“Local interaction is the focus of this tour. You'll stay with Cuban families, be led by local guides, take a salsa class and wander the backstreets of crumbling colonial cities.”
Havana | Bay of Pigs | Cienfuegos | Santa Clara | Che Guevara Mausoleum | Trinidad | Salsa lesson and show | Bicycle taxi tour of Camaguey | Santa Lucia beach | Santiago de Cuba | Tobacco factory | Baracoa | Optional: rainforest trek, scuba diving, snorkelling, chocolate tasting
You'll be astonished how little is available in Cuba. Bring toiletries, pens, notebooks and toys to donate to your Cuban hosts - they will be much appreciated.
Small group, 2-12 people. No minimum age.
Homestays, option of hotel in Havana.
Solo travelers welcome, no supplement for single rooms.
Accommodation, listed activities, airport transfer on arrival, transport inc. local flight. $600-$850 recommended for extra meals and costs.
All breakfasts, 2 lunches.
Responsible tourism: Discover Cuba vacation, 15 days
This tour is committed to showcasing the very best of Cuba, and providing travelers with an authentic and unforgettable small group tour experience in Cuba . You will have unrivalled access to local people from all walks of life while you experience an island that has so much to offer that sometimes you won’t even know where to begin (that’s what your experienced local guide is for). Our aim is to take you inside this remarkable society in a fun, respectful and meaningful way.
As an organisation our commitment to Cuba's environment and culture is unwavering as we are very much aware of the impact travel and tourism can have on a destination. For this reason we cap the number of people on the trip, so a group is no larger than 10 people. This enables us to source more authentic accommodation options and local transportation that makes a smaller footprint on the environment. Furthermore all of our tour guides are not only native to Cuba, but are passionate about the country they live in as well. This is of most importance to us, because we believe in showcasing the very best of Cuba and this starts with knowledgable guides who know the country inside out, for better and for worse. Using local guides (alongside local organisations) helps us contribute to local economies and give back to the communities we work with. We encourage our guides to speak honestly of the Cuba they have grown up in and there impressions of the outside world as a comparison. It also allows us to provide local employment and engagement in the community.
Our organisation has implemented and enforces a 7 point checklist which we share with our employees and fellow travelers that acts as a set of guidelines to help protect Cuba's natural environment. These guidelines include:
Protecting plants and wildlife - Removing rubbish - Keeping streams and lakes clean - Treating accommodation and host families with respect - Respecting Cuba's cultural heritage - Keeping to the track - Consider other people.
We also provide a set of recommendations to our travelers as to how they can can contribute, protect and enhance Cuba's culture and environment including:
- learning some of the local language, - carrying a water bottle - always disposing of waste in a responsible manner. - minimise the amount of disposable goods travelled with - be respectful with photography
We ensure that all activities and excursions we include and recommend have minimal impact on the environment and wildlife as well.
Our ties to Cuba and its people are strong. We have built a network of people across Cuba who we affectionally call our 'Cuban family'. These include tour leaders, local guides, classic car drivers, Casa Particular (homestay owners), local restauranteurs, bar tenders and dance instructors all with there own stories to tell and experiences to share. We believe that giving something back to the community is essential, because it is this community that makes our tours such a success. We work with our fellow travelers, clients, employees, and local contacts to ensure the successes of our business go directly back into the community. This is not only good for the towns and cities we visit but it also gives our travelers more enriched adventures.
Our tours are committed to using local homestay accommodation, making your Cuban experience even more unique and memorable (not to mention fun!). Known as Casa Particulares, this type of accommodation is comfortable for guests and generally has very good facilities. They provide you with a great way to experience Cuban culture and interact with Cuban nationals.
Furthermore the activities we include and recommend in our tours, are ones that most benefit and are representative of the community.
All of our staff and local contacts are treated like family, enabling us to instil a sense of ownership amongst our stakeholders and deliver ongoing support to the Cuban people and economy. We know the country and its people inside out and our endeavour is to show the Cuba we love, live in and respect.
Reviews of Discover Cuba vacation, 15 days
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 vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 09 Apr 2016 by Natalie Kordeczka
It was full of fantastic experiences with enough free time too. We'd definitely recommend this trip.Read full review
Exceptional in every way - nature, people, variation, history and organisation....The whole vacation was memorable! The fact that we were a small group, and that the destinations and activities were so varied, were important, but in particular the guide was first class. Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Aug 2016 by Ian Spilsbury
A very positive experience of Cuba, excellent value for money, a great way to see lots of the country and meet local peopleRead full review
Reviewed on 29 May 2016 by Helen Thomson
Excellent. It really gave us an insight into how Cuba past, present and future is changing. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Apr 2016 by Shelagh Travers
I've only been back a few weeks, but it seems like several of my friends are seriously thinking about going on the same tour. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Mar 2016 by Don Piller
Our group has visited all over the world and I'd say that this is one of the top 3 or 4 trips that we have had. The overall trip feeling was excellent. The "value" was outstanding from the standpoint of money spent per memory gained. We lodged well, ate good, partied hard, and saw everything advertised and much much more. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jan 2016 by ian corby
The most memorable part of the vacation was to see the real Cuba and get a true flavour of its culture and the history and people.Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Jun 2016 by Sherry Saehlenou
The most memorable part of my trip was our guide for the Cuba trip, Ihosvany. He made the trip special by being so attentive to the needs of a diverse group of travelers. He delivered 120%Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Mar 2016 by Hugh McGarel-Groves
It was a great adventure and very pleased to have visited such an amazing country.Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Feb 2016 by Becky Redford
One of the highlights for me was dinner and the flamingo show at Restaurante 1800, a palandar in Plaza San Juan de Dios in Camaguey. We returned to the plaza the following day to see the area during the daytime and check out the artists' workshops. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Apr 2016 by Clare Alderson
Best bits: Seeing wild hummingbirds, finding fossilised coral on the beaches, swimming in the river in a rainstorm, seeing traditional sugar cane production, sampling daiquiris.Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Mar 2016 by Laura Cowie
Best bits: - All things Vinales
- Vintage car ride in Havana
- Government run ferry boat ride around Santiago de Cuba port & islandsRead full review
Reviewed on 27 Oct 2015 by Carrie Whiting
Absolutely wonderful. Visiting Cuba is like visiting a time capsule: it has so much charm. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 May 2015 by Stuart Durrant
Fantastic vacation - well organised from start to finish. Book with confidence. This was the best tour we have been on and all others we met said the same thing.Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Mar 2015 by Cherry Shelton-Mills
Talking with local people - staying with families who were unfailingly friendly and hospitable. Learning about Cuba, its history and society - absolutely fascinating - the Cubans have so much to be proud about. Of course the music and dance were great!
All in all, the best vacation ever.Read full review
We loved everything about Cuba, the culture, the people, the country and the
architecture.Read full review
Reviewed on 07 May 2015 by Rachel Zatz
I loved Trinidad, but really enjoyed staying in different people's houses and getting the opportunity to find out about their lives. Our vacation definitely benefited local people in visible ways.Read full review
Reviewed on 04 Mar 2015 by Charmian Hobbs
Each part of the tour provided a different experience of Cuba but of course there is even more to find out about.
Don't expect a typical tourist trip where everything is to hand but do give your time to wander through the streets, talk to the people, look at the amazing buildings which may not exist anywhere else in the world.Read full review
This vacation was great and I was still smiling weeks after I got back home. To date it has been the best vacation I have ever been on. I came home really relaxed and incredibly happy. I would challenge anyone to go to Cuba, spend sometime with the people and not be effected by their wonderful nature.Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Apr 2014 by Karin Barrett
Absolutely brilliant....We thought our tour was excellent - a comprehensive itinerary and good value. It was really packed with activities so we did enjoy a beach break at the end.Read full review