Q – My wife and I want to travel on a charter tour to Cuba in early May. We’ve looked into AccessTrips culinary tour to Cuba and it looks good. Do you handle tours to Cuba? If so, would you recommend the AccessTrips tour or any others? Thank you.
A – Access is a company that was launched in 2001. They specialize in one-off culinary programs in a variety of destinations. They do work with travel agents so an agent commission is included their pricing.
The two best ways to see Cuba right now are via Tauck Tours or Abercrombie & Kent. They have the best local guides and governmental relationships. But with that said, I am really impressed with the specific itinerary you are considering. It is unique and, we think, extremely well planned out. Other tour operators have been anxious to do culinary and lifestyle touring in Cuba but they tell us that they still feel that the tourism infrastructure in the country is not stable and sophisticated enough to provide the kinds of quality land experiences promised in the Access itinerary. So, I suppose, the question would be “How is a small company like Access able to pull this off successfully?”
If you want a culinary-oriented experience we would say you should look at this program closely. If, on the other hand, you want the very best Cuba experience that is not culinary in nature, we would look, instead, at Tauck or A&K. They will have a choice of dates. Meanwhile, we hope this brief “Guide to Cuba” is helpful:
- Fidel Castro first grew a beard because the US embargo cut off all shipments of razors to the island.
- The CIA made at least eight attempts to kill or capture Castro. These actions were dubbed “Operation Castration” at the Agency.
- There is a John Lennon Park in Havana with a bronze statue of John seated on a bench. He’s not doing much – just sitting there. Don’t try to steal his glasses – it’s been attempted before and it will get you prison time.
- Only 5% of Cubans currently have access too the internet.
- Be careful – Cross-dressing is illegal on the island but Ballerina’s are more respected than doctors.