New Trains are Coming to Cuba

OnCubaNews reports that, “The trains with the new cars which arrived from China weeks ago will start working next weekend, the island’s Minister of Transportation Eduardo Rodriguez announced this Monday in a commission of the National Assembly of Cuba.”

https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/new-trains-will-start-operating-in-cuba-with-lower-prices-than-for-buses/?fbclid=IwAR30k_xdfArLJ-M3DiuT3viWtaaFZXA4er0MqQTSIhMNkfQ4uknNJYJNOxY

Hershey and Cuba

We were the first company to take travelers to Hershey, Cuba, just 30 miles but a world away from Havana. This quick video from the Hershey Story Museum in Pennsylvania provides background on this “model industrial town" and shows how it looked back in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.  https://bit.ly/2J3L14G

Want to learn more about Hershey, Cuba? This article from the Hershey archives describes the town: https://bit.ly/2J3L3cO and this 40 minute video goes in-depth on the town and its history: https://bit.ly/2X53rvS

Visiting today shows you a unique part of Cuban history and daily life. Come see Hershey, Cuba for yourself with our October small group trip. There are only 2 spots left, email keith@completecuba.com today.

Have you seen the latest Oscar nominee?

When you think of how you’d like to spend your time in Cuba, do you ever imagine going to a movie? Probably not, but this essay about seeing movies in Cuba (both in traditional theaters and in small video screening rooms) argues that you should do it as a way to experience daily life:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cubas-old-movie-theaters-make-delightful-destinations

Special 2019 Trip Announced Complete Cuba Habana 500 Años October 7-13, 2019

Have you been thinking about traveling to Cuba for a long time?

Have you been to Cuba and just have the bug to go back so bad because you enjoyed it so much?

This Complete Cuba Habana 500 Años trip is going to be INCREDIBLE! Travel with Complete Cuba to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana. There is no better place in 2019 to celebrate the history of the western hemisphere.

THIS TRIP IS STILL SCHEDULED AND APPROVED DESPITE RECENT CHANGES IN US/CUBA POLICY.

SCHEDULE NOW BEFORE FURTHER CHANGES OCCUR.

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Cuban Baseball

The Cuban national baseball team was in Ottawa, Canada over the weekend.  The national team’s manager, Rey Vicente Anglada, also manages Havana’s Industriales team, which some of our past travelers have gotten to see in action.  This story discusses Anglada’s career and the Cuban team.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/fathers-day-at-the-ballpark-cuban-style

New Dates to be Announced Soon!

Travelers from our March trip returned two weeks ago, and have been going through their photos.  As always, our travelers captured some great images of Cuba far beyond the beaten path.  (The trip included a visit to the rarely visited Isle of Youth, which contributed to some particularly great images.)  But one of our favorites is this one by Dan Tamarkin from our time in Havana.  Here, Amy is greeted by an old friend.  If you want to experience the warmth of the Cuban people for yourself, join our email list now for first dibs at our next and last trip for 2019.

Photo by Dan Tamarkin

Photo by Dan Tamarkin

Photographic Cuba

There is no question that Cuba is an incredibly photogenic place. There is never a lack of great subjects. Regardless of whether you are in Havana, Baracoa, or the Isle of Youth, photographers have subjects at the ready.

Complete Cuba travelers have published 5 books to date of photography from their travels to Cuba.

Now, there is an opportunity to have your Cuba photography recognized by Havana Times. The website also has an archive of the past winners if you are looking for inspiration.

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This is the 11th year of their annual photo contest. 2018 saw 109 amateur and professional photographers submit for the contest. From the Havanatimes.org website, categories include:

  • Life in Cuba in 8-12 pictures. Please indicate the order which the photos should appear. Also send us a brief statement about your compilation of pictures. This category has a 1st prize of US $100, a 2nd prize of $75 and a Special Mention.

  • The Tourist World in Cuba. For this category you can send from 1 to 3 entries. The winning photo will have a prize of $75 and there will be a Special Mention.

  • Sculptures and Monuments in Cuba. For this category you can send from 1 to 3 entries.  The winning photo will have a prize of $75 and there will be a Special Mention

  • Special Category for Nicaragua and Venezuela: Pictures of Struggle, Resistance and Repression. For this category you can send from 1 to 3 entries from either of the two countries. This category will have a first prize of $75, a second prize of $50 and a Special Mention.

The terms and conditions of the contest are clearly listed on their website (below), but there is no fee for entry. The deadline is November 1, 2019.

Complete Cuba looks forward to being represented well in the 2019 contest!

When in Cuba, Rum is Everywhere

With travel to Cuba increasing each year, many people want to bring back a taste of the island. If you like rum, Cuba is a great place to be because rum is everywhere.

Check out part one of this recent article in Forbes for an in depth look at the Cuban rum industry.

This article reflects on cruise travel to Cuba. We have seen the tour groups that get a cursory look at a portion of Havana, if you want to have a real experience and meet people that aren’t paid to talk to you, consider travel with Complete Cuba.

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This is the reason to travel to Cuba now...

Every year the number of tourist visitors to Cuba grows. In fact, Cuba has seen 12 consecutive years of tourism growth. While tourism brings needed capital to the island nation, it also brings change. If you want to experience the island that is so interesting to literary scholars, photographers, history buffs, environmentalists, conservationists, ethnomusicologists, cigar aficionados, and inquisitive travelers, the time is certainly now.

Check out this recent article in Forbes for more on the expanding travel industry.

 

The Isle of Youth...Paradise, Prison, and Possibility?

The New York Times calls it an “island that has played both paradise and prison.”  Travelers on our March 2019 trip will call La Isla de la Juventud, the Isle of Youth, home for two days.  Go beyond the headlines and join us in exploring the Complete Cuba this March.  Get ready by reading the New York Times’ take:

Our March trip has been announced!

Our March trip has been announced!

You can check out the full details at http://www.completecuba.com/march-2019/, but highlights will include 4 nights in Havana, including a day trip to untouristed Hershey, Cuba, and an overnight visit to the Isle of Youth, the island that sits just 30 miles off the coast of Cuba but is rarely visited by Americans. Our March trip is acollaboration with Tamarkin Camera, America’s Premier Leica Specialist, so travelers will have the chance to borrow any Leica equipment they would like to try out during the trip, as well as additional photo walks with Dan Tamarkin. Check out http://www.completecuba.com/march-2019/ and email keith@completecuba.com to reserve your spot today!

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Do you have friends that have been to Cuba?

Saturday Night Live recently did a skit on the type of traveler we do not have on our trips — the kind who never goes off the tourist trail, yet returns confident s/he is an expert on Cuba.  

Our travelers benefit from our extensive experience in Cuba, always meet Cubans who don’t rely on tourists for their livelihood, and always say they’d recommend us to a friend or colleague.  

But we all need a little laugh once in awhile…so…check out this SNL skit for a view of the alternative Cuba travel….

Rangefinder Gallery @ Tamarkin Camera Complete Cuba Exhibit

Earlier this year Complete Cuba and The Rangefinder Gallery cooperatively held an exhibit of photography from past Complete Cuba travelers. This is a brief three minute video of the gallery show.

Complete Cuba Traveler James Rice Reflects On His Experience

Complete Cuba Traveler James Rice Reflects On His Experience

This week we ask you to venture from the Complete Cuba blog and website to take a short read on the blog of Indiana-based photographer James Rice.  Jim traveled with us in March of 2018 with the goal of documenting the real Complete Cuba.

Jims work was included in our Complete Cuba gallery show at The Rangefinder Gallery and has been internationally recognized by LFI Photographie GmbH.

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Anthony Bourdain 1956-2018

Anthony Bourdain changed the way we eat, travel, and engage people all over the world.  His curiosity, reflection, sarcasm, humor, and storytelling are all one of a kind.  

Anthony Bourdain once said, “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

In 2015, when Complete Cuba was relatively young, Anthony Bourdain traveled to Cuba and encouraged an entirely new interest in the food, culture, music, and people of the island nation.

Please watch Anderson Cooper's remembrance of Anthony Bourdain...

Anderson Cooper pays tribute to Anthony Bourdain