Has Cuban curiosity been killing the cat? Wait no longer! Thanks to the award-winning tour operator, Austin-Lehman Adventures, travelers will be able to experience cultural and educational adventures in Cuba beginning in early 2012.
“Because most Americans have been prevented from visiting Cuba since the US embargo in the 1960s, we are extremely curious about our neighbor just 90 miles to the south of Key West, Florida,” says Dan Austin.
Cuba has been an unavailable market for the past 50 years and so adventure there fits well with Austin-Lehman’s goals of “exotic, desirable destinations, easy access from the US…” Travelers will be given an unique opportunity to be immersed in authentic Cuban culture. A custom-designed 10-day tour itinerary (limited to 12 or 18 for family departures) will give travelers the opportunity of a lifetime, promoting cross-cultural and authentic people-to-people contact.
Cuba travel expert, Christopher Baker, designed the The Real Cuba tour which commences with a welcome feast where Baker’s local Cuban friends offer provide insights into Cuba’s political, social and economic environment. Visitors will enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana with Eusebio Leal, Official Historian of Havana, and visits to private homes and community projects such as colonial mansions turned into rehabilitation centers, maternity clinics, and schoolrooms.
Guests will also meet local artists like José Fuster, known as the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Fuster’s dwelling represents a remarkable urban community art project. More cultural exploration include a trip to a legendary tobacco farmer and Cuban cigar ‘ambassador’s estate along with a journey through the time-warp colonial village of Viñales, which reflects on yesteryear’s rural lifestyle. Over a dinner at historic Casa de Don Tomás, troubadours will performing traditional Cuban country music.
Other exiting stops include a tour of an orchid garden with gardener Ana Lydia in Soroa and a visit with National Geographic photographer Julio Muñoz, who will open up his colonial home.
A 1906 steam train transports guests to the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). In the industrial-university city of Santa Clara, a local historian explores Che Guevara and the battles that he led here that resulted in the toppling of General Fulgencio Batista in 1958.
Visits to the Car Museum and Museo Hemingway lend further cultural flair to the trip. Private restaurant dining, exemplary lodgings and optional horseback riding are additional perks of this ground-breaking adventure.
Trips start at $4498. Call 800.575.1540, or check here for more information.
By Vittoria Picone & Ann Wycoff
Latest posts by Vittoria Vincenza and Ann Wycoff
- Utah’s Coolest Drive-In Theater and Airstream Resort - October 28, 2011
- Cuba Calling - October 6, 2011