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Claire Boobbyer

Cultural Explorer

Read Claire's Articles

Claire fell in love with Cuba after her first trip to the island for Christmas in 1998. Since then, she has explored all corners of this fabled isle, and has written articles about the island for national newspapers, magazines, and numerous guidebooks.

Cuba's seductive musical rhythms, its gregarious people, its stunning beaches, glorious Spanish colonial architecture, cool mountain air, lethally good cocktails, and storied home-grown revolution, have continually piqued her interest.

Claire speaks fluent Spanish, dances Cuban salsa, and makes a mean minty mojito!

Claire also loves to explore Central America, and Southeast Asia. She is author of guides to Guatemala, Vietnam and Laos, and regularly writes about these countries for the national press.

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Claire's Been There Done That

  • Learning to become a cigar roller in Pinar del Rio
  • Motorbiking off the beaten track in Ha Giang province in northern Vietnam
  • Slow boating all the way from northern Laos down the Nam Ou river to Luang Prabang
  • Spending Holy Week with Maya idol Maximon in the town of Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala
  • Fishing for the once-in-a-waning-moon appearance of the 'teti' fish in Baracoa with local fishermen
  • Searching for treasure off the pirate coast of the Isle of Youth - famous for sheltering plundering buccaneers

Recent articles by Claire

  • 29 Jan 2018
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  • Travel Story
The world is my oyster

The floral kingdom of Kirstenbosch - Cape Town's blooming botanical gardens

After venturing into one of the world's very few (and first) botanical gardens to be granted the prestigious title of UNESCO World Heritage Site, I found many a wildlife wonder and not only of the verdant kind! Read my guide on how to make the most of a visit to Cape Town's Kirstenbosch gardens with tops tips like why you should make use of one of the free daily guided tours and take plenty of refreshment with you as you meander through the blossoming paths under a radiant sunshine.
  • 26 Dec 2017
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  • Travel Advice
The world is my oyster

Santiago de Cuba - what's new in Cuba's second city

Famous for its hypnotising, percussive music, and its unique take on Cuban history, the city of Santiago in Cuba has had a makeover. Founded by Spanish colonists in 1515, who laid a tangle of narrow streets, climbing up from the Bay of Santiago, the city pulled out all the stops for its 500th anniversary in 2015, and the sprucing up has made this city - 540 miles east of Havana - a much more attractive and lively place to visit. And, since late last year it has a new ‘site' for visitors - the tomb of Fidel Castro - which authorities acknowledge has driven tourist traffic to the city.
  • 06 Dec 2017
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  • Travel Story
The world is my oyster

Exploring the secrets of Matanzas

Not many know it but Matanzas once was one of Cuba's most avant-garde and rich regions. It's the birthplace of Cuban rumba as we know it, with a French accent in some areas, American in others and an architecture that whilst somewhat neglected is worthy of admiration. Here I give you the main reasons why you mustn't overlook this Cuban city while on your way to Varadero's dreamy beaches. Matanzas is experiencing a revival, now is the time to get to know it.
  • 23 Nov 2017
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  • Travel Advice
The world is my oyster

Heading to the Cuban farm where Fidel Castro was born

Few travellers have heard about the farm where Cuba's Revolution leaders Fidel and Raul Castro were born. It's a remote plot close to the Sierra Cristal national park in the east of the island, 500 miles from Havana, and doesn't get a huge amount of press. But, to understand the Castro brothers who have ruled Cuba for nearly 60 years, a visit to their birthplace - now a museum - in eastern Cuba offers an up close look at the lives of this secretive family. As the first anniversary of Fidel Castro's death approaches, I went to visit the brothers' birthplace in Biran, bumping along in a sidecar attached to a 1963 Ural motorbike.
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