10 DAYS – RHYTHMS, MUSIC, AND DANCES OF CUBA
“I hated to leave Cuba but my brain needs time to sort out the complexities of this country and its vibrant people. I am sending out your company’s info to about 20 friends who will be most interested!“
Cuba dance tour
November 17-26, 2023
Immerse yourself in a unique experience by combining your love for dancing with an insight into Cuban culture. You will join local dancers in Havana, Viñales, and Trinidad while learning about the rhythms, music, and dances of Cuba. Our Cuba Dance Tour is one of our Educational Adventure Travel Support for the Cuban People tours.
Want to experience the real Cuba?
This tour includes activities that promote the Cuban people’s independence such as interacting with local dance instructors, dining with artisans & lodging at private bed & breakfasts; and in the local clubs we are DANCING!
- Airport Transfer
- Welcome dinner
- Music, Dance & Rhythm Talk
After you are all settled in, you will enjoy a fabulous welcome dinner. You will be joined by a guest lecturer, who is going to talk you through the foundations of Cuban music, dance and rhythm. Many of the things you learn about tonight you will get to witness and practice yourself throughout the rest of your time in Cuba.
- Gran Teatro
- Dance lesson
Your guide will take you on a stroll in Old Havana to discover the richness of its architecture, which has its influences from four hundred years of Spanish colonial rule. You can appreciate the mix of Cuban Baroque, Neoclassical and Moorish influences reminiscent of Cuba’s Spanish heritage. The entire city is fascinating, and many of the main points of interest are within a fairly compact area.
Home to the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Gran Teatro de la Habana is in fact grand. On your tour you will see the marble sculptures representing charity, education, music and theater as well as the magnificent facades and other elegant adornments of bronze and marble. If you are interested in the international performance that is scheduled, speak with your guide about making reservations.
Next is dance, a lesson designed to show you the basics while highlighting the cultural traditions of Cuban salsa. Cuba is abundant with music and dance and with easy instructions you’ll be able to join in as you feel the rhythm of the 1,2,3-5,6,7 of this beautiful dance; so relax, enjoy and allow yourself to be guided by your teacher.
- Dance lesson
- Museum of the Revolution
- Classic Car Ride
- El Morro
This morning will begin with the second dance lesson of the trip.
Your tour continues with a visit to the Museo de la Revolución. In 1974 this former Presidential Palace became a museum dedicated to the Cuban Revolution. Outside of the building you will see the Granma Memorial, the vessel that brought Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and other revolutionaries from Mexico to Cuba in 1956.
This afternoon you will get to partake in a classic car ride that will transport you back in time to imagine what Cuba was like when these cars were brand new. Why are there so many classic cars in Cuba? After the revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro banned the import of foreign vehicles and as a result the Cubans had to make their cars last. And last they did! Catch some glimpses of Havana that are off the beaten path on this tour while you visit with your guide along the way. En route you will stop at Plaza de la Revolución, the largest square on the island, and see the iconic silhouette of Che Guevara and where the “bearded one” made his famously long speeches.
Next you’ll get to visit El Morro. This iconic fortress, which guards the entrance into Havana, is officially named Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. Construction of the fortress began in the last decade of the 1500s and was completed in 1630. For more than 100 years it stood as the strongest defense of Havana. El Morro now houses a museum, and every evening at 9 presents a cannon firing ritual re-enacting the closing of the walls that encircled the city.
- w/breakfast & lunch
- Salto de Soroa
Today you will take a step back in time with a drive to the westernmost province of Pinar del Rio and the beautiful Valley of Viñales – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is nothing short of breathtaking. You will see how the mountains encircle the lush valley and the green landscape is punctuated with vivid rocky outcrops – pictures simply don’t do it justice.
Before you leave the city, however, you will visit an artist in residence who is a living legend in Cuba. Jose Fuster is considered the Picasso or Gaudi of the Caribbean. His art stretches throughout his home and overflows into Jaimanitas, his neighborhood on the outskirts of Havana. Fuster’s mosaics often have social messages, and he reinvests money from his art back into his community. If his house happens to be open, you will have an opportunity to purchase tiles and pieces of his artwork.
Then, on the way to Viñales, you will stop at “El Salto de Soroa”, which is a 72ft cascade of water where you can take a short walk to view the falls from the bottom, climb the stairway to the top for a spectacular view, or cool off in the refreshing waters.
Your dance lesson this afternoon will take place at a wonderful studio in the heart of the town of Viñales.
- w/breakfast & lunch
- Tobacco Farm
- Organic Farm
- Dance lesson
This morning you will take a hiking or biking tour of the countryside and learn more about the slower pace of life for the Guajiros (as Cubans refer to country people). During your tour you will visit a tobacco farm to learn more about how tobacco is grown, harvested, and rolled into cigars. There will be an opportunity to purchase organic cigars rolled on the farm at a discounted price.
Lunch will take place at an organic farm where you will learn more about the agricultural developments of the country, particularly during the Special Period after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The views from the restaurant are quite stunning, so make sure to take it all in.
Your day will wrap up with another lively dance lesson.
- Santa Clara
- Che Guevara Mausoleum
- Walking tour
- Dance lesson
Today you will travel to the small city of Trinidad in the province of Sancti Spiritus. Trinidad was originally founded in 1514 as Villa de la Santísima Trinidad. Nowadays it is a Unesco World Heritage site with colorful architecture and cobblestone streets.
On your way you will stop at the Che Guevara Mausoleum, a small museum housed in a very large monument. Many stop here to pay tribute to a man who has become a worldwide symbol of humanism and solidarity.
Upon arrival, your guide will take you on a walking tour that will show off the charming colors of Trinidad. This colonial town was named a UNESCO heritage city in 1988. You will stroll through the Plaza Mayor and maybe take a walk up the Cantero tower in the Historical Museum for the best views. Please wear sturdy shoes for walking on the uneven cobblestone streets.
You will enjoy this afternoon’s dance lesson taught by some of Trinidad’s best dancers.
- Sugar Mills
- Dance lesson
- Dance celebration
On today’s schedule is a visit to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, which lies just outside the Trinidad Township. This is an area rich in history from the colonial period. Cultural preservationists provide guided tours of the ruins of a sugar mill, the slave barracks, and lookout towers. Today you will learn more of the fascinating history of this island and the important role sugar played in the sociopolitical developments of most of the islands revolutions.
Today’s dance lesson will take place after the Valley of the Sugar Mills.
Later in the evening, you will get the chance to show off your moves at a fun dance celebration with all of your new friends.
- El Cubano Waterfall
- Dance lesson
This morning you will make your way to a gorgeous waterfall in Parque el Cubano, just outside of Trinidad. Bring a bathing suit if you feel like taking a dip in the serene pool that the waterfalls pours into.
After, you will head back into the studio for another dance lesson.
- Bay of Pigs
Today you will head back to Havana. On the way, you will stop at the quaint village of Cienfuegos, where you will take a walking tour from the Paseo del Prado all the way to the Malecon at the water’s edge. Cienfuegos was settled by French immigrants, and you can see the French influence in the architecture.
After Cienfuegos, you will head to Playa Giron, also known as the Bay of Pigs, for a stop. Here a modest museum provides details about the Bay of Pigs invasion from a different perspective.
- w/breakfast & dinner
- Rum Museum
- Cigar Factory
- Casa Alta live music
- Farewell dinner
Many tourists bring two key souvenirs home with them after a visit to Cuba: cigars and rum. Today you will view these products from an educational perspective, learning more about how sugar (a key ingredient in Rum) and tobacco were key agricultural products that shaped Cuba’s political history throughout all of its wars and revolutions. Don’t worry, you can also enjoy some samples on these tours of the Rum Museum and a Cigar Factory, but you’ll take away much more than the average tourist after these educational visits with your guide.
This evening the wonderful people at Casa Alta will prepare a tasty dinner for you, which you will enjoy on their lovely rooftop deck. To top it all off, there will be live music to enjoy as you dine and celebrate your last night in Cuba.
- Airport transfer
Your guide will arrange the best time to arrive at the airport for your departure.
CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES
These are not your average tours! Our tours are amazing because we connect you with the people. You will be welcomed with open arms and warm hearts. You’ll arrive as strangers and leave as friends.