preserved exactly as they were. We then visit Jose Fuster who has rebuilt and decorated the fishing town of Jaimanitas in the outskirts of Havana. Jaimanitas is now a unique work of public art where Fuster has decorated over 80 houses with ornate murals and domes and his chess park with giant boards and tables in the style of Antonio Gaudi. Nowadays, Fuster’s art is a cherished part of Cuban culture and joins the rank of other public artworks such as that on Gaudi in Barcelona or that of Brancusi in the Romanian city of Targu Jiu. He sponsors this project by the sale of his paintings and ceramics. Lunch in Local Restaurant After lunch we will return to the hotel where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon or do some individual exploration . Dinner in the hotel. Evening Opening night at The Havana Jazz Festival. Make sure you have your pass!!
Day 10 Havana Jazz Festival B L D After breakfast we will visit the Partagas Cigar factory , founded in 1845 by Spaniard Jaime Partagas. It is the oldest of it’s kind in Cuba. It produces, Lusitanias, Churchills, and Cohiba cigars. Lunch in local Restaurant After lunch you can take a ride around Havana in a Classic car or go back to the hotel to relax before the evening performances at the jazz festival. Your guide will let you know what is on and where.
Day 11 Havana Jazz Festival B,L,D This morning is free to sleep in or do some exploring around Havana. Your guide can give you some great suggestions as well as directions. Lunch in a local restaurant Afternoon visit to the museum of music Havana. Opened in 1971, the collections exhibited in their rooms offer a detailed overview of the development of the music and the musical instruments in Cuba from the 16th century until the present. It also has an unique collection of original scores, old editions of musical documents, disks, strange or curious instruments, musical mechanics equipment, historical objects, piece of art and books. Return to your hotel and relax or have a swim before the third evening at the jazz Festival Dinner in hotel
Day 12 Havana Jazz Festival B,D Breakfast in hotel. Free morning to catch up, on some sleep or to do some exploring yourself Lunch on own After lunch we will be visiting ISA – institute of Superior art in Playa district. This is where Cubas finest musicians, artists and dancers study. her we will be treated to an explanation and demonstration of the Santeria religion and how it is expressed through music and dance. The institute was originally a country club but was converted into an arts institute in 1961 by Ché Guevara and Fidel Castro. More recent architectural additions were designed by three Italians architects headed by Vittorio Garratti. The complex is now under consideration for world heritage listing. Return to the hotel for dinner and to get ready for day four of the festival
Day 13 Havana Jazz Festival B,L,D After Breakfast we will have a late start and head off to the craft markets. This is where artisans sell paintings, jewellery, carvings etc. Lunch in Old Havana After lunch we will visit the Havana fort Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro is a picturesque fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay in Havana, Cuba. Juan Bautista Antonelli, an Italian engineer, was commissioned to design the structure. When it was built in 1589, Cuba was under the control of Spain. Built initially in response to raids on Havana harbor, el Morro protected the mouth of the harbor with a chain being strung out across the water to the fort at La Punta. Return to hotel for dinner and spruce up for the final evening and closing ceremony of the Havana Jazz Festival.
Day 14 Havana B,D Late breakfast and morning to recover Afternoon visit to Capitolia, Prado, stroll down the main shopping street and a cheeky cocktail at Sloppy Joes ( used in the film “Our Man in Havana”) Stroll down Obispo the main shopping area, soak up the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. Lunch on own Return to the hotel and freshen up for our farewell dinner in Old Havana with live music and dancing.
Day 15 Havana – Home B After breakfast transfer to Jose Marti international Airport for your return flights. N.B Some activities may change depending on availability