Small group tours to Cuba
Includes: • Tour leader • Internal flights • Transfers in Latin America on tour dates • Transport and accommodation • Meals and excursions as per tour profile
Description of Small group tours to Cuba
For years, Cuba was thought of as a destination for all inclusive resorts, making the most of its pristine Caribbean beaches. But step away from these coastal enclaves and discover a country in a state of rapid transition, but whose culture remains as vibrant as ever. Discover, too, a thrilling revolutionary history, and wild mountain and forest landscapes that once sheltered guerrillas – and today shelter birdlife and intrepid hikers.
These small group tours to Cuba begin with a flight from Havana to Baracoa, allowing you to spend the next two weeks working your way back west in private vehicles without the need to backtrack. That means you can cover some serious ground, as you travel through Santiago de Cuba – the island’s Afro Cuban stronghold – and onto Bayamo, the birthplace of Cuban independence. A daytrip to the Sierra Maestra mountains is a chance to discover some of the island’s extraordinary natural landscapes, as well as the Comandancia de la Plata – Castro’s former hideout.
Continue on to pretty, colonial Trinidad, with free time here to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with its cobbles streets and low rise, shuttered buildings. Your tour leader can arrange optional excursions to a nearby beach or into the surrounding Escambray Mountains. Heading out west, you’ll take a guided tour of Havana before continuing onto the sleepy Viñales Valley, to explore subsistence farms, tobacco plantations and hidden caves. Immerse yourself in Cuba’s traditional, rural heart before heading back to Havana for your flight home.
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1 Reviews of Small group tours to Cuba
Reviewed on 28 Apr 2016 by Isabel Lewzey
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Walking through the Sierra Maestra to Fidel Castros's mountain hideout. Very evocative of the history, beautiful views and we saw Cuba's national bird (tocororo, I think). Also the homestays were very enjoyable with the one in Trinidad having a beautiful roof terrace
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Toiletry items appear to be welcome so consider taking extra soap and
moisturising creams. Take soap powder for washing clothes which will dry quickly
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Staying in homestays and eating in private restaurants felt as though our
money was going directly to the local people which was good.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Very enjoyable. Very good guide who fostered a sense of group cohesion on the tour and a nice mix of being guided and time to explore independently
PlanetOn our small group tours to Cuba we visit and support the conservation of several National Parks, including Topes de Collantes in the Sierra Escambray; the Humboldt National Park outside of Baracoa; and Turquino National Park in the Sierra Maestra mountains. By paying entrance fees and hiring local guides within these parks, we encourage the continued preservation and research of these areas.
We visit and support the community project of Las Terrazas in the Sierra del Rosario UNESCO biosphere reserve. This is Cuba’s premier center for ecotourism, which offers the chance to get a little bit closer to the local community, who coexist harmoniously with their surroundings. The model community was set up as part of a reforestation project and also as a scheme to promote self sufficiency and education in rural areas.
PeopleMuch of the accommodation on this tour is in private Cuban houses, known as casas particulars. Many Cubans open their homes to travelers to supplement their income with dollars, meaning they can buy many goods not available in local currency – clothes, toothpaste, shampoo etc. Similarly, we also endeavour to eat in ‘paladars’, private homes that serve tourists a hearty, local meal and provide an opportunity for Cubans to earn a living.
Our style of travel ensures that as many local people as possible benefit by our being there. This tour runs with a maximum of 16 people which helps to minimise the impact on delicate environments. Clients joining this tour are encouraged (at their own discretion) to take gifts of everyday items which can be hard to come by in Cuba and are often very costly.