Havana is an exciting city with many interesting neighbourhoods. However, to experience the "real" Havana you should stay in Habana Vieja. Here you are located next to the best bars and nightlife, and during the daytime you will be living among the real Habanos working in shops, bars, art galleries and going about their daily lives in this atmospheric part of the city. Havana has a unique distinction, being the safest city in the Caribbean and Latin America generally. There are a number of reasons for this, but what it means for the curious traveller is that you will be able to enjoy unprecedented access to local people as you wander around the ‘barrio’ that makes up Habana Vieja.
Our ‘Learn Spanish, Culture & Dance’ 2 & 4 week program let's you get the most out of your time in Old Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Upon arrival at Havana International Airport you will be picked up for a transfer to your Casa Particulares or Casa Jakera which will be your home in Havana.
Your Spanish classes take place in the morning from Monday to Friday 09:00-11:45. The sessions comprise of 3 x 45-minute lessons spaced with 15 minute breaks, which makes 15 hours per week. The lessons are held at Casa Jakera by an accredited and licensed Cuban teacher. On the first morning there will be a short test to establish your level and requirements. We cater for students at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The discover Cuba sessions will feature additional Spanish conversation opportunities. (approx. 4 hours per week).
Private dance classes (teacher student ratio 1:1) take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, usually from 14:00-15:00. You will be taken through your paces - lessons will feature Salsa but depending on your progress you may also be introduced to Son, Rueda de Casino, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba and perhaps a few moves you haven’t even heard of! The lessons are delivered a short walk from your Casa by a licensed dance instructor, and in the evenings there are many free live music venues where you can do your homework. Please note that for dance classes you should dress appropriately as you would if you are going out. Look good, feel good!
Hop onto a Wah-Wah (fume belching local bendy bus) or Colectivo (classic car/communal taxi) and take to the streets to discover the real Habana. Understand how Habaneros live; the practical day to day issues they face living in this complicated country at this exciting time, and help us take away some answers to our own ‘first world’ problems!
Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 14:00 (plus the occasional nighttime tour) we will take you on an adventure to help you understand and enjoy the history of Cuba and Habana. Understand the source of her amazing wealth, the rich cultural mix, marvel at the faded patina of Habana’s famous gorgeous neo classical architecture, the rumble of classic American cars, curious soviet era high rise buildings, unbiquitous live music on every street, dance, exotic religions etc etc the list is endless.
You will quickly feel comfortably at this home, gain the knowledge and confidence to enjoy the city during your own time, with new found traveller and Cuban friends. You have been immersed into the Cuban culture - enjoy!
During the 4 week program* you will have three weekends, and we have included activities for each of these. For two weekends you will be accompanied on a daytrip to a beach directly east of Havana. Journey time is 30 minutes by bus and you will enjoy the exhilarating rollers that break on these pristine sandy beaches. One weekend will feature a two night trip to Viñales, a three hour drive to the central western region of Cuba. Viñales is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to the outstanding landscape, traditional architecture and agricultural techniques still used. This trip include a horseride into the valley to drying houses where you can learn about the art of curing tobacco and rolling cigars, and an early morning hike to view a spectacular sunrise.
* The 2-week program includes two guided trips to the beach. On the 2-week program you can also join the trip to Viñales (price CUC 140 paid locally).