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Classic Cuba DCL

Visiting: Cuba
Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Classic Cuba

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Classic Cuba reviews verified by reevooReevoo

54 reviews

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Classic CubaScores 8.7 out of 10 based on 54 reviews
(8 out of 10)

Pamela

Caterham
As described, the trip covered the whole of Cuba, with a great variety of scenery and activities and enough free time to explore each place visited. The accommodation was good, although some of us would have preferred a hotel in Havanna closer to the old town as there is little of interest within easy walking distance of The National. Also, our hotel in Trinidad was changed to homestays and in fact we felt that we were pleased to have had the experience of staying in one of these accommodations once on our trip, and wondered if this could be part of the regular itinerary, or offered as an option.
Confirmed traveller: 04 December 2016
Published on: 06 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Martin

Harrogate
A phenomenally insightful tour of Cuba, its history, countryside, architecture and people. The tour guide was a true fountain of knowledge and answers a deluge of our own questions about Cuban history and society. It is really worth going to Cuba now as it is starting to change. It is a very safe country with lovely people.
Confirmed traveller: 04 December 2016
Published on: 05 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Linzie

Uxbridge
A very busy trip with lots of traveling but you do get to see a lot of Cuba.
Our tour leader Juan Jose was fantastic and gave us a real insight into Cuban life and culture. Try to avoid visiting when any famous Cuban dies and country goes into mourning, No music and no alcoholic drinks in a lot of bars and restaurants.
Our tour leader, under discussion with the entire group, made some tweaks to the itinerary which I think were for the better.
Confirmed traveller: 03 December 2016
Published on: 05 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Sid

Swindon
This wouldn't have been my first choice, but the trip greatly exceeded my expectations and has become one of my truly memorable holiday experiences. Cuba is a 'third world country' like no other. It's safe, many people are poor, but the vast majority receive good standards of health, social care and education, comparable to or exceeding many Western countries. Of course the other side of the coin is that it is a one party state, with all the restricted freedoms and opportunities that come with it.
We regard ourselves as fortunate in being part of a great group, and critically, having a group leader who was highly knowlegeable about the history, economy, politics and geography of Cuba and Latin America. However this only one aspect of what makes Lazaro a truly inspiring guide. Everything was delivered in faultless English with an enthusiasm that brings his culture and homeland to life. Combine this with a sense of humour, an eagerness for questions, to which he usually had an answer, and a desire to make sure that everything ran as smoothly as possible, and you're getting close to perfection. Lazaro is a huge asset to Explore trips, and they should ensure that every opportunity is taken to make use of his services.

The trip is described as 'full on', and although not physically demanding, there are many long days, punctuated with short stops. However this does give the opportunity for an immersion in the history, culture, landscape and nature of Cuba. The three revolutions provide an ever-present backdrop to the towns and cities that are visited.

Many previous comments mention the walk up to Castro's hideaway in the Sierra Maestra. It is rocky in places, but the pace is slow as there are plenty of stops to look at the forest life and the remaining buildings and posts from where Castro and Che Guevara planned the 1959 revolution. The walk is mostly in shade, and the altitude means that temperatures are cooler than where the bus is left.

Moneywise, £400-500 in cash per person should be adequate. Credit and debit card facilities are rarer than hens' teeth. Remember that you will be asked for 40 cucs (dollars) per person for the tip kitty.

Shops are few and far between, so if you're someone who likes snacks bring them with you or snaffle something from the breakfast buffets.

As many reviews mention, eating out is adequate, don't expect any fine dining.

The highlights include the lovely city of Trinidad with its cobbled streets and colourful colonial style buildings. Camaguey and Bayamo are also attractive and interesting. The Bay of Pigs museum has many interesting artifacts and tells the story of the failed counter revolution. The excellent guided tour of the cemetery in Santiago, where Castro's ashes are now interred, includes the mausoleum of one of Cuba's most revered heroes, Jose Marti. Also in Santiago, the stark architecture of the 23 raised machetes in its Revolution Square, and the attractive centre and cathedral, which unlike most churches in Cuba was open.

However, the pervading memories are the constant reminders of the revolution, the complete lack of advertising hoardings, the people, the ancient cars and lorries and of course the music that is ever present.

Let's hope that change comes slowly and peacefully to this intriguing country.
Confirmed traveller: 27 November 2016
Published on: 07 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Priscilla

Trowbridge
Overall this is a wonderful tour. It took us to many wonderful places including world Heritage sites and our guide was extremely knowledgeable, happy to take questions about any aspect of the country to bring Cuba past and present alive. The accommodation is not always premium, however, even by Cuban standards and even when we are not bumped from the advertised hotels. Explore know full well that they are cutting costs in some places, including the advertising of using Virgin Atlantic Direct flights which are soon substituted for much cheaper and poorer and longer ones via Spain. The food in Cuba is never hot but always satisfactory: you are not choosing this trip for a gourmet experience but no one got ill either. This is not a cheap trip as the Cubans run two economies and you will pay European prices for most things. But it is overall a splendid experience and a fascinating trip through history together with a wonderful, relaxing beach stay.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 November 2016
Published on: 03 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

John

Trowbridge
I would certainly recommend this trip. A great guide, lively pace and some great photo opportunities. Highlights were Havana old town, the hike to Commandancia la Plata and the outstanding Cayo Ensenachos on the Sabana archipelago. Take plenty of cash - you can use credit cards at the best hotels but this is not the norm in Cuba. It's a really safe country - you can wander freely and the Cuban people are most welcoming.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 November 2016
Published on: 29 November 2016
(10 out of 10)

Alison

Halesowen
A good insight into Cuba as it is now.

The hotels were comfortable if somewhat interesting; the Casa Particulares (Osmary Alberto) in Trinidad was an unexpected delight, providing the most atmospheric evenings and excellent cooking.

The guide (Yovani Santana) was superb, attentive, and informative with a good sense of humour!!

Highlights were the Casa de la Músíca in Trinidad for the great Salsa bands, the walk to Fidel’s rebel headquarters (not too difficult to walk) and the visit to the eco-village of Las Terrazas.

The only thing I would improve would've been to see a bit more of Havana's nightlife i.e. a Salsa club maybe?

Overall an excellent holiday and I would recommend seeing Cuba before the inevitable changes that will happen soon.
Confirmed traveller: 06 November 2016
Published on: 25 November 2016
(8 out of 10)

Peter

Warrington
Offers insights into colonial and 20th century history. Cuba today, locked as much of it is into a 1950s time warp, is fascinating to experience. Change is almost certainly coming and so it's useful to see the island now. The tour covers a lot of ground but in return you see both west and east of the country.
Confirmed traveller: 06 November 2016
Published on: 09 November 2016
(8 out of 10)

Matthew

London
A good tour made all the better by the people I was travelling with.

Gained a good overview of Cuba and the people although would have personally preferred less time at the 5 star beach resort and a day or two extra at a couple of other cities that I felt we dashed through. Apart from that generally a good paced tour with a few long but perfectly manageable travelling days.

Highlight - being downgraded (!) from a Hotel to a Casa Particulares in Trinidad. It was great and so much more Cuban that (yet another) similar hotel. Quirky and individual - just like Cuba.

Tips - whilst not expensive I spent more than I expected; go on the free Hotel tour in the Hotel National in Havana and don't miss having a beer whilst sat on the steps listening to Cuban music in Trinidad
Confirmed traveller: 06 November 2016
Published on: 07 November 2016

Thank you for your feedback Matthew, I’m really glad that you enjoyed your stay in Cuba and that the Casa Particular in Trinidad was a highlight of your stay. We are now moving to these permanently in Trinidad which not only means that people won’t have to be ‘downgraded’, but also it means that people can experience the real Cuba by staying in a local house. Thanks for sharing your tips with us, a beer (or a rum) on the steps in Trinidad is definitely a must-do!

(7 out of 10)

Hazel

Cambridge
If you want to see midst of Cuba thus is a good trip, however most town do not have much to offer in terms of history or cultural landmarks. It is worth seeing Havana and Trinidad, the other towns you can safely miss as you will not see anything different or new. The countryside is lovely, very similar to south east Asia (tropical) but you don't get enough of a chance to see it, after all the driving to get to your destination you only have one or two hours there which felt a bit rushed. The beach resort was lovely, excellent facilities but bad food (not unusual in Cuba). Overall a good trip if you are determined to see everything but a lot of driving broken up with stops to see each town square.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 01 October 2016
Published on: 06 October 2016