3 independent reviews for Trekking vacation in Cuba

These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers 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 travelers below.


review 11 Jan 2017

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

Getting to know the Cuban people and staying in their homes was an invaluable experience. By far my favorite moment was the tobacco wanting tour! We enjoyed it so much we returned 2 days later and had a great time visiting the owners of the different farms.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

When visiting Vinales there are many casa options even if you haven't pre-booked. The advantage of using responsible travel was not having to carry the extra cash for our stays, transportation, and tours. Best tip: Go with out fear. Cuba is beautiful and greets you amazingly. We found people resolved an problem we had by calling a friend of a friend etc.

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

Absolutely, we engaged with the local people and supported their businesses. We learned about the travel impact and how it is changing their own economy.

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

5 stars! This was a trip of a lifetime and we made great connections. I felt as if I were a part of the family in each casa we stayed in. I look forward to returning.

Read the operator's response here:

We are delighted that you enjoyed your trip to Cuba with us, and that you made good connections with local people. We would be very happy to help organise your next trip to the island, and look forward to hearing from you again. Kath Bateman

review 14 Aug 2016

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

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

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

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

On the front end prior to the trip to Cuba, we had some very practical recommendations that helped harness expectations to match reality, which helped make the trip more enjoyable. Event and tour ticket pickup points and times were mostly easily understood and accurate. Most of the contracted guides were helpful, courteous, and provided a lot of insight into Cuban culture. I'll be a repeat customer.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for your positive comments about your hiking trip in Cuba. I am delighted that our practical recommendations proved to be useful on the ground and that our trip instructions were correct and easy to follow. Looking forward to hearing from you again in the future!

review 17 Nov 2006

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

Certainly interesting was the venture to see Castro's headquarters in Alta Naranjo.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Ask cost of tour before accepting offered tours. The city tour of Holquin, was more expensive than I would have thought. It was not clear to me when we were dropped off, that it was/ was not included in our payments. Also, I definitely think the trek should be condensed into 2 days in the park and not 3. When we were there we met a large UK group who did it in 2 days, and others who did it from the Caribbean side who did it in one day. The down side to only 2 days, is that the refugee on the Caribbean side, was in a nicer location.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Due to the time spent in the park.

Read the operator's response here:

We provide a detailed itinerary for all clients, including everything that has been booked by us and whether it needs to be paid for locally or has already been included in the price paid by the client. We have no information on Holguin city tours, nor was this at any time mentioned to Mrs Parsons by us so it naturally would not have been included in our arrangements for her. We are very sorry if she misunderstood the local representative who met her at the airport and would agree with her that you should always check the cost of an additional element of the trip before booking it. If we had had this information, we would certainly have passed it on to her before departure. Re the trekking, we have tried various options over the last 4 years for hiking over Pico Turquino, and in our opinion three days in the national park is the best length of time to spend there. The trek that was booked in this instance was our full 5 day round trip which includes 3 nights in the national park. We are able to book abridged treks in this beautiful national park but it means cutting out some aspects of the overall programme. The first full day in the park includes a guided visit to La Comandancia, Fidel's secret HQ in the Sierra Maestra mountains, which takes the best part of 3-4 hours from the starting point of San Domingo. It is such a significant place to visit that it would be pointless to rush the visit. The latter part of that first day is spent walking to the La Platica community, an hour from La Comandancia, where the first night is spent in a refuge with dinner cooked and served by a local chef. There is usually time to explore the community and to visit the local primary school and doctors post, which is all part of the cultural tourism aspect of our trips in Cuba. The second day in the park includes trekking for 5-6 hours to the Aguada de Joaquin refuge about 2 hours from the summit of Pico Turquino. It would not be practical to push people on to the next available refuge on Pico Cuba which is 90 mins from the summit on the other side of the mountain. The third full day in the park includes hiking from Aguada de Joaquin to Pico Cuba where the third night is spent. The final day includes a 4 hour descent to Las Cuevas on the coast and the end of the trail. I do not see how anyone can do the whole ascent and descent in one day unless they were going up and down the same route from the Caribbean side rather than going down the other side of the peak to Santo Domingo. We are always willing to amend our programmes to suit our clients and have a number of tailormade treks which can accommodate most itineraries. We are delighted that Mrs Parsons enjoyed her trip overall and, as she suggests, we will advise future travelers to double check prices of local tours before booking them.

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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