All Inclusive Cuba Vacations Package | Cuba Travel Trips
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  • qtq80-XZ7t5E
  • canstockphoto3062174
  • canstockphoto9520231
  • canstockphoto3655667
  • canstockphoto4414450
  • canstockphoto8569643
  • canstockphoto10782816
  • canstockphoto15475614
  • canstockphoto15922681
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HOUSTON/CUBA CULTURAL EXCHANGE TOUR

DAY 1 “Hello Havana”

  • Depart Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport every Saturday for direct flight to Havana, Cuba.
  • Meet & greet with guide and driver at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.
  • Guide and driver will accompany you for the duration of your stay.
  • 4:00pm Driving City Tour of Havana, including a drive along the famous Havana “malecon” seawall, Vedado neighborhood, 5th Avenue in the suburb of Miramar, and stops at the Plaza of the Revolution, and Almendares Park. (2-3 hours)
  • Transfer to B&B.
  • Dinner at private restaurant.
  • Live music at El Gato Tuerto.

DAY 2 “Old Havana, Jazz, & Art”

  • Breakfast at B&B.
  • 9:00am Old Havana Encounter, our walking tour through Old Havana, “la Habana Vieja,” and its five main plazas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco, and Plaza del Cristo, with stops at the residence of the colonial era Captain General of the island, the Havana Cathedral, Obispo Street, and the Cuba’s capitol building. You will stop at the L’Antigua Habana book store, right across the street from Sloppy Joe’s, where you just may find a first edition of “The Old Man and the Sea,” or just a simple postcard. Old Havana gives you a taste of the island and will make you feel as if you had travelled back in time. Old Havana has some of the oldest buildings and streets in the Americas, with buildings and structures dating to the 16th century. These ancient buildings still house a significant number of Havana’s inhabitants. Old Havana features the first church built on the island, a street paved with wooden bricks, palatial residences, the hotel where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the beautiful Bacardi building, and the Cuba’s former presidential palace. Some of the notable buildings you will see during this tour include the house built by Ponce de Leon’s grandson, a section of Havana’s original colonial era sewer system, and the beautiful Palacio Viena Hotel, which like many structures in Old Havana has been undergoing a never-ending renovation. Our tour of Old Havana includes stops at Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bars, El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, Old Havana is the largest, oldest, and most authentic colonial area in the western hemisphere. This event is directed by your professional, English speaking guide. (4 hours)
  • Lunch at private restaurant.
  • 2:30pm Jazz Workshop, our Jazz workshop and cultural exchange is presented by a group of world class, contemporary, Cuban musicians led by Jorge Luis Chicoy, and includes Juan Carlos Marin Elosegui, Adel Gonzalez, Omar Gonzalez, Jorge Reyes, Oliver Valdes Rey, Julito Padron, Javier Salva, and more. This music workshop is an incredible experience in which you will be interacting on a one to one basis with some of the best musicians in Cuba today. We only hold this workshop in small group settings of less than ten guests. This workshop covers several topics of music theory, the fusion of American Jazz and Cuban music, and the influence of traditional Cuban music on Cuban Jazz. Typical Cuban instruments are discussed, including the “clave,” the “tres” guitar and bongos. The musicians will usually begin this event with improvised playing, and are open to discuss any topics with our guests. Any visitor to the island who appreciates quality music should definitely not miss this opportunity! This workshop is usually accompanied with a live performance by the participating musicians at a Havana club. The jazz workshop is a 3-hour event.
  • The musicians that participate in this workshop are among the best in Cuba, Jorge Chicoy, Adel Gonzalez, and Julito Padron were all members of Irakera, the legendary Cuban band led by Chucho Valdes. Chicoy has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, John Fadis, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Ferrin, Roberto Fonseca, and Omara Portuondo. Julito Padron was the youngest lead trumpet player in the eighty plus year history of El Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Pineiro, and is one of Cuba’s best trumpet players. Oliver Valdes has shared the stage with many famous international artists, and is the principle drummer for Silvio Rodriguez. Julito Padron, Juan Carlos Marin, and Oliver Valdes are all members of the Cuban Jazz-fusion band Interactivo, and music critics consider Juan Carlos Marin, known as “el Trombon de Santa Amalia,” to be the best trombone player in Cuba!
  • LINKS
en/Wikipedia.org/wiki/Irakere
valdeschucho.com
timba.com/reviews/el-tromb-n-de-santa-amalia-cinquillo-colibri-2013
ecured.cu/Jorge_Luis_Chicoy
Havana-cultura.com/en/music/interactivo musician@allaboutjazz.com/julitopadron
reverbnation.com/olivervaldes
reverbnation.com/adelgonzalezgomez
  • 5:00pm Visit to “La Lavanderia,” the studio and workshop of Cuban painter and sculptor Rafael Perez Alonso. (2 hours)
  • Dinner at private restaurant.
  • 9:00pm Live music and art exposition at La Fabrica de Arte Cubana. Yes, the same place the First Family visited during their trip to Cuba.

DAY 3 “Cigars, Rum, & Revolution”

  • 9:00am Cigar and Rum experience, this is a walking tour that traverses Old Havana, with visits to the Rum Museum, and the Cigar Museum, and stops at a cigar factory and warehouse. The Rum Museum illustrates the history of the sugar industry in Cuba, and includes a replica of a colonial era rum distillery, and a presentation of the culture and tradition of Cuban rum production. The Rum Museum displays contemporary Cuban painter’s works, so you just may see the early works of Cuba’s next Wilfredo Lam. The “Habano” Museum illustrates the history of tobacco cultivation, and cigar making on in Cuba. Guests will have an opportunity to sample both fine Cuban rums and cigars during this event. Depending on schedule you may see a demonstration by a master cigar roller. (3 hours)
  • Lunch at private restaurant.
  • 2:00pm Museum of the Cuban Revolution Tour, the Museum of the Revolution is housed in the former Presidential Palace of Cuba. It is located in Old Havana across from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which exhibits works by Cuban artists. Civilian and military artifacts are on display in the Museum, as are brief written descriptions of the events that led to the overthrow of the Batista regime in 1959. Artifacts from the armed struggle are amongst items on display, and they range from bloody shirts and pistols, to the motor yacht “Granma,” which ferried Fidel Castro and the members of the 26 of July Movement to Cuba from Mexico in 1956. Military vehicles that were used during the fighting in the late 1950’s are on display outside of the Museum, and they range from tank and jeeps, to airplanes and tractors that were turned into armored fighting vehicles. (3 hours)
  • 7:00pm Dinner at private restaurant, with staff and management on hand to answer questions about Cuba’s recently established cooperative businesses.
  • 9:15pm Cabaret show at the world famous Tropicana Cabaret.

DAY 4 “Hello Trinidad”

  • Breakfast at B&B.
  • 9:00am Transfer to Trinidad, and walking tour of this well preserved jewel of the Caribbean’s colonial era. Founded in 1514, Trinidad has Cuba’s best preserved colonial era quarter, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and visits to the Church of the Holy Trinity, the San Francisco Bell Tower, and the town’s main plazas. Trinidad is over five-hundred years old, and is considered Cuba’s best preserved colonial town. Trinidad feels like a living museum. UNESCO declared the town of Trinidad a World Heritage Site in 1988, and its wonderful people set it apart from any other destination in the Caribbean. Many of its narrow streets are paved with the original bricks that are hundreds of years old. Stops include the cities Cathedral, the Palacio Cantero, which houses the City Museum, with stops at the artisanal quarter, the Plaza Mayor, and more. A special experience to a very unique town that visitors to Cuba should not miss! (7 hours)
  • Return to Havana, and dinner at B&B.
  • Live world class Jazz at La Zorra y el Cuervo or La Flauta Magica.

DAY 5 “Art & Dance in Havana”

  • Breakfast at B&B.
  • 9:00am Museum experience, visit to the Havana “Museo de Bellas Atres,” this includes a visit the national Cuban Museum of Art, and the International Museum of Art, both located in old Havana, 4 hours. The national and international branches of the Cuban “Museo de Bellas Artes” features the highest quality artwork on the island, in strikingly different settings. The international branch is housed in the ornate former “Centro Asturiano,” which house a society of Spaniards from the province of Asturias who resided on the island, and is located steps away from the capitol building. The national branch
  • is housed in a strikingly looking modern building, considering that it was built before the revolution in the 1950s.
  • Lunch at private restaurant in Old Havana.
  • 2:00pm Salsa and Rumba dance workshop & lessons, a very entertaining way to learn about the two most popular styles of Cuban dance. Music plays a large part in the lives of most Cubans, and Cuban music has influenced many musical styles around the world. Subjects discussed include “coros de clave, coros de guaguanco,” and instruments such as the “chekere, guiro, cajones,” and “guagua.” The unique sound of Cuban music is a development of the mixture of musical styles from Spain, Africa, and the Middle East. A professional demonstration of both Salsa and Rumba follow the presentation, and guests will then receive personalized dance instructions. This is always held in a small group setting of less than twelve participants, and is very enjoyable way to learn about the roots of Cuba’s music. (4 hours)
  • Dinner at private restaurant.
  • 8:45pm Cannon Blast Ceremony, witness one of the oldest traditions of colonial era Cuba that still takes place, the nine o’clock cannon blast at the San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress. The cannon shot signaled the closing of the city walls during the colonial era.

DAY 6 “Valley of Vinales”

  • 8:00am Transfer to Pinar del Rio’s Valley of Vinales, the tour of the Valley of Vinales is one of the most unique experiences on the island of Cuba. The rock formations that the valley is famous for are only found here, and in southern China. The UNESCO World Heritage site is best seen on horseback, and you will have the choice of either taking a walking tour, a cycling tour, or on horseback. During your day at Vinales you will visit the Mirador de los Jazmines, la Cueva del Indio (Indian’s cave), you will tour a working tobacco farm. You will have time to explore the quaint town of Vinales, and enjoy a personalized tour of the valley that is oriented towards your individual groups wishes. The views along the various routes that traverse the valley are spectacular, and everyone enjoys it in their own way. Lunch at a local restaurant included in this tour. The tour usually ends with a stop at the Sierra de los Organos mural which illustrates the evolution of life in the valley. (8-12 hours)
  • Return to Havana, and dinner at B&B.

DAY 7 “Bye, Cuba”

  • Breakfast at B&B.
  • FREE TIME! Car & driver at your disposition.
  • Transfer to Jose Marti International Airport for return flight Houston.
*Price includes all listed activities, full time professional guide, all transportation, and all meals.
*You will be staying at a Bed & Breakfast, and will be accompanied by a driver and guide during your stay, or when possible an English speaking driver/guide. Transportation will be provided by late model, air conditioned cars, or classic American cars with air conditioning, for groups, transportation will be in late model Peugeot, Citroen, or Ford E250s vans.