Small group tour to Cuba

“Travel the length of Cuba on this 20 day tour, discovering its diversity, with a focus on meeting the Cuban people.”

Highlights

Start and finish in Havana | Baracoa | Santiago | Camagüey | Trinidad | Santa Clara | Che Guevara Museum | Cienfuegos | Bay of Pigs | two days in Havana | visit community arts projects | Las Terrazas | Soroa | Viñales | visit home of tobacco farmer

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15 Nov 2019
US $1130
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22 Nov 2019
US $1130
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29 Nov 2019
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06 Dec 2019
US $1235
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13 Dec 2019
US $1235
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20 Dec 2019
US $1180
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27 Dec 2019
US $1180
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03 Jan 2020
US $1180
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10 Jan 2020
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17 Jan 2020
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24 Jan 2020
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31 Jan 2020
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07 Feb 2020
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14 Feb 2020
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21 Feb 2020
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28 Feb 2020
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06 Mar 2020
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13 Mar 2020
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20 Mar 2020
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27 Mar 2020
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03 Apr 2020
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10 Apr 2020
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17 Apr 2020
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24 Apr 2020
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01 May 2020
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08 May 2020
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15 May 2020
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22 May 2020
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29 May 2020
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05 Jun 2020
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12 Jun 2020
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19 Jun 2020
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26 Jun 2020
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03 Jul 2020
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10 Jul 2020
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17 Jul 2020
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24 Jul 2020
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31 Jul 2020
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07 Aug 2020
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14 Aug 2020
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21 Aug 2020
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28 Aug 2020
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04 Sep 2020
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11 Sep 2020
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18 Sep 2020
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25 Sep 2020
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02 Oct 2020
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09 Oct 2020
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16 Oct 2020
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23 Oct 2020
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30 Oct 2020
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06 Nov 2020
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13 Nov 2020
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20 Nov 2020
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27 Nov 2020
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04 Dec 2020
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11 Dec 2020
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18 Dec 2020
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25 Dec 2020
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Responsible tourism

Small group tour to Cuba

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Community
This tour is lead by a local Cuban guide who will give you an insight into the complex Cuban history and society. The guide will demonstrate how this unique country has managed to resist many of the negative impacts of North American culture, influence, and capitalism, and how it has achieved significant social goals, and at the same time, show you the short-comings of the present system. We encourage travelers to eat at local restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls to enjoy the 'real' Cuban experience. We actively promote small family-run legally registered homestays - where you will get to see how typical Cubans live, observe their way of life, and participate in their culture. Nearly all of the accommodation is in the homes of Cuban families.

You will get the chance to visit government run local community projects such as the 'organoponicos' (urban based community organic produce gardens), local schools and ration stores. Gifts such as ballpoints, soap and shampoo etc are encouraged to leave as small gifts in farms and rural areas. We gladly make stops at local schools to donate pencils, pens and any other useful materials. You can collect clothes, shoes and toiletries to donate to a Cuban organization, which supports people from the countryside with no resources. You can also leave clothes, mountain shoes, medical kits, fishing equipment, cycling gear, running shoes, toiletries or other articles with your local guides after your tours.

Environment
The maximum group size of this tour is limited to 14 travelers which enables us to more easily interact with the Cubans and to visit their homes and places of work and play, and which minimizes our impact on the environment.

Community

We directly run all the on ground services and do not go through a second agent as the majority of tour providers to Cuba do.
We have our own dedicated staff of locals in Havana and regional centers. A network of tour leaders, local guides and local transport providers, plus local office staff. We use local coordinators in regional centers to get the best possible access to services possible and to bring in local expertise.
We stay almost exclusively in are locally run homestays and Cuban run Hotel, not major chains that dominate tourism in Cuba.
We also encourage our groups to eat in small Paladars run by the locals or to eat in homestays with local families.
We ensure that we 'spread the wealth' throughout each town so the benefit is to the community as a whole and not a few individuals. In this we attempt to get as many local providers involved in tour tours as possible, providing a BBQ by the river, or similar activities where the group is mixing with the real locals and not just those in the tourism industry.
We promote best practice in responsible tourism and actively encourage our local suppliers to work with us in this.
All our staff are trained in Responsible Tourism and make this an important part of their tour. We ensure all the activities offered to the travelers take our impact on the local environment into consideration. Similarly we monitor the impact on the local wildlife.
Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our Australian office operates according to our responsible tourism policy.

9 Reviews of Small group tour to Cuba

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Staying in Soroa surrounded by lush greenery, mountains and silence.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?



3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This vacation benefited local people by the infusion of cash into the neighborhoods we visited. We contributed to environmetal impacts by the bus fumes and drinking bottled water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Wonderful to get a glimpse of the "real" Cuba and its people.
Op to possibly respond? Chris informed - 07/11/18 LJ

Reviewed on 06 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Mixing with local people and having a great local guide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?




3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A great trip. We got to do everything we wanted to do and more.

Reviewed on 13 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I enjoyed all of the 20 day trip, but Soroa and Baracoa stand out, largely because they were least touched by tourism, we had amazing casas, met wonderful people and enjoyed the lovely scenery in these areas. Snorkelling en route from Cienfuegos to Havana was also a treat. Cubans were very friendly, who seemed to enjoy sharing their country and time with us.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We found the food to be better than the tour books suggested, with no need for supplementary spices or snacks from home. Meals were generally huge so we
were never hungry.

We did the 20 day trip which was a combination of a 15 day eastern tour and 5 day tour of the western part of the island. The Vinales component could easily
have been done on our own.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, by staying at private casas and eating at private restaurants. We were given large water containers from which we could fill our small bottles brought
from home, thus eliminating the need to buy water in plastic containers along the way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a great trip and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Cuban history and culture, and in adventure travel generally.

Reviewed on 08 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Exploring different areas of Cuba. Areas visited on this tour were all well chosen to show diversity of Cuba... Swimming on beautiful beaches, visiting ballet school, learning about Cuban history, beautiful art and architecture, lovely people. Being in a small group of traveling companions. Having the most excellent travel guide Osvaldo Mojena!!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Try to take advantage of Cuba's poor internet access and switch off from the outside world. I didn't use internet for 3 weeks and can honestly say this was one of the best vacations I ever had. Have a toilet paper with you at all times.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Trully excellent

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The history that comes alive when you visit all the sites and gives one a true sense of Cuba

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Single travelers be prepared for alot of male attention which can just be ignored. Alot of people rely on tourism so tipping is expected for almost everything. Stay an extra couple of days in Havana to see the sites and wander around the old town. Not all phones pick up social media and not all bankcards work so have a back up. There is a place in every main town to buy internet and exchange money. There is a bunch of extra activities to do and your guide normally advises the best one which is well worth it. Enjoy!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


As we stayed in local families houses we did benefit them, hopefully this would have extended into the broader community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Our tour operator was really good, definately would recommend them. It's invaluable having a local guide who takes you through the history, culture and the Cuban way. Doing the 21 Cuban day tour gives a fantastic overview of Cuba

Reviewed on 26 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Taking part in the Salsa band and dance in Santiago

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Research what you want to get out of the vacation before coming . Travel light, but include beachwear and something to keep the rain off. Be flexible.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Certainly benefitted local people. Was low impact. Not sure about supporting conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fascinating glimpse of a very different society.

Reviewed on 04 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The entire eastern Cuba tour. I felt like we were really exposed to the culture, the history, and the people of Cuba. From the Bararumba Afro-Cuban dance
performance in Baracoa, to the "noche de salsa" in Santiago, we were enthralled by Cuba. The western portion of the tour took us through beautiful countryside, but since it is so accessible from Havana, it tends to be more touristy- especially Vinales.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for the combined eastern and western tours, if you have the time and money. It is definitely more comprehensive, and you'll truly come away feeling you
know the real Cuba. Be prepared to not have internet access readily available. When you are gone for almost 3 weeks, that can be an issue.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, tourism is really the only economy the country has at this point. They need people to visit to keep afloat. Perhaps the money we bring in will eventually
improve their infrastructure and communications access. Perhaps the money will stop them from strip mining for nickel in eastern Cuba.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


All in all it was excellent.

Reviewed on 26 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


* "Fusterlandia" neighbourhood
* BBQ suckling pig dinner 'al fresco' in Baracoa
* Cuban cabaret in Havana ('live' Cuban band and 'living legends' singing)
* Volunteering at the organic farm in Vinales

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


* Follow the tips/advice on what to bring, estimated daily expenditure.
currency/credit cards, etc that is posted on your web site. Very insightful and
accurate.
* verify/set-up your credit card limit with your bank before the visit (we were
limited to withdrawing 300 Euros/week which was insufficient for 2)
* bring OTP medication for sore throat, colds, coughs. Due to the temperature
variation outdoor heat/humidity and indoor/in-vehicle aircon chill, almost everyone in our group developed a hacking cough/cold.
* If you have any issues, do not hesitate to immediately raise them with your guide. He/She is there to solve your problems and ensure that your visit is enjoyable.
* If possible, learn some Spanish - it'd make for a richer experience.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes indeed, although we would have loved to see the benefits spread to more Cubans beyond the home stay owners, restaurants and tour companies. Our guide set a good example - he chided a tourist who was leaving an empty plastic bottle in a tree rather than walk to the garbage bin; he would discreetly ask the waiter or other guide to ask tourists to stop smoking near our dining table.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good! We could have shortened the stay in some cities (Baracoa, Trinidad, Havana). Our vacation combined 2 tours so we were in Havana thrice. It would have been preferable to start in Havana; and end in Havana once instead of twice. Our guide Alex Jorge was fantastic - knowledgeable, good command of English, candid, funny, patient and a problem-solver. All home stays were clean although the welcome, plumbing, noise level, and décor varied, and may appeal differently to different tourists.

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Too many to list, but the airport episode and the plane journey from Baracoa to Havana is up there with the most memorable and incredibly exciting! Hugging an iguana was pretty different, smoking Cuban cigars and drinking Havana Ron (and loving it) is very different to my everyday life. The scenery is spectacular, the homestays are excellent, and the availability of options for what you would like to do in particular areas is great.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This is Cuba....don't expect everything to go according to plan! Be adaptable, expect the unexpected, and be prepared to laugh....a lot! It is what it is! I loved it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Staying at homestays benefits the local people, and once you are there and you have a better understanding of the history and its economic impact, it becomes even more obvious why the tourist dollar is so very important.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolute blast! Learnt so much, laughed so hard, appreciated the music and the cars....there is no other place like Cuba.

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