havana

Licensed Dance and Percussion Tours to Havana, Cuba


Legal people-to-people urban adventure travel with music and dance workshops lead by renowned musicians and dancers in Havana, Cuba for US residents. Our trip from January 16 - 23, 2016 was another amazing experience despite all the changes taking place in Cuba right now, and we decided to host another retreat next year (January 14 - 21, 2017).

If you want to learn more we also made two videos, a long video summary and a short video summary of our first three trips, and please check out our testimonials!


We have published our upcoming tour dates and you can download a trip brochure here.


Trip Highlights


Experience Cuban culture in the most exciting way possible — through its people and their music! As a participant of this unique and inspiring program, you will learn about Cuban music and dance from some of the best musicians and dancers directly in Havana. During the day, our music and dance workshop will consist of music lessons with hands-on drumming and percussion, Afro-Cuban body movement lessons and Salsa dance lessons with local dance partners from the Cuban TV Ballet Ensemble. In this exclusive format you will be able to engage with Cuban musicians and dancers and learn about their lives and work, culture and traditions. At night we will meet with Cuban musicians and dancers in an informal setting to build on what we have learned in the classroom during the day. This is an urban adventure trip where you will stay with local host families and experience Cuba from the inside out and get the opportunity to make new friends. Cultural immersion is not for everybody, but those who are open to it will be rewarded with the experience of a lifetime!

Ask us about custom trips for groups of at least 6!


Itinerary - 8 Days - Saturday


Day 1 — U.S./Havana, Cuba

  • Departure from Cancun to Cuba
  • Arrival in Havana
  • Transfer to Accommodations
  • Welcome and Group Dinner at Night

Day 2 Explore Havana, Cuba: Architecture, Art and Culture

  • Breakfast with host family
  • Old Havana Walking Tour with a local university docent
  • Lunch at the house of artist Salvador Gonzales Escalona in the Callejon de Hamel
  • Experience the Rumba, an Afro-Cuban dance performance in the Callejon de Hamel
  • 2 hours dance workshop (learning side-by-side with a Cuban dance partner)
  • Dinner with the host family
  • Visit to venue with live music

Day 3 - 6 Havana, Cuba: Dance and Percussion Workshop

  • Breakfast with host family
  • 2 hours Drumming and Percussion Workshop in the morning
  • Lunch with host family
  • 1 hour dance class (Afro-Cuban body movements, origins and meaning, practice)
  • 2 hours dance workshop (learning side-by-side with a Cuban dance partner)
  • Group Dinner
  • Visits to venues in the neighborhood with live music

Day 7 Havana, Cuba: Cultural Explorations of Havana and Surroundings

  • Breakfast with host family
  • Visit to the villages Regla and Guanabacoa
  • Visit to Orisha Museum in Guanabacoa or to Ernest Hemingway's rural home, Finca Vigía
  • Group Lunch on the coast in Cojimar
  • Havana Overview
  • Dinner with host family
  • Last night with live music

Day 8 — Havana, Cuba/Cancun

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Airport
  • Departure to Cancun

Please note that details might change, this is Cuba!

Trip Cost


Final trip cost is $2,900 USD per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $250 USD. Airfare will not be included in the trip cost. Included in the trip cost (unless otherwise indicated):

  • authorization letter from Salsa Retreat that allows you to travel to Cuba legally and purchase trip insurance
  • accommodations in Casas Particulares (homestays with local families)
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and beverages at breakfast
  • all transfers and ground transportation
  • dance lessons, and individual dance partners, lead by first class instructors
  • drumming and percussion lessons with well-known musicians and instructors
  • tours and cultural explorations as well as local tour guides and a Salsa Retreat representative as required by the People-to-People license
  • Cuban dance partners for nightly outings
  • taxes and credit card fees

Not included are:

  • airfare (from your home town to Cancun and from Cancun to Cuba)
  • hotel in Cancun to avoid missed flight connections
  • Mexico departure tax when leaving for Cancun ($35 USD)
  • Cuban visa fee ($25 USD)
  • Cuba departure tax ($25 CUC)
  • entrance fees and beverages (except beverages at breakfast)
  • tips and drinks for the dancers who go out with us at night
  • tips for our instructors, daily dance partners, guides, drivers, host families (about $100 USD)

This trip is permitted by a specific People-to-People license issued by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This itinerary was designed to provide an educational experience with numerous opportunities for meaningful interaction with Cubans. In accordance with the travel license, this trip does not include tourist activities or free time to explore Havana on your own. Travel restrictions in Cuba, such as limits on how much one may spend and what may be purchased, will be provided in your pre-departure materials.

Because beach visits and tourist activities are not allowed under the People-to-People license, we decided to route our trip through Cancun so that you can add a beach vacation before or after your Cuba excursion. We have some great suggestions where to stay in the area.

Minimum group size is 10 participants, maximum group size is 15. A $600 deposit is required at the time of booking. Full payment is due 30 days before first day of travel. Tour can be canceled by Salsa Retreat until 30 days before first day of travel with full refund. See detailed policies.


Interested? Email us today at for more information and include the completed Booking Form to reserve your spot.

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