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New Year’s Eve in Havana – Itinerary

1 DAY - Arrival in Havana – December 28, 2018

Bienvenidos! Upon arrival, transfer to our elegant hotel in the oceanfront Vedado district, considered the Beverly Hills of Havana. We will have a brief meeting and coffee break. Welcome-to-Cuba dinner at a privately-owned restaurant. (D)

2 DAY - Havana – December 29 2018

After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating guided walk through Old Havana to admire the ongoing restoration transforming this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the old city plazas, gleaming colonial places, the magnificent Capitolio and Plaza Vieja, with some of Havana’s finest vitrales (stained-glass windows). Visit the four main plazas. After lunch, continue to explore Old Havana. Visit the Rum Museum, one of Cuba’s image makers, and see the enchanting colonial palaces in the old city center. Perhaps a visit to a cigar factory. Dinner at a privately-owned restaurant. (BLD)

3 DAY - Havana – December 30, 2018

This morning visit Finca Vigia “Lookout Farm” in San Francisco de Paula. This was Ernest Hemingway’s winter home from 1939 to 1960. See the author’s yacht “El Pilar,” his 9,000-volume library, and the typewriter on which he wrote some of his greatest works. Learn about his life here during a talk with a docent. After lunch, visit the fishing community of Cojimar, just a few minutes east of Havana. This picturesque fishing village is where Hemingway docked El Pilar, and where one of his most famous works, The Old Man and the Sea, was set. The old man in the story was reputedly his guide, Gregorio Fuentes, a Cojimar local. Next, drive to the village of Jaimanitas to visit the home, studio, and community art project of José Rodríguez Fuster. He is the native Cuban artist specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving, and graphic design who has transformed his home and the adjoining area. It is known to many as Fusterlandia, one of the most interesting art projects in the country.
Dinner at a privately-owned restaurant. (BLD)

4 DAY - Havana - December 31, 2018

Today, meet with members of the Havana Compas Dance Company which combines the essence of Spanish dance with Afro-Cuban rhythms using drumsticks, castanets, heels, claves, chequeres, and percussion chairs. Compare notes on the performing arts in Cuba and the U.S. Next, we visit the Muraleando Art Project where Cuban and international artists have used almost every available wall as canvas for hundreds of beautiful painted murals. In 2003, under the direction of Manuel Diaz Baldrich, it developed into an art collective, providing workshops in all forms of art including ceramics, theater, dancing and music. After lunch, travel to the port of Havana for a visit to the famous Almacenes de San Jose crafts market. This harborside warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana. After a painstaking restoration process of almost three years, the huge edifice is now the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes San José. Although conceived as a cultural center with art exhibitions, theatrical performances, and recreational activities, today, its most significant offering is undoubtedly the handicrafts on sale. Free time to enjoy the market and interact with the artisans. Possible souvenirs include paintings, guayabera shirts, woodwork, leather items, and jewelry. Enjoy free time in Havana. Tonight, join the city as we ring in the New Year at a special party in Havana. (BLD)

5 DAY - Depart Havana – January 1, 2019

After breakfast, transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport for your departing flight. (B)