August 14, 2015

Weekend Sojourn Elite

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Comfort and convenience go a long way. Created for the traveler who wants to waste no time diving into the culture of Cuba for an in-depth taste of the visual and performing arts that this island has to offer, you will stay at one of Havana’s recently restored classic mid-century modern hotels, nestled in the cultural heart of bustling Havana. This famous sky-rise hotel with rooftop pool was featured in the opening scenes of Carol Reed's film "Our Man in Havana" and Mikhail Kalatozov's "I Am Cuba". Unlike some tours, day one of our trip actually starts in Havana, where impactful experiences begin after check-in. The rest of our trip will bring us through the music-filled streets of Havana Vieja, through the history of Cuban art and it’s political struggles, and into the vibrant hills of Cuba’s tobacco-growing region to learn about production of Cuba’s finest cigars. We will experience the finest of Cuba’s culinary delights, from farm-to-table, to Cuba’s most renowned new urban restaurants. This is certainly a bucket-list trip, and you will experience it with the utmost comfort.

We will personalize each trip itinerary based on how you answer your Participant Information Form.  Additionally, know that while we do our best to adhere to our planned itineraries, traveling in Cuba requires flexibility, and changes to our scheduled activities may occur.

Day 1: Embark on your journey to Cuba.  We have taken care of you reservations, and we will greet you upon your arrival in Havana.  We will assist you in checking in to your room at the recently renovated mid-century modern NH Hotel Capri, where you can refresh and check out the vista next to the rooftop pool before dinner.  The Hotel Capri is located in the heart of Cuban nightlife.  Depending on your time of arrival, we may immediately tour the famous Plaza de Revolución and the Memorial to José Martí.  This district is the seat of Cuban government.  Time allowing, you may take in some of the Malecon seaside walk on the edge of Havana before our pre-dinner welcome reception and orientation, followed by traditional Cuban dinner overlooking the city at one of Cuba’s finest restaurants.  Optional: After dinner, we may check out one of Cuba’s renowned clubs for some traditional Cuban music.

Day 2: Explore the musical streets of Habana Vieja.   After eating a generous breakfast, we will gather to begin our historical walking tour along the cobblestone streets of the centuries-old Spanish colonial section of Havana, guided by a Cuban expert.  We will have a cultural exchange at one of Havana’s finest restaurants for dinner, with Cubans of various professions joining us for conversation.  Come with an open mind and culturally sensitive questions to ask.  After dinner we will attend a cultural performance at one of Cuba’s most famous venues.

Day 3: Explore the arts.  We will visit the world renowned Bellas Artes Museum of Cuban Art, where we will gain a historical perspective of Cuba through the arts, from colonization to the post-revolutionary movement toward freedom of expression.  Lunch will entail a Q&A session with our art guide.  After lunch we will get a private tour of one of Cuba’s newest community projects, the Fabrica de Arte Cubano.  The afternoon will bring us to Hemingway’s famous writing retreat, in the hills outside of Havana, where we might catch a glimpse into the man behind the Man and the Sea.  After a bit of free time, we will meet to visit the memorial to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the museums around La Cabaña Fortress, built in the mid-1700’s as protection against the British pirates.  After dinner at the fortress we will witness the 9pm historic ceremonia del cañonazo (ceremony of the cannon shot), which traditionally signaled the closing of the city gates.  You will be informed of any relevant musical events after dinner, that you may attend if you desire.

Day 4: Explore agriculture.  During our tour of the rustic agricultural region of Valle de Viñales, we will have a guided tour of an active tobacco farm.  We will lunch at a well-known farm-to-table restaurant in the Finca Agroecológica, and then make our way back to Havana to rest and then gather for dinner at one of Havana’s finest restaurants, where we will have a Q&A with a Cuban medical professional about advances of medicine in Cuba.

Day 5: Time to say farewell.  After breakfast and a free morning, we will say our farewells before we deliver you to the airport with ample time to comfortably check in for your flight back to the United States.  

What’s included?

Elite Weekend Sojourn Itinerary includes 4 nights in the famous NH Hotel Capri, located in the heart of Havana, or in an equivalent hotel if the Hotel Capri becomes unavailable.Trip cost includes all group meals, museum/club entry fees, expert guides, ground transportation, bottled drinking water, and other group costs are covered. Additionally, gratuities for restaurant service, drivers, and general group activities is included (travelers may tip guides and musicians as you deem appropriate based on your satisfaction). We will connect you with our experienced travel agent to arrange transportation to/from Havana, Cuba, or you may research your own flight to Cuba. Upon registration, we will send you a pre-trip information packet to help inform you and prepare you for an amazing cross-cultural experience. We take care of as much as possible so that you can relax. Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $550. 

We prefer to keep group numbers small in order to ensure an authentic cultural experience.  We cap the trip at 10 travelers (for comparison, most other Cuba tour companies cap groups at 20 people).  

Soltura is a Spanish word that loosely translated means with confidence, fluently, with ease.  We pride ourselves on leading culturally-immersive tours with a focus on the arts and culture of Cuba, going above and beyond to ensure that our travelers have comfortable, yet truly enriching cultural experiences.  Along the way, we will introduce you to some interesting people who will help inform your experiences in Cuba.  You may create some lasting friendships on this journey, and you will certainly create a lifetime of memories.

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