A veteran adventure traveler, motojournalist and Cuba specialist, Christopher P. Baker—the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 'Travel Journalist of the Year'—has written and photographed almost 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Moon, National Geographic, etc.; been published worldwide, from CNN Travel to National Geographic Traveler and Playboy; and has led more than 100 tours for such companies as Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic Expeditions, and Edelweiss Bike Travel.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Cuba foremost. But also Costa Rica, Colombia, and California."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I participated in two Sahara research expeditions and an exchange program in Krakow, Poland, while studying geography at University College London. That gave me the travel bug. I made frequent visits to the Greek Islands and in 1978 taught summer camp in the USA before spending six months hitchhiking around North America. In 1980 I settled in Berkeley, California, and began work in the adventure travel business. Two years later I launched my career as a full-time freelance travel journalist and tour leader."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"In 1996 I shipped my BMW R100GS motorcycle to Cuba and traveled more than 7,000 miles over several months while researching the Moon Cuba handbook. It was my christening in the world of adventure motorcycle touring--now one of my absolute passions. Adventure motorcycling lets you explore parts of the world that are virtually inaccessible by any other means, and with absolute freedom. "
Featured trips & expertise
Cuba is a big island, boasting a wide range of scenery, sights, and activities. Whether you plan to sample the rich coffee of Sierra Escambray, dance the night away in Havana, or even follow the footsteps of Che Guevara down the revolutionary trail, every traveler will be able to find their own slice of Cuba - read on to find out which one is perfect for you.
Cuba is a great destination at any time of year, but the best season to visit depends on your travel priorities. Whether you plan to bask in the warmth of a beach vacation, immerse yourself in the annual four-day jazz festival, or head deep into coffee country, you'll want to learn more about Cuba's seasonal offerings before planning your trip.
Vibrant and fascinating, Cuba was once the forbidden fruit for U.S. tourists. As of 2011, every citizen is once again legally permitted to visit - but there are still a few hoops to jump through before hopping on a plane. From getting a tourist visa to booking accommodations, here's what you need to know before planning your safe and legal trip to Cuba.
Colombia is a big country, and extremely diverse. It’s easy to find little-visited places of interest and intrigue tucked in the folds of the Andes or otherwise off the well-trodden path. Some are in areas that have only recently become safe to visit, such as Área Natural Única Los Estoraques. Others, such as Mompox or Capurgana, simply require a bit of planning to get to. The following 7 cool places are well worth seeking out to escape the masses.
One of Colombia’s greatest appeals is its diversity of indigenous peoples. From the Arhuaco of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to the Zenú of the Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia’s 87 native tribes represent an indigenous heritage as rich as anywhere in the Americas. While some groups are not receptive to outsiders, others welcome visitors. The following five pueblos indígenas provide an immensely rewarding way of experiencing Colombia at its most unique and intriguing.
The mountains and valleys outside Medellín, in the department of Antioquia, offer a variety of excellent attractions and great day trips. These include the well-preserved colonial town of Santa Fé de Antioquia to the west, fragrant flower farms to the east, and the lush Coffee Triangle of Juan Valdez fame to the south. The following top 5 sites and activities make great add-ons to your city exploration.