3 independent reviews for 10 day Cuba tour, small group

Reviews for 10 day Cuba tour, small group

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review 8 Mar 2018

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

Lots of wonderful items here - snorkeling the Bay of Pigs, Fusterville, poking around Trinidad and Havana, biking Vinales, spotting the national bird (Cuban trogan) at Las Terrazas, and the Buena Vista Social Club! The Che memorial was very touching.

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

Trust the tour operator. They are awesome, honest and full of ideas. My guide (Pedro) was very well-informed. Bring a mosquito net if you are going to Vinales or traveling during the rainy season. Otherwise, the bugs were not bad in February. Make sure to make time to experience the immense amount of art, music and great architecture.

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

Our trip definitely economically benefitted local people, as we stayed in their homes (converted to small pensiones or casas particulares) and ate in their palavars (small restaurants, often with live music). Because we lived with the locals, perhaps our impact was less than at a big hotel. And we went birdwatching and by doing so, supported the existence of habitat for the birds to live in. Las Terrazas is a testament to how the environment can be restored to decent semi-natural condition after clearcutting and by visiting it (and eating in the local vegetarian restaurant), we supported this fine and sustainable approach to re-inhabiting and revitalizing a human-ruined environment. But let's be clear - tourism almost always takes more from than it gives to a local environment. We burned fossil fuels, drank bottled water, ate their food and used their water for our showers. In that sense, we were "just tourists."

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

Cuba has a rich art, music and architectural history that must be seen and heard to really appreciate. The country is a fascinating experiment in living differently from what global capitalism prescribes, with some definite benefits. Of course, because it is not a democracy, there are some downsides as well. Both these factors make Cuba a socially unique place to experience. With the onset of private business licenses, some of that uniqueness will surely dissipate. This and Cuba's ever-present history in all its tragic (slavery days) and revolutionary complexities made a visit to Cuba absolutely absorbing. Plus it has warm, friendly and diverse people and some stunning natural vistas and places (Vinales, most especially). I've travelled fairly extensively in my life so far (more than 50 countries) and yet Cuba struck me as a one-of-a-kind place. It was easy to travel in, too, so I could focus on what I was seeing, hearing and learning. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would return in a heartbeat.

review 5 Jul 2017

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

Swimming by the waterfall we hiked to.

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

Make sure to sip water all throughout the day and wear sunscreen. Also go to La Cuenca restaurant in Viņales.

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

We definitely helped local people by bringing them business.

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

It was wonderful and our guide, Lidier, was super caring.

review 12 Jun 2017

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

Seeing the different cities unfold. Watching the people do "normal" things. The resources they have are very different than those in the US, so it was interesting to see how they go about their lives. It was nice having a guide and visiting the different cities, I would have read up on what to do in the cities before I left, that way when we got there, I could work with our tour guide to do some different activities. I did have a tour book, but there are so many great ideas on the internet as well.

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

Bring snacks from your country. The stores don't sell snacks like you may be used to, and with the heat and humidity, it's nice to have some "salty snacks". I brought a lot of snacks, (protein bars, trail mix, gummy bears,slim jims, peanut butter and jelly). I was able to share with my group and they were very appreciative. Everyone commented that they needed more "salt". Buy the 5 gallon water jugs when you see them and keep refilling your water bottle, you will be amazed at how much water you drink! You don't have to have meals with the group, but it was nice because you knew the food was going to be "safe" and sometimes like when we were in Vinales we had amazing views at a place that you wouldn't find on your own.

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

Yes, we went to area's were we supported the local folks in their environment.

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

It was a wonderful trip. Definitely print out the options, so when you get to a town, or you can work with your local guide on some of the options that are available.

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