Havana Salsa Festival 2023

Cuban Salsa, Timba, And Son / VIP Music Tour Featuring Havana Salsa Festival
February 21st-26th, 2023 (Optional Trinidad Add-On – Feb 26th – March 1st, 2023)

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Our VIP Havana Salsa Fest Tour is probably one of the best options for those Salsa lovers who want to experience this music in its home country of Cuba. Although the Festival showcases different types of traditional Cuban music, Salsa is the specialty, better known on the Island as “son” or “timba” – one of the most modern and popular variants of Cuban son. 

The Festival brings together the most relevant music orchestras from all over Cuba, including famous bands. For the 2023 edition, the Havana Salsa Festival has announced the following line-up, specifically picked by the audience through online vote: Alexander Abreu y Havana D´Primera, Pupy y los que Son Son, Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son, Elito Revé y su Charangón, Enrique Alvarez y su Charanga Latina, Lazarito Valdez y Bamboleo,  Maikel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, Alain Pérez, Isaac Delgado, El Niño y la Verdad, and Los Van Van orchestra.

You will be able to experience the Festival and more through our included VIP passes. We will be able to visit famous music cities like Havana and Trinidad, and even take a day trip to Viñales to explore the agriculture in the Cuban countryside. 

Every night will be full of music around the magic city of Havana, including the festival concerts and a premium music schedule outside this event. As a team of musicians and musicologists working within the Cuban music scene for years, we will curate unique experiences within the Cuban musical realm. 

Experiences like a live listening experience in the studio, or Casino de Salsa dance lessons in a small private studio in the heart of central Havana, or how about a front-row attendance to one of Trinidad’s last folkloric groups, Las Tonadas Trinitarias.

Our VIP Havana Salsa Fest Tour allows you to have other cultural experiences, including dance lessons, walking tours, and excellent Cuban food. The food on our tour is just as good as the music. We will eat at some of the top-rated restaurants around Havana, Viñales, and Trinidad. We include multiple meals at 5-Star Paladares such as La Guarida, El Del Frente, Atelier, La Tierra and others. (A Paladar is a name given to private restaurants in Cuba.)

For more information about the Festival, you can check our special blog CUBA’S INTERNATIONAL SALSA FESTIVAL IN HAVANA, which includes more details of the event and a Spotify playlist with a selection of these bands’ music and other famous Cuban Son, Timba, and Salsa songs.

Havana Salsa Fest 2023 line up

Your festival tour includes the following:

  • Accommodations: Casa Particular (BnB), Villa, Private BnB or Hotel
  • V.I.P. Music Pass to Havana Salsa Festival 2023
  • Private VIP welcoming dinner
  • Unique and immersive studio listening experience with excellent musicians
  • Local private farm tour and lunch
  • A bilingual musician tour leader from the U.S.
  • Support for the Cuban people and local musicians
  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday
  • Dinner every night except for one night at your leisure
  • Lunch/brunch on the first day and for the farm tour
  • Entry and reservation into each scheduled event, workshop, clinic, or museum
  • Casino de Salsa Dance lessons or Private Music Lessons (Limited availability – please contact us)
  • Airport transport to and from José Martí international airport 
  • Transportation to all scheduled events
  • Flight concierge (flights are not included, but we help you book the best one).
  • Restaurant reservations and recommendations.
  • O.F.A.C. General Travel License. (U.S. Citizens)

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, please contact us as you may have different Cuban visa requirements.

February 26th-March 1st, 2023

Inclusions:

  • Private Roundtrip Transportation from Havana to Trinidad
  • Transportation (as needed to each included event. Trinidad is a very small town and cars are not allowed to drive much, if at all in the main area. At times we may just walk a few blocks to dinners, music, etc.)
  • Accommodations in your Casa Particular (Private guest house)
  • 3 Breakfasts (Each morning)
  • 1 Dinner
  • 3 Lunches
  • Musician Tour Leader and Local Cuban Guides
  • Unique musical and cultural experiences
  • Historical day walking tours
  • Private music experience with Tonadas Trinitarias, one of the last Folkloric music groups left in Trinidad, Cuba

Highlights:

  • Music, art, and cultural tours
  • Dinner reservations at prime restaurants
  • Local tour guides and workshops
  • The best music events during tour dates
  • Unique musical experiences unlike any other tour
  • Included transportation
  • Detailed itinerary of events

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1 (Havana —> Trinidad)

  • Early morning breakfast, then check out from your Casa or Hotel in Havana
  • Private transfer with your tour leader to Trinidad (Apr 5-6 Hours)
  • Included Lunch
  • Check in to Casa Particular in Trinidad
  • Welcoming dinner (included)
  • Late night music in Trinidad, Cuba (Folklorica, Son, Salsa, and more)

Day 2 (Trinidad – Day tour and Folkloric Music Experience)

  • Fresh breakfast at your Casa (Eggs, Fruits, Juices, Coffee, Tea, Bread, Veggies and Meats)
  • Walking tour of Historic Trinidad with a local Cuban bilingual guide. Learn about the history, architecture and culture.
  • Included Lunch
  • Unique immersive experience with Tonadas Trinitarias. See why this group is so unique to Cuba, featuring spiritual group vocals and Afro-Cuban style percussion.
  • Free time to relax or explore on your own before dinner.
  • Dinner on your own. (We can help you make reservations)
  • Optional evening music event.

Day 3 (Trinidad – Optional morning experiences, return to Havana)

  •  Fresh breakfast at your Casa (Eggs, Fruits, Juices, Coffee, Tea, Bread, Veggies, and Meats)
  • Optional experiences: Hiking in Grand Parque Natural Topes, Horseback riding, massages, and more
  • Afternoon Transportation back to Havana (Quick driving tour of Cienfuegos)
  • Included Lunch
  • Evening on your own in Havana

Day 4 (Havana – Airport Transfers)

  • Fresh breakfast at your Casa (Eggs, Fruits, Juices, Coffee, Tea, Bread, Veggies and Meats)
  • Included Airport Transfer

Day 1 

  • Early morning arrival in Havana and included transportation to your Casa/Villa or Hotel. 
  • Driving tour of Havana with your local tour guide
  • Check-in to Casa/Villa
  • Lunch (Group meeting/quick orientation)
  • Relax or explore near your Casa
  • Welcoming dinner at a famous Paladar like El Del Frente
  • Evening Salsa Festival Festival events

Day 2

  • A wonderful Breakfast with the group at the casa/villa or hotel. (Eggs, meats, bread, freshly squeezed juices, coffees, teas. We have Vegan and Vegetarian options as well)
  • Walking Tour of Habana Vieja (Old Havana)
  • Visit local craft shops, art stores, talk with locals, learn about Cuban culture
  • Small lunch included (Tapas, Sandwiches, etc)
  • Back to the Villa/Hotel to rest before dinner
  • Group dinner at another fine Paladar in Havana (Atelier or similar)
  • Havana Salsa Festival Performances
  • Optional Late night Afro Cuban Jazz Night

Day 3

  • A wonderful Breakfast with the group at the casa/villa or hotel.
  • Group Salsa Dance or Music Lessons
  • Tours of the Cuban National Art and Revolutionary Museums
  • Group dinner at a fine Paladar like la Guarida.
  • Havana Salsa Festival Performances

Day 4

  • A wonderful Breakfast with the group at the casa/villa or hotel.
  • Unique studio listening experience with excellent Cuban musicians
  • Free afternoon to explore Havana
  • Dinner on your own
  • Havana Salsa Festival Performances

Day 5

  • A wonderful Breakfast with the group at the casa/villa or hotel.
  • Free afternoon to explore Havana
  • Head back to the casa/villa to relax or go to see live music in Havana.
  • Dinner at La Tierra and VIP entry to FAC
  • Art tour at Fábrica de Arte Cubano, then feel free to stay late for more music and entertainment or return to Salsa Fest. Fabrica is one of the most dynamic art/music/nightclub facilities in Havana, Cuba
  • Havana Salsa Festival Performances (Optional)

Day 6

  • A wonderful Breakfast with the group at the casa/villa or hotel.
  • Transportation to the Airport
  • (Transportation to Trinidad for those who wish to do the Add-on)

*Flights arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary must arrive between 8:30am-10am EST to have included transportation. All flights arriving must come into Havana and depart from Havana. If you book a departing flight from another city and/or stay extra days the transportation will not be included.

*All breakfasts are included. Other meals are on a per-day basis. We will include two lunches and five dinners. One night you will have the freedom to have dinner on your own.

*All music entries and reservations are also included.

*This is just a sample itinerary, you will receive a detailed itinerary with confirmed events closer to your trip departure.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Primary VIP access/tickets and reservations to music events during Havana Salsa Fest 2023
  • Eat a fresh breakfast in a luxurious villa or hotel with an authentic Café Cubano each morning.
  • Taste of the best Paladares around Havana, Cuba (Private restaurants)
  • Included dance lessons.
  • Bilingual musician tour guide from the U.S.
  • Real interactions with the Cuban people and professional musicians.
  • Time off to shop and explore.

February 21st-26th, 2023

  • Casa Particular (Group Villa/BnB): $2,895 per person
  • Private Premium Casa Particular (All Yours!): $3,565 per person
  • Deluxe Hotel Room: $4,235 per person
  • Premium/Suite Hotel Room: $5,285 per person

*February 26th-March 1st, 2023* – Trinidad Add On 3 nights/ 4 days 

  • Casa Particular (Group Villa/BnB): $1,295 per person
  • Deluxe Hotel Room: $1,635 per person

Hotels:

Havana: Grand Aston Hotel

Trinidad: Mystique Trinidad La Popa

PROOF OF COVID-19 VACCINATION

For the protection of other participants and residents of the destinations we travel to, each group tour participant must present us with proof of vaccination against Covid-19. You will upload this to our intake form at least 14 days before your tour departure date.

Our top priority is safety. Making sure everyone is fully vaccinated will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our small group tours safe and filled with stress-free fun!

Acceptable vaccines based on information from the World Health Organization

Moderna (mRNA-1273)

Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2)

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson – Ad26.COV2.S)

Oxford/AstraZeneca (AZD1222)

Serum Institute of India Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation)

Bharat Biotech (Covaxin)

Sinopharm (Beijing  BBIBP-CoV – Vero Cells)

Sinovac – CoronaVac

EXCEPTIONS FOR PRIVATE TOURS:

If you aren’t vaccinated, we are able to create a private tour with your own group. We will need everyone to sign an additional waiver accepting the risks. We will also need a PCR test from each guest within 72 hours before departing for Cuba. Please contact us if you have any questions.