Explore’s Adventure Travel Consultant Cat Morrissey returned from an adventure in Cuba earlier this week and couldn’t wait to share her tales of walks, salsa dancing and meeting the locals…
I travelled on Cuba Libre, a packed tour of Cuba, covering practically the entire island. I tried to pick out a few highlights of the trip, but that proved difficult as there were so many! Here’s what I managed to narrow it down to:
1) The day in Trinidad – a perfect mix of sight-seeing in the morning, an optional visit to the beach in the afternoon, followed up with dinner in a restaurant In one of the locals’ homes – it was, without doubt, the most amazing food l had in the whole tour.
2) An impromptu salsa lesson at one of the haciendas we stayed at. It was given by the tour leader and the local guide – very funny and totally unplanned
3) Visiting the house of music at Santiago de Cuba with cocktail in hand, watching the dancing and listening to the live music, an unforgettable night!
4) A day at the beach on Cayo Levisa – perfect weather for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico where it was great to just relax and take in our surroundings.
5) We stayed in several haciendas during the tour but the first was a revelation – it felt like our very own beautiful little piece of heaven in the middle of nowhere!
Aside from these highlights (I really couldn’t stop at just those!) I also really enjoyed the walks too. The scenery was lovely and even with the hot weather, the walking was at a nice pace so the whole group got to look at the flora and the wildlife and look for the Trodogan – Cuba’s national bird.
The Cuba Libre tour was everything I hoped for - an excellent chance to visit Cuba and experience the lives and loves of the locals. From the cities to the woods of Topes De Collantes I felt and saw the vibrant colours and festivities of the real Cuba. It was also great to see the tobacco farmers hand rolling cigars and getting to eat in the ‘home’ style restaurants and meet the families who lived there.
My top tip for this tour (or any visit to Cuba!) – try a new cocktail at every place you stop and don’t hesitate to dance with a local when they ask you at one of the many houses’ of music. They will whirl you around and show you how to salsa the night away! Great fun!