Havana Jazz Festival: 10 days in Cuba.
Arrival to Havana’s International Airport.
Welcome to Cuba!
A member of Cuba 360 will pick you up at the airport, look for our logo with your name on it (or the name of the person who booked the holiday). Next, you will be transferred to your accommodation where you can relax for the rest of the day, or walk around the city, if you prefer so.
Havana – Bay of Pigs – Cienfuegos – Trinidad
We’ll head south-east to Bay of Pigs, a place well-known for the invasion by Cuban exiles in 1961. We’ll visit the local museum and learn about the history around it. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants (El Buty) where seafood is the main character, being one of the freshest in the country. We’ll continue to Cienfuegos, one of Cuba’s youngest cities, founded in 1819 by French emigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, its elegant classical architecture earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing in 2005.
Continue to Trinidad, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped in 1850.
Trinidad features a wide variety of places to enjoy and dance to the sound of live music whilst tasting some of the local drinks. Don’t forget to try the “canchánchara”, a cocktail made with lemon juice, honey and sugarcane schnapps.
Walking tour around the city, making stops at museums and art galleries. Trinidad produces some of the best coffee in Cuba, so a few minutes at one of the local cafes (Don Pepe) is an opportunity we can’t miss.
We’ll head to the Valle de los Ingenios (literally, sugar mills valley) right outside Trinidad. This area is where the wealth of the city was produced. Most of the mills were destroyed during the War of Independence and the Spanish-Cuban-American War, when the focus of sugar-growing in Cuba shifted west to Matanzas. This valley offers one of the most beautiful natural settings in Cuba.
It’s beach time! We’ll head to Playa Ancon, less than 15 min away from Trinidad. Ancon is known as the best beach in Cuba’s south coast. This is a great opportunity to have lunch at the beach or at the fishing community of Casilda, where food goes straight from the sea to the dish.
Trinidad – Santa Clara – Havana
On your way back to Havana, stop at Santa Clara, a city with a very close connection to Che Guevara. At the final days of the fight for the Cuban communist revolution, back in 1958, a series of combats happened here that decided the course of history. Visit Che Guevara’s mausoleum, where his remains are kept, along with the ones of his comrades in arms.
Santa Clara is also known for being kind of an “edgy” city, with a local cultural scene that contrasts with the rest of the country. Santa Clara has the first drag show in Cuba and one of the most prestigious rock festivals in the area. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants in Santa Clara (Don Quijote) and the head back to Havana.
Walking tour of Old Havana escorted by your guide. Discover the magic that hides in every corner of this audacious city. More than 500 years of history make Havana the perfect place to unleash your curiosity, especially for those who enjoy architecture. Hundreds of buildings from the 19th, 18th, 17th, and even 16th centuries spread around the narrow streets of this romantic city.
Jump in a classic convertible car and visit the highlights of the more modern part of Havana, with stops at points of interest.
Is the night we have all been waiting for! The Jazz Plaza 2020 kicks off today. We will participate in the Opening of the 35th Havana Jazz Festival. Your Guide will hand out your VIP Access Jazz Pass and show you to the best seats at the designated theatre (quite likely the Mella Theatre or the National Theatre of Cuba). Please, guard the Jazz pass dearly as it is not replaceable and grants you access to all Jazz venues in the city.
Day trip to Viñales Valley, one of Cuba’s most magnificent natural settings. Known for its fertile soil, which along with its natural micro-climate, make the land suitable to grow some of the finest tobacco in Cuba, hence, the world. Visit the Prehistoric Mural, stunning wall painting on the side of a mountain, and the Indian Cave with a boat trip through a subterranean river.
Is the second night of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020. Your guide will keep you posted on the schedule of the Jazz Festival so that you decide the best venues to attend. Also, do keep your VIP ACCESS Jazz Pass at hand to make sure you have complete access to concerts and music events.
Today we’ll be visiting Havana’s Rum Museum and learn about the rum production in Cuba. The whole place is dedicated to Cuba’s top rum brand; Havana Club.
Later, we’ll be visiting Almacenes de San Jose, Cuba’s biggest arts & crafts market. In San Jose you can find anything; from mass produced souvenirs to original paintings of renown artists.
Is the third night of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020. Your guide will keep you posted on the schedule of the Jazz Festival so that you decide the best venues to attend. Also, do keep your VIP ACCESS Jazz Pass at hand to make sure you have complete access to concerts and music events.
Follow the steps of “El Papa” (Ernest Hemingway) and the several places made iconic by his presence in Havana. Head to FincaVigia, a place that used to be his house in Cuba, nowadays a museum. Next, we will adventure into Cojimar, a small fishermen town east of Havana’s bay. This place used to be one of Hemingway’s favorite spots; also the home of the man who is said to have inspired “The Old Man and the Sea”. We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant in order to try some delicious local dishes.
After lunch, we’ll continue to Old Havana, where we’ll be visiting “El Floridita”, the cradle of the daiquiri cocktail and one of the bars where Hemingway used to relax in the afternoons. Next stop: Hotel Ambos Mundos, the place where “El Papa” used to stay for many years before he bought his house. Our last stop of the day is “La Bodeguita del Medio”, the place where mojito was invented and another of Hemingway’s favorite bars.
Is the fourth night of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020. Your guide will keep you posted on the schedule of the Jazz Festival so that you decide the best venues to attend. Also, do keep your VIP ACCESS Jazz Pass at hand to make sure you have complete access to concerts and music events.
Enjoy a different approach to Cuban culture, a rather colorful one if you wish. Dive into the artistic movement in Havana by visiting some of the local art communities and projects.
Take a ride on a classic and discover Fusterland, a huge tilework masterpiece built by a local artist over the last 20 years. If Gaudí reincarnates and decides to go for a tropical spin, this is it.
Adventure into Center Havana and wander along the Callejon de Hamel, a place dedicated to Afro Cuban culture. A whole street full of paintings and shrines, folkloric dancing and live music too.
Other places might be visited. Which ones you’ll see, depend on the day of the week and time availability.
Is the fifth and last night of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020. The closing ceremony of the Havana Jazz Festival is always a night to remember, some of the best bands will deliver unforgettable shows of talent and skill. Also, do keep your VIP ACCESS Jazz Pass at hand to make sure you have complete access to concerts and music events.
Departure from Havana’s International Airport
Transfer to the airport.
It’s the moment to say goodbye to Cuba. It’s sad but you must go back to your country, until the next time. We will miss you 🙂
Starting: January 11th 2020
Finishing: January 20th 2020
Small group tour:
$1900/ per person.
Price on request.
- Private guide for the whole duration of the tour.
- Accommodation in “casas particulares” (guesthouses). Single room supplement is available, otherwise, you might have to share. Air conditioning system and a private bathroom are guarantied.
- Transportation to all the places listed in the itinerary, including domestic flights (if needed) and transfers from and to the airport.
- Entrance fees for every activity and/or excursion on the itinerary, except if otherwise specified.
- VIP pass for Havana Jazz Festival, providing access to all the venues and concerts.
- Daily breakfast.
- Cuba 360’s souvenir pack.
What's not included:
- International flights.
- Personal purchases.
- Travel insurances.
- Visas. You will need a visa to enter Cuba, it’s a mere formality though. For more information check our blog.
- Tips and gratuities.