Been to Cuba already? Or, if you haven’t, are you thinking Havana is the best destination for an authentic Cuban experience?
Well, after three highly successful, people-to-people Charter Club trips to the western side of the island, CREST will host a tour of the just-as-fascinating eastern side, home to Cuba’s second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba, and a whole lot more.
The extraordinary 8-day, 7-night adventure will feature many of the island’s riches, including mouth-watering chocolate, white-sand beaches, Afro-Cuban music and dance, multiple historic sites and, of course, those classic, pre-1959 American cars, modified Cuba-style. And of course, the people. As we’ve learned from previous trips, the Cuban people are wonderful, warm and friendly—and happy to share their culture with curious visitors.
The trip is organized by our partner, Cuba Educational Travel, the premiere small-group U.S. tour operator in Cuba, where we’ll begin in what locals simply refer to as Santiago.
The 502-year-old port city—nicknamed Cuidad Héroe, or Hero City—is the site of many historic battles as well as an influx, over the centuries, of immigrants from Europe and nearby Caribbean islands. The result is an eclectic architectural, culinary and cultural mix that stimulates every one of the senses.
Santiago is also the birthplace of the Barcadi Brand and home to some of Cuba’s most famous natives, including Desi Arnaz, José Martí, Pancho Herrera and composer-musician Compay Segundo, best known for his membership in the exclusive Buena Vista Social Club.
After Santiago, we’re off to Baracoa, which is located where Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba on his first voyage. This colonial town, said to be one of the most beautiful in Cuba, was only accessible by sea until 1960. Even after a road was built, the settlement maintained a small-town colonial feel. Along the way, we stop at Guantanamo City, where we will enjoy a city tour and learn about the local traditional music.
Finally, we visit Holguín, which is set in rugged, mountainous territory. Cuba’s fourth-largest city, it is known as the City of Parks and home to significant religious sites. From Holguín, we take a day trip to Guardalavaca, which features both a warm-water beach and Bahia de Naranjo National Park, known for extensive mangrove swamps.
Why CREST Charter Club?
CREST's Charter Club trip offers far more than a typical tour at a highly competitive price. Accommodations throughout the trip will be in casas particulares, or B&B-style private homes, which provide an opportunity for interaction and conversation with everyday Cubans. Throughout the trip, you will enjoy educational meetings and experiences with artists, farmers, historians, and experts in various fields. Also included are nature tours, musical performances, and visits to must-see sites, including the Moncada Barracks, where the first armed assault of the Cuban Revolution took place, and Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, Santiago's most famous landmark.
The cost is $3,500 double occupancy and $3,850 single occupancy. Space is limited to approximately 20 travelers. Due to the boutique nature of this trip and limited accommodations, it is recommended that you commit to the trip as early as possible. Registration and a deposit of $1,000 per person is due by August 24, 2017. The remaining balance is due by August 31, 2017.
For reservations or to request additional information, please contact Samantha Hogenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.