Travelers interested in getting a taste of Cuba can do so with LATOUR’s first people-to-people tours. These programs start in November with the Hello Cuba itinerary, which offers Americans the opportunity to journey to Cuba’s once-forbidden shores for an authentic look at the country’s people, landscape and culture.
“LATOUR is a long-established tour operator for travel to South and Central America and is now able to offer this exciting destination that was once forbidden to the American traveler,” says Arthur Berman, executive vice president of LATOUR.
These tours are licensed through June 2016, offering journeys starting in Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and where time has stood still since the 1940s with vintage cars, crumbling former mansions, and newly renovated buildings.
“Travelers on the 9-day Hello Cuba people-to-people exchange program will get the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful colonial cities in the Americas. Although Cuba is the size of Pennsylvania, it has an enthralling history and an even more fascinating dynamic, which very few Americans have had the opportunity to discover,” says Berman. “Meeting Cubans, understanding their challenges and achievements, learning what makes them tick and sharing your own experiences is what Hello Cuba is all about. As the travelers traverse through this gorgeous country, they’ll make friends and discover the secrets of a proud, sensual and colorful land.”
Travelers will experience daily Cuban life, such as a meeting with local talent at the Experimental Graphic Arts Workshop and Havana Compras Dance company. The tour then heads to Cienfuegeos for a 2-night stay. There’s also a day trip to Trinidad, and back to Havana where visitors willl visit Ernest Hemingway’s winter home, the Museum of the Revolution, and “Finca Figia”—Lookout Farm. Finally, the last evening is spent at Jamanitas.
“This isn’t a typical tour, with visits to the national monuments, shopping, and relaxing on the gorgeous Caribbean beaches. Instead, travelers will spend time meeting the local Cuban community from all walks of life. Anyone with an interest for art, history and architecture that wants to visit these once-forbidden shores will enjoy this colorful land,” adds Berman.
Hello Cuba is priced at $4,499 pp and includes international air from Miami to Havana, all meals, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, a people-to-people cultural exchange program, a bilingual Cuban guide, a LATOUR tour manager, a Cuban visa, Cuban health insurance, and one checked suitcase. Guests will also receive a cell phone rental to call and text back home. Booking agents are entitled to a $450 pp referral fee. Departure dates for 2014 are Nov. 1, 15, and 29, and Dec. 13 and 27 (spending New Year’s in Cuba). For 2015 and 2016 travel dates, as well as detailed itineraries, call (800) 825-0825 or visit latour.com.