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Authentic Cuba Expert's Corner
Yane Marquez, Authentic Cuba Travel Expert Travel Agent Hola! My name is Yane Marquez and I was born and raised in Cuba. After graduating from the University of Havana and the Tourism School of Cuba, I worked for over 10 years as a tour guide, translator and event organizer for Cuba's travel companies and organizations. I guided many groups attending Cuba's main international festivals, fairs and events. A few years ago, I moved to Canada where I have continued promoting Cuba’s tourism industry. I would be more than happy to answer any question you have about festival Cuba travel. Do not miss out!
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Havana Hotel Packages for the Havana Jazz Festival Tour
Hotels:
This Cuba tour offers the following Cuban hotels:

5-Star Hotel
Melia Santiago

by Melia Hotels

5-Star Hotel
Melia Cohiba

by Melia Hotels
Destinations:
This Cuba tour travels to the following Cuban destinations:

Old Havana
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Havana City

Santiago de Cuba
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Cuba
How to go to the Fire Festival of Santiago de Cuba from USA
About the Cuba Fire Festival
Cuba has captivated the world with its soulful music and culture. One can taste its enigmatic artistry through the annual Fire Festival or Festival del Fuego celebrated in its most Caribbean city, Santiago de Cuba. Fiesta el Fuego (Fire Festival), also known as the Caribbean Festival, has become a world-famous event and a venue for preserving the culture of the Caribbean region, for strengthening the relationships among the Caribbean countries, and for reminiscing the African origin of various countries. This lively celebration is literally firing up the streets of Santiago de Cuba. It is a week-long feast of music, dance, color and life. Traditional singing and dancing are performed by famous bands and groups which ignite the passion of the Cuban people for stimulating rhythm of salsa, rumba, calypso and reggae, to name a few. The highlight of this Fire Festival (Festival del Fuego) is the culminating parade of countries, united in the same goals.
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Cuba Festival Travel: Fire Festival Cuba Tour 2019

Fire Festival, Santiago de Cuba 2019 Official Cuba Tour Fire Festival 2019 Discount Cuba Festival Tours Cuba Festival Tours USA Cuba Travel Accomodations Eligibility for USA Cuba Travel USA Cuba Travel for US Schools USA Cuba Travel for US Organizations

Go to Cuba with Authentic Cuba Travel
for the Annual Fire Festival!
From June 29 to July 6, 2019


Explore Cuba's African and Caribbean Heritage! $2,999 (all taxes included)


Cuba Festival Travel | Referral Discount: $100

Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2,899 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2,799 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $2,699 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $2,599 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0 only
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


The 37th Edition of Festival del Caribe celebrated the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Santiago de Cuba. The Bahamas was the invited country in the last occasion. In 2019, the annual Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) will take place in the month of July in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Exact dates for the popular event will be announced soon.

This Caribbean fiesta was originally intended to be a serious event and the show’s organizers still have a number of conferences, academic shops and discussion panels that take place during the course of the one week of the festival.

The Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) begins in the morning, and goes on into the last hours of the night, providing participants with a number of stalls and temporary bars made of bamboo and palm fronds that line the main avenues of the city and the people of Santiago come out to party every night.

The aim of the Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) is to highlight the cultural expressions of the region, which is well portrayed with the many parades and carnival held during the week. The Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) is a very well-known street party, and is known to be celebrated by the majority of the streets

Authentic Cuba Travel warmly invites US Educators, US Historians, US Scholars, US Sociologists, US Anthropologists and other US Citizens interested in Cuba's African and Caribbean Heritage to join this official Cuba tour to the Fire Festival from June 29 to July 6, 2019. Cuba from coast to coast! Two domestic flights included!



There are also lively processions with dancers and musicians and colourfully decorated floats that tour the city every evening. The Fire Festival takes place over 8 days in July each year.

The Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) also features several traditional and popular music bands that constantly perform through the day. The event is also host to dancers and coaches who are part of the traditional Fire Fiesta procession. While these are the biggest draws of the fire festival, food stalls, children’s games and alcohol stands available during the Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival), make the event a grand entertainment festival.

Please, check the day-by-day itinerary below. Welcome Aboard!

Notice to US Universities, Colleges and Schools with African-American Studies Departments and Programs:



In January 2016, the US Government announced further enhancements to the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba that previously required a specific license (this is, lengthy applications to OFAC). Now travel to the Caribbean island is allowed under a general license (this is, self-completed paperwork with no application to OFAC needed).

After President Trump’s policy change on USA Cuba travel on November 9, 2017, the General License for Educational Activities remains in place. Accredited U.S. graduate or under graduate degree-granting institutions; U.S. Academic Institutions; and U.S. Schools can organize and sponsor an educational trip to Cuba for their students, faculty and staff under the General License for Educational Activities, provided that the trip meets OFAC guidelines; and that an employee or other representative of the organization escorts the trip to make sure such guidelines are followed by all participants.

US Universities, Colleges and Schools with African-American Studies Departments and Programs can organize and sponsor a trip to Cuba for educational activities. The purpose of the Cuba travel should be for:

_ the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution;

_ educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution, and led by a teacher or other secondary school official are authorized. This authorization allows for participation of a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.

_ attendance at non-commercial academic seminars, conferences and workshops related to Cuba sponsored or co-sponsored by U.S. academic institution.

_ non- commercial academic research related to Cuba for the purpose of obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree;

_ the participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided that credits will be accepted toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;

_ participation in a 10-week structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered at the U.S. institution;

_ participation in a formal 10-week course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s undergraduate or graduate degree at the U.S. institution;

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.


Notice to US African Heritage Studies Associations, US Museums of African American History, US African American Museums of the Arts, US Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museums, US Black Archives Research Centers, Black History Museum, US Centers for African American Culture, and other Organizations from USA:



US African Heritage Studies Associations, US Museums of African American History, US African American Museums of the Arts, US Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museums, US Black Archives Research Centers, Black History Museum, US Centers for African American Culture, and other Academic Organizations from USA can organize and sponsor a trip to Cuba for educational exchanges not involving academic study to promote people to people contact for their members and the general public. Certain conditions are to be met to comply with OFAC General License requirements for USA Cuba travel though.

US Cultural and Educational Organizations can also sponsor and organize travel to Cuba under the General License for Public Performances, Workshops, Clinics, Exhibitions and Athletic or non-Athletic Competitions.

The trip should consist of a full-time schedule of activities intended to promote the exchange with the ordinary citizens of Cuba. This full-time schedule must also include educational activities that result in meaningful interaction in between U.S and Cuban nationals. The trip to Cuba must be escorted by an employee of the organization. Free time in excess or regular tourists' activities are not permitted.

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.

Not an African Heritage professional? Go to Cuba legally from USA



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  • Fire Festival 2019 Cuba Tour Highlights::

    • People-to-people OFAC General License issued by US Sponsor.

    • 3 nights at Hotel Melia Cohiba with breakfast included.
    • 4 nights at Hotel Melia Santiago de Cuba with breakfast included.
    • Two(2) Domestic Flights included.
    • Luxury 24/7 Dedicated Air-conditioned Motor Coach and Driver.
    • An Expert Cuban English Speaking Guide and Translator
    • Support from Authentic Cuba Travel' Staff in Cuba and Canada.
    • 13 Meals Included: 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches.
    • Official Asistur Cuban Health Insurance Coverage.
    • Explore Old Havana, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
    • Travel to "the Capital of the Caribbean", Santiago de Cuba.
    • Ferry boat ride to little picturesque island of Cayo Granma.
    • Travel to Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre.
    • Enjoy the opening Parade of Festival del Fuego (Fire Festival).
    • Performance by Tumba Francesa Society "La Caridad de Oriente".
    • Visit to Moncada barracks Primary School.
    • Tour El Morro Fortress at Santiago de Cuba.
    • Fire Festival show at Tropicana Cabaret in Santiago de Cuba.
    • Enjoy over 50 musical venues around the Fire Festival.
    • Callejon de Hamel, where Afrocuban murals cover all buildings.
    • Afrocuban religious dance presentation by Regla Folkloric Group.
    • Tour Regla town with active tradition of African-inspired religions.
    • Cuba's popular ceremony, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock.

    GENERAL LICENSE FOR PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH CUBA TRAVEL



    US Educators, US Historians, US Scholars, US Sociologists, US Anthropologists and other African Heritage Professionals from USA interested in conducting professional research on the Cuba's African and Caribbean Heritage can travel to Cuba under the provisions of the General License for Professional Research.

    GENERAL LICENSE FOR EDUCATIONAL PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE GROUP TRAVEL TO CUBA



    Non-African-Heritage professionals from USA interested in visiting Cuba to learn more about Cuba's African and Caribbean Heritage can travel to Cuba under the provisions of the General License for People-to-people Educational Group Travel issued by US organizations.

    This educational people-to-people group tour is sponsored by US organizations that are authorized by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to run cultural and educational people-to-people programs to Cuba.

    Your People-to-People General License is already included in the price of the tour.

    Tourism to Cuba from US is still prohibited by the US Cuba travel regulations. In other words, American visitors to Cuba cannot simply book an all inclusive “sun & beach” vacation and relax in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters of Cuba while sipping in mojitos like Canadians and most citizens of the world can. Educational and cultural exchanges in between the Cubans and the American visitors must be included in the itineraries.

    During the Trump administration the General License for Professional Research and the General License for Group People-to-people Educational Travel to Cuba remain in place.

    Musical venues taking place in the historical center around the Fire Festival (Festival del Fuego). There are over 50 locations holding activities during the fire festival, many of them in natural open settings. Your guide will give you options the days before so that you plan ahead this day or just play as it goes!
    Known simply as El Morro, Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a fortress on the coast, overlooking the bay, 10 km southwest of Santiago de Cuba. After falling in decay during the 20th century, the fortress was restored in the 1960’s and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
    The shrine of Our Lady of Charity is housed in Cuba's only basilica, a cream-colored square church with red domes overlooking the town of El Cobre. The Virgin of Charity (La Virgen de la Caridad) is a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary in the mining town of El Cobre, outside Santiago in southwest Cuba. Her shrine is the most important religious site on the entire island.
    Fire Festival of Santiago de Cuba! Opening Parade of Santiago de Cuba's Fire Festival (Festival del Fuego). One of the biggest and best free street parties in the whole of Cuba, the annual Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival) turns the streets of Santiago de Cuba into a riot of colour, music, dance and celebrations.
    Callejon de Hamel, an alleyway street caught in Centro Habana neighbourhood where an effort of cultural rescue and expansion led by fine artist Salvador González has been underway since 1990. Salvador’s murals and sculptures have taken over entire buildings’ facades, shrines to Afrocuban deities.
    Regla's church dedicated to the black "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá, the African goddess of the sea in the Yoruba religion and the patron saint of sailors.
    Every night a cannon shoot rumbles at 9pm so called "El Cañonazo de las 9", a custom, kept from colonial times, signaling the closure of the city wall doors. Night after night hundreds of people attend to this tradition of Havana.
    Day 1. Saturday 29 June 2019.
    Hello Cuba
    Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana.

    Group welcomed by the Authentic Cuba Travel Cuban Guide. Transfer to the Melia Cohiba Hotel, located at the cultural center of Havana City. Private group check-in.

    Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
    Day 2. Sunday 30 June 2019.
    Havana- Santiago de Cuba
    Morning: flight to Santiago de Cuba. Estimated flight time: 2 hours.

    After arrival visit to San Pedro de la Roca Morro Castle, a XVII century military construction atop the cliffs at the narrow entrance to Santiago Bay and one of the settings of the Spanish American War.

    The fortress was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, cited as the best preserved and most complete example of Spanish-American military architecture.

    Santiago de Cuba is the former capital of the country and the second largest city in Cuba. Founded by Diego Velazquez in 1514, the city was built on the east side of the bay.

    This was the starting point of the expeditions led by Juan de Grijalba and Hernan Cortes to the coasts of Mexico in 1518, and in 1538 by Hernando de Soto's expedition to Florida. The first cathedral was built in the city in 1528. From 1522 until 1589 Santiago was the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba.

    The city experienced an influx of French immigrants in the late 18th century and early 19th century, many coming from Haiti after the Haitian slave revolt of 1791. This added to the city's eclectic cultural mix, already rich with Spanish and African culture.

    After arrival visit to San Pedro de la Roca Morro Castle, a XVII century military construction atop the cliffs at the narrow entrance to Santiago Bay and one of the settings of the Spanish American War.

    The fortress was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, cited as the best preserved and most complete example of Spanish-American military architecture.

    Lunch at El Morro Restaurant.

    Afternoon: visit to Moncada barracks, one of the largest military barracks of Batista government. On July 26, 1953, it was the site of an armed attack by a small group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro. This armed attack is widely accepted as the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. Today it houses the largest primary school of Eastern Cuba with over 1600 students and 245 teachers.

    Panoramic bus ride of modern Santiago de Cuba. We will visit the Heredia Theatre, San Juan Hill, Square of Revolution Antonio Maceo, baseball stadium Saturnino Lora, Palacio de Justicia, among others.

    Check in at Melia Santiago Hotel (breakfast included).

    Late afternoon and evening: participation in the different musical venues taking place in the historical center around the Fire Festival. There are over 50 locations holding activities during the fire festival, many of them in natural open settings.
    Day 3. Monday 1 July 2019.
    Santiago de Cuba
    Morning: visit to Parque Cespedes, located at the heart of the historical center of the city. The Plaza is surrounded by important buildings such as:

    The Cathedral, originally built in 1522 and where the remains of Diego Velasquez are buried.

    Ayuntamiento (City Hall) erected in 1950’s. From the balcony of this building Fidel Castro gave his victory speech immediately after the success of the Revolution on January 1rst, 1959.

    Visit the oldest house in Cuba, today Museo de Ambiente Historico Colonial and formerly the residence of Diego Velázquez in the XVI century.

    Lunch at Zunzun restaurant.

    Afternoon: visit to Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre. This is the country’s most sacred pilgrimage site since the Virgin of Charity is the patron saint of Cuba. In the Afro-Cuban religion she is associated with Ochun, the Yoruba goddess of love.

    Evening: Join in the Parade of Festival del Fuego (Fire Festival). One of the biggest and best free street parties in the whole of Cuba, the annual Fiesta del Fuego turns the streets of Santiago de Cuba into a riot of colour, music, dance and celebrations.

    With plenty of vendors selling the national drink, rum-fuelled revellers get in the festival spirit as live bands, musicians and DJs keep crowds at fever pitch. The whole city seemingly takes parts with celebrations continuing through until the small hours.

    Day 4. Tuesday 2 July 2019.
    Santiago de Cuba
    Morning: ferry boat ride to Cayo Granma, a picturesque little island of red-roofed dwellings just inside the Bay of Santiago de Cuba.

    Lunch at Cayo Granma Restaurant.

    Afternoon and evening: participation in the different musical venues taking place in the historical center around the Fire Festival. There are over 50 locations holding activities during the fire festival, many of them in natural open settings.

    Your guide will give you options the days before so that you plan ahead this day or just play as it goes!
    Day 5. Wednesday 3 July 2019.
    Santiago de Cuba
    Morning: attend a Tumba Francesa performance by the Society of Tumba Francesa "La Caridad de Oriente ", declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

    It conserves in all its splendor the contributions bequeathed by the French and dahomeyana- Benin, Congo and Niger cultures, in the island of Cuba; as genuine example of the tradition and expression of the popular culture of the Cuban east.

    Afternoon and evening: participation in the different musical venues taking place in the historical center around the THE FIRE FESTIVAL 2019. There are over 50 locations holding activities during the fire festival, many of them in natural open settings.

    Your guide will give you options the days before so that you plan ahead this day or just play as it goes!
    Day 6. Thursday 4 July 2019.
    Santiago de Cuba- Havana
    Morning: flight back to Havana City. Estimated flight time: 2 hours.

    Afterwards visit to Callejon de Hamel, an alleyway street caught in Centro Habana neighbourhood where an effort of cultural rescue and expansion led by fine artist Salvador González has been underway since 1990. Salvador’s murals and sculptures have taken over entire buildings’ facades– shrines to Afrocuban deities.

    Meet with Salvador Gonzales to discuss their work and its effects on the neighbourhood.

    Lunch hosted by Jose Fuster, one of the most important Cuban ceramists and painters today.

    Followed by panoramic air conditioned coach tour of the most important historical sites in the Modern Havana neighbourhoods of Vedado and Miramar including the Revolution Square, University of Havana, Habana Libre Hotel, Coppelia Ice Cream Park, Plaza José Martí (in front of U.S. Interests Section), Monument to the Battleship Maine, Malecón seawall, Prado promenade, Central Park, The Great Theatre and the Capitol building.

    Check in at the Melia Cohiba Hotel.

    Evening: enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous Jazz club. The club features great performances by island bands and soloists! (optional, not included).
    Day 7. Friday 5 July 2019.
    Havana
    Morning: ferry boat ride across Havana harbour to Regla town. This Afrocuban community has a long, rich and still active tradition of African-inspired religions.

    Tour of Regla's municipal museum to learn the origins of this unique community and its Afrocuban cultures.

    Enjoy a private Afrocuban religious dance presentation by Regla Folkloric Group.

    Lunch at La Mina restaurant.

    Afternoon: guided walking tour of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Visit to the Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza of Cuba, named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Cathedral of Havana built by the Jesuit order.

    Visit to Square of Arms, ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers and surrounded by impressive buildings such as:

    Palacio de los Capitanes Generales was the former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City.

    Palacio del Segundo Cabo, the seat of the second authority of the island. Today it houses important publishing houses.

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The second oldest fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies. The castle was recently renovated and reopened in June 2008 to hold the impressive maritime museum. Well laid out exhibits chart Spain and Cuba's naval history.

    Continue walking tour onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest in the historical quarter.

    Visit to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Notice it doesn't have a church or government building around. Here we will visit important institutions for visual arts.

    Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.

    Evening: attend one of the most traditional and popular ceremonies in Cuba, Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock at the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana. Followed by visit to Casa del Habano “La Triada”.
    Day 8. Saturday 6 July 2019.
    Departure
    Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.

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