6 Night & 7 Days in Havana
The heart of this trip takes place in the historic center of Havana Vieja, which is known for its vibrant buildings and energetic population.
Walk the cobblestone streets as a local and listen to the sweet sounds of the Spanish language billowing out of ancient buildings as bicyclists veer around you on their morning deliveries. Chat with your guide over coffee in one of the countless plazas that contains some of the country's oldest secrets. Embrace Cuba as it goes through a radical transformation that is evident everywhere you look.
After miles of walking and days of exploring eclectic neighborhoods, museums and castles, you can relax on the white sand beaches of the iconic town of Varadero and enjoy fresh coconut water to rejuvenate.
As the trip comes to its end, take in the beautiful scenery in the center of a lush green valley at a UNESCO Heritage site in the city of Viñales also known for being home to the world renowned Cuban Tobacco industry.
In this week long journey you will experience:
Easy transportation starting with an airport shuttle, and local transportation to all of the week’s riveting activities. Enjoy the variety of transportation methods such as classic cars or bici-taxis, as you cruise around the bustling city of Havana and the vibrant surrounding areas.
Comfort of a home as every guest gets set up with a private room at a casa particular in Havana Vieja, which is a Cuban homestay in the heart of historic Havana. You will share the house with a caring host who is readily available to help.
Authentic meals starting each morning with delicious breakfasts made at your casa particular and other meals featuring Cuban specialties such as “Ropa Vieja”, a slow cooked beef stew.
Experienced English speaking travel guides who will share their favorite sights and activities while providing insight into Cuban history & lifestyle.
Dynamic dance lessons from a local salsa instructor accompanied by special guests.
Nights full of music at some of Havana’s best venues including an exceptional performance of The Buena Vista Social Club.
Exploration of the surrounding cities including a journey to the stunning city of Viñales in the heart of a lush landscape and witness the artful creation of the world famous Cuban cigar at a family owned tobacco plantation and indulge in a smoke if you so please.
The moment you have been dreaming about is finally here. Step off the plane into Jose Marti international Airport and feel the hot Cuban air hit your face. After a few moments of adjusting, you will see the welcoming face of one of our team members.
You can let out that last breath of hesitation, hop into the taxi, and get ready for a week full of music, dancing, and exploring.
The airport is just a short drive from the casa particular which is located in the center of Havana’s historic Havana Vieja. This neighborhood is full of energy and is the ideal place to have as a base during this trip.
Depending on your arrival time, there should be enough time to aimlessly walk the streets and take in this vibrant part of town before heading to dinner.
Dinner will be hosted by the trip leader at a paladar, one of the privately owned restaurants, and a local favorite. This will be the first example of the Cuban modernization in effect. The leader will be going over the week’s itinerary and will be happy to answer any questions. Map and program will be provided.
After dinner, the night is yours! Perhaps you want to grab a daiquiri at La Floridita (Hemingway’s favorite bar) or get yourself some rest because the morning brings a delightful tour of Old Havana.
Every morning starts with breakfast prepared by your host and fresh Cuban coffee. After breakfast head out for a walking tour of Havana Vieja led by a Hasta Cuba guide. Every guide has had years of experience and is knowledgeable about the area. Havana Vieja has been the heart of Havana since the 16th Century and is known for its ancient buildings many of which have been renovated and boast brilliant colors. A large portion of this neighborhood is inhabited by local Cubans, everyday life will be buzzing all around as you navigate the busy streets. You may pop into local favorites like a farmers market, or a government owned pharmacy.
In order to get a better perspective of the city you will climb to the top of the early 20th-century Edificio Gómez Vila—the Plaza Vieja’s tallest building (35 meters/115 feet) and take a look at a Camera Obscura. This is a 360-degree real time view of Havana that is projected in a dark room. The Camera Obscura is based off of Da Vinci’s original design and is the only one in Latin America.
After strolling the historic streets for a few hours lunch will be served at a traditional Cuban restaurant. Since importation is so limited, nearly all restaurants are “farm-to-table” and will feature seasonal specialties. No matter what dish you select rice and beans will most likely accompany it. The most popular form is when rice and beans are mixed together and are called “Moros y Cristianos” (Christians & Moors).
With a better perspective of the city and a full belly, take the afternoon to explore on your own! Get lost while meandering the interwoven streets and checking out the countless unique shops and plazas. However, don’t get lost for too long because in the evening you are in for a treat.
On the other side of Havana’s Harbor, you will witness the Cannon Ceremony at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana. The ceremony is in remembrance of a tradition from Cuba’s days as a Spanish Colony. The fortress is rich in Cuban history and has many rooms filled with photos depicting its history.
After a ride back to Havana Vieja you will have time to check out one of the trip leader’s favorite restaurants or bars, that Havana Vieja is full of.
Have a relaxing breakfast, listen to some Guajira (classic cuban music), and get ready for your first step into the Cuban world of dance.
Dance lessons will be held at a studio in Havana Vieja, just walking distance from the casa particular. You will be joined by the instructor along with some friends who are supportive and energetic. It won’t take long to realize that music is the heartbeat of the Cuban lifestyle. Understand the roots of "salsa" and allow the flavor of afro-cuban, rumba, and son to take over your body and let loose.
Following a morning full of movement, take a moment and explore the city! The afternoon is all yours; the options are unlimited! Just share your ideas (or ask for some) from your trip leader, and he will be happy to help.
Once nightfall hits, get ready to pull out those new dance moves as you head out to experience the Buena Vista Social Club show. This is a world famous act based on some of Cuba’s most influential musicians. Dinner and cocktails will be included!!
Let the engines warm up with a leisurely breakfast at the casa particular before heading over to meet the group for the experience you have all been waiting for, a ride around the town in one of the city’s myriad of classic cars.
See a whole new side of Havana visiting the vibrant neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar. Follow this up with a peak into Havana’s urban forest and then delight in a lookout of the city's best view from El Mirador del Cristo de la Bahia.
Head back into the heart of Havana to peruse the city's largest art market, San Jose Market. Located in Old Havana you will enjoy an independent lunch and wander the market. There is so much to see, be prepared to stop at every booth. This is the best chance to pick up gifts of local art, crafts, and clothing at the lowest price.
Dance is such an integral part of the Cuban culture and the dancers are excited to share their passion with the group for the second dance lesson. Return to the dance studio to pick up where you left off!
After an afternoon full of music, laughter, and dancing, head back to your casa particular and have a nice refreshing shower. Tonight will be an independent dinner. This is the perfect chance to check out that restaurant that keeps catching your eye.
Tonight you are in for a special treat. A terrace in Havana Vieja will be set up for a private party. The dance instructor and friends will be here in traditional Cuban Style ready to see their hard work in action. Accompanying the group will be local musicians playing live music. There will also be some finger food and mojitos flowing!
After a long night of dancing, a nice hearty breakfast accompanied by freshly squeezed juice is in order. Take the morning to rejuvenate before making your way over to view the greatest collection of Cuban art at the Museum of Fine Arts. Stroll through time as the guide shows you magnificent pieces ranging from the colonial era to the finest contemporary works around.
The Art and Culture Tour continues as you hop on a bici-taxi and are whisked across town to check out Central Havana with a visit to Callejon de Hamel. With its funky street murals and psychedelic art shops, Callejon is known as the heart of the rumba.
No trip to Cuba would be complete without a tour of the Rum Museum. The guide will explain what makes Cuban rum so special and, if you are lucky, you might be able to try some of the delicious Havana Club 7-Year. You will have the rest of the afternoon to check off any of the remaining activities in Havana.
Later that evening you will get to explore the most happening place in all of Havana. La Fábrica de Arte Cubano is an absolute favorite for local Habaneros. Here you will be able to grab some drinks and find a multitude of art forms. You will view everything from photography to sculptures to fashion to architecture. This is a perfect chance to meet and interact with locals and enjoy late night eats. Live music will start at 10:30pm - this is one party in Havana that most tourists will never experience.
It’s hard to believe that this is your last full day in Cuba, but don’t worry it is going to be jammed packed! Grab a quick breakfast on your way out to meet the rest of a group. The van will be departing promptly at 8:00am to embark on one of the most scenic drives in all of Cuba.
Before entering Viñales you will stop at a stunning panoramic vista point with views of a lush green countryside littered with the iconic “Mogotes”. Stretch your legs here and snap some pictures before heading into the valley. Vinales has been recognized as one of Cuba’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and for good reason. The sheer beauty of it will leave you in awe.
At the base of the valley you will be taken into a cave system. The system has high ceilings with stalactites and stalagmites protruding from above and below. The path will end and you will board a motorboat and travel a short distance on along this underground river before exiting the cave.
After a long morning you will indulge in one of the most delicious and authentic meals of the week. The restaurant is located at the base of one of Vinales Mogotes which sets a perfect backdrop to this tasty lunch.
The Viñales valley is the ideal environment for producing some of the world’s highest quality tobacco. Visit a plantation and witness the incredible art of creating a Cuban cigar (Cubano) from seed-to-smoke.
The drive to Havana will give you an opportunity to reminisce on the week past and admire the beautiful landscape as you wind around the steep mountainsides.
Dinner will take place this evening as a final outing for your group. Enjoy this meal and share stories of the trip. Drink some of your last Mojitos and smoke one of the freshly hand rolled Cubanos from the valley.
The timing on this day will vary by guest, but breakfast will be provided at your casa particular. Your trip leader will make sure the transportation is set to get you to the airport 3 hours before your flight.
If this program leaves you wanting more. Feel free to ask about different options for extending the trip including housing and activities!
Individual - $1450 - Per Person
Group of 8 - $1250 - Per Person
Services that are included in this trip
Variety of lunches (3)
Family style dinners (4)
Private tour guide, dance instructor, and program leader
3 salsa lessons
3 nightlife activities (Buena Vista Social Club, La Floridita & Cuban Art Factory)
Entrance free to museums & historical sites
Classic car tour & bike tour
All transportation to and from Airport, along with trips to surrounding cities of Viñales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad
What is not included
After you make your reservation with us, we will give you detailed instructions in the preparations required for the trip, (e.g. how to obtain a visa, etc.)