Impressions of Cuba, its people and cultural from our past travelers. We embrace their insights, praise, and criticisms. We learn from their words. We use their suggestions to improve our programs for future Cuba travelers.
Very interesting. I did a lot of research so it was close to what I expected. Enjoyed the food, coffee, and general sightseeing. No problems with this trip.
I love the people. They were gracious, kind, and beautiful. I loved talking with the professor and learning about the history of the music. Our guide Geldrys and driver Sergio were highlights. The group was small and personal. I really like the trip. No complaints. Everything you said it would be, it was. Thank you for your professionalism.
People were so friendly and giving. We were walking on the street in Havana and people would come up to talk to us and never ask for anything in return. Of course, culture is exciting and colorful. Our tour guide Arlene Ramirez was great. Meeting people like Dairen Perez at the botanical gardens was special. The Viñales trip was great to see the countryside and get out of the tourist areas.
Beautiful place with lots of interesting venues, and people who are friendly and welcoming. I loved that we ventured out of the city center to see places we might not otherwise if we weren’t on a tour. Also, I can’t say enough good things about our guide Geldrys and driver Sergio. What an amazing team. Highly recommend them! The tour was amazing. My only suggestion would be to allow for a little more free time and on-your-own meals. There were restaurants and places I would’ve like to visit if there was the time and opportunity.
We really enjoyed our trip to Cuba. people are very nice respectful and friendly, Cuba is very safe, even safer than the US. We walk late at night around town with no problem. We liked the classic cars and coconut taxis, we enjoyed the farm, villages and historic sights. We liked the mountaintop excursion and Indian cave.
Very interesting. I now have a better understanding of their history and culture, and can contrast the parts that are better than the US, and parts where the US is better. I really liked the cool mixture of activities and our guide Mandy's great explanations. We probably asked him a 100 questions and he always answered superbly and patiently. I thought many of the meals were too sophisticated. It was all very healthy, but I wanted some simpler meal options, like Italian food or cheeseburger sometimes.
Without exception, everyone we met in Cuba, both on tour and our own, were warm, welcoming, engaging, and fun to be with: in a word, delightful. My wife and I have traveled extensively, and we felt entirely at home everywhere we went across Cuba, from Havana to Trinidad. My wife and I fulfilled a life-long desire to experience for ourselves the history and vibrant culture of Cuba. The music is unforgettable, the art scene is cutting edge, and the chance to interact with professionals from all walks of Cuban life was inspiring and eye-opening. The guides were well versed in their fields, and their presentations were informative as well as entertaining. The restaurants we visited were all beautiful, and the service was impeccable, but the menus seem to get a bit repetitious. Perhaps this is mostly out of your control.
We loved this trip. Everyone was friendly, the food everywhere we went was excellent, and the accommodations were terrific. Most special: the food, the people, our tour guide and our driver. They were so kind and knowledgable and really made our trip memorable. We thought the trip was great
It was a wonderful experience! The people were friendly and the food was delicious! I saw many interesting sites. I would recommend anyone to take this tour.
The Cuban people are very helpful kind and sincere. Great prices on food and drinks – both were awesome. The experience was very laid back – no rushing from A to B. Our tour guild she was amazing and very knowledgeable. Ready to go back!
The trip was wonderful. The people were so friendly. I loved the antique cars. I would have liked more night spots!
Cuba is a wonderful place to visit but still needs investment to develop its tourist base. People are very nice, polite and helpful. People who work in the tourism industry seem are super kind and helpful Our guide Norberto was fantastic. He was very caring, knowledgeable and entertaining. His knowledge of almost every topic was impressive. We are very lucky to have him as our guide. We have no problems with our trip.
The people were so friendly and helpful. I loved all of the gardens and architecture.
The people are so friendly, hard-working, interesting, and welcoming. Cuba is a mix of old and new, a beautiful place and so much history! Liked learning about the way of life and trying their food.
People are friendly. Our designated stops were rich in history. Our tour guide Norberto was very knowledgeable and personable. Tour met my expectations.
Cuba is fascinating, intriguing, alluring, spectacular, beautiful, mysterious and complicated all wrapped up together. The people of Cuba were so warm and welcoming. The architecture and American cars were everything I've dreamed about ever since I was a little girl. Norberto Hernandez was the best tour guide ever! I would have liked to learn a little more about the architecture of Cuba. We will be back!
The Cuban people are hard-working and kind. It is a country with a very rich history. I loved our tour guide Otto Sanchez. He was excellent and able to share the history and effective guide us while shopping! Our Driver, Arsenio, was a pleasant polite gentleman and safe driver. The final dinner was excellent. We were surprised to have a driver and guide for the two of us but it gave us the opportunity to learn so much about the country and the people. We attended the show at the National Hotel on Otto’s recommendation. It showcases Cuban music and spirit. Strongly suggest or include such a show for the tour.
I had a very positive reaction to the people despite their many limitations. We enjoy the intimate relationship with our guide and driver. The interaction was beyond my expectations. We were able to have all our questions answered. No problems. Everything went smoothly.
Cuba is an exciting country with a rich and colorful history. I really enjoyed learning about the intricate culture and history. The Cuban people are friendly, helpful and gracious and resilient.
It was wonderful to be able to experience a variety of cities and rural areas. My guide and driver, Claudia and Santiago, went above and beyond to make my trip the best it could possibly be. They both deserve big raises and more responsibility. They can handle everything and are such professionals. No problems.
I can't get Cuba out of my mind. Gretel was the perfect hostess and guide. We learned more than I ever imagined. Can't wait to go back! I loved the gorgeous beach and city tour excursions. A perfect time in every way.
We loved every minute of our time in Cuba. Rachel, our tour guide, was absolutely perfect. She answered all of my pestering questions and was spot-on with her history. She was very open and honest. An ideal trip, no problems whatsoever.
Wonderful, warm people! I'll remember our walking tour of Old Havana and our guide Rachel forever.
I was very surprised by the level of satisfaction the Cuban people have for the government and their situation which was contrary to what I supposed. Everyone was very welcoming, kind, and trustworthy just we had been told. The best part was being immersed in the culture. I didn't feel like a tourist.
I loved Cuba, its people, and its culture. A gorgeous island with friendly people and great food! I enjoyed speaking with a Cuban real estate agent, and the tour of the cigar factory. Hemingway's house visit was nice, plus visiting the beautiful beach near Havana.
Cuba is beautiful and its people are friendly and helpful. It’s nice to be someplace that hasn’t been overrun by commercial tourism (yet). I learned so much about Cuba’s history, natural beauty and the resilience of its people.
I was worried before travel that Cuba amenities would be sub-par. Instead, the hotel, restaurants, pool, and so on were all of an excellent standard. I loved Cuba! The people were friendly and helpful. It was easy to get around and not expensive. The food was fantastic. There seemed to be music everywhere. Havana is a beautiful city with so much history and plenty to see and do for a long weekend, or better an extended stay!The sign-up process beforehand and the information sent by email anticipated and addressed every need and allayed any concerns on traveling there alone. I found most of my friends in the U.S. are under the impression that it's not legal to go to Cuba. With Cuba Explorer, it's completely legal and straightforward to do! My tour guide, Claudia Garcia, was excellent and knowledgeable about every aspect of Havana and Cuba. She generously shared so much information about the history, the culture, and the people. She was also very flexible and extremely prompt and organized in guiding me through the itinerary. She also had great suggestions as to evening entertainment or other sights worth visiting – activities that weren't part of the planned itinerary. I also very much enjoyed meeting one of Havana's university professors to discuss Cuban society today. And I'm not a foodie, but every restaurant (or paladar) visited was a delightful experience with great tasting fresh food, beautifully prepared. I would happily recommend signing up with Cuba Explorer to experience Havana or Cuba, whether as a group or couple or a solo traveler (which I was). They just made visiting Cuba super easy and accessible.
Cuba is a beautiful country. Its natural beauty is varied and often breathtaking. The music, art, and architecture are as beautiful and diverse as its natural gifts. We were thrilled to see different parts of the country, including Trinidad de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Varadero, Old Havana, and Viñales are all beautiful. Our highlights were Viñales and its amazing caves, touring Old Havana and our cooking and dancing lessons, which were great fun. My daughter can't wait to go back, and my wife said Cuba left a big impression on her. Since this was not my first trip to Cuba, I was prepared to modify expectations about many things, and I made sure my family was adjusted accordingly. However, there are several things we didn't expect to have issues with; this included lackluster services at some of the hotels, confusion with accommodation requests, a change of guide because of family illness, and visiting Havana during the loud Carnival festivities. For these reasons, I give this trip just three stars.
Growing up in America and the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Fidel Castro and flying over Cuba to Grand Cayman Island, I remember looking out the window down at Cuba and wondering what it must be like living there. Now I know. The Big Mystery of Cuba is solved. They are no different from us, just their government. The people of Cuba are trying to survive like anywhere – like me in NYC.Loved the the history, and the Museum of the Revolution. I learned so much on these visits. Loved seeing the old buildings, apartments and just how the Cuban people live day-to-day. The Buena Vista Social Club was terrif.There were absolutely no problems with my tour. Everything ran smoothly. I was met at the airport by a Cuba Explorer representative who put me in a prearranged cab and took me directly to the hotel where I checked in and was contacted by text when to be in the lobby to meet our guide and taken to dinner. Our tour guide, Otto, was fantastic! Give him a raise for goodness sake!
Visiting Cuba was everything I hoped for and more. The people are warm, the country is splendid, and the culture full of vibrancy and pulsating energy. Our tour guide, Otto Sanchez, made the trip super special and once in a lifetime experience. He's extremely knowledgeable. He anticipated our questions, needs, concerns, not to mention he was incredibly proficient with his English. I highly recommend Otto as a tour guide and Cuba Explorer as an agency to provide a fantastic Cuban experience.
I love Cuba and was so happy to return for a second trip. I took my sixteen-year-old grandson, and he had a wonderful time as well. The people are lovely, friendly, open, and gracious – all of them wanting us to enjoy their island. Our group included another family. They were fun to travel with, we became friends and enjoyed each other’s company. The tour itinerary was great, and the restaurants had delicious Cuban food in generous portions. We enjoyed hearing the history and politics of the island and seeing the artisan crafts, art museums, markets, and the capital.
My wife detailed our impressions here: https://beckygiovagnoni.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/heres-to-ten-years/
Our guide Atila was the best. We had no problems whatsoever.
I plan to return. I enjoyed the tour thoroughly. The Cuban people are ultra-friendly. Every scheduled activity was exciting. Our guide Atila was nice and knowledgeable.
Not my first visit to Cuba as I was the group leader. Every time the people and culture are AWESOME! We received ongoing professional service from our tour guide and driver.
I loved it so much! No complications. Agenda perfect.
We loved our trip to Cuba! Everything was very well-organized, our guide and driver were fantastic. All of the people we met were extremely friendly and we loved learning about the culture. We really enjoyed getting to see different parts of the country and to engage in different activities each day. We loved all of the activities! There were not any problems, everything was great! We enjoyed our hotel in old Havana more than our stay at the Hotel Capri because we could easily walk around in Old Havana. We also would have liked more open evenings for dinner so we could explore on our own. The food was fantastic at all the restaurants, but we often felt like we didn't have as much time as we would have liked to explore after the morning activities before we had to be back to be picked up for dinner. We visited the Revolution museum on our own and really enjoyed it.
Cuba is beautiful. The locals are warm and welcoming. So much history and so many traditions were shared with us during this trip. The tour was packed with different activities, it was informative, it was fun, it was everything!Pedro, our guide is very knowledgeable. Sergio our driver was professional and courteous. We were able to interact with so many Cubans and I was very impressed with the center for the elderly and the Barber's Alley project. This was truly a people to people visit. We had a small group so the interaction and time management was just right. The way this tour was planned had everything for everyone.
The people are very intimate with their music. It seems everywhere we went we saw singers, dancers, musicians or all three. We loved the diversity of the people and everyone’s willingness to help if needed. Visiting the garden where Michelle Obama planted magnolias was a highlight. Also visiting the newly renovated capitol building. I want to come back for the 500-year birthday festivities, very exciting. There were no problems with the tour. Our guide and driver were professional and magnificent. I want to thank them again for all of their hard work.
It was a very nice trip, lots to do, learned a lot about the culture and the people. The cooking and mojito lessons were tops. The city tour in old cars, walking tour of Old Havana, were great, as was the cigar factory visit.
Caring, imaginative, loving people and nation. Definitely struggling, but strongly bonded as a community. Enjoyed the Muraleandro community project visit, suggested by our guide, Laura. She helped us feel like we were family, not just tourists.
I was surprised at the resilience and resourcefulness of the Cuban people, who have been cut off from purchasing from the U.S. and its allies. The people seemed hopeful and not hopeless. The people were friendly. The food and music were awesome. I only saw one police car the entire trip. The Cuban people were of different colors but I didn't see the same differences as in the U.S. Knowing the history between the U.S. and Cuba, I still feel that some compromise should happen to enable basic trade between us and them. I'm glad I was able to go. The tour was organized with one of the best tour guides ever. It covered so much in such a short time. Communication, especially with Josh, our U.S. contact, before and during, was excellent. We traveled in an air-conditioned bus! I think I was expecting an old bus without good air-conditioning if any. There were no problems.
This was one of the most memorable cultural and educational exchanges I've experienced during my adult life. Our travel to Cuba was an unforgettable educational experience. We had the opportunity to interact with native Cubans and to learn about their food, culture, customs, traditions, laws, economy and their form of government. Everyone who is offered the opportunity should travel to Cuba to experience first-hand their way of life. There were no problems with the tour; however, I wish I could speak Spanish. I found this to be a drawback.
I found the experience quite enlightening. I enjoyed learning about Cuban culture and people. I have a greater appreciation and respect for Cuba as a result of our trip. I enjoyed the visit with the Cuban Bar Association; it was the most educational activity. I also found our visit to the Tropicana, the Beuna Vista Social Club, and the Jazz club provided real flavor to the trip as did our ride in the vintage cars.
Great people, great history and wonderful learning experience. Loved each of the scheduled activities, and our very knowledgeable tour guides, as well as the visit with Professor Núñez. Everything was well planned, including meals and entertainment.
Very nice people. Our Cuban tour guide Claudia was excellent, friendly and professional. The tour was without problems.
Havana, Cuba was amazing. The people were all so friendly, the food was amazing, and I really enjoyed the music and dancing. Mojitos, mojitos, mojitos – I love them, but I’ve come to appreciate rum and coke even more. I really enjoyed learning about the Cuban culture – the importance of education, the empowerment of women but the paradox of gender roles and housework. The entire trip was fascinating. I liked the time with the sociology professor the best. I also really enjoyed the tour and lunch at the artist Fuster’s home gallery.
Cubans are resilient, beautiful, friendly. Loved the variety; getting to see and meet some locals, the different restaurants for the flavors of Cuba; the comfortable hotel; and getting to learn about Cuban history from our very knowledgeable tour guide. All things went smoothly.
Cuba was a phenomenal visit. Out tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable about Cuba and the world. Pavel truly made our trip very enjoyable. I wish I could have stayed longer. I highly recommend Pavel for all your groups who need an English speaking tour guide as he is excellent. Really like the sightseeing and the history behind your beautiful country.
We enjoyed getting to know the Cuban people and the culture. We were sad that so many beautiful buildings are crumbling and in disrepair. We loved our trip and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to our friends. My favorite part was the people! And our guide Geldys and our driver were fabulous. Would like to have spent a little less time dining, but that is just me. I like packing each day with lots of activity. I would suggest spending one day away from Havana. We spent the morning before our departure at Viñales and it was fabulous.
After four days in Havana, I found the city to be beautiful and historically significant. All the Cubans with whom I came in contact were kind and generous. The culture is quite rich and thriving despite the aspects of poverty characteristic of a third world nation. Cuba Explorer did a great job packing in a wide array of cultural and educational experiences in only four days. Our guide, Geldrys, was wonderful, so kind and so knowledgeable. It was great to have everything included: meals, transportation, hotel, it made for an effortless trip. There were no problems for us, everything went smoothly.
This trip was maybe one of the best trips I have ever taken. The people, tour, food and the sights were wonderful. I will promote both Cuba and this company. I thought the tour was well organized and loved every aspect of it. But I think actually learning to make a Cuban lunch with Cuban chefs was one of my favorite things to do.
The Cuban people are resourceful, proud and welcoming. Our tour guide Meylin was incredible.
I would find a different location for the welcoming dinner the first night. The food was just OK in my opinion. During the rest of the trip, the food was fabulous.
We were extremely happy with our time in Cuba. Thank you! The people are so very warm and creative, pulling together and supporting each other in difficult times. Art and music is everywhere. Cubans are proud of their country and their heritage. We fell in love with our guide, Claudia. We also loved hearing all the music and getting to dance! There were no problems on the trip. We had a fantastic time!
The general hospitality of Cuba will be remembered. Everyone was very kind. The food was delicious. The entire experience was terrific. Claudia, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and spoke English very well. She was also very thoughtful and fun. I loved her. Everything was great.
Such a beautiful place, culture, and people. Always nice to travel to a country where you feel comfortable and safe. Really liked Old Havana, the Hemingway House, and my guide Arlene.
The trip was great. Our itinerary was action-packed from arrival to departure. It was nice to see and meet with local people and see their day-to-day challenges and rewards. Everyone was very kind and helpful. The trip was very well planned out yet flexible. We enjoyed an immaculate comfortable tour coach, and the accommodations were not bad considering it’s Cuba. The food wasn’t bad, just not great, not a lot of options or spice.
Cuba is an incredibly beautiful country with friendly and industrious people, a vibrant and long-standing culture, and a rich history. I appreciated getting the opportunity to interact with Cubans and the perspective of people we'd otherwise hear from.
Overall great experience. Traveling in Cuba was a fruitful and exciting cultural experience. The UNESCO sites, museums, and art installations were among the highlights. Our guide Atila Perez did an outstanding job with his in-depth commentary of the history and current events and insights. Our group especially enjoyed the Cuban music and dance. The Cuban people were welcoming and friendly. The hikes, bird-watching, snorkeling, and diving activities were all outstanding. The pristine beaches, mountain excursions, and eco-resorts were terrific. Our guided hikes into the mountain reserves with many diverse birds, plants, and trees were a thrill. The boat rides and snorkeling activities, and dancing to the beat of the Cuban live bands memorable. But most of all, the ambiance of the country and warmth of the Cuban people.
Cuba is a lovely island with friendly people and a proud culture. Our incredible guide, Atila Perez, enhanced the quality of our tour. He presented us not only with history, facts and figures, and patience but also through his exceptional English was able to answer questions and give us a more detailed description of Cuban culture and island nature. Also, many thanks to Eduardo, our driver, who did an excellent job of maneuvering in cities, as well as narrow country roads, and made us always feel safe.
I especially enjoyed our activities – hiking to beautiful waterfalls and pools, snorkeling, walking tours of various cities, and boat rides. Also, visiting the cities, including Havana with its diverse cultural areas, historical Trinidad, and trendy Cienfuegos. Although the weather was hot and humid, our tour bus was very comfortable and cool!
We were happy with the way everything was set up, never felt rushed or pressured for time. The trip was everything I had hoped it would be: classic cars and a friendly atmosphere, the history and beauty of Old Havana and the sights of New Havana were terrific. Most rewarding were the people of Havana. At no time did we ever feel unsafe or threatened. We couldn't have picked a better place to vacation. The best thing about our tour, aside from all of its beautiful countryside, was our guide Yadelis. You could not have assigned a better person to show and teach and show us about the history and beauty of Cuba, past, and present. She is someone that your company can be truly proud of a fantastic person.
So much better than I ever expected. Beautiful place and people.
Our tour guide Arian was fantastic. The bus driver got us through some crazy situations of tight streets. We had a group of seven tourist and loved just seeing all the buildings and markets.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the lecture on the history of Cuba.
It is a beautiful country. The people are very friendly and fun. The culture also is colorful and musical, which makes it fun. Our guide Atila was fantastic. He made the trip a huge success. He is very informative, accommodating, and amicable. His English language skills are superb. His sense of humor is enjoyable. He handles every issue with calm. The driver Eduardo also was excellent, and there was some challenging driving. Atila and Eduardo are an excellent team. They worked very well together.
Fell in love with Cuba and our fantastic guide Pavel. The food and artistic performances were tops. The rainforest walks outside of Trinidad and seeing all the birds was a highlight. I loved our meeting with political science professor Marta Núñez. I was overwhelmed by all the art and music!
We had a great experience in Cuba. The people were friendly, and the culture was beautiful. There's too much to see and do, but we always wanted more. We immensely enjoyed our trip and will return to Cuba to visit other cities, and Havana again. Here are three aspects of our tour that made it best. Group size: we were eleven adults and one child. It was an ideal number, and we all got along well. Second, experiences: specifically the walking tour in Habana Vieja, Hemingway’s House, Fusterlandia, the ride in the classic cars, and the discussion with the professor. Third and most appreciated was our tour manager and guide, Linnett Brown. Linnett was amazing. She was very welcoming, organized, ensured that we got to places on time, expertly explained the history of Havana and Cuba, gave excellent recommendations for things to do, and always had a smile on her face. Linnett was a significant reason our visit was enjoyable.
Very warm and friendly! The trip was very good. There were no problems. We did a lot in a very short time.
Beautiful, fantastic, people are extra friendly and helpful. We will come back on a more extended tour to see more of the island beyond Havana! In four short days, we enjoyed a great cultural learning experience with all the best – art, music, history, literature, cuisine. We lapped up every precious moment. The group size was perfect, minimal. Our guide, Geldrys, is a beautiful, smart person. Our driver Eduardo was accommodating and courteous.
I am in love with Cuba, and its people and their culture. This was my 11th trip. I enjoyed all our activities and the restaurants offered on this tour, in particular, Mojito-Mojito, and El Ajiaco. Both are a lot of fun. All the activities were on time which is important during a brief stay. Our guide Osmin and our coach driver were excellent. It was a delight to dine with them and they became friends. When we have a new president in America, I will make contact and use all my efforts to encourage lifting the awful US embargo from your country. All in all, I loved the tour, it was total enjoyment. Thank you.
The trip exceeded my expectations. I would love to have the opportunity to return someday. Cuba is beautiful and a well-kept secret. Our tour guide Geldrys was the best part of the tour. She was extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. She was flexible and drove us to the Revolution Museum, while other people were shopping.
I didn’t have any problems from the time I met up at the airport and until the time we were dropped back off at the airport. I fell in love with Cuba. All of the people were so friendly and kind. The music and art were so beautiful. The food and the Mojitos were great! Osmin, our guide, was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about Cuban history and art, and he was always concerned about our welfare and if everything was okay. He even fit in a few additional sights of some things we were interested in seeing and was still an enjoyable company at lunch and dinner. Everything was good!
Since this is my third trip to Cuba, I clearly love the island and the people. They are welcoming and friendly. While there is poverty, there is also pride in accomplishing seemingly difficult tasks with few resources. I enjoyed the diversity of places we visited while staying with the Hemingway theme.
Friendly people, many exciting things to see and do during the trip. I liked the food, meeting people, sightseeing, and then spending the late afternoons relaxing at the pool! After the official tour, we made a day trip to Viñales on our own, and we're glad we did.
Very nice and accommodating people. I enjoyed the trip so very much. The people and the old cars stand out as highlights. Everything was good. Thank you, Cuba Explorer.
This was my second time visiting Cuba with you. I loved everything about it! Our guide Geldrys and coach driver were so knowledgeable, helpful, funny, interesting. Kudos.
The people are friendly and love their culture. Cuba is beautiful!
I enjoyed everything about the tour, so it is hard to say what I liked best. I have always wanted to visit Cuba to see classic cars, but being in and seeing the beautiful country and learning things about it, people and culture are highly ranked. I did not experience problems with the tour.
Wonderful and very nice people.
The lecture with the professor, fusterlandia, and the tour guide and driver.
I think we could skip the market where people were selling the shirts and other items. Nothing was very unique there.
My impressions of Cuba, its people, and their culture were above my expectations in a very positive way. I liked the knowledge and friendliness of our tour guide, and Dan and Josh. The part of the tour I enjoyed the most was learning about Hemingway's life in Cuba.
This was our first visit, and we found the people and culture wonderful. We met a variety of locals, and everyone was warm, helpful, and eager to talk to us. Our guide, Ivia, was terrific. Full of knowledge, friendly, helpful, and just perfect. We can\'t say enough about her and our driver Arsenio. As for the tour, we loved learning the history and seeing architecture. And of course the people!
I loved the time I spent in Havana. I liked the small size of our group. I had not expected it to be such a majestic city. It was heartening to see so many of the old buildings being renovated. The food was delicious, and the rum drinks more so! I enjoyed the restaurants you chose for our meals. Our guide Linett, and coach driver were excellent. I really liked the music lecture by musician and scholar Alberto Faya.
All very positive. The people are lovely and the culture very rich. We had a great guide, Geldrys! I preferred the Hotel Victoria over the Hotel Capri. Much smaller and more personal. All in all it was a lovely stay.
There is Cuban music everywhere, and the city is vibrant and alive. We had a perfect mix of scheduled activities and free time. We only saw Havana. But based on our experiences, the people are warm and friendly, easy-going, and fun. Sure, there are many buildings in ruins, but many are being restored, and the people do the best they can with what little they have. Our tour guide Arlene was fantastic, always flexible, and open to changes in our schedule, happy and eager to help. She was prompt for our activities, and everything ran smoothly without problems. I loved the itinerary, the cooking class, the Tropicana, the walking tour of old Havana.
I had a wonderful time. Your team and the Cuban people were warm, friendly, and always courteous and helpful. Every aspect of the trip from planning to execution was topnotch. I especially enjoyed the music everywhere. The dinner with some members of the Buena Vista Social Club was particularly delightful.
Most people were so amicable. I hope someday they will be free to do whatever they want to do. We loved the Tropicana Club, the dance lessons, and the ride in the convertible. None of these were on our tour and were added after we asked. The cigar factory was impressive – I can't believe how hard they work. Our tour guide and driver were excellent.
Everything went as hoped and even exceeded my expectations — such a beautiful country. The people are very kind and friendly. The culture was fascinating! I wish the trip was longer as we only scratched the surface of the list of things I would like to understand. The opportunities to see the Cuban lifestyle and culture on such a personal level were abundant. Participating in all the activities was a highlight. All of the tour staff was amazing.
The people value family and handwork before material goods, and as such, the island has a unique energy. The people are friendly, generous, hardworking, and spirited. The Cuban people are proud of their heritage and eager to share their history with others. I particularly enjoyed getting out in the countryside where we could experience the way of life for farmers. I was impressed with the resourcefulness of the Cubans – they recycle everything! The start time each day was appropriate. Accommodations were comfortable. We appreciated the knowledge of our guide/translator and the professionalism of our bus driver. We got to meet real Cubans at every activity. Frequenting the paladares (private restaurants) was fun and tasty. The island has a personality of its own. Loved it!Dan Rutherford is the Santa Claus of Cuba. He has a warm way of greeting the Cuban people, and they appear to appreciate his humor and respect. If I were to go to Cuba again, I would take more gifts for the people we encounter.
This was a tour extraordinaire! I love the people of Cuba and the culture they've preserved! I admire the young and old, who know the real history of their country. The magnificent architecture, with its intricacy and ornate details, reminds me of the people. It has withstood time, storms, destruction yet still stands strong and resilient, telling the story of Cuba. The warm, welcoming, friendly Cuban people will forever be in my heart.
Thanks to our knowledgable and fun guide, Pavel and our tour driver, Diego, all was perfect. They are an excellent team, hands down! The trip was an ideal mix of culture, history, and one on one with the people. The accommodations were great! The food was fantastic, and there was music everywhere, the restaurants, the clubs and even on the streets. I would go again in a heartbeat! I felt completely safe there. And I must say that seeing the older model cars in action was a real treat! In my opinion, there weren't any problems. Our guide team was very accommodating and easy-going. If possible, ask for this team when you visit. You won't be disappointed.
We were able to see and do so much, without feeling like we are cramming stops into our itinerary. The people were kind and have a rich history and culture. Osmin is an excellent tour guide. I would use him again in a heartbeat!
The people were wonderful, warm, and friendly. I was impressed with their creativity and innovation as they made much from almost nothing. I loved their hospitality, food, music, and art. The landscape was beautiful, and it was great to visit the organic gardens and farms. I will admit the disparity between the way we were living and eating and the way the local people live/eat disturbed me. I had trouble not feeling vaguely guilty despite knowing my being there contributed to their improvement. I loved the cooking opportunity/mojito lesson, meeting Jesus and Julio and seeing their garden, and the art market.
Visiting the art school and knowing what an impact it had on the local kids/older folks was a highlight for me. As I said, I had trouble separating what I knew intellectually/philosophically and what I felt on an emotional level about Cuba. I was glad for and impressed by the “local insight” we got from our guides Judenia, Yuri, and Elena, and the restaurateur the last night. All strong ladies all, and yet I couldn’t help but imagine what they would be able to do in a different political system. The same goes for Julio/Jesus. These personal connections were the best part of the trip for me. I can see beaches and buildings in any number of locations, but meeting people is what traveling is all about for me. I think the effort you have gone to allow those interactions is well worth it; that made this tour significantly different from others and much more meaningful. Thank you! The “pre-trip” communication was excellent also. I felt very comfortable knowing in advance what to expect, where we were going/what we’d be doing, etc.
I found my trip to Cuba to be one of the most important I have ever taken. I loved Havana, I loved all the countryside revisited and most of all I love people. I found our bird guide, Xochitl, to be excellent. Her knowledge of birds and where to find them, her constant vigilance and communication with the group. Her persistence and patience with people until everyone had found the bird. Her willingness to answer questions at any time. Also, I found our driver, Bruno, to be an excellent driver, very safe and reliable.
Shortly after arrival in Cuba, we found it to be a country of friendly and determined people. Proud, yet welcoming. Rich in history. Coming from the States, we are lead to believe what our government tells us about other countries resulting in a lot of misunderstandings. When possible, see for yourself. Cuba is a beautiful country and filled with beautiful people.
Our guide Suzana was excellent. Smart, knowledgeable, informative. We took in so much in just four days. Every activity was awesome. At the top of the list would be Hemmingway's house. Perhaps we enjoyed too many Mojitos!
I will visit again! Cuba was beautiful. I highly enjoyed the people and their culture. Linette was a delightful tour guide. She was very knowledgeable, informative and great personality. I enjoyed walking around Old Havana the best. I wish we had more time to go into museums or other historic structures.
Having a safe driver and knowledgeable guide made me feel secure the whole time. Everyone we met was friendly and pleasant. Culture is different then what we are familiar with, and that’s why it felt so refreshing. Cuba has an amazing culture, history, and people. Trinidad de Cuba and Las Terrazas were my favorite visits.
Awesome! Love our knowledgeable tour guide Norberto.
Exposure to the Cuban culture was so significant. It's a developing country with terrific people struggling to survive. So glad I went.
The people of Cuba are so welcoming and kind. Every single person we met on the street around Havana was courteous and excited to speak with us. The level of poverty they live in seems burdensome compared to the States, but I will say, it does not impact their giving spirit. The diversity of tour experiences was astounding for such a brief stay. We were able to do so many different things: the arts, rum tour, Hemingway's home, Old Havana walking tour, museum, and much more.
What impressed me most was the knowledge and history of Cuba as presented by our guide Osmin Rivero. I learned so much more about your country and eager to read and know more about its history. He was always willing to engage in conversation about the economics, culture, politics, and environment of Cuba. He also was receptive to hear our opinion of what is going on in the US regarding our hospitals, medical insurances, fees, and some politics as well. His knowledge was very well received by all of us. I especially enjoyed his sense of humor and joking which made all of us at ease during our stay!! His planning was efficient and had little worries about where we were staying, meals, and transportation, even when the battery died on the bus!
I know that I was there for the birding, but I must say that I did enjoy swimming in the Caribbean, lounging by the pool, and the availability of all the food and beverages. That being said, I think that our bird expert Xochitl Guemes was excellent in her knowledge of the finding the endemic birds. Also, the local guides used during our trip were also knowledgeable and enjoyed showing us their country and the specific birding habitat. Also, Bruno, our driver, was excellent, as this was his first time driving for a birding tour. I also noted he enjoyed looking at the birds as well!
The tour was arranged very efficiently while we were in Cuba. Our local friend and companion, Joao Tavares, was detailed in asking questions about our tour and we received prompt answers from Cuba Explorer.
Loved being in Cuba, people were wonderful. The endemic species and interacting with our bird guide Xochitl was most delightful. Please increase the time between breakfast and tour departure from one-half hour to 45 minutes!
The tour was very educational. I learned a lot about the people and their culture especially the social programs and their diets. I was very surprised about the lack of police presence and when we did encounter them they were very courteous and helpful.
I fell in love with this country, it's beautiful. I'm glad we the opportunity to take the trip.
Our tour guide Mandy and driver Ray were the best. I think everyone developed a special bond with them. They were easy going and went out of their way to make this the best trip for us.
I felt very safe enjoyed touring Havana and meeting some of its people. Liked the fact that everything imaginable was included: food, entertainment, sights. We experienced no problems.
Fantastic people, wonderful city and country. Loved the city walking tour the most!
I was surprised at how different Cuba's various regions are. Lush mountains, flat farm fields, urban areas. all different and unique for a small island.
We had a wonderful family tour to Cuba. The tour was extremely well planned and executed. All of the people we came into contact with were friendly, helpful, and accommodating. It was hard to watch as our family Leader had a difficult time spending time with her sister. This has nothing to do with the tour company just the "rules" for the locals. She was not allowed to step foot into our hotel to visit. Our Guide did his best to allow the women to see each other within the "rules".
The restaurant choices were top notch! Could not have asked for better food or service at every meal. Our tour guide was extremely flexible to our requests. Norberto was extremely knowledgeable of history, architecture, and everything. He has a great personality and was always fun to listen to,
There were no problems with the tour. My one suggestion would be to "lighten up" with the meals when lunch and dinner are covered in the same day. Four-course meal for lunch and dinner was much more than we needed. However, as I said the food and drink offerings were spectacular.
Absolutely the best trip ever! Beautiful island, culture, and people. Loved the variety of experiences. We encountered no real problems, but you must consider access to restaurants when having an elderly traveler. Mom was a champ but some restaurants had a number of stairs to climb
I enjoyed exploring Cuba. I found the people to be wonderful and friendly. The culture (music, art, dance, and cuisine) was lively, warm and unique. The accommodations were very comfortable and hospitable. I had a great time.
I liked being able to see so much in just a few days. The tour was very well organized and we were taken to so many interesting places in a timely manner. I never felt rushed. I had time to shop, take pictures, ask questions and enjoy the surroundings. Our tour guide Ivia Perez was very knowledgeable and shared a good deal of insight into the history and culture of Havana. It was a very rewarding trip.
I didn't have any problems with the trip. My small bottle of rum was confiscated at the airport although I asked at the time of purchase if I could take it on the flight and was told I could.
I was pleasantly surprised by all aspects of the tour. I had heard from previous visitors, the food was just okay. I found the food to be excellent. The people were very friendly, and the location of the hotel excellent.
Very positive impressions of Cuba. I admire your strength in surviving the unfriendliness of the US government, and achieving a national health system and an educational success, the best in Latin America.
The birds and the guides, Xochitl and Osmin and driver, Bruno, we had with us. The guides were knowledgeable giving a good view of not only the birds but also the history and society of the country. The lodgings were also good.
We were surprised to have two guides instead of one, and additional people to tip once we were in certain protected areas. That could have been better explained when we signed for the tour. I'm not complaining, they well deserved their tips as they led us to the best sites for the desired species.
Cuba was absolutely wonderful. I didn't realize just how much history and culture we would experience. The locals were extremely hospitable and accommodating. Our guide, Arlene, was very informative. Identifying just one best part is very difficult. We really enjoyed the car tour of Havana, the cooking lessons, and the dinners. No problems. My suggestions: It would be great if there were additional restaurants that would offer cooking lessons, offer fishing excursions, and offer a military-focused tour
Amazing! I loved everything. People were helpful, colorful and intelligent. Seeing the countryside, the diversity of ecological habitats was beyond expectation. Experiencing Cuban food, and its blue skies was the best! You need to be more clear on the number of extra guides so we can plan our tipping better. And we need to have access to the bank faster so we can exchange our currencies. That was a problem the whole way.
The Cuban people are very gracious in their response to your giving or purchasing. I had very good exchanges when speaking with them. From a taxi driver to our chambermaid and of course people whom we spoke our Spanish with. Really liked beautiful buildings and the land itself. I know in the future when the economy has recovered the cities will continue to improve. There were no problems with this trip.
Although Cuba is a third world country it doesn't seem to suffer issues of past communists nations, even though it has a communist party running things. Hands down the best thing about our tour was Mandy (Armando) Galan, our guide. He was just such an awesome person – very informative and knowledgeable in a personal way. also whenever we ran into a glitch he was on top of it immediately. Professional, personable, and just genuinely a great guy! This was a great trip.
I loved Cuba and was so honored to meet so many beautiful people. I really liked learning about the everyday life of Cubans. I loved the trip to the organic tobacco farm! My other favorite spot was to the Capitol of Havana. Problems: Not enough time at some of the sites.
It was very nice to be able to travel to Cuba and see Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad. We really enjoyed the culture of Cuba and learning more about the people and traditions. Our guide and bus driver were fantastic and really went above and beyond to make sure we had a spectacular experience. We enjoyed seeing and riding in the old cars in Havana, loved La Floridita, and the Buena Vista show! We especially enjoyed the trip to Trinidad and the mountains.
I liked most the variety of activities we had from going to the city of Havana to the coast and mountains of Trinidad. Riding in a Soviet army truck and the old cars was a great experience. We enjoyed the food and the mojitos! I was so nice to get a welcome drink everywhere we went!
There were no real problems. It would have been helpful to know a suggested tipping amount for the dinners and lunches ahead of time. It was a great trip!
Everything in Cuba was perfect. I loved our trip to Cuba. Our guide Dayana and our drive Memito made the trip totally terrific. The people we met while on tour were all friendly and kind. I really enjoyed experiencing the food in different restaurants. I have absolutely nothing to change about anything that went on in Cuba.
Seeing with my own eyes what it is like to live and reside in Havana was amazing. The Cuban people are incredibly resourceful and creative. Although the governing political system is very different from my own country, there are many similarities between Havana and my hometown – for better or worse.
I had no problems at all during the tour. In fact, I hope that our tour guide Osmin, knows how much his perspective as a Cuban was appreciated. I learned a great deal from what he shared. I was in awe over his ability to handle challenging questions from members of our group in a professional manner. Any group that Osmin (and our tour bus driver Omar) get assigned to is truly in for a treat!
Cubans are friendly, and fun loving. Our interpreter was great, giving us much insight into Cuba, Havana, politics, culture, etc. The bus driver was a real gentleman, always helping me disembark with my bad knee. I loved Fusterlandia, organic gardens, Obispo Street, the Malecon, the market place, seeing the music, dance, and trade schools, all the music, the old cars. Our hostel was spic-n-span clean, breakfast interesting and filling. Enjoyed the time to explore on our own.
We really enjoyed our tour. Restaurants were all excellent. Historic plazas were great and informative. Our tour guide and tour transportation made for an easy and very enjoyable trip.
Loved the Cuban people and their culture! We enjoyed the restaurants, architecture, and cultural exhibits. We didn't experience any problems. Our guide Mandy was a great tour leader. He was a great help in helping us recover our luggage misplaced by United Airlines.
Havana is a beautiful, fun city. The people are friendly. We had wonderful meals. Our guide Roberto was great! I really liked riding in the coconut taxis! That was so much fun. A real adventure.
I want to return to Cuba. The trip totally exceeded my expectations. I loved being in Cuba and learned and enjoyed so very much. Loved our guide, Mariana Tamayo. She is unbelievably competent, caring, informed, a great communicator, and was extremely helpful for the tour we just did as well as the tour we plan to do in 2021. We could not have had a better tour guide.
I loved Cuba and hope to return soon. Cubans were so friendly. I felt safe everywhere I visited. There is so much to learn about Cuba, the people, and their culture. My favorite part of the tour was the people and their music, especially the presentation by Professor Alberto Faya. He was so enthusiastic and interesting. I could have listened to him for another two hours. The hotel was very clean and friendly and helpful staff.
The people were welcoming, friendly, and making-do with what they have. They have a long way to go to improve their living conditions as compared to most of the US. The agriculture we saw was primitive compared to ours. They are doing a good job of promoting tourism. I loved everything about this trip: 1) The diverse itinerary — city, trips outside the city, history, music, art. Especially the tobacco plantation & urban collective farm. 2) Norberto Hernandez- educated, well-informed, personable, made sure WE were well-informed, that meals were on time by calling ahead, and made sure the trip went smoothly with each of us, even checking everyone's plane schedules. He gave us complete details on what we were to do. 3. The right amount of free time. 4. Our congenial travel companions. 5. Mojitos!! The meals were delicious but at lunch a couple of times, pizzas were served to other groups. They certainly looked good!
We were very well looked after by our guide, Adrian and our driver Oreste. Cuba is a lovely country. The culture is evolving but very slowly. The people are friendly and colorful as well as talented and artistic. I enjoyed the art museum and the quaint restaurant ambiance. Especially enjoyed making mojitos and our own lunch one day. Loved the old cars. Appreciated a lot of mosaic artwork and the stories behind their creation. There was music everywhere. The drive through the countryside to Trinidad via Cienfuegos and other villages were very interesting. Many people still travel and farm with horses and early farming implements. We stopped at some lovely places overlooking Cuba’s beautiful landscape. Overall a very interesting and informative trip.
Great trip! The people were very friendly, very interesting to see the life and culture of the country. I liked best our guide Jaydeleis. Very knowledgeable and personable. Our driver was very good as well but he had little English and our Spanish didn't allow much communication.
It's complicated. Seriously. The trip was a great learning experience but I can't answer the most important question about Cuba. If there was a truly democratic election and they could vote to keep what they have or change to a multiparty parliamentary system, which would they do? Do they even know? Despite my comment above, I thought I learned a lot about what life was like in Cuba. I am certainly glad I went with a group rather than trying to put things together on my own.
I found my visit to Cuba very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the meals that included some contact with the owner and workers. I’m disappointed that we didn’t meet some families and have an opportunity to talk with them and get a chance to them even a little bit. Really happy seeing so many points of interest. That was great. Our tour guide Adrian and our driver Orestes were terrific! Would like to have more people contact on my next trip.
I have been fortunate to visit Cuba more than once. Each time I've gone, I learned more about the people, the culture, and the realities that Cubans must face daily. Most importantly, this time around, I noticed all the construction and progress happening – slowly but surely. I even saw one building that was under construction during my previous visits had been completed during my present visit! The educational visit that stood out most was the Habana Compas Dance Group and our meeting with the Office of the Historian of Havana. All aspects of the tour were put together very well.
I totally enjoyed our weekend tour of Havana! The people were so amicable. I loved seeing the historic buildings in old Havana and Miramar and also enjoyed hearing all the music. It seemed like there was music everywhere we went. I enjoyed the Buena Social Club performance, the food, coffee at the Hotel Nacional overlooking the ocean, walking around old town Havana, the visit to Funsterlandia (the artist's place), the cannon ceremony at night, and the band at Mojito Mojito. I also thoroughly enjoyed Professor Faya's talk about transculturation and music – very interesting! The rum museum was also excellent. Our guide Mandy did a great job!
I loved the people, the rich history, and signts of Cuba. So many tour highlights, it's hard to say. Our Guide Mandy was superb. Nothing was overlooked, and all matters were quickly resolved. I was saddened to see so much poverty and living conditions.
Extremely well planned educational experience. Proud strong people and culture. I enjoyed all aspects of the tour and our guide Norberto made every effort to inform us of about people and their culture and history.
Enjoyed the variety of outings: seeing the restored beautiful architecture and the social programs of farming, senior involvement in the arts. The food was delicious! I was very impressed with how the Cuban people have made the most of what resources they have, especially after the Special Period after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I loved the music, the artwork, and the people, who are kind, generous and creative. Our guide Norberto was unforgettable.
Simply fabulous. Your country, it's hospitality, and our wonder guide Rosie along with our kind and caring driver. Rosie was so knowledgable. We loved the the tour to Hemingway's home, the educational talk by the professor about intracultural music transference of culture, and the artist luncheon and tour of Fusterlandia. There wasn't anything unenjoyable! We did not bring enough cash, but that was our fault. It would be nice if US credit cards were taken or could be used to get Cuban currency, yet we understood the situation before going.
I like all the education aspects of the trip. I was especially impressed with how much the culture included art outdoors to enhance smaller communities — what a positive impact it has made on their lives and visitors as well. I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly folks were. I was not at all uneasy at any time. I loved the progress they are making in restoring Old Havanna. I loved that they take care of and stimulate their older, less fortunate citizens in the Adult Day Care Facilities. Our guide, Norberto, was fabulous. He spoke perfect English and had an extensive vocabulary. The tour coach was very comfortable.
We felt safe and welcome in Havana. Cuba is a generous and fun place with a beautiful culture to match. I loved experiencing all of the restaurants, galleries, and educational excursions. I also loved the Hemingway museum and the drive there just outside the city. But my favorite part was our remarkable tour guide Rosie, and our great driver Sergio. Rosie is so knowledgeable and kind, and she made our trip so incredibly special. I will recommend her to all of my friends and family.
I found the Cuban people to be so very gracious and eager to share their culture and country with visitors. They are very proud people, yet humble and so generous of spirit. I was impressed with the depth of history of the country since the 1500s and cannot help but wonder what Havana and the rest of Cuba were like in the pre-revolution decades when the architecture and business world was at its apex. And, then, I wonder, what would have Cuba become without the Revolution? I hope we Americans finally lift this ridiculous embargo and stop strangling this country and its people!
Our guide was just excellent! Professor Alberto Faya and the guide at the museum were outstanding and hugely informative, helping us understand the way music and art were so instrumental in the authentic expression of this culture. The music, especially, must be, more so than rum and cigars, the most crucial export from this culture. The two side trips, Hemingway’s finca, and Fusterlandia were an excellent opportunity to see some of the areas beyond Havana during such a stay.
I loved my trip to Cuba, and it was, indeed, a magnificent experience. Meeting the people and getting to know their culture. I plan to come back. The activities and meals provided on our tour were great. I enjoyed all that we did and loved the structure and educational experiences. Our guide Rosie was terrific and such a lovely person. I am so glad that we were fortunate enough to have her host our trip.
Warm, friendly people who greeted with kindness at every activity – all were helpful and courteous to me! The tour was exceptionally educational and informative. Our tour guide Norberto was the best! He shared a wealth of information with us. He took the time to explain things and answer any questions. I felt very safe with the bus driver. He was always on time! There is nothing I would change about this trip.
We were able to change the program and make it our own. That's the difference when visiting with Cuba Explorer. Our tour guide Roberto tweaked many things in the itinerary to make the program special for us. It was a fantastic experience, and we will certainly come back!
People were so courteous and work so hard. Havana was cleaner than I expected. I learned so much about the Cuban way of life, the social programs, and history — all around an excellent trip.
This was my second trip with Cuba Explorer. I wanted to see more of the daily life in addition to the cultural/touristy things. My individual, private tour was beyond my expectations. My dreams were met by having an excellent guide Arián, who answered my many questions and took me to a variety of shops and stores to see more of the personal side of Cuba. I loved the experience of seeing new parts of Cuba (east of Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, that I had not been to one last year's trip, which included Havana to Pinar del Río, and Viñales. I loved every minute of the journey.
Arián and Orestes (my driver) were absolutely the best people to work with, and we had a fabulous trip. It was quite comfortable and relaxed while keeping a busy schedule of activities related to the culture, people, and sights of Cuba. The new parts of Cuba that I saw were just beautiful, and the history is rich. I saw new things in Havana as well, and I had some time to explore on my own during the bit of free time that I had. I LOVE the Hotel Sevilla. The pre-trip planning and Arian and Orestes were the best part of the trip, as they made everything possible.
Cuban people and island culture are amazing! Everyone we encountered was helpful and kind! Our guide Marianna was extraordinarily knowledgeable and hosted a fantastic tour from start to finish! I loved everything about the trip! The art museum, walking tour, Fusterlandia, and each of the restaurants were incredible! I would not change a thing!
Very kind and creative people. I loved meeting with artists and musicians. The trip was without flaws.
Outstanding trip. My guests really enjoyed the itinerary. The Cuban people were accommodating and welcomed us with open arms. Our tour guide and the bus driver were the best. They went out of their way to help us and make the trip successful. We had a very aggressive schedule, and it was outstanding.
We loved our ten-day birding tour of Cuba, which took us to many different natural environments on the island, west, south and north, wetlands, mountains, seaside and plains. We have the most positive impressions of Cuba through our extended contact with Atila, our excellent guide, and Santiago, our tour driver. They were both skillful, attentive, warm, and humorous, and we would love to visit Cuba again with their guidance.
In addition to the wealth of wonderful bird sightings (119 separate species!), we felt incredibly lucky to have drawn Atila as our guide. With his own passion for sighting endemic Cuban birds, he inspired us to persevere despite occasional discouragement, and his excellent conversational English helped pass the time most delightfully as we drove from one area of the island to another. We got an education in Cuban history, culture, and jokes in addition to the remarkable record of birds sighted.
There were no problems with the tour, due to the constant care exercised by Atila and Santiago. We also were very impressed with the work of the Cuba Explorer staff in providing full and timely information, and in the stimulating itinerary planned for the tour. In the future, we might suggest a bit more downtime or time on one's own for individual exploration in cities or towns (though we realize that most birders probably want as much birding time as can possibly be crammed into their visit).
My tour was probably the most enlightening trip I have ever taken. The Cuban people were incredibly warm and genuinely excited to have us visit even if they were a bit surprised to welcome the rare American. Havana was very clean and so colorful, and the culture is rich. Best was having had some time to wander the streets of Old Havana. Also, the food! Delicious.
We loved the Buena Vista Social Club and our visit to the incredible Fusterlandia. Cubans are very proud and beautiful people. They seem happy with what they have and willing to treat strangers like kin. Our brilliant guide, Rosie, ensured there were no problems. She is an angel and made us all feel like we were long lost family. She is an asset to your company.
Wonderful trip in every way. A great itinerary with a nice mix of organized activities and free time. Our guide, Marianna, was incredible.
I was overwhelmed with the warmth and spirit of the Cuban people. The island is so culturally rich and exciting. There is so much traditional music and art to enjoy. I loved the variety of activities we were exposed to from beach to organic farm to home for elders. Our guide Mariana was so knowledgeable and was able to answer our every question.
I never felt unsafe when walking by ourselves. The people are quite helpful and friendly. When people could see that I was looking for something, strangers on the street would ask if I needed help. Or if it obvious that a tourist was trying to find an attraction nearby, they would say, "if you are looking for XYZ, it's just around the next corner to the left." The culture of old cars is unique, and it is evident that the car owners and the Office of the Historian know that it is a primary differentiator and needs to be maintained. From the business culture perspective, it was interesting to see capitalism raising its head with private restaurants, bars, and hair salons. I was disappointed to see the extreme amount of "deferred maintenance" on grand buildings and homes. It's too bad that Cuba seems to be forgotten by Russia and rejected by the USA, and being an island nation with limited natural resources, it has limited funds for repair and or development. It could easily be the Las Vegas of the hemisphere and become financially viable through USA investment, created jobs, and a business tax base. I admire the outcomes of the educational system and the healthcare system.
The weather was great! The tour was generally very well done. Marianna was an excellent host and guide. She was well informed and a subject matter expert on the island overall and the places we visited explicitly. The driver Andres provided us a safe and comfortable ride. Sometimes helped people off the bus but always greeted us with a smile. I am a history buff, so I could have used a little more of that, but not more on the "triumphant revolution," but before that period. The old car ride was great. I was a little concerned about the coconut taxi ride, as the US State Department said to avoid because they were unsafe. The pace of the tour was excellent. The morning departure times and the evening return times were perfect so as not to be a hectic schedule and worn-out travelers. The lunch at the restaurant that had a garden tour, mojito making demonstration, and Cuban traditional cooking instructions were a hit with everybody.
I hope that the future holds great promise for the Cuban people as the country continues to evolve. Cuba is a beautiful country with a vibrant populace and exciting culture, and particularly their approaches to food. The opportunity to see vintage cars and old Havana was exciting. The trip to Hemingway’s apartment overlooking the harbor was exciting. I have listed my best in no particular order: food across the tour, the visit to the organic farm associated with Café El Ajiaco, the mojito lessons, and cooking classes at Ajiaco, all sensational. We had some terrific meals with excellent recommendations. Our guide Marianna was knowledgeable and very engaging about all aspects of Cuba, its history, and the Cuban culture. The visit to the Capitol building, and the opportunity to ride in the classic cars were other highlights. Our guide, Ana Maria’s willingness to allow additional benefits such a meal at Cafe Mediterranean, was beyond expectations.