Cuba walking vacation

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2017: 12 Oct
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba walking vacation

Environment

Our partner in this venture is the Cuban Tourist Agency. All our guides are local guides who are committed to sustaining the beauty of this unspoilt country. You will find them extraordinary knowledgeable about their fauna and flora. Many of them are academic biologists and environmentalists. You will learn of amazing projects to help sustain traditional ways of life in the more remote rural parts and you will visit some of them and learn how the Cuban government is working hard to ensure that their culture is retained and their environment is protected.

One of the projects we will visit is the World famous Soroa Orchid Garden - the largest collection of Orchid gardens in the world. The Soroa water falls and gardens have been effected by consecutive hurricanes, but with the help of funding from Kew Gardens and others they have increased collections of rare flowers donated by other gardens and private collectors.

Community

Cuba is a very poor country desperately dependent on tourism which is a major industry. Just by traveling to Cuba we are helping the people of a country with terrible economic problems. We are working closely with the Cuba Tourist Agency in Cuba to develop these vacations which are environmentally friendly and will attract people who have an interest in responsible tourism.

All our Cuba walks and treks use local guides and are organised locally on our behalf. By using local guides we bring additional income to their families and their community. Our guides stress the importance of sustaining the beauty of the local environment as this makes Cuba such a wonderful place to visit and so enhances the very important Cuban tourist industry. You are supporting local people simply by taking our trips.

We can support local people in other ways. Our clients are encouraged to give unwanted clothing and other effects such as pens, soap and other toiletries to local people who are often very poor.

We stay in privately owned homes,eat in private houses and restaurants, use local guides and introduce clients to Cuban history and culture.This helps the economy hugely.

1 Reviews of Cuba walking vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 18 Dec 2015 by

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


Watching an amazing couple dancing to a buena vista band in the casa de cultura in Vinales. They were unbelievable and the music was so good. It was much better staying in casa particulares rather than the government hotels which were out of town. Also visiting a little village school in Soroa and seeing how the teachers and children manage with so little resources.

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


Be flexible and make allowances for being in Cuba - Cuba e Cuba - and things don't work like they do in the UK.

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


Yes in general I feel our vacation did benefit some local people. It would be good to mention that tipping is expected for every service. We probably did support the environmental projects that we visited but I'm not sure if the environmental impact was reduced. It is probably hard to find variety with the walking so it did get a bit repetitive - our guides were really great and I did feel I had learned a great deal about life in Cuba from them.

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


Unique! Cuba is a country like no other I have visited. I would only recommend to friends who are used to a challenging vacation where not everything is delivered and expectations are realistic.

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