Santiago Music & Cultural Tour 2024

Explore Santiago de Cuba with Expert Musician Guides, including a Special Day Tour to discover the Rich Musical Heritage and Culture of Guantánamo Province
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Santiago de Cuba Music Exploration + Day Tour to Guantánamo Province

Discover the vibrant heart of Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo over five unforgettable days. With Havana Music Tours, you’ll connect deeply with the local culture, feeling the warmth of its traditions and the harmonious melodies of son. Our team, a blend of musicians, musicologists, and Cuban travel enthusiasts, has crafted a journey that brings you closer to Santiago de Cuba’s rich history, delicious culinary scenes, and iconic venues like Casa de la Trova and Salón del Son.

Your stay in a local Casa de Renta promises both comfort and authenticity. Transportation and dining details are thoughtfully arranged, ensuring you savor meals at renowned spots such as Restaurante La Cabaña and Restaurante El Madrileño. As evening approaches, let the allure of venues like Casa de las Tradiciones captivate you. Revel in performances from Grammy Award-Winning groups like Septeto Santiaguero, the sensations of Rumberos de Hoy, the UNESCO-recognized Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente, and the lively beats of Conga Los Hoyos.

Your adventure is packed with visits to historical landmarks, interactive musical sessions, and city tours that offer a fresh perspective. From exploring the Conservatorio de Música Esteban Salas to a day trip to Guantánamo with the insightful historian Jesús Cuenca, every moment is curated to leave a lasting impression. A gentle reminder: This is a sample itinerary, and the actual events may have their own unique twist based on availability.

Featured Performances:

  • Septeto Santiaguero: A renowned small-format group with multiple Latin Grammy nominations and awards. They’ve collaborated with global artists like Rubén Blades, Maroon 5, and Oscar de León.
  • Rumberos de Hoy: Experience 45 minutes of authentic Rumba rhythms led by Vladimir Ibarra Paisan, a group that has garnered numerous accolades over its 15-year history.
  • Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente: A UNESCO-recognized performance showcasing Franco-Haitian rhythms, unique costumes, and authentic dances.
  • Conga Los Hoyos: A 45-minute performance by a group founded in 1902, known for its infectious rhythm and unique instruments.

Donations – Making a Difference:

We believe in giving back to the communities we visit. We encourage our guests to consider donating school supplies, musical equipment, and essential medications. Such contributions, however small, can make a significant difference in the lives of the locals.

Donations recommended:

  • School Supplies (Pencils, Notebooks, Lined Paper)
  • Musical Supplies (Instrument Reeds, Instrument Grease, Mouthpieces, Strings, etc.)
  • Basic Medical Supplies (Vitamins, Aspirin, First Aid Kit, Bandages, Antibiotics, Pain Relievers, Ointments, and other rare or expensive medicines.)

For more donations, please check out our Music Fundraisers

Santiago de Cuba Music & Cultural Tour: Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Santiago de Cuba

  • Arrival at Santiago de Cuba International Airport (American Airlines Flight MIA- SCU).
  • Check in at your Casa Particular accompanied by your musician tour guide, who will give you an Introduction to Cuba and to the city of Santiago de Cuba.
  • Evening:
    • Dinner at Restaurante La Cabaña.
    • Experience the vibrant nightlife at Casa de las Tradiciones.

Day 2: A Day of Music and Culture

  • Morning:
    • Breakfast.
    • Visit Conservatorio de Música Esteban Salas.
  • Afternoon:
    • Lunch at Restaurante El Palenquito.
    • Explore the UNESCO-recognized Tumba Francesa “La Caridad de Oriente”.
  • Evening:
    • Dinner at a private Paladar.
    • Enjoy a concert at Salón de los Grandes featuring Septeto Los Guanches.

Day 3: Discovering Guantánamo

  • Morning:
    • Depart for Guantánamo.
    • Guided city tour with historian Jesús Cuenca.
  • Midday:
    • Visit El Salvador Municipality.
    • Experience a Guateque campesino with live music from the legendary tresero Mickiki.
    • Enjoy a traditional Criollo lunch with live music.
  • Late Afternoon:
    • Return to Santiago de Cuba.

Day 4: Rhythms and Views

  • Morning:
    • Visit the sacred Santuario del Cobre.
    • Engage in performance and rehearsal with the rumba group Rumberos de Hoy at Asociacion de Danzoneros Chepin-Choven.
  • Midday:
    • Take in panoramic views from Mirador de la Ciudad.
    • Lunch.
  • Afternoon:
    • Experience a performance by Conga Los Hoyos.
    • Capture memories with a photo at La Palabra, Cuba, in La Alameda.
  • Evening:
    • Dinner at private Paladar.
    • Groove to the melodies of Septeto Santiaguero at Salón del Son.

Day 5: Farewell Santiago de Cuba

  • Morning:
    • Breakfast and cherish the memories made.
    • Transportation to Santiago de Cuba International Airport.

Note: This itinerary offers a glimpse of the experiences awaiting you. Actual events and activities may vary based on availability.

Anticipate the Highlights of the Havana Music Tour in Santiago de Cuba:

Vibrant Live Music: Delight in Santiago de Cuba’s premier live music events, showcasing genuine performances by talented local artists.

Super Small Group: On this tour, there will be a max of only 8 travelers.

Insightful Bilingual Guides: Our bilingual tour guides, both from Cuba and the U.S., are not just guides but musicians themselves. They curate a journey designed with a musician’s touch, especially for those who cherish music.

Heartfelt Connections: Dive deep into meaningful conversations and interactions with the Cuban locals and seasoned musicians, enriching your understanding of the pulsating culture and melodies of the region.

Hands-on Music & Dance Lessons: Step into the rhythm with dance and music sessions led by renowned artists and trainers, letting you truly feel the beat of Cuban traditions.

Genuine Cuban Moments: Every day is a new chapter of authentic musical and cultural adventures. Navigate through Santiago’s lively streets, iconic sites, and soak in its spirited ambiance.

Morning Delights: Begin your days in a lavish villa, savoring a freshly prepared breakfast paired with the iconic Café Cubano, all while bonding with fellow travel enthusiasts.

Deep Dive into Santiago de Cuba: Experience Santiago de Cuba like never before, unraveling its distinct allure and discovering treasures that remain hidden to many.

Award-Winning Performances: Engage with celebrated musical groups such as Septeto Santiaguero and Rumberos de Hoy.

Historical Exploration: Stroll through the UNESCO-acknowledged Tumba Francesa “La Caridad de Oriente”.

Culinary Adventures: Indulge in delectable dishes at renowned restaurants like La Cabaña and El Madrileño.

Nightlife Rhythms: Dance the night away at iconic venues like Casa de la Trova and Salón del Son.

Historical Narratives: Walk through Guantánamo’s storied streets, enriched by insights from the eminent historian Jesús Cuenca.

Personal Exploration Time: Carve out moments for yourself, whether it’s shopping, wandering, or simply unwinding, ensuring a well-rounded Havana experience.

A Culinary Farewell: Conclude your journey with a sumptuous dinner at a Paladar, toasting to Cuban flavors and the cherished memories you’ve created.

Your Santiago de Cuba Music & Cultural Tour includes the following:

Accommodations: Enjoy authentic Cuba in a Casa Particular, Group Villa, or Hotel in Santiago de Cuba, ensuring you’re refreshed for each day’s adventures.

Bilingual Musician Tour Guides: Our bilingual guides, both from Cuba and the U.S., are not just guides but musicians themselves. They’ll enhance your journey with insights and a musician’s touch.

Support for the Cuban People’s Interactions: Dive deep into heartfelt conversations with the locals, supporting the Cuban community and enriching your understanding of their vibrant culture.

Premier Music Access: Revel in Santiago de Cuba’s top music events, from intimate local performances to grand festivals, immersing yourself in the city’s musical heartbeat.

Detailed Itinerary: Navigate through a meticulously crafted itinerary, ensuring every moment in Santiago de Cuba is memorable.

Authentic Cuban Breakfast: Begin your mornings with a delightful Cuban breakfast, tasting the essence of local culinary traditions.

Dinners and Lunch: Savor dinner every evening (with one evening free for your exploration) and a special lunch/brunch at Santiago’s renowned Paladares.

Exclusive Entries: Seamless access to scheduled events, museums, cultural landmarks, and more await you.

Salsa Dance or Music Lesson: Engage in a dance or music session, celebrating Cuba’s rich artistic legacy.

Transportation Ease: From your arrival at Santiago de Cuba International Airport to every event in Santiago de Cuba, we’ve got your transportation covered.

Flight Assistance: While flights aren’t included, we’re here to help you find the best options for your journey.

Culinary Delights: Relish in handpicked restaurant reservations, exploring the charm of Cuban gastronomy.

OFAC General Travel License: For our U.S. travelers, we ensure compliance with travel regulations by including the OFAC General Travel license.

Cuban Visas are to be purchased at your last airport before departing for Cuba. They are typically around $50-100. If you were born in Cuba, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us as you may have different Cuban visa requirements.

2024 Dates

Your Group Your Dates. Inquire now

Customized Pricing Available

Pricing and Payments:

Prices are per person and vary based on your selection of a Group Casa, Private Casa, Hotel, etc. Each tour has its own options for accommodations listed on the webpage. Some tours are only Casas, and some could be only a Hotel. All options have a private room and private bathroom.

To reserve your spot, we require a $500 USD deposit (50% of the total price for private tours.) Final payments are due around 60 days before tour departure. We have some options for multiple payment plans if needed. Just contact us and let us know.

The prices on our website are all in US Dollars and based on an ACH/Wire bank transfer from our 3rd party merchant or directly from your own bank. If you wish to use a credit or debit card, a 3.5% fee will be added. We do not accept cash or checks.

We have plenty of individuals, couples, groups, and families that travel with us, and everyone has a blast. If you have any special requests, please let us know. We will work with you to make sure you have the perfect space and feel comfortable during your stay.

If our dates do not work for you, keep in mind that we also do personalized tours with custom dates and group sizes. More info here.

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1 - Santiago Music Tours Photos - Havana Music Tours, Marimbula music instrument from Changuí de La Maya Group