Ukuleles in Cuba


JUNE 15 - 22, 2024

Customer ratings:

What an amazing trip! Our local guide shared so much of her personal experiences about growing up in Cuba. The music teachers were energetic and patient and incredible musicians! I really enjoyed going out to see them playing their gig. I loved everything about this trip!

Immerse yourself in a unique experience by combining your love for ukulele with an insight into Cuban culture. You will join local musicians in Havana while learning the iconic rhythms and traditional music of Cuba. This tour is about great music, colorful art, the aroma of cigars, the roots of rum, rich island history, splendid architecture, and the Cuban people’s lively latin style!

Want to experience the real Cuba?

Tour details

Our Cuban Ukulele Adventure is one of our Educational Adventure Travel Support for the Cuban People tours. It includes activities that promote the Cuban people’s independence such as contracting with private music teachers for our workshops, purchasing from local farmers, lodging at private bed & breakfasts, casas particulares, and participating in service with a parents’ cooperative.

  • w/dinner
  • Havana
  • Airport transfer
  • Mojito Mixology
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Salsa Class

Your tour begins with meeting your hosts, your guide, and other travelers while participating in the mojito making to get the evening rolling. Then you’ll be sharing an incredible welcome dinner, served family style, for your first taste of Cuba. 

This evening you will take part in a dance lesson designed to show you the basics 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. Relax, enjoy and allow yourself to be guided by your teacher.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana
  • Old Havana Walking Tour
  • Paladar Lunch
  • Paseo del Prado
  • Classic Car Tour
  • Hotel Nacional 

The day begins with breakfast at your casa and continues with a stroll through Old Havana.  Here you will discover the richness of its architecture, influenced by four hundred years of Spanish colonial rule, and take in the mix of Cuban Baroque, Neoclassical and Moorish influences reminiscent of Cuba’s Spanish heritage. The entire city is fascinating, and many points of interest from shopping streets to cathedrals and music venues are within a fairly compact area.

Lunch will take place at one of Havana’s many Paladars,  which are privately run restaurants.

This evening, you will hop into a classic car for a ride that will let you 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. En route you will stop at Plaza de la Revolución to see the iconic silhouette of Che Guevara. You will drive across the Almendares River into Parque Almendares, Havana’s urban forest. 

The classic car tour will conclude with a drink overlooking Havana’s harbour at the historic Hotel Nacional. This famous hotel was declared a National Monument and has hosted Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, and many more important personalities from sciences, politics and the arts.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana
  • Music Session 1
  • Paladar Lunch
  • Cigar Factory
  • Rum Museum
  • Happy Hour Jam Session 

After breakfast today, you will experience your first music session in Cuba. Over the course of the next few days, you will gain new ukulele skills as you learn to play Cuban music from talented and supportive teachers. Music sessions will begin at 9:00am with the Havana School of Music instructors in the common area of your casa. The first 45 minutes you will be divided into small groups (according to your level for ukulele or with the percussion instructor). For the second 45 minutes everyone will join together to practice and play.  

A trip to Cuba isn’t complete without a visit to a cigar factory. This afternoon you will learn about the process of turning tobacco into the world-renowned cigars that Cuba is famous for. Plus, you will learn more about the historical importance of tobacco in Cuba’s economy. You will have the opportunity to purchase cigars at the factory as well. 

As you may have already noticed, rum is everywhere in Cuba. Why is that? After lunch today you will get the answer to that question as you visit the Rum Museum.  You will also learn about how sugar cane (a main ingredient in rum) has shaped Cuba’s political history throughout all of its wars and revolutions. 

Later in the common area of the casa we’ll host a happy hour jam with cocktails and mocktails. 

Tonight’s music venue suggestion is the La Zorra y el Cuervo for some great jazz music. Many jazz legends have performed here; including Chucho Valdés, George Benson and Roberto Fonseca.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana
  • Music Session 2
  • Fusterlandia
  • Paladar lunch
  • Happy Hour Jam Session 

Just like yesterday, you will meet your music instructors in the common area of your casa at 9am. The first 45 minutes you will be divided into small groups (according to your level for ukulele or with the percussion instructor). For the second 45 minutes everyone will join together to practice and play.  

For lunch we will discover yet another delicious paladar for lunch. 

After lunch we 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 all across his home and throughout his neighborhood of Jaimanitas (also known as the Kaleidoscope Neighborhood) on the outskirts of Havana. Fuster’s mosaics often have social messages and he reinvests money from his art back into his community. 

Back our casa more jammin’ with cocktails or mocktails. Tonight’s music venue suggestion is the Casa de la Música de Miramar for Timba and Cuban Salsa music and dancing.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana
  • Music Session 3
  • Coast Excursion with instruments
  • Jam Session
  • Lunch with music teachers 

After breakfast this morning, your Havana School of Music instructors will meet you in the common area of our casa once again. This is your last day of formal instruction.

Today you will escape the city to see a contrasting region of Cuba: the coast. Cuba’s coastal areas are known for their diverse marine life. Cuba’s ocean floors are considered healthier than its Caribbean neighbors due in large part to the lack of extensive tourism and the fact that chemical fertilizers, pesticides and petroleum products have been limited or non-existent. Today you will enjoy an afternoon jam as well as a late lunch/early dinner (cena) with your music instructors. This will be your chance to thank them and say farewell. 

Tonight’s music venue suggestion is Bertolt Brecht to see the Interactivo timba/funk Band. This starts at 12am so if you plan to participate be prepared for a late night.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana / Viñales
  • Tobacco Farm Tour 
  • Organic Farm Lunch
  • Music Jam

Then it’s time to 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. Upon your arrival, you will begin exploring some of the wonders of the Viñales Valley. 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 paladar La Bella Vista, where Judith will feed you an amazing meal — all of which comes from her farm. Your guide and host will share the farm’s background during the Special Period after the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as provide updates on the agricultural developments of the country. After indulging in food and drink you can sit back, or in a hammock, play a little music & take in the views. It really is a beautiful view or ‘bella vista’, as the restaurant’s name implies. Then will make our way back to Havana for the evening.

  • w/breakfast, lunch, & cocktails
  • Havana
  • Happy Garden Cooperative 
  • Afternoon activities of choice
  • Farewell dinner

After breakfast we’ll take our ukuleles and visit the children at the Happy Garden Cooperative. At the Happy Garden families dedicate themselves to providing art, music, and the English language to their children. We will interact with songs and music. If you would like to bring gifts in Support of the Cuban People this is the place!

After lunch you will choose from a variety of activities* to fill your afternoon. 

Some traveler favorites include:

  • Visit to the Revolution Museum: dedicated to the Cuban Revolution. 
  • Coppelia: famous ice cream “cathedral” in Vedado. 
  • Callejón de Hamel: funky alleyway filled with Afro-Cuban street art and music. 
  • University of Havana: one of the oldest universities in the Americas. 
  • Stroll along the Malecon: esplanade and social hotspot stretching over five miles 
  • Casa de la Africa: impressive cultural artifacts from Africa
  • Cámara Oscura: unique view of Old Havana through a camera obscura. 
  • El Capitolio: National Capitol Building built in 1929
  • Art Galleries: Arte Corte, Taller Experimental de Gráfica, Galería Habana 
  • Gran Teatro de la Habana: Home to the Ballet Nacional de Cuba
  • Almacenes San Jose Market: for handicrafts and folkart

*Activities may require onsite payment. If you would like a local guide for these activities you may arrange and pay for their services locally. The above activities fulfill Support for the Cuban People requirements.

Tonight you will join a special farewell dinner with your guide and the other travelers. There will be good food, new friends, and lively music to bring your time in Cuba to a close.

  • Havana
  • Airport transfer

Amazing Tours

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.