Itinerary for Havana, Cuba

Innovation Retreat

Design and Entrepreneurship Tour in Support of the Cuban People

Spend 5 Days and 4 Nights in Havana, Cuba

Arrive/depart: Havana International Airport (HAV)*

*Do not buy your airline tickets until specifically confirmed to do so by Springboard Cuba.

Trip Dates

April 1-5, 2020 (Wednesday – Sunday)


Trip Cost

Double occupancy: $2,785 per person
Single occupancy: $2,975

Last Date to Signup + Pay

March 13, 2020*

*Date extended to allow for late signups.

Optional, March 29-April 1, 2020

Start in Trinidad, Cuba

Trinidad, Cuba, is a traditional Caribbean city four hours from Havana. Here we’ll explore industry outside of the capital—arts, music and marine tourism. 

Learn more about this add-on to the regular trip →

Day 1: Wednesday


Immersion into the Cuban Experience

Location: Havana International Airport (HAV)
Time: TBD Arrive HAV.

Arrive at Havana International Airport (HAV) to be greeted by your Cuban guides.

Heading straight to your Casas Particulares, you’ll check-in and get settled.  

Note: Private Bed & Breakfasts (Casas Particulares) are a new form of private enterprise in Cuba, affording homeowners and individuals new employment opportunities, higher wages, and increased Independence from the state, as well new ways to engage with foreigners.

Unlike state-run restaurants, Paladares are privately-owned and operated. This restaurant and the other paladares we will enjoy during our visit provide a window into the lifestyle of entrepreneurs who have converted their homes into restaurants under loosening governmental restrictions.

6 pm

Sunset drinks at Malecon 663.

This boutique hostel, located right at the famous Malecón, Havana’s seawall, has an amazing eclectic ambiance. Under the slogan “La combinación perfecta” (the perfect combination) they also run a concept store, a restaurant with a creative menu and a rooftop space with stunning panoramic views and live music.

7:30 pm

Welcome dinner at Restaurant Antojos.

AntojosAuthentic Cuban food at Old Havana’s most lively pedestrian alley. We’ll chat with the owner and with a Cuban professor of economics to learn how history and reality collide.

Day 2: Thursday


Scarcity + Design

9:30 am

Design Entrepreneurship in Cuba at Lab 26

Lab 26, a designers’ collective and the home of “Espacios” project combining architecture, design and art, run by renowned Cuban architect Vilma Bartolomé.

10:30 am

Developing business in Cuba

We’ll be met by Oniel Diaz to learn about investment in Cuba. Oniel is an entrepreneurship expert in Cuba and managing partner at Kreab Cuba, one of the first consultant firms to open its offices in Cuba to provide services to companies that want to invest in the island.

11:30 am

Scarcity in everyday situations

We’ll meet Adis and Lorena to learn about running an AirBnB and how they make money. They’ll take us with them to shop for a cocktail and cooking class they’ll teach the next day.

1:30 pm

Lunch at Río Mar

Rio Mar, an upscale artsy venue located in the Miramar neighborhood with a whole terrace overlooking the bay where the Almendares river flows into the sea.


Design Under Scarcity at “Galería Taller Gorria

Galeria Taller Gorria, art gallery and cultural project created by famous Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría. By organizing workshops and conferences, concerts and all kind of social initiatives they have turn their neighborhood, San Isidro, into Havana’s Art District.

4 pm

Explore San Isidro Art District!

Thanks to the efforts of “Galeria Taller Gorria”, this underprivileged neighborhood has become one of the most attractive and innovative cultural centers of Old Havana. They promote organized street art and celebrate community festivals that bring together Cuban and international urban artists.

7 pm

American Classic Car Sunset Ride

Sunset ride in the iconic American classic cars from the 1950s. Cruise along the Malecón (Havana’s sea wall) and visit some of the most popular neighborhoods to discover the city’s key landmarks.


8 pm

Dinner at La Guarida paladar

One of the city’s best restaurants, famous not only for its delectable dining, but also as the location for the iconic Cuban film Strawberry and Chocolate. It is housed on the third floor of a large town house with the charming ambience of the early 1900s.

Day 3: Friday


Entrepreneurship under Duress

9:30 am  

Activity with local designers

11 am

“La Caldosa” break

30-minute break to share refreshments with locals. Adis and Lorena will have prepared the snack break with the products you bought at the market yesterday. Ask Adis/Lorena questions about their experience.


12:30 pm

Lunch at Jesus María 20

Jesus Maria 20, one of Havana’s newest and hippest rooftop bars, portraying art pieces throughout its several spaces, including colorful murals by national and international graffiti artists.

2 pm

Business site visits in Old Havana

A local expert will venture with you through Old Havana’s Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. Admire the history and regal architecture of this city on its 500 anniversary, while peeking into everyday life in Cuba and stopping at different local businesses to meet their owners, learn their stories and various perspectives.

Some options:

  • Dador: One of Havana’s hottest brands. Learn about fashion design, leadership, marketing and recycling directly from one of Havana trend setters. Three female entrepreneurs run Dador, creating high quality linen designs, which they sew in the upstairs portion of their shop.
  • Clandestina: This locally popular brand uses recycled materials to create clothes, accessories, decorative pieces, and more.
  • Vitria: Stained-glass shop run by two young women, two “vitraleras” so passionate about their beautiful creations that range from home windows, to lamps and other décor pieces, and more.
  • La Marca: Havana’s most famous tattoo parlor.
  • Ciclo Ecopapel: Eco-manufactured paper 
  • Beyond Roots: A project dedicated to promoting Afro Cuban culture.
5 pm

Rum and cigar tasting

A local expert will explain the qualities and traits of fine Cuban rum and cigars, pairing them together for the perfect match. We’ll invite local software designers to dinner or rum + cigar tasting, they include:

  • Deus Consultants: a private consultancy that does market research and provides advisory services
  • Tostonet: a software development company
  • AlaMesa App: a Yelp-like application offering restaurant information and reservations.


Dinner on your own. Recommendations will be provided.

Day 4: Saturday


Cross national collaboration

10 am

Collaboration + discussions with entrepreneurs 

We’ll separate into small teams for hands on, intimate discussions. You’ll have a chance to share your own journey and learn more about their’s.

12 pm

Lunch with entrepreneurs

7 pm

Behind-the-Scenes visit to Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC)

FACFAC, the trendy mash-up of art museum, nightclub and arts venue. It’s the country’s most successful venue for live music, art expos and fashion shows and has become a meeting spot for a young, eclectic crowd of Cubans and foreigners. Learn how this great machinery, invented by the brainchild of Afro-Cuban fusion musician X-Alfonso, works. Following the discussion, experience FAC’s nightlife options.

Day 5: Sunday


Closing Retreat

8 am

Yoga + Journaling

Guided meditation on everything that we’d learned. Group brainstorm and journaling session—reflect on everything you saw during the week and put your ideas to paper. What new business ideas come to mind as a result?

Itinerary is subject to change

Friendly reminder! This is a working itinerary. All venues and artist’s studios are subject to final confirmations. Be assured any changes made will be done to enhance the total program as well as to promote smooth operation of the tour.