Eastern Cuba tour, off the beaten track

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Date
Price
Basis
01 Dec 2017
US $ 2400
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Dec 2017 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Eastern Cuba tour, off the beaten track

Environment

We strive to offer fun-filled and educational trips for our travelers by hand-picking each accommodation, restaurant, activity, and local guide to ensure quality. At the same time, our selections also reflect our belief that the people, animals, and environment of Eastern Cuba need not be exploited in order to be enjoyed.

On this trip we travel uniquely by one mini-bus only to places that are too far to be reached on foot. In the rest of the places visited, all the sites and activities are reachable by foot or bicycle. We will visit places in each city on a walking tour, thus decreasing our carbon footprint. For example, in Santiago de Cuba, our accommodation will be centrally located so all museums, concerts, restaurants, etc. will be within walking distance.

We encourage all of our travelers to dispose of trash properly as Cuba is a somewhat secluded island and despite the government's green policies, the waste problem is an epidemic just like in many countries all over the world. On top of this, we try to lead by example. instead of accepting plastic bags when making purchases, we strongly recommend that travelers put any purchased items in their backpacks or daypacks as they are visiting a site. Finally, we suggest that travelers pool their money together to purchase larger jugs of water rather than constantly buying small personal sized bottles of water. They can just refill one small water bottle from the jug. This is our small role in the larger plastic waste problem.

Finally, our trips offer a number of activities that introduce our travelers to the local flora and fauna, land and sea. Some of the activities that our travelers can choose include nature walks and hikes to local mountains and parks. Our local guide will always instruct travelers on how to dispose of waste properly and how to preserve the beautiful natural reserves we'll visit. There is always a large waste receptacle on the bus, so that they do not have to dispose of it in any natural environment.

Community

Our local guides know all of the best kept secrets and off the beaten path sites to help our travelers experience the best that Cuba has to offer. They will always recommend the best local establishments and places of interest based on your interests and their personal favorites, so you know you're getting an authentic experience. The guides are also very fairly compensated at wages (and tips) very much above the minimum wages and standard of living in Cuba. In this way, the local economy is stimulated and the Cuban people also benefit.

We make an effort to sustain the local craft market by introducing our travelers to as many Cuban artisans and craft makers as possible while enriching their knowledge of the local industry. On the trip, we visit a local cacao farm to give travelers an idea of how Cubans farm as well as how the farming system works under that particular government that is very different from their own. We also visit many sites that played a large role in Cuba's diverse history, which we hope will lead our travelers to gain a more profound insight into the country's people, society and culture in addition to a chance for open cultural exchange.

During our trips, we stay uniquely at casa particulares, bed and breakfast style or homestay accommodations, which are owned and run by private Cuban citizens. Unlike the large government-owned and -run hotels and resorts in Cuba, the owners and workers of the accommodations see more direct financial benefits. We also urge our travelers to try to speak and interact with the workers and owners at their homestays to get a feel for Cuban life and to inspire cultural exchange and education.

Finally, we eat mainly at paladares, or restaurants that are privately owned and operated by Cubans. These small scale dining establishments help ensure that what is on our plate and what we consume is local and organic/free of pesticides and GMOs. Plus, private restaurants help support local communities and people.

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