Cuba Music Tour
This tour program is an extension to our 2016 USA Blues tour. It offers an overview of Cuba including the main sights and destinations and offers the opportunity to see and hear local music as well as free time to do so on free nights.
01 May 2016
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Day 1 ARRIVE HAVANA (B)
On this day, you are scheduled to arrive to Havana; you will be met on arrival in Havana at Jose Martí International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Vintage Cuban Cars. In 1514, San Cristóbal de la Habana was founded by the conquistador and Cuba’s first governor, Diego Velázquez. Originally one of the seven settlements built by the Spanish, no one envisioned Havana would be the country’s capital. But after the Spanish conquests in Peru and Mexico, La Habana Vieja provided the perfect site for the Spanish fleets, especially with the harbour and accessibility to the Gulf of Mexico. By 1556, Havana replaced Santiago de Cuba as an important site for the Spanish conquistadors and by 1607, Havana was declared the capital of the colony.
Havana is the most densely inhabited region in the country, even though it’s the smallest of the Cuban provinces. As the country’s administrative, political, cultural and scientific core, Havana city is popular amongst tourists and has a distinct cosmopolitan flavour. Havana’s love affair with tourists dates back to the 19th century when regular sailings between the United States and Havana occurred. Tourists stayed at opulent hotels scattered around the harbour and reveled in the charm of the wide avenues, famous promenades and diverse architecture. 3 Nights.
Day 2 HAVANA (B/L/D)
Your guide will meet you at your hotel this morning for a guided walking tour through the historic centre of La Habana Vieja. Havana is one of the world’s most beautiful and charming cities; from its eclectic architecture to the colourful vintage cars it is a photographers dream. Your tour will take you to Havana Vieja’s four central plazas and through the charming streets that link them. We’ll visit the stunning Plaza de Armas, where you can browse the second hand books and revolutionary memorabilia and enjoy the shady central park. The sprawling Plaza San Francisco de Asis is dominated by the baroque basilica of the same name. A short distance away is the Plaza Vieja, surrounded by lovingly restored buildings; black and white photos on the exterior of these buildings display ‘before-and-after’ shots which show just how much work has gone into the restoration of Old Havana. In the Plaza de la Catedral you’ll see the city’s baroque cathedral constructed in 1748 and hear local musicians serenading diners on the plazas café terraces. Your tour will finish with lunch in an Old Havana Restaurant.
You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore this wonderful city. This evening, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Café Taberna Beny Moré in the heart of the old town to enjoy a night out listening to the music of a great band reminiscent of the 1950’s music. Excellent dancers accompany the band to let you have a glimpse into Cubans great dancing skills.
Day 3 HAVANA (B/D)
Todays’ Private panoramic city tour in a vintage style car will take you to the modern districts of Havana, giving you the chance to appreciate the city’s eclectic architecture and visit some of the less touristy areas. You’ll travel through the neighbourhoods of Vedado and Miramar, and visit the Capitol Building, Revolution Plaza and the famous Hotel Nacional. Your tour will include a visit to the Museum de Revolucion. Formally a Presidential Palace and site of an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Fulgencio Batista in 1957, today it houses a permanent exhibition which provides a complete documentary and photographic account of the Cuban Revolution. Located next door to the Museum is Pavillion Granma, which houses the 18 metre motor vessel Granma that carried Fidel Castro and 82 others from Tuxpan in Mexico to Cuba in 1956. Today this glass encased memorial is one of the holiest shrines of Cuban Communism. You have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to explore The Cuban Capital. Tonight you will enjoy a Havana tour by Night with a local guide.
Enjoy the beauty of the capital city at night. Appreciate the importance of the seafront for locals as you ride all along it on a vintage car for an hour till you arrive to La Cabana fortress just in time to witness one of the most typical Havana traditions: The Cannon Shot Ceremony. Afterwards, you will be taken to a private restaurant (or paladar) to try some of Cuba’s delicious dishes with one drink included. Continue to enjoy nightlife in Havana at a bar in Old Havana with 2 drinks included. You may choose the one you prefer or you could ask your guide for suggestions. At midnight, after sipping a couple of Mojitos or Cuba Libres accompanied by your guide, he/she will take you back to your hotel.
Day 4 HAVANA/ LAS TERRAZAS/VIÑALES (B/L/D)
Today, you will depart Havana on a full day tour visiting to Las Terrazas before being transferred to your home stay accommodation in Viñales. The drive to Las Terrazas is approximately 1.5 hours.
Upon arrivbal to Las Terrazas, enjoy a welcome cocktail at Rancho Curujey and a short explanation of the Community Project before visiting Las Terrazas Community. Stroll along the Callejon La Moka and taste a Cuban cup of coffee. Visit the 19th Century Buenavista Coffee Plantation. Continue on to La Moka Hotel. Have lunch in one of the restaurants of the complex with the exception of La Casa del Campesino and El Romero which are not included. Enjoy some time swimming in the refreshing waters of Rio San Juan.
2 Nights in homestay accommodation in a Twin/Double room with dinner (1st Night Only) & Breakfast
Day 5 VIÑALES (B)
Visit the valley’s most interesting sites, starting with Mirador de los Jazmines, where you’ll have one of the most expansive views of the Viñales Valley. Go to the town of Viñales and on to Dos Hermanas Valley for a look at the Mural de la Prehistoria. Although a visit to a cigar factory is not included in this tour, you will visit and see tobacco plantations and learn about the process of cigar making. The abundance of the tobacco fields will vary due to the seasons of the year. The tour includes a visit to Cueva del Indio which involves travelling by boat along an underground river.
Following the tour, you will be dropped off at your home stay in the afternoon. There are several places in Viñales to catch some live music in the evening after your dinner in a homestay.
Day 6 VIÑALES/ CIENFUEGOS (B)
Early this morning you’ll be transferred to the Plaza where your Conectando Cuba bus Service departs from at 07:00am. The bus will take you onwards to Cienfuegos arriving at 14:00pm. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel, with afternoon free to explore.
The kiosk at the very end of Punta Gorda serves a mean mojito and is a lovely place to enjoy the sunset and relax at the end of a day’s exploration. Later this evening you may like to visit the Teatro Thomas Terry and enjoy some live music.
Day 7 CIENFUEGOS/TRINIDAD (B/L/D)
You will be collected from your hotel after breakfast for a half day city tour of Cienfuegos with lunch. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Listed city of Cienfuegos, known as the Pearl of the South, on today’s city tour. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historic centre, packed with colonial architectural gems such as the Cathedral and Teatro Thomas Terry. You’ll visit the Punta Gorda area and see the impossibly ornate Palacio del Valle. Stroll along the Paseo del Prado which connects the historic centre to Punta Gorda and visit the monument to Cuba’s treasures musician Benny More. Lunch is included at a local restaurant.
Following the tour of Cienfuegos, you will be transported by Private transfer to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed city of Trinidad where you will spend 2 nights in a Local Cuban Homestay.
This evening after dinner at your homestay accommodation, your local guide will show you the vibrant nightlife of Trinidad. The city is home to some of the country’s best musicians, artists and dancers. Please note that entrance fees and drinks are not included; depending on local schedules you may visit the Casa de la Musica, Casa de la Trova or the Palenque de los Congos Reales. Live music is also often presented in the Plaza Mayor. Ask your guide to show you a few basic salsa steps and dance the night away!
2 Night in homestay in a Double/Twin room with 1 x dinner (1st Night) & 2 x Breakfast
Day 8 TRINIDAD (B/L)
Trinidad is perhaps Cuba’s loveliest city; you’ll explore the UNESCO Heritage Listed historic centre on today’s walking tour. Visit the Plaza Mayor and the Museo Romantico and stroll the cobbled city streets, admiring beautiful colonial architecture. Your guide will take you to La Canchanchara bar where you’ll taste a Cuban cocktail. Continue to the ceramic workshop La Casa de Alfarero to admire the locally produced pottery and enjoy some time to wander the local crafts market. Lunch is included at a local restaurant.
Beat the heat this afternoon with a visit to the stunning Playa Ancon, a beautiful white-sand Caribbean beach located about 10km out of the city centre. A coco taxi will take you there and wait for you to return for around USD$4-6 each way.
Day 9 TRINIDAD/ SANTA CLARA/ HAVANA (B/L)
Depart Trinidad this morning in your private car with driver, travelling north to arrive in the city of Santa Clara. Situated in Central Cuba, Santa Clara is the ideal place to learn about the legacy of the Cuban Revolution and the legend of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. Your tour will take you to the memorial to Che Guevara and the Tren Blindado Museum & Monument, created in memory of the events of 29 December 1958, during the Battle of Santa Clara. You will also see the Plaza Leoncio Vidal and the Boulevard de la Ciudad. After lunch in a local restaurant you’ll continue by private car with driver to the Cuban Capital where you will spend 1 night. Last night in Cuba, so you may wish to hit the town and explore some of the live music venues.
Day 10 DEPART HAVANA (B)
Free day to explore Havana.
Day 11 DEPART HAVANA (B)
Today, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
Visit our youtube channel for our personal Cuban music videos
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