Discover Havana

5 Day Tour

Price on Request

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Departure dates on request

OVERVIEW

Founded in 1519, Havana is a fascinating city and a must for anyone's visit to Cuba. Extensive fortifications, sumptuous colonial buildings and lavish churches tell of a varied and colourful history. Yet financial hardship since the 1960 Revolution and weather erosion from the sea has today brought about an air of faded glory to the city.

Plaster is crumbling and paint is peeling, but with the relatively recent declaration by the United Nations that the city represents a World Heritage Site, restoration of the historic centre and Malecon is underway - slowly but surely!

While away afternoons exploring the old city by horse & carriage marveling at the Capitolio building, the Gran Teatro, the Plaza Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas. Alternatively 'cruise' Havana of the 1950's in a classic American car visiting the Partagas or Corona tobacco factory before heading on to the Fundacion Havana Club to learn all about the famous Cuban rum and how it is produced. Finally don't forget to find time to relax and enjoy a mojito in Hemingway's legendary bar La Bodeguita.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

Meet & greet at Havana airport by your English speaking Cuban guide and transfer to your hotel in the historic city centre near the Capitol.

Havana
Founded in 1519, Havana is a fascinating city and a must for anyone visiting Cuba. Extensive fortifications, sumptuous colonial buildings & lavish churches tell of a varied and colourful history, yet financial hardship since the 1960 Revolution and weather erosion from the sea has faded the grandeur. Plaster is crumbling and paint is peeling although the 1982 declaration by the United Nations that the city represents a World Heritage Site has prompted a restoration program of Havana Vieja. The race is underway to preserve this most charming of historic city centres.

Havana has no tacky modernizations, relatively few cars, no neon lights and no McDonalds. What Havana does have are interesting museums, fine colonial buildings, classic American cars, excellent live music and exuberant, friendly inhabitants.

Four nights at your chosen hotel in Havana on a bed and breakfast basis.

DAY 2 - HAVANA

There is no city in Latin America with a larger colonial centre. Meet your guide this morning for a private walking tour exploring the alleys and squares of Old-Havana. We include Plaza de Armas, Templete, Palace of the Generals, Cathedral Square, Plaza Vieja and one of Hemingway’s favourite bars, La Bodeguita. Stop for lunch at La Imprenta restaurant, in Old Havana.

After lunch continue to the rum museum, Fundacion Habana Club, before embarking on a sightseeing tour of the city in a vintage American car. Cruise along the Malecón (promenade), Avenida de los Presidentes, Plaza Revolución and Quinta Avenida before stopping at the infamous hotel Nacional for a cocktail.

This evening you will visit the famous cabaret Tropicana, founded in 1939. This is a nostalgic open-air show with more than 200 artists supported by a big live-orchestra in a beautiful garden setting. Take a journey into the world of the Bolero, the Mambo and the Cha-cha-cha - from Afro-Cuba to modern Salsa.

DAY 3 - HAVANA

Venture out of the city today, to explore the rural province of Pinar del Rio. We’ll start by visiting one of Cuba’s best cigar factories in the city of Pinar del Rio. Cuban cigars are always rolled by hand and during the tour you will observe the skilled hands of the “Torcedores" (cigar rollers) while they produce the best cigars in the world. Workers are read to from state newspapers and periodicals while they work. All cigars are quality-checked by passing them through a wooden block drilled with holes to ensure that they are of exactly the correct diameter.

Stop for a rustic lunch, coffee and cigar (optional) at Vegas Robaina, home of one of the most famous Cuban Vegueros.

We’ll continue after lunch to Vuelta Abajo, the sacred soil, where Cuba’s best tobacco leaves are grown in a dramatic landscape of flat valley floors that are littered with imposing limestone towers called Mogotes. Viñales Valley is part of a stunningly scenic valley complex, where we will visit a Casa del Veguero (house of a tobacco farmer), taking a tour over tobacco fields and through a drying house.

In the late afternoon travel back to Havana.

DAY 4 - HAVANA

Today transfer by Cocotaxi (Havana’s Tuc-Tucs) to visit the “Museo de la Revolución". It holds over 9000 items, weapons, photos and documents relating to the struggle against Batista’s dictatorship and the battle for independence. This is a huge museum, housed in an impressive building and those interested in the history of the Revolution could spend days exploring the vast number of exhibits. These include the Granma, the small boat that Castro, Guevara and their 80 comrades motored to Cuba in, which is now encased in glass outside the museum.

Transfer back to your hotel after your visit.

Table reservation this evening for the Paladar "La Guarida, some say “The Hardest table to get in Havana“ and Location of the famous Cuban film “Fresa y Chocolate“ (Strawberry and Chocolate), nominated for an Oscar in 1992. This hugely atmospheric restaurant is a terrific place to dine. Many international film stars and even the Spanish queen have tried the excellent and creative food. Arriving is an adventure - you enter the dark entrance of an old Centro Havana house and climb a huge marble staircase with 52 steps that will lead you to an innocuous wooden door next to private apartments and hanging washing, where you must ring the bell...

¨Paladares¨ are private restaurants. There are only a few in Havana (95% of the restaurants are managed by the state) and they are very restricted by the government (e.g. in the number of seats). Nevertheless, some of them have gained a cult status for their creative cuisine, the service and ambience. The best have to be reserved well in advance, especially in high season. While we will reserve your table, state regulations demand that you must pay for the meal directly. Please ensure that you have a supply of CUCs (Cuban Convertible Pesos).You will be transferred back to you hotel following the meal.

DAY 5 - HAVANA

Your last day in Havana, there will be some time this morning for a last stroll around the city streets and maybe a Mojito or Cuba Libre.

You will be collected from your hotel this afternoon and transferred back to the international airport in plenty of time for your departure. Please ensure that you each keep aside CUC25 for the departure tax.

PRICES ON REQUEST (excluding international flights)

Prices are for private arrangements and are per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a room.

Included Services

  • Round trip in modern, air-conditioned taxi/microbus/bus with driver
  • Excursions, visits, hotels, restaurants and entrance fees according to the programme
  • 4 Days local English-speaking guide
  • 4 nights in the above mentioned hotels (according to availability)
  • 4 x breakfast /2 x lunch / 1 x dinner
  • Entrance fee and Transfer to the Tropicana Show

Discover Havana - 5 Days
Action-packed privately guided tour of this exciting city. (Code: SOC)