Join Us For
IVY Cuba, Cultural Expedition
We’re beyond excited to invite you to our 2017 & 2018 IVY Cultural Expeditions to Cuba! Get ready to hit the streets of Havana and explore Cuba, an iconic nation suspended in time, yet buzzing with its vibrant culture and impending waves of change. This epic weekend will enable our members to be among the first of our generation to gain an insider's perspective on Cuba.
Day One, Thursday
Arrive in Cuba
- 10:30am Meet for check-in at Southwest Airline’s special Cuba check-in desk on Level 1 of Terminal 1 in Fort Lauderdale Airport. Nearby, there will be an IVY sign and area for our group to gather.
- By 11:00am Please make sure to arrive to the IVY check-in area no later than 11:00am. If you are running late and it gets past this time, please call or text Carl at +1 (321) 704-4248 to give him a status update on your ETA.
- 12:25pm Southwest flight WN3922 departs Fort Lauderdale for Havana’s José Martí International Airport.
- 1:30pm Arrive in Cuba! All travelers will be required to go through customs and a security check upon arrival, including the re-screening of all of your luggage. After customs, we will meet the IVY private guide and board our transport towards our home for the long weekend, La Pradera.
- 4:00pm Guided stroll through Old Havana, highlighting the main historic plazas: the Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza Vieja, and Museo de la Revolución, stopping for formal encounters with local artists and shopkeepers.
- 7:00pm Private sunset cocktail hour and dinner on a rooftop in the heart of Old Havana.
- Dance and marvel at Fábrica de Arte Cubano, an eclectic warehouse of art, live music, and dancing and one of the most popular spots for a night out in Havana.
Day Two, Friday
Immersion in Cuba’s Extraordinary Culture
- 8am Breakfast
- 9:30am Drive through Cuba’s scenic countryside to Las Terrazas, the pioneering eco-village that is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- 10:30am Take your first dip into the favorite swimming lake of the community. Discuss the reserve and try local coffee specialties.
- 12pm Visit the home and studio of a local artist who takes the recycled paper from the community and generates stationary, cards, and art.
- 12:30pm Enjoy lunch en el campo with farm-fresh local ingredients, and have a discussion on food in Cuba.
- 2:30pm Swim with locals in the clean, cascading waters that fall into a series of pools at the Baños del San Juan.
- 4:00pm Visit one of the longest surviving coffee plantations in Cuba and have the opportunity to talk with local farmers.
- 5:00pm Return to Havana to freshen up at La Pradera.
- 8:00pm Dinner at a favorite Cuban paladar with delicious local dishes.
- 11:00pm Dance the night away at Sarao, one of the hottest current clubs in Cuba, complete with steamy salsa and international hits.
Day Three, Saturday
Arts and Adventure
- 8:30am Breakfast
- 9:30am Depart for a private studio and home tour with the family of acclaimed Cuban muralist and ceramist José Fúster, described as the “Picasso of the Caribbean.”
- 11:00am Drive to the hilltop village of San Francisco de Paula for a private visit and cultural discussion at Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigía—the eclectic house where he lived for 20 years—now a museum displaying his library, manuscripts and personal effects.
- 1:00pm Enjoy an authentic lunch and beer tasting at a café and brewery. Then peruse Almacenes de Depósito San José, a giant arts and crafts market, and interact with artists.
- 5:00pm Return La Pradera to freshen up for the evening.
- 7:00pm Cruise in authentic 1950s American convertibles during sunset down the Malecón, before ending up at the Christ statue that overlooks Havana at sunset.
- 9:00pm Begin your final night in Cuba with a bang at El Cañonazo, the canon firing ceremony kept from colonial times at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, and discuss the military tradition with the soldiers.
- 9:30pm Enjoy a final farewell dinner with new IVY friends and reminisce on the weekend
- 11:30pm Say adios to Cuba properly—with an outdoor salsa party amidst gardens and dilapidated buildings to the beats of a live salsa band.
Day Four, Sunday
Adiós Cuba – Be Back Soon!
- 9:00am Breakfast
- 10:00am Explore Callejón de Hamel, a narrow two-block long alleyway in Centro Habana, which over the years has become a shrine to Afro-Cuban religions. Learn about Santeria from local practitioners.
- 12:00pm Head to José Martí Airport for check-in, and for any last-minute cigar or rum purchases at the airport.
- 2:30am Depart Havana on Southwest flight WN3923 to Fort Lauderdale.
- 3:30pm Arrive at Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport, and connect to home destinations.
Included in the Trip
Pending availability, we’ll confirm your reservation and process your final payments on a rolling basis. The IVY Cuba Cultural Expedition Package will cost $150 non-refundable deposit + $1,995 final payment and cover all fixed costs, including the chartered flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana, accommodations, all meals on the itinerary including your first round of local drinks at dinner, your Cuban visa, and all the activities listed above. This trip is non-refundable once your full payment is processed. If you are interested in bringing a guest, please email us at email@example.com for more details!
Not Included in the Trip
- Flights to and from FLL Airport. Airfare is an added cost due to the varied home destinations of travelers, although through our partners, we're able to offer select discounted airfare (pending availability). If you're interested, please reach out to the IVY Flight Concierge with your ideal dates, airports & departure times via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meals and drinks outside IVY offerings.
- Accommodations are double occupancy unless a private single supplement is requested at an additional cost of $199 (subject to availability).
- Optional travel insurance (inquire within).
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