Havana Jazz Festival | insightCuba

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highlights: Premium VIP Havana Jazz Festival Pass | AfroCuba de Matanzas | Ernest Hemingway's House, Finca Vigia | Evening Jazz Festival Events | Callejón de Hamel | Meet-and-Greets with Top Musicians

Jazz Festival Map of Havana and Matanzas

Join insightCuba and experience Cuba's iconic rhythm during this seven-day tour centered around the country's annual Havana Jazz Festival, a tradition since 1979. Join us in 2020, as we celebrate more top musicians and give you a rare look into the thriving Cuban jazz and art scene.

During your tour we’ll not only attend evening performances as part of the Havana Jazz Festival, but we’ll take you inside the music scene with special meet-and-greets with musicians, music schools, and other celebrations around Havana. 

2019 HAVANA JAZZ FESTIVAL LINEUP

Chucho Valdes, Arthur O'Farrill, Joe Lavano, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ted Nash, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jessy J, Bobby Carcasses, Sandy Shore, Roberto Fonseca, Michael Lington, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Jorge Reyes, Los Brujos, Iba Ibo Yoruba Specimen, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Wayne Wallace, Big Energy Ensemble, Anton Doyle, Doug Martin, CABOCUBAJAZZ, Gryssel Ramirez, Justo Almario, Yasek Manzano and the Cords Quartet, Naat Berahman, Michel Herrera, Ernan Lopez-Nussa, Klimax, Orlando Sanchez, Bellita y Jazztumbata, Emilio Morales, William Roblejo, Alfred Thompson, Habana d' Primera, Mezcla, Jesus Fuentes y Santo Tomas Conection, Oscar Valdes y Diakara, Ruy Lopez-Nussa, Cesar Lopez y Habana Ensemble, Rolando Luna, Javier Salva, Aire de Concierto, Emir Santa Cruz, Jorge Luis Pacheco, Sexto Sentido, Alejandro Falcon y Cubadentro, Ernesto Camilo Vega, Ta Bueno Jazz, Gala Mayor, Habana Sax and more.

Havana Cuba dance music colorful street art celebration party jazz
Havana
Day 1

After clearing immigration and customs at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, you’ll take a short drive to the Meliá Cohiba hotel for check-in and a tour orientation*. At 9:00pm we'll join the opening ceremonies for the 2020 Havana Jazz Festival at the Teatro Nacional.  Afterwards, return to the hotel or continue the nights festivities with performances at Fabrica de Arte or Casa de la Musica

Meals | Welcome dinner at Los Naranjos 

*Check-in begins roughly at 3pm ET. The tour start time will vary slightly depending on flight arrivals. 

Jazz Cuban trombone music festival musician
Havana
Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, join a discussion about Cuban jazz, culture, and history with influential musician and musicologist, Alberto Faya.  After lunch, we'll meet with the director and students from Las Escuelas Nacionales de Arte Cubano (Cuba's National School for the Arts). Next, we’ll visit meet with Roberto Salas, one of Cuba’s most influential photographers who traveled with Fidel Castro in 1959 to document his rise to power. After dinner, we'll attend Havana Jazz Festival performances.  

Meals | Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Paladar Mami's, Dinner at Atelier 

 
callejon de hamel havana university central cuba mural car
Havana / Matanzas
Day 3

We'll depart for the city of Matanzas and stop at the Bacunayagua Bridge, one of Cuba's most fantastic views. Next, we'll meet with students at the Pastorita Art School. Then, visit Ediciones Vigia, a book publisher that makes handmade paper and hand-bound literary books. After lunch, we'll meet with members of Cuba’s famous folkloric dance group, Afrocuba de Matanzas. Back in Havana, we'll visit Finca Vigia, the home and museum of writer, Ernest Hemingway. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own followed by scheduled Havana Jazz Festival performances.

Meals | Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Amelia del Mar, Dinner on own

Havana music dance guitar drum Cuba
Havana
Day 4

This morning, we'll go on a street food tour through Vedado while visiting our favorite spots. Next, we'll visit Casa de las Americas, a cultural epicenter, which promotes literary works, artists, and musicians. After lunch, meet dancers in their studio for a salsa demonstration, salsa lessons, and a lot of fun whether you want to dance or not. Next, we'll visit the iconic Hotel Nacional, where we'll learn about its history from a guide and take-in great views of the Malecón and the Florida Straights as you walk its grassy ramparts. After dinner, we'll attend Havana Jazz Festival performances.  

 

Meals | Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Cafe Laurent, Dinner t/b/a 

Jazz musicians music festival party celebration trombone flute instruments
Havana
Day 5

Explore Old Havana’s labyrinth cobblestone streets for a privately-guided-walking tour of the old city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, we’ll visit some of Havana’s most important sites including Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza de la Cathedral, Plaza Vieja, and other surprises along the way. After lunch, visit the Proyecto Sociocultura Cabildo Quisicuaba, an association dedicated to resurrecting the neighborhood through arts, culture and spirituality. The neighborhood now boasts a museum, dance studio, and art galleries. After dinner, we'll attend Havana Jazz Festival performances. 

Meals | Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Cafe Oriente, Dinner t/b/a

Saxaphonist playing at La Zorra y El Cuervo
Havana
Day 6

After breakfast, visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Fine Arts Museum) Considered the finest art museum in the Caribbean, the National Museum of Fine Arts holds the largest collection of paintings and sculptures in all Latin America. After lunch, we’ll hop into a restored, pre- 1959 classic American car and go for a slow drive along Havana's scenic neighborhoods. Next, we'll visit the famous Callejón de Hamel, a narrow lane adorned with brightly-colored paintings, sculptures, and murals, paying homage to Afro-Cuban rituals. We'll watch a Rumba performance. After dinner, we'll attend Havana Jazz Festival performances.

Meals | Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Ivan Justo, Farewell Dinner t/b/a

A vintage car drives through the colorful streets of Old Havana, Cuba
Havana
Day 7

After breakfast, say adios to Cuba as you board your flight home. 

Meals | Breakfast

Each departure is custom-curated to provide the best experiences possible and from time-to-time specific experiences and/or restaurants may not be available and will be replaced by an item of equal or greater value. A final list of daily experiences and dining options is provided roughly two weeks prior to departure. Each tour provides a full-time schedule of Educational People-to-People exchange activities, grandfathered in according to the CACR issued June 5, 2019 and is fully compliant with U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations regarding travel to Cuba.    

  • Accommodations at boutique casa particulares

  • Premium VIP Havana Jazz Festival All-Access Pass ($400 value)

  • Expert Cuban guide and private driver

  • Transportation and airport transfers*

  • Exclusive-guided visits and experiences

  • Five breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners

  • Preferred seating at Jazz Festival venues and performances

  • Cuban visa ($99 fee applies)

  • Certification of travel to Cuba under the U.S. Department of the Treasury general license

  • Gratuities for luggage handling, restaurant service, and programmed activities throughout tour**

  • 24-hour on-tour customer service

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Allianz trip cancellation insurance | Flight concierge service | Room and suite upgrades

 

*Transfers provided on designated flights only. See flight section below for more information.

**Customary end-of-tour gratuities for the Cuban guide and driver are left to the guest’s discretion and should be based on your satisfaction with the level of service received. 

DateDouble Occupancy
(per person)
Single Occupancy
Jan 14 – Jan 20, 2020$4,795$5,190  

PREPAYMENT DISCOUNT: Pay in full at the time of booking and receive $200 OFF the full price! Must book 120 days in advance of the departure date. This may not be combined with any other promotions. Normal terms and conditions apply. Discount automatically applied upon booking.

GROUP RATES: 5% off land for groups of 5 - 9 guests. 10% off land for groups of 10 or more. Not combinable with any other offer, private departures, or custom-made tours. Will be applied at final payment.

Havana Jazz Festival

Once you have booked your tour, our flight concierge will gladly assist you with all your flight needs. Call us at 914-380-8303 or click here for an air quote. Please note that domestic and international flight costs are not included in your tour or travel package.  We advise arriving in Havana before 3:00pm to ensure participation in the Jazz Festival Opening Ceremony later that evening.

Please note that airport transfers are not included. You can easily take a taxi from the airport to the hotel costing CUC$25 (US$30) each way.

PURCHASING AIR ON YOUR OWN: You are welcome to book on your own, however please keep the following in mind:

Authorized airlines - Not all airlines are authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly to and from Cuba. While this information may change, the currently authorized airlines are: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Please contact the carrier for up to date flight schedules and routes.

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