Music, Dance, Arts, and Culture Trip to Cuba February 23-28, 2021
All inclusive experience covering flights, meals, entertainment, and more | Lodging at seaside casa | Private visits with renowned artists in their home studios | Walking tour through Old Havana | Salsa lesson with professional dancers | Live music and dance shows | Horseback riding or hiking through the lush region of Viñales | Caribbean cuisine from renowned chefs | Interaction with Cuban creative artists, musicians, and others
Day One - Travel To Cuba
Journey from your U.S. home city to Cuba's José Martí International Airport. Take in the magical evening lights of Havana as you head to your casa to settle in and rest up for the week of adventures to come.
Day Two - Old Havana, A World Treasure
Learn about the city’s storied past from a top Cuban historian, then head off to explore Old Havana itself. See the architectural gems that echo they city's 500 years of history. Visit with Cubans who make their home in this living museum. Watch a salsa dance demo then practice your own moves by learning from Havana pros. End the day with an open-air meal at one of Havana's hippest new restaurants.
Day Three - Cultural Neighborhoods
Walk through Havana's soulful neighborhood of Centro and enjoy a live rumba and traditional creole lunch. Step into one of Cuba's oldest recording studios (we might catch a session in progress!) then expect color and wonder with a visit to the home studio of a well-known Cuban visual artist. The day wraps up overlooking Havana's harbor and attending the ‘closing of the gates’ ceremony, a tradition since colonial times in Cuba.
Day Four - Caribbean Music and Dance
Learn about the melodies and rhythms that form the mosaic of Cuban music with a renowned musicologist. Access a music rehearsal by an elite Cuban ensemble before strolling through the aisles of Havana's largest artisan market. Explore on your own before an early evening meet up at at a hidden club with live music and dancing. The day ends with an unforgettable rooftop meal at one of Cuba's best restaurants.
Day Five - Western Cuba's Stunning Beauty
Embark on an overnight trip to Western Cuba to see the incredible region of Viñales. Visit with Cuban tobacco farmers, hike through lush green valleys, or even try a horseback ride through the breathtaking geography. Later there will be time to enjoy the small town's rustic nightlife or rest and recover at our countryside casa.
Day Six - Journey Back to Havana
Stops along the way back to Havana include include Gaudi-inspired ‘Fusterlandia,' a multi-installation artistic wonderland created by artist José Fustar. Once back at your Havana, take the afternoon for a siesta or further explore the surrounding neighborhoods. Regroup in the early evening at an outdoor venue where live bands play under the stars while Cubans of all ages smile, spin, and salsa the night away.
Day Seven : Cultural Icons of the Past and Future
Begin the day with exceptional access to a midmorning rehearsal by one of Havana's leading dance companies. Then visit Ernest Hemingway's home just outside the city limits. After some free time back in town, regroup to spend an evening at a cutting-edge gallery and performance center. There, take in the best of modern Cuban music, dance and art. Enjoy the venue's restaurant, offering a fun and inventive take on contemporary Cuban cuisine.
Day Eight: Young Artists and Farewell Fiesta
Walk through an inspiring community arts project that brings together professional artists and musicians who are working with Cuban youth. There is time to revisit some of your favorite spots on your own before heading back to the casa for an amazing farewell fiesta with all of our Cuban friends and connections from the week. With the sun setting, enjoy a ride through Havana in a 1950's classic convertible. Live music and local delicacies ends the last evening in Havana.