Join Us On:

Eastern Cuba: Santiago, Bayamo & Baracoa: April 8-17, 2018


Christopher P. Baker will be leading this People-to-People Cultural exchange trip and, with many years of experience traveling in Cuba, he is ideally suited to lead the participants to experience the varied and unique sights Cuba has to offer. Consider joining us on this extraordinary adventure.  View the itinerary page for trip highlights.

This trip is not yet released and cost is not available at this time. Click “Interest” tab above to add your name to the list and you will receive email notification.

Day 1:
(Apr 8)

(April 8) We’ll arrive on our flight from Miami to Holghui, we’ll have lunch then drive to Santiago.  We'll stop at El Cobre Church on the way to our hotel.  Dinner will be on our own.  We’ll spend the night in Santiago.

Day 2:

This morning we’ll visit historic San Juan Hill with historian and musician Aquillis Jorge Ribaud / Moncada.  We'll have lunch and then explore Reparto Los Hoyos.  Later, our group will visit an Afro dance and music company.  Dinner will be on our own. This evening, there will be an optional visit to see some of Cuba’s best traditional music at the Casa de la Trova.  We’ll spend the night in Santiago.

Day 3:

This morning, we'll walk around Avenida Manduley and Vista Alegre.  Lunch will be on our own and this afternoon we’ll take the boat ride to visit the small traditional island community on Cayo Granma. We’ll then visit the El Morro fort, situated high on a cliff and witness the canonazo, or canon firing ceremony, which takes place at sunset . We’ll spend the night in Santiago.

Day 4:

Our group travels to Baracoa today, with stops at a cultural center in Guantánamo, and Zoologico Piedra.  After checking into our hotel in Baracoa, we'll enjoy dinner together and spend the night there.  

Day 5:

Today, the town of El guirito awaits us where we will partake in a cultural presentation and lunch.  In the afternoon, back in Baracoa we will visit with a local Quinceanera (girls 15th birthday) photographer, and have a photo shoot. Dinner is on our own. We’ll spend the night in Baracoa.  

Day 6:

This morning we visit the Reserva de la Biosfera Cuchillas de Toa, a beautiful, scenic area featuring a river, relaxing palm trees and views of the mountains meeting the sea.  This afternoon we’ll have time to photograph in the streets of Baracoa, and dinner will be on our own.  We'll spend the night in Baracoa.

Day 7:

Today our group travels from Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba.  We'll have lunch at Mirador Gobernadora, and after checking into our hotel, will visit Cementerio Santa Ifigenia and Parque Cespedes.  Dinner will be on our own, then afterward, we'll re-convene and head to the Tropicana cabaret.  We’ll spend the night in Santiago.  

Day 8:

This morning, we'll visit an authentic Afro-Cubano dance company.  Later, our group will be driven to Bayamo.  Lunch and dinner will be on our own. We’ll spend the night in Bayamo.

Day 9:

This morning we'll have a walking tour of Parque Cespedes & El Bulevar.  Lunch will be on our own, followed by Combinado de Coches.  We'll enjoy a farewell dinner together and spend the night in Bayamo.

Day 10:

After breakfast, transfer to Holguin for our flight to Miami. 


Christoper P. Baker

Christoper P. Baker

Acclaimed travel writer and photographer Christopher P. Baker—National Geographic’s ‘Resident Expert’ on Cuba and the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 'Travel Journalist of the Year'—is a leading authority on Cuba travel and culture. 

His many self-illustrated books include Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba (a two-time national book award winner), the best-selling Moon Cuba Handbook, plus his coffee-table book Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobile. His five guidebooks for National Geographic include National Geographic Traveler Cuba, plus the Traveler series guidebooks to Costa Rica and Colombia, both of which he photographed for National Geographic on assignment. His coffee-table book, Enchanting Costa Rica, will be published in 2016/2017. 

He has written and photographed for more than 200 leading publications worldwide, from CNN Travel and Elle to National Geographic, Robb Report and Playboy. His award-winning photographs have appeared as front covers of scores of magazines, as well as having been published in countless books, brochures, and catalogs.


Christopher has been profiled in USA Today and has appeared on BBC, CNN, Fox TV, MSNBC, NPR, and dozens of other radio and TV outlets. A gifted public speaker, he has been privileged to twice address the National Geographic Society Live, and has spoken about his travels at the National Press Club, World Affairs Council, among other prestigious organizations, as well as aboard numerous cruise ships.  

He is a Getty Images and National Geographic photographer and has led photo expeditions and tours for Lumaria Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.  He promotes himself through his website:

Mob. phone: 

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We are delighted that you are signing up for the Eastern Cuba: Santiago, Bayamo & Baracoa Tour. Please don't forget to send your deposit, otherwise we cannot guarantee your place.


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Price includes: To be determined; and will be posted shortly.   

Price does not include: International airfare to/from Cuba, Cuba Visa, health insurance, meals not included in itinerary, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, expenses of a personal nature such as telephone and internet fees, laundry, etc. 

Deposit and Final Payment:  A deposit of $800 per person is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation:   On cancellations more than 120 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a $275 administrative fee and less any monies spent on participant’s behalf such as airline or other tickets.

Less than 120 but at least 90 days prior, total deposit amount is forfeited.
Less than 90 but at least 75 days prior, 50% of trip price is forfeited.
Less than 75 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

Notification by phone or email is acceptable, but please follow with written notice. In the unlikely event we have to cancel a tour, a full refund will be given.


These trips will be run in compliance with the current U.S. Treasury Department OFAC guidelines for the general license for educational people-to-people cultural exchange. All participants are responsible to read, understand, and follow these guidelines (will be provided).

Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC, and their agents act only in the capacity as agents in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation, and are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury to person or property resulting from a defect in any vehicle, or the actions of any persons who provide services for this tour or for the action or inaction of any third party. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The tour operator reserves the right to withdraw the tour at any time, to decline any person as a member of the tour for any cause at any time. All prices are based on current rates of exchange and, while every effort will be made to hold them firm, they are subject to change. All participants are required to submit a signed Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form prior to the tour’s departure.


It is the responsibility of each tour member to inform the tour operator of any possible health problems or handicaps upon registration. By forwarding a signed reservation form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.


To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.


While Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC endeavors to make the itinerary as accurate as possible, it should be considered as an approximate schedule of activities rather than a rigid schedule of events. Trip itineraries are subject to revision due to weather, ocean or trail conditions, government restrictions, and other reasons beyond our control. The tour leader has the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever in his sole judgment conditions warrant, or if he deems it necessary for the comfort or safety of the tour.

Country Info



Health Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website.  The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Money:   Currency exchange rates    

The situation regarding Cuban currency is always changing. At the moment, you can use US dollars, the Euro and the Canadian Dollar in major hotels or around the city.   There are two currencies used locally:  The Convertible Peso known as the CUC, is legal tender for tourists and Cubans.   Secondly, there is Cuban National pesos used by the Cuban people but are also legal for use by tourists.  Tourists are allowed to exchange their CUCs for Cuban National pesos at official CADECAS.

As for shopping, it is important to realize the United States maintains a broad embargo against Cuba, and most commercial imports from Cuba are prohibited by law.       

Electricity Converters & Adapters required

Visa ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS as of 4/2015:  A valid passport is required for entry into Cuba and the Cuban government may also require that the traveler obtain a visa.  The Cuban Interests Section in Washington issues visas.  Also note that Cuba requires visitors to have non-U.S. medical insurance, and sells a temporary policy to those who do not have it.


United States Rules and Regulations for people-to-people travel

From United States Federal Register  Vol. 80, No. 11   January 16, 2015  

extracted from here.  

515.565 (b) General license for people-to-people travel.

The travel-related transactions set forth in 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program are authorized, provided that:

(1) The exchanges take place under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact;

(2) Travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities;

(3) Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba;

(4) An employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization accompanies each group traveling to Cuba to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities; and

(5) The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by individual travelers is not with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR 515.337 of this part, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR 515.338 of this part.

Example to 515.565(b): An organization wishes to sponsor and organize educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program for individuals to learn side-by-side with Cuban individuals in areas such as environmental protection or the arts. The travelers will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. The organization’s activities qualify for the general license.

Note to  515.565(b): An organization that sponsors and organizes trips to Cuba in which travelers engage in individually selected and/or self-directed activities would not qualify for the general license. Authorized trips are expected to be led by the organization and to have a full-time schedule of activities in which he travelers will participate.

Note to  515.565(a) and (b): Each person relying on the general authorizations in these paragraphs, including entities sponsoring travel pursuant to the authorization in 515.565(b), must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. 

(c) Transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented, including self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment, are not authorized pursuant to this section.

(d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in  515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to educational activities that do not qualify for the general licenses under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section.


Concerning photo equipment to maximize the photo opps on this tour, what is suggested? A digital SLR (or Micro 4/3) camera with lenses offering a focal length from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (100mm or longer), a circular polarizing filter for scenic shots, and a laptop or notebook computer running image viewing software. Additionally we strongly recommend a back-up device such as a portable external hard drive.
What are the new United State regulations pertaining to People to People programs? Details can be viewed by clicking the 'country info' tab (above). Regulations are at the bottom of that web page.
What is the nature of this trip in relation to new U.S guidelines for Cuban travel? This trip will be run in compliance with the current U.S. Treasury Department OFAC guidelines for the general license for educational people-to-people cultural exchange. All participants are responsible to read, understand, and follow these guidelines (will be provided). For much more information visit:
What is the process to obtain the required visa and medical insurance for Cuba? As of May 2015, Cuba visa and health insurance are issued by the airline that will be providing the transportation to Cuba. As the group will be travelling together to Havana, we will let you know what we need from you, when the time comes, in order for you to obtain both items.
Packing Ideas

Testimonials for previous trips led by Christoper P. Baker will be added shortly.  Meantime, here are more of his credentials:

Christopher P. Baker has visited Cuba more than 100 times during three decades and has met Fidel Castro and a pantheon of Cuba’s other leading cultural and political leaders. He is  intimately familiar with the island’s culture, society, history, politics, and economics and has traveled Cuba end to end numerous times.  He was hailed by national geographic as “one of the world’s leading authorities on Cuba travel and culture”.


He has authored six travel books about Cuba, including the best-selling Moon Cuba and National Geographic Traveler Cuba guidebooks, the coffee-table book Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles, plus the literary travelog Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba (winner of the Lowell Thomas Award ‘Travel Book of the Year’ and the North American Travel Journalist Association’s ‘Grand Prize’).

His more than 100 self-illustrated feature articles and news reports about Cuba have been published in scores of magazines, newspapers, and online outlets as diverse as Caribbean Travel & Life, CNN Travel, National Geographic Traveler, New York Magazine, and Robb Report.



Christopher has addressed the National Press Club, National Geographic Live!, and World Affairs Council, among other prestigious organizations, speaking on Cuba. He has given dozens of lively presentations about Cuba aboard cruise ships. 



Christopher has been profiled in USA Today and has been interviewed about Cuba travel on ABC, CBS, CCTV, CNN, Fox TV, MSNBC, NPR, and dozens of other radio and TV outlets. He is thoroughly versed in all aspects of Cuba, including travel, culture, politics, economics, U.S.-Cuba relations and social and political issues.



Christopher leads Cuba tours for National Geographic Expeditions, MotoDiscovery, and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. In 2013 he led the first group motorcycle tours of Cuba for U.S. citizens since the Revolution.



Christopher is currently partnered with actor/director David Soul in production of a cinematic documentary–Cuban Soul–relating to the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s recently rediscovered 1955 Chrysler New Yorker.

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