Travel Notebook

Visit Cuba Now with Ethical Traveler

I am both honored and excited to have been asked by Jeff Greenwald to be on the board of his nonprofit group, Ethical Traveler, established in 2013. In this capacity, I will attend one or two advisor meetings per year, provide my thoughts on the countries selected as Best Ethical Destinations, attend major Ethical Traveler events and reach out to our Rebecca Recommends community on behalf of Ethical Traveler’s news and fundraising. I am passionate about Jeff’s commitment to bettering our travel experiences and the countries we visit, and I am thrilled to get started.

Camaguey Rooftops. Photo from

As one of my first orders of business, I’d like to entice you with Ethical Traveler’s upcoming October trip to Cuba. Rather than focus on swarming Havana, Jeff’s small group will explore the beautiful and less-crowded eastern side of the island. Scheduled stops include musical Santiago, lively Baracoa and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Camaguey. Guests may choose to stay in first-class hotels or with enterprising local families in their casa particulares. There’s even time for the all-important (and gorgeous) beach. This very reasonably priced trip is a great introduction to the arts, music and culture of Cuba and since it is limited to just 16 travelers, it will fill up fast.

Photo from

A few highlights (among many):

  • Visits to local Cuban artist studios and galleries.
  • An excursion to El Cobre, Our Lady of Charity Church, to visit, and to understand the power of the patron saint in Cuba and the popular religion of Santeria.
  • Cultural encounter or service learning opportunity with the Children’s Choir at the Casa de Cultura.
  • An eco-excursion along the Yumarí River with a local expert from CITMA, the Ministry of the Environment.
  • Visit to the Casa Nicolas Guillen in Camaguey, a poetry-themed museum located in the house where Guillén, the former National Poet of Cuba, was born in 1902.
  • Time at Fabrica de Violines, to see how local artisans carve beautiful violins out of hardwood.

See here for more information and to reserve your spot today. A commission will be paid for clients you book on the trip.