So tantalizing, our tattered island nation neighbor … Former tropical playground, Cuba is still Communist, still under a U.S. economic embargo and still off-limits to American vacationers. It is still illegal for an American to hop on a plane and puddle-jump the 93 miles of shark-infested waters. However, travel restrictions under Obama have loosened up and a vast array of choice small-group, purpose-oriented trips is now available to those with a yen to see, hear, taste and feel the reality of Cuba today.
Just don’t try to bring home any of those legendary cigars….
Thanks not only to its tantalizing forbidden fruit feature, Cuba is a sexy place. The island is a bubbling stew of many cultures that throbs with a distinctly African rhythm. The air is, honestly, filled with music day and night.
It is Transition Time folks, and Cuba is hot.
Licenses to travel there are being scooped up and stockpiled by travel companies as quickly as they are issued (actually not that fast.) So although it takes plenty of paperwork and complex planning to get a license for Cuba travel, it is doable.
And the bandwagon is filling up! Many well-established tour companies have plowed through the paperwork to offer new trips. Trips are centered on a theme or an accompanying expert, e.g., photography, painting, music, writing, and dance. Check out Insight Cuba, GeoEx, Road Scholar (“Shalom Cuba” for Jewish heritage) ,Globus, National Geographic Expeditions, Cross-Cultural Journey Foundation and many museums, great and small: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian, Corcoran, and on.
Better yet: train the spotlight to pierce the salsa hubbub of offerings and focus on Temma Ecker, an educator and travel expert who established her boutique Chicago-based firm, “Journeys of the Mind,” over 20 years ago.
Depart Miami with Temma on December 27, 2013 for a seven-night adventure, five in Havana and two in the movie-set stunning seaside city of Cienfuegos and colonial Trinidad. Ring in the new year in high spirits right on the dramatic steps of the historic Cathedral Square in Havana’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tables will be set up for dinner and a Tropicana-style midnight show under the stars. Before and after, Temma will lead you into neighborhood street parties. Attend, too, a private concert in the gorgeous National Museum and Decorative Arts garden, visit an organic farm, various museums, art galleries, meeting and greeting the locals as you go.
Temma says, “Cuba has an important story to tell inquisitive travelers:
how a marginalized society has lifted itself up out of adversity with resourcefulness, talent, charm, and dignity.”
Very well-priced at $4375 which includes the special visa fee and mandatory insurance. For more on New Year’s Eve in Cuba call her directly at 708-383-8739.