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Trumps Policy Changes and their Impact on Travel to Cuba

Magazines in Cuba The media has spoken at length about how Trump’s Cuba policy changes will limit travel. Over the past few weeks we have received many questions and comments related Trump’s policy that came out in late June. The truth is, it will, but not for us. Visas for our tours were not affected.

Here are the basics:

There are 12 categories of travel that are authorized. They are very specific and none are for tourism only. In recent years most Americans who have gone to Cuba got a people-to-people visa. Trump’s recent policy changes prevent individuals from creating their own itineraries and traveling under the people-to-people visa. The new sanctions also indicate that all applications for visas, and the associated itineraries, will be rigorously assessed. Once again this does not affect Biotrek’s tours.

 

When you travel with us you will have a visa from a licensed group tour company with a set itinerary and guide.

Cuban ballerina Biotrek’s tours to Cuba fall under group people-to-people travel. According to the U.S Department of the Treasury all group people-to-people travel is required to keep a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.”

Guys with Cuban Cigars

No problems there either! We have always prided ourselves in our support of locally owned and operated businesses. We visit art and music schools, attend ballet performances, learn from antique car mechanics, explore a sustainable urban farm and more. We eat at local restaurants call paladars. The embassies are open and you can still bring home cigars. Once again, Trump’s policy does not impact our tour.

 

Our next tour to Cuba will be in May 2018.

This dynamic itinerary will cover the breadth of the country. We start in Havana and head east. This schedule has us tremendously excited. The towns are off the beaten path. The architecture is historic and diverse. The views are spectacular. The food is different in every region but always delicious. In short, this tour is going to be fantastic.

Call us or send an email to book your trip today!

Restored Antique Car

If you would like to read more about the policy changes the U.S. Department of Treasury has all the details, for the Frequently Asked Questions on Changes to the Cuba Sanctions .

The Red-footed & Blue-footed Boobies are a crowd favorite.

After 38 tours to the Galapagos, I can confirm that the Galapagos Boobies are an inspiration for our nature lovers and photographers. The Nazca, Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies are conspicuous for their bright colors and size respectively. We get more questions about this bird than any other on the archipelago. Most of these are in regards to the brightly colored feet.

Boobies have both amazing and practical feet, which get their color from carotenoid pigments. Blue and Red-footed boobies collect these carotenoids through their diet. These two species of boobies store concentrated pigment in their feet. The brighter the feet the healthier the bird.

These entertaining birds not only stand out visually but literally march to the beat of their own drum, dancing to find mates. They do things their own way, incubating eggs by covering them with their feet! It takes from 42 to 55 days to hatch the eggs.  Older chicks feathers can be so fluffy they often appear larger then their parents. These birds are both beautiful and charming; they are a memorable part of our tour.

First Time to India

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We know it can be intimidating to make plans when traveling to another country. Especially when the language and culture are so different. With Biotreks small group tours (no more then 10), and our expertise in paving the way, you can be rest-assured that your ultimate vacation is going to be wonderful. We take the time to know our clients, deeply familiarize ourselves with the country and pick the best experience for you. Here are some tips from Lonely Planet for your first trip to India.

Enjoy our video …India at a Glance

India is Modern & Welcoming!

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There’s a saying in India, “Athithi Devo Bhava”, which means “the guest is God”. Indians consider it a huge honor to have guests, and go out of their way to please them. Nothing compares to Indian hospitality.  It’s impossible to go to India and come back the same person you were before; the cultural difference will broaden your horizons. It’s incredibly diverse from ancient palaces to wild life preserves in Ranthambhor where you will see the most beautiful tigers. Another reason to go to India is seeing the Taj Mahal at Sunrise. It is absolutely spectacular.

Then we sleep like Sultans at the Jai Mahal Palace. Built in 1745, the Jai Mahal Palace is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens. Jai Mahal Palace has been the residence of three Prime Ministers of the princely state of Jaipur. Painstakingly restored and recently refurbished, it is now a luxury five-star Taj heritage hotel equipped with all modern-day comforts. The 94 rooms and six suites offer you unbeatable views of the city and palace gardens.

We cannot wait to go back in March!!

 

Best Art in Cuba

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Cuban Art

Cuban artists are among the best in the world. Some of the world’s best art is made in Cuba- “Cuban artists are creating some of the most exciting and innovative contemporary art in the world. The best Cuban art can stack up against the best contemporary art being created in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London or other world art centers, while still maintaining an essential Cuban spirit.” – Huffington Post

This is a piece Sunny brought back this past week, painted by Odalis Torazo Castro. We will be going back for more soon!