KJazz Trip to Cuba with a KJazz host

Music * History * Architecture * Art * Classic Cars
October 24-31, 2017

Join KJazz jazz lovers on an in-depth cultural exploration of the isle of Cuba. Enjoy the rhythms of hot Latin jazz and outings to Havana's top jazz clubs. Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Revolution and Cuba's leading music school. Stroll through Old Havana, visit Hemingway's home and cruise in a 1950s classic car. In addition, foodies will enjoy multiple outings to some of Havana's top restaurants and jazz aficionados will appreciate rubbing elbows during private exclusive concerts with some of Havana's top musicians. Experience the magic of Cuba before it changes forever with your fellow KJazz fans.

Trip At A Glance
7 Nights Havana at the historic Hotel Nacional

IT's Included

  • With a KJazz host
  • An expert bilingual Earthbound Expeditions Cuban guide
  • Evening outings to Havana's top jazz clubs
  • A jazz workshop with top Cuban musicians
  • Accommodations at the historic Hotel Nacional
  • Cuban government emergency medical insurance up to $1,000
  • Multi-course traditional meals as listed in your KJazz itinerary (many at top paladars)
  • Cruising the Malecón in vintage American classic cars
  • Bottled water daily and national drinks (local beers & mojitos)
  • Transport by private motor coach while in Cuba
  • All entrances as listed in your itinerary
  • Airport transfers while in Cuba
  • Special insider "people to people" experiences
  • Gratuities for your driver and guides
  • Alumni discounts applied towards future trips with KJAZZ

Trip Facts
8 Days/7 Nights
$3,995 per person double occupancy (land)
$795 Single Supplement (waived if a roommate is confirmed)
Trip departs: October 24, 2017
Trip ends: October 31, 2017
*Save $100 when you reserve by June 1, 2017

$550 per person, Alaska Air round trip Los Angeles to Havana non- stop, including all taxes, fees and airport transfers in Havana.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your space. Please make checks payable to Earthbound Expeditions and mail to: PO Box 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. If you wish to make a deposit by credit card, please call our office at 800-723-8454.

SAVE $100!
Reserve by June 1, 2017 and save $100

NOT Included

  • Cuba visa fee of $85
  • Travel Insurance above the included $1,000 mandatory medical insurance
  • Extra baggage fees
  • Additional concerts

YOUR Jazz Adventure Begins...

DAY 1: Depart for Historic Havana
Depart Los Angeles this morning for your non-stop flight to Havana, Cuba.

After clearing Cuban immigrations and customs, you are welcomed by your Cuban National guide outside the terminal. Then, we make our way to the historic 1930s Hotel Nacional located on the Malecó́n seafront. Relax in a comfy wicker couch on the terrace or enjoy a stroll on the waterfront before meeting your guide and host for a welcome dinner at one of Havana's best known, privately owned paladars.
Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (D)

Day 2: A Day with Hemingway and Evening Jazz Concert
This morning we're off to visit Finca Vigí́a (Lookout Farm) where North America's literary giant, Ernest Hemingway, spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years penning building blocks of English literature. Claimed by both the United States and Cuba as their son, it was Hemingway himself who declared the island his true home.

Before returning to Havana we stop by the quaint fishing village of Cojimar which served as the setting for Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea. This evening you'll dine in one of Havana's top paladars. After, you'll be treated to your first of many jazz concerts.
Sleep in Havana Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)

Day 3: Old Havana and the Museum of the Revolution
One of Havana's many charms is the "elegant decay" of the buildings. This morning's walking tour of will highlight the splendid architecture and history of Havana. Our walking tour will end at the impressive Museum of the Revolution. Sitting outside the museum you'll find the American Jeeps and planes used during the failed Bay of Pigs landing. The yacht named Granma that was used to transport 82 Cuban fighters and Fidel Castro to the shores of Cuba from Mexico in 1956 is also on display.

Lunch today will be at a local paladar.

Even if you are not musically inclined, you'll enjoy this afternoon's activity. Accompanied by instructors you'll learn about the Cuban beat through a hands-on drumming and percussion class. Having worked up an appetite we'll enjoy a hearty Cuban dinner together at another of Havana's wonderful paladars. For those interested we can venture off to one of the many popular jazz clubs after dinner.
Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)

Day 4: National Museum of Fine Arts and Salsa Lessons
Early birds may wish to soak up the sun and walk along the Malecó́n before breakfast. This morning we'll be immersed in the arts world. First with a visit to an art school followed by a visit to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), known for its international and Cuban art. The comprehensive Colecció́n de Arte Cubano comprises three floors of art, spanning works from the 16th to the 20th centuries by prominent Cuban artists concentrating mostly on pieces from the 20th century.

Enjoy a traditional Cuban lunch today.

Then we set off to learn about the history of music and dance in Cuba. Instructors will explain how this small island became a major powerhouse for dance. The Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa and Merengué́ all come from Cuba. After a thorough demonstration you'll be invited to learn some of the dances with the instructors.

This afternoon enjoy a private jazz performance. After, enjoy an independent dinner out on the town.
Sleep in Havana Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L)

Day 5: An Excursion to Las Terrazas
This morning we leave for Las Terrazas. En-route we'll travel through the lush countryside planted with sugar cane, corn, rice, and taro. With few vestiges of modernization, the region seems set back in time with farming communities still harvesting by hand and using horse and carts to transport goods to free markets. (The horse carts date back to the 15th century when the Spaniards used them to haul sugar cane to the factories). Las Terrazas in Pinar del Rio province is now part of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve, much of it reforested coffee plantation.

We'll have a delicious traditional lunch at a local farm before returning to Havana. Enjoy a free evening and independent dinner.
Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L)

Day 6: Conservatorio Guillermo Tomas Music School
This morning we'll visit the Conservatorio Guillermo Tomas. There are 500 students ranging in age from 8 to 19. Gifted students enter the school at an early age, and study academic and musical subjects for the next 10 years. The 40 students that graduate every year go on to join the best symphony, chamber and popular orchestras, or become music professors for new students. We'll have lunch at a local paladar before continuing on to a cigar factory for an afternoon tour.

Join your host this evening for an included evening jazz concert.
Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L)

Day 7: Art Market, Santeria Temple and Classic Cars
After breakfast we'll visit a colorful open air waterfront art market. You are free to purchase paintings and other works of art. Just make sure that you speak with your guide beforehand about getting the necessary official stamps.

Following lunch we're off to visit a Santeria Temple. Its aim is to rehabilitate traditional folk culture there, taking into account the spiritual, cultural and material needs of this population.

Santerí́a is a system of beliefs that merges aspects of Yoruba religion brought to the New World by enslaved Yoruba people along with Christianity and the religions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Yoruba people carried with them various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors and deities, animal sacrifice, and sacred drumming and dance. The need to preserve their traditions and belief systems in a hostile cultural environment prompted those enslaved in Cuba, starting from as early as 1515, to merge their customs with aspects of Roman Catholicism.

Relax this afternoon before meeting your guide and host for a gala farewell dinner and one jazz performance!
Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)

Day 8: Depart Cuba for Miami
Today enjoy some free time to walk the Malecó́n and have a relaxing morning. Those on the group flight will enjoy an included lunch before transferring to Havana's Jose Marti Airport this afternoon for our returning flight back to the U.S. Buen Viaje! (B)

The historic Hotel Nacional is located on the Malecó́n seafront. The decision to build a luxury hotel was taken in the late 1920s. The American firms McKim, Mead & White and Purdy & Henderson Co., tasked with the planning and construction, completed the palatial edifice in 14 months. The same firm designed Penn Station and Washington Square in New York. The hotel exhibits an eclectic architectural style, reflecting Art Deco, Arabic references, features of Hispano-Moorish architecture, and both neo-classical and neo-colonial elements. There are even details from the centuries-old Californian style. The resulting unique example of so many schools of architecture is the most unusual and interesting hotel in the Caribbean region. Among its first illustrious guests were artists, actors, athletes and writers such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jorgé́ Negrete, Agustí́n Lara, Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Ró́mulo Gallegos, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando and Ernest Hemingway. In February 1946, Sir Winston Churchill visited Cuba, staying in the hotel's Republica Suite, and was accorded diplomatic privileges by the Cuban government. In December 1946 it hosted an infamous mob summit run by Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and attended by Santo Trafficante, Jr., Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and many others. Francis Ford Coppola memorably dramatized the conference in his film The Godfather Part II. The Cuban government rates the Nacional hotel as a 5 star. Although it is very charming, most international travelers would agree that it is more in line with a superior 3 star in North America. That said, if traveling to Havana this is the place to be!

Cuba is a developing country and still lacks many modern conveniences. It's not unusual to experience short power black-outs or to find that your hot water, internet, TV or phone in your hotel room does not work properly (or at all). Further, the Cuban government and incoming Havana agency has the right to change the itinerary without notice (and often does). We'll be travelling under a "people to people" license, which means that our days will be filled with many fun educational experiences. Your day will begin around 8:30am and end around 5:00pm. This is not a trip for those looking for a leisurely, five star beach holiday or a deluxe resort experience. Travelers who arrive in Havana with a sense of humor, an open mind, and are ready to be flexible, will absolutely fall in love with the people and culture of Cuba.

Reservations and Deposits: Early reservations are essential to guarantee space on the date you wish to travel. A per person deposit of $500 is needed to confirm your space on most journeys. For our Cuba journeys we can accept payment by check or credit card. Once the deposit is processed, a deposit packet is sent with pertinent journey details.

Final Payment: You will be sent an invoice approximately 75 days prior to departure. A non-refundable final payment, payable by money order, check or credit card is due 60 days before departure. It is the responsibility of each passenger to make a timely payment. A final packet of information will be sent approximately three weeks before departure. Mail checks to: Earthbound Expeditions PO Box 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, USA.

Cancellations: All cancellations must be made in writing and are effective upon receipt in our office. Deposits are fully refundable for 60 days from the processing date or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. Deposits made 90 days prior to a trip departing are not refundable. A $75 per person processing fee applies to all cancellations.

No refunds are made for cancellations after the non-refundable deposit date. It is for this reason we strongly encourage the purchase of travel insurance at the same time you reserve your journey with us. Please refer to your specific journey details, especially private and hosted journeys, as policies may differ.

Concert and Events: If a planned concert or event is cancelled for any reason, another concert or event will be included in its place. This will not be cause for refund.

Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guest is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents and expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.

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