By Jakera   Reviews (10)   94% Rating

Learn Spanish, Dance & Culture in Cuba

By Jakera   Reviews (10)   94% Rating
New start dates - owing to popular demand for 2017 we have are more start dates for all our programs including our 6 week Learn Spanish & Volunteer program.

Learn Spanish in Old Havana in a vibrant maze of neoclassical buildings and UNESCO World Heritage Site bursting with atmosphere, music and dance. Spanish classes are supplemented with dance classes, cultural tours, excursions and trips out of town.

This program is based in ‘Habana Vieja’. The area is VERY safe, and you will quickly feel comfortably at home. There are lots of interesting shops and quirky art galleries here, many fantastic bars with musicians plying their trade as well as most of Cuba’s cultural heritage including national museums.

You will be staying in ‘Casa Jakera’, a licensed Casa Particulare. Spanish lessons take place Monday to Friday in the mornings, and in the afternoons you will receive dance classes and cultural excursions. Weekend trips feature the beach and a two-night road trip to Viñales (four week program).

This is a busy program and offers the possibility of a full immersion into Cuban life – past and present.

Highlights
Live in the heart of Old Habana - the most exciting, vibrant and fun neighbourhood in Habana.
Unique combination of learning Spanish combined with professional dance lessons, cultural walks and activities and other fun stuff to get to know Cuba.
Open to all ages (+18 unless accompanied by responsible adult!) and nationalities.
All Cuban crew will help you feel at home and help you learn about Cuba's past and present - and what we can learn about ourselves!
Amazing value, amazing fun!
Locations
North America » Cuba » Havana
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Language Immersion
Study Abroad
Length
2-4 Weeks
Accommodation
Host Family
Hostel
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Airport Transfers
Meals
Exclusions
Airfare
Domestic Airfare
SIM cards
Travel Insurance
Visa
Wifi
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
18
Age Max
18
Deposit
$250.00
Starting Price
500.00
Cost Description
Cost of 4 week program* USD 1,380 / EURO 900 / GBP 700

* price includes accommodation, breakfast & lunch plus 80 hours intensive Spanish lessons, twice weekly dance lessons, three times weekly cultural sessions, two escorted trips to the beach and a day trip to Viñales Valley.

Cost of extra night – accommodation, breakfast and lunch USD 35

Airport transfer – USD 15 each way

Rating Values

  • Housing
    95%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    92%
  • Value
    95%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (10)

Leah
Female
53 years old
United Kingdom
University of Oxford

Unexpected Kindness and Inspiration

Overall
10

Jakera Cuba is like a good home away from home; offering most of what you imagine a happy and healthy family would offer a family member and a guest. Cleanliness, comfortable mattresses, home-made healthy fresh food and support and inspiration to explore and be fearless locally because you know the Jakera team, and the kind and interesting and intelligent guests they attract, are there for you if you ask or they see you need it. Cuba, Havana was a last minute spontaneous trip to a place where I knew no one so I did have my concerns (but mostly about me) which were totally unfounded. Jakera's expert hospitality and the excellent courses and local dance classes coupled with my own fearlessness, discoveries and adventures made for my best adventure so far; sorry India and Sri Lanka I still love you and will return. Soon I hope to travel to Costa Rica with Jakera and hopefully see Panama too. 100% Jakera will be a fantastic experience and service.

Urvi
Female
28 years old
Seattle
Boston University

The best way to experience Cuba:)

Overall
10

I found Jakera online and loved my two weeks there! I used the shared accommodation and shared my room with 5 girls, the staff kept it very clean, my bed was comfortable and we had air conditioning. I am a vegetarian and they did a great job accommodating me. The dance was my absolute favorite part, they give you many options to choose from. My Spanish teacher was awesome as were all the great friends I made! Highly recommend:)

Donna
Male

Affordable and Fun Travel Adventure in Cuba

Overall
10

When looking to go to Cuba, you have many choices but Jakera's was affordable and more people-to-people centered than most "tourist" focused trips. They organize your lodging ahead, you get breakfast & lunch, have a group hub in central Havana to study Spanish & meet with other travelers. The staff was awesome, esp. if you speak Spanish! I even wrote a book about my adventure: Cuba for Mama (on Amazon)

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps more organized volunteer projects - there were few when I was there. I came as an ESL English teacher but Castro'd decided the week before he didn't want Foreigners teaching Cubans English (eh?) so we teachers were relieved of that opportunity. It wasn't a failing of Jakera, but the Cuban political system is a real challenge.
Caroline
Female
24 years old

Lamparilla

Overall
10

It was great, the staff en the teachers are friendly and welcoming. The accomodation at Lamparilla was clean, beautiful, with rooftops. The staff is friendly and helps with questions. The spanish teachers are good and kind. The dancing at casa del sol is great, the teachers really help you to make progress and to have fun. The atmosphere of havana and of the jakera team made it a great experiece. Would definitley recommend jakera cuba!

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect!
Kasia
Female
31 years old
Dublin, Ireland
University College Dublin

One danger posed by Jakera? It makes you fall in love with Cuba! :)

Overall
10

In Havana the day started with a lovely breakfast followed by a Spanish class. The afternoons were for the walking tours which were fun and allowed us to get to know the city a bit. Evenings were for madness- dancing and driving along the Malecon with reggaeton blasting in the background! It was my Cuba highlight! :)
I very much appreciated the flexibility within the program which allowed me to change my schedule and join my friends in Playa Giron for the voluntary work and diving.
I honestly can't think of any difficulties. I felt safe and well looked after. Besides, whatever might have been a difficulty to some was simply a challenge to me! :) I guess Cuba simply suits my character :)

How can this program be improved?
I would change the form of the cultural excursions and use as a guide someone who is proficient in English. The guys made it fun and we really enjoyed the tours with them but with a little bit more of English we could have learnt more about the places we went to see.
chihi
Female
41 years old
los angeles, CA
University of Arizona

Amazing experiences with wonderful staffs & housing

Overall
10

1 week was very short but I experienced more than I can express in words. I didn't waste any moment of my full week. The house I was staying was comfortable. Host Mama Amarylis and Leonel always made sure my safety & comfort with big warming hearts. I totally felt like I was at home..
I took 1 week of Spanish class and yet it was short but my teacher, Pablo tried to teach me along with my Spanish skills..
Joel for a cultural/activity guide was amazing!!
he speaks little English but it worked out pretty good for me to practice my Spanish. He was very kind with full knowledge of Cuban.

How can this program be improved?
The Spanish lesson was more like a tutoring style and having a study room for Spanish lesson is ideal but I understood the circumstance... but maybe having desk/table for studying at least..
Josef
Male
31 years old
Abergavenny, Wales
Other

Cuba

Overall
8

For anyone that likes history, politics and architecture, this is the program for them! The museums and guides were very interesting. Learning about the how the cuban government and people viewed what happened during the revolution, after it and international relations with america is of partiicular interest as it differs completely with what most western schools teach.
The nightlife in old Habana is incredible and Jakera is situated in definitely the right place to take advantage of it. We were also fortunate to go to see the real 'buena vista social club' in hotel nacional which was the best experience of the whle trip. This should definitely be considered as an excursion as part of the program (if possible).
Information about money could be improved as I was not allowed in the casa de cambio or the atm's to use my British Current account card and found it difficult to take money out on my Post office travel money plus card. The latter is because they will not accept any card that is linked to American banks. However the breifing before we went out for the first time was sufficient to be safe and intelligent about what restaurants we went in to save money.

How can this program be improved?
More excursions to places other than Habana and more options of nights set up to go out in Habana.
Also, as stated before more information before and during about money options.
Don
Male
41 years old
Texas
Rice University

Great Program

Overall
10

The housing accommodations were very comfortable, and my host family took care if me very well. I felt safe and comfortable, and the food was excellent. Highly recommended!

Our guide Yoel was truly the best. He took us all over the place, spent a great deal of time with us, and has a great disposition. He's really fun, and I came to see him as a friend. He knows everything you could want to know about life in Cuba, and he knows how to do things cheaply. Make sure you give him a good tip!!

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps the actual Spanish classes themselves could be a bit more interesting. Still, I spoke Spanish the entire time with my classmate, guide, host family, people on the street, etc, so my Spanish improved greatly.
Martina
Female
31 years old
Zagreb
Other

Getting to know Cuba

Overall
8

The whole experience was great to learn how the situation is and how people live in Cuba. Spanish lessons in the morning, visits to museums, significant buildings or some neighbourhoods 3 times a week and Salsa lessons with private teacher 2 times a week in the afternoon was how our days looked like in Havana. Music from the early morning to late evenings, very hot and humid climate, lots of mojito coctails and visits to bars and restaurants with live music and bands playing and dancing filled our days. People were the best part there- very friendly and good-natured, and there was not even one moment that I didn't feel safe. In the weekends we had time to visit beaches a bit outside of the city, but really worth a visit because of the huge sandy coast and warm sea, even if it was only May. We even made a trip to the mountains, which was completely different from loud and crowded city of Havana. I really recommed it because it's a true Cuban experience, with almost no tourists, natives are more serene and the nature pristine. The only bad thing is that the time flew to fast..

How can this program be improved?
Hm it sucked a bit that at some points I was the only student there, so my evenings were sometimes a bit dull. The program could be improved with more evening activities.
Kelan
Male
31 years old
I live in Abergavenny, Wales. I am currently in Peru.
Swansea University

Learn Spanish, dance & culture

Overall
8

Great dance lessons. Music everywhere surrounded by great architecture! Dancing salsa at hotel Florida, watching members of Burma vista social club, cycling through Cuba and exploring Havana were all highlights!

How can this program be improved?
A little more communication regarding transport may have been better as we had trouble with flights and didn't know about airport tax. The programme itself was pretty maliable but more rigidity isn't necessary. With links to an artist through vianki I believe extending the programme into artistic expression would be a great avenue to explore as art is so prevalent in Cuba.

About The Provider

Jakera have been running student programs and delivering travel solutions to clients around the Caribbean and South America since the mid 1990’s. In 2012 we completed a long planned project to bring our student clients to Cuba (we first traveled to Cuba in 2003).

We like to give our clients authentic experiences that bring you into contact with people living in your host country. We believe in the value of cultural immersion, beginning with language tuition but also understanding of how communities adapt to their environment; the political and economic situation that shapes how people live. Such experiences are life enriching and help give us the insights and energy to be able to reach our own full potential.

We hope you can join us on this exciting adventure and look forward to sharing a Cuba Libre with you soon - viva la vida!