Tailor made Cuba tours

“A week long tailor made holiday, supported by local guides, staying in casas particulares. With three days in Havana, and lots of other adventures packed into the week. ”


Havana Cienfuegos | Trinidad | Hike in Sierra Escambray | Hemingway’s House in San Francisco | Viñales

Description of Tailor made Cuba tours

This independent, tailor made Cuba tour packs a lot of prettiness into a week. Staying in traditional ‘casas particulares’ guesthouses along the way, travel a route that takes you to cities that include the historic and inimitable Havana and the colonial, coastal town of Trinidad.

Cuba is a very special country and you will have plenty of opportunities not only to discover its cultural wonders, but also its magnificent natural heritage. Highlights for nature lovers include hiking in Sierra Escambray mountains, or exploring the laidback rural town of Viñales which is surrounded by limestone hills known as ‘mogotes’, organic farms and tobacco plantations.

Time at the coast is a must in Cuba and Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the prettiest bays in the country. Known as the "Pearl of the South" it also boasts beautiful French colonial architecture dating back to the 18th century, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a tailor made itinerary, so these are only suggestions of what you can do in a week, so do chat to us about your interests and timeframe and we can craft an itinerary to suit you.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Our commitment to responsible travel is endorsed by being a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. In addition, we collaborate with Aniplant, the only animal NGO dedicated to the protection of domestic animals in Cuba. In a place like Cuba, where sustainable tourism is practically unheard of, it is no easy task but we believe that slowly this will change and we hope to be a part of that change. We have been proactive in raising awareness about traveling responsible in Cuba.

We provide our travelers with information on how they can reduce their negative impact and make positive contributions to the communities they will visit in Cuba.

Animal welfare
The issue of animals in captivity is a sensitive one our travelers and for our company. The situation for domestic animals in Cuba is often appalling which is why we have taken it on as our main cause. Horse taxis and scenic rides. We do not recommend these activities as nostalgic as they may seem, many of these horses are in poor condition. In addition, the majority of them work extremely long hours, often times in extreme heat and humidity with poor tack that leaves open wounds on their bodies. Horses around the country have borne the brunt of the transportation crisis in the country especially outside of Havana. While there are animal welfare laws, they are not enforced and it is obvious the suffering they endure horses. There are plenty of bicycles taxis to get you around the cities and towns. In places where horseback riding excursions are part of the itinerary, we have carefully selected the stable in which we work ensuring the highest standards are met for the welfare of the horses.
Our guides are not permitted to take clients to places where animals are used as entertainment or are kept in poor conditions, such the crocodile farm in Peninsula Zapata.

Waste management
In Cuba, solid waste pollution is a problem all over the island and in particular in the cities and towns. Waste disposal systems are just not adequate on the island and with a rapid increase in tourism this year alone, the problem could get worse. We suggestion the following to our travelers.
Say no to plastic bags, instead canvas bags for carry items. We suggest bringing canvas carrier bags so that you can use them for when you purchase water or souvenirs rather than the oneuse plastic bags. Also, remove packaging from items before you leave home, Drinking bottle water is a must when in Cuba since the water supply is not reliably safe.
However, as you can imagine this exacerbates an already over taxed and inadequate waste disposable system. There is an alternate to bottle water which is both good for the environment and good for your budget and that is water filtration bottles that have purification systems so you are able to refill them with tap water and you have safe water to drink.
Cigarette buts should not be dropped on streets or behind bushes but put in a trash bin or in a pocket until a trash bin is available. We recommend smokers carry a receptacle to collect their butts. Plastic film cases are excellent for this and reduce the smell!

As an island nation, Cuba depends largely on rainfall for its water supply. But the past years has been one of record drought but this is only half the problem, the situation is exacerbated but a crumbling water delivery infrastructure and treatment facilities. You will see in Old Havana, in particular that water tankers bring potable water to residents. Try be aware of your water usage and take steps to minimize it when possible. If you would like to read more about it, a recent article in the Havana Times, Extreme Drought in Cuba, Many are Unaware.
We also suggest, eco friendly toiletries especially coral safe sunscreen. A common ingredient found in chemical sunscreen is toxic to coral. We recommend mineral based sunscreen, with titanium oxide or zinc oxide which has been found not to harm reefs. Not only are these types of sunscreens better for the marine environment but they are better for your skin! Let’s help keep Cuba’s coral reefs healthy.

Tourism has a great impact all over the world, our commitment and that of our travelers is to make that impact a positive one.

The Impacts of this Trip

We are passionate about Cuba, and as it is natural we want to help to maximize the benefits that tourism can bring to Cubans. Our tours help and promote the small but growing entrepreneurial activity. That is why we almost exclusively work with casa particulares, paladares and other privately owned businesses. The casa particulares we work with are especially selected with people and stories to discover in each of them. While these private homes do not offer lists of amenities they make up for it in oodles of charm. Our biggest challenge is to offer real experiences that hotels could never provide.

In addition, we only work with local guides, so that the wealth our tourism brings to the island stays with hard working Cubans and the travelers are able to experience the true soul of Cuba and discover all its secrets. This is a way of traveling that helps the local communities grow and the visitors understand the real Cuban way of life.

Our trips:
Work almost exclusively with privately owned businesses, these include casas particulares, paladares and small shops in addition to working with independent licensed guides.
Work in partnerships with privately owned businesses, rather than state owned.
Provide employment and leadership opportunities for our guides and tour leaders.
Are safe, fun, and enjoyable for our travelers and the opportunity to interact with local people.
Limit the negative impacts to daily lifestyles of local people.
Actively discourage the participation of our groups in activities which exploit animals – wild or domestic. This includes zoos, aquariums, breeding farms (i.e. crocodile farm) as well as horse taxis and carriage rides. We strongly recommend alternatives, such as pedal taxis.
Do not promote visits to any dolphinariums, swim with dolphins, or the National Acuario in Havana.
Educate travelers about responsible tourism.
Help us to donate to the charity that we support.
Provide travelers with water filtration bottles in order to reduce the quantity of bottled water that must be purchased.

We want you have the best possible vacation while at the same time making a positive difference in the local communities.


1 Reviews of Tailor made Cuba tours

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We have traveled quite a bit around the USA, Canada, South Africa, Europe and the Virgin Islands. Our trip to Cuba was unbelievably memorable specifically
because of our amazing guide and driver, thanks to Responsible Travel. With exception of South Africa, we have not used guides/drivers and prefer to do it
ourselves. There is NO WAY we could have done such a rewarding deep dive into Cuba in eight days without them and I highly recommend Responsible
Travel! Our guide was smart, bilingual, personable, candid, and as conversational as we wanted to be (and perceptive enough to respect silence). She was a
100% get it done young woman that all four in our group truly liked as a person and respected as a professional. Adrienne is the best!!! And our driver Os
Mani (sp?) was great!!! Our adventure ranged from a baseball game in Havana and walking through neighborhoods with vibrant street life to hiking in the
Escambray Mountains and colonial Trinidad, UNESCO World Heritage site. Loved it all.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Money is hard to come by and credit cards are not recognized or accepted - anywhere. Take US dollars (or whatever currency) and exchange most of it for
CUCs from the beginning. It will feel weird carrying around that much cash, but there is no alternative. My husband took a money belt that fit inside the waist
of his shirt and pants. We took out the CUCs we needed for the day and stored the rest in the belt. Lines at the banks in Havana were LONG! The electricity
went out in the first one and they closed it. Our guide got us in to the front of a long line at another one, but we did not get enough CUCs so had to go to another bank a few days later. Then again in Santa Clara, and the bank rejected several $20 bills saying they were "dirty", had a spot of ink or a tiny tear. Out of $660 US dollars in 20s, they would only accept $520. One bank was closed unexpectedly because the area was being sprayed for mosquitos. So, when you have a chance to exchange money, go ahead and get plenty.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our trip to Cuba definitely benefited the Cuban people. Since the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, more little private businesses, such as restaurants and bed/breakfasts are popping up. Our holiday featured staying in the homes of Cuban people where they received payment instead of government owned/operated hotels. We also went to small private restaurants, often on ground floor of people's homes, instead of government owned/operated bars and
restaurants. In Cuba, the government owns and runs everything! But there is now a budding of private enterprises by private citizens, which we supported.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our trip was amazing in every way -- culturally, historically and politically. Our guides added tremendous value through their inside knowledge, candid responses to our questions about life in a communist country, and winning personalities. I was skeptical but quickly became a complete convert to the benefit of traveling this way!

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