Welcome to Bembé the Afrocuban Dance Trip
2024 Dates released soonDeep dive into the afrocuban dance and culture!
Book fast for
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT -150€
Join our 10-day dance trip compleatly dedicated to the afrocuban dances of Yoroba, Palo Monte, Gaga, Vodo, Abacúa and more.During the trip we will enjoy Festival de Tambo for an abundance of live music and concerts.The vibrant capital of Havana is our background and together we will explore the music, dance and culture whilst living, laughing, and enjoying this vacation of a lifetime!
Please be aware that the order of the days can vary depending on the season and local changes.
Half boad, meaning two meals per day, is included in the package. The meals in brackets indicate the particular meal this is for every day.
Day 1 - Welcome to Havana
Let´s start exploring by taking the ferry over to the quiet port neighbourhood of Regla.The municipality has a long tradition of Santería and will offer some great examples of how to spot the syncretism between the african and catholic faiths.
We will bring a picknick lunch enjoyed during the guided tour. The neighbourhood is located with execelent views over Old Havana and will be the perfect backdrop for your introduction of Havana.
At our welcome dinner we will start the trip with a bang! Besides giving you all the practical information for the week ahead, you have the chance to get to know each other and enjoy Cuban cuisine at it’s best!Whatever you are in the mood for at night we´ve got you covered! Wether you want the best salsa dance floor, a smooth roof top bar or a live concert, let us know and we will let you know where the best spot is!
Day 2 - Beach day!
Buenos días! After the delicious breakfast you get every day at your house, let´s get the dance classes started. The prestigous folclore dance company Raíses Profundas invite you to their own rehersal halls for 3 hours, all acompanied by live precussion.The days typically start with one hour of dance technique, working on the isolations and movement you will be needing in afrocuban dances.
The following two hours will be dedicated to the Orishas of the Yoruba culture where you will lears not only the steps but also the songs and caracteristics of the deities.
After some well needes cuban snacks we will head to Playa Santa Maria for a relaxing afternoon at the beach!
Lunch is served under parasoles and after swiming in the sea you can enjoy cuban rum or maby a fresh cocanut while watching the sunset.Hopefully you feel well rested because the evening is far from over! A beautiful roof top with live music will be our dinner scean, and there is always a dance floor ready if you wanna dance the night away.
Day 3 - Rumbeame
Another full morning of dance classes. Three hours packed with dance technique, orishas all acompanied by live music.In Yoruba dances the steps are dictated by both the rythms played and the song. Learing to recogniez these is an integrated part of the dance classes.
Already hungry, let's focus on food next! We will bring you to a traditional working class paladar for lunch.
The afternoon offers a guided city tour, amongst other thing brining us to the Christ statue giving us a gourgues view of Havanas sky line.
One of the most wonderful things of Havana are all its live concert of all types of music!We can recomend starting the evening with a rumba concert at the epic recording studio of Patio de Egrem and the finishing with an energitic timba concert after a dinner break!
Day 4 - Percussion Day
Is your body soar? Hang in there! this morning starts with an hour and a half of Gaga, dancing from another afrocuban culture. But then your feet will get a bit of a break and we will get your hands working instead.Lets try "the other side". Our talanted musicians will teach you the basics of cuban instruments and let you try for your self. Playing percussion is not only fun but gives you a deeper understanding of the music, we have always been so impressed by the magic created in these workshops!
For lunch we will bring you to anothe jewle close to your rehersal space. A hyper modern resturant where you place you order on an Ipad, a cuban luxery.In the afternoon Nadine, who have published a paper on africanism in the cuban spanish, will share here knowledge in a language workshop. Giving you another insight in the african influences in Cuba.
New evening, new opportunities! The music never stops in Havana and there is always somewhere to dance.If you feel like salsa we recomend one of the most iconic clubs in Havana. The gardens of 1830 with an open air setting just by the ocean.If you feel like a break from traditional music the huge cuban art scean of Fabrica de Arte is more your taste. It hosts not only several dance floor and concert halls with varying music but also amazing art exhibitions of cuban art.
Day 5 - Pool Day
Today we offer a full day at Club Habana for soaking up the sun at the pool. This amazing place is just at the beach so you can choose between the sea or the pool. If you wish for a relaxing day that is absolutly possible but also know that a pool day is cuba usually means music and party!
The evening offers some amazing food and aor everyone who hasn't had enough, lets keep going to the hottest dancefloors of Havana!
Day 6 - Fiesta Bembé
Let´s dive into another day of classes. After the technique class the men can choose to dance from the male sociaty of Abacúa while the women will focus on female Orishas of Yoroba.All classes during the trip will be divided into levels and besides the principle teacher for all levels there will be assistants precent who focus on correcting and individual help to ensure you all get as much as possible out of your classes.
The afternoos is a great treat! in the ourskirts of Havana we will attend a Bembé, a religous party. You will get a chance to put all the dancing you have learnt into practice and expecience the invigorating atmosphere of a Bembé. Get an insight in the authentic practice seldome seen by turists and see how food offerings, live music and dance plays a role in this religous party.
Day 7 - Callejón de Hamel Day
Another day another morning of classes. The technicque hour prapares you body for the next two hours where you dive into a new Orisha.
The afternoon will start with a tour of the modern neighbourhood of Vedado. Let´s see where the mafia keept their play ground in the 1940ies and 50ties and what have happened with these mantions and high rise building since the reveloution. In Havana the history is present at every corner.
Callejón de Hamle is an ally convirted into an out door art piece dedicated to the afrocuban culture. It is the first place where afrocuban religous pices where displayed in public, as it is traditionaly practices in the privacy of your own home.In the 1990 it was illegal constructed by an artis who have keept working on the ally for decades. We will get an guided tour and dinner in this amazing space.
Day 8 - Guanabo day
Today we deep dive into the religous aspect of Santeria. We will tmake an excursion to the town of Guanabacoa, the cradle of Afro-Cuban culture in Havana. Once there we´ll have a firsthand contact with the Cuban life and our practices by meeting a “Babalawo”--the highest priest of Santeria. He will cleanse us at his altar and explain us about the main Afro-Cuban Religions and how he looks into people’s future and gives advices. Bring all your questions and curiosities regarding how this religion is practiced.
We´ll enjoy typical Afro-Cuban food and relax under the shadow of a sacred Ceiba tree listening to emblematic music played by members of the community and enjoy a dance performance while we taste a cup of Aguardiente, the beverage used in all Afro-Cuban religious practices.as a additional service you can even stay for a reading with the babalawo and have the perfect opportunity to take a closer look in to your future.
The evening offers endless options like concerts at the epic Casa de la Musicas, show casing the best timba orquestras. Spectacular bars or mabye an authentic evening at the malecone; the beach walk dubbeling as Havana living room where people spend their evenings waling and listening to music.
Day 9 - Dance until you drop
Three sweaty, fun and challenging hours of dance awaits! After the technique class we will sum up all of the Orishas we have been studing during the trip. And a new dance will be introduced: Palo. This energetic worrior dance will play a great role tomorrow; so pay attention!
After lunch let's go for a shopping tour! We will bring you to some spectacurar cuban entreprenures who will tell you about their jurny trying to create a cuality bussiness in comunist Cuba. Whether you are looking for a rumba skirt, wooden dominos or local art for souvenirs to take home we will find it on our walk through the lively shopping streets of Old Havana ending up at the port of San Juan, the biggest indoor market in the city. Luckily, for those who prefer to rest, Cuba's only artisan beer brewery is located just next to the market where you can sipp on a ruby beer overlooking the industrial port.
The spectacular roof top restaurant Jesus Maria 20, in the heart of Old Havana, is the home to our farewell dinner. How did it come so fast?This amazing meal will be enjoyed together will all you teachers and musicians who have joined you during this trip, ensuring an unfogettable evening.
There is no time to waste. Our last night together should be spent dancing and we will bring you to the best dance floor of Havana! Fiestaaa!
Day 10 - Palo bootcamp
We are finishing with a bang as loud as we started!
The dance classes today concists of a Palo boot camp! During two intense hours there will be technique, choreography and lots of laughs!As a Grand Final we will make our very own music video by filming this choreography in the photogenic streets of Havana. The perfect memory to screen at family reunions for years to come!
The last goodbye is getting heartbrokenly close but we cannot dare to leave you without the ultimate cuban skill: preparing the perfect mojito! At Sloppy Joes, THE watering hole for Americans before the revolution, they will teach us all the secrets behind this signature drink. The bravest ones will go behind the bar and prepare mojitos for all of us to toast to this spectacular stay and unforgettable memories in Cuba.
9 nights in Casa Particular
Half board (2 meals per day)
20 h of classes with afro Cuban masters
All classes accompanied live music
Farwell Dinner with all the teachers and musicians
Yoroba Song Workshop
Excursion to Guanabo
Caribbean beach trip
3 guided Walking Tours
Mini Spanish Course
Organisation of everyday dinners, Salsa Clubs, Concerts and transport
Tourist card / visa
Medical and travel insurance
Lunch and dinners not mentioned above
Transport not mentioned above
Organisation and reservation of unscheduled and extraordinary activities
extra private dance lessons (20-25€)
a personal dance video in the streets of Havana
a picture package of our photograph accompanying our trip
Organize and reserve your flight and prolonged stay according to your wishes (50€)
a Cuban Sim card to ensure internet and communication (20€ - including a first package of 8 GB and 75 minutes and 80 SMS)
recharge your Cuban Sim Card (depending on the package you want to buy)
getting your Cuban Tourist Card directly to your home address (50€)
Organizing pre-nights and after trip nights (35€ in a single room with breakfast; 20€ in a double room with breakfast) in the same Casa Particular as during the trip.
Bembé the Afrocuban Trip
February 29th - March 9th 2024
This trip will be restricted to a maximum of 25 travellers to ensure a tight knit group. Grab your spot!Package Price for a Double Bedroom per Person: 1650€
Package Price for a Single Bedroom per Person: 1785€
Package Price for a Shared Bedroom per person°: 1650€You will have to pay a deposit of 150€ to reserve your seat.
The rest will be due on 01.02.2024 and part of it has to be paid in cash upon arrival. (see FAQ)
You will be sent an Email with all the instructions.
°you will be assigned a roommate from the group, only available if there are participants who want to share
°°Price per Person in a double bedroom, for a single bedroom an additional 135€ will be charged
Book before 2023.09.30 for
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT -150€
Packing Guide & Useful tips
Before the trip:
Useful mobile apps:
ZAPYA - an offline data exchange app that is way faster than Bluetooth
MAPS.ME (also download the map for Cuba) for a good offline map
VPN Client – download one of the many free VPN Clients (we recommend Proton VPN) to be able to use your usual websites as Cuba blocks some sites or the location is blocked vice versa.
Acquire a tourist card (visa)
Inform yourself about recommended vaccination
Bring your Credit Card (American ones are not working!)
Bring cash in €, no coins and make sure the bills are in excellent condition (they will not accept even the most minor tear)
Taxi is the only possible transport.. We can organize a taxi if you wish to have one waiting upon your arrival
Toilet articles and medicine:
Bring everything you need and some usual travel medicines. It can be difficult to find toiletries as well as medication in Cuba.
A small towel (we will make you sweat!)
A long, wide skirt is useful for some Orishas
Comfortable sneaker or dance shoes as you wish - the floor is concrete
Dancing in a tropical climate is sweaty: a small towel, fan or a second shirt will help you combat the heat
Bring some tissues and disinfectant gel, there is not always toilet paper and soap available
The floor standard varies. Some are too rough for dance shoes.
Some establishments do not allow sandals and shorts for men. Sneakers always work. We will provide recommendations before every night depending on where we are heading.
Bring a small bag that can be worn tight on your body to be able to dance with your belongings!
A hat/cap and/or as sun protection
Beware of pickpocketing, carry valuables close to your body
Always carry identification, for example a copy of your passport
Swim clothes and beach towel
Mosquito spray might come in handy
Don´t hestiate to ask if you have any specific questions!