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Expert's Corner

Hola! My name is Yane Marquez and I was born and raised in Cuba. After graduating from the University of Havana and the Tourism School of Cuba, I worked for over 10 years as a tour guide, translator and event organizer for Cuba's travel companies and organizations. I guided many groups attending Cuba's main international festivals, fairs and events. A few years ago, I moved to Canada where I have continued promoting Cuba’s tourism industry. I would be more than happy to answer any question you have about festival Cuba travel. Do not miss out!
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About this Cuban Festival

American Author Alice Walker, Cuba Book Fair
In terms of authors at the Havana Book Fair, some of the better known authors who have been present at the fair include US writer Alice Walker and German Bertolt Brecht. Another interesting aspect of the fair is that it chooses, every year, to honor a particular country and its literary achievements. The Havana's International Book Fair usually starts in the morning. The day is then filled with poetry readings, fun and educational activities for children, art promotions and concerts. Authors present make the best use of their day by presenting their books and interacting with fans about their work. The Havana's International Book Fair sells millions of books every year. Havana Lost, a Book by Hellman US author Libby Fischer Hellman has launched her new book “Havana Lost”. As part of her research for this compulsively readable thriller, Hellman joined our Havana Book Fair Official Cuba Tour in 2012. It was a great honour and a privilege to have helped the author on the research of this book. We recommend it to readers interested in traveling to Cuba and keen on historical detail. The novel that spans for several generations is an authentic testimony to Ms. Fisher talent for authoring spellbinding thrillers.

Cuba Study Tours

24th Havana Book Fair 2015

Official Tour to the Havana Book Fair Discount Cuba Education Tours Book Fair Accomodations Cienfuegos Cuba Tours Cuban Book Industry Librarians on USA Cuba Travel Cuba Book Fair in Trinidad de Cuba

Authentic Cuba Travel announces the Official Cuba Tour to the Havana Book Fair 2015 From February 13 to 20, 2015


Travel to Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos & Trinidad for as little as $1,799!


Cuba Festival Travel


Referral Discount: $100


Invite 1 Friend and Pay $1699 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $1599 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $1499 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $1399 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


Each February, Havana’s International Book Fair transforms the old Spanish fortification San Carlos de La Cabana that overlooks the Havana harbour into one of the biggest book parties in the world. It takes place in Havana City for 10 days before continuing on to the other cities for two more weeks. The book fair ends in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

The festival consists of book vendors, poetry readings, children’s activities, art exhibitions, and concerts in the evenings. It is considered Cuba’s premier cultural event, as well as the event with the highest attendance in Cuba: the XX International Book Fair drew over 2.3 million people to the Capital City!

Along with the public, the book fair is attended by Cuban and international authors, publishers, and political officials. Over 100 publishing houses present catalogues of books, including Casa de las Américas. Each book fair is dedicated to a genre, issue, or author, and also a guest of honour. Since 2000, each book fair has been dedicated to Cuban authors and intellectuals.

Authentic Cuba Travel warmly invites North American Librarians, Bibliophiles, Educators and Writers to attend the Havana Book Fair Cuba Tour 2015.



The Republic of Angola was the Guest of Honor at the XXII International Book Fair Cuba 2013. The Angolan Culture Minister, Rosa Cruz, praised the invitation and said 2013's event was the opportunity to deepen and expand the bilateral ties, which date back to Angola’s colonial period.

The 22nd edition of the Cuba's Book Fair also paid tribute to the 160th anniversary of the birth of Jose Marti. It was dedicated to Cuban authors, Pedro Pablo Rodríguez- 2009 National Social Sciences Prize laureate and Daniel Chavarría- 2010 National Literature Prize Laureate.

The 23rd International Book Fair of Havana will take place in Havana City from February 13 to February 23, 2014, and then it will spread east and west of the capital to all provinces of the country. The book fair will end in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

Take A Sneak Peak at the Cuban Destinations You Will Visit Outside Havana





Over 1.7 million books were sold in the XX International Book Fair in 2011 according to Zuleika Romay, President of the Cuban Book Institute.

Cuban publishing houses stock the fair with hundreds of thousands of copies of books at accessible prices for the local population. Foreign entrepreneurs sell merchandise directly to the Cuban people. For most Cubans, it is a once-a-year opportunity to buy foreign magazines or titles that are otherwise unavailable in the country.

Cuban academics and intellectuals attend lectures and book presentations, while families and teenagers are drawn to the live music, food and party atmosphere. Most go home with a book or two under their arms. Why don't you too!

Havana Book Fair 2015
Cuba Tour Highlights:

  • Tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Havana Historical Centre.
  • Travel to Matanzas City, the Athens of Cuba!
  • Tour UNESCO Heritage Site, Cienfuegos Historical Centre.
  • Travel to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Explore Cuba's Sugar Mill Valley, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
  • Meet international & local book exhibitors, publishers and writers.
  • Unlimited access to activities of the Book Fair of Havana, 2015.
  • Exchange with librarians at the José Marti National Library.
  • Visit to Casa de Las America.
  • Guided tour of world renowned publishing house, Ediciones Vigia.
  • Guided tour of the library of the University of Havana.
  • Learn about Cuba's literacy campaign at the Literacy Museum.
  • Participation in the XXIV International Book Fair of Havana 2015.
  • Cuba's popular ceremony, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock.

Notice to US Travellers:

This Cuba festival tour is licensable for American librarians, bibliophiles, authors, writers, book industry related professionals, scholars and educators interested in conducting professional research on Cuba's Library system.

Authentic Cuba Travel is able to offer US librarians, bibliophiles, authors, writers, educators, scholars and library professionals this Cuba study tours to the Havana Book Fair 2015 because of a rare political opening in U.S. policy that allows professionals and educational groups to go to Cuba legally as part of Cuba study tours.

Do not miss this unique chance, call us or book online to secure your seat.
Cuba Festival Travel, Havana Book Fair.
Every year, Havana’s International Book Fair transforms the old Spanish fortification San Carlos de La Cabana that overlooks the Havana harbour into one of the biggest book parties in the world. It takes place in Havana for 10 days before continuing on to the other cities for two more weeks. The book fair ends in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.
Havana's Book Fair 2012, Cuba Festival Tour.
Cuban publishing houses stock the Havana Book Fair with hundreds of thousands of copies of books at accessible prices for the local population. Foreign publishing houses also sell merchandise directly to the Cuban people. For most Cubans, it is a once-a-year opportunity to buy foreign magazines or titles that are otherwise unavailable in the country.
Cuba Book Fair 2014.
Famous Cuban author and song writer Silvio Rodriguez at a book signing in the International Book Fair of Havana.
La Cabana, Book Fair of Havana..
The festival consists of book vendors, books & poetry readings, children’s activities, art exhibitions, and concerts in the evenings. It is considered the premier cultural event in Cuba, and the event with the highest attendance in Cuba: the XX International Book Fair drew over 2.3 million people to the Capital City!
Visit to Ediciones Vigia, a unique publishing house that produces handmade paper and first edition copies of books. Only 200 copies of each book are made so each is a collector’s item. Meet with director, publishers and artists.
Tour of Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos city. This architectural jewel originated as a home for trader, Celestino Caceres, who later gave it as a wedding present to the Valle family who added to it (in a Mughal Style with carved floral motifs) a stunning Carrara marble staircase, cupped arches, bulbous domes and delicate arabesques.
Guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad’s Historical Center, a perfect relic of the early days of the Spanish colony with beautifully preserved streets and buildings with hardly a trace of the 20th century anywhere.
Casa de Las Americas at Cuban Book Fair.
Founded by Haydee Santamaria in 1959, Casa de Las Americas was created to promote literary and people-to-people exchanges with Latin American and Caribbean countries. Today “The House” (as it is known among intellectuals) continues on its role in promoting, publishing and awarding the work of national & international writers and artists.
Tour of Cuba's Literacy Museum in the Liberty City neighbourhood of Havana. Meeting with museum director Luisa Campos for an introduction on the history of the literacy campaign and the new literacy campaigns taking place in Venezuela, Bolivia and other regions based on the Cuban Campaign model.

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  • Day 1. Friday 13 February 2015. Hello Cuba

    Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana City.

    You are welcomed by your Cuban guide and bus driver for the entire tour.

    Transfer to Cuba's National Hotel, located on a high bluff that opens out toward the sea in Vedado district, the cultural center of the city.

    Private group check-in.

    Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Day 2. Saturday 14 February. Explore Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

    Morning: guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Havana.

    Visit to the Cathedral Square, named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Cathedral of Havana built by the Jesuit order.

    The Cathedral's baroque facade is simultaneously intimate and imposing, and one of the two towers is visibly larger, creating a pleasing asymmetry. As with many churches in the city, the building material of Havana Cathedral includes coral, cut and hauled from the edge of the sea by slaves. Look carefully and you'll see fossils of marine flora and fauna in the stone of the cathedral.

    Visit to Square of Arms, ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers and surrounded by impressive buildings such as:

    Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the former official residence of the governors (Captains General) of Havana, Cuba. It is home to the Museum of the City of Havana. It houses exhibitions of art and historical artefacts and many of the rooms are preserved with their original Colonial decoration.

    Palacio del Segundo Cabo. The seat of the second authority of the island. Today it houses important publishing concerns.

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The second oldest fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies. The castle was recently renovated and reopened in June 2008 to hold the impressive maritime museum. Well laid out exhibits chart Spain and Cuba's naval history.

    Welcome lunch at La Mina restaurant.

    Continue walking tour onto San Francisco Square, named after the Convent of San Francisco, this square was conceived in 1628, with the objective of supplying water to the ships trading with the metropolis. For many years it also served to stockpile the goods arriving from the harbor. Chronicles of the time say that the square had a busy commercial life. The people, in humble carts or afoot, sold and bought a variety of goods. It’s important to know that through this place the Spanish immigrants arrived to Cuba.

    Visit to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Notice it doesn't have a church or government building around. Here we will visit important institutions for visual arts.

    Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana, located inside the Almacenes de Depósito San José, an old warehouse on the harbourside where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.

    Followed by participation in the XXIV International Book Fair of Havana 2015 at La Cabana Fortress, seat of the book fair (free time to explore the exhibition pavillions on your own). Exchange with local exhibitors, publishers and writers and participate in programmed activities.

    Return to hotel.

    Evening: tonight we have a Cuban band playing for us! We learn how to play and dance to Salsa, Son, Rumba, and other popular Cuban rhythms.

    Day 3. Sunday 15 February. Up Close and Personal with Cuban Librarians

    Morning: visit to José Martí National Library to learn about Cuba's library system. Meet with the director and other important librarians.

    Followed by visit to Memorial Jose Marti at the Square of the Revolution to learn more about the life of Cuba's National Hero.

    Lunch at El Aljibe restaurant.

    Afternoon: participation in the XXIV International Book Fair of Havana 2015 at La Cabana Fortress, seat of the book fair (free time to explore the exhibition pavillions on your own). Exchange with local exhibitors, publishers and writers and participate in programmed activities.

    Evening: enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous Jazz club. The club features great performances by island bands and soloists! (optional, not included).

    Day 4. Monday 16 February 2015. Havana- Matanzas- Cienfuegos

    Morning: day trip to Matanzas City, also known as the Venice of Cuba and the city of bridges of which there are seventeen crossing the three rivers that traverse the city (over Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar rivers). It is also known as "La Atenas de Cuba (the Athens of Cuba)" for its wealth of poets.

    Rest stop in Bacunayagua Bridge for a Piña Colada and enjoy the view over the highest bridge (110 mts) in Cuba, one of the marvels of Cuban post- revolutionary architecture.

    Visit to Ediciones Vigia, a unique publishing house that produces handmade paper and first edition copies of books. Only 200 copies of each book are made so each is a collector’s item. Meet with director, publishers and artists.

    Lunch at Ruinas Mata Siete restaurant.

    Afternoon: continue on bus ride to Cienfuegos city. Cienfuegos is the first, and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th century.

    Guided walking tour of Cienfuegos Historical Center.

    The colonial town of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 in the Spanish territory but was initially settled by immigrants of French origin. Situated on the Caribbean coast of southern-central Cuba at the heart of the country’s sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee production area, it became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee in the region.

    We will visit neoclassical buildings around Paseo del Prado and the main Square Jose Marti such as:

    The Tomas Terry Theatre, completed in 1895 and named after a sugar baron from Venezuela who arrived in Cuba with no money and made his fortune by buying sick slaves for a low price, to later nurse them back to health and reselling them. This money was invested in a sugar estate that brought him the wealth to build several outstanding buildings in Cienfuegos, including this theatre, with materials specially brought over from Europe.

    The Casa de la Cultura, home of another wealthy sugar baron, stunning mansion in neoclassical style.

    The Cathedral built with the donation of wealthy families like the Lebrancs, the Albis, the Terrys. Inside you find the reproductions of the 12 Apostles in stained glass imported from Paris. Also the original machinery of the clock tower was built in France. Still in place and working.

    We'll also visit the elegant art gallery Galería de Arte Maroya and review its impressively displayed collection of paintings, sculptures and antiques.

    Check in at the Jagua Hotel rising over the waters of Cienfuegos Bay. Dinner at the Hotel.

    Day 5. Tuesday 17 February. Discover Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

    Morning: Embark on a day trip to nearby Trinidad city, an outstanding example of a colonial city.

    Trinidad has maintained its historic core, featuring the highest percentage of surviving antique buildings and public squares and bringing together architectural, historic and cultural elements of great value.

    Guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad’s Historical Center.

    Visit to the Architecture Museum (Casa de los Sanchez Iznaga), housing the most representative samples of the city's architectural development in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Visit to Museo Lucha contra Bandidos, former home of the San Francisco de Asis convent.

    Visit to Museo Romantico, overlooking the Trinidad main square. It has an excellent exhibition of romantic style porcelain, glass, paintings and decorative furniture which belonged to the Conde de Brunet and other Trinidad notorious families.

    Visit the mirador (lookout) over the Sugar Mill Valley, designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988. It constitutes a sort of triangular plain covering some 250 square kilometers and includes the San Luis, Agabama-Meyer and Santa Rosa valleys, besides the coastal plain of the south delta of the Manati River.

    Lunch at El Jigue restaurant.

    Trinidad is well known for its pottery makers. We meet with a family that has been passing the tradition for generations: the Santanders.

    Return to your hotel Jagua, in Cienfuegos.

    Evening is free to enjoy the hotel amenities and the lively streets of Cienfuegos. How about live Cuban popular music on steps of Casa de la Música– a great opportunity to dance with Cubans and your tour companions.

    Day 6. Wednesday 18 February 2015. Havana

    Morning: meeting with representatives of ASCUBI (Cuban Association of Librarians) in the city of Cienfuegos. Visit to Cienfuegos provincial library.

    Visit to Palacio de Valle. This architectural jewel originated as a home for trader, Celestino Caceres, who later gave it as a wedding present to the Valle family who added to it (in a Mughal Style with carved floral motifs) a stunning Carrara marble staircase, cupped arches, bulbous domes and delicate arabesques.

    Complimentary lunch at Palacio del Valle restaurant.

    Afternoon: transfer back to Havana city.

    Day 7. Thursday 19 February 2015. Havana

    Morning: visit to the University of Havana, founded in 1728. Followed by a tour of the University of Havana campus and library.

    Afterward we will visit Casa de Las Americas, founded in 1959 by Haydée Santamaría (1923-1980) who was its President until her death, followed by Mariano Rodriguez (1912-1990) and currently (since 1986) presided over by Roberto Fernández Retamar, the Casa de las Américas promotes, researches, supports, awards and publishes the work of writers, sculptors, musicians, and other artists and students of literature and the arts. It awards the Casa de las Américas prize.

    Lunch break (optional, not included).

    Afternoon: visit to the Literacy Museum in the Liberty City neighbourhood of Havana.

    Meeting with museum director Luisa Campos for an introduction on the history of the literacy campaign and the new literacy campaigns taking place in Venezuela, Bolivia and other regions based on the Cuban Campaign model.

    Followed by exploration at La Cabana Fortress, seat of the International Fair of Havana. Exchange with local exhibitors, publishers and writers and participate in programmed activities.

    Evening: attend one of the most traditional and popular ceremonies in Cuba, the Fire of the 9 O'Clock Cannon at the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana.

    Day 8. Friday 20 February 2015. Departure

    Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.

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    Chronology of the Havana International Book Fair

    I. 1982 Havana Fine Arts Museum. Latin-American countries attended as observers. Specialized sample dedicated to José Martí, Nicolás Guillén and Jorge Dimitrov.

    II. 1984 Habana Libre Hotel and Pabellón Cuba. 25 countries and three international organizations. Specialized sample: The technical-scientific book.

    III. 1986 Havana Convention’s Palace. 44 countries and six international organizations. Specialized sample: Books for children and youth.

    IV. 1990 Pabexpo. 40 countries and four international organizations. Specialized sample: Medicine at the disposal of mankind.

    V. 1992 Pabexpo. 38 countries and several international organizations. Specialized sample: Fifth Centenary of Two Cultures Meeting.

    VI. 1994 Pabexpo. Over 30 countries and several international organizations. Specialized sample: Environment and nutrition.

    VII. 1996 Pabexpo. 27 countries and several international organizations. Specialized sample: Computing towards the year 2000.

    VIII. 1998 Pabexpo. 28 countries and three international organizations. For the first time the event is dedicated to a country: Mexico.

    IX. 2000 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. Over 30 countries and several international organizations. Guest of honor: Italy. For the first time the event is dedicated to a Cuban author: Cintio Vitier, 1988 National Literature Prize. From that moment it acquired a yearly frequency.

    X. 2001 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. Over 30 countries and several international organizations. Guest of honor: Spain. Dedicated to Roberto Fernández Retamar, 1989 National Literature Prize.

    XI. 2002 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. Honor guest country: France. Dedicated to Miguel Barnet, 1994 National Literature Prize. After finishing in the capital it was extended to other eighteen cities being closed in Santiago de Cuba.

    XII. 2003 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and Pabellón Cuba. Guest of honor: Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela). Dedicated to Pablo Armando Fernández, 1996 National Literature Prize. After finishing in the capital it was extended to other twenty-nine cities being closed in Santiago de Cuba.

    XIII. 2004 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and Pabellón Cuba. Dedicated to Carilda Oliver Labra, 1997 National Literature Prize, and to German culture. After finishing in the capital it was extended to other thirty-three cities being closed in Santiago de Cuba.

    XIV. 2005 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. Dedicated to Abelardo Estorino and Jesús Orta Ruiz, 1992 and 1995 National Literature Prizes, respectively. Guest of honor: Brazil. After finishing in the capital it was extended to other thirty-four cities being closed in Santiago de Cuba.

    XV. 2006 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. Dedicated to Ángel Augier and Nancy Morejón, 1991 and 2001 National Literature Prizes, respectively. Guest of honor: Venezuela. After finishing in the capital it was extended to other thirty-four cities being closed in Santiago de Cuba.

    XVI. 2007 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress , dedicated to Eduardo Torres Cuevas and César López. It was closed in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

    XVII. 2008 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and other 44 bookstores under the slogan To read is to grow. Dedicated to Graziella Pogolotti and Antón Arrufat. Guest of honor: Galician culture.

    XVIII. 2009 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and more than 45 other bookstores under the slogan To read is to grow. Dedicated to Cuban intellectuals Jorge Ibarra (National Social Sciences Prize laureate) and Fina García Marruz (National Literature Prize laureate). Guest of honor: Chile.

    XIX. 2010 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and more than 50 other bookstores under the slogan To read is to grow. The Fair was dedicated to Cuban authors Reynaldo González, National Literature Prize Laureate, and Maria del Carmen Barcía, National Social Sciences Prize Laureate. This year's event commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the National Press of Cuba. Nation of honor: Russia.

    XX. 2011 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and more than 50 other bookstores under the slogan To read is to grow. The Book Fair was dedicated to authors Jaime Sarusky, 2004 National Literature Prize Laureate, and Fernando Martinez Heredia, 2006 National Social Sciences Prize laureate.

    The fair also praised the cultural heritage of ALBA- member countries: Antigua y Barbuda, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, San Vicente y Granadinas, Venezuela and Uruguay (the country of honour).

    XXI. 2012 San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress and more than 50 other bookstores under the slogan To read is to grow. The 2012 International Book Fair of Havana was dedicated to Cuban authors Zoila Lapique, 2002 National Social Sciences Prize laureate, and Ambrosio Fornet, 2009 National Literature Prize Laureate.

    XXII. 2013 Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana. It paid tribute to the 160th anniversary of the birth of Jose Marti. It was also dedicated to Cuban authors, Pedro Pablo Rodríguez- 2009 National Social Sciences Prize laureate and Daniel Chavarría- 2010 National Literature Prize Laureate.

    XXIII. 2014 Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana. Ecuador was the Guest of Honor at the XXIII International Book Fair Cuba 2014. It was dedicated to Cuban authors, Nercy Felipe- 2011 National Literature Prize Laureate and Rolando Rodríguez- 2007 National Social Sciences Prize Laureate.

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