Experience & Photograph* Cuba!
while supporting the Cuban People.
5 Days from $1,499 10 Days from $2,499
Join American Forests' first Artist-in-Residence Chuck Fazio for 5 to 10 amazing days in Cuba experiencing it like a local, shooting it like a pro, and providing much needed support to the Cuban people!
Why travel with us?
Authenticity and Experience.
Our trips are the most authentic Cuban immersion experiences you can find, anywhere. You will live with, eat with, and be a part of some wonderful Cuban families. You will experience Cuba as they do. We have friends and family in each of the cities and towns we visit.
We'll hit the polar tourist spots but we'll also walk the backstreets of La Habana . We'll head out west and hit the trails of the verdant valleys of Vinalis. On the longer trip, we'll head east and visit Zapata Nacional Parque and the waterfalls of Topes de Collantes.
We'll explore the history of the Bay of Pigs as we visit Playa Giron and then to the Spanish colonial town of Trinidad. We'll see and do things few American ever have. And the whole time, Chuck will be helping you to take amazing photographs whether you're using a smart phone or a $6,000 DSL
And most important, we'll be helping the Cuban people.
Each of our guests is required, in fulfillment of the OFAC license we use, to bring a suitcase full of ANYTHING- old clothes, OTC medicines, toys - literally anything to give to our Cuban host families. The purpose is to help them and to show Cubans the basic altruism of Americans.
NO HOTELS FOR US!
We'll stay with our Cuban friends and families in each of the cities we visit. These are wonderful Cubanos with whom we stay regularly.
You'll be a part of the Hernandez family in La Habana as we stay in their waterfront casa at the Marina Hemingway!
We'll stay with Cherino and Maria in Play Giron, the Bay of Pigs. Cherino is a dive master at one of the best sites in Cuba!
We'll enjoy our time with photographer Teddy Bravo Saavedra in Trinidad who we are helping to build a beautiful gallery.
And in Santa Clara, you'll meet Dr. Luis Cardoso, a tourism professor in Santa Clara, and his family. Last year, we bought Luis a house!
You can't "VACATION" in Cuba but you can certainly have a lot of fun experiencing it, while helping its people.
Space is VERY limited to 3-5 people per trip for a truly intimate learning experience.
(subject to change but generally pretty close)
5-day trips- Generally from Thursday afternoon to Monday afternoon. We spend time in La Habana and take a trip to Vinlais, the verdant valley to the west.
10-day Trips - We'll visit Zapata National Parque, The Bay of Pigs & Playa Giron, ground zero for the ill-fated American invasion. We'll pass through Cienfuegos on our way to the colonial town of Trinidad. We'll end up in Santa Clara, the pivotal last battle before Castro marched into Havana on New Year's Eve, 1959
5 DAY TRIP
Once we arrive in Havana, we'll head to our casa, get settled, eat a delicious dinner and prepare for the trip ahead.
After a hearty breakfast, we'll depart on a classic car tour of Chuck's special places! We'll have a delicious dinner at the casa before we head out to see a show
After breakfast, we'll depart for Vinalis where we'll tour the valley and spend the night.
We'll head back to Havana, have lunch at the casa and then head out to Havana for the evening. We'll see a late show.
We'll have an early start and do some last minute sightseeing before we head to the airport. We'll say goodbye to those leaving, and then head to the Bay pf Pigs for those staying on.
10 Day Trip
After we drop off the 5-day guests, we'll head to Zapata Nacional Parque and the Bay of Pigs. We'll overnight in Play Giron, infamous as ground zero for the American invasion.
We spend the first part of the day exploring the Bay of Pigs and then head to Trinidad.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
We spend two days in this Spanish Colonial town.We head to Santa Clara.
We head to to Santa Clara
We fly home
We generally head to Cuba once a month so if these dates don't work for you, please let us know what will and we'll build a trip around them
Jan. 17-20 5 Days $1,499
Jan. 17 - 26 10 Days $2,499
Feb. 28 - Mar. 4 5 Days $1,499
Feb. 28 - Mar. 9 10 Days $2,499
April 18-22 5 Days $1,499
April 18-27 10 Days $2,499
May 9-13 5 Days $1,499
May 9-18 10 Days $2,499
June TBA Let us know what dates work for you!
July TBA Let us know what dates work for you!
August TBA Let us know what dates work for you!
September TBA Let us know which dates work for you!
October TBA Let us know which dates work for you!
All accommodations, most admissions fees, tips, ground transportation, visa, and photo instruction.
It's highly suggested you purchase our meal & beverage plan.
You'lI feel incredibly safe the entire trip. In fact, people have said they feel safer in Havana than in any other major city. On previous trips, there were no hassles with the authorities who did nothing but help when needed. The Cuban people and the authorities are friendly towards Americans.
The joy of this trip is that is it an authentic Cuban experience. You'll enjoy sitting in the park in the downtown area, simply people watching and talking to Cubans who are thrilled to meet an American.
Yes, tons to see but the joy of the trip is to do the mundane and just experience life as it's lived in Cuba. We will visit most every place you see in the slide show above.
One caution is there isn’t a hospital on every corner and services can be remote. Get a heart attack and help isn’t 5 minutes away. You agree to take on all the responsibility of the trip.
If you have done any research on Cuba and there is something you think would be cool to see, let me know Let me know ASAP if you want to go by emailing me.
Is it legal to visit Cuba?
Yes. Our visit falls under the "Support of the Cuban People" OFAC license and as a requirement you will need to bring a suitcase of such things as clothes, toys, OTC medicines, school supplies, etc. We support three families in Cuba. A note: You are NOT going to Cuba on vacation as that is not legal. You are going principally to support the Cuba people, which you will tell Customs and Immigration on your return to the US. You ARE allowed to have fun doing it. We have an agenda that has been vetted so that our trips follow the license we use.
Is it safe? What do we have to be concerned about?
Cuba is probably the safest country in the world. Their police are terribly nice and will go out of their way to lend assistance. The only thing you have to be concerned about is enjoying ourself. We've got the rest of it for you.
What about credit cards and money?
US credit cards can not be used in Cuba. The Cuba currency is the CuC and the transfer rate is 13%. We recommend that you let us transfer your money so that you won't have to wait in lines when you get to Cuba. You can decide how much you want to transfer 2 days before we travel and that amount depends on how much rum, cigars, coffee and art you want to bring back!
$100 = $87 Cuban CUCs
$200 = $174 CuC
$300 = $260 CuC
$400 = $348 CuC
$500 = $435 Cuc
Where do we stay?
To avoid running afoul of the US prohibition on supporting the Cuban Government, and to create a more rich cultural experience, we stay in the casas of our friends and families in Cuba. Each room has air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
What does the cost cover?
Airfare (up to $500), your visa, accommodations, taxis and photo instruction. Entrance fees to Tropicana Cabaret, Gran Teatro and other optional activities like horse back riding and scuba diving are not covered.
Please call Chuck directly if you have any questions. (703) 801-0700