These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.
Cynthia Gilliam review 12 Feb 2017
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Most memorable for me was the window into the lives of Cubans. I learned a lot from our guide and the staff, but I had the chance to talk to many Cubans
throughout the course of the tour. I will remember Cuba as a place with great untapped potential for economic development and growth. I also loved the music. It is everywhere!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
The ride was ranked as a 1,2. It was harder than that. There were considerable challenges on each day except the second ride. I would suggest travelers who
are interested in this ride do significant training before hand. I would also suggest you bring extra cash for the additional events that are offered throughout the trip.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I do not feel that the trip reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation. We had a large bus for only 18 people. Maybe a smaller vehicle would have been better. I think the trip benefited Cubans only because we brought money into their economy, which is very poor.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was a great group of folks from around the world and we all got along and enjoyed each other. Our guide was incredible. He was flexible, patient and helpful.
He has a wealth of knowledge about his country and his pride of Cuba is evident. He was able to tap into what we wanted and provide it. One member of the
tour turned 81 during the week and he arranged for a cake with candles for her at dinner!
Tour op to respond to Q3 - 13/02/2017
Read the operator's response here:
Dear Cynthia. Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip.
Regarding the grading of the trip we do an annual audit of all trip grading’s based on feedback and our staff visits to ensure that we are grading correctly. We do feel that this trip is currently suitably graded however we will take your comments on board in our audit so thank you for letting us know regarding this.
I’d like to give you a little more information regarding your comments on question 3. While it is true that the local community generally benefit from our commerce we do take every step to ensure that the positive impact of our business is felt by as many as possible.
Our decision to stay in ‘Casas Particulares’ ensures that local families benefit from our stay and our visits to local family run restaurants also ensure that the economic benefits of our stay are widely distributed. Many of the sites visited also ensure a contribution to the preservation of Cuban heritage. Regarding reducing environmental impacts this is something that we are constantly working on. The availability of buses that are right for the group size is a bit of a challenge in Cuba as minibuses are not currently widely available. Clearly, things are changing fast in Cuba however so we are continuing to push for vehicles that match the group size. Another initiative we are soon to introduce will be the inclusion of drinking water on all of our Cuba trips so we can reduce the use of plastic here and manage our environmental impacts better.
We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Cuba one day.