Guernica in Cuba – October 21-28, 2017

Photo by Eddie McShane

Dates October 22 to 28, 2017.
Price $4685/$4985 per person for double/single occupancy (a portion of which is fully tax-deductible).

Inclusions
– Five nights at the four-star NH Capri Hotel de Habana.
– Two nights at a private guesthouse in Trinidad.
– Cuban visa.
– All ground transportation within Cuba.
– Guided tours, seminars, lectures, entrance to all museums and attractions, several private music concerts and dance performances.
– Most meals, including libations.

To join: Guernica in Cuba registration form.

Questions? Get in touch with Charles Bittner at charles@guernicamag.com or +1 (617) 833 1435.

Travel itinerary 

Saturday, Oct 21

Midday                
Arrive in Havana

3 pm                      
Check-in at the hotel

5 pm                       
Socio-economic discussion with urban planner Miguel Coyula, whose presentation will touch on housing, infrastructure, investment and restoration programs. It’s bound to leave you with a better understanding of why Havana looks the way it does today and possibilities moving forward.

7 pm                       
Enjoy a traditional Cuban meal overlooking the Straits of Florida at the Hotel Nacional. Tasty Cuban food served family style with a great view of the Havana sea wall and the old Spanish fortress. The setting brings many back to the 1950s, when the mafia held its annual meetings at this historic hotel.

Sunday, Oct 22

9 am                       
Morning discussion on Cuban culture and literature with Susana Haug, professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Havana.

10:30 am             
Guided walking tour of the Old City. Wander through the Plaza de Armas, a scenic tree-lined plaza formerly at the center of influence in Cuba. It is surrounded by many of the most historic structures in Havana as well as important monuments. See the Plaza de San Francisco, a cobbled plaza surrounded by buildings dating from the 18th century, dominated by the baroque Iglesia and Convento de San Francisco dating from 1719. Visit the Plaza Vieja, surrounded by sumptuous houses of the Havana aristocracy from the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit Plaza de la Catedral and the Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana.

12:30 pm             
Lunch at Doña Eutimia paladar. Famous for its ropa vieja and frozen mojitos, this cozy paladar made Newsweek Magazine’s top 100 restaurants in the world in 2012. The restaurant is located in the beautiful Cathedral Square is in Old Havana.

2:30 pm                
Private performance and lecture on Cuban Music at Bar Asturias by Prof. Alberto Faya who has been working as a musician, professor, and researcher within the Cuban musical world for over twenty years. He will be joined by a quartet of some of the finest young jazz musicians in Cuba who will take us on a lively journey through the country’s music history.

4:30 pm                
Discussion with the Reina y Real, a female hip hop/jazz duo. The group’s music focuses on breaking down stereotypes in Cuban society, including machismo, healthy relationships, gender relations and race. They will share info about their interesting musical journey and insight into the challenges and opportunities young Cubans face.

Evening Free

Photo by Eddie McShane

Monday, Oct 23

9 am                       
Morning discussion with Carlos Alzugaray
, former Cuban diplomat and expert on U.S.-Cuba relations, to learn about the bilateral relationship and Cuban foreign policy.

11 am                    
Visit to La Finca Vigía
. Formerly the home of Ernest Hemingway, today it still houses his expansive collection of books. It was here where he wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The beautiful grounds and bizarre tales from Hemingway’s many years in Cuba are captivating.

12:30 pm                
Lunch at Starbien restaurant, located in a two-story colonial house in Vedado neighborhood.

2 pm                       
Visit a centuries-old home in the Vedado neighborhood, where we’ll receive a tour by the owner.

3 pm                       
Visit to the home and studio of plastic artist Fuster, who has converted his neighborhood into an art project featuring murals, plastic art and other designs.

4:30 pm                
Enjoy a private performance by the world-renowned Habana Compás Dance Company, which encompasses the rich rhythm and flow of the island, performing traditional and modern dances born from their Spanish, Cuban and Afro-Cuban heritage.

Evening free

Tuesday, Oct 24

9 am                       
Depart for Cienfuegos, one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities, which is located approximately three and a half hours from Havana. Cienfuegos, referred to as the “Pearl of the South,” is one of Cuba’s only cities to display French and Spanish architecture. Housed on one of the country’s largest Bays, the city offers beautiful ocean front landscapes, and is deeply rich in culture.

12:30 pm                
Lunch at las Mamparas, a family run paladar. Quick and simple, the food is as extraordinary as the family that operates it.

2 pm                       
Tour of Cienfuegos by the City Historian’s Office, including visits to the main square, the beautiful Palacio Del Valle and Punta Gorda.

3:30 pm                
Music and discussion with the local chapter of UNEAC, the National Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba, featuring an opportunity to meet local artists.

4:30 pm               
Continue on to Trinidad, a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its cobble stoned streets, pastel colored homes and small-town feel.

6 pm                       
Check-in at bed and breakfasts, known as “casas particulares,” or “private homes.” Since the 1990s Cuban families have been permitted to rent rooms out of their family homes to foreigners. Featuring comfortable accommodations and ample privacy, it’s a great way to interact with everyday Cubans.

8 pm                       
Enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by the hosts of your guest house (Casa Particular).

Wednesday, Oct 25

9 am                       
City tour with a local architect, historian and restoration specialist, who will provide an overview of the city’s history from an architectural, economic and infrastructural point of view.

11 am                    
Visit to the home of Carlos Mata, “the painter of the night,” who collects and restores antiques. Mr. Mata will discuss his passion for antiques and show you part of his collection, as well as his superb artwork.

Afternoon and evening free to explore Trinidad or the nearby Playa Ancon.

Thursday, Oct 26

Morning free 

1 pm                                          
Check-out of casas and return to Havana.

5:30 pm                
Check-in at hotel

7:30 pm                
Spend the evening at Café Madrigal with Frank Delgado, renowned singer and songwriter, for a discussion about the nueva trova movement in Cuba, followed by a musical performance. Café Madrigal, owned and run by film director Rafael Rosales, is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion with the walls lined with captivating artwork. Enjoy tasty tapas and cocktails.

Friday, Oct 27

9 am                        
Discussion with Marta Nunez
, prominent Cuban sociologist, about the Cuban education system and her recent research on how current economic reforms are affecting women in Cuba. At the hotel

10:30 am             
Visit to the home and studio of a family of artists, at AltaMira art loft.
A few years ago, Edel Bordón and his family embarked on a journey to establish an art collective in their apartment building. Spearheaded by his wife Yamilé Pardo, the family created the AltaMira art space, which features an exhibition and workspace off of the main lobby, collaborations with neighbors who rent rooms, and their penthouse apartment, where they receive guests and artists from all over the world.

12:30 pm             
Lunch at Paladar San Cristobal. Located in the heart of Central Havana, this paladar has a reputation of excellence in both atmosphere and local cuisine. Enjoy great food while the local takes you back to the 1940s and 50s.

2:30 pm                
Visit to the Museum of Cuban Art. We will be accompanied by Nelson Herrera, an art historian, who will provide an overview of Cuban art and artists over the last 4 centuries.

Free time

7:30 pm                
Farewell dinner at Paladar Atelier. This restaurant is equally known for its atmosphere and exquisite cuisine. The lighting and textures of the house, which was home to a pre-revolutionary senator, coupled with walls adorned in modern art, create a cozy, but modern setting.

Saturday, Oct 28

Afternoon                         
Check-out and depart for airport.

Photo by Eddie McShane