People-to-People Programs Offer

Americans Legal Travel to Cuba


If you’ve been keeping up with GGT lately, you know our company Green Travel Media recently signed on as the editorial voice behind International Expeditions’ 2015 rebranding efforts. But while this post was sponsored by the company,  the truth is that we’ve always been fascinated by Cuba.


As a Music Business major and Music Theory minor, I studied Jazz History and the history of African-American culture in college. I learned about how Afro-Cuban music had influenced legends ranging from W.C. Handy and Jelly Roll Morton to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. I immersed myself in the music of Cuban bass legend Cachao, singer Celia Cruz, percussionist Tito Puente and the all-star lineup of Buena Vista Social Club.


I dreamed of exploring the rich culture that gave birth to mambo, salsa and son, but of course it was illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba back in the ’90s. But now International Expeditions is among a handful of companies permitted to offer legal trips to Cuba under the People to People program, which is licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Guided by Cuban natives, these tours allow travelers an opportunity to learn about Cuban history, culture and nature, while also interacting with local people.


International Expeditions is promoting their Complete Cuba itinerary by giving away over $2000 worth of prizes (click on the image below to enter). We were excited to get a chance to speak with one of IE’s Expedition Leaders, Ana Maria Perez, about growing up in Cuba, the evolution of Cuban attitudes towards the U.S., the richness of Cuban culture, and the wealth of natural and historical attractions the island nation has to offer.

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New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, Louisiana

Charmed By The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum


If you’re fascinated by Zombie lore, but your primary source of information about them is The Walking Dead, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is a must-see. This is perhaps the only place outside of Haiti where you’ll find an expert on the subject of Voodoo– owner Jerry Gandolfo– willing to tell you how to make your own human zombie.


His explanation is full of fascinating details, involving poison extracted from a blowfish and put into someone’s shoe, where it’s absorbed into the sweat glands and induces a catatonic state similar to death. Later, the victim is given an antidote and powerful hallucinogens, making them appear to rise from the dead.

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Shell Island, Panama City Beach

Shell Island, Panama City Beach

Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions in Panama City Beach

(This story was sponsored by Panama City Beach, but our opinions remain our own.)


Growing up in Atlanta, spending most of our family vacations hiking or backpacking in the north Georgia mountains, the idea of a trip to Panama City Beach seemed almost impossibly exotic. It was only a 5-hour drive away, but to a little kid who had never seen a beach it might as well have been Tahiti.


The first time my parents took me there, on a retreat for our Episcopal Church’s Youth Group, Panama City Beach seemed like some incredible tropical wonderland. I vividly remember the feeling of digging my toes into the sugary white sand, giggling madly while leaping into the waves of the Gulf of Mexico, and having my mind blown by the lights and sounds of my first arcade.


These days, the “Emerald Coast” along Florida’s Panhandle has changed a lot. The population in PCB has grown from around 2,000 back in the ‘80s to over 12,000. CNN/Money named Panama City Beach the No. 1 Real Estate Market in America back in 2006, with new high-rise condos largely replacing the older motels.


Overall, the area has become more upscale and family-friendly, while at the same time preserving much of the old school Florida charm that attracted my family to the area nearly 40 years ago. Our PCB Bucket List includes a surprising array of Ecotourism attractions that are perfect for nature lovers:

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Green Travel Media Crew in #EcoCostaRica

Part of the Green Travel Media Crew in #EcoCostaRica


Keeping secrets is a funny thing: I’m very good at it, but I find it excruciating when there’s exciting news to share.


You can probably imagine the pain (oh, the PAIN!!!) of sitting on this announcement for the past 6 weeks or so, waiting for all the I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed so we could finalize the details of our agreement. I didn’t want to talk about it for fear of jinxing it, because this is by far our biggest business deal since Mary and I launched GGT four years ago.


So here it is:  Our company Green Travel Media LLC has been selected by eco-tour operators International Expeditions to be the editorial voice behind their 2015 rebranding efforts.

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Dr Martha Honey at TBEX Cancun 2014

INTERVIEW: Dr. Martha Honey on

Ecotourism, Dolphin Tours & Travel Bloggers


It might sound like hyperbole to say that Dr. Martha Honey wrote the book on Ecotourism, but it’s true. Ecotourism & Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? is literally the most authoritative tome on the topic, providing a comprehensive overview of the myriad complexities involved in responsible travel.


An award-winning investigative journalist with over 20 years in the field (Costa Rica and Tanzania), Dr. Honey has gone on to become one of the world’s most respected thought leaders on Ecotourism trends. She served as Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) from 2003 to 2006, and co-founded both the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and its non-profit charitable program, Travelers’ Philanthropy.


It was an honor to be involved in landing Dr. Honey as the Opening Keynote Speaker for the TBEX Travel Blogging Conference in Cancun last week, and an even greater honor to be asked to interview her onstage for the Keynote session. But perhaps the greatest honor of all was the quality time Mary and I got spend with Martha and CREST’s Washington Program Associate, Samantha Hogenson, during our four days in Cancun.


In preparation for the conference, Dr. Honey and I conducted a telephone issue to discuss topics ranging from the evolution of Ecotourism  and why she feels it’s the best form of travel to the TBEX Dolphin Tour controversy and the role she sees travel bloggers playing in the future of responsible travel.

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Proud members of: The International Ecotourism Society

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba