by Debra Hanneman Friday, July 19, 2013
Because of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, U.S. citizens must go through a travel agency licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department that provides “people-to-people” travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens. Because booking with this type of travel agency is required, the U.S. State Department’s website on visiting Cuba is a great place to start: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html.
Our transportation, meals, lodging and even most entertainment were booked through Insight Cuba, which did a good job of organizing all aspects of our travel. Insight Cuba worked with our group to arrange and customize a trip that melded geological field trips with the necessary people-to-people itinerary. The organization also took care of the considerable paperwork associated with the U.S. trade embargo. Our group met with an Insight Cuba representative at the Miami International Airport in Florida where we boarded a charter flight for José Martí International Airport in Havana.
All of our hotels were booked by Insight Cuba and were very nice: the Hotel Presidente in Havana, the Hotel Pinar del Río in Pinar del Río, the Hotel Villa Soroa in Soroa and the Villa Los Canéyes in Santa Clara. The food was quite good. Meals consisted of a lot of rice and beans, but being a fan of both, I was fine with it! The mojitos, Cuba libres and delicious coffee also helped make our experience a delight.
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