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Cuba December 2016

December 10 – 17, 2016

Experience _Jazz

THE HAVANA JAZZFEST with Capital Public Radio

Join Capital Public Radio and fellow jazz lovers for a culturally-rich musical journey to Cuba! Sponsored by famed Cuban musician Chucho Valdes and the Cuban Institute of Music, the International Jazz Festival of Havana showcases some of the biggest names in jazz, along with talented new artists. Enjoy the rhythm of Latin jazz in venues scattered throughout Havana. In addition to the festival, we’ll visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, Hemingway’s haunts, spend an evening at the Buena Vista Social Club and attend a special jazz workshop with Cuban musicians. Stroll the famous Malecón, wander in the picturesque historic center of Havana, lounge in a doorway in your fedora and ride in a classic convertible, all to the sultry sounds of Cuban jazz! 

Make a Reservation

NOTE: This will be CapitalPublic Radio’s fifth journey to Cuba with Earthbound Expeditions! Hurry to reserve your spot. Space is limited and the Havana Jazz Festival always sells out.

“Our trip to Cuba during the Havana jazz festival with Earthbound Expeditions was a transformational experience. All the details, big and small, were handled with the utmost professionalism while we immersed ourselves in all things Cuban, from history to food to jazz music.”
–Simon Rowe, Executive Director, Brubeck Institute


1 Night Miami: Crowne Plaza airport hotel
6 Nights Havana: The Historic 1930s **** Hotel Nacional


  • With Capital Public Radio
  • An expert bilingual Cuban guide
  • Tickets and pass to the Havana Jazz Festival
  • A jazz workshop directed by respected Cuban jazz artists
  • Accommodations as listed in itinerary
  • Cuban government emergency medical insurance plan up to $1,000 
  • Multi-course traditional meals highlighting Cuban cuisine in Havana’s hottest paladars (all meals included except for 1 breakfast and 3 dinners)
  • Bottled water daily and national drinks (local beers and mojitos)
  • Transport by private motor coach while in Cuba
  • Roundtrip charter flight from Miami
  • All entrances as listed in your itinerary
  • Airport transfers while in Cuba
  • Special insider “People to People” experiences
  • Gratuities for your driver and guides
  • City and country maps
  • An informational gathering in Miami the night before departing for Cuba


8 Days/7 Nights

$4,450 per person double occupancy (land and charter air from Miami to Havana)

$675 Single Supplement (waived if you are willing to share & a roommate is found)

Starting in Miami at 7:00pm on December 10, 2016

Returning to Miami International Airport on December 17- (exact charter time TBA)


Air from your home city to/from Miami * Cuba visa fee of $75 * Travel Insurance above the included $1,000 mandatory medical * Cuban airport departure tax of $30 * Extra baggage fees * Passport fees (a passport is required) * Items not mentioned in your itinerary.

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Day 1: Saturday, December 10 - Arrive in Miami

7:00 p.m.
Meet your host and fellow travelers in our private reception room at the Crowne Plaza hotel for a welcome orientation. The Crowne Plaza hotel is just ten minutes away from the airport and offers a complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. Sleep in Miami at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Day 2: Sunday, December 11 - Depart Miami and Arrive in Historic Havana

Early this morning we depart the hotel for the airport to check in for our charter flight from Miami to Havana, Cuba. Charter flight times are not released until one month prior to departure. Your airline tickets and Cuban visas will be given to you when you check-in for your flight.

After clearing Cuban immigrations and customs, you are welcomed by your Cuban National guide outside the terminal, who will assist with a private transfer to Old Havana (Habana Vieja) where you’ll sample some of Cuba’s traditional dishes in one of Havana’s charming old cafes. After lunch, our skilled local guide leads us on an insightful stroll through the colorful cobblestone streets of historic Havana.

In the late afternoon, we’ll check into the historic 1930s Hotel Nacional located on the Malecón 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. The Havana Jazz Fest kicks off tonight and we have tickets to attend! Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (L, D)

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Day 3: Monday, December 12 - Cuba's National Art Schools

This morning we visit the Plaza de la Revolución, the Cemetery of Christopher Columbus, and the Miramar area before continuing on to Cuba's National Art Schools (Instituto Superior de Arte). These structures are considered by historians to be among the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. These innovative, organic Catalan-vaulted brick and terra-cotta buildings were built on the site of a former country club in the far western Havana suburb of Cubanacán, which used to be Havana's "Beverly Hills" and was then mainly reserved for Communist Party officials. The schools were conceived and founded by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961, and they reflect the utopian optimism and revolutionary exuberance of the early years of the Cuban Revolution.

Over their years of active use, the schools served as the primary incubator for Cuba’s artists, musicians, actors, and dancers. The schools’ design fell out of favor by 1965 and was nearly completely decommissioned until preservation efforts were mounted in force in the 1990s. Now tentatively on the list of World Heritage sites, they are in use, though still in various states of disrepair.

Lunch today is in the elegant Miramar section of Havana.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a jazz workshop which will be led by some of Cuba’s most respected jazz artists. This evening we’ll head out on the town to enjoy the Havana Jazz Festival. Sleep in Havana Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L)

Day 4: Tuesday, December 13 - The History of Dance and Conservatorio Guillermo Tomas

Early birds may wish to soak up the sun and walk along the Malecón before breakfast. Then we set off to the Havana Country Club to learn about the history of music and dance in Cuba. Multiple instructors will explain how this small island became a major powerhouse when it comes to both. The Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa and Merengué all come from Cuba. After a thorough demonstration you’ll be invited to learn some of the dances with the instructors.

This afternoon 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.

Enjoy lunch together and a free afternoon in Havana. Then meet up with your guide and host for an outing to the Havana Jazz Festival. Sleep in Havana Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L)

***Cultural Note: In 1985 the Cuban Minister of Culture stated the obvious: "Rumba without Cuba is not rumba, and Cuba without rumba is not Cuba." Today Cuban rumba is a genre involving dance, percussion, and song. There are three main forms: yambú, guaguancó, and columbia. Rumba is an amalgamation of several transplanted African dance and drumming traditions, combined with Spanish influences.***


Day 5: Wednesday, December 14 - A Day with Hemingway and the Museum of Fine Arts

This morning we're off to visit Finca Vigía (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 The Old Man and the Sea.

After lunch, we will visit the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), known for its international and Cuban art. The comprehensive Colección 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.

Across the street from the Fine Arts Museum is the impressive Museum of the Revolution. Sitting outside 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.

We’ll return to the Hotel Nacional for a rest before heading out this evening to enjoy the Havana Jazz Festival! Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)


Day 6: Thursday, December 15 - Architecture Walk and Tobacco Factory

One of Havana’s many charms is the “elegant decay” of the buildings. Enjoy a stroll today that focuses on the splendid architecture of this city, unlike anywhere in the world. Have lunch together and, if available, tour a cigar factory or attend a cigar rolling demonstration. Then, you are invited to join your guide and visit one of Havana’s historic tobacco factories. After dinner, head out to another show or check out the Havana arts scene with a visit to La Fábrica de Arte Cubano or FAC, an old oil factory that is now a thriving arts space in Vedado, one of Havana’s residential districts. Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)

Benny MoreBenny Moré (Bartolomé Maximiliano Moré Gutiérrez, 1919–1963) is often referred to as the greatest Cuban popular singer of all time. Born in Cienfuegos, he was gifted with an innate musicality and fluid tenor voice which he colored and phrased with great expressivity. Moré was a master of most genres of Cuban music, such as the son montuno, mambo, guaracha, and bolero. Moré also formed and led the leading Cuban big band. The “Orquesta Aragón” was swinging from 1950s, until his death in 1963.

Day 7: Friday, December 16 - Casa de Africa and the Museum of Rum

After breakfast, we’ll visit a 17th-century townhouse mansion at Obrapia #157, which originally served as a shop selling snuff. Known today as the Casa de Africa (House of Africa), it displays objects of different African cultures, especially ivory carvings, ritual and decorative masks, musical instruments, weapons, tools, and textiles and clothes. Many of these items were received by Fidel Castro as gifts from African countries.

The ground floor depicts the Cuban slave era, including objects for punishing recalcitrant slaves. On the third floor it has a collection of Santeria icons belonging to famous Cuban ethnographer and expert on Afro-Cuban culture, Fernando Ortiz.

After enjoying lunch together we will head to the Museum of Rum and learn about how real Cuban rum is made. We will also enjoy a tasting (or two). Our farewell dinner this evening will be served at a local paladar! Sleep in Havana at the Historic Hotel Nacional (B, L, D)

Day 8: Saturday, December 17 - Depart Cuba for Miami

We transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport where we check in for our flight to Miami. (Charter flight time TBA). Buen Viaje! (B) 

*Itinerary Details Subject to Change 

Hotel Nacional


The historic Hotel Nacional is located on the Malecón 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, Jorgé Negrete, Agustín Lara, Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Rómulo 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.


Paul _adams _1

As the Manager of Corporate Underwriting, Paul is responsible for managing the team of sales executives representing Capital Public Radio's four NPR/News stations and three Classical/Jazz stations.  The underwriting department works in close partnership with local and regional businesses to develop on-air and online marketing plans to accomplish strategic marketing goals and create revenue for the station. 

Paul joined Capital Public Radio in July of 2012. Within his first three months, he developed an underwriting platform for all online and mobile content and developed relationships with national advertising partners.

Prior to joining Capital Public Radio, Paul was the General Sales Manager of Integrated Media at Clear Channel Media & Entertainment in Sacramento.  At Clear Channel Paul managed a staff of 21 sellers focusing on monetizing streaming audio and all digital content on six station platforms. 

Paul began his media career in 1992 with local NBC affiliate KCRA and quickly learned that his heart wasn't in network television and moved to commercial radio.  Paul has a long history of working with small and large businesses as well as advertising agencies and has been an early adopter of integrating digital elements into marketing and underwriting campaigns.

When not working, Paul's focus is on family, cycling, and gardening and he is developing a custom cooking experience for groups numbering from 10 to 60.


or call Earthbound Expeditions toll free at 1.800.723.8454