Havana in a Heartbeat

Discover Cuba's creative culture with entrepreneurs, artists, intellectuals and chefs - the people who are making Cuba's future.

Adventure Overview

Discover Cuba’s creative culture with entrepreneurs, artists, intellectuals and chefs – the people who are making Cuba’s future.

Trip Highlights

  • See and talk to firsthand with the young owners of various cooperatives and private businesses to better understand the exciting developments taking place

  • Get the Cuban perspective on the changing relations between the U.S. and Cuba from a Cuban Professor of International Relations at the University of Havana

  • Meet one of Havana's most up and coming graphic designers

  • Get some culture with a private contemporary dance troupe performance in Havana

  • Savor the sweet and spicy flavors of Cuba in a cooking class

Activity Rating


Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Thursday (Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive on your flight to Havana by noon. After introductions and traditional lunch of black beans, rice, roast pork and seafood with the group, we’ll visit artist Jose Fuster at his enchantingly creative home in Jaimanitas, just West of Havana. On the way back stop in at a private artist’s home to meet Beatriz, who uses recycled iron, metal and rich glazes in her colorful ceramic statues, tiles and wall designs. Check into your private B&Bs (all located close together, if not in the same building or house) and head to the historic, luxe landmark Hotel National for a welcome mojito on the terrace and orientation talk from your tour leader. Dinner at a nearby paladar, one of the new wave of privately-owned restaurants in Havana that have drastically changed the dining experience in Cuba. Paladars are becoming known for their excellent service and increasingly upscale take on Cuban home cooking - a real treat!
Day 2: Friday (Breakfast, Lunch)
Start the day with a discussion on US/Cuban relations with a Cuban professor of International Relations from the University of Havana, followed by a walking tour of Old Havana where we will meet some of the new entrepreneurs of Cuba. We'll make stops at a traditional silkscreening workshop followed by a visit to one of the most exciting up-and-coming graphic designers studio. Lunch is at a unique paladar with an old-school, colonial feel (and old photos and memorabilia peppering the walls) before having free time to explore the city on your own in the afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Day 3: Saturday (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, head to a local farmer's market and ration store to better understand how Cubans shop for their everyday fruits and vegetables. Learn about the ration system and how it is changing in the broader context of the changes in Cuba. For lunch, partake in a hands-on cooking class, working alongside chefs training to open their own private restaurants, at a culinary school. These chefs are the culinary wave of the future for Cuban cuisine. After lunch, feel the unique rhythms of Cuba at a private contemporary dance performance by one of the top dance troupes in Havana. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight at a local paladar, and have the opportunity to listen to live salsa or jazz music.
Day 4: Sunday (Breakfast)
Depending on the time of your flight, you may have some time to explore Havana on your own in the morning after breakfast. Today you will board your flight back to the States and say ciao to Cuba.
- Air-conditioned transportation while in Cuba
- Airport transfer to and from Cuban airports
- Bilingual expert guide
- Entrance fees for all listed activities
- Meals as listed in itinerary (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Accommodation in private bed and breakfasts in Cuba
- Legal, people-to-people licensed travel as specified by the Office of Foreign Assets Control
- Gratuities for meals included in the itinerary
- Two bottles of water per day per person
- Medical and evacuation insurance (all travelers to Cuba are required to have medical insurance)
- Airfare to Cuba
- Visa to Cuba
- Any meals not included in the itinerary
- Personal items such as laundry, phone calls, and extra alcoholic drinks
- Gratuities for local guides and driver
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