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Havana International Jazz Festival 2020

Take in the heart & soul of this colorful & cultural island: 35th Havana International Jazz Festival


This package is currently unavailable.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 24 travelers max
Themes History & Culture
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted program includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.
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“To jazz, or not to jazz, there is no question!” exclaimed jazz legend Louis Armstrong – and we couldn’t agree more. Deep in the heart of Cuba, a cacophony of chords flows through the island like a heartbeat or the very lifeblood of its colorful communities. And it is something every music-lover has to experience to understand!

With an itinerary any jazz aficionado will adore, this expertly crafted tour includes passes to the 35th Havana International Jazz Festival, private performances at one of Havana’s hottest late-night jazz clubs La Zorra y el Cuervo, a visit to Instituto Superior de Arte, the leading school for Music, Visual & Performing Arts, a tour of the Abdala Recording Studio and more!  

And of course, we’ve packed every day with Support for the Cuban People experiences that will leave you with an unforgettable trip and memories that last a lifetime. Stay six nights at the the Parque Central, a spectacular 5-star hotel, centrally located in old Havana. You'll walk in Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps at Finca Vigia; meet up-and-coming Cuban artists; learn how to roll cigars from the masters, and more. There’s so much to love about this experience, so book today, because space is flying!

We're still going to Cuba!
Our tours are still legal and compliant with recent changes in U.S. policy. Questions? See our Cuba FAQs.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Non-stop round trip flights from Miami to Havana, including taxes & fees
  • Health insurance in Cuba, included in the cost of your airfare
  • U.S. Treasury Department, OFAC License Certification
  • Cuba Entrance Visa
  • All land transportation, transfers & porterage in Cuba
  • 6 nights 5-star hotel accommodations in Havana
  • 13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 2 dinners, including a welcome and farewell dinner
  • Comprehensive exchange program, including entrance fees
  • VIP 35th Havana International Jazz Festival Pass
  • Friendly Planet Representative
  • Professional, English-speaking local guide, who will facilitate the exchanges with Cubans

Optional add-ons

  • Pre-Night stay in Miami
  • Post-Night stay in Miami
  • Premium Access Festival Pass

Why you'll love it

  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the 35th Havana International Jazz Festival with an all access Festival pass.
  • Attend a private jazz concert in one of Cuba's top jazz venues, "La Zorra y el Cuervo".
  • Meet young jazz artists and learn about life in Cuba as an aspiring musician.
  • Hear a live jazz session at recording studio.
  • Stroll through Fusterlandia, an entire neighborhood transformed into a colorful artistic landscape adorned with sculptures and mosaics.
  • Explore Old Havana’s architectural treasure trove and learn about the restoration efforts and improvement of social services to the community.
  • Visit Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba's top school for Music, Visual & Performing Arts.
  • Cruise the streets of Havana in a privately-owned classic American car.
  • Enjoy several meals at Cuban paladares: small, family-run restaurants.



Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – Miami/Havana

  • Arrive in Havana and transfer to your hotel
  • Welcome dinner at a local paladar

Hotel Parque Central or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
El Capitolio, Havana

Today, board your flight bound for Havana, Cuba's capital city and designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

¡Bienvenidos a La Habana! You are welcomed by your private Cuban National Guide holding a Friendly Planet sign outside the arrivals terminal at the Havana Airport. Board your air-conditioned vehicle, and jump right in as you head directly to your hotel.

Check into the hotel and enjoy a welcome drink. You’ll meet your tour manager and have some time to rest a little or take a stroll around Old Havana before dinner.

This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local paladar.

Day 2 Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – Havana

  • Walk through Old Havana
  • Lunch at local paladar
  • Private Jazz Concert
  • Jazz Festival

Hotel Parque Central or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Musician, Old Havana

After breakfast this morning, visit one of Havana’s top music schools, where young musicians are training to become the next generation of Cuban jazz artists.

Then, enjoy a leisurely orientation walk through Old Havana to learn about its historic, architectural and cultural significance. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982 by UNESCO. Learn about the City Historian's massive efforts to restore Old Havana buildings, attract tourism and new investment, and improve social services for local residents.

Lunch today will be at a local paladar.

This afternoon, you’ll have the distinct pleasure of sitting in on a private jazz concert in one of the top jazz venues in Cuba.  After the performance, you’ll have time to speak with the young jazz artist about his music and life in Cuba as an aspiring musician.

Tonight, have dinner on your own before attending the Jazz Festival.

Day 3 Thursday, January 16, 2020 – Modern Havana & Fusterlandia

  • Visit to the Instituto Superior de Artes
  • Explore Jose Fuster's whimsical "Fusterlandia"
  • Learn about the artwork of Beatriz Santacana at Santacana Gallery
  • Enjoy lunch at a local paladar
  • Tour modern Havana
  • Meet members of the community project, Clave Sol
  • Jazz Festival

Hotel Parque Central or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary

Visit the Instituto Superior de Artes, the top art academy in Cuba where talented young Cubans study music, the visual arts, dance arts and audiovisual communication media.

Then, drive to Jaimanitas, where you'll visit "Fusterlandia," the home and surrounding neighborhood of "The Picasso of the Caribbean," Jose Fuster. Starting with a small wooden home as his canvas, Mr. Fuster has turned his dream into reality and transformed not just his own home but the entire neighborhood into a unique and colorful artistic landscape. Using the money he makes from selling his artwork, Jose adorns the community with sculptures and mosaics galore.

Continue to the Santacana Gallery to learn about the artwork of self-taught Cuban artist, Beatriz Santacana.

Enjoy lunch at a local paladar.

This afternoon, enjoy a panoramic tour of the urban area that lies west of Old Havana and demonstrates the progression of the city over time: from a neighborhood along the city walls after its demolition, passing through the transitional Midtown (Centro Habana), to the extensive and more modern Vedado and Miramar neighborhoods.

Visit the Clave Sol community project, established by parents in the San Augustin neighborhood to provide safe, wholesome afterschool activities for their children. Children select among various string instruments and then learn to play them, performing Cuban as well as international music. During your visit, meet the children, their teachers and hear them rehearsing for upcoming performances.

Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own and later, attend the Jazz Festival performances.

Day 4 Friday, January 17, 2020 - Havana

  • Experience Cuban rhythms with a dance lesson
  • Lunch at local paladar
  • Visit a recording studio with jazz session
  • Jazz Festival

Hotel Parque Central Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Man rolling cigars

This morning, enjoy a demonstration of Cuban cigar rolling artistry.

Then, experience Cuban rhythms in an exciting dance lesson.

Enjoy lunch at a paladar.

Visit a recording studio where you’ll hear a special live Jazz session.

Afterwards, enjoy the remainder of the day to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Jazz Festival activities.

Day 5 Saturday, January 18, 2020 – Havana & Cojimar

  • Tour the fishing village of Cojimar and enjoy lunch at a local paladar
  • Stop at the Artisans' Market
  • Jazz Festival

Hotel Parque Central or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Fortress, Cojimar

Continue on to the quaint fishing village of Cojimar, the setting for Hemingway's book, The Old Man and the Sea, and enjoy lunch at a local paladar. La Terraza Restaurant, where the book's character Santiago brings in the remains of his epic fish, still stands today, and the pier where Hemingway's fishing boat docked can be seen from the shore.

On the way back to the hotel, stop at the Artisans' Market by the Bay of Havana, where you will find plenty of souvenirs, including handicrafts, posters and other collectibles.

Tonight, enjoy more of the Jazz Festival!

Day 6 Sunday, January 19, 2020 – Havana

  • Visit the community project, Okantomi for a lively Rumba session
  • Enjoy lunch at El Aljibe
  • Take a ride in classic American cars
  • Farewell dinner at a paladar
  • Jazz Festival

Hotel Parque Central or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Vintage car ride

This morning, visit the community project, Okantomi to experience a lively Rumba session.

Enjoy lunch at El Aljibe, famous for roast chicken.

Later this afternoon, take a 1-hour ride in classic American cars around the streets of Havana, stopping at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba to enjoy a drink at their Bar la Fama.

Continue on to your farewell dinner, served in a privately owned restaurant. Afterwards, enjoy the last night of the Jazz Festival!

Day 7 Monday, January 20, 2020 – Havana/Miami

  • Transfer to the airport and board your flight back to Miami


Full Day Itinerary

Today, bid farewell to Cuba as you transfer to Havana's Jose Marti International Airport and check in for your flight back to Miami. ¡Adiós, Habana!

Note: Itinerary is subject to change based on local availability.

This itinerary provides a full time schedule of activities that will result in meaningful interactions between you and individuals in Cuba. U.S. law requires that all persons who participate in this program adhere to this full time schedule, and imposes on Friendly Planet the obligation to ensure such adherence.

Infrastructure in Cuba, including even the best hotels, may not always be up to U.S. standards. The hotels really do try to maintain quality accommodations, and in the properties we select for our tours, they generally do a good job. However, Cuba's resources and climate do sometimes impact a hotel's ability to keep up with maintenance and indoor air quality. For example, in Cuba's tropical climate, you might notice musty odors in some buildings, including hotels. We do our best to select the highest quality hotels, restaurants and paladars that Cuba has to offer, but we appreciate your flexibility and understanding when you encounter a minor imperfection. Cuba has a long way to go before its hotels, highways, public restrooms and other features reach U.S. levels, but all in all, you will not suffer any major difficulties in tolerating the small issues that may occur. If you have any medical or dietary concerns, however, please inform us when you make your reservation, so we can take whatever special precautions are required to assure your comfort and wellbeing.


Hotel Parque Central

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In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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