Dancing in Cuba - self-drive tour

    • Havana
    • Viñales
    • Havana - Old Havana
    • Varadero
    • Beach
    • Culture
    • Dance

Music is beating part of the Cuban identity.

The richness and diversity, the rhythms and melodies have left an impression all over the world.
From the ruthless African beats of the Rumba and the catchy rhythms of the Salsa to the earthly vibrations of the 'Musica Campesina' and the soft sounds of the Bolero, in all the music genres of the island the allurement to move your body is tempting.

Your foot catches the rhythm. Your legs rock before you know it. You are almost dancing.

 
Music is beating part of the Cuban identity.

The richness and diversity, the rhythms and melodies have left an impression all over the world.
From the ruthless African beats of the Rumba and the catchy rhythms of the Salsa to the earthly vibrations of the 'Musica Campesina' and the soft sounds of the Bolero, in all the music genres of the island the allurement to move your body is tempting.

Your foot catches the rhythm. Your legs rock before you know it. You are almost dancing.

Music and dance live harmoniously together in Cuba. They are one with the island’s sentiment.

During this dance trip the music plays while you dance. Ten hours of dance lessons are scheduled with professional dance teachers (M/F).

You will also watch others dancing. First backstage at the Havana Queens Studio, where you even can attend their rehearsal, and next enjoying their big show.

Your rental will drive you around in Havana, and also take you to Viñales and Varadero.

Quieres bailar? Wanna dance? Cuba is your dancefloor.
Bailando!

Day 1. Welcome to Havana

  • Meet & greet at Havana's International Airport.
    Our representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall.
  • You can use the VIP lounge at the airport while your luggage is being collected.
  • Pick up your rental car at the office at the airport.
  • Check-in at your hotel.

Havana

Habana Vieja, the old town, was founded in 1519 by the Spaniards. Today, 500 years later, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America, colorful, lively, both traditional as hip, magical as realistic. Havana is a party.
You find cathedrals, colonial palaces, inviting squares, and a maze of adorable alleyways. If you want to get to know the Habaneros, go to the Malecón, the boulevard, the seawall, the alternative to everyday live for many residents. From fishermen to lovers, from musicians to entire families, everyone comes together at the Malecón.

Day 2. Explore the city of Havana

Have your breakfast on time, as you will be expected at 09.00 am in Old Havana at San Cristobal's Visit Service Center (address: O'Reilly and Avenida del Puerto, close to Plaza de Armas).

A specialized guide will show you historic Havana, the spacious squares, the narrow alleys, the beautiful restorations. Admire the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Palacio del Segundo Cabo, La Maqueta; the scale-model of Old Havana, and the City Museum. Many cultural institutions are housed in the monumental buildings surrounding the squares. Be it incomplete, the restoration of Havana - a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982 - is a masterpiece.

Choose the restaurant where you want to have lunch.

Put on your dancing shoes, your first dance class starts at 03.00 pm in Club Almendares. This sympathetic outdoor salsa club is located in the Parque Almendares, the city forest and green lung of Havana. The road through the forest is a fairy-tale. There is a large dance floor under a high roof. You will have lessons from professional dance teachers for two hours. As a rule, everyone has plenty of their turn. If you do prefer a private instructor (M/F) please contact us.

Choose your dinner from the extensive menu that Havana offers you.
Then the evening falls over the old city. Too gorgeous to stay in your hotel.

  • Tasty and homemade meals can be found in a paladar (private restaurant), plenty of choice.

  • Enjoy the warmish evening at Plaza Vieja. The terrace of the beer brewery annex café ‘Factoría Plaza Vieja’, offers a magnificent view of this impressive open square.

  • Looking for more motion? The cultural project 'Fábrica del Arte Cubano' (FAC), the Cuban art factory, could be your scene. Hip, hipper, hipster Cuba. Modern art and trendy music merge amicably in this former food oil factory. You can combine it with a dinner in the adjacent private restaurant 'El Cocinero'.

Day 3. Havana, two temples. The temple of power and the temple of dance.

After breakfast, at 10.00 am, you get a tour of the Capitol, its architecture inspired by the Washington’s Capitol, but, with 302 feet still 14 feet higher, to the delight of the Cubans. It is undoubtedly one of the most striking buildings among all Spanish-colonial and neoclassical architecture. It radiates power and splendor with its rich decorations, pure lines and proportions. The wings on either side of the hall once housed the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Lunch at leisure. You are expected at 03.00 pm in your dance temple between the trees. You might like to drive over the Malecón with your car, from east to west and see the attractive neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar.

Loose your body. Have fun dancing in the forest, it will more smoothly.

  • As a dance lover you must have experienced Cabaret Tropicana. Tropicana is a party palace, the one and only ‘Paradise under the Stars’, with an extravagance that stimulates all senses. A dazzling show with live music, crooners, top dancers and colorful dazzling costumes. Indulge in this exotic Cuban carnival. The big show starts at 10.00 pm.
  • Casa de la Música in the Miramar district is well known for its (live) music and its dancing opportunities. Do not pay much attention to some persons at the entrance proposing services of all kind. You could invite your dance instructors; they will guide smoothly into the Casa.
    Check in advance which band is playing the evening in question, it can make a difference.

Day 4. Dancing, talk about dancing and watch dancing

A morning ride to the green Almendares, your dance class starts at 10.00 am.

Have lunch wherever you like.

At 2.00 pm you will knock on the door of studio of the Dance Company Havana Queens (address Ave 51 e / 92 y 94, in the Marianao district). Meet the dancers backstage and attend a rehearsal of this exciting company.

Havana Queens was founded on April 2, 2012 by Rosario García Rodríguez (general director, choreographer and dancer). Her talent brought her international fame and at the age of only 16 she was already on stage in the Netherlands. Charisma and extensive repertoire are mainly supported by the power of women on the platform, finding its inspiration in traditional folklore as well as in Spanish and African influences.

A study of these dance genres yielded so much interesting material and resulted into a spectacular choreography.

Every Friday, in Casa Miglis (paladar) the Havana Queens Dance Company performs a show at 08.30 pm. The address is Calle Lealtad 120, e/ Animas y Lagunas, Centro Habana.

If day 4 of your travel schedule falls on a different day, we will book a ticket for an equally spectacular show, albeit more traditional, in Cabaret Parisién in the classy hotel Nacional de Cuba.

  • Casa Miglis has a Swedish-Cuban cuisine. International recipes as well as vegetarian also appear on their menu. You could consider dining here before the show.

Day 5. Final salsa dance lessons.

Dancing and dancing again. A dance class in the morning at 10.00 am and one in the afternoon from 03.00 to 05.00 pm. Refine your new steps and perform your last swirls of this salsa workshop. Blend your sense of rhythm and melody.

Day 6. Havana - Viñales Valley (approx. 110 miles)

Leave Havana by car to the west, a landscape like a road movie, where never something big, but always something small can be experienced. As the (tobacco) fields and drying houses become more numerous, the Valley of Viñales is nearby. Here, Cuba’s finest tobacco grows. It is a refreshing valley with red soil, surrounded by Mogotes, huge, capricious limestone formations and underground rivers. A rural atmosphere in a peaceful pace of life.

Check in at Hotel Los Jazmines or La Ermita. Nice hotels, both with a wide view over the lovely valley.

The town of Viñales is well visited, so it is lively and cozy. There are several paladares. One is Patio del Decimista in the main street. Mostly there is live music and where there is music… you can dance.

Nature invites you to outdoor activities. There are plenty of them. You can go hiking, horse riding, cycling and there is a zip-line (Canopy).

Day 7. Viñales Valley - Varadero (approx. 203 miles)

The beach lures. Varadero, Playa numero uno in Cuba since the early 1900s. It is a quite a ride (4.5 hours). Maybe nice to take a break on the way. Consider the waterfalls of Soroa or Las Terrazas, an eco-tourist nature park. Both are not really a detour and offer the opportunity to have lunch.

Once you are in Varadero, you can laze in your all-inclusive 4* hotel situated at the 12-mile-long beach. The perfect picture for a sun and sea worshiper. Dance activities are often on the program of the hotel. Or hum a song and dance on the beach.
Last Salsa in Varadero!

After dinner you can also try your luck at Calle 62 in Varadero. There are bars. There is music. There are dance opportunities here.

Day 8. Varadero - Havana (approx. 93 miles)

Havana is only 2 hours away, so you have the choice. Chill on the beach or lounge in the lobby. Usually you have to vacate your room at noon although depending on availability and against an additional fee you can extend your room with a number of hours.

Another option is driving straight to Havana after breakfast. Take the broad and quiet autopista, passing the Yumurí Valley and rocky coasts. You will be back in the city where you learned to dance.

Check in at your hotel. You already know the city, the boulevard, the paladares and the dance spots. Get into the dance crowd, it's your last chance.

Day 9. Homebound

Your will have breakfast at your hotel. All you have to do today is drop-off your car at the airport. Do you want to extend your stay? Please contact us. Are you going to fly today? Safe trip home! If you fly later on the day, you will have half a day in Happy Havana.

Hasta Cuba Siempre!

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Why book with us
  • Your trip, your way
  • Booked and organised in Cuba
  • Our local roots, we live in Cuba
  • 24/7 support by our local hosts

Price per room from

Opening hours

Opening hours
Phone number

Recommended for
Beach, Culture, Dance, Music, Nature
Departure time
Flexible
Start/finish
Starts (and ends in Havana)
Character
Individual/Private
Languages
English, French, German, Italian, Nederlands, Other languages on request, Spanish
Activity level
Easy (light walking)
Insider's tip
•It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginning or advanced dancer. Dance lessons are tailor-made. •A surcharge (CUC20.00) applies for the pick-up of rental cars at the airport. We can also arrange a transfer for you, you will pick up your rental car the next morning at the nearest city office. •The backstage meeting with the dancers from Havana Queens is from Monday to Friday. If day 4 of your schedule doesn’t match one of these days, we will adjust your schedule, so you don't have to miss this opportunity. •The Havana Queens Show is performed every Friday. If you would like to experience it, but the day does not match your travel schedule, we will try to find a solution. Cabaret Parisién has a daily show. •This tour begins and ends in Havana. The car can be dropped off at another destination such as e.g. Varadero. In that case additional costs will be charged. Please contact us if you are interested. •At pick up, a deposit has to be paid (varying from CUC 150 – 250) in the Cuban currency CUC, almost equal in value to the USD. You can pay the deposit in cash in CUC or its equivalent in USD or EUR. You better pay the deposit by credit card. Provided that the car will be returned in the same condition at the end of the rental period, the credit card draft will be canceled. (With cash payment of the deposit in CUC, you will be refunded in CUC, a currency that only has value in Cuba). •Local circumstances can cause a change of accommodation. Think about overbooking or temporary closure. In that case accommodation of the same standard will be booked. •The program may also be subject to changes due to local conditions such as closures due to repair work, weather and road conditions, etc. •Here you can find more information about driving in Cuba.

Day 1: Day 1. Welcome to Havana

  • Meet & greet at Havana's International Airport.
    Our representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall.
  • You can use the VIP lounge at the airport while your luggage is being collected.
  • Pick up your rental car at the office at the airport.
  • Check-in at your hotel.

Havana

Habana Vieja, the old town, was founded in 1519 by the Spaniards. Today, 500 years later, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America, colorful, lively, both traditional as hip, magical as realistic. Havana is a party.

You find cathedrals, colonial palaces, inviting squares, and a maze of adorable alleyways. If you want to get to know the Habaneros, go to the Malecón, the boulevard, the seawall, the alternative to everyday live for many residents. From fishermen to lovers, from musicians to entire families, everyone comes together at the Malecón.

    • Havana
    • No meals included today

Have your breakfast on time, as you will be expected at 09.00 am in Old Havana at San Cristobal's Visit Service Center (address: O'Reilly and Avenida del Puerto, close to Plaza de Armas).

A specialized guide will show you historic Havana, the spacious squares, the narrow alleys, the beautiful restorations. Admire the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Palacio del Segundo Cabo, La Maqueta; the scale-model of Old Havana, and the City Museum. Many cultural institutions are housed in the monumental buildings surrounding the squares. Be it incomplete, the restoration of Havana - a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982 - is a masterpiece.

Choose the restaurant where you want to have lunch.

Put on your dancing shoes, your first dance class starts at 03.00 pm in Club Almendares. This sympathetic outdoor salsa club is located in the Parque Almendares, the city forest and green lung of Havana. The road through the forest is a fairy-tale. There is a large dance floor under a high roof. You will have lessons from professional dance teachers for two hours. As a rule, everyone has plenty of their turn. If you do prefer a private instructor (M/F) please contact us.

Choose your dinner from the extensive menu that Havana offers you.
Then the evening falls over the old city. Too gorgeous to stay in your hotel.

  • Tasty and homemade meals can be found in a paladar (private restaurant), plenty of choice.

  • Enjoy the warmish evening at Plaza Vieja. The terrace of the beer brewery annex café ‘Factoría Plaza Vieja’, offers a magnificent view of this impressive open square.

  • Looking for more motion? The cultural project 'Fábrica del Arte Cubano' (FAC), the Cuban art factory, could be your scene. Hip, hipper, hipster Cuba. Modern art and trendy music merge amicably in this former food oil factory. You can combine it with a dinner in the adjacent private restaurant 'El Cocinero'.

    • Havana - Old Havana

After breakfast, at 10.00 am, you get a tour of the Capitol, its architecture inspired by the Washington’s Capitol, but, with 302 feet still 14 feet higher, to the delight of the Cubans. It is undoubtedly one of the most striking buildings among all Spanish-colonial and neoclassical architecture. It radiates power and splendor with its rich decorations, pure lines and proportions. The wings on either side of the hall once housed the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Lunch at leisure. You are expected at 03.00 pm in your dance temple between the trees. You might like to drive over the Malecón with your car, from east to west and see the attractive neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar.

Loose your body. Have fun dancing in the forest, it will more smoothly.

  • As a dance lover you must have experienced Cabaret Tropicana. Tropicana is a party palace, the one and only ‘Paradise under the Stars’, with an extravagance that stimulates all senses. A dazzling show with live music, crooners, top dancers and colorful dazzling costumes. Indulge in this exotic Cuban carnival. The big show starts at 10.00 pm.
  • Casa de la Música in the Miramar district is well known for its (live) music and its dancing opportunities. Do not pay much attention to some persons at the entrance proposing services of all kind. You could invite your dance instructors; they will guide smoothly into the Casa.
    Check in advance which band is playing the evening in question, it can make a difference.

    • Havana
    • Meals included: breakfast and lunch

A morning ride to the green Almendares, your dance class starts at 10.00 am.

Have lunch wherever you like.

At 2.00 pm you will knock on the door of studio of the Dance Company Havana Queens (address Ave 51 e / 92 y 94, in the Marianao district). Meet the dancers backstage and attend a rehearsal of this exciting company.

Havana Queens was founded on April 2, 2012 by Rosario García Rodríguez (general director, choreographer and dancer). Her talent brought her international fame and at the age of only 16 she was already on stage in the Netherlands. Charisma and extensive repertoire are mainly supported by the power of women on the platform, finding its inspiration in traditional folklore as well as in Spanish and African influences.

A study of these dance genres yielded so much interesting material and resulted into a spectacular choreography.

Every Friday, in Casa Miglis (paladar) the Havana Queens Dance Company performs a show at 08.30 pm. The address is Calle Lealtad 120, e/ Animas y Lagunas, Centro Habana.

If day 4 of your travel schedule falls on a different day, we will book a ticket for an equally spectacular show, albeit more traditional, in Cabaret Parisién in the classy hotel Nacional de Cuba.

  • Casa Miglis has a Swedish-Cuban cuisine. International recipes as well as vegetarian also appear on their menu. You could consider dining here before the show.

 

    • Havana

Dancing and dancing again. A dance class in the morning at 10.00 am and one in the afternoon from 03.00 to 05.00 pm. Refine your new steps and perform your last swirls of this salsa workshop. Blend your sense of rhythm and melody.

    • Havana

Leave Havana by car to the west, a landscape like a road movie, where never something big, but always something small can be experienced. As the (tobacco) fields and drying houses become more numerous, the Valley of Viñales is nearby. Here, Cuba’s finest tobacco grows. It is a refreshing valley with red soil, surrounded by Mogotes, huge, capricious limestone formations and underground rivers. A rural atmosphere in a peaceful pace of life.

Check in at Hotel Los Jazmines or La Ermita. Nice hotels, both with a wide view over the lovely valley.

The town of Viñales is well visited, so it is lively and cozy. There are several paladares. One is Patio del Decimista in the main street. Mostly there is live music and where there is music… you can dance.

Nature invites you to outdoor activities. There are plenty of them. You can go hiking, horse riding, cycling and there is a zip-line (Canopy).

    • Havana
    • Viñales
    • Hotel Los Jazmines, Viñales
    • Hotel La Ermita, Viñales

The beach lures. Varadero, Playa numero uno in Cuba since the early 1900s. It is a quite a ride (4.5 hours). Maybe nice to take a break on the way. Consider the waterfalls of Soroa or Las Terrazas, an eco-tourist nature park. Both are not really a detour and offer the opportunity to have lunch.

Once you are in Varadero, you can laze in your all-inclusive 4* hotel situated at the 12-mile-long beach. The perfect picture for a sun and sea worshiper. Dance activities are often on the program of the hotel. Or hum a song and dance on the beach.
Last Salsa in Varadero!

After dinner you can also try your luck at Calle 62 in Varadero. There are bars. There is music. There are dance opportunities here.

    • Varadero
    • Matanzas City
    • Matanzas Province
    • Las Terrazas
    • Soroa

Havana is only 2 hours away, so you have the choice. Chill on the beach or lounge in the lobby. Usually you have to vacate your room at noon although depending on availability and against an additional fee you can extend your room with a number of hours.

Another option is driving straight to Havana after breakfast. Take the broad and quiet autopista, passing the Yumurí Valley and rocky coasts. You will be back in the city where you learned to dance.

Check in at your hotel. You already know the city, the boulevard, the paladares and the dance spots. Get into the dance crowd, it's your last chance.

    • Havana
    • Varadero

Your will have breakfast at your hotel. All you have to do today is drop-off your car at the airport. Do you want to extend your stay? Please contact us. Are you going to fly today?

Safe trip home! If you fly later on the day, you will have half a day in Happy Havana.

Hasta Cuba Siempre!

    • Havana

What is included

  • Accommodation in Hotel NH Capri or in Hotel Iberostar Habana Riviera, including breakfast.
  • 9 days car rental, category economy, including insurance and surcharge for airport pick-up.
  • Tour with a multilingual guide through colonial and historic Havana.
  • Guided tour of the Capitol.
  • 5 Dance lessons of 2 hours each, accompanied by professional instructors (M/F).
  • Habana Queens Backstage.
  • Havana Queens Show (including 3 cocktails), or Cabaret Parisién show (with 1 cocktail).
  • An overnight stay in Viñales in Hotel Los Jazmines or Ermita, including breakfast.
  • An overnight stay in Varadero in Hotel Labranda Varadero or Roc Arenas Doradas (or an equivalent alternative subject to availability). All on all-inclusive basis.

Not included in the price

  • Other activities, meals and drinks that are not included in the program
  • Pick-up surcharge airport
  • Fuel
  • Tips

You can adapt this travel program to your personal wishes. You can add or remove destinations, you can extend or shorten the trip. Do you want alternative accommodation, upgrade the car category or change the route? Add activities or excursions? Do you need any other travel services? We are happy to help you.

Contact us. With your specific wishes and our knowledge, together we create the perfect trip.