Perspectives on Cuba from Our Experts


Since 2011, National Geographic has been introducing travelers to the extraordinary people and vibrant traditions of Cuba. Hear from some of our experts about this captivating island nation and the unique experiences travelers can look forward to on our people-to-people program.

"Cuba is an enthralling place. There are surreal elements to the country—the Hollywood setting, the old American cars—that make you go 'wow' when you first arrive, but it runs much deeper than that. The Cuban people are incredibly profound, generous, and self-assured. This vivacious spirit extends to their love of music and dance, their appreciation of art and culture, and their deep sense of community that runs through the core of society."

- Christopher Baker, travel writer and photographer

                              Read an interview with Christopher about our Cuba program.

"The people-to-people educational exchange is an extraordinary way to experience Cuba. I love to watch as our travelers encounter the local people, the splendid architecture, arts, and music, and see whatever it is that unlocks their hearts and starts the process of being open to what Cuba has to offer. Having opportunities to interact directly with Cuban people, being invited into their homes, sharing meals and stories, laughing together: these are the things that we remember, and I think that this type of travel is invaluable."

- Carol Steele, musician and cultural educator

"When I first traveled in Cuba in 1999, it struck me, as it continues to strike me today, as an utterly unique place: a time capsule, an anomaly, a treasure trove of historical architecture, a country of great natural beauty with an inspiringly creative and resourceful population. What's different today is that Cuba is changing, rapidly and dramatically. This is one of the reasons I'm excited about National Geographic's program: in addition to exploring a country that has been inaccessible to most U.S. citizens for over half a century, we are front-seat witnesses to history."

                             - Tim Weed, author and educator

"An educational journey to Cuba ultimately reveals much about Cubans, about us, and about the dramatic history that has bound both of our nations. There are endless layers to the Cuban story that are slowly revealed on this National Geographic trip, one delicious step at a time. The vestiges of the past are everywhere, not as in a museum but as a place of vibrant wonder and energy that can be touched, felt, and will ultimately resonate deeply within our hearts."

- Robert Hernandez, naturalist and longtime National Geographic veteran

"The people-to-people cultural program is a fantastic way to travel because we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves directly, quickly, and deeply in the local culture through interactions with the Cuban people. Every moment is dedicated to meeting with Cubans from many different backgrounds, and through these encounters we gain a deep insight into the essence of the country."

- Massimo Bassano, photographer