Hola Cuba!

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait! Although my teams in Europe could always arrange Cuban hotels and guiding, the political situation didn’t offer us a legal avenue to arrange trips for our clients.

I’m thrilled to share one of my favorite firms whom I have worked with for 12 years is now offering private trips to Cuba. Always seeking the best partnerships to manage our clients on the ground, I am now completely confident to offer private Cuba to our clients.

I will repeat the maxim: good things come for those who wait. The Cuban infrastructure wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of the tourists now, thus we encourage you to plan 6 months in advance for a trip to Cuba.

We would describe these visits as People to People Journeys, always encouraging our clients to meet locals and absorb customs and culture in every visit to a foreign land.

The few five star hotels are located in the major cities, however we also have access to quite a few private homes in Havana and other rural areas.

Flights for the moment are out of Miami, however that could change within a year.

A brief look at the possibilities for a visit to Cuba:

In addition to the more common requests for activities like baseball and the ballet, their team is in the process of launching a family multi sport trip and a more off the beaten path trips that go out into the provinces.

Music & Dance

Alberto Faya: professor of music takes us through history of Cuban music with a group of his private performers

Cuban Jazz (out and about or private orchestra) + salsa (demo or lessons) + Afro-Cuban

Afro-Cuban drumming lessons with Cuban masters

Cuban Flamenco troops: similar to Spanish but Caribbean/ Cuban rhythms

Compas: unique merging of Spanish dances with the Afro-Cuban rhythms and contemporary dance through new aesthetic codes, in which the female dancers not only dance, but also use percussion, using any element at hand: drumsticks, castanets, heels, wood slipper, claves, chequers, and percussive chairs.

Ballet (National) and also rehearsals and also ProDanza (Laura Alonso who is the daughter of very famous Alicia Alonso)

Afro-Cuban National Dance company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_rCFYknChA

Contemporary and Modern dance (watch rehearsals)


Tango (performance or lessons)

Salsa (performance or lessons), Rumba, or Son


Customized art tour to see a wide variety of artists from emerging to very established/ famous/ at top galleries around the world.

Many of the galleries have no signage and you need appointments and personal connections.

Some of the galleries are actually extensions of people’s homes (eg: I went to super famous photographers basement studio)

Wide range of artists from emerging artists, to women’s collectives, photographers, established artists (for serious collectors), painters, sculptors, and more. Havana is one of Latin America’s epicenters for art. We have specialized art curators that we work with that can take us around to all of the private galleries.

Active & Nature

Mountain biking in Vinales: tons of levels options and incredibly scenic. Go through the local villages and then through the valleys of magotes, which are limestone mountains.


Snorkeling to see super awesome coral reefs (did you know Cuba is an archipelago of 4,000 islands?)

Meet with local farmers in the beautiful Vinales valley

Birding in Zapata peninsula

Meet with scientists and conservationists

Hiking in Topes de Collantes (close to Trinidad)

This is one of Cuba’s largest National Parks with one of the biggest waterfalls

Academic & Religion

Professors, economists, authors/ writers, journalists, architects, visit to the local synagogue, talk with a Santeria expert (this is the Afro-Cuban religion).

Why wait?

Captivating Cuba

Thanks to President Obama, who modified the restrictive Cuba travel policy, throngs of visitors are making their way to the island. The change is designed to encourage more contact between Americans and citizens of the Communist-ruled island, the Treasury Department  grants so-called “people-to-people” licenses, which greatly expand travel opportunities for Cuba-bound visitors. However, one still cannot just hop on a plane and visit as an independent traveler.

Boys on the street – a universal scene cool boys & even cooler cars.

Cuba is realistically set in a time warp – the cars are decades old; 1950’s big Buick’s, Oldsmobile’s and Chevy’s – replacement parts, of course are not available, but the drivers amazingly seem to have kept them running. Evident in a door handle workings: almost hidden, a bent nail and some wire; many of the cars are lacking the interior panels – safety is not relevant – style, reflecting a vintage culture is of importance, amazingly the streets are clogged with traffic of another era.

Crumbling buildings, once elegant and refined European dwellings look like they are on their last legs; majestic marble staircases lead to apartments and restaurants – mixed housing development is clearly acceptable. Walking up the three flights of a graceful wide marble stairway to a hip restaurant, one can easily peer into the bedrooms of the apartment dwellers. A scene out of the Honeymooners television hit.

The Malecón waterfront is beautiful and if commerce is allowed to return, it should be a stunning location for rebuilding these fallen treasures. Old Havana is filled with lovely churches, central parks and leafy tree lined squares, cafes brimming with lively musicians and European tourists.  Architecture evoked by Southern Spain, despite the crumbling, one can imagine another time, a time of an elegance and hope.

A trip to the Hemingway Museum is definitely best taken in a vintage convertible, the bumpy ride produces a big smile. Finca Vigia, which means lookout farm, was the name of Hemingway’s residence when he lived there. The Hemingway Museum provides a glimpse of the daily life of Ernest and his wife; the pleasant surroundings and original furnishings make this a must see for anyone interested in the life and works of Ernest Hemingway.

Hotel Saratoga Havana

National Museum of Fine Arts Havana – Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes. The Museum of Fine Arts in two impressive buildings, one dedicated to Cuban Arts and Universal Arts. Beautifully organized, view the work of master Cuban painters – including, Adigio. His work can also be seen in his small studio, paintings stacked three deep in his apartment. Despite the language barrier, he enthusiastically shared his latest work, since my visit he has passed away.

Havana is a very fascinating place to visit, and I recommend it for a fun, safe, and utterly unique travel experience in the Caribbean, especially if you’re interested in history, architecture, the contradictory effects of socialism, lively music and great dining. We enjoyed our best meal at family run La Casa a celebrity dining destination.  Although the Tropicana night club show is a bit campy, it is definitely a fun cabaret evening. Launched in 1939, it quickly spread the spicy Latin culture to the world, the Tropicana showgirls described as “Las Diosas de Carne” or “Flesh Goddesses”, were celebrated for their curvaceous figures and their embellished feather-and-sparkly sequin costumes. Tropicana Club inspired musical revues in New York, Las Vegas and Paris.

Trinidad Cuba

Trinidad – a UNESCO World Heritage site is a picturesque town filled with small taverns and ice cream shops. The Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad is the finest lodging and overlooks the charming Plaza Mayor, strolled by the locals on Sunday afternoons. A gathering spot for conga drums, animated singers and percussionists who participate in small impromptu festivals. Don’t miss the Museo Romantico, a 19th-century colonial mansion with period furniture and textiles, evidence of the once opulent lifestyle of this city. Sunday street vendors offer crafts and local cuisine.

Tobacco Farmer, Vinales

Yes, we survived the taxi ride – despite the lack of interior panels and the ancient driver!

Paseo del Prado, Havana

At the Hemingway Museum

And how do you spend a cold stormy day? Spanish Scrabble with your waiter..Mojito, Si! Yes, he won!

Postcards mailed, but never received in the US.

Monthly rations

Trinidad – colorful and curious

Imagine no cell phones ringing on the street, no one walking down the avenues, head down tapping on a keyboard, no billboards or advertising – quite pure in an odd sense. You will see political signs elevating Fidel Castro and other national heroes. A brief visit, not necessarily a place to spend a lifetime. Still one must be a member of an organized tour group to visit.