La Habana

Colonial Havana.

Duration: 3 hours with guide service.

On this tour, discover the history behind the squares, buildings and streets of the oldest part of the city. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, Old Havana is a mixture of architectural styles ranging from colonial times to the 1940s, and despite the progress of the restoration project of the Office of the Historian, there is still much to do and you will be surprised by the contrast between beautifully rescued buildings and those waiting their turn.

It is an area to walk through: the most touristic area with its squares, museums and beautiful colonial palaces and also its most residential and decadent area that make it lively and interesting, and take it away from being just a City-Museum.

Day to day life:

Duration: 5 hours with guide service and lunch.

This is the opportunity to witness the daily life of Cubans, especially the “ordinary Cuban” and try to understand our life style and ways of thinking and acting.

With our guide, you will visit the different markets that we use in our day by day: fruit, vegetable and meat market, clothing, footwear and food stores in Cuban pesos and freely convertible currency (MLC), private shops and businesses, the coupons store, the “tables” that offer all kinds of products, how the black market works, transportation, education, health … in short, everything you can assimilate from our day by day.

And to finish, enjoy a delicious lunch in a family home. It is a day to learn that despite difficulties, we always find a way to smile.

Modern Havana.

Duration: 3 hours with guide service, convertible car and cocktail.

Although it is not as modern as other cities in Latin America and the world, the western part of Havana does offer an architectural contrast compared to Old Havana. And there is no better way to admire this contrast than to drive through its streets and wide avenues in a colorful convertible classic car.

During 3 hours, you will be able to admire great constructions from the beginning and the middle of the 20th century such as the Capitol building, the Great Theater of Havana, the National Hotel, the FOCSA that in its time was the tallest concrete building in the world, the Revolution Square, as well as stately and traditional neighborhoods such as China town, Vedado and Miramar. The Metropolitan Forest is also part of this wonderful tour.

Finish with a cocktail at the National Hotel, where you will learn about the Havana nights of the 50s and their connection with the casinos and the American mafia. From its garden, enjoy the view of the city and its most famous avenue: the Malecón, also known as the “Sofa of Havana”.

Cuban Art.

Duration: 5 hours with guide service, taxi and entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts.

With our Art-Traces team, we offers the unique possibility of getting to know Cuban contemporary art at first hand through the display of art and intimate exchange of deas with the artists themselves and local art curators in the artists’ own studios.

With Art-Traces we also organize city tours to enjoy the different periods of Havana architecture.and if requested in advance, we can organize art- tours on other rovinces of the island According to journalist Gavin McOwan who took this tour:

“I learned more about modern Cuba from these artists in one day than I did in the rest of my two-week trip.”

—The Guardian, January 26, 2008

With our specialized guide, visit the National Museum of Fine Arts to learn about the beginnings and development of the plastic arts in Cuba, from colonial times to the present. Admire the talent of established Cuban artists such as Víctor Manuel, Wilfredo Lam, Amelia Peláez, Carlos Enríquez and many more, to later discover new talents by visiting 3 studios depending on your interest: painting, photography, ceramics, design, abstract art, street art, Afro-Cuban, sculpture …

Hemingway's presence.

Duration: 4 hours with guide, taxi and daiquiri service.

Discover the mark left in Havana by this great North American writer whose bond with Cuba spanned 20 years. Visit the small but cozy room of the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Old Havana, where he regularly stayed; and also his magnificent house Finca Vigía on the outskirts of the city. His closest relationship was always with the fishermen of Villa Cojimar, where his boat El Pilar was hulling and where he met his captain Gregorio Fuentes. This experienced fisherman inspired “The old man and the sea”, the book which made Hemingway to win the Nobel Prize in 1954. In Cojimar, you will appreciate the humble but very sincere tribute that the fishermen and residents of the town dedicated to him after his death in 1961.

Finish the tour by toasting in his honor with a daiquiri at his favorite bar in Havana, El Floridita.

Las Terrazas.

Duration: All day with guide service, taxi and lunch.

The rural community Las Terrazas is located approximately 80 km west of Havana within the Sierra del Rosario in the Province of Artemisa.

In its beginnings this area was known for its coffee plantations and later, the production of charcoal. The latter was the cause of the deforestation that the entire area suffered until the middle of the 20th century when the government decided to promote the settlement of new families, the improvement of their living conditions and make them part of the community project focused mainly on reforesting all the damaged land by planting thousands of trees using the terraces system, that’s why the name of the area.

The change has been remarkable and in 1985, the Sierra del Rosario It was declared a Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO.

It is an excursion to enjoy nature, the San Juan lake views, to learn about the history and development of its community of about 1,000 inhabitants, and taste the local coffee at Café de María. You will also enjoy a delicious Cuban lunch and have time for a dip in the San Juan River before returning to Havana.

Tobacco and Viñales:

Duration: All day with guide service, taxi and lunch.

The most complete way to learn about the tradition of tobacco cultivation and production in Cuba is by taking an excursion to the colorful town of Viñales, located about 172km west of Havana. It is also the opportunity to learn about the development of agriculture in Cuba as well as the life and work of peasants.

On the way to Viñales, you will visit a tobacco plantation where, in addition to learning about the cultivation, you will taste three flavors of Cuba: coffee, rum and handmade cigar. You can take photos of the cigar roller.

Once in Viñales, you can enjoy the wonderful views of the Valley from Los Jazmines Viewpoint, visit the Indian Cave and finish with a delicious typical Cuban lunch at private restaurant Bella Vista, where La Negra opens the doors of her kitchen full of aromas and “homemade” flavors.

In the afternoon, relax and unwind during the trip back to Havana.

And for your free time....

  • Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad o de los Capitanes Generales): Located in a majestic late 18th century colonial construction in the Arms Square, this place was originally the residence of the Spanish Governors of the Island and later the First Presidential Palace. When visiting it, you will have access to the colonial history of Cuba through a very interesting collection that includes the first Cuban flag, personal objects of our heroes of the Wars of Independence as well as French, German and English porcelains that show the opulence of the time. 

  • Colonial Art Museum (Museo de Arte Colonial): Beautiful colonial house from the late seventeenth century in a privileged location in the Cathedral Square that shows the distribution and use of the rooms in colonial times. You will be able to admire furniture, porcelain, tableware and a beautiful collection of stained glass windows.

  • Rum Museum (Museo del Ron) Fun opportunity to learn about the process of making Cuban rum through a very attractive guided tour. End the tour with a sip of rum and participate in the monthly raffle! Good luck!

  • Cigar Factory (Fábrica de Tabacos): Take this opportunity to learn more about the production and tradition of cigar rolling in Cuba on a large scale in a guided tour of the Partagás, Romeo y Julieta or La Corona Tobacco Factory. Being all state work centers, photos are not allowed.

  • Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolución): If you are interested in learning about the before and after of the revolutionary process led by Fidel Castro, visit this beautiful building from 1920, originally built to be the Presidential Palace.

  • Capitol Building(El Capitolio): Inaugurated in 1929, this great building on Paseo del Prado, was the seat of Congress for 30 years, until the revolutionary triumph in 1959. Its construction is a compendium of contributions from various architects, artists, engineers, marbles, carpenters not only Cuban but also Italian and French. Inside it houses the third tallest indoor statue in the world as well as some of the original furniture. Admire the internal grandeur of this imposing construction with a guided tour through its halls steeped in history. 
  • Museum of Decorative Arts(Museo de artes Decorativas): Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful and famous mansions in Cuba from before 1959, located in the elegant neighborhood of El Vedado. Its former owners, one of the wealthiest families in Havana, abandoned it after the triumph of the Revolution, to settle in the United States and the Cuban government transformed it into a museum. Enjoy its amazing decorative collection as well as the design of its living rooms, furniture and marble floors.                                                 
  • Friendship House (Casa de la Amistad): Very close to the Museum of Decorative Arts, the former house of Catalina Lasa, is another of the mansions of El Vedado that you should not miss. Both the house and the pantheon where the remains of its owner rest, are the fruit of a movie love story starring this couple from Havana’s high society: Catalina Lasa and Pedro Baró. Learn more about its history by visiting the magnificent Art Deco rooms and gardens.                                                                             
  • El Malecón: And there is no better way to appreciate the atmosphere of this capital than walking along the Malecón, the sofa of Havana!! We recommend you to do it early in the morning or at sunset so that the heat does not punish you and you can calmly enjoy this unique walk!                                      

Havana at night:

  • Cannon Firing Ceremony (El Cañonazo)Enjoy the best views of the city and witness of one of the oldest traditions of Havana: the Cannon shot at 9pm. Just at that time, every night a cannon shot is fired from the fortress of San Carlos de La Cabaña, a tradition that lasts since colonial times to announce this way the closing of the city gates and the entrance to the Bay. The ceremony begins at 8.45 pm and many people always come so we recommend you to go earlier.

 You can access the fortress by taxi through the Tunnel under the Havana harbor, a marvel of Cuban engineering  built in 1958.

    Also, if you come during summer time and want to explore a little more, you can take the Ferry to Casablanca earlier and  climb to the statue of Jesus Christ of Havana. From there you will enjoy a spectacular view and you can walk to the fortress, in time for the Ceremony.

Buena Vista Social Club Show:

This show is the best option to enjoy good traditional Cuban music. Although it no longer works like the original club, many of its musicians are still part of younger bands with same quality in their interpretations.

We recommend you to have fun and enjoy them at the Café Taberna in Old Havana or in the 1930 Ball Room of the National Hotel.

You can book through our representative or local guide.

  • Parisien and Tropicana:

Both are are grand shows full of color, dance and music!!

The first is indoors at the Cabaret Parisien of the Hotel Nacional and combines dances and music that represent the Spanish and African influence in our history.

Tropicana is a larger-scale outdoor production, “a paradise under the stars”, and its show traces the history of Cuba through its dances and music. It also features high-quality performances by singers and varieties.

You can book through our representative or local guide.

  • Jazz and FAC: Fabrica de Arte.

If you are a jazz lover or want to meet Cuban musicians from diverse styles, you cannot miss the Jazz Club La zorra y el cuervo, located in the basement of a building on Calle 23, in the true style of underground New York jazz clubs.

The Art Factory (FAC) on the other hand, is a great artistic project created in 2015 to promote the artistic work of the youngest local artists. Located in an old cooking oil factory, in its large spaces it combines visual arts with music, bars and restaurants. Everything of the best quality.

Both places are very popular. You may have to queue to enter, something very normal for Cubans as you have already learned!

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