Tour introduction and overview of activities

Cuba’s a music machine pumping out wall-to-wall sound that fuels the global music scene. We invite you to travel to Havana Cuba with us. Jump into its audio inferno of Afrocuban beats, Latin jazz and swirling salsa, and dizzying son and rumba.

Our guests stay at the historic five-star Hotel Nacional de Cuba, on the Malecón seawall with stunning views of the ocean and city, in the heart of Havana’s entertainment district. Countless international personalities from history, culture, science, sport, and politics have stayed at this grand hotel.

During your Just the Jazz Festival tour, you’ll relish seven days of art, culture and music, and six nights of world-class jazz. Your all-access Jazz pass gives you VIP credentials to visit all the performance venues night and day.

What is remarkable about this trip is the amount of time you have to get to know the island’s capital while partaking in rare musical encounters. Our guided romps around Havana’s most inspiring sights and activities will leave you feeling like a local.

It’s the ideal junket for friends, families, and co-workers. If you want a taste of Cuba at a leisurely pace that won’t break your budget, this is the best introduction to Cuba available.

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 – Tuesday :: Say hello to the city of music

  • Collect your luggage and proceed through Cuban customs to the arrivals lobby.
  • Consider purchasing Cuban Convertible Pesos at the airport exchange bureau (CADECA), or later at your hotel.
  • Our airport concierge or your tour guide will arrange tour bus or private taxi transfers from the airport to your hotel located in El Vedado, the heart of Havana's cultural district. Your hotel check-in is pre-arranged, you simply present your passport.
  • Time at hotel to settle in and freshen up.
  • Dinner is served at your hotel’s restaurant.
  • The Havana Jazz festival organizing committee greets us with a nice surprise. Tonight you will be enjoying the first musical notes of the 2020 Havana Jazz Festival. Choose among events taking place at several different venues (transportation NOT INCLUDED)

Day 2 – Wednesday :: Old Havana + Havana Jazz Festival performances

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast served at your hotel.
  • Followed by a private walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit four historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. Together they contain the largest collection of remaining Spanish colonial-era architecture in the world.
  • Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza on the island. Named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture, Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana was built by the Jesuit order.
  • Square of Arms, an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by impressive buildings such as:
  • Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City.
  • Palacio del Segundo Cabo [Palace of the Second Lieutenant] dates from 1770.
  • We continue onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest plazas in the historical quarter. The square is named after magnificent Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís dating from the 16th century. The basilica is a striking example of Cuba baroque architecture.
  • On to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Absent are churches and government buildings. The plaza is surrounded by opulent aristocratic 17th century residences.
  • Welcome lunch at the private restaurant Mojito-Mojito. Ideally situated in Plaza Vieja, its friendly atmosphere, and delicious food makes it rank high on TripAdvisor. The restaurant's slogan: "A single mojito is not enough."
  • Return to your hotel and freshen up.
  • Dinner at the private restaurant Los Naranjos. Located in the heart of Vedado in an expansive 1930s mansion, its Chef Ernesto specializes in fusion style dishes combining Cuban, Italian and Spanish influences. Los Naranjos’ ambiance is fun and light, its food wonderful, authentic and fresh, and staff upbeat and attentive. Its a favorite among TripAdvisor reviewers.
  • Havana Jazz Festival Performances. Transportation included.

Day 3 – Thursday :: Cuban dance + Festival events

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Morning visit to a Cuba dance company to meet performers and discuss their art.
  • Group lunch at the private paladar El Atelier where the Obama family dined in 2016.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • Dinner not included – an occasion to sample Havana’s stellar private eateries.
  • Havana Jazz Festival Performances. Choose among events taking place at several different venues. Transportation not included.

Day 4 – Friday :: Rum, art, crafts + Festival events

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Learn to make a mojito hand in hand with a Cuban master mixologist at the Museum of Rum.
  • Meet with private Cuban artisans and craftworkers at Almacenes de Depósito San José, a giant dream market offering thousands of handmade objects and paintings.
  • Lunch at private restaurant La Moneda Cubana.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • Dinner not included – an occasion to sample Havana’s stellar private eateries.
  • Havana Jazz Festival Performances. Choose among events taking place at several different venues. Transportation not included.

Day 5 – Saturday :: Afrocuba, Hemingway farm + Festival events

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Visit the Afrocuban influenced Callejón de Hamel to discuss cultural and religious beliefs.
  • Visit Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigía home and meet the docents and curators who maintain his vast library, manuscripts, and personal belongings.
  • Lunch at Ajiaco paladar considered one of the best private eateries in the country.
  • A brief visit to the village of Cojímar, a small fishing community and discuss the influence of Hemingway on the local population.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • Dinner not included – an occasion to sample Havana’s stellar private eateries.
  • Havana Jazz Festival Performances. Choose among events taking place at several different venues. Transportation not included.

Day 6 – Sunday :: Art and the Capitol + Festival Closing Finale

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Visit Cuba’s National Capitol Building, a Latin American architectural treasure. Meet Cubans who maintain the facilities and learn about its recent restoration.
  • Discuss the art and history of Cuba with docents and artists at Palacio de Bellas Artes, Havana’s Museum of Modern Art.
  • Lunch at the private Restaurante Cuba 54 in Old Havana.
  • Return to your boutique accommodations to freshen up.
  • Group welcome dinner with your guide and tourmates at the private five-star restaurant Mediterráneo Havana.
  • Havana Jazz Festival Closing Finale. Transportation included.

Day 7 – Monday :: Goodbye to Havana – missing Cuba already

  • Greet the day with tasty breakfast at your boutique accommodations.
  • Transfer to Havana’s José Martí International (HAV) airport for flights home.
While in Cuba, our attentive island team ensures your trip is magical and memorable.

Tour cost based on double room occupancy (sharing a double room during tour).

Tour date Cost Comments Availability
Jan 19 to Jan 25, 2021 $ 2549
Hotel Nacional
Book now
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
Day1234567
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
  • VIP all-access jazz passes for Jazz Festival events
  • Cuban Tourist Visa and delivery, up to a $100 value
  • Certificate of Legal Cuba Travel in compliance with US Cuba regulations
  • Knowledgeable, fun, attentive Cuban guides from arrival to departure
  • Quality accommodations as listed in this itinerary
  • Air-conditioned transport, professional chauffeur, and bottled water daily
  • Airport-accommodation transfers on tour start and end days
  • All activities and fees listed unless noted as optional or suggested
  • Emergency telephone and internet access from Cuba to America
  • Cash advances for participants caught short of funds in Cuba
  • Ongoing support from our US and Cuban staff before, during and after travel
  • Participants become Club Cubano alumni and receive future tour discounts