NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Among the world's savviest travelers, Travel & Leisure's readers voted Cuba the best Caribbean island in the annual Travel & Leisure World's Best Awards issue. Fueled by the lure of the forbidden and a hunger for the authentic, interest in Cuba has skyrocketed. Undeveloped and unspoiled, with beautiful natural attractions, a vibrant culture and vivacious people, Cuba is so alluring and yet so far -- just 90 miles from Florida but separated by embargo for 40 years. The picture brightened in the 1990s, when relaxed restrictions allowed specially licensed learning trips. The present administration, however, will not renew the special licenses and these trips will terminate December 31. Paradoxically, opportunities for travel to Cuba currently abound, thanks to the partnership between travel wholesaler General Tours and Cross Cultural Solutions, a licensed provider of educational trips to Cuba. Now, travelers can book a cultural adventure to Cuba through any travel agent. Two fully escorted all-inclusive tours are available: the eight-day "Cuba Sampler," starting at $2,399 in standard hotels or $3,099 in superior hotels (five guaranteed departures) and the 15-day "Journey through Cuba" for $3,399 in standard hotels (six guaranteed departures). Each trip includes round trip airfare from Miami and Cancun, Mexico. Round trip air is also available from New York for an additional $240. "Cuba Sampler" explores Havana, a rural town and Trinidad, one of Cuba's oldest towns. Guests will meet with local Afro-Cuban musicians and artists, learn about Cuba's education system, discuss US and Cuban relations at the home of a Havana local, and learn about Cuba's socialized medical system. "Journey through Cuba" takes visitors where few Americans have gone before: Pinar del Rio, to meet local doctors, artists and craftsmen and discuss Cuban and US business models with local businessmen, including the cigar and rum industries. Visits to Santa Clara and Trinidad are highlights, as well as to Camaguey Province, the Cuban Artists and Writers Union, and a community garden in Santiago de Cuba. Both programs include round trip flights from Miami or Cancun, all meals, hotels, sightseeing and events, English-speaking guide, entrance fees, tickets and required travel documents. For more information and to make reservations, call toll-free 1-800-221- 2216 or contact a professional travel agent.
SOURCE Insight Cuba