Cuba has long been a subject of fascination for Americans, barred from visiting for political reasons and hearing conflicting information from people who fled the Castro dictatorship. What is not in dispute is that Cuba's forests, mountains, and oceans are beautiful; Cuban culture is vibrant; and the Cuban people are warm and welcoming. On this trip we go beyond Havana into the countryside, where we combine visits to national parks and nature reserves, with visits with naturalist guides, farmers, historians, national park officials, artists, and small business entrepreneurs. This trip is designed for curious travelers who prefer to explore on their feet rather than looking out a bus window, and who want to immerse themselves in living history and culture. Maximum group size: 14
This trip is a combination of touring and hiking. The hiking is in Cuba’s National Parks; some of the trails are rocky with both downhill and uphill sections which can be very challenging if there has been recent rain. We have rated the trip a 2 and is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. There are typically 3 to 5 hours of daily activity. Patience, flexibility, and an ability to accept conditions as they are, is critical on this trip. Rating: 1 3 4 5
We combine moderate activity every day (hiking, walking, snorkeling, and sightseeing) with opportunities to interact and learn from a wide variety of Cuban people. Our itinerary has been designed to minimize driving time but some driving is unavoidable; the longest drive time (one day) is four hours.
On this trip we stay in both hotels and Casa Particulares. Similar to a B&B, Casas Particulares are comfortable bedrooms in private houses. Sometimes they have the feel of a small boutique hotel, and sometimes they feel like you’re visiting family and enjoying the spare bedroom. All are operated by warm and welcoming hosts, offering the unique experience of staying with a Cuban family. This can be a highlight of your trip, with the understanding that the accommodation may lack standard amenities or the air conditioning may not be working or the hot water quickly used up. Also, please note these accommodations are basically ‘small businesses’ and details such as decor, breakfast served in the morning, etc. will be different from one casa to another. A truly unique experience! Just so you know - there will always be at lease 2 members of the group in the casa, you will not be in a casa particular by yourself.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
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