American Heritage in Cuba
- Departure time
- Starts in Havana, ends in Havana. Gateway Varadero can also be used for this journey.
- English, Other languages on request, Spanish
- Activity level
- Easy (light walking)
Day 1: Havana
- Meet and greet at the airport, luggage assistance & private transfer to Havana City.
- Evening: a cultural, historical and musical excursion that includes the traditional cannon blast, dinner in a restaurant at the fortress, and a show at the Cabaret Parisien.
- Visit Parque Morro, a Spanish fortress built in 1519 to protect the city against pirate attacks, followed by dinner at La Divina Pastora restaurant. Witness one of the city’s oldest traditions, the cannon firing at 09.00 pm, once the signal for closure of the city gates for the night.
- Follow in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Buster Keaton, and Winston Churchill – just to mention a few! - former guests at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, opened in 1930. Enjoy a spectacular show at the Cabaret Parisién, a fusion of IndoAmerican, Latino and African cultures, the blend of which created modern Cuban culture.
Day 2: Havana – Private City Tour in a Vintage car
Private city tour in a vintage car (3-4 hours):
- Guided walk through historical ‘La Habana Vieja,’ founded in the 16th century, nowadays an incredible open air museum of architecture, art and culture. Stroll along the narrow colonial streets while vintage automobiles pass by.
- Sightseeing in modern day Havana, covering all important landmarks.
- Time for a drink in style in the iconic ‘Nacional de Cuba’ hotel, where you may sip a cocktail in the palm filled gardens where presidents, movie stars and celebrities have gathered since the 1930s.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
In compliance to regulations for U.S. citizens travelling to Cuba, it is required that you have a full-time schedule. During the part of the day that there are no activities included in the tour, the full-time schedule can be met by having People-to-People meaningful interactions with Cuban nationals. This, for example, can be a visit to a ‘paladar’ (private restaurant), a market, a museum, the ‘malecon’ (boulevard), or taking a taxi.
For the evening there are many options. Our recommendations:
- Dine like a local in a ‘paladar’, where you can enjoy Cuban cuisine.
- Visit the cultural project ‘Fábrica del Arte Cubano’ (FAC), the Cuban Art Factory, where the artists meet the public. The project, brainchild of internationally renowned Cuban musician X Alfonso, is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Institute of Music. Insider tip: combine this visit with dinner at privately owned restaurant El Cocinero next-door.
- Cabaret Tropicana! The one and only ‘paradise under the stars.’ An extravaganza that will appeal to all of your senses. Expect Big Band, crooners, fabulous dancers, over the top costumes and more within an exotic setting. The grand show starts at 10pm. Our local assistants can make a reservation for you.
Day 3: Havana - The Hemingway Haunts – Private tour
Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba on and off for 20 years. His house, ‘Finca Vigia,’ is where he wrote some of his most famous novels.
The tour includes:
- Visit to Finca Vigia where Hemingway wrote ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, among others. The interior has remained intact, as if Ernest just left the house for a break in between writing.
- Visit to Cojimar, the sleepy seaside village that served as inspiration for his famous novel.
- Visit to Hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana where you may peek inside room 511, where Hemingway used to stay in the 1930s.
Day 4: Havana – Art, Culture and Community Project – Las Terrazas
Art and nature on the itinerary today as a chauffeur/guide drives you by Jeep around Havana and Las Terrazas. The peasant village 50 miles west of Havana, built in the seventies around the beautiful lake Lago San Juan, is now home of several artists. Bring your bathing suit, as there will be time for a dip in the San Juan river nearby.
The tour includes:
- Ride along the bustling ‘Malecón’, Havana’s famous boulevard.
- Visit to ‘Fusterlandia.’ Admire the colourful work of Cuban artist José Rodriguez Fuster, the Caribbean’s answer to Gaudi.
- Drive to Las Terrazas, one of Cuba’s prime ecotourism sites, taste the area’s excellent coffee at the charming hacienda Buenavista, dating from the 19th century.
- Visit the memorabilia-filled house museum of Polo Montañez, one of Cuba’s most popular folk singers. Polo was a simple farmer, a so called ‘Guajiro Natural’ - title of his most famous song - who made it big in Cuba, but stayed true to his farmer’s roots.
Day 5: The Legacy of Hershey and Dupont, scenic tour
Hersey’s Kisses need no introduction, but did you know that the sugar for this sweet stuff came from Cuba once? En route from Havana to Matanzas province you will learn about the legacy of Mr Hershey and another icon of industry: Irenee Dupont, who made his fortune with the invention of nylon and lycra (check your swimwear for ‘Lycra by Dupont’!). He built a fabulous mansion atop a cliff at Varadero beach, named Xanadu, where he entertained his guests in grand style. You too will be a guest, right next-door, in a lovely beach resort.
Day 6: Homebound
Private transfer from your hotel to the airport
- Accommodation with meals as per description
- Transfers: arrival transfer, from Havana international Airport to hotel in Havana and departure transfer, from hotel in Havana to Havana International Airport
- Excursions with transportation as per description
Customise your trip
This is a flexible program; the hotel and duration can be changed as you wish. The final price for a customized tour depends on the travel dates, availability and your personal wishes. Please contact us to discuss the options, we’re happy to explore with you how we can make a trip to Cuba possible for you within a set budget.