Below are actual comments that our travelers have made about their experience on one of our tours in Cuba.
these are my other comments - all okey
The tour guide: guide okey
The accommodation: casas okey
The breakfasts: breakfasts okey
Other meals: meals okey
Airport arrival transfer: arrival transfer okey
The tour transport: transport okey
The activities: excursions okey
The Itinerary: itinerary okey
The Booking Process: booking process okey
Experience with US immigration: US immigration experience okey
Natalia was the best tour guide we have ever had. We have done many tours with big tour companies & she is certainly the best always going above & beyond to ensure we all had a great time. Her knowledge was excellent & her enthusiasm & passion made Cuba come alive. Natalia made the tour exceed our every expectation.
Prior to our trip we had heard the food in Cuba was not good. What a wonderful surprise as we enjoyed the fabulous food & wine at very reasonable prices. This is because of being on tour & with a great guide as the day prior to the tour when we didn't have Natalia to guide us we had an awful lunch.
The accommodations exceeded our expectations. Best way to travel in Cuba. The tour coach was very comfortable & clean with reclining seats. Rolly was a very safe experienced driver & so polite. Our favourite activity was the Vinales hike & tobacco farm visit. The reservations administrator Roger was very helpful prior to the trip. We are certainly going to recommend Cuban Adventures to all our friends.
Karel was a fantastic guide! He went over and above to ensure that all of our group had the best experience possible in a safe and hassle free manner. He was also very accommodating of his time to answer many many questions from our group which he seemed to greatly enjoy. He is a great asset to your company!
All accommodations were clean, tidy and hassle free. Breakfasts were all good with enough food and coffee to go with it The mini bus was more than comfortable for our tour group. The driver was great too (Orlando). My favourite activity was the early morning "hike" to the waterfall in Trinidad.
Perhaps the itinerary could include more time in some locations, however this would mean less time in others. Cienfuegos was only 1 night and felt this was a little rushed. Missing time in Havana due to our flight cancellation (from Baracoa) which meant we lost a day with traveling to an airport further away - not that this could be helped! And Karell did his best to fix the situation!
Aside from seeing the sights and learning more about Cuba, my favourite part of the experience was that Karell was a fantastic guide and the other people in the group made it a truly fantastic experience. Fantastic tour - will recommend to others!
We really enjoyed out trip with Cuban Adventures. The places-in-cuba and excursions were interesting and varied, giving a great overview of the culture, architecture and lifestyles on the island. Our guide Ivan, and driver Ramon could not have been better.
Ivan was terrific. Always cheerful, organized, and willing to do whatever was necessary to help us enjoy the trip. He was very knowledgeable, and willing to share information about history, culture and personal perspectives on Cuba. We really enjoyed having him with us on this trip.
We loved staying in the casas particulares and found most of them very comfortable, clean and accommodating. Especially loved Brian at Havana Dreams. He was really excellent and went out of his way for us! the last night in Havana accommodations were not up to the standards of the rest. Rooms were small, with very low ceilings, felt very cramped. Breakfast was not as good either.
Our private bus was spacious, but not very much leg room for tall passengers! Our driver, Ramon was excellent. Made us feel very safe and secure.
The breakfasts were plentiful, but repetitive. Most other meals were terrific - whether provided by CA or recommended by Ivan.
We liked all the places-in-cuba and loved the outdoors parts - hike to waterfall, artist colony visits, farm visits, walking tours, but there was too much time travelling in the bus. We had no time to explore Cienfuegos as we got there at night after a very long bus day, and left the next morning. We would have preferred going to fewer / closer places-in-cuba and having more time at each place.
On the way back US immigration gave us no trouble at all. They did not ask me much of anything.
I would highly recommend this trip, and I suggest people go now before the large hotel and fast food chains move in!
Our 9 day guided tour was absolutely the best way to have captured the essence of Cuba. It was like traveling with a text book on the history and culture of the Cuban people. Our guide, Rioger, was a “licensed” Cuban guide with a PhD (in linguistics), and spoke 4 languages. He was open to discussion – not arguments. The small guest houses and Casas Particulares – B&B like experiences, gave us an opportunity to meet and talk with more Cuban people.
See our blog to read more about our experiences and impressions.
Words cannot describe how great this trip was thanks to Natalia. It did not feel like we are on a tour with a hired guide but more like with a very knowledgeable local friend. From the choice of restaurants, through accommodation and ways of transport, she made the whole experience very enjoyable. She went above and beyond to make sure everyone gets to do what they like (salsa dancing, diving, shopping... you name it and she will make it happen :)
Every place we stayed at was as advertised, with AC and in-room bathroom. They were all very clean and comfortable. The only small downside of using higher class of guest houses might result in less `family like` feeling. This was the case only in one of the places we stayed at. In all the other we felt not like guests renting rooms but more like relatives coming to visit and catching up on family stories :)
When it comes to food, this was the biggest surprise of the trip. Talking to people who previously visited Cuba and reading different reviews, we were expecting food to be mediocre at most. It was not the case at all. We enjoyed all our meals to the extent it`s impossible to choose only one favourite :) As long as you are a little flexible and eat more than just one very particular thing, you can really enjoy different food there. Tip: Go to Cuba in the peak of avocado season, they are by far the best I`ve ever had in my life.
All the activities were great. Visiting Che`s museum in Santa Clara was a great introduction to understand Cuban history. While in Trinidad, short hike to the waterfall and a visit to the beach allowed us to enjoy some time in the nature. A walk we did in Vinales was great to learn more about growing tobacco and making cigars. City tour in old American convertible gave a good glimpse of different neighborhoods in Havana while traveling in style :) It would be a shame to miss out on any of these activities.
It was all great. Loved swimming in the Bay of Pigs, and the Salsa dance lesson. Our bus driver, Ariel, was wonderful and I cannot speak highly enough about Inti as our tour guide. He is an exceptionally thoughtful, caring, compassionate, fun and interesting man whose enthusiasm for sharing "this Cuban life" resulted in a most unforgettable journey exceeding my expectations. He is simply the best! I am so grateful for all his efforts, and the many gifts he shared with us.
I left Cuba with a deeper knowledge of this beautiful island and its people that will be forever etched in my heart. I have no doubt this is also true for my son who traveled with me.
We cannot sing enough praises about our tour guide, Tatiana. For the uninitiated, Cuba is a very tricky country to navigate culturally and physically. You could travel right through it without a guide--or not the right guide--and miss so much. Tatiana clearly understands this, and does an excellent job in translating it all to us so that we`d notice, appreciate, and embrace everything, as best as we possibly could in the time we were there. She managed to do this without imposing her own point of view in the process, which is the mark of an ace teacher.
Traveling with her felt like taking a graduate seminar without having to write a paper at the end! We always felt that she would help us if the need arose. When anyone in our group had any questions, she shared her answers with all of us so that we`d all learn more. Our group not only benefited from Tatiana`s professionalism, but also from her upbeat and memorable sense of humor. The fun tone she set was infectious, which was a great distraction during the long bus rides in-between places-in-cuba. Some of the most memorable experiences on our trip were ones that Tatiana arranged with people that she personally knows.
Since Tatiana constantly tries restaurants as they open up in advance of her trips, she always steered us to great meals and values. Although my husband and I are American citizens, I am a Cuban national who was visiting my birthplace for the first time in 55 years since leaving with my family as a 3 year-old. Tatiana understood that this was much more than a vacation for me, and made it all the more special by going deeper with all things Cubana that we all experienced, so that no one was excluded. I don`t know how she did this. But she did, and I`ll always remain grateful to her, as does my husband, for showing us so much of Cuba`s incredible wealth of history and people.
Staying at the casas particulares really gave us closer access to Cuban families. We enjoyed many memorable conversations with our casa hosts, and they were all so warm and accommodating to us. I will remain forever grateful to one casa host in particular, who made several calls on my behalf and helped me locate the only remaining family member I had in Cuba during our only free day in the tour. This is the kind of generosity that we found in many of the Cubans we met.
We will never forget our first dinner feast in Baracoa at Rafael and Majules` house; our fresh-cooked ajiaco lunch on the banks of the Yumiri River; our home-cooked Baracoan meal at Tatiana`s family`s house; and our bittersweet, final group dinner on the terrace of a paladar overlooking the beautiful bay of Havana.
Our bus driver Joao was an amazing driver and graciously helped our group even when we weren't on the road. Driving in Cuba means having to safely share the highways and narrow colonial streets with trucks, cars, buggys, horses, and bicycles. Joao managed to accomplish this without breaking into a sweat!
But given my arts background, I would have to say my favourite activity was the cannon ceremony in Havana. It was amazing open-air theater, and even more moving to me knowing that my Cuban colonial ancestors experienced this nightly exercise to protect themselves against pirate attacks.
My favourite destination on the tour was Santiago - the Afro-Cuban music and dance, and the chorus' beautiful singing moved me to tears.
To improve the tour, I think you could arrange taxi pickup from casa to airport at end of trip, rather than leaving us to arrange it with our casa. It`s stressful to wonder if our pickup is going to show up and makes for a restless night.
You have an amazing company, and I plan to spread the word to my friends who want to travel to Cuba!
I am so grateful to have taken this tour and been able to see Cuba before potential changes. My favorite aspect was learning about a government and people very different than the US. I loved the home stays and would always do this on future trips. They provided privacy while still giving us a chance to see the life of a Cuban.
Our guide Osvaldo went above and beyond taking great care of our group. He never lost patience or became frustrated even when we had a difficult person on our tour. I was so impressed with how he kindly handled the challenging person. I have been a tour guide myself, and Osvaldo is one of the best I have seen. He took care of all of the little details, even finding time to book a two week extension for a young German girl who was in our group. He obviously loves Cuba and is proud of this amazing country.
I liked being able to choose different activities. My favorite was the hike in Vinales seeing the tobacco and coffee farms. Osvaldo quickly scheduled a cooking class for me in Trinidad with Jesus`s sister. It was fantastic!! I learned to cook beans and rice in one hour and she ran out to buy ingredients for mojitos.
Our bus driver, Emanuel, was amazing!! He always kept us safe.
Thanks Cuban Adventures. Keep it small and local! Please don`t become a huge tour like those awful bus loads of foreigners.
I would be honored to help Americans who are looking for this style of trip come to Cuba. I am available to speak with potential travelers who are interested in this tour. They can contact me on my facebook and are welcome to call me. I have been wondering what I can do to help the Cuban people...maybe offering my opinion on how to travel there would be helpful.
Inti was a great tour guide - he managed to create some great experiences for us! He was full of information and more importantly able to sort things it when they didn't go to plan! Our bus suspension broke on day 3! But Inti managed to arrange another bus and sort it out.
The accommodations were in general good, but being homestay said there were some variances in comfort, but nothing major. Included breakfasts were great! We appreciated having fruit and cheese, fresh juice, coffee and eggs. Other meals depended on the venue, but Inti managed to suggest some good places to eat, especially in Trinidad.
Our favourite activity we did was the picnic and band on the beach outside Trinidad, and least favourite was Bay of Pigs museum. We enjoyed the picnic on the beach, the walk in Vinales and the classic car tour around Havana. The Bay of Pigs museum wasn`t that interesting - although the film gave some context to the history.
I (Katie) have published some blogs about different experiences on the tour, such as the included walking tour of Old Havana that we did.
In all we had a great time! We really loved getting involved in the culture of the island!
Your tour was just what we were looking for! We appreciated having our lodging and transport taken care of but we also liked having different tour options at each destination. This allowed us to tour easily with friends and relatives at various ages (including my 80-year old mother-in-law) with different interests and physical abilities. It really was perfect for us.
Yanna was excellent in my view. She was both fun and informative. She kept an even keel and cheerful disposition throughout the tour. I really appreciated her impromptu information sessions on the bus. She also provided fun opportunities for music and dance in the evenings.
We appreciated the variety of Casa options that we stayed in. Some of the Casas that at first seemed "less fancy" ended up being our favorites so I`m glad we exposed to a variety of Casas and Casa Hosts. The most important thing to us was "easy" or "close" access to the most interesting things in the city. That was accomplished. The only place where we were a bit too "far" from the action was in Vinales, but we really loved the host family, so that made up for it.
I can`t imagine better breakfasts. All hosts were extremely accommodating regarding what we ate and when we ate. Most of the evening group meals were also good. I have to say that the food we had at Dona Eutimias in Havana was memorable and the entire group loved it.
Loved our tour bus. Luis was an excellent driver. I`m picky about safe driving habits and I felt safe and comfortable at all times.
My favorite day trip the Topes Collantes hiking tour via Russian Truck. But I really appreciated the activities that were included in the tour such as the Bay of Pigs museum and the Che Guevara museum in Santa Clara. We also very much liked the Old Havana tour provided by Cuba Group Tours on the last day of our tour. We might have missed these tours without being part of the tour group. To me that was one of the best things about using your touring group services.
I thought the balance was just right. Vinales and Trinidad were worth spending two nights each. They are outstanding places-in-cuba. Cienfuegos at sunset from the palace was stunning, but one night was sufficient. Offering extra days in Havana before or after the tour was a great option and I`m glad we did that. Havana was a very interesting and rewarding city to spend time in. I`m glad you included an Old Havana day tour. We learned so much that we would have missed!
The best part about the tour was the variety of places-in-cuba and efforts of the guide to make sure we got to know each place well, and also that there was plenty of flexibility to do what we wanted to do most. The worst part about our visit were the hecklers. We left Cuba early once the tour finished - too much harassment on the streets.
I wouldn't even know where to start with rating our guide. You couldn't imagine a person better suited to running this tour. Tony is an energetic, knowledgable and passionate guide who goes above and beyond to deliver an authentic experience. He`s an asset.
Some homestays were better than others, but overall very good. They were always very clean and well-kept, but hosts differed in how comfortable they made you feel staying with them. The breakfasts were always nice, good variety and fresh.
The driver was brilliant. We had some small reliability issues with the car, but definitely can`t complain with the overall quality.
My favourite place was Trinidad. It was beautiful and awesome mix of young and old Cuba in one place. Great excursions available there and just a great general feel brought it the whole city.
Suggested improvements: Don`t change a thing!
I had a great trip! Glad I chose Cuban Adventures as I was allowed to see what life was like from a local perspective. I would not have chosen to travel any other way. Our guide Willmar was amazing, a true asset to your company. No question, request or inquiry was too much, he was always there to show us a new place and was constantly making sure we were satisfied and needed anything else. He organized special events for us that really made our tour memorable.
The casas were really good overall, clean and hospitable. My favourites were Casa Fidel in Havana and Casa Osniel in Cienfuegos. The Casa in Vinales was nice but my room by the street was a bit noisy and the mattress was uncomfortable. Manuel was a great driver, he always made sure we were comfortable and he drove safely. He was friendly and courteous and the size of van was adequate for the group size.
I would gladly recommend Cuban Adventures and this tour to any one who wants to see the "Real Cuba".
This was a complete blind faith trip. We booked everything online and it was our first working relationship with Cuban Adventures so when we landed in Cuba we did not know what to expect. Everything went off as explained. We always had a driver, tour guide, nice places to stay and plenty to do. We were very thankful for all of the help and support during our travels to Cuba. We love to travel alone or in small, small groups - and like to see things tourists don`t always see. This adventure offered us the opportunity to do just that.
From the start our guide Osvaldo was there to offer us great suggestions as to how to spend our days. Always willing to help, and provide unique insight -- and ensure we had the best experience! He was a wonderful guide. His knowledge and patience were strong and appreciated. Being that there were only two of us, I think he was used to larger groups and it was a bit more intimate than usual for him. He was there for us in many ways and our trip would not have been as successful if it were not for Osvaldo. He truly helped to make our adventure that much better.
Every home stay was wonderful - clean, friendly service - and, great food. Casona Obrapia was perfect for Havana. Tasteful, helpful, a nice room, good food and secure. Raydel runs a tight ship right smack dab in the middle of old Havana. Yeni in Soroa was wonderful. She is so sweet and accommodating. Plenty of water, beer and wine were offered conveniently in a fridge. Here breakfast and dinners were wonderful and her little home was welcoming and needed. The rocking chairs on the front porch were wonderful. Pupy in Vinales was wonderful as well. Clean, nice and right near the town. The breakfasts were great and Pupy`s whole family was wonderful.
We loved our day in Vinales - hiking in Vinales was truly wonderful and we enjoyed the organic farm for dinner that evening. The water fall in Sarora was nice.
We truly enjoyed our stay in Cuba - Havana, Vinales, Soroa - all great. Wish we could have spent more time in Las Terrazas!
It was a great way to have an authentic experience of Cuba. We were made to feel very welcome in every homestay. The breakfasts were lovely and had some of the best meals in the casas. The bus was excellent! It was very comfortable with air con and a fridge too. Our driver was Jovani and he couldn't do enough to help anyone.
Our guide Yanna was an extremely helpful and interested tour guide. She was always eager to share her knowledge and experience of beautiful Cuba. When we arrived in Havana after a lengthy arrival flight, she made sure to make us feel at our ease and to help us to adjust and adapt to our new unfamiliar surroundings. She brought us to a restaurant in the local square where we met our other tour group members and chatted about the up and coming itinerary.
Yanna went above and beyond for the tour group and was eager that we experience all we wanted to. She even brought us to visit her family in Baracoa and they made us a drink and served us snacks. It is evident that Yanna is passionate about her job and enjoys it. When she talks about Cuba and its rich history she has a spark in her eye and has lots of interesting information to share. I asked her about a club called the Cave in Trinidad and straight away she said we would go there no questions asked. We had a great night! Yanna would give us loads of historical and geographical info about Cuba while on the bus or while in restaurants but she could easily gauge when we all wanted to relax on the bus too and just take in the terrain in quietness. Also Yanna would always put the group ahead of her to ensure that they are happy and comfortable e.g. she watched our bags while we went swimming, I ordered the wrong dish in a restaurant one day and she straight away said she would swap with me, she even bought us lovely chocolate from Baracoa and fruit and gave it to us on the long bus trip. Very kind! Yanna is great fun and was always encouraging us to dance and join in which we were delighted with.
I will recommend Cuba group tours to my friends at home and just hope they are lucky enough to get Yanna as their tour guide. It was an amazing 15 nights! Thanks.
Format of trip was excellent in that it allowed for personal choice with free time. That was a big draw for us and worked out really well. Tony and Soto were excellent guides for us and made us feel like we were experiencing the real Cuban lifestyle con el Palestino y el Conductor Magnfico!
Tony is a true professional with right amount of charm, charisma, humour and wit. A diplomat when needed and customer oriented. A good magician and a person who knows his history and is interactive. We always felt that he was available for questions and we appreciated his openness and the integrity of his responses. Most importantly, he was an integral part of connecting us to the closer-to-unfiltered Cuban lifestyle experience...through the food, language, songs and natural manner of going with the flow. The group also got along quite well and both Tony and driver Soto made us feel as part of the Cuba family for 8 days till we were eating, dancing, singing, laughing together any time and all of the time!
The bus was very comfortable and the close quarters helped with the group dynamic. Soto was a great driver, friendly, charming and safe. He was a very positive and entertaining presence and an integral part of our group dynamic with a fantastic rapport with the group members, so much so that all off the ladies insisted on a group photo with him in Santa Clara! He and Tony were a great double act!
All rooms were well clean, beds were decent and bathroom facilities adequate. Some casas provided soap others did not. Some rooms were modern and others old. Some rooms and or bathrooms a bit cramped others had more space. The hosts were all quite friendly and probably it helped that we speak decent Spanish so therefore could have extensive discussions on various topics with them. Our Casa hosts were wonderful people!
Breakfast at the casas was very good. It was usually the same everyday - fruit plate, eggs, bread and coffee and juice. Meals outside organized by guide were also very good with mainly local food and flavour. Sometimes a lot of pork and limited vegetarian or fish options. Not that we are complaining as we loved the local food and love meat!
Vinales was a real highlight of our trip. We were fortunate since Carnival was at the same time. We were active day and night! Besides the farm we had a fantastic horseback ride to Cueva de Palmarito, delicious dinner at Fincha de Wilfred and then partied on two nights in the streets! Also beach bonfire in Trinidad organized by guide was excellent, great tasty food, musicians and good fun.
The people within the entire group made this tour a resounding success and we could not have wished for a greater bunch of strangers-cum-friends with whom to share my Cuban tour! No somos Yumas!
I loved it all - getting to know somewhat the Cuban people, their lives and political situation, seeing a communist society, the food, and the history of Cuba.
Beny was a good guide . He cared about his charges and dealt with us as individuals and gave us personal attention.
I speak some Spanish and while I found the Cuban dialect somewhat difficult to understand the time spent with the host families was great. It was informative and I came away with a great affection for the Cuban people. a couple of the casas particulares were run more like small hotels but there was still good interaction with the help.
The meals were very similar from place to place so there was little variety. I really enjoyed the fresh fruit we had every day. Quantities were more than adequate. I loved the coffee.
The quality of the bus exceeded my expectations. There were times though that the bus was uncomfortable due to the air conditioning not being on enough. This was a comment I heard from other passengers as well.
I enjoyed all locations; Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Che mausoleum. My favourite excursion was the walk in Vinales!
Osvaldo was an outstanding guide. I could not fault him. He took our group on at very short notice as our intended guide had to pull out at the last minute. He quickly learnt our names. He was fun, informative and utterly professional. He organised a taxi to take us on to Jibacoa at the end of the tour and contacted the driver whilst we were being driven there to see that he`d picked us up alright. He could easily not have bothered but I think this shows an aspect of his thoroughness to see things through. I was most impressed by the care he showed everyone to see that we were alright at all times.
Everything to do with the accommodation was fine apart from the showers. These were often cold/lukewarm and had very poor power. There was always lots of food. The fruit at breakfast was delicious and plentiful.
Transport was fine apart from the long distance from Vinales to Cienfuegos where we spent the majority of the day in a coach. This is difficult to avoid when you want to see as much as possible.
My favourite activity was visiting an organic small holding in Vinales and watching sunset whilst sipping cocktails was a highlight. It was then followed by the most amazing quantity and quality of food for just 10 CUC`s!! Vinales has beautiful scenery and there are plenty of activities to try allowing each of us at times to choose different activities such as horse riding, lessons in salsa dancing. I particularly enjoyed a session on percussion playing.
Cuban Adventures was helpful during the booking process. Every query answered quickly.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Cuban Adventures to anyone. It was a tremendous experience. We had an excellent guide and a good group that got on very well with each other, and the itinerary was good.
Me gusta Cuba mucho! Monica was a fantastic guide. She was well tuned to the needs of the group.
The casas particulares were great, and many very stylish. The hosts were very welcoming and the rooms were good and exceeded my expectations. Some of the hosts were also excellent cooks!
Most of the meals we had in the evenings were fantastic but some of the lunchtime stops en route were mediocre. The meals in the main casas and the paladares were amazing and included good music.
Our driver Soto was fantastic and had a great sense of humour. The flight on Air Gaviota to Habana was a nightmare - it stopped in Holguin with no prior notice and the plane did not feel safe.
My favourite activity was the Cocoa plantation in Baracoa with excellent local guide. After a long day travelling to Santiago I would have appreciated a more leisurely day. We had a very long wait for a guide to the Museum. However this was compensated by a detour to a boat trip to an island and lunch by the ocean.
My husband Paul and I want to thank Ivan, Willmar and Cuban Adventures for a life changing experience. It was everything that we hoped it would be. Fascinating, challenging, sometimes a bit uncomfortable, but always safe, enjoyable and organised.
There were some days when our faces hurt from laughing so much, our feet hurt from dancing and walking so much and our heads hurt from drinking too much. But it was incredibly interesting and left us both with a desire to learn much more about this wonderful country and its special, resilient, passionate people. Thank you Ivan, Will and Cuba it was a privilege xxx.
This was a truly amazing experience. Our group was awesome and we all clicked so well, we literally did everything together. Made some lifelong friends that I look forward to meeting up with. Cuba is such a beautiful destination with so many great things, I hope they can hold onto the best parts of their society as it opens up to the world.
Valeri really made our trip. He was so knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, he really is an asset to your company. What a great guy and what a fantastic ambassador for Cuba.
Each location was unique and fantastic. My favourite activities were the walking tour in Habana, the waterfall hike in Trinidad, and live music and dancing every night. The worst part was saying goodbye to everyone on the last day.
To sum up my trip in three words: awsome, educational and entertaining.
Tatiana is the perfect guide. Even though she had issues with one of the participants on this tour, she still kept it cool and she was very professional. She made my trip perfect!
My favourite parts of the tour were the visit to Finca Duaba & Finca Toa, hiking in Trinidad, swimming in the Bay of Pigs, salsa lesson and hanging out at the Steps in Trinidad.
I had an amazing time on my tour. It was really well done and extremely well organized. Everything, including my visa at the Mexican airport, was ready and waiting for me. The booking staff is very patient and knowledgeable. Several months before the trip I was in constant email with Ossie, who responded to every question. When I got to Mexico and then Cuba, there were no surprises.
The tour covered so much ground in Cuba that I don`t feel as though I missed visiting anything important. And, it also allowed for lot of free time which enabled me to go off on my own in each city to have my own experiences outside the group.
My tour guide, Tatiana, is a treasure and an asset to your company! She is wonderful and deserves the highest of praise and a raise in her salary. She was knowledgeable, professional and she was able to accommodate us our every desire...even those that were not necessarily on the tour. For example, since baseball is a huge national sport we wanted to go to a game. The next day it was arranged.
The accommodations were incredibly clean, comfortable and much more extravagant that I expected. Each and every home-stay owner was experienced, really kind and provided me with everything I asked for. Even things I didn't ask for :-) Be prepared for "ham and cheese" or "cheese and ham". It`s the main lunch cuisine. In general, the food was really great, you can get a 3 lb lobster tail for 14 cucs ($14 American). Even vegetarians eat well in Cuba. You will not go hungry.
Our bus driver was experienced with the roads. And, believe me, they can be challenging. We had a small bus (or a large van) that sat 10 people. Very comfortable. It would have been nice to spend one night and one day in Baracoa giving that time to Havana. There`s so much more to see in Havana so that city requires more time.
I would recommend your company to anyone wishing to have a wonderful Cuban experience.
I found the whole tour, including the booking process, great. I have already been recommending it to my friends and family.
Tatiana was a wonderful guide. After a few days it felt more like traveling with a friend that a guide. I don`t think my holiday would have be nearly as good without her as a guide. She went out of her way to help with everything you ask her and took as to some wonderful places i wouldn't have got to see without her.
The homestays were all lovely - better than most hotels I have stayed in! I am missing the breakfast since i have been back!!
I enjoyed all of the activities, especially the walking tour in Havana, the tour in Camaguey and the salsa lesson in Trinidad.
Valeri was a fantastic guide, with an incredible knowledge of all things Cuba. His enthusiasm and vivacity permeated through the group and everyday was full of fun times. He made everyone feel incredibly welcome, always ensuring we stuck together during activities. He became everyone`s friend, not just a tour guide, and went above and beyond to ensure we all had an incredible holiday. Thanks so much Valeri!
Amazing homestay hosts, especially Cary in Vinales and Libiya and Rogue in Cienfuegos. Smaller home stays were definitely better as they didn't have a hotel feel. They were very clean and amazing food for breakfast!
Transport was good with an awesome big bus! Clean, nice drivers and lots of fun riding in old cars to activities! A suggested improvement would be more time to see the town of Cienfuegos - even just a longer tour in the morning.
Thank you for an amazing 15 days!. Our tour guide Tatiana was exemplary and absolutely made the holiday for us. She listened to all the travellers in the group and made sure that everyone had the experience they wanted from Cuba, whether salsa dancing or local wildlife. She was enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable about Cuba. Tatiana was also patient with the group when being bombarded with questions and requests! She made sure that we experienced the best that Cuba has to offer and her business relationships were extensive and made for an easy transition on each part of the tour. Most of all, Tatiana made our Cuban experience fun and 15 days, it is safe to say, we will never forget.
The home stays were particularly friendly and welcoming. The food at the home stays and the hospitality was very good. All in all, excellent throughout. We hadn't expected the food in Cuba to be so good. Tatiana took us to some really lovely restaurants in Trinidad and Havana, but some of the best food we had was at the home stays. Especially in Baracoa where the coconut seafood dishes were delicious.
It was great that Tatiana organised private mini buses at each stage of the trip which made the journeys quicker and more flexible. The roads in Cuba do make travelling long distances somewhat challenging!
All excursions were excellent! The bici-taxi excursion in Camaguey was fantastic. Hugo was very personable and also knowledgeable and showed us a different side of Cuba. My favourite place was Trinidad. We enjoyed the nightlife there and the food was also very good. But the best thing about Cuba was the people to whom Tatiana introduced us - we really felt welcome and part of the group!
Overall, the entire experience was simply amazing. Tony is the consummate professional tour guide. He has obviously honed his skills over many years, and he makes it look effortless. I cannot emphasize enough how important he was to our experience. He worked like the devil, but everything appeared seamless. He was up before everyone, and never went to bed until everyone was back. Absolutely fluent in English, and had a sense of humor that kept us entertained without ever offending, he ALWAYS made it a point to seek cultural interaction with the local people.
We also had a tour guide trainee with us, Yenni, who was a delight. Excellent English skills, extensive historical knowledge and a great personality and she brought an added dimension to the tour.
The homestay's were very room had a private bath and air-conditioning. The rooms were modest, clean and comfortable (as advertised on your website) - Home stays are absolutely the way to go!
Transport: We had a 16-passenger Mercedes mini-van for 9 people plus driver, so we had plenty of room to stretch out and relax. The van was clean and appeared to be very well maintained. Our driver, Soto, was a hoot, he had an excellent sense of humor. He understood and spoke more English than he let on, and he took good care of us.
I am a professional photographer and travel blog writer, and my brother is a writer (novelist).
- You can read an article here in the Yucatan Times about the trip.
- You can view a beautiful photographic record of the trip here: Forbidden Fruit of the Caribbean
- We've traveled quite a bit over the years, and would rank Tony as possibly the BEST tour guide we˙ve ever had. Kudos to our guide Tony and his trainee, Yenni. Together, they made a wonderful trip even more perfect.
We've been on many tours in many different countries, but we both agreed that Dadi was the best guide we'd ever had, anywhere. The casa hosts were all extremely friendly, and although we've slept in more comfortable beds, they weren't in Cuba. Atmosphere, especially in Vinales, was very good. Nice way to travel.
The hosts always laid on a breakfast with fresh fruit juice, coffee, eggs, bread and cheese and the restaurants our guide recommended and meals she organized were very good, although if you enjoy spicy food you'll have to bring your own hot sauce to the island. There was a great selection of things to do at every destination, ranging from scuba diving and drinking rum on the beach to touring a tobacco plantation. Transport was clean and comfortable, driver was very friendly and polite.
Overall Impressions - This was a very hands-on and intimate visit to Cuba. The attention to each group member was extremely sensitive, and plenty of opportunity was provided for each traveler to experience Cuba on his or her own terms, even though our group happened to get along perfectly and entertained one another throughout the trip. Our eclectic combination of divergent travelers (USA, France, Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cuba) held lengthy discussions about what we had each experienced, comparing notes and observations about the countryside, culture and customs. We experienced diverse and fun activities: tasting, listening, swimming, dancing, and hiking through marvelous mini-segments of Cuban life.
Tour Guide - Ossie was a wonderful guide. He answered all questions thoroughly. Perhaps because he had a trainee along as well as Clarita, he was at times more distracted from the guests. I would have appreciated more voluntary information about the education system, medical systems, crops along the road etc without having to specifically ask for the information. But perhaps this is a good way to do it in case some guests are not so interested as I was. I appreciated Ossie's openness and knowledge about the people and culture of Cuba. He also looked out for the safety and comfort of the group in the evenings when we went out to listen to music and to dance. He was extremely attentive.
Accommodation - As to be expected, some hosts were more attentive than others. One accommodation lacked clean, fresh towels and the breakfast was unappetizing, but for the most part, each home was unique and fascinating. The most outstanding home was Casa Mirta y Blanco in Vinales. It was extremely clean and had nice touches everywhere. Excellent food, too.
Meals - The group dinners/meals were of excellent quality and variety.
Transport - The bus was perfect for chatting and viewing the scenery. The fridge was nice to have. The driver was very careful and courteous.
- Favourite - The waterfalls (Trinidad) and the coffee finca in Vinales. I also enjoyed the organic farm and the dinner there.
- Least Favourite - The mural (Vinales). I would have preferred a bicycle ride around the environs over a bus trip to the sad murals.
- Comments - One activity I wish I had asked about was the chance to attend either ballet, symphony or opera in Havana. I would have liked the concept to be brought up and perhaps help in procuring tickets.
Best part of tour - Talking to locals, staying in homes, seeing rural areas as well as Havana.
Worst part of tour - One of our homestays was dismal, although it had potential (Cienfuegos). The information card and name of host was given to Ossie.
Suggested Improvements - Suggest to people that they spend at least one to two more days in Havana on their own. There is lots to see and do. We had two days prior to the tour and enjoyed it very much. Perhaps instead of dancing every night, there could be a more cultural concert to attend or a different type of art form to appreciate. Our particular travel group was into partying and music, but sometimes I felt that we could have experienced higher quality music, and perhaps more authentic music. No matter, I loved it all.
The written materials provided were excellent, however, taking along a good guide book such as Roughgide or Lonely Planet is advised. There are many cultural and historical aspects covered in these books, adding to the value of the trip. It is virtually impossible to buy these books in Cuba or at gateway exits, so order one ahead and have it in hand. It is easy to stow on the bus if you don't want to lug it around all day.
The woman who exchanged our CUCs at the airport tried to cheat us out of over 100$US. Guests should be advised to pay very careful attention to what money changers do in the booth. We were exchanging Mexican pesos to CUCs and had to ask her to recount the money 3 times and she was very rude when caught in the act.
Also, upon departure our Cubana flight departed one hour late, so we missed our connection in Mexico and had to rebook our Mexican flights (with no refund for our missed flight), and pay the full price for those tickets, costing over $700 US which we had not anticipated. But we had no recourse. If this is a frequent occurrence, perhaps guests could be advised not to book connecting Cubana flights too closely.
Booking Process - The booking worked out great. Our initial contact, Alan was extremely helpful and we were able to quickly arrange the trip with little time to spare.
Tour Guide - Tatiana was amazing! She made the tour for us, great knowledge and so much fun. She took us to the coolest of places that were off the tourist track, like the Organic Farm in Vinales and the Cave Nightclub in Trinidad. Couldn't recommend her more :)
Accommodation - The Casas were super! They were much nicer than I was expecting. All the hosts were so welcoming and cooked the most amazing food! Great experience.
Meals - Food was so much better than I was expecting! So much fresh fish, vegetables and fruit, not forgetting the wonderful pork! The feast we had at the Organic Farm in Vinales was one of the best meals I've ever had!
Transport - With Paquito and Adriano at the wheel, we couldn't have asked for a better journey! They knew all the great spots to stop for lunch and took us on some great scenic detours, especially around Santa Clara. They were both so much fun too and along with Tatiana, are our new Cuban family!
Favourite Excursion - Tobacco farm in Vinales with local guide Sandra was super!
Favourite Destination - Vinales is such a wonderful little town with super friendly people that are so willing to show you the local culture, whether it be tobacco farming or salsa dancing!
Least Favourite Destination - Im sure Cienfuegos is a nice place but we didnt have much time there.
Trip Notes and Maps we provided - Practical and clear information that helped us get by with day to day living on the tour.
Suggested Improvements - Maybe an extra day on the tour to spread out some of the driving time and see more of Cienfuegos or Trinidad.
Booking Process - Girls in office were super helpful with information and with the booking.
I just want to thank Cuban Adventures for such a wonderful experience I had in Cuba on the 8 day classic tour. I have been to a lot of countries around the world & been on a few tours but this one by far has been the best & left a lasting impression on me. Ossie (our local guide & friend) & Soto (driver extraordinaire!) went out of their way to make sure our group had comfortable & enjoyable trip which speaks a great amount about the Cuban people. Without them I don't think my trip would be so memorable & I have promised to return to Cuba to experience the culture, history & wonderful hospitality again.
Ossie is extremely approachable, attentive & knowledgeable tour guide that made everyone in our small group at ease. He has a big heart & was proud of his country & showed off the best of Cuba which made our tour fun, informative & memorable. By the end of the trip it was like a group of old friends travelling around.
At all the Casas we were greeted with a smiling face & warm hospitality. They were definitely 1 of the highlights of the tour & I felt very privileged to be staying with the host families who always made our stay very welcome. The meals at the casa's were always fresh & healthy. This tour by far has been one of the most healthy I've traveled on as all the produced used is seasonal which meant that the food was always delicious & great value for money. I particularly loved the tropical fruit & the choice of lobster for dinner!
Our driver Soto was another highlight of our trip. Every morning he greeted us with a cheeky smile & Spanish greeting which made our journey a pleasure. I will always remember my time in Trinidad as one of the best days of my life. We started by hiking & swimming to a waterfall in the morning then scuba diving/snorkelling at the beach in a thunderstorm followed by dancing & clubbing in a cave until the early hours of the morning.
Thanks to Meria & Oneida for organising my pre-departure plans & flights. You both made it an extremely easy process & I really appreciate all the assistance.
Hi. Just want to pass on my gratitude for a brilliant 8 day tour with our amazing guide Natalia. She made the trip a special experience for the whole group and went out of her way to help us every step of the way (even helping us with transfer issues even after the trip finished). Natalia really knows her stuff and her excellent insider knowledge of Cuba not only saved us money but also gave us a more authentic experience. Thanks again, we will spread the word about Natalia and the excellent tour.
I LOVED our recent tour with Cuban Adventures! Our tour guide David was friendly, funny and a very entertaining guide! He was knowledgeable about Cuba and each area we visited (and what he didn't know, he'd always try to find out). He was tireless in his ability and desire to take care of his (sometimes erratic) flock...whether on nights out, excursions, at restaurants or anywhere else! He was professional, fun and made our experience a great one.
Our homestays were friendly, especially Mirta in Vinales who was an excellent host! She was very accommodating (despite our rather late arrivals home after some great nights out...) and her home cooked food was excellent.
Our bus was comfortable, air conditioned, played some classic tunes and always turned up...what more can you ask for?! Coco, billed as 'crazy Coco' was polite and very reliable!
We loved all of the excursions we took part in. Highlights were hiking and caves in Vinales, horse riding in Trinidad, snorkeling in the Bay of Pigs and the Che memorial and museum in Santa Clara.
We had less official time in Havana than we had perhaps expected. We did the old town tour on day 1 and had a couple of hours free time on the last day before our farewell dinner. We had arranged to spend a couple of days in Havana either side of the tour in any event, so this was no problem, but it may be worth making this clearer and perhaps suggesting guests arrange extra time in Havana to see the various museums etc., in the tour description.
I just wanted to thank you for an incredible trip! Tatiana was a brilliant tour guide - knowledgeable, organised, and fun! She was always professional and cheerful, and I very much enjoyed her company throughout the tour.
Before the trip I didn't really know what to expect from the casas, but staying in them was a fantastic way to get to know the Cuban people. Everywhere we stayed was charming and the owners were so friendly and hospitable.
The tour had a great balance of organised (and optional) activities and free time. It felt like there was plenty of time to relax, but at the same time we seemed to fit lots in each day. The format of the tour offered just the right amount of flexibility.
For me, the highlights included snorkelling in the Caribbean, exploring the beautiful wildlife around Baracoa, and going to a nightclub in a cave!
It was an absolute pleasure to visit Cuba, and doing so through Cuban Adventures was the perfect way to experience this fabulous country.
We had a superb trip – greatly exceeded our expectations in so many ways. We felt very fortunate to have ended up in a small group (just 8 of us), and with people with similar interests – to be able to spend 2 whole weeks with people one has never met before, and to still want to be with them for every meal on Day 14 was quite special!
Valeri was simply superb, and "made" the holiday. He worked incredibly hard, going above and beyond what he needed to do. The riverbank spit-roast he arranged was the high point of the holiday. He is professional, infectiously fun-loving, and his efficiency meant that we were able to relax and enjoy every bit of the trip. Juan Carlos, our guide round Old Havana was brilliant. He talked about the realities of life in Cuba and the recent changes - could have listened to him for hours and hours! And Hugo too, in Camaguey, who also joined us for dinner on our first night in Havana – was a superb guide – the trip to the ballet school was a real highlight – even for my husband!
Staying in the Casas was another high point of the tour. We loved staying with Cubans and sharing their lives. Having a 16 seater minibus with only 8 of us in the tour group meant we each had a window seat, and the views from the bus were constantly fascinating. Our driver, Ivan, looked after us extremely well.
We felt like we'd been away for 6 weeks, not 2! We experienced so much, and it was so relaxing being so well looked after and skilfully guided. Thanks again. We’ll keep waxing lyrical to our friends, and hope that some of them will have the opportunity to experience Cuba like we did.
I loved our trip with Cuban Adventures. We booked with Clarita who was fantastic to deal with, very helpful and responsive.
Romey was a fantastic guide and I can't recommend him highly enough. Our group was only 3 people, so together we were like a little family travelling around. We did so much stuff that we would never have been able to do without our guide. He went out of his way to cater the tour to our interests. He knows people everywhere and so we were able to have experiences with people and places that we would never have had without his input. We met his friends and family in his home town of Camaguey. My partner is a musician, so our guide organised a jam session with his cousin and other friends at his aunty' s house! A once in a lifetime experience to hang out and play music with a Cuban family. It was relaxed and casual, and our guide looked after all our transport and accomm seamlessly. He also took us to some great restaurants and just looked after us beautifully.
Homestays were a fantastic way to stay in Cuba. By far the best food can be found in the casas - especially the 3 Ana's in Santiago! Rooms were always clean, with air con, towels, bathroom etc. Slightly dodgy showers on occasion but you get that everywhere! Breakfasts were great at the homestays - fresh fruit, bread, cheese, juice, coffee, tea. Some amazing meals at the casas and restaurants owned by casa families. I am vegetarian and they always catered for me in abundance! Some truly memorable meals!
We used a private mini van for a couple of trips and then the Viazul for the rest. The Viazul was excellent - such a great and organised system in what is otherwise a pretty crazy country! All excursions were great! We did so many great excursions and day trips. Our Guide was really flexible and told us what each town had to offer and then we would decide what we wanted to do. Loved the day of historical and cultural sightseeing in Santiago, loved the big walk to the white beach in Baracoa. We didn't feel like a group of tourists being lead around, it was more like travelling with our Cuban friend.
I truly hope we will see Romey again one day and wish him all the best with his farm. Thank you to Cuban Adventures for an unforgettable trip!
We have just completed the above tour and feel compelled to write to you re same. Firstly your company operations are excellent - from the first enquiry to the final taking of the tour all communication was clear, on time and followed through. We prefer to travel independently and had reservations about a group tour. All aspects of our tour were fantastic. We were lucky to have a group of 7 who gelled and were flexible. We were fortunate to have every arrangement happen without incident. However and most importantly we had the services of Ossie - our guide our organizer our helper and our friend. Ossie is outstanding and we want to give this feedback to you direct. He is well organized, very approachable, sensitive to the needs of the individuals in the group, has an excellent rapport with the hosts and the locals and made our tour informative, social and fun. He is very proud of Cuban Adventures and carries out his duties with perfection and sincerity. He has an excellent knowledge of the history of Cuba and its heritage and really engaged us with the culture. We were fortunate enough to meet Ossie's family having seen photos of them and hearing all about them. We leave Cuba with a greater understanding of its history, an appreciation for its music and dance culture but most of all a respect and admiration for its people who live a suppressed and totally different lifestyle to any we have experienced and still smile, are friendly and helpful and accepting of their lot.
Thank you to you and your excellent company for providing us with the opportunity to visit this beautiful country and leave it safely and completely humbled.
Virginia and Alan Crocker
Windy and I had a great time with Cuban Adventures (May 6th - 8 day original tour). Thanks for making our experience a great one. Loved the home stays and Nel was a fantastic guide. Highly recommend him... went above and beyond our expectations. Vinales, Trinidad, and Havanna were our favourite.
Our week was as near perfect as we can imagine. Your style of travel (very grass roots) is exactly what we were looking for. The western tour is perhaps not the best "first sample" of Cuba, as it misses the colonial towns, but we had a great time in Pinar del Rio province. Nel was well informed and delightful company. The Hotel Nacional is world class and classic. The guest house in Vinales was pleasant and well kept - I just wish the rooster was in the dinner pot and not outside our window! The diving center at Maria La Gorda is a great find - uncrowded, clean, killer view. The pig roast and house party at the farm in Vinales was a wonderful evening. We liked all three places-in-cuba.
Favourite activity: Guided walk through tobacco fields in Vinales.
Least favourite: There was no least favorite excursion.
Best part of tour: Getting to know three of your guides - Nel, Tony, Jorge.
Worst part of tour: One week is not enough time.
We had a great introduction to Cuba, thanks to Nel, and look forward to returning and seeing the rest of the island.
Valeri was one of the best guides I've ever had! He took really good care of the group and ensured we were always safe and comfortable. He was entertaining and a great source of knowledge on all things Cuban. He took great care of anyone who fell ill on the trip, and was kind to point out what/where was safe to eat (ensuring I was always catered for as a vegetarian). He was responsible, tolerant, really good fun and really contributed to the trip being one of the most memorable ones I've been on. Thanks Valeri!
For the second leg of the trip, Roger was my guide. Roger was equally good, attentive, extremely knowledgeable, with a great sense of humour. He ensured we were happy with all our accommodation/excursions and gave us plenty of options on things to to. Thanks Roger!
All the accommodation was comfortable and largely clean. The accommodation in Vinales was excellent, as was my host there, Mirta. I enjoyed staying in homestays and thought it enhanced my Cuban experience. All breakfasts were good, with plenty on offer. We went to a great variety of restaurants, and indulged in some street food occasionally. As a vegetarian, prior to the tour commencing, I was slightly worried, but found myself always having more on my plate than I could finish. Totally happy!
The transport was excellent, the bus was always meticulously clean and well cared for, and the driver was careful and friendly. Thanks Alberto!
All excursions in Trinidad and Baracoa were excellent! The city tour in Camaguey was a bit long and focused too much on visiting two art galleries. I had a great night out in Cienfuegos, but found there was not much to do there/much time to do anything there.
Valeri showed a very responsible and environmentally friendly approach to travel during the tour, including showing us how/when to donate goods we'd brought with us. It would be great if bottles of water were kept on the bus available for purchase to us, so that we didn't have to make lots of water stops, especially as queueing in some shops took ages.
Best tour to date, thanks so much!
Natalia was amazing, we loved her. Could not have asked for a better guide, she was brilliant. I was extremely pleased with all aspects of the accommodation - better than we expected. Food in Cuba was also better than we expected. Very pleasantly surprised. We really appreciated having a Cuban guide to explain everything to us. This made the trip so much more enriching than if we had traveled on our own. Honestly I just loved it all!!!
Having a local guide in Cuba was very important. Ossie was fabulous! He was able to show us things that someone not from Cuba wouldn't have known about. I feel so lucky to have had him guide me around Cuba. His English was incredible and his knowledge was overwhelmingly impressive. I have traveled all over the world and have never had such an easy, fun, educational experience from any tour guide. He was so helpful with any of our needs, always making sure that we were comfortable with whatever we were doing or wherever we were staying. He presented us with different activity options so that we had the perfect trip tailored to what we wanted to do. He made my experience an exceptional one. It was also clear that people really respect and like him wherever we went which made things more comfortable for the group. I have a food allergy to gluten/wheat. Ossie made sure that everywhere I went, the homestay hosts were aware of this as well as any restaurant. I always had something good and safe to eat. This made what could have been a difficult experience for me, very easy.
Favourite activity: The waterfall outside Trinidad and the white sand beach outside Trinidad with the incredible picnic that was provided for us arranged by Ossie.
Least favourite: I honestly didn't have a least favorite. I thought the variety was excellent and Ossie made sure we did what we wanted to do so that no one was disappointed. That was key.
I absolutely loved it, loved it, loved it!!!
I have never done a tour before so have nothing to compare this to but would have no hesitation recommending this to anyone.
Jorge was simply amazing ensuring everyone got what they wanted out of the trip. Staying in home stays was definitely a highlight of the trip. I felt like I got a greater insight into Cuban life this way. All of the hosts were extremely friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Jorge was interesting, fun, knowledgeable and genuinely keen to make sure we all had an awesome trip. He is proud of his country and willing to share his personal experiences with us. We had a nice variety of meals from pizza on the street to a great steak restaurant. It was always a nice surprise to find out where we were going to eat next. Pedro was an excellent driver who looked after us well always opening doors, driving safely and putting up with 6 women constantly chatting!!
Favourite activity: Topes de Collantes national park to the Vega grand waterfalls. I also loved the Che memorial, an important thing for every visitor to Cuba to see.
The variety of activities was excellent. Jorge also didn't stick to the list sent out to us but rather made sure everyone did something of interest to them personally. I loved all the places-in-cuba but would have liked an extra night in Cienfuegos to see more. It was a nice variety of places with lots to see, do and experience. Jorge was very clear and passionate about Responsible Travel of which I personally appreciate.
Best part of tour: Spending a night with Jorge's friends playing dominoes, drinking rum and eating roast pig. I felt like I experiences a real bit of Cuba and loved every minute of it.
Keep running your business this way as it is truly successful.
I had an amazing tour in Cuba with my guide, Jorge. I've blogged the experience on www.wscstgrl.com. Best part of the tour was our tour guide, Jorge, who created opportunities for us to be immersed in Cuban life ie: invited us to a local house party one evening - a real highlight of the tour. If I had to pick a worst it would be the long hours in the van - especially the back seat BUT I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of the places we visited. It was my first time in a group tour so it was nice to have a local agent in Vancouver to talk to about the experience. A small hitch connecting with the tour as there were no notes left for anyone at the Nacional. Service at the Hotel Nacional exceptionally poor. They could not locate some of our tour group even though we had checked in. Front desk staff particularly unhelpful. Some guest house hosts more friendly than others but all part of the experience. I loved trying out the paladors and different restaurants. Great choices by our tour guide Jorge.
The trip was wonderful and Valeri was amazing and an excellent tour guide. I just wish we had been able to stay longer! Valeri taught us so much about the history of Cuba and explained many of the complexities of the current situation. He happily answered all of our questions and was always attentive and genuinely wanted us to see the best side of Cuba. He was so generous with his time, endlessly patient, and always did his best to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. He always made sure we were safe and went above and beyond acting as a tour guide; he quickly become a close friend. Spending time with him and getting to know Cuba through his eyes made the trip unforgettable. I have gone home with fantastic memories of the trip and, thanks to him, will be recommending Cuban Adventures generally and Valeri particularly to all my family and friends. He is truly an asset to your organisation and a wonderful person. The homestay were also wonderful and welcoming. The rooms were so comfortable and the hosts were lovely and friendly and really made us feel at home. The Hotel Nacional was amazing!. Cuban coffee is amazing. Best start to the day. Dinner at the homestays was delicious and plentiful! I love Cuba and hope to one day come back. The booking process was so easy and I got really quick replies every time!
I fell head over heels in love with Cuba. The whole country moves to a sultry salsa beat. From historic Barracoa and charming Camaguay, to the gritty gorgeousness of Santiago to touristy and terrific Trinidad and beyond, the Cuban group tour allows you a glimpse into the complexities of Cuba and it is a truly beautiful and once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Our tour guide, Natalia, was so alive, accommodating and charming, she extended warm hospitality so characteristic in Cuba and she gave us unique insights into the country she loves. You can't experience Cuba by visiting Havana alone. And having traveled all over the world I can truly say that Cuba is a country that should be fully experienced. Take the tour! You'll never regret it!.
The last stop of my 3 months Caribbean trip was Cuba and to be honest as i was leaving St. Martin to fly to Cuba i was very much wondering how the things would be turning out.
Unforgetable! - that i think describes it the best what i take with me from Cuba! Cuba compared with other countries i have seen has of course a special charm and the clocks running in a different way.
Natalia our tour leader has taken out the very best of Cuba for us and made our trip so impressive. She has so much background knowledge and she knows very well how Cuba rules and so she had a solution for every situation ;-) Thanks Natalia for your great engagement and for all that little and big things you did over the average that we even didnt recognise. You did a super job!
I'm writing to say how very impressed with all arrangements concerning our recent trip to Cuba. In particular, my wife and I were very appreciative of the services and personality of Sergio Vazquez. There was nothing that he couldn't and wouldn't do to make our visit and tour more interesting, relevant and informative. We think he went far beyond any reasonable expectations. Quite outstanding! And that comes from two people who have spent many years living and working in some quite difficult countries. Not that Cuba was anything other than fascinating, enjoyable and rewarding. We only hope Sergio finished the tour without vowing never again to get involved with people with such very odd interests. Parallel to all of the above is our appreciation of your company's very obvious efficiency and consideration to clients.
Travelling with Cuban Adventures really made our Cuban experience so much better than we had expected. Our guide was a star! He is an absolutely fantastic tour leader. He really made our Cuba experience very special as he constantly was switched on and went out of his way to accommodate for us and show us the real Cuba. He organised some amazing activities for us and we really had a blast of a time. Could not have asked for a better leader. Most of the excursions were good fun and we really enjoyed the flexibility of doing whatever we wanted. That was one of the main reason we initially booked with Cuban Adventures. The hiking and beach and walking tour in Vinales and the BBQ with local family were really fun. We loved all the places we stopped at. I think we spent sufficient time in each place and saw what we wanted to see with the exception of Havana - we would have preferred to spend more time in Old Havana with the group on the first day and last time. The homestays were absolutely fantastic and really comfortable and accommodating hosts. The breakfasts at the homestays were absolutely fantastic. Really fresh and great quality.
Jorge was an outstanding guide. He was as an absolutely integral component of our experience of Cuba. I feel that our experience of this fascinating country would have been significantly less had we not had such an honest, educated and organised tour leader. I could not recommend him highly enough.
The home stays were great and I would definitely recommend them to others. Breakfast was always generous and of a high standard. The variety was more than adequate given the food constraints that exist in Cuba. The quality of food in the restaurants that Jorge recommended to us was great. There was always a lot of food (which is not really a problem).
We mostly enjoyed the more relaxed activities - like the BBQ on the beach in Trinidad. Jorge also organised for us to go a finals baseball game that was being played just outside of Vinales at that was a real cultural experience. We also really enjoyed just walking around with Jorge, asking him questions and chatting to him about life in Cuba. We had a great afternoon in Santa Clara just sitting in a park, drink a Cuba Libra and learning about a battle that occurred as part of the Revolution. Even having to get money out at the bank was a cultural experience!!!
- Baseball and the drive in the 50's cars to and from the baseball
- BBQ on the beach in Trinidad
- Park in Santa Clara
- Hiking around Trinidad and Vinales
- Chatting with Jorge on the first night in one of the beautiful squares in Havana
- The best "hole in the wall" pizza ever in Trinidad
- Swimming in the Bay of Pigs
A very interesting journey encompassing all the wonder that Cuba has to offer! Our tour guide Natalia was a highlight, effortlessly exposing the diverse group to a range of great experiences unique to Cuba. She was excellent in ensuring that the presented tour was effortlessly run and the group had a chance to enjoy the activities with no concerns. She went above and beyond, exposing those passengers who wanted to experience the nightlife in Cuba - which was a large part of the Cuban culture. I loved the casas allowing direct interaction with the real Cuban families and houses. An unforgettable adventure, thanks!!
Dady was a fantastic tour guide and, by the end of the two weeks had also become a good friend. When I was left stranded in Cuba by the Icelandic volcano, she went so far above the call of duty (ensuring that I had places to stay and people to look out for me) that she is now a legend among my friends in the UK!. A particular "Thank you" to Juan Carlos, our driver, who was lovely to us and did his best to speak English to me. The use of casas was my main reason for choosing this tour. I'd have loved to have had more time in Santiago but the 2 weeks don't allow for it and I think the tour is well paced due to the length. I met many of your tour guides on this trip and they are definitely the greatest strength of your tours. I'd just like to use this opportunity to comment on the fact that Sergio, whilst not my tour guide, deserves some serious kudos for looking out for me when I got stuck in Cuba, particularly as it was his week off. Many thanks.
We had a fantastic time in Cuba with Jorge on as our tour guide! We took our 2 teenagers and our 7 year old. Jorge treated them like he was the older brother! We only wish that we had more time to spend! Jorge was able to arrange for us to spend some time and share a meal with a family who had not previously had an opportunity to spend time with tourists. He even made sure to find a family with a 7 year old girl to play with our youngest daughter! We have recommended your company to people we know. This was a great eye opener for our kids too, just to see the difference in culture, and even the similarities. Even though the girls and I were a bit ill for 1.5 days, Jorge and our driver Pedro, were very good about it! Jorge went to the clinic to get us medicine and hydrating salts to make sure we got better. We did! The photo is our family in the caves at Maria La Gorda. I know we will use your services again!.
I loved my two weeks in Cuba and have not stopped raving about it to everyone I know since. Cuba was even more fun and fascinating than I expected, and this tour made it very easy to fall in love with everything about Cuba, without doing any of the hard work!. Our tour guide Jorge was great and never stopped working, whether it was getting us on the road early in the morning, or getting us out of the night club (also early in the morning), and dealing with all the things that may not always go according to plan, because that's also part of being in Cuba. But what I'll remember the most were the people - the families that invited us into their homes (and farms!) for Christmas and New Year , the people who run the marvelous B&B's and provided delicious dinners, the random people we met who were artists or salsa dancers or teachers or hitchhikers or served ice-cream in shops! And the marvelous mix of people from around the world that I got to travel with, all so interested in Cuba and wanting to get under its skin - it's not easy to do anywhere as a tourist but this trip really let me do much more than just scratch the surface. I've written some more impressions about Cuba on my travel blog that covers 23 years of my travels around the world - www.redheadtravels.com.
I loved the fact we stayed in homestays, a much more authentic way to see Cuba, plus a great chance to practice your Spanish, and if you are lucky, Salsa lessons with breakfast! Great tour guide - Yoxander - he is passionate about his country and wants you to have the best time possible, his knowledge is great and we got regular history lessons and pointers along the way. A private minibus was another unexpected bonus on a budget tour.
I have been to Cuba two times with Cuban Adventures, and I still feel like it is not enough. My first trip in 2008, I had Jorge, and he was an incredible tour guide and left me wanting to see more of Cuba. I came back again in 2010, and had Natalia, who was not only an extremely knowledgeable and passionate guide, but she became a great friend. My experiences have enabled me to see the whole country, interact with locals and get the REAL Cuban experience. Don't worry Cuba, I will be back............
We had the best time. The itinerary was excellent, the casas great and we were extremely lucky to have wonderful travel companions but the main reason the tour was so successful was YOXANDER! We could not have asked for a better tour guide. He was always enthusiastic, funny and informative. Despite working very long days he was always happy and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. His knowledge of Cuba was immense. I now feel I have a deep and accurate understanding of what it is like to live in Cuba. He was also incredibly conscientious - when we had the opportunity to go snorkelling I was keen but deep down I was very frightened. He sensed this fear and was never more than 20 foot away from me for the whole afternoon. I think most guides would have enjoyed themselves rather than ensure I had a wonderful time. To sum up Yoxander made our trip to Cuba a magical unforgettable adventure.
This was truly the best holiday I have ever had. My only regret is that I could not speak Spanish. I know this would have enriched my experience but still I have an awesome awesome time and I hope to return to Cuba one day. It is funny how I called other people "tourists" and did not see myself as such. I felt like I was there visiting my friends and less like an outsider looking into other people's lives. John & Oswaldo were an absolute delight, their courtesy, knowledge was a great inspiration. Thank you!
We would like to congratulate Cuban Adventures for their excellent choice of tour guide in Enelio. We really enjoyed Nell as the leader of our tour. Nell was extremely enthusiastic and proud of his country. He comprehensively understood its political and historical heritage and made it relevant for all of us. I loved discussing politics with him and he always listened before replying. What a brilliant individual for the job he has.
I just wanted to say big thanks for a wonderful tour in Cuba. We appreciate that you were able to organise a tour for us outside the scheduled time frame. Also the tour guide we had, Dadi Rodriguez was absolutely awesome. She has great knowledge about all things Cuban and was very friendly. She showed us many faces of Cuba, from Cuban life and culture to nightlife and underwater world. :) We met another tour guide (Roger) who is also very nice even though we weren't part of his group. Once again thank you. We will happily recommend Cuban Adventures to any of our friends who consider travelling to that part of the World.
I truly loved Cuba, and I would wholeheartedly recommend your organization to others who want to make the trip. Tatiana was fantastic! very reliable, and consistently enthusiastic, engaging, communicative - always pointing out little interesting bits of info and showing us typical Cuban foods, plants, customs, etc., which consistently enriched whatever we were doing. She was unfailingly open to questions and ideas. She arranged for us to attend a baseball game in Camaguey, took us to a few typical farmhouses where the residents graciously fed us and let us see their surroundings, she also brought us to hear local music everywhere. I had brought some medical supplies to donate, and she made sure we stopped at a small-town clinic to see how doctors' offices are set up and for me to leave the donations where it might be needed. She also brought us to visit a well-known local artist's gallery. This is a wonderful experience and truly enables you to connect with the Cuban people in a way that tourists who only go to resorts can never do. Your organization should be a model for other Responsible Tourism efforts - congratulations!
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on. Valeri was a super tour guide. We had such a fantastic experience in Cuba and much of this was due to Valeri's enthusiasm, organisation, passion and knowledge of Cuba and the tour. He also went above and beyond to help myself and Sinead with the days following the tour by arranging homestays in Santiago and Baracoa for us. I would definitely recommend Valeri as a tour guide to anyone wishing to get to know Cuba and learn about its history and culture. I loved staying in the casas. This was a great way to have more insight into cuban life. On the whole, the hosts were really friendly. I was expecting food to be more basic in Cuba and was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes breakfasts were almost too much food! Clarita, who I booked through was extremely helpful from the minute I made interest until the moment just before and this information was invaluable. This made things so much more easier and with her knowledge of Cuba for us prior to going was great.
Thanks to Cuban Adventures for a wonderful time. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for a company to show you the real Cuba. Special thanks to Natalia our tour guide, and all of the wonderful people I travelled with. Cuba - what a beautiful country! Only a few words are needed to sum up my experience there: gorgeous scenery, gorgeous people, gorgeous seafood and music, music, music, music, music everywhere, and lots of dancing. Oh, and did I mention music! Here is the web page I made about the tour ... http://cubausamarch2009.shutterfly.com/cuba
In spite of being the only senior among a group of young adults I had a great time and worried unnecessarily. Your adventure concept is 'right on'. I have been looking for this type of tour of Cuba and my prayers were answered. As a matter of fact the age difference turned out to be a positive factor. Multi talented Yoxander is certainly an asset to your enterprise. He tells me that he has only been at this job for 8 mos. Yet he is doing it like a pro. I missed my toasts in the morning but then - “When in Rome do as romans do”
I LOVED it! It was one of the most rewarding experiences. The highlight of the tour was living with local families and understanding what Cuba is really about. And it was a huge plus traveling with a local tour guide.
Yoxander made the trip for us. His insight, sense of humour, pace setting of the trip, local knowledge, organisational skills, and just getting things done even when the unforeseen happened ie when in Barracoa and we had to transfer from the bus to a jeep because of floods. He really has tireless energy, putting in 18hrs days to accompany us to clubs in the evenings. One other unique point, no other tour guide has troubled themselves to see us off to the airport on the day AFTER the tour had finished. A great touch as there is always anxiety about taxis turning up! At the time it seemed a leap of faith to book a trip via and English office of an Australian company who subcontracted it to a Cuban agent. It did work well though and enquires were always dealt with efficiently, promptly and in a friendly way.
Thanks for a wonderful tour with Cuban Adventures. It was a great way to travel and our tour guide Tatiana did a brilliant job. We had no transportation issues, all family stays worked fine and were really nice. Excursions we did very interesting and we got good guidance from Tatiana. The tour made life easy for us, allowed us to come in close contact with the local population by living under their roof, thus my daughter Anais and I had a great time. Inspite having a bad stomach due to parasites. The International Hospital in Trinidad was extremely efficient. The consultation and the laboratory analysis took 1 hour 15 minutes. After I new what I had and was given appropriate treatment.
The trip was great. So well organized and thought of. Jorge did a tremendous job trying to keep everybody happy. It was sad to see in what kind of economic misery people live there. A very educational experience. Helps me to re-evaluate my life in general. Thank you.
I loved staying in casas particulares as you are able to have much more of local interaction and it gives u a feeling (especially due to the friendliness of hosts) that u are a part of family. The conditions were superb. I loved Baracoa the most, the smell of the ocean, the ambience.. everything all together makes u feel like in Hemingway's old man and the sea. My tour guide Jorge was a professional tour leader and a great person too. He has a wide knowledge about his country and is eager to share it with anyone that is interested. He was always there when we needed any help or suggestions and was accompanying us in our activities although he didn't have to. At the same time we had the possibility to decide what we want to do, with no feeling of being forced. It was great of him to take us to uni in Santa Clara, introduce us to his family and friends, as well as spend additional time with us also after the tour finished. I also met Roger, Nadia, Darien and Yoxander - you have great guys there in Cuba! :) I really appreciate your fast response to my inquiry as well as organization of everything although it was very last minute.
Despite the hurricane I had TONS of fun on this tour and the best part was getting to know Cuban locals in Trinidad as well as our tour guide Roger and our interpreter (also called Roger!) being Cubans themselves. I learned a lot of invaluable things and I can say this is one of the most unforgettable experience (I have travelled quite a bit and it is always different but this trip was a bit more personal with the locals and homestay. As well as Roger the tour guide was EXCELLENT. He was a quick learner as to how to communicate with us and it made the trip a lot more fun with his full head on involvement (I have been on different tours in the past where tour guides were not nearly as exciting or approachable). Roger has a good head on his shoulders and handled everything thrown into his way very well. I highly recommend him to be involved in any other deaf - related tours if any in the future as his communication skills is commendable and believe me, it does make all of the difference to the experience. Both Rogers worked very hard on the trip and I want their hard work to be recognized.
Thank you for showing me the BEST HOLIDAY......EVER! I've been on a lot of good holidays in 2008 (ahem!!!!) but this was definitely my fave. Was there in September 2008 and hurricane Ike, or no hurricane, a fantastic time was to be had. Couldn't have been possible without the most fantastic tour guide ever, Tatiana, on our trip. Cuba is such a fantastic country to visit and see and trips such as these are made all the more special by having such an excellent tour guide. Having Tatiana and Soto (our driver) as guides, I can only think that I got a good feeling for Cuban people, food, drink and culture but that doesn't mean I won't be back for more at a later date.
Thanks very much John and Yoxander for a great time in Cuba. We are still raving about it! We liked the range of the activities but the highlight for us was the engagement with local people and the freedom to explore each place. Talking to ordinary Cubans in towns and on farms was particularly interesting.
This trip was well organized where it was needed with transportation, accommodations and tours. It was also great in terms of flexibility, with the ability to stop, explore and interact with Cuba (its people and interesting places) when the opportunity presented itself.
Johnny ("El Canguro") is the best tour guide I ever met! I think he was born to do this job... He is just great dealing with people, he cares a lot about the needs / wishes of the group and although it seems sometimes that everything is a chaos, he manages to get everything in place, solve the problems and help you to experience the real Cuban experience! It was just fantastic to play dominos with the old guys in the suburbs of Santiago and to dance and sing with the locals in the pena in la Havana and then go to the Malecon to continue with the singing!
The tour was the best that Karin and I have done. I really liked the way it was organised, the country and its people. We loved the organic garden in Trinidad. Hope to be back some day. Do you organise tours to Colombia and Bolivia?
This was our first organised trip and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We were fortunate to have an excellent tour guide whose knowledge of Cuba, combined with his laid back but professional attitude, enhanced our experience. The trip covered so much of the country and gave us better overall appreciation of Cuba than we could have done on our own.
Brilliant tour, couldn’t have asked for more! More than any other trip I have done in the past, we had opportunities to interact with the local people. We learnt a lot about the Cuban way of life. Best tour leader I have ever had by far. He really made the trip for us organising fantastic activities like a walk to the waterfall in Trinidad, music clubs at night, street party at Santiago and 1959 convertibles in Havana. I was very impressed with the standard of accommodation. Even the casa de particulars were excellent. I really enjoyed 3 nights in Trinidad, Santiago and Baracoa, it was ample time to get to know a city.