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5 days in La Havana
5 Days 
Nov 5 - Nov 10  

Ellen and Eric,

This is your itinerary for your trip to Cuba.  Here, you can find all the information you will need while visiting the pearl of the Caribbean.  Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions.  

 

Thank you for working with us to coordinate your trip to Cuba.  The impact your trip will have on those involved in your trip is the support they need as they try to be more independent and build a new Cuba. 

  1. Accommodation

  2. Itinerary

  3. Additional information and Cities to be visited

SUMMARY

In summary, our package includes all of the following: 

 

  • 5 night accommodations in Cuba

    • 5 nights in Havana

  • Airport pick up and drop off in Havana

  • Guided Tours and Activities

    • Private guided walking tours of Havana, and old Havana.

    • Private guided visit to Varadero and Matanzas

    • Private guided tour to other areas of the city Vedado, and Baracoa.

    • Private guide to tour Popular places like Fabrica de Arte and Fuster's House. 

  • Meeting with Cuban Professor and informal visit to University of La Habana.

  • Lunch with local family in Playa Baracoa.

  • Reservations for dinners as requested.

  • Meeting Cuban people who will be supported by your visit. Independent providers and entrepreneurs who work with within the community to provide services and assistance.  

  • Personalized concierge services from now and throughout the trip. We know the city and can recommend and help with reservations at restaurants, shows, additional activities, and setting up transportation as desired. 

  • Your own local host. Someone who you can contact and access locally to help you and guide you as needed. She will welcome you and go over the plan when you arrive, and will also be available to assist during the duration of your trip.

  • Assistance exchanging money at the best rate possible.

Not Included:

  • Please remember breakfast was not included in the hotel package. Nevertheless, they do offer it if you want to have it at the hotel. 

  • Taxis and additional transportation for dinners, and lunches outside old Habana, and for any other trips and visits than those listed in the itinerary. 

Accommodation

Accommodation

  • Junior Suite at AS Boutique Residence

    • Address: 258 Jesús María, La Habana, Cuba (Here)

    • Phone Number: +5378612898

    • Privately owned small boutique hotel in one of the trendiest parts of Old Town Habana (San Isidro)

    • Only 6 rooms. Terrace. Restaurant and cafe.  

    • Front desk and assistance/concierge services.

    • Breakfast not included but available. 

CITIES

Havana (See photos here) 

  • Capital and larges city.  A lot of parks, museum, and main landmarks. Including the famous Old Havana (colonial area), Revolution Museum, Malecon, Hotel Nacional, and many more.

  • There are also a lot of restaurants, bars, and cafes, art galleries, and music venues and cabarets. 

 

Matanzas (See photos here) 

  • Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city (Rio Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar). For this reason, it was referred to as the Venice of Cuba. It was also called The Athens of Cuba for its poets.

Varadero (See photos here)

  • Known as Playa Azul (Blue Beach), the best known beach in Cuba, and it is considered one of the best beaches in the world.

  • Its crystalline waters and fine sand extends for more than 20 kilometers in the Península de Hicacos (Hicacos Peninsula).

  • Varadero is also the biggest tourism development resort of Cuba with more than 52 hotels. 

​Confirmed Itinerary

November 5, Sunday

  • 1:24 PM - Arrive to Jose Marti Airport on AA 743.  Your guide will be waiting for you with a sign with your last name on it.

    • Your guide during your stay in Cuba is Ada (+53 5 2830203). You can contact her via Whatsapp. She will be your guide and hostess.  She is an entrepreneur herself, working in tourism independently to be able to show her clients the real Cuba, bring opportunities to her community, and support those who are also trying to be independent and build their own business. 

  • 2:30 PM - Check-in to your accommodations. 

  • 3:00 PM  - Enjoy lunch at El del Frente, an independent restaurant in the heart of Old Havana.  O’Reilly Street #303, between Habana and Aguilar

  • After lunch, Get to know your neighborhood and explore the main streets of old Havana, including Obispo and O’Reilly. Enjoy the oldest Plaza in Havana, Plaza de Armas. This would be a guided walk of Old Havana. Get to know the surrounding landmarks, places around your accommodation.   Meet with independent vendors and support local entrepreneurs.  Then head back to the hotel to rest and finish settling in. 

  • 09:00 PM Dinner Time. Reservation at La Guarida. Enjoy dinner at one of Cuba’s most well-known "paladares" in the city.  The famous Cuban movie, Fresa y Chocolate, was filmed there in the 90’s and was even nominated for an Oscar. It is located at Calle Concordia #418 Between Gervasio and Escobar, Centro Habana. On the way back enjoy The Malecon of Havana, the sea wall that is probably the most iconic image of Havana.

November 6, Monday

  • 8:30 AM - Enjoy homemade breakfast at your boutique Hotel, or near by at one of the new and independent cafes around your accommodation. 

  • 9:30 AM - Today is dedicated to continuing the exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage architecture of Old Havana, including some of the most important landmarks of the Havana the Capitol building, The Great Theatre Alicia Alonso, The Fine Arts Museum, Central Park and the Cathedral Square.  and much more.  

  • 12:30 PM -  You will take a break in the middle to have lunch.  We are taking you to Doña Eutimia. Another staple of the city; a restaurant started by a common woman that helped to shape the food scene in the city. 

  • After lunch, continue exploring the city, meeting small business entrepreneurs, and artists, along the way. 

  • 7:00 PM - Dinner tonight will be at Grados, another one of our favorite places in the city.  You will be accompanied by Dr. Oscar Fernández, professor of Economics at the Habana University and entrepreneur. Oscar will lead an introduction to the recently legalized “MiPyME” Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. This will help you to understand how these changes are shaping the Cuban Economy and its political impact. Oscar will also talk about the role of the University on these news dynamics.

November 7, Tuesday

  • 8:30 AM - Enjoy homemade breakfast at your boutique Hotel, or near by at one of the new and independent cafes around your accommodation

  • 10:00 AM - Today we are taking you to visit the campus of the historic Havana University, located in the Vedado neighborhood. You will also get to visit Jose Fuster’s house, a Cuban artist that has turned his neighborhood into a mosaic wonderland, Gaudi style.

  • 1:00 PM - Enjoy lunch in Playa Baracoa, a small fishing town on the outskirts of Havana, where you will be hosted by a local family.  Delicious food, beautiful views ,and good conversations with the help of your guide as translator.  

  • After lunch,  we will take you back to Habana.  On the way you will pass through Siboney and Mi Laguito, residential neighborhoods where the Cuban government elite lives. There were former residences of the wealthiest business people from the pre-Cuban Revolution time. 

  • 8:00 PM Dinner time.  Tonight you are free to explore the Old Habana for dinner. Our guide will provide suggestions and recommendations as well.  

November 8, Wednesday

  • 7:00 AM - Enjoy homemade breakfast at your boutique Hotel, or near by at one of the new and independent cafes around your accommodation

  • 8:00 AM - Leave for Varadero beach. Make a stop in Matanzas City to learn a bit about its history and culture. Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city (Rio Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar). For this reason, it was referred to as the Venice of Cuba; It was also called The Athens of Cuba for its poets.

  • 11:00 AM Arrive to Varadero Beach, also known as Playa Azul (Blue Beach), the best known beach in Cuba. Its crystalline waters and fine sand extends for more than 20 kilometers in the Península de Hicacos (Hicacos Peninsula). Varadero is also the biggest tourism development resort of Cuba with more than 52 hotels.  Our guide will share with you history and interesting facts of the area, like how it compares to other destinations within Cuba like Viñales.  

  • 1:00 PM Lunch at Mansion de Xanadu. This property has been carefully maintained and restored following its original construction plan dating from 1930, when it was commissioned and built for French American business tycoon Irénée du Pont, chairman at the time of the DuPont Company.

    • NOTE: At this place, payment must be with a credit card.  American issued/linked card will not work.  Irish cards should work. If not, the guide can pay for you, and you pay her directly in cash.  

  • 4:00 PM Drive back to Havana.

  • 8:00 PM Dinner time.  Tonight you are free to explore the Old Habana for dinner. Our guide will provide suggestions and recommendations as well.  

November 9, Thursday

  • 9:00 AM Enjoy homemade breakfast at your boutique Hotel, or near by at one of the new and independent cafes around your accommodation

  • 10:00 AM Today, we have a surprise fo you. Classic convertible tour of neighborhoods in the outskirts of Havana.  This is not only an opportunity to enjoy a ride in a beautiful car, but also a chance to observe and explore former residential neighborhoods that now are in dire shape. You will see the contrast of the restored and non-restored areas of the city. This is where a lot of the working class people of the city live.  A lot of families.  A very unique life style representative of the Habana. Our guide will talk and share about this reality.  

    • I added this ride as a bonus for you. It is a nice experience and I wanted to thank you for trusting me with your trip. I hope you enjoy it. ​

  • 12:00 PM - You will also get to visit the home and studio of Osmeivy Ortgega and Lissandra Ramirez, two Cuban Artists showing us their award-winning prints and ceramic sculptures. They are the perfect couple to talk to about how being an artist is like in Cuba.  Do they get support? Do they get to travel? Can they have their own galleries? etc.  

    • You are welcome to buy art from them if you want.  It is up to you. They are really good, but there is not pressure to buy here or in any other gallery or shop you visit or we take you to.  Nevertheless, Cuban art and artists are appreciated and respected worldwide, we do recommend buying some while you are in Habana :)​

  • 2:00 PM Lunch at El Biky. An example of a successful “MiPyMe” business adventure (which you will be discussing earlier with the Professor Dr. Oscar Fernández.

  • 8:30 PM Farewell dinner at El Cocinero, a stunning rooftop restaurant located in the Vedado neighborhood. Afterwards, head next door to the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, an old oil-factory turned art gallery, club, and music venue. One of Havana’s most vibrant and popular spaces, this eclectic venue will surely leave you amazed. 

  • Tonight you will say goodby to your guide and hostess Ada. 

November 10, Friday

  • 7:00 AM Enjoy homemade breakfast at your boutique Hotel, or near by at one of the new and independent cafes around your accommodation.   

  • 8:00 AM Depart for the Jose Marti Airport for AA flight 1334 (leaves at 11:45AM)

    • You can decide to leave at a different time. Please coordinate with your guide in advance.  Drive from the hotel to the airport is about 30-45min ​

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Additional Information

  • Visa: You will need to buy your Cuba visa at the airport. Please check with your airline.  

  • Money ExchangeYour guide will assist with money exchange as needed, as well as guidance on how to connect to the network  in Cuba.

  • Money: 

    • We recommend to budget about $150 USD per day.  This should be enough for meals, drinks. and tips.

    • Please bring cash as most debit or credit cards don't work in Cuba.

    • Vendors and providers are giving better exchange rates than banks and ATMs.  In some cases the difference is 1 Euro/USD = 120 pesos (Official rate) vs 180 pesos (Rate offered by vendors/service providers)

    • We are currently recommending not to exchange all your cash up front, as more and more restaurants are now accepting USD/Euros as payment.  It is good to have some exchange to use at stores and vendors.

    • Please work with Ada to exchange money as needed. Do not exchange at the airport or at ATMs. Work with your guide. 

  • Network Connectivity:

    • You can't download apps once ini Cuba. Make sure you download all the apps you need (i.e. Whatsapp, La Nave, VPN)  in advance. 

      • La Nave is like the Uber of Cuba. Although Ada will help with this so you don't have to worry about it.   ​

    • You can purchase a SIM card for your phone to access the Cuban ​network.  Ada can help with this.  Note: Not all phones work (Specially iPhones)

    • You should have access to wifi at the hotel.

    • American banks don't let you access their apps while in Cuba.  Please check if your Irish bank will. 

  • Tips, meals, and the meal of your guide (should you choose to invite her to join you) are not included in the cost.  

 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

 

THANK YOU 

Enjoy some photos from previous clients below:

 

Nov 5
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