Absolute Havana

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Day 1: Arrival Havana

Upon arrival in Havana, you are transferred to Havana's Hotel Nacional where you can settle in and wander the lively and wide streets of the neighborhood. Havana is bustling with museums, plazas, art galleries and prominent buildings dating from the 18th to the 20th century.

Overnight in Havana.


Day 2: Colonial Havana, Cuban Rum, Vintage Cars to Tropicana Cabaret

This morning we start our day with a walking tour of colonial Havana. We visit the open-air plazas of San Francisco, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Cathedral, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch we visit the Bacardi Rum Museum in old Havana for a guided tour.

We also explore the outer parts of the city, including Callejon de Hamel, where we are invited to a cultural project with Mr. Elias Yousef for a firsthand encounter with the Afro-Cuban religion. We will discover the foundations of the more solid cultural Cuban roots and the widely spread Santeria religion. Mr Elias will escort us to genuine worship places where faith is practiced with devotion and where there will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and discussion.

This evening, classic 1950's American vintage cars will take us to the Tropicana Cabaret to enjoy a performance in one of the most historical open-air night club shows in the world. Here we get a glimpse of the Havana entertainment scene as it was in the 1950's. It will be a late evening and our bus will be ready to take us back to the hotel after the show.

Overnight in Havana.


Day 3: Hemingway and Vintage Cars

This morning we start our day with a visit to the vintage car repair workshop Nostalgycar,
to learn about how local ingenuity keeps these old vintage American cars on the road. Our visit, however, is much broader than just the restoration of these classic 1950's Chevys, BelAirs and Oldsmobiles. Our visit will give a tremendous insight into the present day revolution happening in Cuba in terms of private ownership, entrepreneurship, the social impact and a glimpse into what the future holds for Cuba and its citizens.

From here, we walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway with a visit to the American writer's former home, Finca La Vigia; an old colonial estate bought by the author in the '40s, where he lived for over 20 years. The house is exactly as Hemingway left it just prior to the Revolution. Visitors are able to walk around the house and view the interior through the windows.

Enjoy lunch in Cojimar, the little town that inspired Hemingway or "Papa" to write "The Old Man and the Sea". This is the same location where the writer kept his boat "Pilar" docked during his years in Cuba. We enjoy lunch at Las Terrazas de Cojimara restaurant. After lunch we visit Floridita bar where we can taste his prefered drink, the famous Daiquiri.

In the evening, our dinner will be at the private restaurant Rejoneo in modern Havana.

Overnight in Havana.


Day 4: Urban Organic Food Production and Cuban Music

This morning we start our day with a visit to a farmer's market to learn about both the local diet
and dual currency (including some of differences between CUC and CUP). Afterwards we continue to the organic garden "Organoponico Vivero de Alamar" where we will learn about the reality of Cuban urban and suburban agriculture. This Organoponico is a project that was started by a group of former agronomists who left office life to pursue a dream by converting a former garbage dump site into a productive 24 acre farm. Today they employ nearly 400 workers who supply fresh food to their 100 000 neighbors in the nearby community of Alamar.

After lunch, we enjoy a visit to the Bellas Artes fine arts museum.

This evening we will enjoy a dinner and show at the world famous Buena Vista Social Club.

Overnight in Havana.


Day 5: Cuban Cigars, Contemporary Fine Art

Today we start with a visit to a cigar factory for a guided tour where we will learn about one of Cuba's finest exports. Afterwards, we focus on Cuban contemporary art in the hands of one specialist of the field. We will visit an artist workshop where we can watch local art in progress. We will visit 2 different communities of both well known and up and coming young artists. "Taller Experimental de la Grafica" is a project that has been in existence since the 1960s and includes artists from all backgrounds who create and exhibit their work in the heart of Cathedral Square in colonial Havana.

Enjoy lunch in a quaint little alley that houses many local restaurants. Afterwards we will visit local workshops and community workshops in Old Havana where there will be excellent opportunities to buy art in a wide range of prices.

Dinner and overnight in Havana.


Day 6: Biosphere Reserve Las Terrazas

Today we have a day trip outside of Havana to the Biosphere Reserve Las Terrazas where we will enjoy a nature walk and an introduction to the local community. We will have the opportunity to visit a local school and meet with a local doctor who will give us an insight into the Cuban health system.

We will enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.

Overnight in Havana.


Day 7: Depart Havana

Our Cuban adventure concludes with a transfer to Havana Airport.

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