Cuba’s beaches are unmistakably beautiful; the packed white sands of shorelines like that of Cayo Santa Maria and its glassine waters, melting into the sky, are a perfect example. Its cities, like historic Old Havana, which curves around a five-mile Malecón along the sea and feels more like Naples than the Caribbean, lend themselves to days of inspired wandering. Its estates—such as Xanadu in stunning Varadero—and resorts provide grandeur that has transcended time. Its countryside lights up your travel with bright greens and small, quaint homes that give a glimpse into a simpler life.
On their own, all of these are plentiful reasons to visit this once-forbidden island nation …but together, they combine to create an experience that resonates unlike any other. With a location in the Caribbean but a feel that is European and a soul that is New Orleanian, Cuba is a country where the journey is paramount. A multidimensional destination, a People-to-People tour—one of just a handful of permissible categories of travel from the U.S. at this time—is the best and only way to do it justice. With handpicked, exclusive excursions led by insightful, expert guides, these escorted tours provide a breadth of adventure visitors would otherwise not have access to.
For example, Travel Impressions offers two specially curated itineraries crafted specifically for their clients, who prefer deluxe accommodations, high-touch service, and experiential activities. Within those tours are lunches at privately owned paladares for a taste of authentic Cuba; rides in impeccably refurbished classic cars; guided walks through UNESCO World Heritage Sites; salsa and danzon dance lessons; talks and demonstrations with local artists, musicians, and teachers; steam train rides from an old sugar factory; art studio visits; and so much more. These moments are what memories are made of, and the key emphasis of these culturally immersive tours.
Because in a place where connectivity is scarce but connections, whether with its people, its culture, or its landscape, is plenty, there’s nothing better than being fully present, deep in wonder at a journey you won’t want to end.
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