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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.


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

  • 18 Apr 2019
  • Travel Advice
The world is my oyster

Cienfuegos celebrates her 200th birthday

Cienfuegos has a lot to celebrate this year! Beyond clocking in the second century of its existence, one of Cuba’s cleanest and most postcard-perfect colonial cities, is also co-hosting Havana’s famous biennial this year; the island’s biggest art festival. Read on to find out what makes Cuba’s most French (and hence most elegant) city outshine others in more ways than one.
  • 18 Jun 2018
  • Travel Advice
The world is my oyster

Gibara - a celebration of cinema, caves, music and cuisine

The biggest low-budget cinema festival in Cuba takes hold of a small, unassuming eastern town next month, bringing about an entourage of local and international celebrities (including Benicio del Toro). Small in size but big in charm and character, it is here that a renowned and acclaimed Cuban film director founded the Gibara Film Festival (initially named Festival del Cine Pobre de Gibara) which put the city of Gibara on the map for its annual celebration of the independent film industry.
  • 26 Dec 2017
  • 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.
  • 23 Nov 2017
  • 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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