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Timing Just Isn’t Right to Travel to Cuba? Austin Adventures Points to Alternative Destinations with Comparable Culture, History, Arts and Allure

Story by Austin Adventures

Posted: January 5, 2018

Staying flexible is a good strategy for life – and travel.

For example, your heart is set on experiencing the sights, tastes and sounds of Cuba. But after considerable thought, perhaps now just isn’t the right time to visit.

Romance of Cuba

Because imposed tour regulations and travel limitations are the last things anyone wants when planning a vacation, one active tour company has put a lot of thought into where to find such similar pleasures as the cuisine, culture and cigars that Cuba offers – but in other, equally alluring countries around the world.

“Cuba is one of those unique, once-in-a-lifetime trips that can’t be matched by any other experience out there. We also know there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding travel to Cuba at the moment and this makes a lot of American travelers wary. So as we look forward to the day that Americans can move more freely through Cuba, we’ve come up with other travel suggestions that won’t disappoint our savvy clients,” said Dan Austin, President of Austin Adventures, a leader in multisport and family-focused vacations here and abroad.

Dan and his veteran team at Austin Adventures’ offer these hand-picked destinations where one can source their own slice of Cuba across the globe.

If you want culture, consider Peru.  As the Cubans do, Peruvians express a fascinating culture through music, dance, clothing and celebrations. On Austin Adventures’ Peru trips, guests meet women in traditional dress at Awanacancha where the art of traditional textile weaving is kept alive. A local hacienda displays folk art from the 17th century. The historic center of Lima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mysteries of an ancient culture come into focus trekking the Inca Trail through the “Sun Gate” into Machu Picchu. One trip to consider:

If you wanthistory older than Cuba’s Spanish occupation and more dramatic than the Castro’s revolution, look to France and Normandy’s beaches where in 1066 William the Conqueror crossed the channel and on D Day soldiers changed history. Trip to consider:

If you want world-classcigars don’t try to compare anything to the Cohiba but give Nicaragua’s Oliva a shot. Dan Austin, cigar aficionado in his own right, says his favorite brand includes a little Cuba. Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Cuba in 1886 and generations continued until the pressure from the Communist-run government forced Gilberto Oliva, Melanio’s grandson, to Nicaragua. Today Gilberto and his family are Nicaragua’s second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco. The trip to consider:

If you wantbeaches, think Belize. As of November 2017, hanging out on a Cuban beach doesn’t meet the license requirements for now-stipulated “People to People” engagement. So check out Austin Adventures’ Belize Adventure where the last three days of the itinerary are on Ambergris Caye in shallow Caribbean waters. Here guests can sun, swim and snorkel the second largest barrier reef in the world, just a mile away from where they stay. The trip to consider:

If you want nightlife, Colombia’s Bogotá is giving Havana a run for its money. In this high-altitude city, Austin Adventures’ guests stay at Cité Hotel, a short walk from Zona T, the prime nightclub district (considered relatively safe after dark). Here is literally every type of music: Electronic, Bachata, Vallenato, Pop, Reggaeton, Salsa, Hip-hop, Rock. Trip to consider:

If you want great food and to discover a new cuisine, think Croatia where, like Cuba, a food culture is driven by a resourcefulness in response to scarcity. Traditional cuisine varies by region and historical influence (think Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Turkish). On an Austin Adventures Croatia tour, guests learn to cook a Croatian specialty such as ćevapčiči (spiced sages) with ajvar sauce, mussels and black risotto. The trip to consider:

If you want distinctive lodging, Costa Rica, in the business of accommodating Americans for many years, offers world-class resorts and hotels that are yet to arrive in Cuba. For example, on one Austin Adventures journey guests begin and end their trip near San José at Xandari Resort, located on a forest reserve in the foothills of Poas Volcano. Guests enjoy Evergreen Tortuguero Lodge, five minutes from the main entrance to Tortuguero National Park accessible only by air and water. Nearby, guests raft the world-class Pacuare River into the Rios Tropicales eco-lodge to recharge in the rainforest before ending a trip “Pura Vida” -style at the beachfront Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort. Trip to consider:

If you want to sip local beverages, forego rum-based libations in lieu of Scotland where you’re sure to stop by at least one of the country’s 100 active distilleries for a wee dram of whisky. Trip to consider:

If you want activities less focused on people-to-people and more on the great outdoors, try out one of Austin Adventures’ many U.S. national parks programs. Depending on where you travel, your days will be filled with hiking, biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip lining or swimming. The trip to consider:

If you want UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Cuba tops the list and on an Austin Adventures trip here guests visit four of nine sites in eight days. But Southeast Asia also has its fair share of classified must-sees -- 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in nine countries. In Indonesia, for example, guests discover Borobudur, a Mandala-shaped monument near Yogykarta that immortalizes Buddhist cosmology in stone. On Austin Adventures’ Laos/Cambodia trip, guests visit Luang Prabang, Laos’s most sacred town, and Angkor Wat, the grand temple complex of Cambodia. A visit to Vietnam reveals Ha Long Bay’s dramatic limestone karst pillars, the ancient, peaceful old town of Hoi An and the Complex of Hue Monuments.  A staff favorite trip to consider:

To help plan the next great journey, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is available upon request. Please order ONLINE or call 1.800.575.1540 or email [email protected]. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated beyond the print catalog please visit

About Austin Adventures

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. Creative itineraries feature exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, Austin Adventures offers customized trip planning and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.