Essential Cuba tour

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Date
Price
Basis
05 Sep 2017
US $ 1150
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Sep 2017 departure
10 Oct 2017
US $ 1150
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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21 Nov 2017
US $ 1150
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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05 Dec 2017
US $ 1150
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Dec 2017 departure
19 Dec 2017
US $ 1150
excluding flights
4 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Dec 2017 departure
02 Jan 2018
US $ 1150
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 02 Jan 2018 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Essential Cuba tour

Environment

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 travellers take our impact on the local environment into consideration. Similarly we monitor the impact on the local wildlife. We promote best practice in responsible tourism and actively encourage our local suppliers to work with us in this.

Waste
We economize our use of resources as much as possible, and we also try to reduce the amount of waste we produce and encourage our guests to do so as well. One example of a measure we have taken is to include drinking water for our travelers and include this in the tour package. The guide is given a budget to buy large 5 litre bottles of drinking water and store these on the tour bus. The guests are encouraged to use this water to refill their own drinking bottles. This avoids the guests buying smaller plastic water bottles everyday. If they haven't brought their own bottle to refill, they can buy 1 small bottle at the start of the tour for their personal use, which they can refill with the drinking water we provide. Filtered or purified water is very uncommon in Cuba, and the vast majority of tourists buy plastic bottles of drinking water. Our method reduces the amount of plastic waste from this practice as much as possible.

Locals reuse the plastic bottles, so instead of disposing used bottles in the rubbish, we donate the empty 5 litre bottles to locals who can reuse them.

Energy
We look for ways to be efficient with our energy use and implement these methods on all of our tours. For example we try to reduce as much as possible the use of air-conditioning. With the high levels of heat in Cuba for most of the year, and the fact that the travelers are usually unaccustomed to this, the use of air-conditioning is in many cases unavoidable. Our guides are trained to include in their briefing to the guests, to stress the importance of turning off air-conditioning when they are not needing it and to close all doors and windows so that the cool air does not escape from the room. They are encouraged to see if they can sleep comfortably with just a fan, instead of having their air-conditioning turned on all night.

Community

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. 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.

This trip is filled with opportunities to get to know the culture and vibrant society of the intriguing island nation of Cuba. We stay almost exclusively in are locally run homestays and Cuban run Hotel, not major chains that dominate tourism in Cuba. Nearly all of the accommodation is in the homes of Cuban families, where you will get to see how typical 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. We have our own dedicated staff of locals in Havana and regional centres. A network of tour leaders, local guides and local transport providers, plus local office staff. We use local coordinators in regional centres to get the best possible access to services possible and to bring in local expertise.

The maximum group size of this tour is limited to 12 travellers which enables us to more easily interact with the Cubans and to visit their homes and places of work and play, and which minimises 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), local schools, and ration stores.

All travellers are encouraged to explore with the group and on their own, learn a few words of the ‘Cubanised’ 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 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.

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