Havana Spice & Vinales Valley with Chef Douglas Rodriguez

Jan 07 - 14, 2017

From $ 4395

Experience the flavors of Cuba

Price: $ 4395
Single supplement: Add $ 995

Havana is a city so beautiful and so mysterious that she leaves one speechless in her warm and sensual embrace. By far, the most cosmopolitan of all Cuban cities, Havana has a booming culinary scene. Experience the new and exciting flavors of Havana with Chef Douglas Rodriguez and journey to the the UNESCO Heritage Site, Vinales Valley that features magnificent limestone formations and history dating back to the Jurassic Era, and home to some of the most abundant organic farms in Cuba. You will have lunch at the Finca Paradiso in Vinales, known for it's exquisite traditional Cuban cuisin and you will also have the pleasure of enjoying a special lunch cooked by Chef Douglas Rodriguez at VIP Havana.

Let us show you Cuba first!

Destinations

What's included

* 8 Days & 7 nights

* Meet & Greet at Miami International Airport (only with purchase of air- sold separately)   

*Airport Transfers in Cuba (only with purchase of air- sold separately)

*Cuban Visa

*US Government Paperwork & People-to-People General License

*Accommodations for 7 nights at  Hotel Capri

*Breakfast every day at the hotel

*4 lunches *4 dinners (Total of 16 pre-paid meals)

* Museum, Institutional and Organizational visits

*Visits with Artists at their studios as per itinerary

* Visits to Community Organizations & Projects

* Day Trip to UNESCO Heritage Site, Vinales Valley in Cuban countryside

* 1 Lunch prepared by Chef Douglas at VIP Havana

* 4 museums

* Concert & Panel Discussion by Prof. Alberto Faya

* Folklorico Nacional de Cuba Private Rehearsal

*Classic Cars Ride

*Mafia Tour

*Motorcoach or Van transportation to all events (12 hrs per day)

*Cuban Experts & Specialists

*Translation by professional Cuba-based guide

*Our Cuba-based Manager to assist guests and oversee activities

What's not included

*Airfare from your Home City to Miami

*Airfare to Cuba (priced separately)

*Transportation to Miami International Airport

*After hours activities

*Airport Taxes upon departing Havana (CUC 25)  

*Single Room Supplement ($995)

*Trip Interruption Insurance

*Tips for restaurant staff, guide and driver

*Personal Purchases

*Tips for Hotel staff

*All other items not listed in “WHAT’S INCLUDED”

 

Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and you will be kept informed of changes to final itinerary.

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Itinerary 8 days

Day 1, Havana City

Meet & Greet at Miami International Airport

The time for your Meet & Greet experience will differ by departure date and you will be informed well ahead of your travel date on your personal itinerary. Your group will be met by a Cuba Tours & Travel customer service representative to assist you with check-in and answer any last minute questions.  We pride ourselves in giving you the best Cuba experience possible and it starts before you even get on the plane.

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Check in to Hotel & Enjoy a Welcome Cocktail

You will be accompanied by your guide every step of the way to assist with check-in.  Their will be a brief orientation at the hotel.

DINNER AT SAN CRISTOBAL PALADAR - EAT LIKE A PRESIDENT!

Set in an early 20th Century mansion in the “Centro Habana” district of the city, San Cristobal Paladar is probably, the best restaurant in Havana. Restaurateur and Executive Chef, Carlos Cristobal Marquez, has created a uniquely engaging ambience within a cluttered, but warm, eclectic décor; each room offering a journey through a particularly iconic aspect of Cuban culture.  The cuisine, Cuban Creole with a very refined and international twist, has a five-star rating by many international food critics and was enjoyed by President Barack Obama and his family during their recent visit to Havana.

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Havana after Dark

Your guide will help you select from an array and wide range of evening activities based on what is happening in Havana. Enjoy live music, dance, baseball and other cultural activities scheduled nightly throughout Havana, including traditional and popular activities enjoyed by the locals.

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Day 2, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

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

Old Havana Four Plazas

Tour Old Havana on foot, walking between the four main plazas that comprise Cuba’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start at Plaza de Armas, the site of the oldest Spanish fortress in the Americas, the 1519 locale of the first mass in Cuba, and the massive Baroque seat of government, known as Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. Continue to Plaza de San Francisco de Assis and Plaza Vieja, where we will visit artists galleries and historic buildings and get a sense of the structure of the colonial city. Wind through historic streets spanning 5 centuries of historic architecture and end at Plaza de la Catedral and see the Baroque cathedral.

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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.

 

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Artist Studio & Gallery Visits

Rising from the restoration and revitalization of Old Havana, impressive art galleries have sprung up all over the colonial center of the city, exhibiting the work of Cuba’s top artists and often housing their private studios. As you stroll through Old Havana you will happen by many galleries and studios where you can view and purchase original art.

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Dinner at Atelier

Calling Atelier contemporary is like calling Havana a little rundown: true, but enough of an understatement as to miss the point. The large main room is decorated with sparse modern lines, inside a typically idiosyncratic Vedado mansion. Two balconies have boundless cushions for the outdoor lounge. An antique hob outside, old sewing and adding machines inside make the place retro yet not old. The food changes every day, every week, hence the handwritten menus.

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Day 3, Vinales Valley

Breakfast at The hotel

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

Day trip to Pinar del Rio

Pinar del Rio is Cuba’s westernmost province and is known for its breathtakingly beautiful and unique natural landscape. The vast and diverse attractions that can be enjoyed in Pinar del Rio range from exploring caves that are archeological sites covered in ancient indigenous drawings, to natural phenomena seen nowhere else on Earth such as the “mogotes” of Vinales, lush and verdant landscapes of tobacco and sugarcane; a small rainforest where orchids are remarkably abundant; pristine coral reefs that offer the best diving in the world and, once  a year when the wind is just right, the best surf in Cuba. The natural beauty of Pinar del Rio is only surpassed by the old world charm of its towns and its people.  Home to Cuba’s great farming legacy, where tobacco is king, there remain the vestiges of a provincial elegance steeped in tradition.  A day trip to UNESCO Heritage sight of Valle Vinales, 2.5 hours through Cuba’s exceptionally fertile and beautiful countryside, will be an unforgettable experience.

 

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Vinales Valley

Boasting the most spectacular scenery in all of Cuba, the Vinales Valley dates back to the Jurassic period and is, geologically speaking, the oldest region of the island. While looking out across 51 square miles of majestic nature, you can almost sense the prehistoric creatures and humans making their way across the enormous valley and around the “Mogotes” rising dramatically from the ground, up to 1300 ft. high, dating back to when the ocean floor gave way to giant limestone formations.  The valley is home to one of the largest cave systems in the Americas making these limestone formations navigable.  In watery caves there are still remnants of prehistoric man in the form of ancient cave drawings. The tow of Vinales, founded in 1607, frozen in time offers a window into Cuba’s charming rural past. The Vinales Valley was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late 1990s and is as heavenly a place on Earth as there will every be.

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Cueva del Indio

Just north of the village of Vinales, is an ancient indigenous dwelling that was rediscovered in 1920.  Here, below the ground and traversed by an underground river, is a network of caves believed to have been used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians as a hiding place to take refuge from the Spaniards, as well as a burial site judging from the human remains that have been found here.  You can explore the beginning of the tunnel’s jagged, damp interior by foot until where the stone steps lead to the underground river where a guided motor boat will actually steer you the rest of the way to the cave’s exit.

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Lunch at the Finca Paradiso Agroecological

Nestled into the Valley of Silence, located in Vinales, Cuba, is a true slice of paradise where the concept of “farm to table” cannot be more purely executed.  Wilfredo is a local farmer who, along with his daughters, owns and operates the part organic farm, part family-run restaurants.  Neat beds of organic crops, where a few years ago were only weeds, are planted against the breathtakingly dramatic backdrop of Vinales Valley. The panoramic views from this family farm and restaurant are unprecedented and the traditional, Cuban food served family-style on a wrap-around veranda is like none you have ever or will ever eat again.

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Visit a Tobacco Plantation & Interact with Farmers

The best black tobacco in the world is cultivated from the soil of this rich and fertile land.  When visiting Pinar del Rio province you will pass acre after acre of lush, verdant tobacco plantations.  The soil in Pinar del Rio is the best soil with just the right conditions to grow and harvest the leaves to elaborate the best cigar in the world - the Habano.  No trip to Cuba is complete without visiting a tobacco farm and seeing for your own eyes the majestically beautiful lands where tobacco grows and meet the farmers of this valuable crop.  This is Cuba in all of its natural glory.

 

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Return to Havana and Hotel

Dinner on your own

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.

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Day 4, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

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

Modern Havana

When most people envision Havana, they see a Spanish Colonial city of cobblestone streets, baroque palaces and churches, large plazas and the vestiges of ancient fortresses with cannons and dungeons.  What they don’t realize is that most of Havana was built during the 20th Century.  Most surprising is that some of the best example of mid-20th century modern architecture in all of Latin America can be found in Havana; the most notable of these buildings remaining relatively unchanged from their initial construction. The Cuban modernist movement, active since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reached its zenith in the 1940s and 1950s.  In 1955, the Museum of Modern Art in New York featured the seminal exhibit and publication by Henry-Russel Hitchcock, Latin American Architecture Since 1945, introducing Cuba’s avant-garde modern architects. This driving tour will take you throughout Havana’s neighborhoods, showcasing the inordinate amount of modern architecture in contrast to the size of the city, both commercial and residential, opening your eyes to a Havana that is rarely seen in photos but of great historical and architectural significance.  You’ll bare witness to the surprising number of notable architects that practiced during these two decades in Cuba, and the modern, sophisticated and stylish city they built by the first half of the 20th century.

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Revolution Square ( Plaza de la Revolucion)

One of the most dramatic examples of modern architecture in Havana, if not the world, is the Plaza de la Revolución José Martí. The Plaza is among the largest civic plazas in the world, measuring nearly 24,000 sq. ft., surrounded by modern construction and featuring the enormous obelisk monument to Jose Marti, built on the highest ground in Havana. It is major attraction for visitors of all walks of life, world leaders and dignitaries, including Pope Francis who held mass there recently and Pope John Paul II who visited in 1998. The plaza was constructed prior to 1959 during the government of Fulgencio Batista, but gained popularity afterward as the center of public celebration and demonstration in Cuba. Two of the government buildings in the square, both mid-century modern (1958), are best known for the iron sculptures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos that cover their facades, both by Cuban artist Enrique Avila. This grand plaza is also home to the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, built in 1979. This plaza is another one of those magical locations in Havana that throw you back in time but simultaneously offer you a great vision and hope for the future.

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Christopher Columbus Cemetery - Necropolis Cristobal Colon

Founded in 1876, the Colon Cemetery is one of the great historical cemeteries of the world, and is held to be the most important in Latin America in historical and architectural terms.  Located in the Vedado district, it was built by the Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso, who became Colón’s first occupant when he died before his work was completed.  The great cemetery is 140 acres in size and is noted primarily for the elaborately sculpted memorials and the opulence and majesty of the mausoleums and statues. There are more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels and family vaults.  Among the most notable figures buried here are many of Cuba’s greatest cultural figures including Jose Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Dulce Maria Loinaz, to name only a few; and since the 19th century, Jose Miguel Gomez, president of Cuba and many generals and dignitaries. With 800,000 graves and one million interments, there may not be a more beautiful place to be interred than Havana’s “city of the dead”.

 

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Lunch cooked by Chef Douglas Rodriguez at VIP Havana

This Cuba culinary adventure would not be complete without a meal prepared and cooked by Chef DRod himself!  A regular guest in the kitchen of the stylish paladar, VIP Havana, Chef will create a delightfully creative lunch from the ingredients and inspiration gathered throughout the previous days.  In Cuba, the term “farm to table” is not so much a treat as it is a way of life and this will prove to be a delectable, unique and exclusive culinary gift from Chef Douglas Rodriguez and Cuba.  Buen provecho!

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Conjunto Folclórico Nacional de Cuba - Private Rehearsal

Cuba’s world renowned National Folkloric Ensemble was founded in 1962 with the mission of rescuing and revitalizing Cuba’s musical and dance roots for the purpose of showcasing these expressions with true artistic authenticity and recreating them to adhere to the most contemporary of theatrical techniques and production value, while staying true to the folkloric essence.  Over 50 years, more than 100 international tours and over 2,000 performances throughout more than 300 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba has been recipient to dozens of awards and has maintained and continued to evolve an aesthetic and an artistic style that is both deeply rooted in tradition and cutting edge in its purity and vision.  Enjoy a rare, intimate encounter with the entire company at a private rehearsal and receive a pure injection of Cuban culture.

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Drop off at Coppelia or Malecon-Live like a Cuban

Your guide can drop you In the heart of Havana’s Vedado district at the intersection of L and 23rd st, also known as “La Rampa”, at the world-famous Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor. More a park than a parlor, Coppelia is a favorite hangout for Cubans of all ages and happens to serve delicious ice cream. Just across the street, you can catch a movie at the Yara, a prime example of the many mid 20th century modern movie theaters in Havana.  When you’re ready to go back to the hotel,  cross the street to the iconic Havana Libre Hotel and catch a taxi right outside the lobby doors. The busy, bustling intersection is a central hub for Havana social life.

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Explore the Malecon

If you would rather walk off the calories from your delicious lunch, 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”.

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Dinner at Mediterraneo Havana

A true “farm to table” and “sea to table” restaurant, Mediterraneo Havana features fresh plant and protein from their own two private, organic farms and fresh catch and seafood fished every other day from their own fishing boat.  It doesn’t get any more fresh or real than this in Cuba.  The food is prepared fresh daily without preservatives or additives, the pasta and the desserts are homemade and the menu, created by Chef Luigi, executive chef and founder, is a work of art.  Enjoy an extraordinary fusion cuisine and exceptional service in this lovely, airy, Mediterranean environment in a beautifully retrofitted Vedado home.  This extraordinary restaurant is the recent recipient of the coveted British farm to table award, the International Quality Crown Award in the “gold” category, chosen by culinary experts from 49 nations.

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Day 5, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

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

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.

 

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Museo de Bellas Artes Cuban Collection

You will visit the Cuban collections in this striking modernist building which was completed in 1953 and exemplifies the combination of sculpture with architecture in Cuban mid-century modernism. The Palace of Fine Arts houses a collection of Cuban visual art that spans four centuries.

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Lunch at La Guarida

When life within the walled city that is now  Habana Vieja had become too cramped and too crowded and the growing population demanded expansion, the growth of Havana gave way to the neighborhood of Centro Habana. There is a mysterious aura to Centro Habana, battered by the sea and left to decay, but there remains a ghostly essence of its former brilliance and a vibrant inner-city life fueled by the locals. Remarkably, some of the city’s top paladares (privately owned restaurants) are located in Centro Habana and among the best of them is La Guarida.  The location for the acclaimed Cuban movie, “Fresa y Chocolate”, La Guarida serves delectably sophisticated international cuisine in a venue that is a perpetual work in progress.  The top floors of this seemingly dilapidated neoclassical structure are renovated to a degree of contemporary glamour that is impressive with a rooftop bar and an even higher mirador with spectacular views.  The bottom floors are obviously under renovation, but when you reach the top of the endless marble staircase wrapping its way up and up, you are in for a culinary delight by any standard.

 

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A Journey through Cuban Music, Concert & Panel Discussion by Prof. 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 Faya.  Faya, recipient of multiple awards for musical accomplishments. Enjoy this magical and interactive experience and feel free to engage the speakers and musicians.

 

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Explore Havana - Live like a Cuban

The rest of the afternoon is  yours to explore. The group’s transportation will drop you in the Parque Central area and will return those who wish to the hotel.  You might want to stay near El Prado and walk the beautiful marble promenade traversed daily by locals living their day to day life in Havana, sit among the royal palms in the Parque Central (Central Park) or just enjoy wandering among the locals and making new friends.  Perhaps you’d rather return to a spot that you saw or already visited that drew your attention.  By day four in Havana, a welcoming and engaging city full of wonderfully communicative Cubans, you should be able to find your way around and live just like a Cuban for the afternoon.  And as always, your guide will help you make your plans.

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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.

 

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Day 6, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

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

Ferry Ride Across Havana Bay to Casa Blanca

When driving or strolling along Havana’s “malecon”, the coastal avenue that hugs the city of Havana along its majestic port and iconic sea, you have a constant view of the iconic lighthouse that stands proud atop a cliff guarding Havana’s spectacular natural harbor. The towns of Casa Blanca sits at the end of the promontory, across the harbor from La Habana Vieja and home to the famous statue of Christ, the Blanco Cristo.  From the ferry landing on the portside of Old Havana, you will board the ferry and enjoy the views for the 10-minute crossing to Casablanca or Regla. Most locals who live and/or work in portside towns travel across the harbor on a pedestrian ferry boat which crosses to the landings in Regla and Casablanca all day long at 10 minute intervals.

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Finca Vigia - Ernest Hemingway's Home & Museum

Your transportation will await you at Casa Blanca for the short drive to Ernest Hemingway’s home in the rural village of San Francisco de Paula, also just east of Havana. Named Finca Vigia or “Lookout Farm”, the home was built in 1866 and purchased by Hemingway in 1940.  This property, emerging from a lush tropical flora and fauna, was his primary home from 1940 until his death in 1961.  Hemingway loved Cuba and according to close sources, he spent more time there during those two decades that any of his homes around the world.  Here, Hemingway wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, and his famous fishing boat, El Pilar, is also on display here.  In 1962, Finca Vigia was turned into a museum making it the first institution in the world devoted to Ernest Hemingway and his work. Recently, the feature film, “Papa” was filmed on location in Cuba and much of it at Finca Vigia.

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Lunch at Ajiaco Cafe in Cojimar

“Papa ́s” passion for fishing and drinking has left an indelible mark on Caribbean seaside the town of Cojimar, the picturesque fishing village where Hemingway docked his boat, El Pilar, and where some old timers might still remember Hemingway and his guide, Gregorio, whom the “old man” was based on.  Café Ajiaco is a Cojimar favorite. The fare is as varied as the drinks, but given that you are so close to the coast it is almost mandatory that you go for some seafood. The choice of fish changes daily with the catch. Enjoy this seaside fishing port village that is almost frozen in time since Hemingway made it his favorite hangout.

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El Morro Castle and Lighthouse

Built on the high rock entrance to the Bay and completed in the early 1600s, El Morro Castle guards the Port of Havana, complete with dungeons, cannons and the iconic lighthouse.  Known as “El Morro”, the castle is actually The Castle of the Three Kings, named for the biblical Magi. The lighthouse stands on the end of a promontory strongly fortified with huge walls and battlements built by the Spanish Conquistadors to defend the city against pirates and bounty seekers.  You will make a brief stop here for photo opportunities of the colonial fort and the magnificent panoramic views of Havana.

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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.

 

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Day 7, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

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

Mafia Tour

Prior to 1959, Cuba was a favorite destination for the “mob”. A Havana “Mafia Tour” will trace the antics of Meyer Lansky, financier for the Hotel Riviera; you’ll visit Hotel Sevilla that housed one of Al Capone’s favorite casinos and the Hotel Capri, financed by Hyman Roth and owned by the mob boss Santo Traficcante, which was also the fictional location for scene from The Godfather.

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Lunch on your own

You will have lunch 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.

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Arts & Crafts Market - Almacenes San Jose in Old Havana

Almacenes San Jose, the vast  craft market right on the docks at the Port of Havana, offers an impressive diversity of goods and artwork crafted by artists and artisans in Cuba.  You can walk up and down the aisles between stands, while the vendors play their maracas and claves in the morning breeze coming off the bay, and find everything from traditional souvenirs, original paintings, an impressive array of fashion, leather goods and accessories, all designed and handmade by local talent.  Your last stroll through the picturesque, narrow streets of Old Havana and  farewell ride up the Malecon will leave the indelible mark on your memory that Havana inevitably leaves on all who have made her acquaintance and dream of returning to explore the rest of this island paradise.

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Classic Car Ride on the Malecon

You will be picked up at you hotel and whisked away to your farewell dinner in perfectly restored vintage 1950s convertibles and enjoy an amazing driven tour of Havana’s “malecon” on the way. The quintessential avenue that wraps around Havana from La Habana Vieja to the Almendares River, hugging the famous sea wall that protects the city from the crashing waves of the Caribbean Sea offers the perfect sunset view. This drive is a retrospective, nostalgic journey through time and you can feel you’re in the 1950s with the backdrop of the Cuban skyline, nearly frozen in time.

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Farewell Dinner at Rio Mar

Amazingly for a city by the sea Havana has precious few places to eat with a view to the deep blue ocean. Rio Mar has a whole terrace overlooking the Caribbean where the Rio Almendares flows into the sea. This little bay is sheltered but gives you a sense and smell of the ocean without the waves.  Considered one of the best restaurants in Havana, the selection of fresh seafood is wonderful and the service is five star.

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Day 8, Havana City

Breakfast at The 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.  

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Check out of hotel & Transfer to the Airport

Depart Havana for Miami International Airport

Cuba and her people bid you Adios! Hasta la proxima!

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Meet Chef Douglas Rodriguez!

As you may know, I’m a son of Cuban Immigrants, my first visit to Cuba was 2013 I was invited to cook at an Art Festival Biennial. Ten American chefs where paired with Cuban chefs to prepare a dinner, I sincerely can say that this trip changed me. The chefs in Cuba have none of the tools that a chef like us take for granted, limited food resources, limited equipment, no internet access and may other challenges that a Cuban chef can experience on a day to day basis, yet this chef all have a great outlook, I call them true Iron Chefs.

After returning home from this trip I wanted to find a way to help my fellow Cuban chefs and began to organize culinary trips to Cuba. I have been back 13 times since my first trip, meeting culinary Players in Cuba and finally found a way to help my fellow Cuban chefs get some exposures. I have created a culinary exchange event, where we can cook together with a Cuban chefs.

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