With Lydia Bell and Valerie Hemingway

Maximum 12 Guests

7 nights

Please get in touch if you would like to see the full version of this itinerary.

This journey into the heart of Havana and the UNESCO protected town of Trinidad aims to tell a story through art. You will trace the roots of Cuba’s artistic narrative. Explore the influences of early 20th Century novelists and meet today’s talented writers including Lydia herself; discover the history of Afro-Cuban music and contrast this with classical dance; see striking contemporary art and meet the influential Gallery owners and Collectors who preserve and protect Cuban art in all its forms.

As Lydia Bell explains, “The most exciting way to experience Havana’s culture is by meeting its artists. To do this you need an entree…. the art, like the island itself, is always revealing, making the rest of our hyper-globalised world seem that much more ersatz by comparison.”

This is a rare chance to explore Havana with Valerie Hemingway who will recount her astonishing years living with one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century in the country that inspired some of his greatest work. Valerie celebrated her 20th Birthday in Cuba and returns this year to celebrate her 80th.


  • The Footsteps of Ernest Hemingway with Valerie Hemingway Travel in a fleet of open-top vintage cars to Ernest Hemingway’s former Cuban home and the fishing village that inspired his novel The Old Man and the Sea on the outskirts of Havana. Very few people have a chance to visit this house with Valerie giving you her personal account of Ernest’s life
  • Arts Lunch at the home of Ella Cisneros President and founder of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for the largest collection of Latin American art in the world split between Miami and Havana. Guests will enjoy a private visit to the collection and her home hosted personally by Ella.
  • An evening with Pam Aiguilles This extraordinarily beautiful house featured in Architectural Digest among a host of other magazines. This is the home of Pam, and her artist husband Damian, and both are stars in their own way. Stop by for drinks with the couple and local artists, actors and musicians. A unique way to get behind the scenes of creative Cuba.
  • Private Artist Studios We will announce which artists you will meet closer to the time as we will design this day to fit with the overall artistic interests of the group. Among others, we hope to include a meeting with the ‘Three Musketeers’, Alejandro Campins, Juan Miguel Pozo and Michel Perez who have international acclaim separately and together.


  • Topes de Collantes Travel to the Escambray Mountains to walk through these beautiful tropical forests. This is a bird-watchers’ paradise and there is the option to swim or paddle in freshwater pools surrounded by waterfalls and nature.
  • Arts Dinner A private dinner in the courtyard of a finca on the outskirts of town where local artists and friends of Lydia Bell will join you for a fun and lively discussion as you enjoy a traditional Cuban feast cooked by one of our favourite local chefs.


Valerie has enjoyed a successful career as a writer, editor and public speaker. Her memoir, Running with the Bulls recounts her years spent as Ernest Hemingway’s secretary and then as the wife of his son. Exploring Hemingway’s Cuba with Valerie is a rare and special opportunity that should not be missed.


An experienced journalist, copywriter and editor in the fields of travel, design and the arts, Lydia is the perfect host for this creative journey. Her passion for Cuba began about 15 years ago and she has become deeply attached to the country by virtue of family, friendship and her work as a highly respected writer. Her value on this journey is priceless in her words: “Cuba sometimes hides its light under the bushel of mainstream tourism, making it tricky to access the best of what the island has to offer without insider help.“

This Expert-Led Insider Journey costs from £5,500 per person based on two people sharing including four nights at the Kempinski Havana and three nights at the Iberostar Trinidad. Includes private transfers, private guiding and meals.

Dates are subject to FCO guidelines and any travel restrictions due to Covid-19. For further information please visit