Expert's Corner

Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC) high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!
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The US travel ban on Cuba has been in effect for nearly five decades. Notice that the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") administers Cuba travel restrictions that apply to all US citizens and permanent residents. On January 14th 2011, President Obama announced new categories of legal travel to Cuba and further easing was implemented on January 2015 and on February 2016 in the Federal Register, they went into effect immediately.

Tailored Trips for US Business Organizations

Business Research Institutes and Organizations; MBA Academic Institutions; and similar USA based organizations can now organize and sponsor a trip for educational exchange not involving academic study to promote people to people contact for their members and the general public. Certain conditions are to be met to comply with OFAC General License requirements though.

At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such business-related travel experiences and Cuba cultural journeys from the United States of America for years with great success.

We take care of all details in Cuba and North America, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba’s main destinations departing from USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico.
Cuba has a dual economy, with two distinct systems operating side by side. The socialist peso economy applies to most Cubans, providing them with free education, free health care, universal employment, unemployment compensation, disability and retirement benefits and the basis necessities of life: food, housing, utilities and some entertainment at very low cost. The free-market dollarized economy operates in the tourist, international and export sectors, and substantially sustains the socialist economy.


Cuba Study Tours

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Cuba's Ballet Festival
JoJazz Havana Festival
Havana Jazz Festival
Havana Film Festival
havana book fair
habano cigar festival
Cuba's Fire Festival

Cuba Business Tours & Travel

Business Tours & Travel to Cuba 2016 Discount Cuba Education Tours Eligibility for USA Cuba Travel Varadero Cuba Tours Your Gateway to Authentic Cuba

Cuba Academic Travel for Professors of Economics, Business Professionals, and Economy Scholars keen on learning more about Cuba's Business Sector!
From October 16 to 23, 2016


Travel to Havana and Matanzas for 2,559 (all tax included)


Referral Discount: $100


Invite 1 Friend and Pay $2459 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $2359 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $2259 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $2159 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0 only
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


Back in 1960, the United States government imposed a financial, economic, and commercial embargo against Cuba in response to Cuba's takeover of properties owned by US corporations and citizens. This embargo is the longest running trade embargo in modern history. Not only has the embargo failed miserably in terms of forcing Cuba to make political changes, the embargo is more costly to the US than Cuba. Besides lost export revenue, the US is losing the opportunity to obtain petroleum and other natural resources from a source closer to home.

The Cuban economy is still recovering from a decline in gross domestic product of at least 35% between 1989 and 1993 due to the loss of Soviet subsidies. To alleviate the economic crisis, in 1993 and 1994 the government introduced a few market-oriented reforms, including opening to tourism, allowing foreign investment, legalizing the dollar, and authorizing self-employment for some 150 occupations.

By the end of 2000, nearly 400 joint ventures were operating in Cuba, representing investment by 46 countries of between $4.2 billion and $4.5 billion. Investors are constrained by the U.S.-Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act that provides sanctions for those who "traffic" in property expropriated from U.S. citizens. More than a dozen companies have pulled out of Cuba or altered their plans to invest there due to the threat of action under the Libertad Act.

In September 2010, Havana announced the elimination of up to 1.3 million jobs at state-run companies and the creation of 178 new categories of self-employment. These economic reforms are intended to allow greater private economic activity to reduce government expenditures, increase productivity and raise wages.

Notice to USA based Management Business Administration Academic Institutions, Business Research Organizations and similar:



Business Research Institutes and Organizations; Management Business Administration Academic Institutions; and similar USA based organizations can now organize and sponsor a trip to Cuba for educational exchanges not involving academic study to promote people to people contact for their members and the general public. Certain conditions are to be met to comply with OFAC General License requirements though.

The trip should consist of a full-time schedule of activities intended to promote the exchange with the ordinary citizens of Cuba. This full-time schedule must also include educational activities that result in meaningful interaction in between U.S and Cuban nationals. The trip to Cuba must be escorted by an employee of the organization. Free time in excess or regular tourists’ activities are not permitted.

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba’s main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA. At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such business-related travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.

Travel to Cuba legally from US



  • Cuba Real Tour 6Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jun 18- Jun 25, 2016Sold Out
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  • Just a US traveler looking to go to Cuba on people-to-people tours?

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  • Are you a US K-12 teacher, university or school professor? Check these tours!

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  • These are definitively changing times for Cuba. There’s never been a better time or a better opportunity to explore it all than this business exploratory Cuba tour taking place from October 16 to October 23, 2017.

    We will take you to explore not only Cuba’s main urban areas such as Havana City, Cuba’s capital; but rural areas and picturesque towns and villages. Along the way you will have the chance to meet with Cuban and foreign businessmen and entrepreneurs and official at different levels and find answers to your questions while experiencing the best that Cuba has to offer.

    Cuba Business Tours & Travel Highlights

    • Guided tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    • Travel to Varadero, the largest resort complex in the Caribbean.

    • Guided tour of "the Venice of Cuba" Matanzas City.

    • Meeting with representative of Office of the City Historian.

    • Visit Habaguanex S.A. Corporation Headquarters.

    • Visit Lonja del Comercio buildings (former Exchange of Havana).

    • Meet with representatives of joint venture Habanos S.A.

    • Meet with Cuban representatives of Havana Club International.

    • Visit to the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Cuba.

    • Business Cocktail party at Club Habana.

    • Guided tour of Partagas Cigar Factory, founded in 1845.

    • Show at Tropicana, a spectacular cabarets to open sky.

    • Presentation on the Master Plan of the City Historian.

    • Visit to publishing house Ediciones Vigia.

    • Explore the famous handicraft market of Old Havana

    Notice to US Travellers:

    Our Cuba education tours and travel are licensable for U.S. Professors, Business Professionals, and Economy Scholars conducting professional research on the Cuba's Economy.

    Please, do also notice that accredited management business administration schools, colleges and universities no longer need to apply for a Specific License for Cuba travel by their students, faculty and staff.

    Now they can travel to Cuba under a General License if participating in a educational program as part of a course offered for credit by the sponsoring U.S. institution.

    We can help! Request your complimentary Cuba educational trip quote now!

    Cuba experienced a surge in foreign tourist visits over the past decade. In the mid 1990s tourism surpassed sugar, long the mainstay of the Cuban economy, as the primary source of foreign exchange.

    In 1995, special powers were granted to the Office of the City Historian for the administration, restoration and development of the historic center. The Office also plows tourist generated revenues into operations of schools, hospitals and retirement homes in Old Havana. The office also ensures that schools, hospitals and retirement homes have the necessary resources to operate properly.

    Cuba's premium cigars dominate the world market with 70 percent of sales. The European Union is unhappy with the continuing trademark disputes between European companies using controversial trademarks derived from products and services arising from Cuba. A new brand of Habanos, Vegueros, is being produced in the Francisco Donatien factory. The cigars once reserved for visiting diplomats, the "Trinidad", is now being produced in commercial quantities to be sold overseas.

    Sugar, which has been the mainstay of the island’s economy for most of its history, has fallen upon troubled times. In 1989, production was more than 8 million tons, but by the mid-1990s, it had fallen to around 3.5 million tons. Since June 2002, the government has been implementing a comprehensive transformation of this declining sector. Plans are to align production with world prices and close almost half the existing sugar mills, laying off more than 100,000 workers. These workers are retrained in other fields and given new jobs.

    Varadero Beach is the largest resort complex in the Caribbean. It lies on a twenty kilometre long peninsula with fantastic soft white beaches. Cuba receives over 2 million tourists a year; almost 40% of those visit Varadero. The area offers dozens of tourist facilities including restaurants, cafeterias, marinas, a golf course, a dolphin aquarium and a tourism and hotel management school.

    Remittances play a large role in Cuba's accounts, accounting for between $800 million and $1 billion per year to an $18.6 billion economy. The majority of remittances come from families in the United States that are now permitted by U.S. law to send to the island. This provides nearly 60% of the Cuban population with some access to dollars.

    Day 1. Sunday 16 October 2016. Hello Cuba

    Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana city.

    Group welcomed by your Cuban guide and bus driver for the entire tour.

    Transfer to the Habana Libre Hotel, located at the cultural center of Havana City.

    Private group check-in.

    Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Day 2. Monday 17 October 2016. Explore Cuba's Master Plan of Old Havana

    Morning: meeting with representative of Office of the City Historian. In 1995, special powers were granted to the Office of the City Historian for the administration, restoration and development of the historic center.

    The administrative responsibilities of the Office of the City Historian go beyond saving buildings and monuments to the training and hiring of apprentices and artisans, architects, and planners. The Office also plows tourist-generated revenues into operations of schools, hospitals and retirement homes in Old Havana. The office also ensures that schools, hospitals and retirement homes have the necessary resources to operate properly.

    With so many responsibilities and an obligation of self-financing all its activities, the Office of the Historian has established several companies to generate the necessary funding to accomplish its goals. Habaguanex S.A., named after a native chief, owns most of Old Havana's tourist facilities, hotels, restaurants, bars, markets and stores. All profits from the companies owned by the Office of the Historian are reinvested in important social projects and restoration work.

    Escorted by an architect from the Master Plan of the Office of the City Historian, we will embark on a guided walking tour of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    We will visit restored areas and buildings where restoration is on progress. We also visit some hotels, and business entities that provide financing for the Office of the City Historian.

    Visit to Habaguanex S.A. Headquarters and Lonja del Comercio buildings (former Exchange of Havana), a commercial building run by Real State Company Fenix S.A. today.

    Welcome lunch at Cafe del Oriente restaurant.

    Afternoon: visit to the Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza of Cuba, named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Cathedral of Havana built by the Jesuit order.

    Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.

    Return to hotel.

    Evening: Tropicana, spectacular cabarets to open sky. A unique place in the world to enjoy the music and the Cuban and Caribbean folklore in all their color, musicality and rhythm. An art extravaganza to multiply the Cuban happiness of a true tropical night.

    Day 3. Tuesday 18 October 2016. Habanos S.A.

    Morning: meet with representatives of Habanos S.A., a Cuban joint venture with the share capital owned by Cubatabaco, a Cuban Government company and Altadis, a Spanish company owned by IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP PLC, a British Tobacco Company.

    Its corporate purpose is to market all Cuban tobacco products, both in Cuba and throughout the rest of the world, of which the internationally-known Habanos stands out.

    Lunch at El Aljibe restaurant.

    Afternoon: visit to Partagas Cigar Factory, founded in 1845 by Spaniard Don Jaime Partagas. Don Jaime owned many of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region of Cuba and being able to choose from among the finest tobaccos on the island made the brand Partagas incredibly successful.

    Followed by panoramic air conditioned coach tour of the most important historical sites in the Modern Havana neighborhoods of Vedado, and Miramar including the Revolution Square, University of Havana, Habana Libre Hotel, Coppelia Ice Cream Park, Plaza José Martí (in front of U.S. Interests Section), Monument to the Battleship Maine, Malecón seawall, Prado promenade, Central Park, The Great Theatre and the Capitol building.

    Evening: attend one of the most traditional and popular ceremonies in Cuba, Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock at the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana. Followed by visit to Casa del Habano “La Triada”.

    Day 4. Wednesday 19 October 2016. Havana Club S.A.

    Morning: meet with Cuban representatives of Havana Club International, a joint venture between Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government. The Havana Club brand is sold outside of Cuba in conjunction with the Pernod Ricard drinks giant. Havana Club is not sold in the United States, however, due to the United States embargo against Cuba.

    Bacardi sells different rum in the U.S., also called Havana Club but unrelated to the Cuban version. The Bacardi product, which is made in Puerto Rico, has been the subject of trademark violation litigation by Pernod Ricard.

    Lunch on your own not included.

    Afternoon: visit to the Havana Club Museum of Rum. From freshly cut stalks of sugar cane to a reconstitution of a distillery and ageing cellars, the museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture.

    Late afternoon: cocktail party at Club Habana. Opportunity to exchange with some of our Cuban counterparts in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Evening: enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous Jazz club, located just around the corner from the National Hotel of Cuba. The club features astonishing performances by island bands and soloists! (optional, not included)

    Day 5. Thursday 20 October 2016. USA - Cuba Relations

    Morning: visit to the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Cuba (MINREX) for a presentation on past, present and future of USA- Cuba diplomatic and economic relations.

    Lunch at La Barraca restaurant at the National Hotel.

    Afternoon: meeting with Dr. Manuel Yepe. Dr. Yepe will also give an informative presentation on key facts and figures of Cuba that will help us have a basic understanding of demographics. Dr. Yepe is a lawyer, economist, former ambassador to Romania and formally headed the Cuban broadcasting system and was chief editor of Prensa Latina a news agency.

    Evening: attend baseball game at the Latin-American Stadium of Havana (to be confirmed).

    Day 6 Friday 21 October 2016. Explore's Cuba Tourism Industry

    Day trip to Varadero Beach, the largest resort complex in the Caribbean. It lies on a twenty kilometre long peninsula with fantastic soft white beaches gleaming in the sunshine. Cuba receives over 2 million tourists a year; almost 40% of those visit Varadero.

    The area offers dozens of other tourist facilities like restaurants, cafeterias, marinas, a golf course, a dolphin aquarium and a tourism and hotel management school.

    In the mid 1990s tourism surpassed sugar, long the mainstay of the Cuban economy, as the primary source of foreign exchange. Tourism figures prominently in the Cuban Government's plans for development, and a top official cast it as the "heart of the economy". Cuba devotes significant resources to building new tourist facilities and renovating historic structures for use in the tourism sector.

    Rest stop in Bacunayagua Bridge for a Piña Colada and enjoy the view over the highest bridge (110 mts) in Cuba, one of the marvels of Cuban post- revolutionary architecture.

    Visit to Matanzas City, also known as the Venice of Cuba and the city of bridges of which there are seventeen crossing the three rivers that traverse the city (over Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar rivers). It is also known as "La Atenas de Cuba" (the Athens of Cuba) for its wealth of poets.

    Visit to Ediciones Vigia. A unique publishing house that produces handmade paper and first edition copies of books. Only 200 copies of each book is made so each is a collector’s item. Meet with director, publishers and artists.

    Panoramic motor coach tour of the Peninsula de Hicacos, Varadero to witness tourism development in the area. Free time for lunch and enjoy the beach (optional)

    Afternoon: return to Havana city.

    Evening: Peña del Chan Chan at Casa de La Amistad to hear a traditional septeto band playing live (optional).

    Day 7. Saturday 22 October 2016. Free day

    Free day in Havana.

    Farewell dinner at La Cocina de Liliam where ex- president James Carter dinned in his last visit to Cuba.

    Day 8. Sunday 23 October 2016. Departure

    Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.

    Want to Take Your Students to Cuba?

    Cuba School Tours
    Do not wait any longer. Now is the time to start planning the next Cuba tour for your students. Your students will consider traveling to Cuba an experience of a lifetime. They will come home optimistic and inspired by fresh perspectives on what is possible not only personally but also socially. Request a custom-made Cuba Educational Trip and complimentary no-obligation Quote for your students, and check some of the resources we put at your service. Request School Tour to Cuba Now!

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