Christmas & New Years Cuba tour


Check dates

2016: 23 Dec

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Christmas & New Years Cuba tour


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 Christmas & New Years Cuba tour

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
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 06 Jan 2016 by

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

It's hard to pick one sight or sound - Cuba is an amazing country, unlike anywhere on earth. Trinidad was a great place to visit, with everything you'd need - museums, restaurants - even a disco in a cave (get there before 11 to avoid queuing too long!) - and unlike Havana, you're not bothered by touts as much. However, the country is changing rapidly, especially since US citizens have been allowed to travel there from 1 January 2016.

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

Bring slippers/flip flops, ear plugs, mosquito repellant/sting relief, lots of diahorrea relief and most of all, you must bring a sense of humour and patience when queuing.

Don't expect anything to be like home - shortages are common - lots of menu items will not be available. And double check all restaurant bills - items are routinely added and overcharged for.

Read all you can about Cuba before you go.

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

No, there was a disjoint between the environmental information you sent and the vacation we experienced. We did lots of touristy things, but didn't mix with many local people, just other tourists and people working in the tourist industry. We used the coach more than necessary, as our guide didn't want to walk. The Cuban tourist industry is still learning, and hopefully will adapt, when every day life isn't such a struggle for them.

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

The vacation would have been better had our tour guide told us about Cuba, rather than nursed a hangover all the time. Sometimes he forgot that we were on vacation, not him! However, the tour ran smoothly enough - mainly thanks to our excellent driver!

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Bryan.

Thank you for your feedback regarding the Christmas/ New Year Group tour of Cuba. We really appreciate your honest appraisal of our services and are always looking for ways to improve and tweak our tour offerings.

I am sorry to hear that you feel like you didn't get the chance to mix with the locals, as this is something we very much encourage. The tour used Casa Particular/ Homestay accommodation, giving you the chance to stay with local families, offering a unique insight into Cuban culture and way of life. Hopefully you had the opportunity and made the effort to interact with these families on a one-to-one basis (although the language barrier can sometimes be difficult). Many of those people working in the tourist industry are English-speaking which makes things easier sometimes when it comes to engaging with the locals. Learning about the emergence of a new breed entrepreneurial Cuban locals is a fascinating aspect of travel to Cuba.

With regards to your guide on tour, we certainly actively encourage our guides to interact and engage with our clients on tour, and celebrate with them during what is a very festive time of the year. We also like our guides to host our clients in the evenings, showing them Cuba's thriving nightlife. In saying this, we will be speaking to your guide and reminding him of his responsibilities on tour as a host, educator and chaperone.

Viva Cuba!

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2015 by

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

New Years Eve Party

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

Expect very basic accomodation (too basic)

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

I suppose it may have but with the present regime there it is difficult to see how that would work.

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

100% for Tour Guide, Coach and Driver. Everything else on a decresing scale. Leave out the Santa Clara/Remidious Festival.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Gerry,

Thank you for your honest feedback of our tour services.

I am really happy to to hear that you had a wonderful time in Cuba and really enjoyed your time with your Tour Guide and driver.

Your feedback is a great way for us to improve our tour services so we can continually improve as an organisation.

I am sorry to hear that you found the Casa accommodation a little too basic. We are constantly updating our list of preferred Casa's based on client feedback, so will definitely be reviewing which Casa's you stay in to see where we can make improvements. Casa's generally rank highly with our tour participants on their Cuba tour highlights reel and offer a great cultural experience at affordable prices. During December it is peak season in Cuba so often accommodation options are very limited but we always try to source the best possible Casa's available for our clients.

Many thanks again for your valuable feedback and all the best for 2015!

Best regards,

Dan S

Popular similar vacations

Cuba tours

Cuba tours

Tailormade vacations in the pearl of the Carribean

From 970 15 days excluding flights

Cuba cultural holiday

Cuba cultural vacation

Immerse yourself in Cuban culture on this 8 day adventure

From US $680 8 days excluding flights

Cuba tour, small group

Cuba tour, small group

Discover the old and new faces of Cuba

From US $3090 - US $3420 21 days excluding flights

Mexico & Cuba Tour

Mexico & Cuba Tour

Fun, sun, history and culture in Mexico and Cuba

From US $5480 - US $6120 22 days excluding flights

Convert currencies