Cuba Sea Turtle Expedition with SEE Turtles

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About

Spend 3 nights visiting a sea turtle conservation project at the incredible Guanahacabibes National Park, along Cuba’s western coast. You'll be with Cuban biologists as they study and protect nests of green and loggerhead sea turtles and assist where possible. During the day, explore the park’s forests, reefs, and caves. This trip is open to US citizens through a People to People license from the US Treasury Department.

Highlights
  • Observe sea turtle nesting in a national park
  • Snorkel or dive coral reefs
  • Explore the Cuban countryside
  • Visit the highlights of Havana

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 8 reviews
  • Value 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Staff 10
  • Safety 10
  • Organization 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Eley
10/10

My Experience in Cuba

The Cuba Sea Turtle Expedition with SEE Turtles was an incredible experience. I am so happy that I was able to travel abroad with such a great group to such a great place. Brad did a wonderful job at organizing the trip. I felt very fulfilled with what I was able to do and what I learned. Being able to work up close with Dr. Julia Azanza and the beautiful sea turtles was quite a treat. I would definitely recommend this program as well as go again!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would say about improving this program would be to spend a couple more days in Havana. Otherwise, it was an amazing experience.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sylvia
10/10

unique and wonderful travel experience

Getting a glimpse of the spirit and culture of havana ,the countryside, the seascape of cuba and sharing this and the very special moment of being with sea turtles while they are laying their eggs
with likeminded people, made this adventure unique and wonderful.
Every well thought out detail was special and all along
I felt very safe and so well taken care of.
I enjoyed the B&B accommodation in Havana, it had much charm of days gone by and showed us how content people can live with so much less than what we are accustomed to.

How can this program be improved?
If the problem is not already solved encourage the resort to have a cat spay and neuter program.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Theresa
10/10

Once in a lifetime adventure!

This was a very wonderful experience organized by Brad and the SEE Turtle group. The trip offers a lovely balance between seeing the city life of Havana and exploring nature at Maria La Gorda beaches. In Havana, we stayed in local homes with friendly and kind hosts. During our stay we experienced neighborhood restaurants, city walking/bus tours, a private concert with Cuban jazz musicians, and a conversation with a city architect discussing Havana's past development and current state.

Additionally, Maria la Gorda provided an opportunity to relax on the beaches, snorkel, scuba dive and, of course, observe the sea turtles in the evening. The tour group consists of a bi-lingual tour guide and at least two marine biologists. In the late evening, the group sets out for the beaches. There we were able to watch adult turtles make their way to nests to lay eggs and baby turtles hatch from eggs and make the long trek into the water. During this process, the marine biologists are tracking the turtles and documenting the information for their research. At the same time, they are explaining the process to the group, answering any questions that may arise and allowing for a truly hands on experience.

All in all this was a magical trip to be part of!

How can this program be improved?
It is best to have carry on luggage, so as to skip the baggage claim area of the Havana airport. Don't check your bags. It is not worth parting with your luggage and having the chance of losing your things. This is something Brad tells the group before departing the US and it is definitely worth heeding this advice!

Secondly, my friends and I stayed in Cuba a few days after the SEE Turtle trip ended. This gave us additionally time to explore Havana and the surrounding areas. I would recommend doing this as well. The trip moves quickly and it was awesome to have additional time to explore Cuba.
Yes, I recommend
Heather
9/10

Turtles in Cuba

The trip was amazing, a lot of planned activities which allowed us to really get a good feel for the country and culture. Good food, good music. We enjoyed walking around Havana, the flee market and the Cannon shoot reenactment. We snorkeled at the beach resort, and saw so many jellyfish, an experience I won't soon forget. The presentations were informative, as was the hands on volunteer work.

How can this program be improved?
We were a small group of 7, so instead of a bus we were be transported in a van, which was very uncomfortable especially when we were transporting our luggage too. I think this was more a decision of our guide in Cuba and not the SEE Turtles organization.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nicole
10/10

Lifelong dream

I loved this trip. Our guide, Jesus, worked tirelessly to ensure satisfaction throughout our adventures. The highlight was patrolling the turtle nesting beaches, where we saw numerous false crawls and successful nesting green turtles. We were accompanied by a biologist from the University of Havana and a National Park Ranger who specialize in sea turtles. We were also lucky to see a couple of nest boils (August 2017 trip) and help some of the hatchlings negotiate the rocky terrain on their way to the ocean. It was pretty awesome, a life-long dream. The beaches and park were idyllic, and we were treated to bird watching with a park ranger guiding us one afternoon in addition to snorkeling. At the end of the trip, we spent a couple of days in Havana. Havana was a treat, and our guide's tour of the city was top notch. We had a little time to explore the city and take in some sights. I even caught a baseball game! I loved this trip and would go back again.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps offer an option for additional days in Havana to see more of the museums or sights?
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
EDWARD
10/10

Cuba Sea Turtles

My spouse and I took this trip sponsored by See Turtles in July 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed visiting Cuba. Between meeting and interacting with the Cuban people, getting educated on the efforts that Cuba is taking to preserve the sea turtle population and enjoying the food, natural resources and beauty that Cuba is preserving for posterity it was a vacation and education all rolled into a most enjoyable week. Besides seeing Green sea turtles nesting we visited a village for an evening of meeting with the people, dancing, and eating. We did horseback riding on a tobacco farm and snorkeled and bird watched in a National Park, and of course toured Havana. Seeing the old cars from the fifties and sixties was a bonus. Never a dull moment. The people are wonderful.

How can this program be improved?
The only hitch was getting our luggage when we arrived. Not all of the luggage was unloaded at arrival and we had to wait almost 2 hours to get all of our luggage. Several other planes landed during the wait and they appeared to get their luggage.
Yes, I recommend
Blaine
9/10

Introduction to Cuba

Brad and the staff at SEE Turtles do a splendid job of coordinating everything to make your trip smooth and full of adventure without the bad experiences getting in the way. There were some down times beyond their control as there are with any international trip. Still the good outweighed the not so memorable by a long ways. Each day was relaxing but action packed at the same time. That seems contradictory but we never really felt like we were pushed into anything we didn’t want to do. Plus we opted out of some activities. It is your choice for most of the optional activities.
Our local guides and naturalists were fountains of information and knowledge that they freely shared with us.
A great trip that we still have fond memories of taking.

How can this program be improved?
Well I would have liked the Cuban Customs at arrival and departure to be more efficient but I don’t think SEE Turtles can help that.
I also wish that there were more menu choices at the restaurants but that would have to be negotiated in advance. We often had a choice of food and it was good but having a greater variety would have increased our pleasure.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lee Ann
10/10

Cuba Sea Turtle Expedition

I am a sea turtle fan and the opportunity to see them nesting IN CUBA was an opportunity too good to miss. The trip was well organized. Nice hotels. New coach bus. Excellent bi-lingual guide. I enjoyed the three presentations by marine biologists. The time was too short in Havanna, and I really liked the Vinales Valley. As a birder, they indulged my interest with some bird hikes and identification. We were able to snorkel from shore and a boat. The finale was seeing green turtles nesting on the beach.

How can this program be improved?
Another day in Havanna.
Yes, I recommend

About SEE Turtles

SEE Turtles offers trips to participate in sea conservation projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Projects are focused on protecting sea turtles and inspiring travelers to take an active role in the preservation of their natural habitat....