Tour introduction and overview of activities

Hot, throbbing, live Latin rhythms morning, noon and night on the ultimate Latin jazz and Cuban culture dream tour.

This is our ninth year helping Americans experience the world’s best jazz in the exotic Caribbean capital of Havana, Cuba. During 31st edition of this globally renowned celebration of Latin music you’ll rub shoulders with jazz greats from scores of nations. You stay in the historic five-star Hotel Nacional de Cuba – the festival’s official accommodations.

The Havana Jazz Festival tour is designed for participants to get an overview of island culture, history, and nature. You’ll enjoy best seats at all jazz festival performances and venues with your premium Festival passes. You’re treated as a VIP when traveling with Cuba Explorer. You deserve it!

Cuba’s big! Its land mass is 42,426 square miles – about 80 percent the size of Alabama. Cuba is nearly as large as Louisiana, and larger than Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio or Indiana. Altogether it’s bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 – Sunday :: Say hello to the city of music

  • Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International airport
  • Expedited immigration and custom service
  • Meet your tour leader, guide and bus driver
  • Transfer to the Hotel Capri located in the heart of Havana's cultural district
  • Check-in to your hotel and enjoy a welcome cocktail with tourmates
  • Time to settle in to your room and freshen up
  • Group arrival dinner with your guide and tourmates at hotel, included
  • Free time to explore the local entertainment scene and make new Cuban friends, your guide will keep you posted on entertainment options

Day 2 – Monday :: Old Havana, architecture, history and art

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit La Maqueta, a scale model of Old Havana
  • Guided walking tour of the four squares of Old Havana
  • Welcome lunch at Antiguo Almacén de la Madera y el Tabaco restaurant and a tour of its beer making facility
  • Explore Havana’s famed arts and crafts mall Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes de Depósito San José
  • Return to hotel and freshen up
  • Tour welcome dinner at El Templete seafood restaurant, included
  • ESPECIAL Attend El Cañonazo, the 9 PM Cannon Firing Ceremony attended by Cubans and foreign guests
  • Free time to explore the local entertainment scene and make new Cuban friends, your guide will keep you posted on entertainment options

Day 3 – Tuesday :: Amazing nature trip to stunning Las Terrazas

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning departure to Las Terrazas eco-community
  • Meet with local artists and craft workers in their homes and studios
  • Visit a local school and talk with its teachers and students
  • We’ll walk the incredible ruins of a French Coffee Plantation once operated by African slaves
  • Meet the environmental scientists and technicians responsible for the restoration of the jungles and forests of Las Terrazas
  • Lunch at an open-air restaurant Casa del Campesino to sample countryside cuisine, included
  • Time to swim in the fresh waters of the Río San Juan
  • Return to hotel and freshen up
  • Dinner not included, this evening you are free to explore Havana’s stellar private eateries
  • Free time to explore the local entertainment scene and make new Cuban friends, your guide will keep you posted on entertainment options

Day 4 – Wednesday :: Cuban art at is best

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Tour Museo Bellas Artes showcasing 300 years of Cuban masterpieces
  • Lunch at Old Havana’s restaurant Santo Ángel in Plaza Vieja
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up
  • Dinner not included, this evening you are free to explore Havana’s stellar private eateries
  • Free time to explore the local entertainment scene and make new Cuban friends, your guide will keep you posted on entertainment options

Day 5 – Thursday :: Music studios, visit the famed Cuban artist José Fúster

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit Colibri recording company and Abdala studio where the island’s great artist produce their music, including Nat King Cole and the Buena Vista Social Club
  • We'll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by renowned Cuba artist José Rodríguez Fúster
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up
  • Dinner not included, this evening you are free to explore Havana’s stellar private eateries
  • Havana jazz Festival opening ceremonies (transportation INCLUDED)

Day 6 – Friday :: Urban organic agriculture, Hemingway haunts

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit the UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar, a giant farm cooperative producing a range of healthy, organic vegetables
  • Lunch at five-star rated El Ajiaco Paladar [private owned restaurant] in Cojímar
  • Tour the village of Cojímar, a small fishing community of east Havana, the inspiration for Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”
  • Tour Finca Vigía [Lookout Farm] where literary titan Ernest Hemingway wrote for twenty-one years
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up
  • Dinner not included, this evening you are free to explore Havana’s stellar private eateries
  • Havana jazz Festival events (transportation NOT included), explore performances taking place at several different venues of the Havana Jazz Festival

Day 7 – Saturday :: Afrocuban dance, Havana exploration day

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning is free to explore the city with your tourmates and new Cuba friends
  • Lunch not included
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up
  • Dinner not included, this evening you are free to explore Havana’s stellar private eateries
  • Havana jazz Festival events (transportation NOT included), explore performances taking place at several different venues of the Havana Jazz Festival

Day 8 – Sunday :: Havana exploration day, community rhumba and arts event

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning is free to explore the city with your tourmates and new Cuba friends
  • Lunch not included
  • Visit Callejón de Hamel and witness a monster mesmerizing neighborhood rumba jam and dance party that will knock your socks off
  • Return to your hotel to freshen up
  • Farewell group dinner at the new El Patio restaurant
  • Havana jazz Festival closing ceremonies (transportation INCLUDED)

Day 9 – Monday :: Say goodbye to Cuba – for now

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Departure to José Martí International airport
Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
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Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
  • Small group size, usually sixteen or fewer guests, never more than twenty-four
  • US Department of the Treasury authorized people-to-people Cuba travel
  • VIP airport welcome for Tampa arrivals: Concierge luggage and customs assistance
  • Havana airport and hotel transfers for Tampa and Miami arrivals on tour start and end days
  • Quality Cuban hotels
  • An expert English speaking guide and tour leader throughout the program
  • Luxury air-conditioned bus and professional driver (bottled water on the tour bus)
  • All activities, entrance fees, services, speakers and meetings in tour itinerary
  • Flexible monthly tour payment options
  • Emergency telephone and internet access to America from Cuba
  • Cash advances for participants facing money problems while in Cuba
  • Participants become Club Cubano alumni and receive future tour discounts
  • Ongoing support from our US and Cuban staff before, during and after travel
  • Round trip air from Tampa is $569, and from Miami is $599 (except during December holidays when airfares are higher). Cost includes US taxes, Cuban tourist visa, Cuban medical insurance, and for most flights Cuban airport departure tax
  • If arriving from cities other than Tampa or Miami, or coming early and departing later, Cuban airport transfers are not included. Cost is $35 each way for up to two people
  • Gratuities for tour guide, bus driver, chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters
  • We strongly recommend trip interruption and cancellation insurance. See Allianz Global Assistance