HabanaLive


Overview

Just ninety miles south of Florida, Cuba retains a culture and way of life a world apart from its neighbors. Spanning 500 years of history from European settlers, sugar production, slave trade, US Mafia and Socialism, Cuba mesmerizes travelers with its complexity. On the one hand, the island is caught in a time capsule in an era of vintage 1950’s Cadillacs and a period absent from the frenzied pace of technology. On the other hand, the island nation is in an important moment of change. A living muse that once inspired literary legends like Hemingway and Pico Iyer, today, Cuba boasts world-renowned contemporary Cuban modern artists and musicians. Exuding raw beauty, invigorating rhythms of Afro-Cuban, jazz, trova, salsa, colorful buildings, vibrant dance, and flavorful foods, Cuba welcomes visitors with a setting that is rich with the arts, ingenuity, and conversation.

HabanaLive specializes in incorporating behind-the-scenes access into customized FIT itineraries as well as producing world-class events and MICE travel to the island. A family passion project, HabanaLive's story began when brothers Collin and Michael Laverty traveled to Cuba in the 90s—planting the seed for Collin to become a US-Cuba policy expert and eventually start a travel company with his best friend Adam. Later, Michael and his wife, Megumi, founded HabanaLive. With a deep and diverse network of relationships, HabanaLive focuses on the moments that stand still and linger in the memory: a studio session with Cuba’s leading jazz-trumpet player; a Harley ride into the mountains with Che Guevara’s son; a high-octane boxing workout in the historic Rafael Trejo gym; a cafecito in the home and workshop of a top Cuban artist. HabanaLive curates journeys that transforms how visitors see Cuba and their own worlds.

Accommodations

HabanaLive works with a variety of accommodations in Cuba to ensure travelers have their ideal home-away-from-home.

Favorite options include:
• The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski: Cuba’s leading luxury property. The Kempinksi Hotel offers an elegant oasis amid the bustle of Old Havana, a world-class spa and rooftop infinity pool, and several luxury suite options.
• Boutique hotels such as La Reserva, Malecon663, or Paseo206. Each of these properties provides artfully constructed suites, lush gardens or sweeping rooftop vistas, warm and attentive service.
• Casa particulares, or Cuban Bed & Breakfasts. These properties are managed by individuals or families, and range in size.

HabanaLive works with a curated list of beautifully-designed, well-managed casas that include daily breakfast and cleaning service.

Amenities

• VIP Concierge Service
• Expert Bilingual Guides
• Private transportation in classic American cars
• Intimate access to top artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, experts and more
• Private parties and dinners in exclusive venues
• Private yacht and air facilitation
• Visas
• Compliance with U.S. policy
• Custom-made itineraries for individuals, couples, multi-generational families, bachelor / bachelorette parties or weddings, milestone birthdays, and larger-scale corporate incentive, event, or conference trips

Activities

In Havana:
• Walking and bike tours to take in Old Havana and the surrounding neighborhoods
• Architectural tour of Havana with an expert from the City Historian’s Office
• Cigar or rum tasting with a sommelier
• Private music performance with options for studio session or concert
• Private dance performance with options for lessons or evening event performance
• Boxing lesson in the setting where Cuba’s Olympic champions train
• Hemingway immersion, to visit his home and favorite bars
• Cooking with a Cuban family, to learn how to prepare a traditional meal, and to learn about daily life
• Discussions with expert historians, economists, or diplomats to dive into Cuba’s unique history and geopolitical position

Around Vinales:
• Day visit to a tobacco plantation, to see the traditional agricultural methods and learning about cigar production
• Hiking, bike riding, zip lining in Vinales Valley
• Visiting caves and swimming

Around Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Trinidad:
• Hiking and swimming in Topes de Collantes
• Exploring the historical towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad
• Visiting the Valle de Los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills)
• Scuba diving, snorkeling, or fly fishing
• Touring the Bay of Pigs Museum and a discussion with veterans

Location

NEAREST AIRPORT:
José Martí International Airport (HAV)

The most common access point is Havana: Jose Marti International Airport, 30-minute drive from the center of Havana. Alternative access points include regional airports and ports in Cuba.

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