American tourists enjoy old car ride in Havana.
Photo Ana Lorena
Tour
days

Imbibe in heavenly Havana’s otherworldly charms

Weekend in Havana tour

Hot Buena Vista Social Club live show
See Fusterlandia, Cuba’s Disneyland
Cruise in 1950s classic American cars
Visit Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home
Dine in five-star eateries in Havana
Cuban history and music first-hand
Walk Old Havana World Heritage sites
Explore the secrets of making rum
Drop dead shopping opportunities
Action-packed VIP treatment and care

Weekend in Havana tour overview

Come to Cuba now. Legally experience the wild sensual island forbidden to US citizens since 1960. Imbibe in the exotic tastes, sights, sounds, and aromas that have captivated conquistadors, adventurers, pirates, and Americans since the discovery of the New World.

Witness Havana’s ancient eclectic architecture. Fool around in pulsating Afrocuban and Latin music venues. Romance Cuba’s stunning, otherworldly art. Reward your palate with authentic Cuban cuisine, beer, and rum, and perhaps toke on the world’s best cigars.

In contrast to the lifeless Soviet satellites of bygone times, Cuba is an explosion of light, color, intellect, music, vitality, and vigor. You’ll be part of it. You’ll revel in it.

Meet a people eager to engage with their long lost American cousins. They’ll welcome you into their lives and homes in the metropolis they call La Habana. They are so happy Obama helped make us friends again. Celebrate this historic reunion. Team Cuba Explore is here for you to make it happen.

Imagine a nation still pristine and innocent – where strip malls, billboards, neon lights, McDonald, and Starbucks are absent. One-in-ten cars are more than 60 years old — Cuba’s like a time machine with the dial set to the 1950s.

You’ll sample and savor it all during your weekend fling in Havana. Play around and let your hair down in the Pearl of the Caribbean. You deserve it, especially now that every American can come to Cuba legally.

Weekend in Havana tour map

On this tour you’ll visit
Cuba is big. It’s larger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 • Friday • Catching Cuba fever!

Cuban stilt dancer musicians.
“Zanqueros de La Habana” is a famed troupe of stilt dancers and musicians who perform in Old Havana. Their inspiration came from a trio of multi-racial female rappers called “Las Crudas” who performed on the streets of Havana in the 1990s. The “squad” used stilts to draw a larger audience. They went on to inspired an entire generation of Cuban rappers. Photo Norlys Pérez Padrón.
  • Arrive at Havana's José Martí International airport (HAV).
  • Enroute to your boutique accommodations savor the sights and sounds of one of the oldest and most stunning cities in the New World.
  • At your lodging, enjoy a welcome cocktail, freshen up, and get comfortable.
  • Group welcome dinner with your guide and tourmates at the award-winning private five-star Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana. An open menu selection features southern European haute cuisine. All ingredients are fresh from the farm and sea.
  • Meet the musicians of the renowned Buena Vista Social Club, and enjoy a performance of their world-renowned pre-Revolution symphonics that have tilted the world music scene since 1996.

Day 2 • Saturday • Romancing Old Havana + Hemingway farm

Museum of Rum in Havana.
Every moment in Cuba is a selfie occasion, just as is a splash of rum! At “El Museo de Ron,” you experience the rum-making process first-hand. The richness of the details dazzles. The story of rum is the history of Cuba and the Caribbean encapsulated, from the slave trade and sugar cane plantations to the enormous wealth amassed from this desired distillate. Havana Club is the world favorite for its smooth, sophisticated aura. Cry in your beer Bacardi! Photo Norlys Pérez Padrón.
  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Hola, La Habana Vieja. “In terms of beauty, only Venice and Paris surpassed Havana,” penned Ernest Hemingway. He was alluding to Havana’s incredible architecture, arts, and, of course, the joie de vivre the city’s engaging people. Old Havana’s four ancient plazas are full of color and personality, with a mix of palatial buildings, monuments, museums, galleries, churches, lively entertainment, restaurants, and bars. Together, the four plazas of Old Havana contain the most extensive collection of Spanish colonial-era architecture in Latin America. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, restoration and care of Old Havana’s wonders is assigned to the Office of the Historian of Havana – Cuba Explorer’s island sponsor.
  • You’ll witness Cathedral Square, the most beautiful 18th-century colonial plaza in Latin America. Its centerpiece is the baroque masterpiece Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana was erected in 1748 by the Jesuit order.
  • Next, we’ll visit Plaza de Armas [Square of Arms], an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by such impressive buildings as Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the former seat of colonial government. Today the edifice, dating from 1776, houses the Museum of the City.
  • We will continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The plaza is christened after the magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís; its construction began in 1608. The basilica is another striking example of Cuban baroque architecture.
  • And, finally, we’ll visit Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. In contrast to the churches and government buildings of the other plazas, only opulent aristocratic 17th-century mansions surround the ‘Old Square.’
  • Time flies when you’re having rum! Cuba’s golden elixir spans nearly five hundred years of brewing. You’ll learn the fascinating history and art of distillation of the island’s (and Hemingway’s) most popular spirit. The Havana Club Museum of Rum opened in the year 2000 within a grand private palace. It houses incredible artifacts used in the rum-making process, as well as an expansive Rum inventory, and a chance to sample this liquid ambrosia.
  • Now we explore Havana’s famed arts, and crafts mall know as Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes de Depósito San José. This marvelous restoration of dilapidate dock warehouse has resulted in a gigantic market exhibiting the wares of hundreds of Cuban artists and craftspersons. An authentic Cuban shopping experience!
  • Lunch is served at the private restaurant Mojito-Mojito. Ideally situated in Plaza Vieja, its friendly staff, quaint atmosphere, and delicious food ranks it tops on TripAdvisor. The restaurant’s slogan, “A single mojito is not enough.” We agree.
  • Now we’re off to visit Finca Vigía [Lookout Farm] where literary bard Ernest Hemingway spent twenty-one of his most productive years becoming a titan of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their native son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island to be his true home. His house remains just as it was when lived in it. You’ll see his eclectic personal objects, thousands of books, manuscripts, and photographs, as well as some animal trophies, bagged on his frequent safaris.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • We have a special dinner arranged for you at Ajiaco paladar. It’s TripAdvisor’s highest-rated restaurant for genuine Cuba food. Off the beaten path in the sleepy romantic coastal fishing village of Cojímar – the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea," Ajiaco is noted for fantastic service, atmosphere, and scrumptilicious traditional Cuba cuisine. Local organic gardens supply all of Ajiaco's menu ingredients. The result is every dish exudes delightfully fresh aromatic flavors you’ll never forget.
  • Behold a most dramatic ceremony – El Cañonazo – the Firing of the 9 PM Cannon at the magnificent Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. Its construction began in the 16th-century. Later, Ché Guevara established his headquarters in its vaults after the 1959 Revolution. El Cañonazo is an enchanting reenactment dating back to 1519 when the city of Havana was enclosed by a tall, thick rock wall to ward off attacks from pirates and the English. The firing of the 9 PM cannon signaled the closing of the city gates each evening. If you were outside at the time, you were in “vedado” or the forbidden zone. Today Vedado is the cultural hub of upper-crust modern Havana.

Day 3 • Sunday • Cuban music, art + 1950s American cars

Classic American cars on Havana's Malecón.
A classic American car in Cuba is called an “almendrón,” a reference to their roundish shape – similar to an almond nut. These oldsters serve as public transport, private taxis, and tour coaches for weddings, special events, and foreign guests. One in ten autos in Havana is over 60 years old. These tanks still motor the streets thanks to the innovative, devoted attention of their owners. Photo Norlys Pérez Padrón.
  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Shake it up! Private music lessons and one-on-one time with virtuoso musician Alberto Faya. You’ll learn all the essentials of Cuban rhythms. And, you can ask any question imaginable about life in Cuba today. Don’t be shy.
  • Arts and dining tour highlight. We’ll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fúster, one of Cuba’s most important ceramists and painters, at his whimsical home studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana. Fúster is known as the Picasso of the Caribbean, and his work is acclaimed internationally. His artistic mission is the rehabilitation and decoration of the village of Jaimanitas where he lives. Fúster, together with local youth, has mosaiced over 80 houses with ornate murals to suit the personality of each neighbor. Nowadays, Fúster’s art is a cherished part of Cuban culture. His masterpieces join the ranks of Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in the Romanian city of Targu Jiu. Fúster funds his community project through the sale of his paintings and ceramics.
  • Get ready for an American vintage cars tour of Havana. Hail back to picture postcard days of the 1950s. You will tool the most important sites of Havana in classic US automobiles lovingly restored and maintained by their owners.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • Farewell group dinner. In the heart of Vedado, set in an elegant mansion is one of Havana’s best restaurants, El Atelier. Its menu changes daily at the chef’s discretion based on the availability of fresh produce. Aside from El Atelier’s selection of to-die-for dishes, and excellent service, the atmosphere is worth the visit if only for a cocktail and the view. El Atelier has been among the city’s best eateries for years with Cubans and foreign guests. President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha dined at El Atelier in 2016.
  • Evening entertainment suggestion. Shake your booty to the best Afrojazz, Cubajazz, and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo [The Fox and the Raven] featuring astonishing performances by up and coming island ensembles. It’s a popular haunt for Cubans and foreign visitors alike.

Day 4 • Monday • Say goodbye to Cuba. For now.

Young Cuban girls hugging.
Is Cuba safe? The authoritative Lonely Planet Travel Guide says, “There is almost no violent robbery, organized gang culture, teenage delin¬quency, drugs, or dangerous no-go zones.” Perhaps this is because of the extent of racial integration, or the need to find common ground in the face of adversity. Cubans are gregarious, kind, candid with their opinions, and always ready to joke and have fun. In many ways, a lot like open-minded Americans. Photo Norlys Pérez Padrón.
  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Transfer to José Martí International airport (HAV) for flights home.
  • We'll miss you and hope you will return soon. In Cuba, we say, "A true friend remembers the song in your heart when you have forgotten the lyrics."
  • Want to extend your Cuba stay? We'll gladly assist. Just ask us.
While in Cuba, our attentive island team ensures your trip is magical and memorable.

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Included in Cuba tour package cost

  • Small group size – ten guests or fewer
  • Certificate of Legal Cuba Travel ensuring compliance with US regulations
  • Flexible tour payment options, you decide payment schedule
  • Knowledgeable, fun, attentive Cuban guides from arrival to departure
  • Quality accommodations as listed in this itinerary
  • Air-conditioned transport, professional chauffeur, and bottled water daily
  • Airport-accommodation transfers on tour start and end days
  • All activities and fees listed unless noted as optional or suggested
  • Emergency telephone and internet access from Cuba to America
  • Cash advances for participants caught short of funds in Cuba
  • Ongoing support from our US and Cuban staff before, during and after travel
  • Participants become Club Cubano alumni and receive future tour discounts

Tasty meals included each tour day

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Not included