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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!
Contact Me
Santiago de Cuba Hotel Accommodation for the International Jazz Festival Tour
Hotels:
This Cuba tour offers the following Cuban hotels:

5-Star Hotel
Melia Santiago

by Melia Hotels

Destinations:
This Cuba tour travels to the following Cuban destinations:

Santiago de Cuba
Second Largest City
in Cuba


San Pedro de La Roca Castle
UNESCO World Heritage
Site in Santiago de Cuba


Cayo Granma
Small Island in the Caribbean Sea

Basilica of Our Lady of Charity
in the Sierra Maestra Mountain Range
Cuba tour options for the Cuba's International Jazz Festival
Cuba Tours:
Which Cuba Jazz Festival Cuba tour is best for you?

6-Day Havana Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for travelers on a limited budget or short on time looking to explore Havana and Western Cuba.

9-Day Havana Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for travelers looking to explore Havana, Western Cuba and Central Cuba.

8-Day Santiago Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for repeating travelers looking to explore Santiago de Cuba in Eastern Cuba.

Jazz Tour Comparison
How to go to the Santiago de Cuba`s International Jazz Festival from USA
About the Santiago de Cuba's International Jazz Festival
The International Jazz Festival Jazz Plaza will celebrate its 35th Anniversary in Havana (Cuba's capital city) and Santiago de Cuba (Cuba's 2nd largest city) in 2020.

Founded in Havana in 1978, and considered as the largest Jazz festival in the Latin-American & Caribbean region, the Jazz Festival 2020 will be hosted in Santiago de Cuba for a fourth time.

Among the biggest jazz names that have performed at the Santiago de Cuba's Jazz Festival are Arturo O'Farril (USA), The Shuffle Demonds (Canada), Jose Tobon and Sigurajazz (Colombia), among others.

From Cuba: Giraldo Piloto and his Klimax Band, Albertico Lescay and his Formas Band, Los Munequitos de Matanzas Rumba Group, Explosion Rumbera Group, Los Hoyos Conga Group, Renacer Vocal Group, Compas Vocal Group, Divas Vocal Group, Atenas Jazz Ensemble, Jazz de Bess as well as Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Bands, and Jazz Virtuosos from the Santiago de Cuba's Music Conservatory Esteban Salas.
How to Go?
Cuba Study Tours & Travel to Cuba from USA
US Cuba Study Tours & Travel
Authentic Cuba Travel offers universities, colleges and schools from US, Canada and all over the world the best study trips to Cuba.

Business
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HealthCare
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Religious
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US Cuba Educational Tours & Travel
Educational Travel to Cuba should be more than sunbathing in beautiful Caribbean beaches while sipping cold tropical drinks.

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Jazz
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Ballet
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Art
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havana book fair

habano cigar festival

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Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Official Cuba Tour

Jazz Festival, Santiago de Cuba 2020 Melia Santiago de Cuba Hotel Cuba Jazz Tours for American Travelers Discount Cuba Festival Tours Cuba Jazz Festival Tours Santiago de Cuba Tours & Travel Verified Reviews from Past Travellers to the Cuba's Jazz Festival USA Cuba Jazz Travel for US Music Organizations USA Cuba Jazz Travel for US Music Schools

Join our 8-Day Official Cuba Tour to the Jazz Festival
of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's 2nd Largest City!
From January 13 to January 20, 2020


Explore Cuba's Caribbean Heritage! $2,799 (all taxes included)


Cuba Festival Travel | Referral Discount: $100

Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2,699 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2,599 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $2,499 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $2,399 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0 only
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


The 35th Cuba’s International Jazz Festival, Jazz Plaza 2020 (sponsored by Grammy-Award winner Chucho Valdes) will be hosted in Havana and Santiago de Cuba (Cuba's second largest city) from January 14th to January 19, 2020. Working in partnership with the Instituto Cubano de La Musica (Cuba’s Music Institute), the Centro Nacional de Musica Popular (Cuba’s National Centre of Popular Music), and the Jazz Plaza Organizing Committee both in Havana and Santiago de Cuba, Authentic Cuba Travel is offering the Official Jazz Plaza 2020 Cuba Tour to the International Jazz Festival of Santiago de Cuba from January 13th to January 20th, 2020.

Why Join Our 8-Day Cuba Tour to The Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival 2020?



Our 2020 Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Official Cuba Tour allows our travelers unlimited access to all jazz events, including preferential seating at the Opening and Closing Gala of the Jazz Festival. Designed for those repeating travelers who have attended the International Jazz Festival in Havana in previous years and wish to attend again, but who also want to visit a different Cuban destination and enjoy a completely different Cuba travel experience.

The itinerary has been planned for Canadian and US travelers who want to visit Santiago de Cuba LEGALLY during the Cuba’s Jazz Festival 2020. It includes 5-Star Hotel Accommodation, 24/7 Luxury Air-Conditioning Motor Coach, University-Graduated Cuban Tour Guide Escort, keen to share his knowledge of Cuba, most meals at Santiago de Cuba’s Finest Restaurants, ALL ACCESS JAZZ PASS, and entrance fee to all Santiago de Cuba’s Museums, Top-Notch Attractions and Activities as described in the itinerary.

With recognition from the Organizing Committee of the Cuba’s International Jazz Festival, as North America's largest Cuba travel sellers of escorted tours to the Cuba’s Jazz Festival (mainly but not only from USA & Canada), it is clear to those in the know that our once-a-year official Cuba jazz tours to the Havana and Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival are the ultimate bucket list Cuba travel experience for Jazz lovers with a burning desire to be fully immerse in the culture of the Caribbean island and explore the authentic Cuba beyond the jazz event.

Click here to read historical verified reviews and testimonials from past travelers from US and all over the world dating back years!

Invite Friends and Family and Travel Free!



Add to that our ONE HUNDRED UNLIMITED DISCOUNT PROGRAM, and you’ll see that our budget Jazz tours to Cuba aren’t just very affordable (you can end up traveling free!)- our 24/7 escorted Cuba jazz tours are the best Cuba travel experience for Canadian and USA travelers. Again...you will receive a $100 discount for every family member and friend that travels to Cuba with you. In the event that you bring TEN Jazz lovers along, we will simply cover all your Cuba ground tour costs! And those family members and friends (traveling to the Cuba's Jazz Festival 2020 with you) will be grateful to you since they will also pay ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR less the price of the tour.

Visit Cuba Legally from USA!



The USA CUBA TRAVEL LICENSE IS INCLUDED in the cost of your Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Cuba Tour 2020. So you enjoy the luxury of traveling to Cuba legally and the peace of mind in knowing you are complying with President Trump’s current Cuba Travel Regulations. We can book your return flights from any USA port operating commercial flights to Cuba (Florida, California, New York, other) or international ports (Canada, Mexico, other). You will be travelling under the People-to-People Educational Group License issued by a US sponsor authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to operate cultural and educational people-to-people programs to Cuba.

Explore Santiago de Cuba beyond the Jazz Festival!



Authentic Cuba Travel offers the International Jazz Festival of Santiago de Cuba tour, with pleasure! Santiago de Cuba is one of those cities in Cuba that forces you to slow down and simply enjoy. It is the type of cultural playground that many travelers dream of finding.

During your 8-Day Official Cuba Tour to the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival, you will explore the complex cultural heritage of Santiago de Cuba by the hand of your passionate Cuban guide who will propel you into a week of tackling the new and the unknown.

You will visit those places the Cubans visit like the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, the sacred pilgrimage site of all Cubans, located in the Sierra Maestra Mountain Range, Cuba’s highest and most biodiverse mountain range, and home to La Gran Piedra, a UNESCO Heritage Site boasting the ruins of 19th century coffee plantations.

You will embark on a guided walking tour of Santiago de Cuba’s Historical Centre, and visit historical venues like the oldest house in Cuba, the Residence of Diego Velazquez, the infamous Spanish conquistador and the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba (1522), where Diego Velazquez was buried.

As you tour San Pedro de La Roca Castle, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will enjoy the serenity of the Sierra Maestra mountains while taking in the views of Santiago de Cuba’s Bay and the Caribbean Sea.

Then you will be sailing to Cayo Granma, a small key of red-roofed wooden dwellings inhabited by a fishing community in the Bay of Santiago de Cuba, you will soak up in the real Cuba as you enjoy a fresh lunch at a local restaurant or while visiting the main parish, Iglesia de San Rafael.

During your 8-day Cuba journey, you will stay at the 5-Star Melia Santiago Hotel, an unbeatable stay- especially for hosting the Santiago de Cuba’s Jazz festival, and for its palm-tree-shaded huge swimming pool and thatched bar-restaurant that brings a beachfront feeling to a centrally located resort.

Why the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival?



The Jazz genre reached exceptional heights in the last edition of the Cuba’s International Jazz Festival "Jazz Plaza", especially in the Eastern Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba, also known as the Capital of the Caribbean and the Cradle of the Cuban Revolution, where jazz virtuoso, Arturo O’Farrill (son of Cuban musician Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill) headlined a concert that captivated the audience and showcased his versatility as a Jazz musician. Dedicated to pay tribute to the work of musician, researcher and author Leonardo Acosta, the Santiago de Cuba's Jazz Festival, not only hosted big Cuban and international Jazz acts, but brought together Cuban heritage, history, culture, and music.

Among the biggest jazz names that have performed at the Santiago de Cuba's Jazz Festival are Arturo O'Farril (USA), The Shuffle Demonds (Canada), Jose Tobon and Sigurajazz (Colombia), Giraldo Piloto and his Klimax Band, Albertico Lescay and his Formas Band, Los Munequitos de Matanzas Rumba Group, Explosion Rumbera Group, Los Hoyos Conga Group, Renacer Vocal Group, Compas Vocal Group, Divas Vocal Group, Atenas Jazz Ensemble, Jazz de Bess as well as Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Bands, and Jazz Virtuosos from the Santiago de Cuba's Music Conservatory Esteban Salas.

The Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival reverberates to the jazz sounds of big names from the national and international Jazz scene time and time again. The 2020 Jazz Edition of Santiago de Cuba is not going to disappoint! On our Official Cuba Tours 2020, the double and single accommodations are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Do not risk missing out this opportunity, book today!

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

Notice to US Universities, Colleges and Schools with Music 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 Music 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 Recording Industry Associations, US Music Publishers’ Associations, US Musicians Associations, US Music Clubs, US Academies of Music, and other Music Institutes and Societies from USA



US Recording Industry Associations, US Music Publishers’ Associations, US Musicians Associations, US Music Clubs, US Academies of Music, and other Music Institutes and Societies 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.

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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  • CUBA JAZZ TOURS COMPARISON
  • 6 Day Havana Jazz Festival
    Cuba Tour 2020
    9 Day Havana Jazz Festival
    Cuba Tour 2020
  • People-to-people General License issued by OFAC Authorized US SponsorPeople-to-people General License issued by OFAC Authorized US Sponsor
  • Havana Jazz Festival PassHavana Jazz Festival Pass
  • 9 Meals Included15 Meals Included
  • 24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach
  • 24/7 English Speaking Guide24/7 English Speaking Guide
  • 24/7 Support from ACT Staff24/7 Support from ACT Staff
  • Hotels:
  • 4-Star Habana Riviera by Iberostar Hotels or 5-Star Melia Cohiba by Melia Hotels4-Star Habana Riviera by Iberostar Hotels or 5-Star Melia Cohiba by Melia Hotels and 4-Star Melia Jagua by Melia Hotels
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
  • TWO(2): Old Havana and Vinales Valley)FIVE(5):Old Havana, Vinales Valley, Cienfuegos Historical Centre, Trinidad Historical Centre & The Sugar Mill Valley
  • Attractions:
  • Guided Tours of Old Havana and Vinales Valley & Town.

    Guided Tours of Partagas Cigar Factory, Hemingway Attractions, Havana Art Schools, among others.

    Visits to Studios of Artists, Experimental Printing Workshop, Old Havana Handicraft Market, Scale Model of Old Havana, among others.
    Guided Tours of Old Havana, Vinales Valley & Town, Cienfuegos, Trinidad & Sugar Mills Valley.

    Guided tours of Partagas Cigar Factory, Hemingway Attractions, Havana Art Schools, among others.

    Visits to Studios of Artists, Experimental Printing Workshop, Old Havana Handicraft Market, Scale Model of Old Havana, among others.

    Guided Tours of Palacio del Valle, Tomas Terry Theatre, among others in Cienfuegos. Guided Tours of Museo Romantico, History Museum, among others in Trinidad.

    Private Visits to the Pottery Making Workshop, Casa Templo de Santería, Handicraft Market, among others in Trinidad.
  • Price (All Taxes Included):
  • 4 Star Package Price: $1,999

    5 Star Package Price: $2,599
    4 Star Package Price: $2,599

    5 Star Package Price: $3,199
  • BOOK NOW!BOOK NOW!

  • 8 Day Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Cuba Tour 2020
  • People-to-people General License issued by OFAC Authorized US Sponsor
  • All Access Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Pass
  • 12 Meals Included
  • 24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach, English Speaking Guide, Support from ACT Staff
  • Hotels:
  • 5-Star Melia Santiago by Melia Hotels
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
  • San Pedro de La Roca El Morro Castle
  • Attractions:
  • Guided tours of Santiago de Cuba’s Historical Centre, San Pedro de La Roca Castle, Museum of Colonial History, Municipal Museum of History, La Granjita Siboney Museum , Moncada Barracks, Santa Ifigenia Cementery (1868), among others.

    Visits to the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, the Bacardi Rum Factory, Cayo Granma, among others.
  • Price (All Taxes Included):
  • 5 Star Package Price: $2,799
  • BOOK NOW!

  • Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival
    2020 Official Cuba Tour
    Quick Facts & Highlights

    • People-to-people OFAC General License issued by US Sponsor.
    • Travel to "the Capital of the Caribbean", Santiago de Cuba.
    • 7 nights at 5 Star Hotel Melia Santiago with breakfast included.
    • Luxury 24/7 Dedicated Air-conditioned Motor Coach and Driver.
    • 24/7 Cuban English Speaking Guide and Translator Services.
    • 24/7 Support from Authentic Cuba Travel' Staff in Cuba and Canada.
    • 12 Meals Included: 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches.
    • "All Access" Jazz Pass to Attend All Santiago de Cuba's Jazz Venues.
    • Premium Seats at the Opening Concert of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival.
    • Daily Attendance to 2020 Jazz Festival's Venues Across Santiago de Cuba.
    • Premium Seats at the Closing Concert of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival.
    • Ferry Boat Ride to Cayo Granma (Granma Island) in the Caribbean Sea.
    • Visit to Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre.
    • Guided Tour of Santiago de Cuba's Historical Site.
    • Guided Tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Pedro Morro Castle.
    • Guided Tour of Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, resting place of Fidel Castro.
    • Guided Tour of National Monument, La Granjita Siboney Museum.
    • Guided Tour of the Moncada Barracks museum and the primary school.
    • Performance by Tumba Francesa Society "La Caridad de Oriente".
    • Rub Shoulders with International & Cuban Jazz Musicians.
    • Unlimited Access to Activities of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival 2020.

    Hotel Melia Santiago, Venue of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival. During your 8-day Cuba jazz journey, you will stay at the 5-Star Melia Santiago Hotel, an unbeatable stay- for hosting the Santiago de Cuba’s International Jazz festival, and for its huge swimming pool that brings a beachfront feeling to a centrally located resort. US travelers to Cuba are authorized to stay at this facility. US government prohibits US travelers to conduct financial transactions with over 180 Cuban hotels, restaurants and other entities. We constantly monitor the list of prohibited entities to make sure our American travelers to Cuba are in compliance with current USA Cuba travel regulations.
    Arturo O'Farrill playing at the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Captivating performances by Grammy Award-winning pianist, Arturo O’Farril at the Teatro Marti brought the audience to standing ovations at the Opening Gala of the Santiago de Cuba City Jazz Festival last year. Son of the legendary Cuban composer, Chico O’Farrill, Arturo O’Farrill was raised in New York where he attended prestigious music schools such as the Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music. Spearheading the political fight to normalize USA Cuba relations for years, Arturo O’Farrill has paved the way that makes possible Cuba jazz travel from USA.
    Paladar Aurora, Santiago de Cuba' International Jazz Festival.
    Our American travelers to Cuba will be treated to delicious meals at Cuba's paladares like Aurora Paladar in Santiago de Cuba. Paladar is a Spanish word that refers to private independent restaurants run by Cuban restaurateurs (self-employers). Cuban entrepreneurs are showing an emerging confidence and a newfound responsibility to take control of their futures after Raul Castro's economic reform programme. Another success of the US people-to-people programs to Cuba!
    Girardo Piloto, Klimax at the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival. Giraldo Piloto, one of the best jazz drummers in Cuba, is among the numerous Cuban jazz musicians that perform during the Santiago de Cuba’s International Jazz Festival. During our jazz trips to Cuba from USA, visitors enjoy the good taste and high virtuosity of the array of Cuban musicians who take the stage at the numerous jazz venues that host the international Cuban Jazz event.
    Cuba jazz tours from USA explore UNESCO World Heritage sites in Santiago de Cuba such as the San Pedro de La Roca Morro Castle, showcasing stupendous views of the Caribbean Sea, and striking Spanish military architecture. It contains a museum that showcases the many events the fort has witnessed during its 4-Century history from pirate’s attacks, to English forces’ assaults, to United States’ fleet battles.
    US travelers aboard our jazz tours to Cuba from USA will explore authentic Cuba’s destinations such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, proudly standing in the heart of Cuba’s highest and most biodiverse mountain range: Sierra Maestra. Sierra Maestra mountain range is also home to another UNESCO World Heritage site where the ruins of the first 19th century coffe plantations remains have been found.
    Munequitos de Matanzas performing with Arturo O'Farrill at the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival. The Los Munequitos de Matanzas (Cuba’s most famous rumba group), Conga Los Hoyos (Santiago de Cuba city’s award-winning conga group) and American Jazz pianist, Arturo O’Farrill (Grammy Award winner) delivered a luxurious performance at the Marti Theatre with the fusion of Jazz, Rumba and Conga during the International Festival Jazz Plaza in Santiago de Cuba. Our jazz Cuba tours offer unlimited access to all venues hosting the event such as Teatro Marti (Marti Theatre), Plaza de Marte (Marte Square), Plaza Dolores (Dolores Square), the UNEAC Headquarters (Cuba’s National Union of Artists and Writers), Melia Santiago Hotel, Cabaret Tropicana de Santiago de Cuba, among other smaller jazz clubs such as Iris or La Pachanga.
    Cayo Granma, Santiago de Cuba.
    The best Cuba jazz tours to Santiago de Cuba, explore overlooked authentic Cuban destinations such as Cayo Granma. Included in your jazz travel to Cuba, it is a very pleasant panoramic ferry ride through the Caribbean waters surrounding this small 2-square-kilometer charming island, inhabited by fishermen that live in red-roofed picturesque houses standing on stilts in the Bay of Santiago de Cuba. Our people-to-people Cuba tours make possible for US citizens to mingle with the friendly people (population about 1,200) that inhabited this island and learn about their way of life.
    Cementery Santa Ifigenia, Santiago de Cuba.
    Our Jazz trips to Cuba from US, include a visit to the Santa Ifigenia Cementery (1868), one of the largest and grandiose cementerios in Cuba (second to Havana’s Necropolis Cristobal Colon only). With a mausoleum dedicated to those killed during the Moncada barrack’s battle of 1953, the cemetery is also the resting place of Jose Marti (Cuba’s National Hero) and Fidel Castro.
    Day 1. Monday 13 January 2020.
    Hello Santiago de Cuba
    Arrival at "Antonio Maceo" International Airport in Santiago de Cuba.

    It is no secret the Santiago de Cuba City, the Capital of the Caribbean as it is also known, is a year-round destination. January just makes it an extra special Cuban destination because of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival.

    Group welcomed by your Authentic Cuba Travel Cuban Guide. Panoramic transfer to the Melia Santiago Hotel. Perfectly located in downtown Santiago de Cuba City, this modern hotel combines resort style facilities and an enviable central location to explore the main venues of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival. Private group check-in.

    With our Cuba Jazz tours, we have found the way to share authentic Cuba travel experiences in a way that enlightens and empowers the North American travelers and the Cuban people they connect with along the Cuban Jazz journey.

    Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Santiago de Cuba (1514), second largest Cuban city, was one of the first 7 villages founded by Spanish conquistador Diego Velazquez in the beginning of the 16th Century. It was also the first capital of the country under the colonial ruling. The city’s privilege location by the Santiago de Cuba’s Bay- opening to the Caribbean Sea- made it a strategic departing point for the explorations of Mexico and Florida led by Spaniards Juan de Grijalba and Hernan Cortes respectively in 1518 and 1538.

    Also known as the Capital of the Caribbean because of its cultural heritage, the city has played important roles during historical events in the Caribbean region. For example, during the 1791 Haiti’s Revolution, a large number of French and British immigrants fleeing the conflict settled in the city enriching the Spanish and African cultural fabric of the city.
    Day 2. Tuesday 14 January 2020.
    Historical Santiago de Cuba
    Morning: your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide will teach you a lesson today about the early days of Santiago de Cuba as you explore the surroundings of Parque Cespedes, the city’s original colonial square.

    Well-known for being the burial site of Diego Velazquez, the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption (1522) was visited by Pope Francis in 2015 and showcases elaborate ceiling frescos, hand-carved choir stalls, and a refined altar dedicated to the venerated Virgin of Charity.

    At over 500 years young, Santiago de Cuba’s Historical Centre showcases distinctive colonial architecture, narrow steep streets, and the oldest house in Cuba (Museum of Colonial History), former house of Diego Velazquez, the Spanish conquistador who founded the city back in 1514.

    Lunch at Paladar Aurora. Paladar is a Spanish word that refers to private independent restaurants run by Cuban restaurateurs (self-employers). Cuban entrepreneurs are showing an emerging confidence and a newfound responsibility to take control of their futures after Raul Castro's economic reform programme.

    Afternoon: Visit to Municipal Museum of History, Emilio Bacardi, one of Cuba’s oldest museums founded in 1899 by Independence War hero, Emilio Bacardi. As Santiago de Cuba’s first republican mayor, Mr. Bacardi amazed an extensive fortune as a rum producer. The museum highlights the history of the Eastern region and contains the largest collection of paintings of Santiago de Cuba’s landscape artists, Jose Joaquin Tejada.

    Evening: although the Official Opening Gala of the 35th Jazz Festival of Santiago de Cuba takes place tomorrow, Wednesday 15 January 2020, there are a series of pre-event Jazz concerts and Jazz impromptus sessions taking place in the city tonight as part of the prestigious Cuba’s international Jazz gathering. Your dedicated Cuban tour guide will keep you posted on what’s going on and drive you to the main events. Please, do keep your ALL ACCESS JAZZ PAZZ with you at all times to enjoy full access to all venues.

    The main 35th Jazz festival venues in Santiago de Cuba are the Teatro Marti (Marti Theatre), Plaza de Marte (Marte Square), Plaza Dolores (Dolores Square), the UNEAC Headquarters (Cuba’s National Union of Artists and Writers), Melia Santiago Hotel, Cabaret Tropicana de Santiago de Cuba, among other smaller jazz clubs such as Iris or La Pachanga.
    Day 3. Wednesday 15 January 2020.
    Opening Gala, Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival
    Morning: this morning we will visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Pedro de La Roca Castle (1633) which guards high above the narrow entrance to the pocket-shape Bay of Santiago de Cuba. Boasting stupendous views of the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Maestra mountains, and a striking Spanish military architecture, the fort serves as a museum today showcasing the many events it has witnessed during its 4-Century history from pirate’s attacks, to English forces’ assaults, to United States’ fleet battles.

    Lunch will be served at the nearby El Morro restaurant. Simple but classic Cuban creole dishes such as roast pork, congris and chicharritas (plantain chips) are especially enjoyable while soaking in the magnificent views of Santiago de Cuba’s coastline from the spectacular cliffside setting of this eatery. It is a place where photographers will satiate their need for quintessential panoramic scenes.

    Afternoon: 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.

    Evening: showcasing the biggest jazz names and breaking barriers along the way, the Opening Concert of the 35th Jazz Festival kicks off today in Santiago de Cuba. Your All Access Jazz Pass will grant you access to the Marti Theatre (where the biggest Jazz names perform) as well as all other venues hosting the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival 2020. Please, safeguard your Jazz pass carefully as it is unreplaceable if lost or stolen.
    Day 4. Thursday 16 January 2020.
    Cayo Granma, Authentic Cuban Destination
    Morning: after a 10-minute ferry ride throughout Santiago de Cuba’s Bay, you will arrive at an authentic Cuban destination known as Cayo Granma, named after the Granma vessel that brought Fidel Castro’s Revolutionaries to Cuba from Mexico in 1956. Cayo Granma is a small 2-square-kilometer charming island inhabited by fishermen whose red-roofed picturesque houses stand on stilts above the Caribbean waters. Today we will mingle with its friendly people (population about 1,200) and learn about their way of life.

    A true seafood lunch will be served at Cayo Granma Restaurant where you will indulge over freshly-caught fish sided by the traditional Cuban staples such as congris (rice and beans) and tostones (plantain chips).

    Afternoon: you will visit the San Rafael Church, which stands on the highest elevation at the center of the island. As you stroll around the village you will see the local school, pharmacy, family doctor’s office, as well as the colourful dock where the fishing boats are kept. You will unveil the mystery of this overlooked authentic destination in Santiago de Cuba by the hand of your Cuban guide.

    Evening: the exhilarating and exciting Cuba jazz travel experience continues on tonight. During the 2nd night of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival 2020, almost all venues offer concerts in parallel so it is hard to decide where to go. Especially when you have an ALL ACCESS Jazz pass that grants you complete access to All Things Jazz! No worries, your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide is here to guide you and your bus driver is here to drive you to the best the Cuban Jazz Festival has to offer!
    Day 5. Friday 17 January 2020.
    Basilica del Cobre, Sacred House of all Cubans
    Morning: as you venture past touristy stalls selling religious stamps, sunflowers and souvenirs in El Cobre town, you will reach the sacred house of all Cubans, the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, proudly standing in the heart of Cuba’s highest and most biodiverse mountain range: Sierra Maestra. Sierra Maestra mountain range is also home to another UNESCO World Heritage site where the ruins of the first 19th century coffe plantations remains have been found.

    Followed by a visit to nearby Monumento al Cimarron (Runaway Slave Monument), a bronze-and-iron sculpture standing atop a hill near El Cobre town, It was created by Santiago de Cuba’s sculptor Alberto Lescay as a remembrance of the slave revolts that took place in the region during colonial times.

    We will have lunch at another private restaurant today, Paladar La Brasa. This is a must visit in our Cuba jazz trips for us citizens on people-to-people Cuba tours. With Cuban music played by a local trio, friendly services and authentic Cuba food, a great meal is guaranteed!

    Afternoon: a visit to Santiago de Cuba would not be complete without sipping in some traditional rum at the Bacardi Rum Factory (1868). And...where better than at the original Bacardi Rum Factory, founded in 1868 by Spaniard Don Facundo. Although the Bacardi family left Cuba after 1959, the Cuban government has continued to produce traditional rum here ever since under different brand names such as Ron Caney (the factory’s signature), Ron Santiago and Ron Varadero.

    Evening: the exhilarating and exciting Cuba jazz travel experience continues on tonight. During the 3rd night of the 35th Jazz Festival of Santiago de Cuba, almost all venues offer concerts in parallel so it is hard to decide where to go. Especially when you have an ALL ACCESS Jazz pass that grants you complete access to All Things Jazz! No worries, your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide is here to guide you and your bus driver is here to drive you to the best the Cuban Jazz Festival has to offer!

    The main 35th Jazz festival venues in Santiago de Cuba are the Teatro Marti (Marti Theatre), Plaza de Marte (Marte Square), Plaza Dolores (Dolores Square), the UNEAC Headquarters (Cuba’s National Union of Artists and Writers), Melia Santiago Hotel, Cabaret Tropicana de Santiago de Cuba, among other smaller jazz clubs such as Iris or La Pachanga.
    Day 6. Saturday 18 January 2020.
    The Cuban Revolution
    Morning: visit to the National Monument, La Granjita Siboney Museum (Siboney Farmhouse Museum) in the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba city, a foremost memorial site to the Cuban Revolution.

    In the early hours of July 26th, 1953, Fidel Castro and a group of young fighters gathered in this farmhouse and left in a 26-car convoy to launch the attack on the Moncada barracks, the second largest military garrison in Cuba at the time. The attack was a military failure and many of the brave soldiers were killed at the battle site or afterwards. Many of those who fell are buried today at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery. However, the attack marked the birth of the Cuban Revolution and became the symbol for the Movimiento 26 de Julio, M 26-7 Movement.

    We will have lunch at another private restaurant today, Paladar St. Pauli. Housed in a refurbished historical house, this stylish restaurant is full of live, aromas and good taste. It has altered the food scene in Santiago de Cuba. Where else can you find gazpacho in Santiago? Unique opportunity for American visitors to Cuba to talk with local entrepreneurs up close.

    Afternoon: continue on delving into the history of the Cuban Revolution with a guided tour of the Moncada Barracks, the battle site of the armed attack led by a group of young Cubans under the leadership of Fidel Castro on July 26th, 1953, considered as the prelude of the 1959 Revolution. Today it houses a museum and the largest primary school in Santiago de Cuba with more than 1500 students.

    Followed by a visit to the Santa Ifigenia Cementery (1868), one of the largest and grandiose cementerios in Cuba (second to Havana’s Necropolis Cristobal Colon only). With a mausoleum dedicated to those killed during the Moncada barrack’s battle of 1953, the cemetery is also the resting place of Jose Marti (Cuba’s National Hero) and Fidel Castro.

    Evening: Tonight marks the 4th night of the Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival 2020. American travelers are able to travel to Santiago de Cuba for the Jazz Festival 2020, and in that time, move throughout Eastern Cuba and experience the authentic Cuban culture along the way.

    Enjoying Cuba beyond the Cuba’s Jazz Festival, it is the goal of our educational tours to Caribbean island. The goal of your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide is to provide you with a sense of place; to offer a deeper understanding of Cuba, and the Eastern region and the communities you will visit. But it is the memories you get to bring home with you that are the best part of our Cuban jazz tours.
    Day 7. Sunday 19 January 2020.
    Closing Gala, Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival
    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: free for personal explorations.

    Evening: Cuba is one of those places in the world that forces you to slow down and simply enjoy. Paradoxically, another supercharged Jazz night unfolds in the Cuban city tonight with the closing act of the 35th Jazz Festival of Santiago de Cuba. Attending the Closing Gala of this Cuban Jazz Festival at the Marti Theatre marks the ending of your Jazz odyssey into the heart and soul of Eastern Cuba. Please....do not forget your All Access Jazz Pass :)
    Day 8. Monday 20 January 2019.
    Departure
    Early morning departure to Santiago de Cuba City International Airport for departure.

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