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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 2,720

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Classic Cuba DCL

Visiting: Cuba
Tour Duration 15 Days
Reviews for Classic Cuba 4.5 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Classic Cuba tour available at present.

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5 Kay Jefferies, 03/11/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

I have just returned from Cuba with two friends and we had a fabulous time travelling Cuba. It's quite a busy tour, with a couple of long days on the bus but lots to see as you travel through the country. I particuary liked Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus and of course Havana! Cayo is beautiful and provides time for a well earned rest. I would highly recommend this tour for those looking to see a lot of the island in a short space of time. Something for everyone here!

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4.5 Rob Williams, 06/03/15

Please Review Your Overall Experience And What Your Highlights Were

This was even better than Namibia and Sri Lanka.It provided an eclectic mix of opportunities to experience very many aspects of Cuban life, environment,history and politics. We felt less awkward about our 5* perspective, as tourism is obviously such a valued element in diversifying their economy. Highlights were undoubtedly the rain forest walk up to Fidel's Commandancia la Plata, the beaches and the omnipresent music with a final Buena Vista concert!


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4 Robert, 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Hiking up into the Sierra Maestra Mountains to Castro's hideout was amazing. The local guide provided stunning information and the views and the history were worth the trek. Also, the evening drive around Havana in an open top 1950 Chevy is not to be missed!

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Our Response

Thank you for your feedback. All our tour leaders receive training before they work for us, and refresher training on an ongoing basis. Our Operations Manager for Cuba has just come back from a week there providing training, and we’re confident that all our Cuban leaders who passed the training will be delivering a high quality service. Only the ones who passed will be working with our groups!

4 , 30/08/13


Catherine Williams

Tour Code


What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

"There were many highlights. Cuba has an interesting history and culture. I have many memories. My favourite place if forced to choose would have to be Trinidad. Going into Havana in open top classic cars is the best way to travel for an evening out.The countryside is beautiful with amazing views. At the end of the tour the couple of days spent in the all Inclusive is just the job, as a rest is needed from the long journey's in the bus. "

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Dayron was extremely knowledgeable, he spoke with passion and experience about his country, this very helpful when understanding the culture and reasons for the countries problems. Near the end of the holiday Dayron was not feeling well, this did affect his ability as a leader.He could have given information on the bus rather than wait until inside the hotel when we all just wanted to go to our rooms.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Be prepared for some long days on the bus.Having said that Cuba is really worth seeing and experiencing. Just going into the local shop where people have their rations measured out is a stark reminder of how different it is from the lives we lead.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

The hotel Nacional is truly awful: there is no way it should be classed as anything near 5 star.Explore advertise this holiday as comfortable and standard hotels. This hotel is classed as comfortable!!! when we had a bath, pulled out the plug the water came up through the drain in the floor flooding every time we used it. Pillows and bed linen looked clean but were damp.The smell of damp was overpowering. I would not stay in this hotel ever again even if it was free.Both standard hotels surpassed this one by a long way. Explore need to look into this. We paid for stays there at the start and end of the holiday as comfortable, therefore value for money it was not .

Our Response

Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry you were unhappy with your time at the Nacional. There are limited options in Havana: either our groups stay in the featureless big modern 5* hotels on the outskirts of the city, or we use the iconic historic venues nearer the centre. As our ‘Premium’ hotels are described as being chosen for ‘their character, location or local importance’, the Nacional fits this description far better than the hotels which are part of big chains. We could certainly consider using one of these instead, but we currently feel the Nacional provides a true Cuban experience. We’ll continue to monitor feedback though, and if the majority view is that higher comfort levels would outweigh the character and iconic aspects, then we will look for an alternative.


5 Nicholas Brenchley, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Understanding the history from our tour leader. Trinidadian was a beautiful city.

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5 Gillian Mary Jackaman, 26/11/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The whole trip was great and so diverse it is impossible to choose one particular highlight.

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4 Nigel Fox, 29/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Royal Hideaway resort and seeing all the old classic cars

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Our Response

This caused us to have to change to a different airline which unfortunately incorporated an extra stop en route.  We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused during your travels. 

0 Lauren Dunford, 16/05/11
This was an absolutely superb holiday which surpassed my expectations.  Cuba is a fascinating country and I fell in love with the island on the very first day.  Our tour leader, Erik, worked incredibly hard and went the extra mile every day to share his knowledge of his country, its history, people, music, culture, cuisine and wildlife with us throughout the tour.  I had heard from several people that the food in Cuba is disappointing but I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of many of the meals which we had, especially in the local paladares which Erik managed to find for us.  The quality of the accommodation was generally good too.  The highlights for me were Havana (a place I could never get bored of), the stunning colonial town of Trinidad, sea kayaking off the coast of Cayo Ensenachos and watching the sunset at the cannon blast ceremony at the El Morro Fort in Santiago de Cuba before having a tour of the local working lighthouse.  I will also never forget the exhilirating - yet utterly nerve-shredding - experience of "flying" on a zip wire across the rooftops of Las Terrazas and the surrounding valley on Cuba's first zip wire canopy tour.  All in all, it was an unforgettable trip; I cannot recommend it enough and I will definitely travel with Explore again. (DCL - 27th February 2011)
0 Sarah W, 31/12/10
This tour delivered the unexpected and surpassed all expectations. It was an intimate view of Cuba, delivered by Cubans, and one I feel privileged to have been a part of. The itinerary takes in walking tours of colonial squares, exciting city stops, numerous museums (exploring pre and post revolutionary Cuba) and contact with the local population … with a relaxing, indulgent beach stay thrown in for good measure.  There’s opportunity to sample the local nightlife … with plenty of salsa time.  The implications of the Socialist regime - both good and bad - are difficult to fully comprehend.  Just when you think you have a handle on it, and can validate your personal conclusions, some new information throws your verdict into question. At times Cuba was shocking, at times funny and at others deeply moving. Diesel, tobacco and Latin rhythms fill the air, rum flows all hours of the day, and rice and black beans accompany every meal. Outside of all the unique occurrences that occupied our two week journey of the Cuban island, these are the things I will remember the most … these are the things you will find when you visit this impressive Republic.  Visit now … before McDonalds, Starbucks and Coca Cola occupy every street corner … and the bill boards promote more than the revolution. For it will not stay this way for long … of that I am, conflictingly, certain. (DCL - 14th November 2010)
0 Phil Knight, 29/12/10
No doubt that the highlight was visiting La Camandancia de la Plata in the Sierra Mesta mountains where Fidel Castro and Che Guevara established their revolutionaries headquarters. Secondly the Cuban people were tremendously helpful, curteous and seemed to possess a quiet dignity. (DCL - 7th November 2010)
0 BH, 14/10/10
All history lovers willl be delighted by this trip because there's so much information to absorb. The first thing that strikes you is the total absence of any kind of advertisements. You really feel you're somewhere totally different. All the cities visited were really interesting.Trinidad for me was the prettiest. It's really colourful and well preserved. You can see the wealth that was brought in by the sugar plantations. Santiago de Cuba, which is known locally as "Sin City"  is very vibrant and full of historical sights, as this was the birthplace of the Revolution and also where Castro pronounced victory over Batista. Interesting for me too to see the old Bacardi factory as it's always been my favourite tipple!  The Comandancia del Plata is a must for history buffs with the preserved accomodation of the rebels, including Fidels bed and the hut where Che practiced his dentistry skills. After all the driving through the countryside and I must say journeys do feel long as a lot of the roads have dreadful potholes, it was nice to have a break in the Royal Hideaway on Santa Maria island. This is a paradise isle with a fabulous beach and luxurious accomodation. It felt far removed from the rest of Cuba...  Back to history again as we visited Santa Clara and the memorial to Che Guevara which is very tasteful and immense. The Revolution is still alive in Cuba.  What can I say about Havana? It's a fascinating city with sights to behold on every street corner.  Enjoying a Daquiri in la Floridida, visiting Hemmingways bedroom in Hotel Ambus Mundus, enjoying the views from the rooftop of Hotel Isabel, taking a ride in an old American car, photographing the crumbling mansions, the Mojitos & Cuba Libres, these are all the things you plan. It's the other things that take you by surprise that make this city fascinating : The colourful dance troop on stilts that came down Obispo: the never ending salsa music; the old men playing dominoes who after giving permission to take their photo were fascinated to see their image on the camera screen; the locals in the Casas de Trovas (music taverns) that were only too happy to teach a few salsa steps to visitors. Some advice for would be travellers: I was amazed by the humidity when I first arrived in Havana so it's important to bring cool comfortable clothes. I noticed a lot of locals had facecloths, which are a really good idea for wiping the sweat off your face. Locals also will look for soap or pens from you. They will be grateful even for the hotel ones..   If you've a sweet tooth bring a few munchies with you. They don't have supermarkets like we know them at all.  Cuba at present is like Ireland back in the 1940's but I expect this will change fast. The economy is in a bad way so I expect that icy relations with America will begin to thaw soon. It will spoil the atmosphere to see the big arch of Mc Donalds and ads for Coca Cola but I imagine it's inevitable. I feel privileged to have seen it like it is and I heartily recommend a visit for everyone. (DCL - 8th August 2010)
0 Rosemary Jeffery, 22/09/10
Amazing colonial architecture, beautiful beaches and friendly people might sum up Cuba but don't forget to mention the art deco, musicians, rum cocktails, old cars and positive outlook on a sometimes difficult life- did I mention the history, jungle hideouts and the time the earth moved?(but it was only a little earthquake!) and don't forget the natural beauty, cigars - just thinking about my trip has put me off work- I WANT TO GO BACK NOW! (DCL- 1st March 2010)
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