Salsaville's Winter Getaway Music & Dance Educational Tour of
Cuba: January 11th - 27th, 2019
Salsaville's epic two-week plus Music & Dance People-to-People Tour of Cuba - Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Baracoa
The plan is to first spend 6 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 onto Santiago de Cuba to spend 5 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 there.
Havana and Santiago are very different and both provide amazing experiences. Havana has more striking city sights, is close to spectacular beaches, and has internationally famous salsa bands playing live every night. Santiago is more compact with a somewhat laid-back smaller-town feel, is easy to get around on foot, and has so many easily accessible and wonderful music & dance experiences.
Finally, we all take a ride seeing gorgeous countryside, coast, and mountains to arrive in charming Baracoa, Cuba's oldest town, located in the most isolated region of the island. Baracoa has its own set of music & dance culture and has among the most abundant natural beauty on the island, which we will explore extensively during our 4 days there. Click here to read a good article about this area.
There are three options:
1. Havana, Santiago, and Baracoa: Leave Friday, January 11th(*) and return Sunday, January 27th.
On Thursday, the 17th, we all fly to Baracoa, and then bus to Santiago on Monday, the 21st.
I do recommend this first and longer option, as you will get to experience the two most important places for music & dance culture in Cuba. Each city is so different, and seeing both 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:
2. Havana only: Leave Friday, January 11th(*) and return Sunday, January 20th
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. You will leave with getting an extremely good view of the culture of Cuba.
3. Santiago and Baracoa only: Leave Thursday, January 17th, and return Sunday, January 27th.
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 may be able to arrive to Havana the same day and thus leave on Friday, January 11th. Otherwise, you will 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.
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:
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 20 times, and spent a total of 24 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: January 11th to 27th (Full trip)
Option #2: January 11th to 20th (Havana only)
Option #3: January 17th to 27th (Santiago & Baracoa only)
2. Would you like single or double occupancy?
If double occupancy, tell me the name of the person you are sharing a room with, or, if you would like me to attempt to match you with another traveler to share a room.
Note: For Havana, rooms usually have one bed only. For Santiago, rooms usually have two beds.
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. (Needed to book airline tickets).
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. (You can take a photo with a smartphone camera instead.)
11. Do you have any physical and/or psychological issues that could impede your ability to successfully participate in this trip?
12. Understand that this tour will involve walking at a moderate pace of up to 1-3 miles per day. This will be in, depending on the weather, fairly hot, humid conditions. 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 B&B 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. Do you agree to do your best to respond in a timely-manner? (Examples include RSVP'ing to a propsed 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.
15. What are your expectations for participating in this trip? (Two sentence minimum here please.)
16. 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