- Meet one of Havana's most up-and-coming graphic designers
- Take in the culture with a private contemporary dance show
- Savor the sweet and spicy flavors of Cuba in a cooking class
|Day 1||Arrival in Havana||Havana|
|Day 2||Exploring Havana||Havana|
Day 1: Arrival in Havana
Welcome to Cuba! Upon arrival in Havana, enjoy a traditional lunch of black beans, rice, roast pork, and seafood. Afterwards, you will have a chance to 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 accommodations before heading to the historic landmark Hotel National for a welcome mojito on the terrace. Tonight you'll enjoy dinner at a nearby paladar, one of the new wave of privately-owned restaurants in Havana that have drastically changed the Cuban dining experience. Known for their excellent service and increasingly upscale take on Cuban home cooking, paladars are a real treat for any visitor.
Day 2: Exploring Havana
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 you'll meet some of the new entrepreneurs of Cuba. You'll also have the chance to stop at a traditional silk screening 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 for the remainder of the day.
Day 3: Vedado
After breakfast, head to a local farmer's market and ration store in Vedado 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 at a culinary school, working alongside chefs training to open their own private restaurants. 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 take the opportunity to listen to a live salsa or jazz music show.
Day 4: Departure
Depending on the time of your flight, this morning is at leisure after breakfast to explore Havana on your own. Check out the local markets or practice your Spanish with the friendly Habaneros. Later today, board your flight back to the States and say Ciao! to Cuba.