It appears that your web browser does not support JavaScript, or you have temporarily disabled scripting. The Explore website requires JavaScript enabled to operate correctly.

Find a trip

Where would you like to go?
What type of trip do you like?
When would you like to go?
More search options
633 Matching trips
Site Search

Customer Feedback

Read reviews

Brochures

Discover our latest brochures available online now, with hundreds of adventures to choose from.

E-newsletter

Be the first to hear about great new tours, competitions, special offers and unique departures.

Gift Vouchers

The perfect gift idea for any occasion. Send gift vouchers and create fantastic memories with vast trips and experiences to choose from.

The Best of Western Cuba CN

Visiting: Cuba
Trip Duration 8 Days
 

Reviews for The Best of Western Cuba

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

Trip notes

Each departure date has its own dedicated trip note, detailing all you need to know about that trip. 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 The Best of Western Cuba trip available at present.

Please select a date:

Download

The Best of Western Cuba reviews verified by reevooReevoo

88 reviews

Reviews from: Sort by:
The Best of Western CubaScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 88 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Katie

If you are short on time this tour provides a good overview of some of the key highlights of Western Cuba including Havana, Vinales, Trinidad and Che's Monument and Mausoleum in Santa Clara. There is quite a bit of travelling, but this is to be expected on such a short tour. I really enjoyed the day trip to Vinales, where a short walk highlighted some of the key products of the region (coffee, cigars, sugar cane), and we were shown how the coffee beans are processed and how cigars are made by hand (yes, we got to sample them too!). Staying in the Casa Particulares in Trinidad was a great experience as it gave me the opportunity to see more of the Cuban life and to practice some of my rather rusty Spanish skills. Breakfasts at our Casa were excellent (omelettes, fresh fruit, bread, Cuban coffee, fresh pineapple juice). I would have liked a bit more time in Cienfuegos (and less time at the 'beach') as it looked a really picturesque city, even in the dark! I enjoyed the optional trip from Trinidad into the mountains (Topes de Collantes), and swimming in a natural pool with a waterfall was one of the highlights of the trip for me. However, I think the price of this day trip was quite expensive for what it was (55 CUC). In general, Cuba was much more expensive for tourists than I was anticipating, especially as Sterling has fallen so much against the Dollar (to which the CUC is tied).

We found it quite difficult to change money and Euros are now preferred to Sterling. On arrival the queue at the airport for changing money was 2.5 hours long, and the hotel reception (Hotel Plaza) did not have any money available (on more than one occasion). The food in Cuba was much better than expected and we had some excellent meals, but it is still worthwhile to take some cereal bars or something as local shops are non-existent and it is not possible to buy snacks like you might do in other countries. In Cuba, never turn down an opportunity to change money, use the toilet or have some food! The facilities and condition of the rooms in Hotel Plaza leaves a lot to be desired (even in Cuba) - avoid rooms on the 4th floor if you can (water supply, both hot and cold is very temperamental - hot water was mostly absent), although the roof terrace and breakfast at the hotel was nice.

In summary, a great trip if you are short on time. I flew with Virgin (no delays, worth paying the extra for!) with hand baggage only, so avoided any long waits at baggage claim, which all seemed a bit chaotic.
Confirmed traveller: 05 January 2017
Published on: 08 January 2017
(8 out of 10)

Simon

Birmingham
The large group size of 17 was possibly why I give a lowish score for the itinerary and leader as it was stretched at times...overall good though.
Confirmed traveller: 30 December 2016
Published on: 04 January 2017
(7 out of 10)

Melanie

The itinerary was good, though time management could be improved to allow a little more time in some places (e.g. only 30 minutes to explore Cienfuegos - 2 hours would have been better). Earlier starts would help accommodate this.

The tour leader had a disappointing command of English. The level of information imparted about the history of Cuba and places we visited suffered correspondingly. She would do well to plan the information before hand and deliver it in a thought-through manner. She should prepare in advance, decide what to say, say it, then invite questions. That said, she couldn't understand questions which she invited and so was unable to respond appropriately. She frequently rambled to the point of no-one understanding what she was saying or meaning.

She often showed frustration with the job and failed to deliver the level of service expected of an Explore tour leader. 'I'm only paid to do xxx and no more.'

Her expectation management was poor and could have been improved with some advance thought: e.g. the waterfall trip was described as 20 minutes when it was more than 40 minutes in each direction, and advice on appropriate footwear would have been appreciated. When we reached the casas particulares in Trinidad, she had clearly arranged with the householders that we would eat there the first night, and she should have told us that was the plan. Instead there was a proposal for a meal out that was immediately unilaterally withdrawn by her as being too expensive, and we were left unsure whether we had a choice or not.

The money solicited for the tips kitty (£25) was too much for 7 days - so much so that she ended up 'buying us lunch' with our own money at the end. It was distributed very unevenly - £20 for a museum guide for 30 minutes, £10 for a walks guide for 2 hours.
Confirmed traveller: 30 December 2016
Published on: 31 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Terry

Sydney Australia
This short tour of Cuban highlights is a wonderful way to capture the essence of this country that is on the cusp of change...Strolling through old Havana and mojitos in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, the traditional coffee and tobacco farms of Vinales, the musical cobblestones and echoes of sugar and slavery in Trinidad and following Che into Santa Clara. Our guide struggled with clear explanations and we are confident that Explore will address this. You need cash (€ or £ not $) and a good guide book. Don't come for the cuisine but for the superb old cars, friendly welcome, amazing music and to see Cuba before McDonalds arrives.
Confirmed traveller: 29 December 2016
Published on: 05 January 2017
(7 out of 10)

Elizabeth

Edinburgh
Castro's death meant Cuba was not its vibrant self for the nine days of mourning. Not a note of music nor a step of dance and only surreptitious alcohol. Our tour leader did her best to substitute for our cancelled salsa and cocktail lessons and improvised impressively but I think we missed out a bit. Couldn't be helped and we witnessed history with the crowds lining the roads for the "tour of the ashes"

We got to see a lot of the countryside ( that also implies quite a longtime in the bus...) and learn plenty of interesting history. Good to stay in casa particulares.
Take a bath plug if you're staying in Sevilla hotel and fancy a soak.
Confirmed traveller: 05 December 2016
Published on: 10 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Robert

York
Cuba lived up to my expectations beautiful country ,friendly people, the group I was with were excellent, although the time I was there was a week of national mourning for Castro so very little alcohol and no music or salsa dancing but that did not detract from a wonderful week every day was enjoyable.
Confirmed traveller: 05 December 2016
Published on: 09 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Gillian

Worthing
Our trip completely coincided with the nine days of national mourning following Fidel Castro's death so with no music, no dancing and little alcohol we didn't quite see 'typical' Cuba but could definitely say we experienced Cuba at a very historic time. I was a first time traveller with Explore, and it was great to find a bunch of like-minded travellers. I was grateful for previous comments/reviews as above for tips on itinerary/currency/etc so I knew what to expect.
Confirmed traveller: 05 December 2016
Published on: 08 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Sarah

Berkshire
Our visit was at an historic time so we saw Cuba from a different view point. Group was fun to be with and overall we saw everything we needed to.
Confirmed traveller: 05 December 2016
Published on: 08 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Johanna

Gret Missenden
I can't rate this trip highly enough.
Loved the vintage car ride through Havana and the boat trip to Iguana island.(yes there are loads of iguanas)
There is so much to list all I can say is' just go' and enjoy the music and mohitos!
Confirmed traveller: 21 November 2016
Published on: 26 November 2016
(10 out of 10)

Angela

Midlands
Great tour which covered so many highlights of Cuba in the time we had. The tour guide Thalia was brilliant, very knowledgeable and very good English, all delivered with a good sense of humour, and a good balance of information of Cuban history, culture, tips for day to day needs. There was a mix of activities including city walking tours, gentle country treks, and opportunies for salsa dancing, cocktail making and a dip in the Caribbean. Meals were in a variety of restaurants and standard was high. The hotel Sevilla in Havana was typically Cuban and was centrally located. The three night stay in the Casa in Trinidad was a wonderful experience, living right in the heart of the town community. The bus trip between Havana and Trinidad was unavoidably long but broken by interesting stops such as the Caribbean beach bar and the Che museum. On our last day in Havana we managed a trip in a convertible, purple Pontiac. Highly recommend this! Also a trip on a bicycle taxi took us down narrow back streets which we would otherwise have missed. Overall a fantastic holiday.
Confirmed traveller: 21 November 2016
Published on: 23 November 2016