Please note that why travel to the island IS legal for US citizens, using the name of the country on the trip description page can cause problems for our third-party payment processor. Therefore, we will be referring to the country as "the island" on this itinerary and its people as "the islanders".
The island is easily one of the most unique and interesting destinations to visit in all of Latin America, if not the world. While you may come here looking for answers, you're more than likely to return home with even more questions. The island's vibrant culture is reflected in its art, music, dance, food, drink, and overall energy. However, it's important to recognize the struggles that islanders have been facing for years, with their fate in the hands of an oppressive government and the outdated US embargo.
In recent years, islanders, both on and off the island, have been raising their voices and demanding change on the island. The government's response to the July 2021 protest was a direct violation of human rights as they censored citizens, reduced access to resources such as the internet and electricity, and wrongfully imprisoned civilians for peaceful protest and personal expression. The decision to resume tours to the island was not taken lightly, but we eventually decided it was ultimately in the best interest of our local operators on the island to resume tours to the island and continue with our mission to educate people about the island.
Heart of Travel's trip gives you the opportunity to hear a variety of experiences and perspectives directly from islanders as we discuss the island's history, politics, economy, and current events. All of the activities on our trip are designed to support small, privately owned businesses and individual freelancers. We will not be staying in any government-owned hotels or eating in government restaurants and we will get absolutely as much of every cent possible directly into the hands of civilians and not government-operated businesses.
Our island tours immediately immerse you as you settle into your "casa particular" owned and run by a local family. From there you will jump into learning about the island's historic and cultural past and present while traveling throughout both urban and rural parts of the island. Our in-country host families, local guides, and drivers look forward to sharing the real island with you!