I loved the variety and the fact you stayed a number of nights in each place. Mountains, beaches, amazing old colonial towns and music and dancing everywhere. Driving around in the old 1950′s cars with affable taxi drivers adding to the fun by turning up the music and joining us as we sing along. We did one of our walking tours in a bike rickshaw and all the drivers ended up racing each other around the town (which was beautiful) and great fun for the group. There was space to stay with the group or be on your own or go off in smaller groups so a great mix!
JJ our leader was excellent. Really nice knowledgable guy…Fun to be with but not in the least overpowering or intrusive, in fact we enjoyed his company greatly. He was great at making sure everyone was included and nothing was too much trouble for him. We got to do lots of things based on his suggestions/recommendations that we would never have discovered on our own or from a guide books.
I would highly recommend it.. It was great to be part of a small group. Read the pre departure info carefully and get cash out early in the trip as it was harder to do so(or exchange) in the smaller places. Factor tipping into your budget – thats how most people survive and try and build up a stock of of small change as you pay for the use of toilets everywhere – even in restaurants (and take tissues or loo paper around with you). In many of the smaller towns people asked us for soap, creams or pens rather than money…if you are the sort of person who likes to give things away taking a small stock of these simple items will go down a treat with local people!
Reviewed by Ann Foley who travelled in March 2012
The culture of Cuba really captured my heart. I do Cuban salsa and with the salsa music and dancing everywhere this was exactly what I booked the trip for. Dancing salsa in front of a massive group of people at the Casa del a Musica in Trinidad with one of the locals! The group was small (12) and we all got on so well and still keep in touch!
They were both excellent. It was fantastic to have a local tour guide who could give you a real picture of Cuba. Their knowlege was great.
Be open to experience new cultures and ways of life. Mojitos Mojitos Mojitos!!! Learn to salsa and practice it with the locals at the Casa de la Musica in Trinidad!
Reviewed by Katy Brooksbank who travelled in May 2011
Exploring the streets of old Havana
Passionate about sharing the history of cuba
Cuba is a relatively poor country which can be reflected in hotel standards and price/availability of some food and drinks. The country is rich in culture though so come ready to immerse yourselves and have a great time!
Reviewed by Kirsten Sowerby who travelled in April 2011
To be honest, the entire trip was completely memorable! Being away in a country where you don’t speak the language, meeting a group of fantastic people and having the best holiday of your life – what more do you want?!
Extremely knowledgable! Having grown up during the revolution, Raul was the perfect tour leader to show us the best of Cuba. He even managed to get a couple of extra visits thrown in! Ask for more? I don’t think so!
Keep hold of your 1 CUC coins/bills! You will need a LOT of them to tip as often as I think is becoming expected! And most of all, go with an open mind, try everything, and smile – it opens doors in Cuba!
Reviewed by Christopher Christopher who travelled in May 2011
All of it! Really enjoyed Havana and Trinidad/Playa Ancon. Also the climb up Grand Piedra for that spectacular view
He was excellent. A bottomless pit of knowledge – had the answer to every question and seemed to know everything about the history of Cuba. He was extremely organised and provided us with tons of options.
Spend another few weeks in Cuba after the tour to see all the other parts of the country that you will want to see after getting a taste of what’s on offer Speak to the locals that you meet – people working in hotel, restaurants, drivers etc. Ask them about their lives and get recommendations for places to stay, eat, see. Bring home as much rum as you are allowed to – particularly rum you can’t get outside of Cuba
Reviewed by Maria Heffernan who travelled in April 2011
- Revolution museums, squares, posters/slogans – Sugarcane plantation (for history of slavery/colonisation) – The people, socialist society in practice and as ideology – MUSIC – Old cars, architecture, cocotaxis, the Malecon, the ambience…CUBA!
Arisley was superb, a great fund of knowledge about Cuban society, history, aspirations and needs. Very aware of tourists’ needs and sensitive to differing requirements. Problem solver, adaptable, hard working.
- Imaginative Traveller do not make it clear that late April is very HUMID as well as hot and that the optimum time to visit would be 2 or 3 months earlier. – A direct flight (if from UK) would be best. – Check the age demographics. At 61/62 we were the oldest couple by 15 years and, with the majority being sub-35, were inevitable rather marginalised at times, partly due to the extreme weather.
Reviewed by Geoffrey March who travelled in April 2011
Local people as in guides and personnel? Yes.
No, the visit is too short for that.
Bring a lot of money in euros. You can change it everywhere.
Reviewed by Robert Te Brake who travelled in August 2010
Seing Polski Fiat/Fiat Polaco on the streets. Visiting Che Memorial in Santa Clara. Cayo Levisa. Walk in the pouring rain in Valle de Vinales.
Very informative, but wasn’t spending enough time with the group in the evenings, especially after the initial meeting. Also on previous tours the tour leader always remembered birthdays of the travellers – this time mine was forgotten.
The ones that work within tourism industry – yes, but not in any other areas.
Up to certain extend – yes, but I think I would have to stay longer in the places that we visited. I only wanted to get a general feeling of the country and that was exactly what the trip gave me.
Be prepared for a lot of tipping – so more spending money than on other holiday. Bottled water – essential. Great food, great music. People asking for money for every little thing they do for you: showing you around, answering your questions. Also it’s good to bring some small things to give away. In Trinidad people were asking for soap. And for the heat: shorts are the most comfortable wear.
Reviewed by Karolina Gorska who travelled in June 2010
All the fun I had, and all the things I got to see
Able was a realy good and wery helpfull tour leader.Perfect english and always trying to help if you needet it.
Hmmm… I did not feel like my trip benefited the local people, but i did not feel like we did anything that would change their way of living in a negative way eather
A lot more that I would have been able to my self. I am suprised that Cuba is so hard to travel in by your self. (did that for 7 days after the tour)
Don´t bring USD, ad it cost extra to change USD. Bring extra lighters if you smoke as thay can be hard to find. If it is winter in Europe, bring worm clothes. Don´t expect to find internet.
Reviewed by Ditte Mikkelsen who travelled in January 2010
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