Hip Havana

Highlights

  • Meet local creative entrepreneurs and visit Cuba’s trendiest music venue
  • Learn about Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion that inspires today’s artists
  • Zip-line in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve
  • Spend a day relaxing on the beach of choice for Habaneros

What you'll do

Arrival in Havana

Welcome to Cuba! The largest island in the Caribbean, Hemingway’s much-loved abode and one of the last planned economies in the world. You’re soon to discover that Cuba is all that and much, much more, but first relax and enjoy your first night in Havana. Head out for your first cocktail and dinner in one of Havana’s many new paladars – private restaurants.

Meals Included: Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

 

Havana City Tour

After breakfast, your guide will take you on a city tour of old and new Havana, Cuba’s capital and the largest city in the Caribbean, exploring Old Havana by foot. Havana is a bustling capital full of historic monuments, cathedrals and palaces. Preserved by a combination of very little war damage, post Revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, it is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas.

You’ll stop for lunch in a cool café, we’ll meet local entrepreneurs, Clandestina, major players in the graphic design landscape of New Cuba. We’ll then visit the Cuban collection at the Museo de Bellas Artes, where we’ll explore the best in contemporary Cuban art with the help of a local expert. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at your leisure. You can have dinner at your casa if you wish or eat out in the old town (dinner not included).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

Day Trip to Las Terrazas

This morning we head west for a day trip to Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Enjoy a break from the bustle of Havana in this peaceful mountain retreat. Las Terrazas community was created in 1971 so that farmers in the area who had been living in desperate poverty and isolation could participate in reforestation of precious hardwoods. Nowadays Las Terrazas is a self-sufficient community surrounded by spectacular landscapes.

On arrival we visit the small community and then head for the ziplining course which soars over the village and through the forest. It’s an exhilarating way to see the beauty of the lush landscape. We then head to the San Juan river for a refreshing dip in the natural pools. There is a simple restaurant on the banks of the river where we will enjoy a Cuban creole lunch. In the afternoon we return to Havana, have time to go to your casa to freshen up before heading out into the Old Town to learn how to make Cuba’s iconic cocktails – the Mojito and the Daiquiri. We’ll enjoy a tapas-style dinner to accompany the cocktails.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

 

To Regla

Today we will see a very different side of Havana by catching the local lancha, or ferry, in Old Havana and crossing the bay to the neighbourhood of Regla. Habaneros associate Regla with Afro-Cuban religion and music and it is here that Cubans will come to consult with Santeria priests, hear Afro Cuban drumming, and pay their respects to Yemaya, one of the most important gods in the Santeria religion. A visit to the church of Our Lady of Regla introduces us to Santeria, brought to Cuba by slaves in colonial times and still practiced by millions of Cubans.

We then carry on to the local museum where we are introduced to some of the rhythms and chants associated with Santeria. Finally we meet a hip hop group called Obsesión who talk to us about the contemporary music scene in Cuba. Afterwards we return to Old Havana where we have a bite to eat and leave you to explore at your own pace.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

An exploration of Cuba’s music, dance and social enterprise scene

Today we’ll have a slightly later start setting off mid-morning for brunch in a gorgeous café run by photo-journalists. Later we’ll visit a couple of very Cuban social enterprises: a music recording studio (BandEra) and a second hand book store (Cuba Libro). At BandEra, we’ll meet some musicians playing contemporary music, learning about the modern-day music scene in Cuba. Cuba Libro is a cooperative run by a journalist who has created a public space to read, drink good coffee and collaborate with creative projects.

Late afternoon we’ll head to Villa Lola dance studios for a salsa class with our one-on-one local dance partners. Afterwards we’ll go out for dinner at a nearby pizza and pasta restaurant. We’ll be accompanied by the dancers who will later escort us to a dance venue in the city!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

 

To Playas del Este

This morning we head to Playas del Este, the group of beaches to the east of Havana frequented year- round by locals looking to kick back and cool off. We’ll relax on the beach with a picnic and a few bottles of Havana Club. At the end of the afternoon we transfer back to Havana where we will have time to freshen up at our casas before being picked up by classic American 1950s cars for a stylish sunset tour of the city. We’ll end up at a paladar for our farewell dinner.

Afterwards we’ll continue to the Fabrica del Arte Cubano (FAC) for a night out at Cuba’s iconic interactive art space. FAC is a multi-faceted arts venue that, on first impression, wouldn’t look out of place in East London or Berlin if it weren’t for the very Cuban influences and clientele – entrance is included for this evening. With an ever-rotating curation, no two weekends are the same at La Fabrica; expect to see photography exhibitions, improvised theatre, jazz ensembles, or electronic DJs. There are numerous indoor and outdoor areas to visit within the large venue, so depending on your tastes you are likely to find something to dance to! Whilst entry is included, you’ll receive a card that you use to record drinks purchases before paying your own bill at the main door upon leaving.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Casa Particular in Havana (Casa Vitrales, Sueño Habana or similar)

Departure

This morning is at leisure to spend as you please. And so it’s adios from us, or as we prefer to think of it, ‘hasta luego’ – see you later! Have a safe journey and we hope that you had a wonderful experience in Cuba.

Meals Included: Breakfast

There are no airport transfers included today however we can arrange on request. Trip extensions can also be booked if arranged in advance through our local partner.

What's included

Included

  • 6 nights in Casa Particular on B&B basis
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners. Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day
  • Local English-speaking Cuban guide throughout
  • Arrival airport transfer and all in-destination transfers in private air-conditioned vehicle
Your local host

Lucy & Team

For 20 years, we have been providing exceptional and meaningful holidays to Cuba, sharing the real Cuba in an honest and positive way. Responsible travel is at the heart of what we do; from the local ground staff we employ, to the family-run restaurants and B&B’s we use, we actively support family, local businesses and communities. This is how we reveal the rich culture of Cuba and showcase its uniqueness beyond ‘cigars and old cars’. We aim for excellence in everything we do –  starting with our incredible team of trained guides and covering every aspect of your trip and the service we offer.

If you were to describe our personality, you’d use words like passionate, human, resilient, dedicated and pragmatic. These are the qualities that get to the heart of what it means to be a successful travel business focused on and committed to Cuba.

Lucy & Team image

Location

Starts: Havana

Ends: Havana

Getting there:

Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using www.skyscanner.net to check flights.

Nearest airports:

José Martí International Airport

Airport transfers:

Transfers from the airport are included and available upon request.

 

FAQs

What's the accommodation like?

You'll spend 6 nights in a Casa Particular in Havana. Cuban casas are run by local families and provide an insight into Cuban life due to the time spent with your local host, from the food they cook to the music they listen to.

Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room. A single supplement is available upon request.

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