AdventureTravelNews

Gap Adventures Announces 2011 Cuba Trips

Adventure travel leader announces details on affordable & authentic travel to Cuba for the island’s history, music, & rich culture.

Toronto, ON & Providence, RI – While ice and snow pile up across North America, relations with Cuba appear to be thawing.  Gap Adventures, the world’s adventure travel leader, announced today details of its 2011 trips to the island, which offer travelers the chance to soak up the sun and immerse in Cuba’s culture while changes within and outside the country continue. Offering unique home-stay options, the most competitive pricing in the industry, and only local Cuban guides, the adventure tour operator expects a significant increase in bookings to Cuba.

“Our travelers rely on us to provide unique, life-changing travel experiences, and this is an ideal time for adventure seekers to take advantage,” says Gap Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip. “Not only is the worldview of Cuba changing, but Cuba is changing dramatically and rapidly, so opportunities are fleeting to experience the island at this exciting juncture,” Poon Tip adds.

Gap Adventures offers affordable trips of 8, 9, and 15 days for active travelers seeking off the beaten path experiences away from resorts or large groups. In 2011, the company continues its commitment to changing people’s lives with local homestays and competitive pricing.

“Through home-stays our travelers connect directly with a local family by enjoying meals and staying overnight at their home,” says Leah Griffin, Destination Manager, Central America & Caribbean. Griffin says that it is an immersive cultural experience that few travelers get to know.

Travelers can explore the island for 8 days on either the Cuba Libre (CCL) or Central Cuba Adventure (CCCA). While both offer ample time in nature and at the beach, the Central Cuba trip provides more time to relax on Cuba’s famed white beaches. Travelers on the Cuba Libre trip can explore the world-famous Robaina tobacco plantation, walk through the pincushion hills, and wander amongst orchids and lush mountain coffee plantations during this week-long tour through the ‘Garden Province’ of Cuba. Both trips include a local home-stays with Cuban families and options to snorkel crystal clear waters full of colorful coral and walk the footsteps of pirates along the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.

Gap Adventures’ 9-day Cuba Explorer (CCCE) trip offers travelers the chance to tour bustling Havana in a vintage car, explore natural Cuba, and take in some historic sites on this comfort service level adventure. In addition to tobacco plantations, travelers can visit the Che monument and take a guided tour on the cobblestone streets of Trinidad.

“The music in Cuba is mind-blowing, and our CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) are passionate about their culture and having a great time, so they know the best places for great live music,” Griffin says. Optional salsa dancing lessons get people on their feet, where they can dance with locals for a truly memorable experience.

Another great way to leave behind the manicured resorts of Varadero and discover the real Cuba is on Gap Adventures’ 8-day Cycle Cuba (CCB).  Active travelers can get their blood pumping while biking in the El Rosario mountain ranges, walking in pirate footsteps, and relaxing in the sun on some of Cuba’s most incredible beaches. This tour of the less-travelled western side also includes rum sampling at a distillery, a tour of a tobacco operation, and plenty of time to walk and relax in Havana.

For travelers with more time Gap Adventures offers a 15-day Cuba Colonial (CCC) adventure. In addition to salsa dancing with the locals in Santiago and Baracoa, the heart and soul of the county’s music, travelers can bond with the Cuban people during meals and 10 homestay nights. This trip has plenty of options for all tastes and interests, including snorkelling at Ancon Beach, live music at the Casa de la Trova, the Revolution Museum, and hiking in Topes de Collantes National Park.

For more than 20 years Gap Adventures has demonstrated unparalleled commitment to authentic, small group adventure travel. The company offers a wide array of features and benefits for seasoned globetrotters and those new to adventure travel, from the industry’s first lifetime deposits, to industry-leading 24/7 service, no single supplements, a commitment to sustainable tourism, and opportunities for travelers to give back and support sustainable development projects in the places they visit.

The Obama administration last week eased restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba. The changes, which do not require Congressional approval, will be enacted within two weeks. The measures will allow eligible students and academics; religious, and other NGO’s to travel to the island, which could set the stage for the administration to lift the decades-old travel ban.

The first Cuban Communist Party Congress in 14 years will take place in April 2010, and many expect Cuba’s Congress to authorize the first major overhaul of the island’s Soviet-style economic model in 50 years, which could create opportunities to increase tourism.

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