Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Creative Travel, Inc of Newark, Delaware has been granted a People to People license from the US Treasury and has announced new dates for their culinary food tour program to Cuba.
This is the only company authorized to sell these specialty culinary tours to Cuba and they have named the program: Cuba: People and Food from Farm to Table.
They are offering five-day trips departing from Tampa and eight-day trips departing from Miami.
Bob Older, President of Creative Travel Inc. says the 8-day program was designed as a way to bring Americans and Cubans together through food. The interactive program goes beyond the religious, humanitarian and educational programs that most other People to People license holders offer. These culinary tours will bring together the American traveler with people throughout Cuba including farmers, store owners, restaurateurs, chefs and others to show how food influences the culture and economic stability of Cuba while working with a young-adult program and a Cuba Cooking School to bring them needed supplies.
The current dates for the 8-day programs are December 10-17 2012, January 20-27, February 3-10 and March 3-10 2013. The trips include airfare from Miami and are limited to small groups of only 12-20 people. Contact them for dates for the Tampa program.
The trip will have people learning about Cuban culture and the participants will “eat their way through” State-run restaurants and private paladares in Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Each participant will be asked to bring cooking utensils to be donated to a local cooking school.
With Cuba trips priced at $2848 per PPDO, which includes airfare from Miami, 17 meals, all transportation, tips at local paladares, Cuban visa fee and health insurance, Creative Travel’s program is priced from $500 to 2000 less than most others.
Features of the eight day Cuba trips from Miami
Each group will be 20‐27 people. This itinerary includes 17 meals
Dinner at the Ajibe hotel
Meet with a local restaurateur to discuss the challenges faced in buying foods for the restaurant. Learn how these challenges differ or are the same as in the United States and how local foods and flavors are used and obtained to create dishes.
Discuss issues of getting food to his local purveyors including truck refrigeration, prices, availability, and how they affect his food costs based on American restaurants. Tour the kitchen and watch preparation of a traditional Cuban meal and then stay to eat that meal for lunch.
City tour of Old Havana and a visit to the Museum of Rum and learn how rum has impacted the economy and food of Cuba. Visit an artisan market to see how some of the people run their small businesses.
Visit to Coppelia for Cuban ice cream and a Havana Food Market to see how the locals get fresh vegetables, meat and other items from local farms. See how the market is run by private licensed workers who are small entrepreneurs.
Travel to Cienfuegos for a special lunch. Walk down El Bulevar (Boulevard) were the street is crammed with privately owned stalls selling all kinds of goods.
Travel to Trinidad and visit the local area and old houses and Squares then enjoy lunch at a local Paladar.
Features of the five day Cuba trips from Tampa
Dinner at Los Nardos, arguably one of the best restaurants in Old Havana, favorably situated across from the Capitolio.
Along Obisbo take note of the many outlets for street food. Cubans love their merienda (10:00am snack) and you’ll see Cubans in long line-ups for the many, some tempting, offerings. There is a famous pastry shop along the way called Cafe Santo Domingo.
Visit to the famous Bodeguito del Medio Restaurant for lunch. Tour Havana, Miramar and stop at a Supermarket to better understand the workings of a two currency country.
Stop at the Mercado de Calle 19 (open market) to see Cubans in the process of buying their fruits and vegetables and some meat. At this market we will note that all produce is sold in Cuban pesos, not the currency of convertible pesos.
Eat at a paladar (on your own) situated in Vedado, El Idilio, to experience a private enterprise in Cuba in action. Try the octopus ceviche, it is wonderful and made in the Cuban fashion.
Visit the organiponico at Alamar, one of the largest organic gardens in Havana. You will have noticed many vegetable stands throughout the city; these vegetables are mainly grown in corner organic gardens that sprung up after the fall of the USSR, when transportation was very limited. They have been very successful in providing Habaneros with fresh vegetables, locally and organically grown.
The food and drink of Cuba is unique, food tends to be well flavored with onion, garlic and cumin and a minimum of other hard to come by spices, but no one can say that their drink of choice is not full of flavor, a true testament to their culture and of course that is rum! We will stop at the Rum museum to fully understand how the cane grown evolved from primarily sugar production to rum production.
Farewell dinner at El Templete.
Price: $1498 per person in double room.
About Creative Travel
Creative Travel, Inc, founded in 1994, has won many awards over the years for their products and services and has been a leader in the travel industry and Bob Older has been featured in several national articles representing the travel and transportation industry.
With over 35 certifications in services and destinations, the travel professionals at Creative Travel can plan the best custom package or pre-packaged vacations to exceed expectations while staying under budget.
Visit the Creative Travel website for more information about the company or the Cuban food tour website for specific Cuba trips information.