Austin Adventures Returns to Cuba with Active Itineraries
That Combine Hiking, Snorkeling, Landscapes, People and Culture

Dan and Carol Austin to host Holiday Departure December 30-January 7, 2017

BILLINGS, MT – July 27, 2016 – A forte of Austin Adventures, the pacesetter in active luxury vacations worldwide, is providing opportunities for its guests to get up close and personal with both landscapes and people.

New for 2016-2017 comes two first-ever adventure-oriented, people-to-people tours of the once forbidden isle of Cuba. One itinerary has been designed just for adults, the second, paced perfectly for families. Unique to Austin Adventures guests is this new nine-day/eight-night Cuba vacation that combines hikes through national parks, opportunities to spot the tiniest bird in the world (the 2-inch Bee Hummingbird), explorations of flora and fauna and a visit to a botanical garden, relaxing over coffee in the shade of colonial gems and mingling with island locals. Multiple departures begin in mid-October 2016 and are scheduled through mid-April 2017.

Leading a Dec. 30, 2016, holiday season tour of Cuba will be two individuals who have traveled the globe together seeking out the best in adventure travel – Dan Austin, founder, president and visionary force behind Austin Adventures, and his wife Carol who is responsible for the talented sales team and back office administration.

Austin Adventures was one of the first tour operators to bring people to Cuba back in 2012 with the blessing of the US State Department. After a hiatus of a few years to refine its program, the company’s brand-new itineraries dig deeper than ever into the culture of Cuba through exchanges with locals, exploring traditional Cuban cuisine, culture and music and showcasing Cuba’s many protected lands, UNESCO World Heritage sites, national parks and vibrant historic cities. A more active element has also been added.

“We had one of the first People to People licenses to operate in Cuba four years ago,” explains Austin. “When I first visited I immediately fell in love with the country, its vibe and its people and I couldn’t wait to return. Now as it gets a bit easier to navigate the island, we are ready to once again share this magical paradise with our travelers in the way I’ve always imagined.”

And in true Austin Adventures tradition, they have created a more adventurous vacation that encourages guests to be physically in touch with the wonders of Cuba by:

• hiking through the 11,000-acre biosphere of La Terrazas, a UNESCO safeguard home to over 117 bird species;
• traversing otherworldly limestone mogotes and stalagmite-rich caves in the Valle de Viñales, a karst landscape and agricultural region of fruits, vegetables, coffee and tobacco;
• leaping into a swimming hole at the base of a waterfall in Topes in Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes;
• basking in the warm waters of Playa Larga on the Bay of Pigs;
• snorkeling the exquisite coral reefs of Playa Giron.

In the wetlands of Ciénaga de Zapata, a national park with expansive tracts of dense forests and mangrove-lined swampland, guests will be on the lookout for crocodiles, iguanas and flamingos. In the seductive streets of Cienfuegos they will feel the embrace of a French flair combined with a Caribbean verve and colonial charm. If they close their eyes they can imagine Hemingway’s boat, Pilar, bobbing near the seaside village of Cojimar, while exploring the author’s former estate. They will marvel at the folklore, often through music, in time-warped communities, including Trinidad, home in history to many sugar refineries. They will wonder at the over 2,000 species of plants at Jardin Botanico Cienfuegos, where American sugar baron Edward F. Atkins hoped to introduce new varieties of sugar cane and instead created Cuba’s largest gardens. And perhaps they will cut loose in Old Havana, a virtual citadel of culture and history that expresses the power of sugar cane and rum that once defined this Caribbean capital.

The per person, double, rates are from $3,490 ($500 single supplement). 2016 departures are scheduled Oct. 14 and 28; Nov. 18 and 25; Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. 2017 departures include Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24; March 3, 10, 17 and 24; and April 7 and 14. For more information on the adult itinerary please see http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/cuba-vacation/ For details on the family-focused program please see http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/cuba-family-vacation/.

For more information on all of the 2016-2017 destinations, trips and itineraries offered by Austin Adventures visit http://www.austinadventures.com, call (800) 575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com.

About Austin Adventures
Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury pre-set and custom-designed small group tours to all seven continents. In 2013, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings that includes operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park; and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also owns and operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in Williams, Ariz., the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., Windstar Cruises, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Country Walkers and Austin Adventures.

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Media Contact: Widness & Wiggins PR:
Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / sara@widnesspr.com
Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / dave@travelnewssource.com

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