Cuba travel opens up a world of unforgettable experiences where vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and historical richness await at every turn. Whether you’re strolling through the colorful streets of Havana, exploring the lush tobacco fields of Viñales, or soaking up the sun on the pristine beaches of Varadero, Cuba offers something for every traveler.

Embarking on a journey to Cuba means immersing yourself in the island’s rich history, from the colonial architecture of Old Havana to the revolutionary landmarks that dot the countryside. Discover the stories behind the iconic Che Guevara murals, the grandeur of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca in Santiago, and the revolutionary squares that tell tales of Cuba’s past.

Cuba’s natural beauty is as diverse as its cultural tapestry. There are opportunities for eco-adventures in the Sierra Maestra mountains, bird watching in the Ciénaga de Zapata wetlands, and diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. The island’s national parks and biosphere reserves offer pristine environments for hiking, snorkeling, and connecting with nature.

Cuban cuisine, with its mix of Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences, is a delight for food lovers. From street food stalls serving traditional ropa vieja to elegant paladares offering gourmet dining experiences, the flavors of Cuba are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Travel to Cuba also means experiencing its world-renowned music and arts scene. Attend a live jazz performance in Havana, join a salsa dancing class, or visit local art studios to see the creativity that thrives on the island.

Plan your Cuba travel with our guide to ensure a trip filled with rich cultural experiences, adventure, relaxation, and a deeper understanding of this unique Caribbean gem. With open arms, Cuba awaits to share its beauty, history, and warmth.

Tag Archive for: Cuba Travel

Havana Music Tours’ 2024 Cuba Tours: A Ouray of Experiences Awaiting You!

Hello, music enthusiasts! At Havana Music Tours, we are gearing up for an extraordinary 2024, packed with tours that are more than just trips – they celebrate Cuba’s music and culture. Forget the clichés; we’re here to offer you a genuine, warm, and professionally crafted journey into the heart of Cuba’s musical landscape. Let’s take a tour through our upcoming adventures, shall we?

1. Havana Jazz Plaza Festival 2024 (January 21st- 29th, 2024)

As the new year unfolds, the Havana Jazz Plaza Festival awaits you. This is where Jazz meets Latin rhythms in an electrifying environment. Set in Havana’s heart with parallel events in Santiago de Cuba, the festival features performances in iconic theaters and is a confluence of jazz, rumba, and Latin fusion, creating a mosaic of unforgettable musical moments.

2. Havana Music & Cultural Tour (February 7th-11th, 2024 & April 2nd-6th, 2024)

This five-day experience in December 2023 is a tribute to vinyl music culture and includes visits to Havana’s iconic music venues. Think vibrant Fabrica de Arte Cubano evenings, insightful conversations with local musicians, and getting up close with the unique rhythm of Havana.

3. Havana Salsa Festival Tour 2024 (February 20th-26th, 2024)

Feel the heat of Cuban salsa in February with our Havana Salsa Festival Tour. This is where ‘son’ and ‘timba’ come alive in the streets of Havana. Club 500 in Vedado becomes a sprawling space for music and dance, offering you an authentic taste of Cuban music and rhythm.

4. Santiago Music & Cultural Tour 2024 (March 28th – April 1st)

5 - Santiago Music Tours Photos - Havana Music Tours - Rumberos de Hoy - rumba santiaguera - afrocuban musicians

Spring in Santiago de Cuba is a spectacle of music and culture. Our Santiago Music & Cultural Tour takes you through the streets of this historic city and the rich musical heritage of Guantánamo Province. You’ll enjoy performances from Grammy Award-winning groups and delve into the depths of Cuba’s musical heart. This tour is an opportunity to connect with the Cuban soul, taste the local cuisine, and enjoy the comfort of staying in a Casa de Renta.

5. The Drummer’s Cuba Tour: Percussion Festival 2024- Fiesta del Tambor (March 7th – 11th, 2024)

Fiesta del Tambor, the drum party, is Cuba’s annual Percussion festival. This Cuba Percussion Festival features some of the greatest drummers, percussionists, and other musicians from all over Cuba and the world. This is the perfect mix for a
music tour of Cuba. We will be immersed in Cuban music and drumming the entire trip! If you are a drummer or musician, YOU HAVE TO GO! Not a musician? No worries, it will still be a blast! Lots of dancing, good music, and food.

6. VIP Music Tour of Cuba (April 7th-13th, 2024)

Our 7-day VIP Music Tour in April is the perfect fit for those seeking luxury and exclusivity. It combines the elegance of Havana with the tranquility of Viñales Valley. Expect front-row seats at Havana’s most thrilling performances, serene moments in Viñales, and a stay at the sumptuous Hotel Grand Aston.

7. Cuban Jazz and Rumba Tour 2024 (February 2024, TBD)

Experience the lineage of Cuban music, its evolution, and the interplay between Jazz and Rumba, all tailored for the passionate Jazz and Cuban music enthusiast. This tour is a blend of traditional Cuban rhythms with contemporary jazz. It’s a chance to meet artists like Ruly Herrera & Real Project and Roberto Fonseca, creating a rich tapestry of sounds and stories.

8. Varadero Josone Music Festival 2024 (August 2024, TBD)

In August, we take you to the scenic Josone Park in Varadero for the Varadero Josone Music Festival. Here, the backdrop of stunning beaches sets the stage for a rich display of Rumba, Jazz, Son, and more. It’s a journey from the historic streets of Havana to the musical shores of Varadero, a complete Cuban musical spectrum.

Conclusion

2024 with HavanaMusicTours.com is set to be an unforgettable year of musical exploration in Cuba. Our tours are designed to connect you with the real Cuba – its people, music, and vibrant culture. This isn’t just another vacation; it’s a journey into the heart of Cuban music, a chance to experience its magic firsthand. Join us for a year of discovery, fun, and unforgettable musical moments. For more details and to book your spot, check out our “Musical Getaways 2024-25 Catalog” available here. Let’s make 2024 a year to remember!

Exciting news for travel enthusiasts and Cuba aficionados! TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, has recently announced its Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2023, and Cuba has emerged as the Top Trending Destination globally, No.15 for Best Food Destinations and No.6 for Best Places for Culture. These distinctions are particularly significant as they reflect the highest growth in year-over-year interest among travelers on TripAdvisor​​​​​​​.

Why Cuba is Trending?

Cultural Richness and Musical Heritage At the heart of Cuba’s allure is its rich tapestry of music and culture. The island is a kaleidoscope of sounds – from the pulsating beats of Son and Salsa to the intricate rhythms of Afro-Cuban drumming. For music lovers and cultural explorers, Cuba offers an unparalleled journey through its diverse musical landscape.

AfroCUban Culture experience Callejon de Hamel - Havana Music Tours Private Tour - November 2023IMG_2966

 

Historical Magnificence Cuba’s historical significance adds layers of depth to its appeal. The streets of Old Havana, with their colonial architecture and historical landmarks, are a living museum narrating tales from a bygone era. Each cobblestone and corner tells a story, enriching the travel experience with historical insights.

Old Havana Walking Tour - Havana Music Tours Private Tour - November 2023IMG_2817

 

Natural Beauty and Culinary Delights Beyond its cultural and historical allure, Cuba enchants with its natural beauty. The island’s diverse landscapes, from the white sandy beaches of Varadero to the lush tobacco fields of Viñales, offer breathtaking vistas. Cuban cuisine is complemented by its natural and cultural offerings – a delicious amalgamation of Spanish, African, and Caribbean flavors.

Viñales Day Trip - Havana Music Tours Private Tour - November 2023IMG_3184 2  Dj Jigüe Vinyl Experience and AfroCaribbean Lunch - Havana Music Tours Private Tour - November 2023IMG_3083

Warm Hospitality The heart and soul of Cuba are its people. Known for their warmth and hospitality, Cubans welcome visitors with open arms, sharing their passion for music and dance. This hospitality is woven into the fabric of every experience, making each interaction memorable.

Havana-music-tours-client-with-professionals-cuban -musicians

The Havana Music Tours Experience

Havana Music Tours, recently honored with the Travelers’ Choice Award 2023 from TripAdvisor, focuses on private and small group tours (Up to 12 guests) led by expert musicians and musicologists. We provide immersive interactions with local musicians, music lessons, and authentic cultural tours, aligning perfectly with Cuba’s emergence as a trending destination. Our in-depth and personalized tours are tailored for travelers eager to experience the best of Cuban music. From skip-the-line reservations at top music venues to customized itineraries, we cater to the unique preferences of each traveler, offering a truly bespoke Cuban adventure.

HMT traveler's choice tripadvisor Collage (2)

Conclusion

Cuba’s recognition as the top trending travel destination for 2023 reflects its multifaceted appeal. Whether it’s the rhythm of the drums in a Callejon de Hamel rumba or the serene beauty of a sunset over Malecón, Cuba offers a travel experience like no other. Havana Music Tours stands ready to guide music & culture lovers through this rhythm-filled land, ensuring a journey that resonates with the soul of Cuba.

More info about our tours here.

Tour Release

Today, as we honor Cuban Culture Day, we’re thrilled to introduce our Santiago de Cuba Music and Cultural Tour, March 27th-31st, 2024. Santiago de Cuba, often referred to as the cradle of Cuban music, holds a special place in the heart of our nation’s cultural tapestry. Nestled in a remote corner of Cuba, Santiago boasts an authenticity that is both rare and captivating.

With Havana Music Tours, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Santiago de Cuba’s rich musical heritage, guided by our expert musician team. Over five unforgettable days, you’ll connect with the soul of Santiago, experiencing its vibrant rhythms, historic landmarks, and the warmth of its traditions. From the iconic Casa de la Trova and Salón del Son to the Grammy Award-Winning performances of Septeto Santiaguero and the UNESCO-recognized Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente, every moment promises to be a feast for the senses.

Conga de los Hoyos, Santiago de Cuba 2023 – Havana Music Tours

But it’s not just about the music. Santiago’s culinary scene is a delightful journey in itself. Relish meals at renowned spots like Restaurante La Cabaña and Restaurante El Madrileño. As the sun sets, let Santiago’s nightlife enchant you with performances that resonate with the city’s deep-rooted musical legacy.

Beyond the music and food, Santiago’s history is a testament to its significance in Cuban culture. With visits to places like the Conservatorio de Música Esteban Salas and a day trip to Guantánamo guided by historian Jesús Cuenca, you’ll gain insights into the city’s storied past.

Sala Dolores, Santiago de Cuba 2023 – Havana Music Tours

So, as we celebrate Cuban Culture Day, we invite you to join us on this special journey to Santiago de Cuba. Let’s come together to honor the rhythms, flavors, and stories that make Cuban culture so beautifully unique.

Discover more about this exciting tour and book your spot: Santiago de Cuba Music and Cultural Tour 2024

Happy Cuban Culture Day! 🎉🇨🇺

What You Should Know About the Varadero Josone Music Festival? + Bonus Playlist

Discover the Varadero Josone Music Festival: “Rumba, Jazz, Son,” an epic musical journey that promises to transport you to the heart of Cuban music. Set in the stunning Josone Park, near the pristine beaches of Varadero, this festival guarantees an unforgettable experience. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about this sensational event.

Experiencing the vibrant Cuban music scene firsthand.

This highly anticipated event usually features an impressive lineup of world-class performers, including Alexander Abreu y Havana D’ Primera, Isaac Delgado y su Orquesta, and Alain Pérez y La Orquesta, among others. From soulful melodies to irresistible beats, this festival promises to deliver an unforgettable musical experience showcasing the best of Cuban music, culture, and talent. 

A Blend of Musical Genres

Varadero Josone Music Festival showcases the lively pulse of Cuban music, from rumba to jazz and son. One of the most exciting aspects of the Varadero Josone Music Festival is the fusion of sounds that mesmerizes audiences. The festival invites artists worldwide to collaborate with Cuban musicians, creating a unique and unforgettable experience. From the infectious energy of rumba to the improvisational brilliance of jazz and the timeless allure of son, the festival celebrates the universal language of music.

Experience the Beauty and Culture of Cuba

The festival not only presents an opportunity to indulge in music but also provides a chance to submerge oneself in Cuba’s breathtaking splendor and opulent heritage. Varadero’s pristine beaches, adorned with soft, white sand and glistening turquoise waters, create a tropical haven that visitors will undoubtedly find arduous to leave. 

What to Expect at Varadero Josone Music Festival 2023

The Third Varadero Josone Music Festival is all set to take place from August 21st to 27th. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with a diverse lineup of over 20 invited groups from around the world, including Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, and various provinces in Cuba. The festival’s expansion to the city of Matanzas brings new dimensions to the experience, with performances at the iconic Teatro Sauto, a National Monument.

Prepare to be awed by the diverse range of performances at the upcoming festival. The selection has been thoughtfully chosen to satisfy various preferences. The Varadero Josone Music Festival 2023 is set to be an exultant commemoration of EGREM’s 60th anniversary and Matanzas’ 330-year landmark, providing an opulent and varied cultural affair for all participants. Every attendee can look forward to a truly enriching and engaging experience filled with captivating music and diverse artistic expressions.

Conclusion

The Varadero Josone Music Festival is a must-attend event for music enthusiasts. From the captivating performances of acclaimed Cuban artists to the blend of musical genres, the festival guarantees a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience. So pack your bags and let the Varadero Josone Music Festival transport you to a world of melody, passion, and cultural richness. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable event – book your trip now!

More Tour Information: Varadero Josone Music Festival Tour 2023 

Bonus Playlist Varadero Josone Music Festival 2023 – Playlist by Havana Music Tours

To get you in the mood for the Varadero Josone Music Festival, we’ve curated a special playlist featuring some of the best tracks from the festival’s lineup. From classic Cuban rhythms to contemporary jazz fusion, this playlist will give you a taste of the incredible musical journey that awaits you at the festival. So grab your headphones and get ready to groove to the infectious beats of Cuba! Check out the playlist on Havana Music Tours Spotify profile now.

Varadero Josone Music Festival 2023 – Playlist by Havana Music Tours

 

Cuba Travel Licenses for Americans

 

By Chaz Chambers(Musician, Tour Guide Leader, and Director of Havana Music Tours and Musical Getaways)

Support for the Cuban People is one of the most popular and legal general licenses under the US Treasury Department for United States Citizens to travel to Cuba. But it’s not the only one. There are 11 licenses for travel to Cuba, so let’s make this simple for you.

*The OFAC licenses you could easily use to travel to Cuba are highlighted in bold.

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions.

Professional research and professional meetings License

Depending on what you do for a living or what you want to do for a living (professionally) you can travel to Cuba to meet with people and certain organizations to further research your work or your future work. For example… I am a professional drummer and a tour operator owner. I can travel to Cuba under this license and meet with musicians, musical institutes, travel agencies, etc. I can also do research by going out to music venues and researching music culture, rhythms, styles, etc. Check out this video I made on my VLOG talking about this license and if Americans can go to the beach in Cuba.

Educational activities License

Group People to People is the preferred license for U.S. travelers but must be accomplished with an organized and legal tour operator, like us!

Here are the rules from OFAC:

  • “Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may not travel to Cuba to engage in “people-to-people” educational exchanges on an individual basis.  However, group people-to-people travel is generally authorized for educational activities, subject to certain conditions.  Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended 31 CFR § 515.565(b) to authorize group people-to-people educational travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, provided such travelers are accompanied by an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization.  Travel-related transactions authorized pursuant to § 515.565(b) must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and will result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.”

Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions

This license that you will almost never hear a travel agency talking about. Mostly because it is almost impossible for them to facilitate these sorts of activities. I think this is also what makes our tour company unique and how we deal with music, music festivals, and musicians. Most of our travel will now include this license and its activities along with the Support for the Cuban people license. This license is also freer than other licenses to travel to Cuba. As in, there is no requirement for a full-time itinerary. Though we still maintain a full-time itinerary for our tours, it isn’t particularly necessary. Here is the information directly from OFAC:

  • (a) General license for amateur and semi-professional international sports federation competitions. The travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and such other transactions as are directly incident to participation in athletic competitions in Cuba by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams, or organization of such competitions, are authorized, provided that:
  • (1) The athletic competition in Cuba is held under the auspices of the international sports federation for the relevant sport;
  • (2) The U.S. participants in the athletic competition are selected by the U.S. federation for the relevant sport; and
  • (3) The competition is open for attendance, and in relevant situations, participation, by the Cuban public.
  • (b) General license for public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions. The travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and such other transactions as are directly incident to participation in or organization of a public performance, clinic, workshop, athletic competition not covered by paragraph (a) of this section, non-athletic competition, or exhibition in Cuba by participants in or organizers of such activities are authorized, provided that the event is open for attendance, and in relevant situations participation, by the Cuban public.
  • Example 1 to §515.567(a) and (b): An amateur baseball team wishes to travel to Cuba to compete against a Cuban team in a baseball game in Cuba. The game will not be held under the auspices of the international sports federation for baseball. The baseball team’s activities therefore would not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a). The game will, however, be open to the Cuban public. The baseball team’s activities would qualify for the general license in paragraph (b).
  • Example 2 to §515.567(a) and (b): A U.S. concert promoter wishes to organize a musical event in Cuba that would be open to the public and feature U.S. musical groups. The organizing of the musical event in Cuba by the U.S. concert promoter and the participation by U.S. musical groups in the event would qualify for the general license in paragraph (b).
  • Note 1 to §515.567(a) and (b): Each person relying on the general authorizations in these paragraphs must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
  • Note 2 to §515.567(a) and (b): Transactions incident to the organization of amateur and semi-professional international sports federation competitions and public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions include marketing related to such events in Cuba.
  • (c) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.
  • (d) Nothing in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section authorizes a direct financial transaction prohibited by §515.209.
  • (e) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions that do not qualify for the general licenses under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section.

Support for the Cuban People

Don’t want to travel with Havana Music Tours? You don’t have to!! This is the license to use if you want to travel without a group to Cuba. Though you can use the others as well, this one is the most popular.

For this license, like almost all other licenses you will need a full-time itinerary, keep your receipts for 5 years, avoid spending money at places on the Cuba Restricted List, and make sure you are ACTUALLY Supporting the Cuban people. How do you do that? Buy doing business at privately owned places, like Paladares (Private Restaurants), staying in Casa Particulares (Airbnb, Bed, and Breakfast, etc), having and paying for breakfast in your casa, and generally making an itinerary that utilizes as many privately owned entities, people, businesses as possible in Cuba. Here is the OFAC license information from their website to understand more:

  • (a) General license. The travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and other transactions that are intended to provide support for the Cuban people are authorized, provided that:
  • (1) The activities are of:
  • (i) Recognized human rights organizations;
  • (ii) Independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; or
  • (iii) Individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba; and
  • (2) Each traveler engages in a full-time schedule of activities that:
  • (i) Enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and
  • (ii) Result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba.
  • (3) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
  • Note 1 to paragraph (a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
  • Note 2 to paragraph (a): Staying in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately-owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) are examples of activities that qualify for this general license. However, in order to meet the requirement for a full-time schedule, a traveler must engage in additional authorized Support for the Cuban People activities.
  • (b) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.
  • (c) Certain direct financial transactions restricted. Nothing in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section authorizes a direct financial transaction prohibited by §515.209, with the exception of transactions on behalf of a non-governmental organization.
  • (d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to support for the Cuban people that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.
  • Example 1 to §515.574: An individual plans to travel to Cuba, stay in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eat at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shop at privately-owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) during his or her four-day trip. While at the casa particular, the individual will have breakfast each morning with the Cuban host and engage with the Cuban host to learn about Cuban culture. In addition, the traveler will complete his or her full-time schedule by supporting Cuban entrepreneurs launching their privately-owned businesses. The traveler’s activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Because the individual’s qualifying activities are not limited to staying in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) and the traveler maintains a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people, supports civil society in Cuba, and promotes the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that results in meaningful interaction between the traveler and Cuban individuals, the individual’s travel qualifies for the general license.
  • Example 2 to §515.574: A group of friends plans to travel and maintain a full-time schedule throughout their trip by volunteering with a recognized non-governmental organization to build a school for underserved Cuban children with the local community. In their free time, the travelers plan to rent bicycles to explore the streets of Havana and visit an art museum. The travelers’ trip would qualify for the general license because the volunteer activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba and constitute a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people and supports civil society in Cuba, and results in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.
  • Example 3 to §515.574: An individual plans to travel to Cuba, rent a bicycle to explore the neighborhoods and beaches, and engage in brief exchanges with local beach vendors. The individual intends to stay at a hotel that does not appear on the Cuba Restricted List (see §515.209). The traveler’s trip does not qualify for this general license because none of these activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba.

I am not an attorney, so please make sure to understand all of the rules completely before traveling to Cuba. This blog is to help share correct information about traveling to Cuba. We recommend you read all of the information directly from OFAC, by clicking this link. Also, please refer to the Cuba Restricted List for a list of government entities on that you are not allowed to spend money.

Join us for an unforgettable tour of Cuba. Book your CubaTour Now!

Also, check out our Ultimate Cuba Travel Checklist (Updated January 2022)

(Updates June 2022)

The Biden Admin re-authorizes group people to people travel to Cuba for US travelers, as well as other licenses and changes. Check out the details here: https://ofac.treasury.gov/faqs/topic/1541

US Travelers have more options to travel to Cuba. Ready to book a trip? Email us

(Update September 2020)

Here is my video regarding the newest Cuba sanctions, what it means for Us Citizens, and your future Cuba travel. New rules regarding bringing cigars and rums back into the USA, some general travel licenses, and the new CPA (Cuba Prohibited Accommodations)

 

 

Links:

https://www.state.gov/announcement-of-the-cuba-prohibited-accommodations-list/

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information/cuba-sanctions

(Update from June 2019)

How to travel to Cuba under Support for the Cuban people and what that means for your travel to Cuba.

 

 

(Update from February 2018)

Hi everyone,

I made a short video regarding the newest travel regulations for U.S. Citizens traveling to Cuba. I know a lot of this gets repetitive, but there is a lot of misinformation out there and I want to set the record straight.

 

 

The bottom line is that you can still travel to Cuba as an *individual. I have been reading a lot of misinformation saying that you HAVE to travel with a tour agency. As a tour agency, I am telling you that you do not have to travel with us or any other tour agency! I know it is weird for us to be the ones to tell you that, but it is the truth. We want to see more people traveling to Cuba no matter who you chose as your guides.

The newest regulations regarding Americans traveling to Cuba mostly changed the individual aspect of people to people/educational travel. If you travel under this license you will have to go with a licensed tour group that has an American tour leader, (like Havana Music Tours).

If you decide to go under the Support for the Cuban people license, we can still help you to design your itinerary, make reservations, and generally make the whole process easier. Cuba is a complicated place to travel to, especially for Americans. We don’t want this to stop you from seeing the amazing culture, fantastic music, and experiencing the kindness of the Cuban people.

Although, If you want to go on a tour with Havana Music Tours there are a ton of benefits. Some of which would be a personalized group setting, private reservations, interactions with Cuban musicians, peace of mind, and much more. Not to mention, you don’t have to spend a ton of time planning the trip. We take care if it all for you. Either way… GO TO CUBA! It is a very safe country and a MUST experience.

Restricted list- https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/cuba/cubarestrictedlist/index.htm

Feel free to email us at info@havanamusictours.com.

Sincerely,

Chaz Chambers (Owner/Director)

New update as of May 2nd, 2023

In the summer of 2022, the Biden administration reauthorized the Group People-to-People travel license with OFAC. As well as Professional research and meetings. These licenses are the perfect solutions for a diverse Cuba trip connecting people with Cuba from the United States. People to People travel is possible under the auspice of a tour company (like us) or other sponsoring organization.

However, travelers can continue to travel to Support the Cuban people as individuals and without a tour group. We offer a range of various tours and experiences that both Support the Cuban people and offer an authentic people-to-people exchange. We also can help with Itinerary Design.

 

Gracias,

Chaz Chambers

 

New update as of June 4th, 2019

OFAC, The treasury department has issued new travel rules for traveling to Cuba. This included eliminating one of the 12 licenses called “Educational People to People Group Travel.” Keep in mind that all of the other travel licenses, such as Support for the Cuban people, Professional Research and Meetings, Journalism, and much more are still allowed.

Havana Music Tours will continue to operate under the Support for the Cuban people, and Professional Research and Meetings General Licenses. These licenses are already qualified under our current tour structure. When we travel to Cuba we prefer to stay in privately owned homes and villas called Casa Particulares. Staying in these homes is just one way of supporting the Cuban people, we also work with many musicians, local tour guides, and paladares (private restaurants) to ensure that the use of Tour money goes into the hands of the Cuban people and their families.

 

Sincerely,

Chaz Chambers (founder and director of Havana Music Tours)

 

—June 2017

Dear Travelers,

We are constantly eyeing the changes with Cuba and U.S, and we still firmly believe that Cuba is a very safe place to travel. In fact, Cuba has some of the lowest crime rates in all of Latin America. Havana Music Tours remains dedicated to showcasing the vast amounts of cultural in the music, dance, and art scenes around Cuba. We believe it is important to maintain a positive relationship with our close neighbors. The Cuban people are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I have ever met. The musicianship and way of living in Cuba is something that I believe everyone should see in their lifetime.

On June 16th, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an order to the Treasury Department to re-write the travel regulations to Cuba. As of Today, November 8th, 2017, they have officially enacted the new rules. The basics: You can still go to Cuba. The dirty details: it can get more complicated. People to people/educational travel licenses are now limited to traveling in groups with a U.S. based representative. Good news for reading this because Havana Music Tours remains authorized under the OFAC general licenses to be your official tour guides to Cuba. The Treasury Department also released a list of Cuban military entities that U.S. citizens and businesses are prohibited from having financial transactions with. There are a lot of hotels on this list, and in fact, most of the hotels are considered to be affiliated with a branch of the Cuban military. We continue our recommendation of staying in “Casa Particulars,” which are basically “Bed and Breakfast style” – shared housing with a Cuban family. There are still a few hotels that are authorized by OFAC, and even options for entire houses and condos to be rented. Please email us if you have any questions: info@havanamusictours.com

Please understand the full requirements for each license. We are not attorneys and are not offering legal advice

 

Thanks for all of your continued support,

Chaz Chambers (Owner)