Meet Your Guide

Hi, My name is Alfredo de Lara, and I am an award winning photojournalist with more than 25 years of experience coving the island. I first experienced Cuba as a 24-year-old photojournalist just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 1991 Pan American Games ushered in a Cuban charm campaign with the world outside of the Soviet orbit, and gave me a rare opportunity to get a journalist visa along with a glimpse of what life on the island was really like for ordinary Cubans. 

On dozens of assignments to the island since then, I have witnessed many things change - but nothing so obvious like the effect of ordinary American visitors and their dollars. Now as the Cuban economy shifts away from agriculture to tourism, we as visitors have a significant impact on how Cuba will develop in the future. More clearly than ever, we see how tourism in Cuba has the potential for making a lasting impact. How Cuba develops is in large part influenced by our visits. I feel that in a sense, we "vote" with our dollars, and are heard at the highest levels. Keeping true to that spirit of constructive participation during this momentous transition is what my trips are all about.   

WHAT TO EXPECT ON MY ROAD TRIPS:

My unique road trips are intended for spirited travelers with a curiosity for out of the way people and places. We travel together on an adventure from the faded elegance of Cuba's capital city, to the rural heartland of an island nation. Along the way I introduce you to the people and the places that have shaped todays' Cuba. I take you on an exploration of backroads to the less visited parts of the island and facilitate an authentic cultural exchange through our hosts and by meeting fascinating locals one-on-one. 

You will be staying with a Cuban family and living in the restored majesty of Old Havana and her maze of living history. We start our journey on the colonial streets and experience first hand how residents live. We share intimate visits inside ordinary peoples homes and visit local markets most tourists never see. We also tour the hottest art galleries and hip eateries to witness how small private businesses are flourishing under new economic reforms. From the capital, we follow the road east through the rural Escambray highlands,  exploring tropical waterfalls, riding horseback and checking out rarely visited mountain hamlets and fishing villages. I can help you build any sort of custom travel itinerary  - from 3 days to a full month. Anywhere on the island.   

All of the homes we stay in are what is known in Cuba as "Casas Particulares" - A unique Cuban hybrid that for all practical purposes offer many of the same comforts and services of a boutique hotel... except in a private family home setting. I have personally chosen all of the homes and know the families. You can rest assured that all of our Casas are not only clean and comfortable, but offer a level of service that is not available in any hotel - at any price.

To my knowledge, we are the only tour offering 100% privately owned ground transportation & home stay accommodation. Plus all of our meals are taken at private family owned restaurants. 

My trips offer families traveling with younger children a fun alternative destination in the Caribbean with unparalleled teaching possibilities. I have gone with kids as young as six years old and have had nothing but the best reviews from parents and children alike. It's fascinating to be a part of the family experience and hear the questions from young people when they see things being done so differently to how they are done at home. Kids provoke some of the most insightful conversation with their honest observations.   

I feel each of us have an opportunity to build a better future between these two great nations by fostering relationships built on mutual respect. Ethical travel has the ability to empower everyday Cubans who are embracing new economic reforms. The photos you bring back to family and friends in America will help open minds and hearts. We can all play a role in reconciling our mutual history - one family at a time. 

Thanks for your interest,

Alfredo de Lara 

CubaRoadTrip.com