Recent rule changes for Americans looking to travel to Cuba may have limited some travel to the island for educational and cultural trips.  But there are still luxuriously legal ways for you to experience the country’s culture.

Later this month, from October 16th through 21st, 2019, Guillermo Pernot, two-time James Beard award winning chef-partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will take an intimate group of only nine travelers with him to Havana, Cuba. This collaborative arrangement with Access Culinary Trips will be the adventure of a lifetime for those looking to experience the cultural and culinary treasures on the island.

Image credit: Cuba Libre

“Unlike most tour operators, we operate under the category of Support for the Cuban People, which remains legal and was not impacted by the recently announced changes,” says Tamar Lowell, CEO of Access Culinary Trips.  “We are able to do this because we only work with private citizens in Cuba, promoting Cuban entrepreneurship and connecting with the locals in a meaningful way.  Despite the confusion following the June 4 announcement, we’re actually seeing an increase in demand for our small-group Cuba culinary tours and we continue to operate as planned.”

Having traveled to Cuba more than a dozen times over the last seven years, award-winning chef Pernot always brings back with him new inspiration for Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar’s menu.  In that spirit, he will take his guests to dine and take cooking classes at numerous local paladares (privately owned restaurants) and Havana hotspots, like El Biky, consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants; Al Carbon with renowned chef Ivan Chef Justo; Habana Mia 7, located in one of the most exclusive areas of Vedado in Havana; La Guarida, famous for its innovative cuisine as well as its part in the movie “Fresa y Chocolate;” La Cocina de Lilliam; and Ajiaco.

Image credit: Cuba Libre

In addition to food, guests will look forward to art, music, dining, meaningful connections with locals, and a lifetime of memories.  Not only will they explore street art galleries, they will have an opportunity to speak with the artist or curator about the works. A Sunday pig roast in a local’s home, a cocktail demonstration by a retired barman from the famed birthplace of the daiquiri (and Hemingway’s favorite bar), and salsa lessons in the private home of a dance instructor are just a few other examples of the cultured itinerary.

Pernot’s group will enjoy a six-day, five-night adventure on the island, helping to foster authentic connections between Americans and Cubans. The tour, which was open to the public at a cost of $3,990 per person for double occupancy, includes accommodations in a deluxe private vacation home in Havana, meals, an expert bilingual local tour leader, and each day’s guided activities in Havana and Cojimar.

Image credit: Cuba Libre

Were you looking for the best way in to see Cuba despite new restrictions, political tensions and public confusion? You’re in luck! Pernot has another Cuban trip planned for March 4-9, 2020.

For more information about joining the October 2019 or March 2020 trip to Cuba, please contact Cuba Libre at or Access Culinary Trips at 1-800-567-9400 or