Greater London, UK
- This was a very well planned and organised small group tour which managed to show us a wealth of sights within a short time (one week). Staying in Casas Particulares was a wonderful experience. I especially enjoyed my stay with a lovely family in Havana. They treated me as one of the family! The first day in Havana was amazing as so much was packed into the day. I was fortunate in being able to stay on for a few days in Havana at the end of the trip, as for me one week was too short a time and I would recommend this. I did not like the accommodation in Trinidad quite as much, mainly because the Casa owner seemed to be building a small empire - he was adding several extra floors to his house and, when I stayed, there were five guests staying in the house, which made it feel more like a small hotel than a family home. Also in Trinidad, some of the other members of our group were staying on the other side of town, which made it difficult for us to meet up in the evenings as a group, especially as phones didn't seem to work most of the time in Cuba! The tour leader, Jose', was very knowledgeable and explained everything very well. However, we did feel under pressure about giving tips all the time to everyone which, although more than happy to give, we didn't like being pressurised into it. We found that even when using toilets on our travel stops, we were pressed for money. I fully understand that due to the two currency system in Cuba, the Cubans find it hard to earn enough to live on and they need to supplement their income, but this constant pressure to tip did become a bit wearisome. Altogether, though, a really great experience and I would travel with Explore again.
Published on: 29 April 2017