Expert's Corner

Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC) high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!
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General Travel License

U.S. Cuba Legal Travel University & College faculty, staff & students, education professionals like K-12 teachers are eligible to travel to Cuba under the General License, a process that can be completed by individuals & educational institutions without submitting the application to OFAC. Blog on Cuba Legal Travel.

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Cuba Study Trips makes sure your School Jazz Band plays OFFICIALLY at the Havana Jazz Festival


Our Jazz Tours to Cuba are open for US Schools

Cuba jazz festival 2014 Cuba Ballet Couses Cuba Educational Tours USA Cuba Travel for US Schools Free Cuba Travel for Educators Old Havana Cuba Study Trips Cuba Beach for Spring Break 2014
After the easing of Cuba travel restrictions from USA for people-to-people programs and CUBA STUDY TRIPS in 2010, Authentic Cuba Travel has been working together with the organizing committee of the Havana Jazz Festival to make possible that University Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Big Bands travel to Cuba legally to perform at the prestigious international event as official representatives.

Friends University’s Jazz Ensemble was one of those lucky groups that got to traveled to Cuba to perform as a part of the Havana International Jazz Festival 2012. The US students were honored to represent their University, Wichita, the state of Kansas and the United States at the Cuba Jazz Festival. The Friends group was the only college jazz ensemble from the US officially invited to perform that year. The Jazz Ensemble performed three times at the official venues of the Cuban jazz festival.

At Cuba Study Trips, a division of Authentic Cuba Travel we are very proud to have facilitated this educational trip to Cuba. The following documentary “It’s All Good” by Sierra Scott tells the story of the Friends University Jazz Ensemble Cuba trip told by students. You can learn more about the trip by reading the article Jazz Ensemble to Leave for Cuban Jazz Festival. Cuba is an untouched culture in the sense that there’s little clear influence of American culture.



If it always has been on you bucket list to go to Cuba to attend the International Jazz Festival of Havana, and you are involved with a US University Jazz Ensemble or Jazz Band, Cuba Study Trips will make your dreams come true. It is a lifetime opportunity for your students to be honored to represent their university, state and nation in such a world acclaimed event out of reach for most of the American citizens. And then they will get to play and rub shoulders with the most talented Jazz musicians from Cuba and abroad. Study trips to Cuba for American schools are possible, Authentic Cuba Travel can help!

Do not wait any longer. Now is the time to start planning the next Jazz Cuba trip for your students. Cuba Jazz travel for students are hard to find these days, especially if traveling to Cuba from the United States of America. Your students will consider traveling to Cuba an experience of a lifetime. They will come home optimistic and inspired by fresh perspectives on what is possible not only personally but also socially. Request a custom-made no-obligation Cuba Study Trip for your students today, and check some of the resources we put at your service.

Request your Cuba Student Trip Today!

Check Our Most Popular Cuba Study Trips


With customizable Cuba student trips, it is easy to offer North American High Schools, Colleges and Universities the educational experience US students expect out of ballet tours to Cuba. Not only is there a Cuba school trip to fit any group size, educational interest and budget, but each student trip to Cuba also immerses US professors and students in the authentic Cuba and takes you deep into the heart and soul of the Cuban people.

Cuba Student Trips Include:



  • Nice, Safe, Clean 3 & 4 Star Hotels
  • Most Meals
  • Complimentary Professor(s) Participation
  • Official Asistur Cuban Health Insurance
  • Luxury Air-conditioned Coach Transportation
  • An Expert Cuban English Speaking Guide
  • Activities & Exchanges as Described
  • 24/7 Support Before, During and After
    your Cuba Study Tour
  • Resources for Educators



  • Free Exploration Tour
  • 100 Educator Loyalty Points per student!
  • Complimentary Custom Website
  • Complimentary Facebook Page
  • Fundraising Ideas
  • Parents Updates
  • Won’t be alone when introducing
    your Cuba Educational Tour
  • Request a Cuba School Trip Today!

    Are you a US K-12 teacher, university or school professor? Check these tours!

  • Cuba Education Tour 5Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Jun 18- Jun 25, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 6Havana & Santiago de Cuba Jul 9- Jul 16, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 17- Jul 24, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 8Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadAug 6- Aug 13, 2016Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 9Havana, Cienfuegos & TrinidadDec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 10Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa.. Dec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 11Havana & Santiago de Cuba Dec 29- Jan 5, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 1Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 5- Mar 12, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 2Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad Mar 18- Mar 25, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 3Havana, Bay of Pigs, Santa..Mar 26- Apr 2, 2017Book Now
  • Cuba Education Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Apr 15- Apr 22, 2017Book Now

  • Day 1. Wednesday. Your Cuba Study Trip to the Havana Jazz Festival Begins!

    CUBA JAZZ TOURS attending the Cuba Jazz Festival will arrive at the Havana International Airport. After clearing customs and immigrations, US students traveling to Cuba will be welcome by the CUBA STUDY TRIPS dedicated guide and driver.

    Most American schools visiting Cuba choose to stay at either the Park View or Presidente hotel. Cuba Study Trips tour guide will make sure your check in is smooth and that US students get the nicest rooms.

    Cuba Jazz Travel usually features a welcome dinner at one of Cuba’s most popular restaurants. El Eljibe restaurant has been rated off the charts by most American travelers who have joined the Jazz Trips to Cuba. It is also a great opportunity to take a glimpse of Havana at night.

    Day 2. Thursday. The Jazz Cuba Travel Adventure is ON!

    Morning: Jazz travel to Cuba should make no compromises and immerse the American students traveling to Cuba into the authentic Cuba that coexists parallel to Cuba’s mainstream tourism.

    Cuba Study Trips will treat US schools in Cuba to a guided walking tour of OLD HAVANA, a UNESCO world Heritage Site destination that attracts millions of foreign visitors every year.

    By the expert hand of your Cuba Study Trips Cuban guide you will tour the 4 main colonial plazas in Old Havana such as Plaza de La Catedral, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de San Francisco.

    US schools visiting Cuba will also explore the most important landmarks of Havana’s historical centre. Worth mentioning the Museum of the City, former Captains General Palace, The Fortress of the Royal Force, The Cathedral of Havana, The Basilica de San Francisco, among many other attractions of this popular destination for Cuba’s tourism.

    Study trips to Cuba for American universities will wrap the morning exploration with a visit to the largest handicraft market of Cuba, located in a former warehouse on the harbour side. American students traveling to Cuba will have ample free time to purchase all sorts of arts and crafts at very affordable prices.

    Study trips to Cuba for US schools attending the Jazz festival of Havana will also include a lunch break at a popular restaurant in Old Havana, La Mina that features not only authentic Cuban dishes but the best Cuban popular music live!

    In the afternoon, our Cuba Jazz tours feature an exclusive visit to the Lizt Alfonso Dance School. US students visiting Cuba will be treated to a backstage tour of the dance company. The world acclaimed dance company will also introduce Cuban students to US students for a meaningful people-to-people exchange.

    Lizt Alfonso’s choreographies are dance and music of a kind no one else creates: a seamless fusion of Spanish classical dance, ballet, flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance.

    Time permitting; the Cuba jazz travel adventure will continue with a short coach ride to the Eastern Beaches of Havana city for some “cooling off” time at the beach before heading back to Vedado for the opening of the International Jazz Festival of Havana tonight.

    Tonight is the night! University Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Big Bands traveling to Cuba with Cuba Study Trips will enjoy premium seats at the Opening Ceremony of the International Jazz Festival of Havana.

    Day 3. Friday. Official Performance at the Havana Jazz Festival

    A morning visit to Cuba’s Higher Art Achools is always a highlight in our Cuba study trips for American students traveling to the Caribbean island for people-to-people exchanges and cultural enrichment. The Cuba Jazz travels will introduce US schools to professors and students of music, visual arts, dance and drama this morning. Students will even be able to take on jam sessions with Cuban young Jazz musicians and staff. This quality time and interaction with Cubans is another component of our Cuba education tours that cannot be copied by other Cuba travel companies providing Cuba educational tours to the Caribbean island.

    As people-to-people meaningful exchange is a key aspect in our study trips to Cuba, next Authentic Cuba Travel will take American students to Jaimanitas, a coastal town in the outskirts of Havana inhabited by fishermen for centuries. This is also the land of Jose Fuster, a Cuban visual artist who has turned the town into a living art gallery. Fuster opens the doors of its residence and studio to Cuba Study Trips this morning for special lunch and guided tour of the area. What a treat! Only with Cuba Study Tours!

    In the afternoon, we will continue our meaningful encounters with the Cuban people by visiting other humble towns in the outskirts of Havana city, San Francisco de Paula and Cojimar coastal town in an attempt to retrace the footsteps of American novelist of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.

    Cuba Study Trips will visit Finca la Vigia, a hilltop villa 20 kilometers east of Havana, where Hemingway lived from 1939 to 1960. It is here where the writer completed some of his greatest works, including The Old Man and the Sea, Across the River and into the Trees, and Islands in the Stream.

    Cuba Jazz Travel also features a visit to Cojimar, another coastal town inhabited by fishermen where Hemingway used to park its famous boat El Pilar. Monuments, sculptures and paintings of the famous US writer can be found all over the place. Hemingway was a beloved friend of Cuba and the people of Cojimar.

    Tonight marks the first official performance of your University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Big Band at the Havana Jazz Festival. Authentic Cuba Travel facilitates the official invitation to play at the main venues.

    It is a lifetime opportunity for US students to be honored to represent their university, state and nation in such a world acclaimed event. And then they will get to play and rub shoulders with the most talented Jazz musicians from Cuba and abroad.

    Day 4. Saturday. Cuba Study Trips Goes Western!

    Jazz trips to Cuba should also immerse US students in the authentic Cuba that lies outside Havana city. This morning Cuba Study Trips will treat American schools traveling to Cuba to the Vinales Valley and Vinales Town, declared UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site and showcasing one of the most amazing geological formations in the world, the mogotes, flat-top freestanding rocks hills.

    Once in Vinales Valley we will continue our people-to-people encounters with visits to local tobacco farms and meeting with farmers that have been passing from generation to generation the secrets of growing the best tobacco in the world. Jazz Cuba travel should be about exposing US citizens to the Cuban culture and the Cuban people, not just about sipping mojitos in fancy beach hotels.

    As part of the Cuba Study Trips explorations of the Valley we will take US students traveling to Cuba to a guided tour of Cueva del Indio, used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians as a burial site in ancient time, and as refuge from the Spaniards for both Indians and Black slaves alike. We’ll take a short boat ride on the subterranean river running through the cave.

    A visit to Mural de la Prehistoria, a huge painting on the side of a mogote is also a highlight of our trips to Cuba for American schools attending the Havana Jazz Festival in an official capacity.

    The most authentic and delicious Cuban dishes are served at Mural de La Prehistoria restaurant. Cuba Study Trips will provide a complimentary lunch next. The venue also features great Cuban country music live.

    Before heading back to Havana city, the study trips to Cuba will allow US students to explore some more of Viñales Village at their own leisurely pace. Recommended spots: open-air craft market, Parque Marti, town church, and other interesting sites of this charming colonial hamlet.

    Tonight marks the second official performance of your University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Big Band at the Havana Jazz Festival. Authentic Cuba Travel facilitates the official invitation to play at the main venues.

    It is a lifetime opportunity for US students to be honored to represent their university, state and nation in such a world acclaimed event. And then they will get to play and rub shoulders with the most talented Jazz musicians from Cuba and abroad.

    Day 5. Sunday. Closing Performance at the Havana Jazz Festival

    Morning: a guided tour of the Museum of Cuban Art is the icing in the cake for a comprehensive cultural immersion of US students traveling to Cuba as part of our Cuba Study Trips for University Jazz schools. The collection accounts for the richness of the island's Spanish, French, Chinese, African cultural roots.

    Cuba Jazz tours will treat US travelers to Cuba with a lunch at Cafe Taberna in Old Havana, an eatery as famous for his dishes as for its live music and dancing.

    Afternoon: to enrich the authentic Cuba travel experience and enhance the people-to-people component of our study trips to Cuba, we will go for a ferry boat ride across Havana harbour to Regla Town. This Afrocuban community has a long, rich and still active tradition of African-inspired religions.

    Cuba trips for American students also feature a visit Regla's church dedicated to the black "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá, the African goddess of the sea in the Yoruba religion and the patron saint of sailors.

    Tour of Regla's municipal museum to learn the origins of this unique community and its Afrocuban cultures.

    Enjoy a private Afrocuban religious dance presentation by Regla Folkloric Group_ another treat of our Jazz tours to Cuba for American students.

    Tonight marks the closing ceremony of the Jazz Festival of Havana. It also marks the final official performance of your University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Big Band at the Cuba Jazz Festival. Authentic Cuba Travel facilitates the official invitation to play at the main venues.

    It is a lifetime opportunity for US students to be honored to represent their university, state and nation in such a world acclaimed event. And then they will get to play and rub shoulders with the most talented Jazz musicians from Cuba and abroad.

    Day 6 Monday. Good Bye Cuba Jazz

    Your Cuba Jazz adventure to the Caribbean island of Cuba sadly comes to an end. Cuba Study Trips provide with an early morning transfer to Havana City International Airport for departure.
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