Eat, Drink, Think Havana!

Nov 02 - 07, 2017

Join us for a Food trip of a lifetime

From $ 3675

Eat, Drink, Think Havana 2017

Price: $ 3675
Single supplement: Add $ 530

Group led by Nancy Nichols & Chef Joanne Bondy

Enjoy a rare and special opportunity to join food writer Nancy Nichols and Chef Joanne Bondy on an exciting and informative People-to-People trip to Havana, Cuba. Learn about the new cuisine of Havana and the exciting young Cuban entrepreneurs creating a new economy. Meet the new cooking talents creating behind the recent gastronomic revolution on the island. Dine at the city's best restaurants and paladares, and enjoy plenty of out-of-the-way delights. Discuss the menu items with the chefs in their kitchens. Visit local farmers markets and learn about Cuban agribusiness. Meet the Cuban People, see the architecture, and experience its soul-moving music with roots deep in the culture. There will be lots of time devoted to meeting everyday Cubans and to make substantive connections with them through frank discussions of both of our countries’ policies related to these fields. Cuba’s warm and welcoming people are waiting to engage with you and learn firsthand about Americans and our values.

Destinations

What's included

 

*Round trip Air from Dallas to Havana

* Cuban Visa

* US Traveler paperwork management (People-to-People General License)

* Transfers in and out from the airport to hotel

* Medical Insurance in Cuba

* Accommodations for five (5) nights at excellent four star Capri hotel

* Daily breakfast at the hotel

* Four (4) dinners

* Four (4) Lunches

*Cooking Class at Ajiaco Restaurant

* Classic cars ride

* Luxury Motor coach transportation as per itinerary

* Full time, bilingual, professional Cuba based guide

* Program Management in Cuba

* City tours and visits to a variety scenic places in Havana

* Visits to two (2) Cuban institutions of your choice (museums, social orgs etc.)

* Visit to Finca Marta Farm

* Visit to Finca Vigia

* Our Cuba Travel Tips publication and extensive traveler guidance

What's not included

*Passports

*Tips for (Guide and Driver, baggage handlers & waiters)

*Trip Interruption Insurance

*All other items not listed in “PROGRAM PRICE INCLUDES”

 

Please note that this Itinerary is subject to change and will be continually updated until departure to ensure the best trip possible.

Sign up!

Itinerary 6 days

Day 1, Havana Province

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Old Havana Four Plazas

The morning begins with a walking tour of the Four Plazas; a magical journey, led by an expert from the city historian’s office through five centuries of history and architecture that culminate to comprise Cuba’s first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites – “La Habana Vieja” or Old Havana. The tour takes you on a historical journey through the four main plazas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral. The tour will give you an insight to the truly magnificent and powerful place Cuba held in the Caribbean for centuries.

actv.activity.cover.description

Lunch at Havana 61

Located in one of the oldest colonial areas of Havana, near the beautiful Iglesia del Angel, is a bright and airy, Havana 61. The modern design is in extreme contrast with the six-century-old city and offers traditional Cuban cuisine as well as culinary creations of their own. The seafood is the house specialty as well as the originally concocted libations.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Revolution Museum

The Museum of the Revolution, located in the former Presidential Palace, chronicles the history of the Revolution from its beginning at the University of Havana to the modern period. Many artifacts from the process, including the Granma Boat which brought Fidel Castro and his forces from Mexico to begin the major offensive of the Revolution, can be seen in this building located in the heart of La Habana Vieja.

actv.activity.cover.description

El Prado – Capitolio, Parque Central, Paseo and more...

El Prado is one of the most exquisitely designed and splendid major avenues in all of the Americas and home to the quintessential structures that define Havana, ranging from Colonial to Baroque to Neoclassical to Art Deco. Designed in 1772 by French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, El Prado runs for many blocks from the dramatic fountain, La Fuente de la India, to the iconic Malecon, marking the boundary between Habana Vieja and Centro Habana. El Paseo, a marble promenade lined with a natural canopy of trees, marble benches, and bronze lions was recently chosen by the House of Chanel for one of the most dramatic runway shows in the history of fashion. El Prado encompasses all of the mystery and magic, all of the historic and cultural wealth that Havana has offered from the 17th to the 21st century.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Dinner at StarBien

The art and style of the 1930’s can be seen in every detail of this El Vedado mansion. The friendly staff offers very tasty fusion cuisine, combining traditional Cuban and international dishes. StarBien has always attracted artists, cultural figures and businessmen, whom we are loyal customers. You will enjoy the tranquil setting and professional service. 

actv.activity.cover.description

Nightlife activities (Fabrica de Arte Cubano) - Not included in the price

Fabrica De Arte is probably Havana’s most exciting art and performance venue. FAC is inside an old oil factory that’s now a thriving arts space in Vedado, one of Havana’s residential districts. The eclectic crowd includes the who’s who of the art and music world mixing it up with young people from all over the city who attend regularly to experience art and music. The cavernous space includes an art and photographic gallery, a dance space, a cinema, and a very well-stocked bar. On any given night you can watch a fashion show and a live concert, enjoy a meal, see a film and generally hang out in the most creative scene on the island.  It was Mick Jagger’s favorite hangout in Havana and it will probably be yours.

actv.activity.cover.description
Day 2, Havana Province

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Old Havana Four Plazas

The morning begins with a walking tour of the Four Plazas; a magical journey, led by an expert from the city historian’s office through five centuries of history and architecture that culminate to comprise Cuba’s first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites – “La Habana Vieja” or Old Havana. The tour takes you on a historical journey through the four main plazas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral. The tour will give you an insight to the truly magnificent and powerful place Cuba held in the Caribbean for centuries.

actv.activity.cover.description

Lunch at Havana 61

Located in one of the oldest colonial areas of Havana, near the beautiful Iglesia del Angel, is a bright and airy, Havana 61. The modern design is in extreme contrast with the six-century-old city and offers traditional Cuban cuisine as well as culinary creations of their own. The seafood is the house specialty as well as the originally concocted libations.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Revolution Museum

The Museum of the Revolution, located in the former Presidential Palace, chronicles the history of the Revolution from its beginning at the University of Havana to the modern period. Many artifacts from the process, including the Granma Boat which brought Fidel Castro and his forces from Mexico to begin the major offensive of the Revolution, can be seen in this building located in the heart of La Habana Vieja.

actv.activity.cover.description

El Prado – Capitolio, Parque Central, Paseo and more...

El Prado is one of the most exquisitely designed and splendid major avenues in all of the Americas and home to the quintessential structures that define Havana, ranging from Colonial to Baroque to Neoclassical to Art Deco. Designed in 1772 by French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, El Prado runs for many blocks from the dramatic fountain, La Fuente de la India, to the iconic Malecon, marking the boundary between Habana Vieja and Centro Habana. El Paseo, a marble promenade lined with a natural canopy of trees, marble benches, and bronze lions was recently chosen by the House of Chanel for one of the most dramatic runway shows in the history of fashion. El Prado encompasses all of the mystery and magic, all of the historic and cultural wealth that Havana has offered from the 17th to the 21st century.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Dinner at StarBien

The art and style of the 1930’s can be seen in every detail of this El Vedado mansion. The friendly staff offers very tasty fusion cuisine, combining traditional Cuban and international dishes. StarBien has always attracted artists, cultural figures and businessmen, whom we are loyal customers. You will enjoy the tranquil setting and professional service. 

actv.activity.cover.description

Nightlife activities (Fabrica de Arte Cubano) - Not included in the price

Fabrica De Arte is probably Havana’s most exciting art and performance venue. FAC is inside an old oil factory that’s now a thriving arts space in Vedado, one of Havana’s residential districts. The eclectic crowd includes the who’s who of the art and music world mixing it up with young people from all over the city who attend regularly to experience art and music. The cavernous space includes an art and photographic gallery, a dance space, a cinema, and a very well-stocked bar. On any given night you can watch a fashion show and a live concert, enjoy a meal, see a film and generally hang out in the most creative scene on the island.  It was Mick Jagger’s favorite hangout in Havana and it will probably be yours.

actv.activity.cover.description
Day 3, Havana City

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

People to People Experience - Shop like a Cuban - Farmers Market

Cuba is known for its fertile lands, diversity of ecosystems and its agricultural productivity.  The local farmer's markets are strategically located throughout the towns and cities are the source of this spectacular selection of products for the Cuban population.  Daily, folks purchase their fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and other produce at the local market in local currency.  Your guide will escort you to one of the best of these markets in the heart of the Vedado district on 19th St. and B.  Pick up some fresh fruit for your room or just feast your eyes on the tropical delights that grow on this island paradise.

actv.activity.cover.description

Farm Tour and lunch in Finca Marta

Fernando Funes Monzote will probably go down in history as the good digger who saved Cuban agriculture. We will meet with Fernando and his co-workers at Finca Marta to hear the tale of his amazing agricultural achievement. Fernando acquired the rocky land from a farmer who’d lived there for 40 years. He spent seven months hand digging a dry well in search of water. Fast forward 4 years: Fernando operates a self-sufficient (solar power, biofuel from cow poop) organic farm that produces over 60 varieties of fruits and vegetables. He sells to local restaurants (paladares) and farmers markets. Although tourism is growing in Cuba, Fernando only allows one, maybe two visits a week to his farm. “I don’t want to become a circus act,” he said. “And we have lots of work to do.” We will enjoy a delicious lunch harvested from the garden.

actv.activity.cover.description

Driving tour Miramar-Havana

Just west of the Vedado district, across the Almendares River, is the extremely opulent and formerly posh Miramar district. The area borders the sea and is home to magnificent mansions, embassies and some of the best hotels in Havana. Havana’s famous “Quinta Avenida” or 5th Avenue traverses the district from east to west and is home to some of the most lavish and eccentric residential architecture in Havana. Today, the district is home to most of the foreign embassies and consulates and has a growing culinary scene of international restaurants.

actv.activity.cover.description

Dinner on Your Own ( Not included)

You will dine at a paladar of your choice from a list of the best restaurants in Havana. Our staff and your guide will help you with selection and making reservations. You can be adventurous and travel by taxi that our staff will also help you get and your return trip can be arranged by the establishment where you dine. The cost of this meal is not included in the price of the trip. We recommend reservations be made at least one day in advance.

actv.activity.cover.description
Day 4, Havana City

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Morning at Leisure

Your guide can drop you on Havana’s Malecon, the seaside avenue that borders the Caribbean Seas through Centro Havana and Vedado. The quintessential sea wall is a gathering place for Cubans from all walks of life. Strolling the Malecon as the waves break on the rocks below, you might hang out on the sea wall with friends and enjoy a cigar or a sip of rum, run into musicians playing to the rhythm of the city and tides, pass a couple in love or a whole bunch of local kids swimming in the pools created waves on the rocks. The Malecon is the city’s artery and the heart of social interaction in Havana and there, you are truly living a Cuban experience like a real “Habanero”.

actv.activity.cover.description

Lunch at El Litoral Paladar

El Litoral opened its doors after extensive renovations in January 2014 in a renovated mansion almost next door to the US interest section of Havana. The high-ceilinged restaurant has a modern finish with tasteful and elegant furniture. The menu is extensive with a range of tapas—try the foccacia de papa, pulpo y ajo tostado (Focaccia with octopus and garlic), mejillones rellenos ‘Tigres’ (stuffed tiger Mussels) and Cazuela de chorizo al vino, pimienta y pan (Spanish sausage with wine and pepper) or just order a plate from the best-stocked cold cuts and salad bar in Havana. Dallas chef Stephan Pyles cooked in the kitchen here when he visited Havana.

actv.activity.cover.description

Muraleando Project

When local artists Manuel (Manolo) Diaz Baldrich and Ernesto Quirch Paz began teaching art workshops in the neighborhood school in 2001, they had no thoughts of starting community development project. They quickly moved the workshops into the streets, and there the seeds of Muraleando (literally "muraling" or mural-making) were sown. The murals that started springing up throughout the neighborhood were a natural outgrowth of the art classes. The murals depict fanciful celebrations of Cuban life. In a country where nothing is disposable and everything is useful, broken typewrites, old telephones, tire rims, wrought-iron chair parts - all were fair game to weld and paint and turn into sculpture. Muraleando also helped address community fragmentation with a recurring Peña Comunitaria, a block party when streets are blocked off, tables and chairs are set up, and young and old arrive to share in the festivities. Invited artists include musicians, dancers, singer, actors and poets from local, national and international realms. The Peña also gives emerging and aspiring artists from the neighborhood a venue to demonstrate their talents. Food is served, of course, neighbors and visitors come together in a cultural celebration.

actv.activity.cover.description

Dinner at Atelier

A very unique and upscale restaurant, Atelier is the brainchild of Niuris Higueras, who has long nurtured her passion for exciting food.  She has designed a very contemporary space housed in an idiosyncratic Havana mansion in the Vedado district.  The décor has a retro feel including an antique hob and old sewing machines.  While Niuris is the inspiration, Chef Enrique cooks the food on the very eclectic menu that changes every day.  Together they create an international range of dishes than might include from falafels to duck confit to stewed rabbit in wine. The food may vary from day to day, and sometimes be unpredictable, but it is consistently excellent as is the service.

actv.activity.cover.description
Day 5, Havana City

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Lunch at Finca Marta

Enjoy a delicious meal at the first organic farm in Cuba.

actv.activity.cover.description

A Journey through Cuban Music with Professor Alberto Faya

Experience a rare, intimate encounter with what Cuba is best know for – the music.  There is an old saying, “In Cuba, if you turn over a rock a musician jumps out”. You will take a musical journey through Cuba’s rich and exciting musical history guided by world-renowned and award winning musician and musicologist Alberto FayaFaya, recipient of multiple awards for musical accomplishments, will be joined by a quartet performing authentic Cuban music. Enjoy this magical and interactive experience and feel free to engage the speakers and musicians.

actv.activity.cover.description

Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. The tour guide will make the reservations. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. You will take a taxi to the meal that we will find for you. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.

 

actv.activity.cover.description
Day 6, Havana City

Breakfast at hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Morning at leisure

Your last morning in Havana can be a perfect opportunity to take one last stroll through the magical streets of Old Havana or to pick up some gifts and souvenirs on La Rampa or at the huge market on the port, Almacenes San Jose.  You might want to sit on the malecon and reflect on your trip and  the beauty of Cuba and her people while overlooking the Caribbean.  

actv.activity.cover.description

Check out of Hotel

Transfer from a Havana hotel to Jose Marti International Airport

You’ll be met by your guide and transportation for your airport transfer from the hotel to Jose Marti International Airport.  Your guide will remain with you at the airport, assisting with check-in and to see you off, ensuring a smooth departure.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Depart Havana for US

Meet Event Organizer Nancy Nichols

Nancy has been the Food and Travel Editor at D Magazine for 18 years. She says it's a perfect job for her as she loves to eat and travel and travel to eat. Nancy’s culinary adventures have taken her to Africa (8 times), Vietnam, Thailand, Borneo, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, and many other destinations. She has studied cooking in Bangkok, Singapore, France, Italy, and England. Besides writing about food, Nancy has led successful group culinary tours through Cornwall, Italy, the Caribbean, Alaska, New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Havana.

In February 2015, she spent two weeks traveling all over Cuba and living with families. She learned to cook (and eat!) local foods from home cooks. Her hosts took er to local markets and restaurants where she was introduced to Cuban chefs, cooks, and agricultural workers at fresh food markets. In February 2016, she participated in a tour of Havana focused on the music scene. In May 2016, she led a culinary exploration of Havana.

Nancy is also the editor of SideDish, the most popular food blog in Dallas.

 

actv.activity.cover.description

Meet Chef Joanne Bondy

Popular Dallas chef Joanne Bondy was a leader of the farm-to-table movement long before it became a culinary trend. Her involvement with the Dallas Farmers Market and its popular cooking classes goes way back. Bondy is quite familiar with Cuban, Mexican, and Latin American cooking. She was the executive chef and partner and Cuidad D.F. in Dallas. Early in her career, she cooked in Tampa, Florida where she learned her way around Cuban food. Currently Bondy is the owner of Stocks and Bondy at the Dallas Farmers Market. There she creates homemade stocks, sauces, soups and a variety of culinary provisions that are made with locally sourced ingredients. Her pozole is the stuff dreams are made of.

actv.activity.cover.description
Sign up!