In Cuba we take the chance to visit the lesser known destination of Topes de Collantes where we sleep under the stars and stay at a couple of haciendas hosted by the local community. They cook wholesome local food for us and also provide the guides that we use on our walks in the area. By staying at the haciendas we support local people directly and use minimal resources when compared to staying at a hotel. The night in the haciendas is always listed as a highlight of the tour by our customers as they have a chance for interaction with the locals, which is often much harder in larger cities.
Our ground handling agent in Cuba is locally owned and run and the majority of the hotels we stay in are locally run and not part of a chain of hotels or other large conglomerates that dominate tourism in Cuba. We also encourage our groups to eat in small Paladars run by the locals. Due to food rationing, food is more limited in the Paladars compared to the hotel restaurants, however by eating in them it not only supports the local economy but also gives our customers a real insight into the realities of Cuban life. We also drive the whole time on this tour, rather than using internal flights as planes have much higher on carbon emissions than a bus.
As well as the above, we support a variety of charities and projects worldwide which support vulnerable communities and habitats including Friends of Conservation, Hope Worldwide and Send A Cow. We are also actively engaged with UK travel industry bodies which promote best practice in responsible tourism, such as Tourism Concern, The Travel Foundation and AITO. Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our UK office operates according to our responsible tourism policy. Carbon offsets for all flights booked with us are included in the tour cost.
This small group operator is just celebrating its 30th year and was originally set up to enrich people’s lives through adventure travel. The directors have roots in overland trucking and are determined to keep a pioneering spirit alive. They believe what sets them apart is the strong relationships they’ve developed with local suppliers and tour guides over the years. A tour leader who thinks creatively can turn a good experience into a fantastic one and open up a place so that travellers gain insight into a completely different way of life. They operate in many different countries and try to avoid a blanket approach – their aim is to get customers involved in the projects they visit and to forge lifelong friendships.
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