Music & ArtS in Havana
A four-night infusion of Cuban music, Art, food, culture and history. we bring you into the fold of our community and share hard to find spots, artist studios, fantastic restaurants and the immediacy and presence of life in Cuba.
You will stay in well appointed casa particulars in our culture-rich neighborhood and gather each day at our home in Vedado. We will explore Havana’s studios and galleries and squares. You'll get the chance to get to know friends of ours and even relax at a well-hidden beach club. There will be a lot on the schedule, but each day there will be time for siestas and personal exploration of Havana’s magical streets before nights filled with world class food and music.
Over four nights you'll get into the intensity, rhythms and presence of Cuba. We'll see concerts, get to know neighborhoods, get present, relax, laugh and connect. We'll talk about history, contradictions, context and art.
November 28 - December 2, 2019
January 16 - 20, 2020
March 26 - 30, 2020
Because our trips cater to the cultural calendar of Havana, specifics of our itineraries shift from trip to trip.
Day 1 / THUrsday
You arrive into Jose Marti Airport. One of our drivers will be waiting for you and will take you to Vedado, the creative neighborhood of Havana where you will be living. You will say hello to one of our team members, get settled in your casa and spend some time getting to know the area on your own with a map and tips from us. In the evening we gather for the first time as a group. We begin each trip on the porch of our Turquoise House to get to know one another over rum and Cuban records. Dinner is just a couple of blocks away at a rooftop restaurant. After dinner we let you loose into an incredible art space next door filled with music, art and dance.
DAY 2 / FRIDAY
Mid-morning we make our way to the other side of Vedado to our favorite art gallery. This space is an incredible way to begin to grasp the depth of work and ideas present in Cuban art. It also shines a beautiful light on the intensity and power of Cuban culture. We lunch at an amazing design-centric paladar and head out on foot afterwards to see a bit of Old Havana and to visit the studio of one of our artist friends. You have the rest of the afternoon to wander and explore before we meet back together in the early evening. We have cocktails with a professor who grew up in Havana in the 40s and is full of stories and perspective. We then head to an artist’s home/studio for dinner surrounded by art and colorful conversation. If you still have energy, we have a music recommendation for you to explore on your own.
DAY 3 / SATURDAY
We start the day jumping into old cars to see the breadth of this magical place and get dropped at a fabulous salsa school so that we can begin to get the unique Cuban rhythm into your system. We have lunch at a famous paladar where we talk about the 500 year old history of Havana and how to see its impact today. We visit with an art collector in the early afternoon before everyone gets some time to explore more or take a long siesta back at their casa. In the evening we head out to see big band salsa before having dinner at one of Havana’s more exquisite restaurants run by a Spanish chef. As always, we will have details on where to see the best music of the night if you are keen to explore more.
DAY 4 / SUNDAY
We spend the morning having two studio visits with emerging artists before heading to a relaxing waterside beach club. There is no sand, but the water is perfect and protected from the waves, so always swimmable. We enjoy a relaxed tapas lunch and spend the afternoon taking in some sun, swimming and taking it easy. In the early evening we gather back at the Turquoise House for a private concert by the band of our co-founder Norberto. It is a great time to get to know musicians who are working in Cuba and get an itntimate look into the workings of a band. We gather for a final dinner together at one of Havana’s oldest and best restaurants. Late night music recommendations are likely at a great Latin Jazz club.
DAY 5 / MONDAY
Enjoy a last relaxed breakfast at your casa reflecting back on all you have seen. If you have a later flight, plan to explore areas we did not see or go back to places you loved. A taxi will be waiting for you at your casa three hours before your flight to take you back to Jose Marti Airport.
We think so, too!
To make sure we are on the same page, and that this trip will meet all that you are looking for, check to see if you fit our first description and not our second!
This trip is for you if...
You are flexible and don't attach to certain outcomes.
You are curious about how different cultures view the world.
You love great food and nice venues, but also appreciate the more exploratory side of traveling.
You enjoy connecting with people and learning their stories.
You can stay up late a few nights in the name of great cultural experiences and good fun.
You are physically fit enough for some long walks and some bumpy car rides.
A taxi breaking down is an adventure rather than an inconvenience to you.
You are comfortable with contradictions.
This trip is NOT for you IF...
You are interested in seeing rather than engaging with a culture.
You need a set schedule that is adhered to with precision.
You need an early bedtime every night.
Long walks can feel burdensome.
You are interested in a trip that consists of high-end hotel stays, multiple museum visits and the highest standard of comfort.
You need concise answers when trying to understand a society.
the fine print
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions. You can also find more information about travel regulations and logistics here.
- 4 nights
- $1,695 / per person based on double occupancy includes lodging, meals, activities / entrance fees and group transport
- Deposit of $500 to secure your booking
- Balance due 60 days before departure
- Single room supplement of $160
The Fine Print ⌄
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Lodging in beautiful casa particulares (local, licensed homes)
- Breakfasts at the Casa where you are staying
- Lunches & Dinners with the group at our favorite spots (ranging from the best restaurants in Havana to holes in the wall that have incredible food)
- Airport transfers
- Transportation to all group activities and events
- Entrance to all group cultural venues, concerts and activities
- Recommendations for late night music each night
- Tips for musicians, speakers and artists
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- Airfare to Havana's José Martí Airport & visa
- Mandatory travel insurance
- Alcoholic drinks
- Transportation pertaining to personal exploration and late night returns home
- Entrance to late night music venues on your own
Please book flights to arrive no later than 5pm into Jose Marti Airport in Havana. Our trips start at 7pm sharp on Day 1 at our Turquoise House in Vedado. This is an important gathering to coordinate logistics. You are welcome to land in the morning, drop your bags at your casa and explore on your own until 7pm. Some of our guests also choose to fly a day early and we can help with extra accommodations.
If you need to cancel or modify your trip with us, we need your request in writing via email.
- 61+ days prior to departure: full refund (minus the nonrefundable deposit)
- 31 to 60 days prior to departure: 50% refund (minus the nonrefundable deposit)
- 0 to 30 days prior to departure: no refund
If there are changes in law by the US government that make a trip legally impossible for you to travel, a full refund (including deposit) will be refunded.
YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW...
Plans in Cuba change for a million different reasons, and this itinerary will shift with those changes. It is one of the most beautiful and frustrating things about the culture, but there is no changing it. We go to great lengths to make sure your trip is fluid, exciting and fun, with few hiccups. But to experience Cuba is to experience change (and a flat tire every once in awhile).
This trip adheres to the U.S. Government Support of the Cuban People Licensed Trips and you will be given all documentation necessary for legal travel to Cuba.
Otros Ojos is part of TwelveTwelve Projects LLC. By coming with us on this trip, you understand that all activities are voluntary and neither Otros Ojos nor TwelveTwelve Projects is liable for your choices.