Not having been to Cuba for 15 years this was the perfect way to reconnect with this vibrant yet complex country. I could just relax and let Yarima’s tour dance my way into the place, find my bearings in preparation for extra time on my own. The teachers were so professional and fun loving.
It was great to see 2 of them performing in their dance company after the tour- wow ! I felt so privileged and humbled to have had such accomplished dance teachers – so committed to their art. The tour offers a good balance of classes, social dancing, beach, travel outside Havana, music venues and sightseeing.The casa particulars were comfortable with warm friendly hosts and plentiful breakfasts- But the emphasis was on dancing dancing music and more dancing !! Great !
Olympia Karanges – May 2019
Reflections on Cuba from Herschel
Cubabaila – see Cuba with heart and soul.
Gorgeous Yarima will hold your hand or with a beautiful hug turn your eyes to see the heart and soul in the culture and music of Cuba.
Beautiful to our eyes and beautiful in her heart always taking care of us, calling us ” her Babies”. She was with us all the time, with so much energy and good humour, it made being there fun, exciting, liberating and hassle free. How much fun can have in Cuba? Not sure as Yarima’s energy outlasted ours every day!
Then Daisy, the Havana fixer, also with us most of the time, will greet you with a lovely hug and double air kiss and a laugh and find you a taxi any time of day and even late at night to get you home safely. And she probably organised a hundred other things without us knowing. A gorgeous grandmother (though you would never know because she looks so young) and friend to us but I wouldn’t like to be a negotiating taxi driver.
Yamay the friendly and genuine Casa owner will give you a simple comfortable clean room and a fantastic breakfast with a smile all within the environment of her home and family.
Then Sylvia ( I’m in love i know) our master teacher – Beautiful, wise, passionate, energetic, unbelievable dance skill and knowledge, I feel so privileged to have been taught by her and amazed by seeing how much there is learn. Then she brought other professionals – Raoul, Gladys ( not allowed to be in love – too young), Osmel and Daniel. So there were 5 teachers and including Yarima 6 and only 5 of us! Talk about personal attention – I wasn’t allowed to do anything wrong within a soft hand to correct me. These people are warm, generous and with so much heart it is only topped by their amazing dancing. We were blessed and hopefully not for the last time.
Of course Yarima is the choreographer behind this wonderful experience using her sensitive guiding hand.
Cuba – wow what can you say – Unique, friendly, intense but lay back, safe, colourful.
There is amazing 19th century Spanish architecture, very grand buildings, some are refurbished and beautiful, most are not but still amazing and some are falling down a symptom of the economics.
The history was an interest to me, with a 500th anniversary of Havana this year end Trinidad even older. Everything from pirates to the Mafia and a revolution! And the fact that it was a very well off country to the privileged in a previous century that created an amazing built environment.
And the history of our dancing was there as Catherine has outlined, which was fascinating and helped to understand what we were doing.
Again the heart and soul was there in front of us to appreciate and absorb.
So if you want to open up your heart and loosen up – just go.
Herschel Smith – May 2019
Cuba is AMAZING! Joining a trip to Cuba with Yarima from Cuba Baila Tours I thought was the perfect way visit Cuba to explore and do lots of dancing. Yarima was a wonderfully friendly, fun and warm host who opened our eyes to the sights and sounds of Cuba and Daysi her assistant was an absolute gem.
Our dancing lessons each day were with wonderful, very experienced teachers. The teachers are so talented and friendly and we had lots of fun while learning. Lots of dancing and smiling. The dance lessons helped me to understand more of the origins of salsa dancing and the Cuban culture. We did lots of body movement and styling, including danzon, son, rumba, a bit of reggaeton and of course my favourite, salsa. We were introduced to the Santeria religion and rumba and that made a huge difference to understanding Cuba and her people. Our days were pretty full with time for optional private lessons (worth doing if you still have the energy!) and then going out each night for dancing at various venues around Havana itself. The amount of music and dance around Havana is fantastic to experience. There are so many talented musicians and dancers and everyone seems to know Yarima!
The tour includes visiting the very pretty town of Cienfuegos and the gorgeous colonial city of Trinidad which has several music venues all within close walking distance to each other. And of course we had to visit a couple of beaches too. White sand and clear turquoise water that was the perfect temperature for swimming.
Cuba is changing as it opens up more to travellers and that is really noticeable in the variety of food now available. We had some delicious meals and of course quite a few mojitos!
I felt the tour was the perfect introduction to Cuba and showed me how loving and passionate Cubans are for life and dancing and how deep their culture is. I can’t wait to go back to see Sylvia, Daysi, Osmel, Gladys, Danny and Raoul and do a whole lot more dancing!
I would highly recommend travelling with Cuba Baila Tours and the gorgeous Yarima!
Catherine Baker – May 2019
Wow. Wow. and more Wow. Fantastic first time in cuba. Yarima the Cubabaila crew looked after us so well and made sure all the hard work was done. We just had to turn up, dance, laugh and enjoy ourselves completely. Loved the balance between dance classes and tourist sight seeing.
We were taken to some great shows and bands and restaurants. The casitas we stayed in were great and extremely clean and welcoming. Perfect trip. Thank you for such a great experience and for keeping me. Smiling all day long
Dorina Santos – June 8, 2017
This has been the best holiday experience i have ever had. The people i was with the tour leader yarima the cuban tour guides pedro and harold, all made iit worthwhile and great memory. I enjoyed mostly the energy the music the happiness and the scenery of old architecture and old cars.. Ths tour was very well organised and filled with lots of things to do and more impotantly lots of amazing dancing opportunities. Thankyou for an awesome experience.
Margarita Cassar – Jun 2017
I went on the last trip with Cuba BAILA Tours, in December 2016. All I can say is, how fantastic the tour was, and how much fun we all had. I can highly recommend Yarima’s tours; she is so organised and so helpful and friendly. She has great staff working for her in Cuba: Daisi, Pedro and Harold and this made it easier to relax and enjoy the trip, as they organised everything from day trips to nightclubs!! We danced every day and at night, and the information and help we received during the tour helped enormously during the next 2-3 weeks of independent travel to different parts of Cuba. A Cuba BAILA tour is a great way to experience an authentic Cuban holiday!! Thank you Yarima and the team. ❤💃
Susan Murray – Dec 2016
I had a fantastic time with Cuba Baila Tours, last December, 2016.Thank you Yarima, for organising such fantastic classes and events that we would not have known of if we weren’t on tour with you.The highlight for me was the Santoria party! That night was a rum-ba fueled night; an unforgettable experience of events that cannot be fully articulated or understood! Amazing… Yarima was very organised- from the moment I landed in Cuba, Yarima made me feel very welcome, happy and safe. I had an absolute blast and I highly recommend Yarima’s Cuba Baila Tours.
Melanie Lindaya – Dec 2016
Thank you Yarima and the wonderful CubaBaila team for the awesome time we shared in Cuba. Everyday was full of fun and I wouldn’t be able to see what I’ve seen and explored around Cuba without your help. Dance classes were amazing as well as the venue that you guys took us every night. I was also so happy to get to know local people as well. Thank you thank you thank you and I’ll definitely going back !!! とっても楽しい時間を本当にありがとうございました！
Signe Engle Kondo – May 2016
I have just done the Dec 2015 Cuba Baila tour of Cuba. I had the most amazing time! It was really well organized and all the people helping out on the tour were friendly and helpful. The family we stayed with were so lovely and the accommodation was surprisingly good. Everyone was made to feel at home and Yarima looked out for us. Yarimas joyful fun personality made it impossible not to have fun every second. The dance school was amazing and our dance partners looked out for us and quickly became friends. I always felt comfortable and really enjoyed all aspects of the tour. I will definitely be doing another in the future.
Joanna Kyprianou – Dec 2015
What a fantastic trip! The dance teachers and workshops are 2nd to none!! They simply don’t compare to any I’ve ever had!! They are THE BEST and the only problem is having to go home!
Verity Griffiths – Sep 2015
I have just spent 3 amazing weeks in Cuba on Yarima’s September 2015 tour and had such a great experience I’m already planning to return! It was a very well organised tour with Yarima and the wonderful CubaBaila team (xxooxx!) ensuring everyone was looked after and having a great time. The casas were great and the families were very hospitable everywhere we stayed. The hardest part of the trip (apart from leaving) was having the energy to enjoy all the great venues and live music every night!!! The dance classes were brilliant. I did a week of ladies styling, which was unbelieveable for improving body movement with each of us receiving lots of personal attention. The second week was partner dancing and our dance partners were so much fun that, although we worked hard and the teachers were focused on technique, the atmosphere was full of laughter and positive energy. I highly recommend experiencing Cuba with Yarima!!!
Dani Louise – Sep 2015
If you are a dancer this is the best tour you can ever ever ever have!
Lilly Harrington – Sep 2015
Our CubaBaila tour in 2014 was our best trip yet to Cuba. The week of dance lessons in Havana were great for getting into the swing of things with our dance partners, learning some great dance moves, getting into the Cuban culture and for fitness! We were also able to organise private dance and music lessons. Then there were the parties; in people’s homes, at the beach and out dancing to the most amazing timba and son bands. And being with Yarima and CubaBaila meant there was a party wherever we went! The trip across Cuba was well organised with lovely hosts and homestays, excellent sightseeing and of course more fantastic dancing opportunities. Having a local tour guide to explain things on the bus was great. Lots of fun but also lots of opportunities for relaxation, learning about Cuban culture and meeting Cuban people. I would recommend CubaBaila to anyone wanting to visit Cuba.
Linda Marr – Apr 2014
Yarima’s tour is the best ever!! I have been to Cuba many times but with Yarima it was so exciting and so much fun and everything was perfect. Not only is she an amazing dancer and all round fun lady but she is also a great tour guide. It was extremely well organised and Yarima took so much care to ensure that everyone was happy and comfortable. After doing a week of awesome workshops with our Cuban dance company and going out every night dancing with them it was difficult to say goodbye but in Cuba it is never a “goodbye”. It usually is “see you next time” and for many of us that is the case. Off to Cuba again with wonderful Yarima!!! There is only praise and more praise for this tour – for the accommodation, organisation, entertainment, being able to experience normal Cuban life, and going to the best concerts and venues for us crazy dancers. It was all fantastic. I highly highly recommend CubaBaila Tours for the most inspiring and awesome trip to Cuba you will ever have.
Helen Hudson – Dec 2014
The December 2014 trip to Cuba was the best Cuban trip ever for me , the people accompanying , the people looking after us , the houses we stayed in , the dance school (they were flexible and allowed me to train in Abakua dance) and the destinations all made it special.The parties were great fun and we also saw great bands including Havana de Primera , Rumberos de Cuba and some other dude that used to sing with Van Van , to top it all I have a new pub where everyone knows me by name five minutes walk from the casa we stay in.
Timothy Harrington – Dec 2014
I have just returned from the Cuba Baila dance tour in December 2014. The trip was awesome and was fantatsically organised. The accommodation Casa’s we stayed in throughout the tour in Habana, Trinidad, Camaguey and Santiago were with great families..all very friendly and all delighted that we were there to experince their culure. As for the dancing and the school we did our workshops with…I have made friends for life. All the teachers were professional and extremely friendly. Cuba is a place with a deep and passionate culture and this tour made you feel a part of it. I can’t wait to go on the next trip. Thank you Yarima and Cuba Baila….this is the first of many great tours to Cuba…you got me hooked!!! Ed x
Edward Nicholls – Dec 2014
Oh my god, I just can’t say thank you enough for making my dream to go to Cuba and have a REAL Cuban experience. When I travel I want to experience the REAL culture of a place, And you guys organised a REAL Cuban experience – where I feel like I got to scratch the surface beneath the tourist experience and had a unique, memorable and truly life changing experience. It only deepened my fascination with Cuba and make me want to go back again, and again and again. I love the spontaneity of things, and I loved the fact that you planned enough to keep things ticking over but left space for spontaneous adventures.
Kathy – Sept 2013
Our CubaBaila April 2014 trip to Cuba is one of our best trips ever. A wonderful small group, the banrara dance classes and dance performances , and the thrilling music and spirit of cuba made for a magical experience. Instead of spending time planning our own trip we left it to CubaBaila to organise, and we could simply relax and have great fun and experiences, including contact with cubans, that we would never have had on our own.We also had the benefits of local knowledge and Yarima’s joyous spirit! There were so may highlights that we will want to go again!
Selwyn and Miriam – Apr 2014
I can not describe how unique The trip to Cuba with Cubabaila Tours was. I have travelled quite a bit, and love to do it at the local level, but doing it with Cubans we love and know made it extra special. The dance, music and colour, the casas, the people, the bus, the beaches, and let’s not forget the rum and EVEN the food. And of course, getting to know a bunch of such diverse people as we danced, danced and danced some more. Don’t miss this opportunity! You will want to return.
Karen Davies – Apr 2014
Hey you lucky people that are going on this Cuba Baila tour! Well I want you to know that I am consumed with jealousy! After having visited Cuba for the eleventh time we thought there were no new places or experiences we could possibly find in that island; how wrong we were! Last year for the first time we decided to join a Cuba Baila Tour and we had a blast! This tour infact is kept small on purpose to retain the friendly and close atmosphere necessary to make it more personal and so much fun. Not only you will visit beautiful places like Trinidad, Camaguey and Santiago, dance every day and listen to world famous bands, you will also make wonderful friendships. If you have never been to Cuba this is the best opportunity, Cuba Baila will show you the best of that beautiful island!!
Lilly Harington – Sep 2013
Wow, what an adventure ! It was our first trip to Caribbean Cuba and I’m so glad we went with the fantastic team at CubaBaila. It’s such a fascinating place and a highlight for me was dancing to live music while learning about the history of Cuban dance with BanRaRa, especially the vibrant afro-cuban styles… therapeutic to say the least ! Having our own tour guides and dance instructors was great too, there was just the right balance of organized activities and free time. We danced everywhere … in cafes, on the beach, in the pool, on the bus AND in a cave … and went home healthier, happier & hoping to return some sunny day 😉 Take me to the April Sun in Cuba, oh ohh ohhh !!!
Emmy – Apr 2014
My trip to Cuba with CubaBaila Tours is an experience that will stay with me forever. I loved the dance, the music and the people and Yarima and Fraudy facilitated our adventures with love, passion and FUN!!!
Julie Macken – Apr 2013