Cuba cultural tour, 9 days

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Date
Price
Basis
23 Dec 2016
US $ 2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Dec 2016 departure
24 Dec 2016
US $ 1700
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Dec 2016 departure
30 Dec 2016
US $ 1700
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 30 Dec 2016 departure
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Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba cultural tour, 9 days

We directly run all our ground services and do not go through a second agent as the majority of tour providers to Cuba do. Our own dedicated staff are local to Havana and regional centers. A network of tour leaders, local guides and local transport providers, plus local office staff will help make your trip special. We use local coordinators in regional centers to get the best possible access to services possible and to bring in local expertise.

This trip if filled with opportunities to get to know the culture and vibrant society of the intriguing island nation of Cuba. Nearly all of the accommodation is in the homes of Cuban families, where you will get to see how Cubans live, observe their way of life, and participate in their culture. We also encourage our groups to eat in small Paladars run by the locals or to eat in homestays with local families.

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.

All travelers are encouraged to explore with the group and on their own, learn a few words of the ‘Cubanized’ Spanish, and to interact with the locals as much as possible. The local guides are employed to help explain as much as possible about the cultural differences and the historically significant places that we visit and to make your experience in Cuba as enjoyable and as much fun as possible.

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 our 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.

The maximum group size of this tour is limited to 12 travelers which enables us to more easily interact with the Cubans and to visit their homes and places of work and play. It also minimizes our impact on the local culture and society. You will get the chance to visit government run local community projects such as the ‘organoponicos’ (urban based community organic produce gardens) and ration stores.



Reviews of Cuba cultural tour, 9 days

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2016 by

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


Everything from the incredible music clubs to the food to the beautiful beach.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Let the holiday company do everything for you.

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


Our home stays benefited the local people.

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


5 stars for a great Cuban tour guide with cool and fun fellow travelers.

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2016 by

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


It is hard to pick just one moment of the trip but I highly rate the tour through Havana's historical district. Daniel the guide was so informative on the
restoration and history of the area I wished we had more time with him.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The biggest tip would be to dress comfortably. There is a lot of walking and some of the terrain on excursions are very rocky and muddy.

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


I felt the vacation did benefit some of the local people we encountered.

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


I highly recommend this tour. Our tour guide was friendly and informative. She always welcomed us to join her by telling us where she will be when it was our
time to go off and explore the area on our own. The day trip guides that we had were humorous as well as knowledgeable which made the long walks more
enjoyable.

Reviewed on 16 May 2016 by

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


Many highlights to the trip, but three that stood out were the tour of Fusterlandia in Havana, learning about the Yoruba religion, and the profusion of art and music
everywhere.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are fluent in Spanish and comfortable just winging it, this may not be the
right trip for you. For us however it was perfect: we felt like we saw and learned a lot thanks to our guide, which otherwise we would have completely missed. The pre-trip info sent out by the holiday provider was extremely helpful, so questions about tipping, toilets, line-standing etiquette, etc. were addressed in advance. Read it before you go--it's worth your time!

Also, remember that Cuba is not as wealthy as the US. Our casas were invariably squeaky clean, with good food, and run by extremely nice people--but in some cases they were very basic accommodations. As one of our fellow tourists said "this is a trip, not a vacation," so just be ready to roll with it and you'll do fine.

You will be kept pretty busy every day seeing things and going places. There was reasonable time to relax (it wasn't a crazy pace), but if you're looking to just flop on a beach for a week then you picked the wrong tour. Embrace all the cool stuff you'll see, enjoy meeting as many people as you can (especially if you speak Spanish), and run with it!

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


Tourist income is clearly a huge benefit to the economy (at least those who work in the industry). You always wonder where your money ends up, but we felt that staying in casas and eating in local restaurants got the most into the pockets of the small business owners running these places, which was very satisfying.

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


We loved it, and were very happy to have gone. Our guide Camilo was a great guy, and we were all very sad to see him go when the trip was over. He did a great job keeping things on schedule, scoping out good places to eat and other off-schedule activities, and just generally hanging out with us. Especially in the US, news about Cuba is tangled up in politics, so it was nice to actually talk to some Cubans to hear their thoughts. We felt like we got a much better appreciation of Cuban culture than we had, and would absolutely recommend this operator to anyone who was interested in a this sort of trip.

Reviewed on 10 Apr 2016 by

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


The beautiful plazas of Old Havana.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Allow yourself to be changed.

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


The homestays allowed for a deeper association with the Cuban people.

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


Great opportunity to explore several aspects of Cuba: geography, culture, history, politics, struggles, etc.

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