Salsaville's Thanksgiving Music & Dance Educational Tour of
Cuba: November 23rd - December 8th/10th, 2019
Salsaville's epic two-week plus Music & Dance People-to-People Tour of Cuba - Havana, Baracoa and Santiago de Cuba
The plan is to first spend 7 nights taking in the big city and salsa capital, Havana. We will explore the salsa scene in depth (parties, concerts, local dance clubs, and more), meet locals, and take in the architectural splendor that is Havana.
Then, we all fly all the way across the country to arrive in one of the most isolated regions of the island - the very quaint and charming Baracoa - Cuba's first settlement and its first capital. Baracoa is much more laid back than Havana and Santiago and has its own music & dance culture. But the main attraction here is seeing its most abundant natural beauty, considered among the very best on the island, which we will explore extensively during our three and a half days there. Click here to read a good article about this area.
Finally, we all take a relaxed ride in our own bus, with a handful of short stops along the way, seeing gorgeous countryside, coast, and mountains to finally arrive at Santiago de Cuba.
In our final destination, Santiago, we have 7 nights in this more provincial setting, which is known as the cultural capital of Cuba. "Son" music, the root of all salsa music (e.g., Buena Vista Social Club) is from here, and you will live and breathe it during our stay here.
Each destination is very different and all provide unique and amazing experiences:
Here are the details of our travel plans:
* What's the deal with the choice of return date? If your schedule dictates that you need to return home on Sunday, then you have that option and will have still experienced a very good 5-night stay in Santiago. However, if your schedule allows you to be away from home for another 2 days, then I highly recommend it. Most people have ended up very much wanting to stay longer in Santiago to just hang out and to more fully experience the array of stuff to see and do there. In addition, the package price will be only $60 extra total for these two additional days.
There are three travel package options:
Option #1. Full trip: Leave Saturday, November 23rd(*) and return Sunday, December 8th or Tuesday, December 10th.
I do recommend this first and longer option, as you will get to experience so much of what Cuba has to offer. Each place is so different, and seeing them all will provide a much more balanced & complete view of Cuba.
If your schedule simply does not allow you to be gone for two weeks, we have two alternate options:
Option #2. Havana only: Leave Saturday, November 23rd(*) and return Sunday, Sunday, December 1st.
The main destination in a visit to Cuba, Havana, the capital of Cuba, has the most access to music & dance events along with offering so much more to see. You will leave with getting an extremely good view of the culture of Cuba.
Option #3. Baracoa & Santiago only: Leave Friday, November 29th, and return Sunday, Dec. 8th or Tuesday, Dec. 10th.
Santiago and Baracoa are such special places. You will bond with the cities and their people. Recommended especially for those who strongly prefer smaller cities/towns, or perhaps for those who previously visited Havana but haven't yet explored other parts of the country.
* Depending on where you are coming from and how early you are willing to get up, you should be able to arrive to Havana the same day and thus leave on Saturday, November 23rd. Otherwise, you might need to leave the afternoon before, spent the night in either Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, or Houston, and then fly to Havana the following morning/early afternoon.
Testimonials from Salsaville's 1st Music & Dance trip to Cuba - November 2015
Testimonials from Salsaville's 2nd Music & Dance trip to Cuba - January 2016
Testimonials from Salsaville's 3rd Music & Dance trip to Cuba - March 2016
Testimonials from Salsaville's 4th Music & Dance trip to Cuba - November 2016
Testimonials from Salsaville's 5th Music & Dance trip to Cuba - January 2017
And the trips just keep getting better and better each time. Here are some testimonials from more recent trips:
Testimonials from Salsaville's 11th Music & Dance trip to Cuba - January 2019
The Application Form is at bottom of this page.
This trip will be run under a legal people-to-people educational license for travel in Cuba.
The group size will be limited to 16 or so travelers.
Please note that this will be run as a "semi-boutique" tour, meaning that the group size will kept on the small side, each member of the trip will receive individual attention, and the tour can be somewhat customized to your desires & interests. In addition, we are staying in upscale accommodations, but as a home-stay, not in a hotel. The group will be able to move around more efficiently and do more than a larger group could. This way we can all achieve my goal of making sure that each person has an amazing experience.
Included in the package price is:
Music & Dance Activities:
The only things that are not included in the package price and you should bring money for are:
Trip cost, which INCLUDES all airline travel starting and ending at your home airport:
Payment schedule is as follows:
If you need to cancel for whatever reason, I'm afraid none of the payments are refundable, except for a partial refund if we can find a replacement traveler and transfer the plane tickets into their name.
Why travel with Eric "El Cubanito" Freeman?
Eric has been traveling to Cuba since 1995. He has traveled there 24 times, and spent a total of over 27 months there. He has studied dance there extensively and has developed numerous connections over the years. Join him to explore and experience the amazing things Cuba has to offer. The focus of the trip will be dancing and music, but the tour includes exploring Cuba's history, architecture, beaches, and their fascinating people.
Please copy & paste the below text into an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and fill in:
(Please avoid printing out this form and writing in answers by hand.)
1. Which dates are you signing up for:
Option #1: Full Trip: November 23rd to December 8th or 10th (Please indicate your return date here.)
Option #2: Havana Only: November 23rd to December 1st
Option #3: Baracoa & Santiago only: November 29th to December 8th or 10th (Please indicate your return date here.)
2. Would you like single or double occupancy?
If double occupancy, tell me the number of beds needed and the name of the person you are sharing a room with.
(Or, although tricky, let me know if you would like me to attempt to match you with another traveler to share a room with.)
Note: All rooms have AC and en-suite bathrooms (i.e. the bathroom is directly connected to your bedroom.)
3. Please indicate your preferred origin and return airports:
For example if you live in Boulder, CO, then normally DIA (Denver) would be the airport for both leaving and returning. If you want to return to a different airport, or perhaps stay in Miami on your own for a few extra days on the way back, please indicate this.
4. Your email address:
(If you do not check your email at least once every 24 hours, please let me know that.)
5. Your cell phone number with the ability to receive text messages:
(If you do not have a cell phone that you regularly use, please provide an alternate phone number, and let me know that you cannot receive text messages.)
6. Do you have Facebook?
We tend to use Facebook for group communications (mostly before the trip), but this is not at all required.
7. Fill in the info below as it appears on your passport.
Date of Birth:
8. Contact info for any emergency:
Name of person:
9. Your mailing address:
10. Attach a good quality scan of your passport. (Taking a photo with a smartphone camera works fine.)
11. Do you have any physical and/or psychological issues that could impede your ability to successfully participate in this trip?
12. This tour will involve walking a total of 1-3 miles per day. This may be in, depending on the weather, somewhat hot, humid conditions.
Are you able to do this while maintaining an average moderate pace?
(If not, it does not mean you cannot come on the trip. I would just need to know this ahead of time in order to possibly make some adjustments. If you are unsure by what I mean as an "average moderate pace", please ask, and we can figure it out together.)
In addition, we will be doing (on about 8 days) 2 to 3 hours a day of dance lessons in well-ventilated, but non-airconditioned rooms. In most evenings we will be going out dancing for 2-3 hours. All activities are optional. If you are tired at any point, you can always opt-out and go back to your room to relax, rest, etc.
13. You will need to sign a fairly standard liability waiver to sign which will be delivered to you upon accepting of your application.
14. From time to time you will be asked for your input on some aspect of planning the trip. You will sometimes be asked to respond in as little as 24-48 hours. (Examples include RSVP'ing to a proposed group orientation meeting time, and getting your go ahead in purchasing specific airline flights.) I will need your timely response in order to help effectively plan the trip. Do you agree to do your best to respond in a timely-manner?
15. What are your expectations for participating in this trip? (Two sentence minimum here please.)
16. Please list any dietary restrictions that could be relevant to this trip - like if you don't eat red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, etc.
Eric "El Cubanito" Freeman
Owner, Salsaville Dance Studios