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Cuba News: The Best of Cuba in Six Days

By Natalie Crow | September 22, 2016

As a country that has been sectioned off, forbidden, my entire life, Cuba always held a magical and mysterious place in my heart. That was the case until last February, when I was able to join one of GeoEx’s trips there. Though only 90 miles from my own country, Cuba seemed another world. Even now, after so much time has passed, I can still remember the feeling of walking down Havana’s sea wall, the malecón, and feeling like I was in a movie. That charm, that historic feel, is what draws many people to Cuba—and what has travelers asking me every day:“How is Cuba changing? Is it important to visit the island now?”

There is no question that Cuba is evolving as restrictions decrease and tourism increases, but what many people don’t realize until they arrive is that Cuba, as a country and as a people, isn’t going anywhere. Its rich culture and tremendous spirit are thriving and don’t show any signs of slowing down. There will not be a Starbucks on every corner—at least, not for a very long time.

The changes we see most of all right now are in the growing infrastructure and in the greater array of options available to us and our travelers. Hotels, services, and activities are opening up and allowing us to make our existing, already-popular itineraries even better. We’re now able to offer truly customized private trips for as few as two travelers, and have arranged journeys for families that combine culture and outdoor adventure.

The big news for our in-demand group trip, Connecting with Cuba’s Living History, is that, starting in February 2017, the trip will be six days instead of eight—perfect for people who only have one week to travel—and will stay at a luxurious new boutique hotel, located in the pretty El Vedado neighborhood of Havana. It’s a lovely colonial mansion that’s just been renovated and GeoEx will have it all to ourselves during our trips. With more reasonable pricing and more charm than the top city hotels, and only five guest rooms, an inviting garden, and its own gallery with contemporary Cuban art, this hotel is exactly what Havana (and we) have needed!

Cuba boutique hotel | GeoEx Travel

Though a little shorter, the itinerary will still include remarkable insider activities—like speaking with locals about politics, art, and business; experiencing wonderful music and dance; and dining at the newest paladares—that we chose with the help of our Cuba guides (who practically live in Cuba at this point).

While we will still spend a day in the Viñales Valley, an amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will be focused primarily on Havana. There will be time to discover things you didn’t expect, time to get a little lost. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon a game of pick-up baseball and momentarily become one of the local fans, or you’ll get invited into someone’s home for a coffee.

Now, even if your time is limited, you can experience the mystery and magic of Cuba, too.

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If you want more time in Cuba (especially in the Viñales Valley, like my colleague Story Kirshman), we’d love to take you on our eight-day itinerary. To hear more about Cuba travel, feel free to contact Natalie Crow at [email protected] or call 888-570-7108.

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