All trips are fully refundable for public health issues.
All trips are fully refundable for public health issues.
Small group travel: Just you and 9 others.
ICuban Modernity in the New Millennium
Jan 23 - Feb 1, 2023
9 days, 8 nights
$4,250 ¡todo incluído!
This cultural and educational tour, in compliance with the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, examines the forces in the past century that have shaped the island in the new millennium. These forces include, in no particular order, 20th-century monocultural dependence, the Cold War, gangsterism and organized crime, the socialist revolution, Afro-Cuban culture, and a cultural mélange that shows influences of Spain, Miami, and Africa; in what anthropologist Fernando Ortiz called the "Cuban stew."
You will be in good hands with Emeritus Professor Joe Scarpaci on this, his 94th trip to Cuba since 1990. His published research includes urban affairs and planning in Latin America, historic preservation, entrepreneurship and marketing, and cultural geography.
This small group travel allows you to see the island intimately and up-close, and both iconic and out-of-the-way crooks and crannies. Dr. Scarpaci is your host, guide, translator, confidant, and friend through the cities of Havana, Matanzas, Varadero, Girón (Bay of Pigs), Cienfuegos, and Trinidad.
Leave the big-name travel companies and the loud buses and scripted tour guides behind. Check out past travelers' impressions guest reviews. Our trip 1) supports the private sector in Cuba, 2) people-to-people engagement and 3) humanitarian endeavors through our support of the Havana Cathedral pre-school project and efforts spearheaded by Fundación Amistad of New York City.
Q: Where do we meet?
A: Charlotte, NC the night before? Overnight lodging and breakfast are included. We all fly down together. No exceptions.
Q: Will I be breaking the law?
A: No. We qualify for three of the 13 legal categories for travel to Cuba.
Q: What are the passport and visa requirements?
A: Visas are headed out on the plane into Cuba. It is paid for (within the price of the ticket). Make sure your passport is not expiring within 6 months (June 1, 2023).
We support private businesses who are referred to as microempresas or trabajadores de cuenta propia. We always eat at private home restaurants called paladares. At the risk of generalizing, we think you'll find Cubans outgoing, curious, and respectful. And my eating in their homes and small restaurants, there is an element of charm that is enhanced by our small group venues.
The government developed two vaccines in its biopharmaceutical sector. All visitors must show proof of vaccination. On the face of it, data shows that Cuba has handled the pandemic very well: with just 8.5% of the population infected and 0.73 deaths per thousand in Cuba (compared to 15% and 2.13 respectively in the UK). In addition, figures sourced from the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data project shows that Cuba has fully vaccinated 80% of its population. This places the country third in the world behind UAE and Brunei.
Lots of old Soviet tractors across the island. At any given time, the island reminds that you are in the cold-war era, Africa, Spain, Miami or another part of the Caribbean. Renowned Cuban anthropologist referred to Cuba's rich ethnic blend as a delicious stew, or ajiaco.
The dry season from Nov. - April means mostly blue skies and temperatures in the 80s. Birds from North America mingle with their Cuban cousins in the winter. And so can you.
The 60-year trade embargo has kept U.S. cars off the island. However, Cubans manage to keep them running and find creative ways in their tool and dye industry to keep them running.
And we'll visit two of them: Viñales and Havana.
We visit these preschoolers in Havana . Here, singing the eensy/weensy spider (in Spanish, of course!). This is the non-profit we support.
Cuba is hot. It is in the news but not always for the right reasons. The Cuban people have a deep interest in America. Travelers are welcomed warmly. With over 93 trips, we've made a lot of trips. We'd like you to meet our Cuban friends from all walks of life: business people, musicians, veterans, the elderly, street hustlers, professors, Afro-Cuban priests, and more.
Birdwatching & Landscape Appreciation (Jan. 11-19, 2022 and Feb. 22- March 3). 10 days 9 nights. All included. Airfare from ROA or ATL depending on airline. 10 person max., local guides at Soroa, Viñales, Playa Girón, and Havana. $3750. 13th Bienal de La Habana (International Art Show). March 14-21, 2022. Stunning and world-acclaimed Cuban artists on the vanguard of their field in a variety of mediums. Over a dozen exhibitions open. Free admission to all. Docent-led tour of Museo de Bellas Arte and the premier trainging center for artists and musicians: ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte). Day trip to Matanzas city (90 miles east) for private concert and city tour. Beach-cleaning service learning project 1 afternoon. Meals & airfare included. Airfare from ROA or ATL depending on airline. 10 person max., 10-person max. Full refund for any COVID-related matter. Must show proof of vaccination. Bringing supplies to pre-K schoolers in Havana on both trips (see video above). Single-room add $300.
Forget about big tour buses. We travel small. Small-group travel lets us meet Cubans. No government or ideological intermediaries. Cubanos and cubanas, young and old, and every shade of the rainbow. Our travelers love us not because our itineraries are good (they are!) but we believe that Cuban serendipity is phenomenal. See an alleyway that looks intriguing: Let's go down it. Does that lady with her grandchild look like she has something to say. We'll ask. At the same time, we unerstand boundaries and respect the privacy of Cubans. (who, by the way, give Type A personality new meaning!)
We run a good $2,000 to $3,000 less than most small travel companies that go to Cuba. Just do a Google search. And if you refer someone to a trip that you are on, we'll discount your cost. Word of mouth. Cuba travel. Small. Personal. Up Close.
Our Cuban Landscape and Birdwatching trip is more than just birds. Everyone knows something about nature, lanscapes, architecture; both Cubans and folks in our small Cuban travelers group. So look beyond labels, be open to new experiences while in Cuba, the isla bonita.
You have questions, we have answers. But if you wish to ask those who have traveled to Cuba with us before, we're happy to put you in touch with them.
International travel opens up in Cuba on Nov. 15. Our travel dates in Jan., Feb., and March will ensure that the prevalence and incidence rates continue to fall globally. Everyone entring Cuba will be required to show proof of full vaccination. Our driver in Cuba is fully vaccinated as are our hosts. On the island, the rehetoric of no-mask mandates won't fly.