We strive to offer fun-filled and educational trips for our travelers by hand-picking each accommodation, restaurant, activity, and local guide to ensure quality. At the same time, our selections also reflect our belief that the people, animals, and environment of Cuba need not be exploited in order to be enjoyed.
To start with, during our trip we travel uniquely by one mini-bus only to places that are too far to be reached on foot. In addition to this, nearly all of our activities are able to be accessed on foot and/or involve nature activities such as snorkeling in the Bay of Pigs, hiking to a waterfall in Trinidad and exploring a Cuban organic farm. This helps reduce our carbon footprint significantly.
We encourage all of our travelers to dispose of trash properly as Cuba is a somewhat secluded island and despite the government's green policies, the waste problem is an epidemic just like in many countries all over the world. On top of this, we try to lead by example. instead of accepting plastic bags when making purchases, we strongly recommend that travelers put any purchased items in their backpacks or daypacks as they are visiting a site. Finally, we suggest that travelers pool their money together to purchase larger jugs of water rather than constantly buying small personal sized bottles of water. They can just refill one small water bottle from the jug. This is our small role in the larger plastic waste problem.
Our trips offer a number of activities that introduce our travelers to the local flora and fauna, land and sea. When hiking to the waterfall in Trinidad and swimming in the Bay of Pigs, we advise travelers to be conscious of their waste disposal in order to help keep our oceans, seas, rivers, and streams clean and to keep Cuba as pristine as possible while it is experiencing a large influx of tourists. There is always a large waste receptacle on the bus, so that they do not have to dispose of it in any natural environment.
Finally, we eat mainly at paladares, or restaurants that are privately owned and operated by Cubans. These small scale dining establishments help ensure that what is on our plate and what we consume is local and organic/free of pesticides and GMOs. Plus, private restaurants help support local communities and people.
Our local guides know all of the best kept secrets and off the beaten path sites to help our travelers experience the best that Cuba has to offer. They will always recommend the best local establishments and places of interest based on your interests and their personal favorites, so you know you're getting an authentic experience. The guides are also very fairly compensated at wages (and tips) very much above the minimum wages and standard of living in Cuba. In this way, the local economy is stimulated and the Cuban people also benefit.
We make an effort to sustain the local craft market by introducing our travelers to as many Cuban artisans and craft makers as possible while enriching their knowledge of the local industry. On the trip, we visit a local organic farms as well as a tobacco and cigar production farm to give travelers an idea of how Cubans farm as well as how the farming system works under that particular government that is very different from their own.
During our trips, we stay uniquely at casa particulares, bed and breakfast style or homestay accommodations, which are owned and run by private Cuban citizens. Unlike the large government-owned and -run hotels and resorts in Cuba, the owners and workers of the accommodations see more direct financial benefits. We also urge our travelers to try to speak and interact with the workers and owners at their homestays to get a feel for Cuban life and to inspire cultural exchange and education.