Group Travel - Full Access to Cuba
The benefits of group travel to Cuba organized by an experienced Cuba travel specialist
The new openings and the current changes do not mean that things have suddenly become easy in Cuba. The same challenges that existed one day before commercial flights started flying to the provinces, exist one day after. There is suddenly a plethora of options: cruise ships, ferries, airbnb; commercial flights, private boats and planes and for the first time in a long long time, US citizens can travel on their own to Cuba outside the structure and confines of the tradition People to People group missions. There are suddenly so many options, it's overwhelming. It seems as if traveling to Cuba now is so easy that we just have to book a flight, grab our bags and go.
Or is it?
It goes without saying that if you don’t have someone to guide you, you will not find the most exclusive paladares, culture, artists, musicians and institutions and exciting things happening on the island. You will not be able to access events, festivals, gallery openings and concerts. If you ask the locals, they have no idea where anything is since they do not have access due to their financial constraints. And let’s hope you don’t have an emergency of any kind because you won’t be able to solve it on your own.
And then there is the lodging, food and transportation challenge. When a country that can accommodate 25% of the estimated tourism that will descend upon Cuba in 2017,
Where will you stay?
What will you eat?
How will you move around safely and comfortably?
And once you meet those challenges, where will you go? And how will you get into the very hip and very exclusive restaurants, clubs, events?
For the festivals, where and how will you get your credentials? Are they guaranteed?
The veteran Cuba travel service providers that have been in the game for decades have blocked rooms at the best hotels and a large inventory of B&Bs where they ensure reservations.
They have long-standing contracts with Cuba’s tour receptors - professionals that have catered to group travel in Cuba for decades
They have relationships with the airlines, charter flights and private air services
They can get in any of the top restaurants in Cuba that are booked months in advance and produce private events with the top talent, using all the best venues. They know the organizers, producers, artists, musicians.
Most importantly, there is still a lot about Cuba that is not on the internet. It is only beginning and once you are there, there is limited, if any, access to information at your fingertips.
Cuba is unlike any other destination on Earth. And it is a country where “who you know” is everything and if you don’t know the right people, places and things and do not have access, saving a few dollars will probably ruin what might have been the most amazing and exciting trip of your life.
When you travel in a group arranged by a Cuba travel specialist, the following challenges are met seamlessly and without you even realizing it. What will be an amazing trip could turn into a logistical and survival nightmare.
1. Currency exchange: You US credit and debit cards will not work in Cuba. The agency can assist you with money transfers and when your activities are prepaid, you don’t have to worry about pulling cash out of your pockets and figuring out exchange rates.
2. Lodging: In December of 2016, lodging ran out in Cuba and for the first time in history, tourists were sleeping on park benches in Havana and ordinary folks were given the green light to let people “crash” at their homes, most of them inadequate even for the residents. A Cuba travel specialist will have blocked rooms at hotels and an inventory of B&Bs at your disposal, across the entire price range.
NOTE: When you rent your own B&B online, where are you going to shop for provisions? You will not see supermarkets and drug stores and retail stores. The simplest provisions like coffee, milk, sugar, eggs are a challenge for the outsider. There is no signage like CVS or Trader Joes or Whole Foods. And the gas station mini-marts basically sell rum, crackers and cigarettes.
3. Transportation: You aren’t going to find a machine where you buy your “metrocard”; when you rent a car, you have no guarantee that it’s been serviced and there is no AAA! You can rough it, of course, but it can get expensive and confusing and hot and difficult. If your group is more than two people, you will want a mini-van or small tour bus and you will definitely want air conditioning.
4. Communications: Unless you have AT&T or Verizon, your phones will not work. If they do, the charges will be in the high hundreds and thousands of dollars. The agency can assist you with purchasing a Cuba Sim card. Also, with group travel, they guides and drivers have Cuba cell phones and are in touch with us and each other.
5. Internet: There is very limited internet in Cuba. Major hotels are the only place where you can access internet and it is usually for the use of guests only. However, we can assist you in accessing internet and staying in touch with the outside world. There is no Google, no Yelp, no Tripadvisor and no GPS.
6. Reservations: With a very limited number of restaurants (paladares) in Cuba, it has become almost impossible to get a table anywhere, especially in Havana. The new culinary scene in Cuba and the enormous rise in tourism has overwhelmed the industry and it is very hard to get a table for lunch or dinner anywhere. With our advance planning and long-standing relationships with the restaurateurs, your group will always be guaranteed the best food in town. And the question begs, “how will you find these restaurants when not even state taxi drivers know where they are?” “how will you get there?”
7. Medical Emergencies: We assist you through any medical emergency and have access to the best care and hospitals in Cuba. From emergency care to Med Evac, we will be there every step ofthe way.
8. Art, music, culture: We create private and exclusive guided programs with access to artists’ studios; movie stars; private concerts with Cuba’s top musicians; private rehearsals; community projects; marine and nautical tourism; we get you past the “velvet rope” at the most exclusive venues; we work with specialists and historians in architecture, art, medicine, economics, tobacco industry, offer exclusive Mafia tours and other tours we have designed for our clientele.
Cuba is not Mexico or Costa Rica or any other destination where an adventurous traveler will find their way. Cuba is a magical and mysterious place where US travelers have not gone for six decades for any other reason that to “rough it”. An unguided trip to Cuba is not for everyone and a professional group organizer can guarantee an experience that you will never forget for its quality and seamless experience. You get a chance to really immerse yourself in Cuba versus immersing yourself in problem-solving.
After over half a century of almost no access by US citizens, except for those essentially breaking the law or traveling on a mission, Cuba suddenly explodes as the newest and most sought-after destination in the Americas. Is it as easy and simple as booking your airbnb, jumping on a commercial flight and hit the ground running? For some adventurous travelers it might be, but for the discerning traveler, the traditional traveler, the seeker of culture and history and the traveler who wants a true immersion experience and access to all that Cuba has to offer, they might find themselves lost, with no notion of where to go and what do and most of all, no access to what they seek in Cuba and why they went there in the first place.
Let a Cuba travel specialist show you Cuba first!!!
Cuba Tours and Travel has over fifteen years of experience offering expert-driven cultural travel to Cuba. Our management and program-design team, working together with a team of superb Cuban travel associates in both Havana and Miami, are uniquely suited to offer you the finest in-depth travel program to the island. We are licensed by the US and Cuba and are fully insured. Most importantly, we have an abiding love for Cuban art and culture and have strong connections to the cultural institutions on the island.
Cuba Tours and Travel is a full-service agency licensed by the U.S. Government
TSP# CU-077926-b.. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST39635