Tailor made Cuba tours

A week long tailor made holiday, supported by local guides, staying in casas particulares. With three days in Havana, and lots of other adventures packed into the week.
Havana Cienfuegos Trinidad Hike in Sierra Escambray Hemingway’s House in San Francisco Viñales
Price
US $995ToUS $2250 excluding flights
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Duration
8 Days
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
This is a sample itinerary.
Duration and activities depends on your preferences.
We can arrange a wide variety of special interest trips and excursions.....name it and we can probably arrange it! We are licensed to take US citizens
Make enquiry

Description of Tailor made Cuba tours

This independent, tailor made Cuba tour packs a lot of prettiness into a week. Staying in traditional ‘casas particulares’ guesthouses along the way, travel a route that takes you to cities that include the historic and inimitable Havana and the colonial, coastal town of Trinidad.

Cuba is a very special country and you will have plenty of opportunities not only to discover its cultural wonders, but also its magnificent natural heritage. Highlights for nature lovers include hiking in Sierra Escambray mountains, or exploring the laidback rural town of Viñales which is surrounded by limestone hills known as ‘mogotes’, organic farms and tobacco plantations.

Time at the coast is a must in Cuba and Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the prettiest bays in the country. Known as the "Pearl of the South" it also boasts beautiful French colonial architecture dating back to the 18th century, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a tailor made itinerary, so these are only suggestions of what you can do in a week, so do chat to us about your interests and timeframe and we can craft an itinerary to suit you.

Map

Price information

US $995ToUS $2250 excluding flights
Convert currency:
This is a sample itinerary.
Duration and activities depends on your preferences.
We can arrange a wide variety of special interest trips and excursions.....name it and we can probably arrange it! We are licensed to take US citizens
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Cuba
Stepping into Havana for the first time is a film-set ideal, a nostalgic world of classic cars, crackling transistor radios, clacking dominoes and chi...
US Citizens in Cuba
For over 50 years Cuba was pretty much off limits to US citizens thanks to a 1962 trade embargo. Then, after Barack Obama’s 2014 reestablishment...

Reviews

1 Reviews of Tailor made Cuba tours

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 26 Dec 2018 by

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


We have traveled quite a bit around the USA, Canada, South Africa, Europe and the Virgin Islands. Our trip to Cuba was unbelievably memorable specifically
because of our amazing guide and driver, thanks to Responsible Travel. With exception of South Africa, we have not used guides/drivers and prefer to do it
ourselves. There is NO WAY we could have done such a rewarding deep dive into Cuba in eight days without them and I highly recommend Responsible
Travel! Our guide was smart, bilingual, personable, candid, and as conversational as we wanted to be (and perceptive enough to respect silence). She was a
100% get it done young woman that all four in our group truly liked as a person and respected as a professional. Adrienne is the best!!! And our driver Os
Mani (sp?) was great!!! Our adventure ranged from a baseball game in Havana and walking through neighborhoods with vibrant street life to hiking in the
Escambray Mountains and colonial Trinidad, UNESCO World Heritage site. Loved it all.

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


Money is hard to come by and credit cards are not recognized or accepted - anywhere. Take US dollars (or whatever currency) and exchange most of it for
CUCs from the beginning. It will feel weird carrying around that much cash, but there is no alternative. My husband took a money belt that fit inside the waist
of his shirt and pants. We took out the CUCs we needed for the day and stored the rest in the belt. Lines at the banks in Havana were LONG! The electricity
went out in the first one and they closed it. Our guide got us in to the front of a long line at another one, but we did not get enough CUCs so had to go to another bank a few days later. Then again in Santa Clara, and the bank rejected several $20 bills saying they were "dirty", had a spot of ink or a tiny tear. Out of $660 US dollars in 20s, they would only accept $520. One bank was closed unexpectedly because the area was being sprayed for mosquitos. So, when you have a chance to exchange money, go ahead and get plenty.

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


Our trip to Cuba definitely benefited the Cuban people. Since the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, more little private businesses, such as restaurants and bed/breakfasts are popping up. Our holiday featured staying in the homes of Cuban people where they received payment instead of government owned/operated hotels. We also went to small private restaurants, often on ground floor of people's homes, instead of government owned/operated bars and
restaurants. In Cuba, the government owns and runs everything! But there is now a budding of private enterprises by private citizens, which we supported.

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


Our trip was amazing in every way -- culturally, historically and politically. Our guides added tremendous value through their inside knowledge, candid responses to our questions about life in a communist country, and winning personalities. I was skeptical but quickly became a complete convert to the benefit of traveling this way!

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

As responsible citizens of planet earth, we are painfully aware of the impact humans are having on the climate.

Espiritu Travel now offers carbon-neutral travel for all trips to Cuba. We see it as yet another important step in our journey towards creating a more sustainable travel company. Greenhouse gas emissions are calculated for all our customized trips to Cuba, taking into account the use of fuels in local travel, emissions from food, and energy used in accommodations. We work with Carbon Credit Capital to ensure accurate results and come up with simple metrics like emissions per person, per trip while in-country.

As part of our commitment, we support a carbon offset project that reduces emissions by the same amount as what you emit during your trip! We have chosen to support a project in the Amazon rainforest that fights deforestation in one of the most highly deforested areas of Brazil. The project protects over 149,000 hectares of the virgin rainforest from deforestation, housing 44,000+ species of plants and animals, including over 30 vulnerable species. The project also provides improved quality of life for over 6,200 local community members—including paths to land title ownership, and improved diversity of the local economy with capacity building for cultivating new and highly valuable forest crops and products.

In a place like Cuba, where sustainable tourism is practically unheard of, it is not so easy to make a difference. However, we provide travelers with information before they depart on how they can reduce their negative impacts and make positive contributions to the communities they will visit in Cuba. This includes reducing waste, avoiding plastic bags and straws as well as being aware of water consumption. Furthermore, we encourage travelers to use filtered water bottles by offering a discount to purchase one before their trip. In the future, we hope to be able to offer travelers a free gift of these types of bottles.

Animal welfare
The issue of animals in captivity is a sensitive one for our company. We do not promote visits to any place where there are captive wild animals. The situation for domestic animals in Cuba is often appalling. Horse taxis and scenic rides. We do not recommend these activities as nostalgic as they may seem, many of these horses are in poor condition. In addition, the majority of them work extremely long hours, oftentimes in extreme heat and humidity with poor tack that leaves open wounds on their bodies. Horses around the country have borne the brunt of the transportation crisis in the country especially outside of Havana. While there are animal welfare laws, they are not enforced and it is obvious the suffering they endure horses. We promote the use of bicycles taxis to get around the cities and towns. In places where horseback riding excursions are part of the itinerary, we have carefully selected the stable in which we work ensuring the highest standards are met for the welfare of the horses.
Our guides are not permitted to take clients to places where animals are used as entertainment or are kept in poor conditions.

Waste management
In Cuba, solid waste pollution is a problem all over the island and in particular in the cities and towns. Waste disposal systems are just not adequate on the island and with a rapid increase in tourism this year alone, the problem could get worse. We provide suggestions on how travelers can reduce their impact.
We suggest bringing canvas carrier bags so that you can use them for when you purchase water or souvenirs rather than the one-use plastic bags. We provide discounts for purchasing filtered bottled water before the trip, reducing the need to purchase bottled water. In the near future, we hope to be able to provide these filtered water bottles to all travelers.

Water
We provide information to travelers on ways to reduce water consumption during their trip.

Transport
We encourage travelers to use bicycle taxis or walking for exploring the cities. Bicycle taxis are a great way to enjoy all the towns and cities throughout the island.

People

We work directly with Cubans and Cuban businesses, Our customized trips create jobs and help local families. We collaborate with local businesses, artisans and endorse real connections between countries and people
As an example, one of our eight-day trips to Cuba supports a number of entrepreneurs/small businesses and their families as well as the subsequent indirect linkages with other sectors. Over the last five years, we have maintained working relationships with a plethora of small businesses, from casas particulares, family owned restaurants to local guides and shop owners.
We endeavor to provide plenty of information so that travelers can also support small businesses that sell unique souvenirs or one of a kind home decor or even locally designed fashion. This support allows businesses to flourish, grow and expand.

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