6 independent reviews for Cuba highlights and beach holiday
Reviews for Cuba highlights and beach holiday
Lorraine Jarvie-Smith review 12 Feb 2023
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?We did a great day hiking through the Forrest near Trinidad and swimming in a natural pool
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Take pain killers and other off the shelf medication for tipping locals
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Yes, especially staying with locals in the cases.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?Wonderful experience
Daisy Taylor review 26 Jan 2020
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?Horse riding and visiting a tobacco farm in Vinalles - we were a bit unsure about horse riding as its not something we usually do but it turned out to be the best day of the whole trip Prestige tour/ rum tasting at the Havana Club rum museum
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Take a gift for your host if you're staying at a casa- something like traditional biscuits from home or nice toiletries Be prepared to dance! It can get cool in the evenings (in January) and we hit the tail end of a hurricane in Varadero so were actually very cold for a few days. Take enough money for tips You can only buy Havana Club rum at the airport so if you are after another brand, buy it when you see it. Take Euros for the airport - you can't use Cucs and there is a 10% charge to use US dollars
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?It did when we were staying at the casa particular and Las Tarezzas
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?Loved it, already thinking about planning a return trip. Ross was amazing at helping us plan our trip, he couldn't have done enough to help- everything went smoothly as planned and we felt so confident having him to help
Bo Hamilton-cody review 5 Apr 2019
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?Each destination was memorable in its own way: Havana - like stepping back in time, with the old cars on the streets, mixed with horse drawn vehicles. Crumbling buildings alonside somebeautiful architecture. The history, both recent and ancient. Cayo Levisa - paradise! Soo relaxing ! Forced to do absolutely nothing, which was very enjoyable. White sands, crystal clear water, no loud music, no traffic, no nothing just tranquility. Vinales - loved this place. The horse ride to the tobaco plantation is a must for anyone visiting the area; understanding the economics and history of what happens within the tobacco industry - trying our first cigar! And rum, and honey too. Great place to buy gifts. Trinidad - loved the Bici-tour, with our guide - very intersting and insight into how Cubans actually live. Trinidad - casa Del Musica of course.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Whilst the Cubans are grateful for monetary tips (indeed most of them could not survive without these extras). They loved the perfume and aftershave samples we also gave them. They loved the travel toothpastes we gave out, and we left soap bars everywhere we stayed (all these are expensive exras for most Cubans). We ate lunch and dinner for around 35-40CUC a day, incl drinks and additional drinks throughout the day.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?It definitely benefited local people
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?We loved our Cuba trip - it was so great to hand over the planning to Jules and team at the tour operator, as we knew nothing about Cuba. From our initial contact, to tweaking the trip to our needs (more down time at the beach, as it was our honeymoon), to organising our visas and the helpful information which was emailed through about each of the places we were visiting - it all made the whole trip run smoothly. I would definitely recommend this tour operator. Thanks for making it such a memorable trip. There were no hitches with any of the transfers or casas - all we great - the owners friendly & helpful, even if they had limited English and with our limited Spanish - we managed to understand each other. For us Las Terrassas was a let down - the hotel unwelcoming, with no hot water and lack of food choice in the evening was difficult. We would rather have spent the time either at an additional resort, or with extra days elsewhere. Equally Boca de Camarioca was a little too far away from it all - again, as one of us is a veggie we knew food choices would be difficult in Cuba - even more so here, where there was really only 1 or 2 restaurants open in the evening. A taxi to Varedares was 20CUC each way, which made it expensive. The casa and owner were lovely, but we would rather have been nearer a larger resort.
Read the operator's response here:
Hi Bo, Thank you for your feedback and kind words. It's great to hear that you had such a wonderful time in Cuba! I am especially happy that you share you our style of travel and that you took the meaningful experiences from each location that we want all our customers to enjoy. It was a pleasure to put together this itinerary with you and make sure we included all the interesting contrasts Cuba has to offer. I will make sure to forward your feedback to our local partners and the guides that lead your hand picked excursions. The bici-taxi tour in Trinidad is my personal favourite, too! I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay in Las Terrazas as much as staying in the privately owned casa particulares. As all hotels are government run, the service standard tends to be lower. I will make sure to include more tips for restaurant options in the area, such as the vegetarian restaurant Romeo. It's a shame that the casa owner in Boca de Camarioca did not direct you to the shuttle bus to Varadero (which is 1 CUC per person), we will highlight this more in the documents we send out. I do agree, Bo, small presents for the locals are definitely appreciated. I usually go with the rule of thumb of taking something with you that you would gift a friend of your's, too. For example: some biscuits, a nice pack of tea, some small perfumes, a nice notepad with a pen etc. Again, thank you very much for your feedback and I hope we can send you on your next adventure with us soon! All the best, Jules Travel Specialist
Nicole Griffiths review 10 Jan 2019
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?Our time in Trinidad
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Allow more money than we were advised
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?It benefited the local economy as everyone wants tips and taxis and meals are not cheap! I would say it is not reducing the environmental impact, quite the opposite.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?The holiday was well organised and all our transfers and accommodation were good bar one at the beginning.
Read the operator's response here:
Hi Nicole, Thank you for your feedback, we are happy to hear that you had a great time in Cuba – especially in Trinidad – and that all the services arranged by us went smoothly. Advising spending money is a bit tricky as due to different individuals spending habits when travelling. We generally advise around £35-45 spending money per person per day. As a communist country Cuba is in the process of learning how to cater to the western world and being tipped is one of the great advantages. We believe it’s good to help them learn that tips should be received for good service, rather than as a given. Whilst accommodation in the local bed and breakfasts is quite economical, transfers and meals are more expensive as the maintenance of cars is harder and groceries more difficult to come by due to restricted supply. It would be great to hear more detailed feedback regarding the environmental impact of your trip. Whilst your transport by private taxis is less environmentally friendly than the alternative option to travel by public transport, we feel that by staying at local homes and at the Eco-Biosphere Las Terrazas your trip benefited the environment, as opposed to staying in e.g. the government run all-inclusive hotels. Once again, thank you for you review, Nicole, it’s much appreciated! Warm regards, Jules
Julian Philpott review 9 May 2018
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?The tours were excellent, much better than we expected.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Don't expect much from Cuban food, don't move around too quickly, be polite- say hola and smile, watch out for stomach problems and go prepared.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Yes, very much so
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?Excellent, it was a fantastic trip and we all had a great time
Judy Corbett review 24 Apr 2018
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?For me, the highlight was riding through the tobacco lands with the red earth, hot sun and beautiful scenery, or perhaps it was the horse-drawn cart trip to the waterfall and then swimming in the cool, clear water with the birds swooping in and out of their little cave nests.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?If part of your trip involves time an all-inclusive resort, take a large refillable thermos mug (like you might use for take-away coffee). Not only do you get more beer or cocktails every time you fill up, but more importantly it saves on little plastic cups!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Staying in casa particulares definitely benefits the locals and the trips we took involved small local producers, farms and restaurants. The quality all round was excellent.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?Exceptionally well organised, lovely knowledgeable local guides and hosts. Cuba was so interesting, plenty to be curious about and people happy to chat. A wonderful experience topped off with a few days of indulgent sun, sea and sand!
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.