Travel to Cuba in 2018 with HNN! OUR ITINERARY.HNN Travel Program
You Can Still Visit Cuba with HNN!
May 27 – June 3, 2018
Sunday, May 27
3:00 pm Settle in to the historic Hotel Capri, which was one of the first hotel casinos built by the American mafia in Cuba. Owned by mobster Santo Trafficante, and run by George Raft, the hotel was at a time one of the largest casinos in Havana. Located blocks from the University of Havana, Coppelia ice cream, and the Havana seawall, the recent remodeling provides first class amenities, including a roof-top pool and bar.
6:30 pm Discussion with Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban diplomat and expert on U.S.- Cuba relations, to learn about the bilateral relationship and Cuban foreign policy. At Altamira
7:45 pm Enjoy a traditional Cuban meal overlooking the Straits of Florida at the Hotel Nacional. Tasty Cuban food served family style with a great view of the Havana sea wall and the old Spanish fortress.
Monday, May 28
10 am Visit to the Museum of Cuban Art. We will be accompanied by Nelson Herrera, an art historian, who will provide an overview of Cuban art and artists over the last four centuries.
12 pm Walking tour of the Old City. Wander through the Plaza de Armas, a scenic tree-lined plaza formerly at the center of influence in Cuba. It is surrounded by many of the most historic structures in Havana as well as important monuments. See the Plaza de San Francisco, a cobbled plaza surrounded by buildings dating from the 18th century, dominated by the baroque Iglesia and Convento de San Francisco dating from 1719. Visit the Plaza Vieja, surrounded by sumptuous houses of the Havana aristocracy from the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit Plaza de la Catedral and the Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana.
2 pm Lunch at El Figaro. Located in the Barbers Alley, it offers a “hairless” food (so says its slogan) and modern cuisine. The restaurant features local seafood.
3:30 pm Socio-economic discussion with urban planner Miguel Coyula, whose presentation will touch on housing, infrastructure, investment, and restoration programs. The lecture will help us understand the reasons Havana looks the way it does today and what changes we should anticipate in the future. At Saratoga Hotel
5 pm Private performance and lecture on Cuban Music at Bar Asturias by Musicologist Alberto Faya. Professor Faya has been working as a musician, archivist, and researcher within the Cuban musical world for over thirty years. He will be joined by a quartet of some of the finest young jazz musicians in Cuba who will take us on a lively journey through the country’s musical history.
Tuesday, May 29
9 am Morning discussion on Cuban culture and literature with Susana Haug, professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Havana. Professor Haug is widely known in Cuba for her essays and books of poetry. At Altamira
10:30 am Visit with La Reina y La Real, a popular female hip hop/jazz duo. The group’s music and community activism focus on breaking down gender and racial stereotypes in Cuban society. The duo will welcome us into their modest home in the historic Luyano district of Havana, share their music, and discuss important issues in the lives of young Cuban women.
12 pm Lunch Paladar San Cristobal. Located in the heart of Central Havana, this paladar has a reputation of excellence for both its atmosphere and local cuisine. Make sure to ask the owner to proudly show you where Barack and Michelle Obama sat during their historic visit to Cuba.
2 pm Visit to the home and studio of plastic artist Fuster, who has converted his entire neighborhood into an art project featuring murals, mosaics, and plastic art.
4 pm Enjoy a performance by Habana Compás Dance, which encompasses the rich rhythm and flow of the island, performing traditional and modern dances born from their Spanish, Cuban, and Afro-Cuban heritage.
10 pm Relax at La Zorra y El Cuervo, one of Havana’s most celebrated jazz and Afro-Cuban music venues.
Wednesday, May 30
9 am Depart for Cienfuegos, one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities, which is located approximately three hours from Havana. Cienfuegos, referred to as the “Pearl of the South,” is one of Cuba’s only cities to display French and Spanish architecture. Housed on one of the country’s largest Bays, the city offers beautiful ocean front landscapes, and is deeply rich in culture.
12:30 pm Lunch at El Lagarto. With views and breezes from the bay of Cienfuegos, the location and cuisine of El Lagarto are exceptional.
2 pm Discussion with the local chapter of UNEAC, the Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, a social, cultural and professional organization of writers, musicians, actors, and artists
3 pm City Tour of Cienfuegos’ Historic Center, including visits to the main square, the beautiful Palacio Del Valle and Punta Gorda. Visit the renowned artist’s studios along the city’s central square.
4:30 pm Continue to Trinidad, a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its cobble-stone streets, pastel colored homes and colonial-era edifices such as the Santísima Trinidad Cathedral and Convento de San Francisco
6 pm Check-in at bed and breakfasts, known as casas particulares (private homes). Since the 1990s Cuban families have been permitted to rent rooms out of their family homes to foreigners. Featuring comfortable accommodations and very ample privacy, the casas provide an excellent way to interact with everyday Cubans.
8 pm Enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by your hosts.
Thursday, May 31
10 am Trinidad city tour with a local architect, historian, and restoration specialist, who will provide an overview of the city’s history from an architectural, economic and infrastructural point of view.
12:00 pm Visit the 18th century home of Carlos Mata, “the painter of the night,” who collects and restores a wide range of antiques and collectibles. Mr. Mata will discuss his passion for antiques and talk about the famous Cuban artists he represents in his gallery.
2:00 pm Explore the beautiful, unspoiled Playa Ancon, the Caribbean beach located just south of Trinidad.
Friday, June 1
9:00 am Enjoy a home-cooked, Cuban breakfast at your casa particulare.
12:30 pm Check-out of casas and return to Havana.
4:30 pm Check-in at the Hotel Capri.
Saturday, June 2
10:00 am Visit a centuries-old home in the Vedado neighborhood, where we’ll receive a tour by the owner.
11:00 am Discussion with Marta Nunez, a prominent professor of sociology, about the Cuban education system and her recent research on how current economic reforms are affecting women in Cuba. At Altamira
Lunch and early afternoon free
5 pm Visit to the home and studio of a family of artists, at AltaMira art loft. A few years ago, Edel Bordón and his family embarked on a journey to establish an art collective in their apartment building. Spearheaded by his wife, renowned sculptor Yamilé Pardo, the family created a unique art space, which features an exhibition and workspace in the main lobby. Enjoy a few Cuba Libres at their 10th floor apartment and gallery, where they receive guests and artists from all over the world.
6:30 pm Private musical performance by renowned singer and songwriter Frank Delgado at Café Madrigal. Café Madrigal, owned and run by film director Rafael Rosales, is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion with walls lined with fascinating Cuban artwork. Enjoy tasty tapas and cocktails while discussing about the nueva trova movement in Cuba.
8 pm Farewell dinner at Paladar Atelier. This restaurant is equally known for its atmosphere and exquisite cuisine. The lighting and textures of the house, which was home to a pre-revolutionary senator, coupled with walls adorned in modern art, create a cozy, but modern setting.
Sunday, June 3
Morning free Check-out of hotel and depart for airport.
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