Understanding Cuba Unbound
When traveling to Cuba, you want a company with years of experience and deep knowledge of the country. Cuba Unbound is a division of ROW Adventures, a US-based active travel that has been in business since 1979. Our operation and tours in Cuba benefit from more than four decades of experience in the world of active travel!
We Are Family
We are a family-owned and operated company and our team in Cuba is family too. Like all families, we take care of each other. We want to welcome you into our fold. We want your heart to open to the many complex layers of Cuba. We’d love to share laughter with you, to play dominos, dance, walk, explore, learn and create connection.
Go Local & Direct
While our tours are supported by our US-based office, we are proud of our talented team of local Cubans that support and guide our tours. We operate our tours directly with our amazing team of bilingual, well-educated guides. We match your interests with our guides to make your learning and connection with Cuba personally meaningful. In addition, our tours support many local businesses including small guesthouses, restaurants, farms, local artists, musicians and other specialized guides that augment our tour leaders’ knowledge.
US Citizens and people of US jurisdiction are best served by a US-based company. We are abreast of the current regulations and assure you that your travels to Cuba meet the requirements under US law. In addition, we have contracts with the appropriate Cuban entities that regulate tourism in Cuba. You can relax knowing we take care of all these details and provide you with the information you need to prepare for your Cuban adventure.
Small Group Scheduled Tours & Custom Travel
Whether you’re looking for a custom tour for just 2-4 people or want to join one of our scheduled tours that are generally limited to 12-14 guests, we offer you a wide variety of choices that include the better-known destinations within Cuba as well as those well off the beaten path.
Since our beginning we’ve practiced sustainable tourism, making sure that we give back to the people and places we visit, hire local guides and support personnel, reduce single plastic use, adhere to Leave No Trace practices and much more.
An added value on all our tours with outdoor activities that require specialized equipment, is the inclusion of this equipment. Our Cuba bike tours include bikes, helmets and accessories. Our Cuba kayak tours include kayaks, paddles, pfds (personal flotation devices) and all associated gear. Our tours also include all incidental tipping at restaurants, for any specialized guides that augment our tour leaders, etc. Cuba tours also include all meals, water, and much more. Most importantly, they are led by our incredibly talented, friendly Cuban guides!
Our team consists of US-based travel specialists that know Cuba, including our Cuba Program Manager, Maria Rosa, who grew up in Cuba, guided some of our tours there for several years and then recently moved to the US. Within Cuba we have our own operations office and staff. In addition, our extended family includes a wide network of talented, engaging guides in addition to owners of small inns, restaurants and other properties or attractions. Together we create and stage authentic, meaningful cultural experiences for our guests that in every aspect provide Support for the Cuban People.
Over 20 Itineraries
Today Cuba Unbound has over 20 distinct itineraries that reach all corners of the island. No other company comes close to having our level of knowledge for those that want to get beyond the normal tourist routes and into rural and natural Cuba. From Baracoa in the far east, to Maria La Gorda in the far west, and everything in between, we know Cuba.
In addition to our carefully-crafted itineraries, about half of our business is designing custom tours to Cuba. These can be a mix of culture and nature, or whatever you may wish. Past guests have included people that were born in Cuba and hadn’t been back since their parents brought them to the US in the early 1960’s. We’ve had veterans involved in the Bay of Pigs operation who wanted to go see what Cuba is about. We’ve designed custom Cuba tours for bird watching, scuba diving and even for reptile enthusiasts. We have women-only Cuba tours, gay travel tours in Cuba and more. We’ve arranged trips for cigar and rum aficionados, dance and music lovers, and those wanting to discover the Cuban culinary scene. For hikers we have several amazing tours, including our National Parks walking tour and options in eastern Cuba.
Our History in Cuba
Since ROW Adventures started in 1979 we’ve been on the forefront of pioneering travel. We’ve made first descents on rivers, been the first US company to lead specialized tours in some countries and are constantly on the lookout for emerging destinations where tourism is needed and welcome (as opposed to places that are over-touristed.) This pioneering spirit led us to Cuba!
Cuba had been on our radar for some time and in December of 2014, when President Obama made the historic announcement about the start of a normalization of relations between the two countries, we were ready. In January 2015 new regulations were published regarding travel to Cuba for US citizens and “people of US jurisdiction” and we immediately started finalizing our itineraries and plans. We saw a unique niche for active travel tours that would blaze new trails for travel to Cuba and be very different than the dime-a-dozen bus tours that were the historical norm for Cuba. Because of our strengths in outdoor travel, we focused on the first-ever legal, cultural People-to-People educational sea kayaking tours for people of US jurisdiction.
The response was immediate, and bookings rolled in quickly. We made contacts and started training a few select Cubans to be kayak guides for our tours. In November of 2015 we operated our first Cuba sea kayaking tours. Based on the response we got early in 2015, we also started planning for a wider variety of outdoor and nature-focused travel opportunities in Cuba. In 2016 we conducted more guide training and launched cycling and hiking holidays, as well as Cuban multisport trips that included kayaking, cycling and hiking. Since then we’ve continued to design new itineraries, discover more hidden gems and created life-changing, inspirational tours that educate and delight.
We promise you an immersive, well-orchestrated, eye-opening experience in Cuba. Please join us and our Cuban family in our mission in Support for the Cuban People!