Alceu Vezozzo & Friends | Havana: April 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 HAVANA CIGAR SAFARI

Prepared for Alceu Vezozzo & Friends  

April 1 - 7, 2024

Journey Cost: $4,895/pp (includes a $1,000 contribution to the Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation - thank you!)
Deposit Payment: $1,000
(due at the time of registration) 

Balance due 30 days before trip departure.

NOTE: HOTEL NOT INCLUDED IN JOURNEY FEE.

HAVANA | Situated only 90 miles off the shores of the Florida Keys, Havana is one of the most romantic and bustling cities of the Caribbean islands. The Malecón (waterfront) is washed day and night by the Atlantic Ocean's deep blue crushing waves. Next to the crumbling pastel facades, the sidewalks fill with young musicians and artists, and local Cubans on their way to and from work. All over town, you will find amazing small family-run restaurants, and despite the country's limited resources, they are able to provide visitors with some of the most exquisite and creative cuisine of the region. Enjoy music and dance at local bars and clubs along the cobblestone streets in Old Town or at the Jazz and Blues clubs in Havana's Vedado district and Miramar neighborhoods. Meet with a Havana architect, amazing contemporary young painters and sculptors, visit art galleries and museums you will never forget. Don't miss trying the local specialties; Mojitos and frozen daiquiris made with the local Havana Club or Santiago rum! Finally, if you have time and the weather is nice, check out a true Havana treasure, only 45 minutes away, the white sand beach of Santa Maria. 

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

NOTE:
This itinerary is subject to change to take advantage of the serendipity of the moment when we are in Cuba... to meet someone special, to engage in an activity that might occur unexpectedly, or to accommodate circumstances beyond our control. 

Day 1, April 1

Arrival in Havana. Activities will be arranged according to arrival time.

7:30 pm: Welcome dinner at Abel's. The owner of this restaurant was the Public Relations person for the Partagas factory for over 15 years. Abel is a cigar connoisseur and his cigar stock is second to none.

Rum and cigar tasting. Meet with a sommelier and certified Habanos cigar quality control taster and learn about the art and science behind what makes Cuban cigars the best in the world - from seed to smoke through an interactive tasting and pairing.

Day 2, April 2

9:00 am: Visit a cigar factory and cigar shop. Flor de Tabacos de Partagás, was registered in 1845 by Don Jaime Partagás. The original factory is the oldest one in Cuba and it is located in a colonial building on Industria street right behind the Capitol building. From the original Partagas building we can only visit the shop, which is open to the public. The old factory is closed to be refurbished.

12:30 pm: Enjoy lunch at restaurant La Moneda in the Old Town. 

2:00 pm: Walking tour in Old Havana. The tour will take place on foot and we will visit all four squares in the oldest part of the city. Witness the beauty of the historical buildings, sculptures and monuments. We will make a special stop at the cigar lounge of hotel Conde de Villanueva.

6:00 pm. Enjoy an hour-long ride in classic old American cars traveling west down the Malecón sea-front drive, to the famous areas of Miramar-Vedado and passing by some of the luxurious mansions of the 20th Century.

Visit to the Square of the Revolution.

7:00 pm: Dinner at Restaurant La Guarida. Don’t miss the cigar lounge!

10:30 pm: Enjoy a jazz music show at La Zorra y el Cuervo.

Day 3, April 3

9:00 am: Visit to Humidores Habana; a factory and warehouse. These humidors stand several feet tall and can hold hundreds of cigars. The factory has 30 employees and most of the drills and lathes, with old American trademarks like Craftman and DeWalt, date back to pre-Revolutionary days.

José Ernesto Aguilera started Humidores Habana in 1994 and in 2005 he was asked by Habanos S.A., the Cuban cigar monopoly, to build humidors for the Festival del Habano. Over the years they have helped rising more than 3,000,000 USD for the Cuban health care system.

11:00 am: Visit to La Triada, cigar shop in San Carlos de la Cabaña fortress, where you get a chance to visit one of the most famous cigar rollers in the world, Jose Castelar Cairo, locally known as “Cueto”, who once rolled the longest cigar ever made and that can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records.

12:30 pm: Lunch at Restaurant San Cristobal.

Free afternoon.

7:30 pm: Dinner.

Day 4, April 4 

9:00 am: Visit to Vegas Robaina. Vegas Robaina cigar brand was created in 1997 and is named after Don Alejandro Robaina, one of the best tobacco growers in Cuba. Almost one third of the "capa exportable" that is harvested in Pinar del Rio province comes from Vegas Robaina. Since 1845, and for more than three generations, the Robaina family has been devoted to grow and to take care of the best tobacco leaf in the world.

12:30 pm: Lunch at Vegas Robaina.

Afternoon return to Havana to visit Cuban American photographer Roberto Salas in his Miramar home. When he was a teenager he came back to Cuba from NY with his father, and great photographer, Osvaldo Salas, to work as a reporter for a newspaper in Havana right after the Revolution in 1959. He traveled abroad with Fidel Castro and took iconic photos of all Cuban leaders. He was also a war correspondent in Vietnam. Roberto is still making photos and selling them. His photo series on tobacco is a must!

7:00 pm: Dinner at Al Carbon Restaurant and followed by an outing to Fabrica de Arte Cubano- FAC.

Day 5, April 5
9:00 am:
After breakfast, drive to visit a local community garden and Cafe Ajiaco for a Cuban cooking experience (lunch included here!). After lunch, we drive to visit Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway's primary residence from 1939 to 1960 for a guided tour. This is where Hemingway penned much of his classic "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Top off the visit with a “Hemingway Happy Hour”, featuring one of his favorite cocktails!

Dinner and evening outing on your own in the Old Town.

Day 6, April 6
Free day to explore Havana or check out a true Havana treasure, only 45 minutes away, the white sand beaches of Santa Maria. Lunch on the beach.

7:00 pm: Farewell dinner at Cha Cha Cha.

10:00 pm: Enjoy Cabaret Tropicana show - a Las Vegas type-show since 1939.

Day 7, April 7
Following breakfast, we bid Cuba farewell as we transfer to the airport for our flights back home. 

INCLUDED: Custom itinerary; in-country transportation per itinerary destinations; full breakfast daily, plus other meals listed on itinerary; Cuban English-speaking local guide; all entrance fees on itinerary; preparation materials; tips for included meals on itinerary; bottled water.

NOT INCLUDED: Accommodation/hotel (to be booked by client); international airfare to and from Cuba; Cuba Tourist Visa/Entry Card; medical insurance while in Cuba; meals not on itinerary; extra alcoholic drinks; excursions not on the itinerary; tips for local guide and driver (optional, yet customary); travel cancellation and evacuation insurance (strongly recommended, info will be sent upon registration).

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change to take advantage of the serendipity of the moment when we are in Cuba... to meet someone special, to engage in an activity that might occur unexpectedly, or to accommodate circumstances beyond our control. 

TRAVEL PROTECTION: Cross Cultural Journeys is not responsible for cancellation expenses that you might incur before or during our trip.  You may want to check first to see if your current insurance policy covers travel abroad, but we have found that most do not. We strongly encourage considering taking out travel interruption and evacuation insurance to cover any emergencies abroad such as evacuation, or reimbursement for cancellation due to your own illness or an illness in your family. Some plans require you to take out this insurance within 21 days of your deposit to cover pre-existing conditions. CCJ has partnered with TravelSafe. You can visit our online portal to explore different plans. We encourage you to choose a plan covers travel interruption before you depart, as well as during the trip. CCJ is not responsible for events beyond our control in this regard.
Please visit the Cross Cultural Journeys - TravelSafe online portal to find a plan that works for you. You can also call TravelSafe directly at 1-800-523-8020. Make sure you mention that Cross Cultural Journeys is your tour operator to receive our special rates.
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