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Cuba Libre! CL

Visiting: Cuba
Trip Duration 15 Days

Reviews for Cuba Libre!

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated trip note, detailing all you need to know about that trip. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Cuba Libre! trip available at present.

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Cuba Libre! reviews verified by reevooReevoo

106 reviews

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Cuba Libre!Scores 8.4 out of 10 based on 106 reviews
(7 out of 10)


This is an extremely full on tour where you will see everything that the 'real' Cuba has to offer (if you want to see tourist Cuba then go to Varadero and don't do this tour).

Be prepared for a LOT of travelling. Two full days on the minibus gets very tiring, although you are rewarded with a full day on the beautiful Cayo Levisa at the end of it, and Vinales is a stunning finale to the tour.

Our guide, Ernesto, could not be faulted on his historical knowledge and passion for his country, however I would strongly question his interpersonal skills as it never felt like he 'gelled' with us as a group or that he had our best interests at heart with regards to creature comforts especially when it came to suggestions for places to eat, and that they were chosen to fit in with the needs of himself and the driver, rather than the group.

Some important tips:

Take EVERYTHING that you need with you (toiletries, medicines, books, clothing etc). It is virtually impossible to find shops in Cuba.

The water is likely to fail at some point during your trip. Most likely in the hotels. Wet wipes are vital.

Toilet roll is a luxury item. Take your own with you as you will need it.

A torch is useful - the campsites aren't lit and finding the toilet in the middle of the night can involve dodging various forms of cattle

Take a towel - there are frequent stops for swimming in lakes/sea

Accept that whilst camping you will get woken up at 3am by cockerels and will probably end up sharing your tent with a chicken. Mattresses are provided but a sleeping bag is an essential as sheets aren't supplied.

Food quality varies significantly. Anything government run (mainly the hotels) is likely to be disgusting but the casa particulares are exceptionally good. Try to eat in the private run paladars if you can. In Santiago, try to find Paladar Salon Tropical (our guide didn't recommend this, the group found it ourselves from a guide book). Stunning rooftop views and gourmet quality food. It was also one of the cheapest places we ate during our trip.
Confirmed traveller: 28 August 2016
Published on: 10 October 2016
(9 out of 10)


Pretty full one but would have to be to fit it all in. Loved the history of revolution and getting to see places of importance, totally in love with Che - Fidel ain't so bad either!
Confirmed traveller: 28 August 2016
Published on: 15 September 2016
(7 out of 10)


This was a good trip and we were lucky to have a good group who got along well. I do have a few things to say which could improve the whole experience. Please do not change the hotels for mainly private houses stay as it was far better when the whole group were together in the same accomodation although the 2 nights in the private homes were great. There is an awful lot of time driving on this trip and perhaps there could be a little less with more quality time spent in the most popular places and a bit more beach time with perhaps some beach activity. The Guide Ernesto was professional and nice but was very biased towards the history of his country rather than letting us make our own minds up. He also seemed to get impatient with us if we asked questions and didn't really make much effort to interact with the group unless he had to which we would have liked. He also was not interested in answering questions about anything we asked about not connnected with this trip (eg advice on our onward plans). He also left really abruptly as soon as he could at the end of the tour. I have had tour leaders before who were far better but I had the feeling this leader was tired of his job.
I do not think we should be obliged to pay a large amount of money at the start of the tour for a tip for porters, driver and so on - this should be our choice and these tours are already expensive without the added expense of mandatory tips. I also felt that we were taken to rather expensive restaurants with a set menu and we had no choice - we felt that the Guide took us there without giving us an alternative choice and he was then able to helpl this particular restaurant or get a free meal - these restaurants were often not that good. The best restaurants were the once we found by ourselves.
Overall the tour was good but definitely not the best I've done.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 August 2016
Published on: 15 September 2016

Thank you for sharing your feedback, Judy. I'm pleased you enjoyed the trip overall, but it's disappointing that you weren't so happy with Ernesto's performance. He's worked for us for several years, and always gets great reviews, so I'll be addressing your points with him directly to ensure he provides the best service to our customers.

(9 out of 10)


An excellent two week tour of Cuba, seeing both the more tourist sites as well as some of the hidden gems. Explore was superb in the planning of the trip, and were very helpful in booking our flights.

Hotel accommodation was rather good for the most part, though the two locations used for camping, are, in my opinion currently unfit for purpose. The supplied tents had broken zips and were no longer waterproof, a major issue in the rainy season. Additionally the wash room facilities at both campsites would struggle to cope with larger groups. At one location, only one gent toilet was working (apparently has been for over a year) and that had no running water.

The trip was varied and interesting, though I felt, compared to other Explore guides, that the Tour Guide used the itinerary as a rule book, and rarely added extra information compared to other Explore guides that I have experienced.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 02 August 2016
Published on: 12 August 2016

Hi Adrian, many thanks for your feedback, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the trip! I will be looking into your comments on the camping – we generally get very good reviews about the haciendas, but that may be because people so far have been lucky with the weather and therefore haven’t noticed the water resistance of the tents. Rest assured that we will investigate this and look into improvements for future groups.

(10 out of 10)


A great trip if you want variety...walking in the jungle, camping, siteseeing in cities and swimming in the Caribbean, this trip has it all. You need to be physically fit for the trip as the walks are not just strolls. Highly recommend
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 02 July 2016
(8 out of 10)


Genuine, knowledgeable, sincere tour guide. Improved my experience of discovering and learning about Cuba. In other locations, local tour guides should work in conjunction with excellent Explore guides who know how to present the countries they represent.
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 02 July 2016
(10 out of 10)


I had a great time on tour in Cuba (my first explore trip), the variety of experiences and accommodation really gives you the opportunity see many parts of Cuba and life of the Cuban people. The highlight of my trip was hiking through the Cuban mountain side staying at the Hacienda's (although one did seem to have an extrodinary number of mosquitos). We took up many oppourtunites to enjoy Cuban night life and practice our salsa dancing! I also took advantage of the snorkelling and enjoyed it greatly/

Our Tour leader Osmin was very passionate in his explaninations of life in cuba and extensive knowledge of its history, and enthusiastic in insuring we all had a great trip.

Accomodation was good throughout, Casa Particulars were great offering a B&B type service, Hotels were all of a good standard. Food is very limited and moast places offer the same foods though some are more inventive, if you want to spice up your meals then bring your own condiments eg tabasco .

Tipping is a very big part of life in Cuba, and expected for pretty much everything including the use of toliets and bands so ensure you grab and try and keep hold of some change.
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 28 June 2016
(9 out of 10)


The whole tour gave us a good view of the whole of Cuba as it currently is before the trade embargoes are removed soon. The whole tour was excellent with our Tour Leader (Osmin) being great and with an amazing amount of knowledge he passed on to us and so I can not really point out anyone highlight over any other.
Tips would be to ensure that you have lightweight mosquito proof clothing for the camping as no ones insect repellant seemed to keep them away.
Also stock up on water from the cheaper places as this can end up costing quite a bit if having to keep buying from the hotels or restaurants
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 27 June 2016
(10 out of 10)


A really good trip - good balance of culture, exercise and relaxing. Trip notes say bring a filter bottle - not necessary, bottled water is easy to get and you will need at least 1L a day. A microfibre travel towel is a must for all the swimming opportunities and the nights at the haciendas. When the trip notes say the tour ends after breakfast it sounds like then it will be straight to the airport, but actually there is at least a half day left for more of Havana. Last Friday we had a better itinerary than the trip notes - Cueva del Indio and the walk in Vinales, lunch and then back to Havana; a second walk in Vinales would be very samey and would mean the last meal in Havana would be very late without a chance to relax/shop first. Wouldn't recommend Los Caneyes hotel in Santa Clara because of the caged animals. Osmin Gonzalez Rodriguez was a most caring and fun tour leader and loved sharing his country with us. June is very hot and humid with fabulous thunderstorms.
Confirmed traveller: 25 June 2016
Published on: 04 July 2016
(9 out of 10)


A fantastic tour leader more than made up for the fact only two people were on the tour. Highlights were numerous and a wealth of information was given about Cuba's incredible history. Trinidad was exceptional as was Santiego, Santa Clara, Fidel's mountain camp and much
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 May 2016
Published on: 18 May 2016