This trip will be a five days discovery of the best highlights of Havana and a day tour to the famous Varadero Beach.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
- Dates & Pricing
First, Best of Havana and Varadero Group Tour will explore the beauty of Old Havana heritage sites and connect you to the city’s friendly people. Reminisce the 50’s while riding in a beautiful classical car. Then, tour the newly renovated, Capitol Building and stroll the four colonial squares. Witness the Hemingway experience in Havana. For example, we will stop by one of his favorite bars, El Floridita. One of my favorite activities, we will treat our guests to a delicious welcome dinner at the best restaurant in Havana, Chef’s Ivan El Carbon Restaurant.
The Varadero beach is famous for its crystal, shallow waters and powdered white sand. The ride will take about two hours. On the way to Varadero, we will stop at the impressive Bacunayagua look out point, and take in a panoramic view of the Matanzas province. Once in Varadero, delight on lunch at a private restaurant, and connect with local vendors. Then, enjoy the Varadero beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The optional Cabaret Parisien Dinner/Show will delight you with an authentic Cuban show. The “Cubano, Cubano” plot follows the birth of the Cuban culture, from its Indian, African, and Spanish roots. The music is lively, the customs are colorful and the energy of the performers are impressive. This will be a memorable event to savor and share with your friends and family. Havana, forbidden no more to Americans!
Day 1 - Travel to Havana, Welcome Dinner, Cannon Fire
Day 2 - Capitol Building & Old Havana Tour
Day 3 - The Hemingway Experience. The Optional Cabaret Parisien Dinner/Show
Day 4 - Varadero Beach Day Tour With Lunch
Day 5 - Goodbye Havana, Cuba!
Arrive in Havana/Check in Accommodations
Our Letty's Cuba driver and English speaking guide will welcome the group at Jose Marti International Airport. On your way to your accommodations, the Ultimate Havana Weekend Tour starts with a panoramic view of Plaza of the Revolution, Old Havana and Vedado. Then, our friendly guide will help you with the check in process, and allow you to take time to freshen up. Note: staying at a Bed & Breakfast is a great way to support the Cuban people!
Day 1 - Evening
Ivan's El Carbon Restaurant, will pamper our senses with an outstanding, family style welcome dinner. For example, the menu includes typical Cuban dishes like "arroz con pollo" and "masitas de cerdo." Chef Ivan uses new recipe ideas from his travels around the world to create his flavorful "Cuban fusion" cuisine. Join the list of many happy clients including the King of Spain, Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Penelope Cruz and others!
Day 1 - Evening
Cannon Fire Ceremony
Conclude your first evening in Havana by taking a drive to the fairgrounds of Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabaña. An spectacular sunset and view of the city awaits you. Meet tourists and locals who visit the fort to witness the unique tradition of the Cannon Fire Ceremony. Since the 1700's, this event takes place at 9 pm, signifying the closing of the city doors. Furthermore, you may shop for souvenirs at the end of the event
Day 2 - Morning
Capitol Building Tour
Our Old Havana adventure starts today with a tour of the incomparable Capitolio Nacional. This is Havana's most ambitious and grandiose building. The outside renovation project was recently completed. The gold plated copula shines with the island's sun, a truly magnificent site. The main doors open into the Room of the Lost Steps, so named because of its unusual acoustics. The lobby displays the impressive statue of La República, the third largest indoor statue in the world stands 17.6m tall. The tour continues to the palatial hallways, the chamber of representatives and the newly established Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Day 2 - Morning
Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado, is a wonderful promenade in Havana, near the old city wall, and the division between Centro Habana and Old Havana. Local artists, vendors and musicians mingle there during the day. The Hotel Paseo del Prado is the newest addition of various luxury hotels, with an splendid view of the Havana Bay and the Morro Castle.
Day 2 - Afternoon
Lunch at La Vitrola Restaurant (meal not included)
We will have lunch (cost not included) at La Vitrola Restaurant in Plaza Vieja. The menu offers a variety of Caribbean and American cuisine, in a relaxed atmosphere. Continue your discovery of the Old World charm of Old Havana with a relaxing walk of the colonial squares.
Day 2 - Afternoon
Walking Tour of Colonial Plazas
First, the 16th-century Plaza Vieja was restored in the 1980's, when Old Havana was listed by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage site. The buildings surrounding the plaza are elegant colonial residences, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Second, Plaza de San Francisco de Asís was founded in 1628. Its main attraction is the former Convento de San Francisco de Asís, which is home to classical concerns today. Third, laid out in the 1520's, Plaza de Armas features include El Templete, Castillo de la Fuerza Real, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes park, Museum of the Capitanes Generales, and five stars Hotel Santa Isabel, among new restaurants and second hand book vendors. Lastly, the Cathedral of Havana dominates the square and it is surrounded by colonial residences renovated into restaurants like El Patio and La Moneda Cubana. Moreover, on El Patio's side street, thousands of tourists visit La Bodeguita del Medio Bar, made famous by writer Ernest Hemingway.
Day 3 - Morning
Hemingway's Finca Vigia Museum
We will explore Finca Vigia, writer Ernest Hemingway's home in the countryside of San Francisco de Paula, which was constructed in 1886. The writing of his famous "The Old Man and the Sea" took place at this residence. Like Hemingway's home in Key West, Finca Vigia is now a museum.
Day 3 - Noon
Lunch at Castropol Restaurant (meal not included)
Lunch will be at oceanfront Association Austariana's Castropol Restaurant, a great place to savor the ocean and the sights of classic cars. Menu includes Spanish and international dishes.
Day 3 - Afternoon
El Floridita & Obispo Boulevard
Calle Obispo is a lively street, closed to traffic with hundreds of bars and shops on both sides. El Floridita, on of Hemingway's favorite, features their famous daiquiris, and a life size statue of the writer. Hemingway wrote many of his novels at Hotel Ambos Mundos, located at one end of the boulevard. Indeed, this is another opportunity to visit with local vendors and bar workers and learn about work life in Havana.
Day 3 - Afternoon
Almacenes San Jose Souvenir Shopping
We will end this day tour with a visit to the Almacenes San Jose at port. The place is the largest and diversified souvenir market in Havana. You will find leather items, handbags, wallets, costume jewelry; t-shirt, paintings, ceramic items, wood bats and sculptures, and beautifully carved humidors. In fact, there is something for everyone!
Day 3 - Evening
Cabaret Parisien Dinner/Show (Optional Add On)
This last night in Havana will be perfect for the optional, Cabaret Parisien Dinner & "Cubano, Cubano" Show! Also, you can practice salsa steps with the performers at the end of the show. Transportation is included. A delightful way to complete this authentic Cuban experience!
Day 4 - Day Tour
Varadero is one of Cuba's jewels, a charming town known for its powder white sand beaches and laid-back atmosphere. The ride will take about two hours. On the way to Varadero, we will stop at the impressive Bacunayagua look out point, and take in a panoramic view of the Matanzas province. Once in Varadero, delight on lunch at a local, private restaurant. Then, enjoy the Varadero beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Last, visit the town and connect with local vendors. Return to Havana in the late afternoon.
Until next time, Cuba!
This Ultimate Havana Weekend Tour has reached its end. Thanks for traveling with Letty’s Cuba Travel and Tours. We hope that your experience was amazing! Our friendly driver will transfer you to Jose Marti airport. Please be aware that check in is two and a half hours prior to departure time. Until next time!
- Tourist Visa
- Lodging at Bed & Breakfast (for hotel, please request a quote)
- Airport Transfers
- Classic Car Transport
- English Speaking Guide
- Welcome Lunch at Chef Ivan’s El Carbon
- Entrance to Cannon Fire Ceremony
- Entrance to Finca Vigia
- Entrance to Capitol Building
- Day Tour to Varadero Beach & Lunch
- Airfare (which also includes primary medical insurance); we may quote
- Lodging at hotel (please request a quote)
- Lunch (except at Varadero)
- Dinner (except for the Welcome Dinner at Chef’s Ivan’s El Carbon)
- Tips (except for the Welcome Dinner at Chef’s Ivan’s El Carbon)
- Travel insurance (in case of hurricane or other non-foreseeable circumstance)
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