This was our first trip to Cuba - my husband and myself. Though we travel often, we were advised to find a travel agency to prepare an itinerary for us and help navigate any administrative issues related to travel from the US. I am so glad I came upon Zicasso and their recommended agent. Briefly, I cannot imagine a better experience and initiation into Cuba. Our travel agent listened carefully to my hopes and desires for our brief (one week) trip and created an itinerary that gave us a truly in depth sense of the country and the people in a short period of time. All the personnel he selected for us - our guides and drivers - were wonderful and clearly dedicated to giving us an intimate and positive experience of Cuba. The three cities we visited - Santa Clara, Trinidad and Havana - offered a different perspective of this fascinating country, thanks also to the residents we met, including artists as well as individuals working in the service industry. We loved our lodging in both Trinidad and Havana - and felt very well taken care of by the hosts. They all went out of their way to make us feel welcome
We learned so much, about history, architecture, art, food and of course - to my husband's delight - classic American cars that you see everywhere in Havana. This is what we love - to really learn about the places we visit - and while Cuba is complicated and perhaps we came away with more questions than answers, it was not for lack of discussion with the people we encountered more than willing to tell us about their Cuba. All in all, a tremendous treat.
For my husband, what will stand out is the evening he was invited by our Airbnb host in Havana to smoke a cigar - Cohiba, his favorite - and have drink in their apartment which was just few floor below us. He had such a great time, it was just something spontaneous, but a genuine experience of friendship he will not soon forget.
For me, a highlight was our VIP visit to the Cuban National Zoo, outside Havana, which is styled somewhat like a safari park, with animals roaming free while the spectators are safely touring in an enclosed bus. In a special facility for baby animals who for various reasons cannot be raised by their biological mothers - I was able to pet a baby jaguar. They also had a rare black bear cub born in captivity and other adorable creatures. I was in heaven.
For both of us, our visits to the studios of individual artists, both in Trinidad and Havana, to hear their stories and learn about their art, was also very special. Speaking of art, our tour of the Museum of Fine Art in Havana with our independent curator guide was exceptional, as it provided the history of Cuba through artists' eyes. She was a wonderful guide, as were our two city guides and our drivers in both cities. So patient!
I thank each and every one, but especially our agent's wife, for her background guidance with the art scene.
Because I like to buy vegetables to make my own salad at home, even when traveling, I asked our guide to take us to a real market in Havana where I could get some lettuce. We went to a wonderful covered market where we saw all sorts of indigenous produce and I was able to purchase fresh vegetables at a very good price. It was far nicer and more colorful than the dreary grocery shops where one buys staples, and far less expensive than depending on a restaurant for a salad. I would have liked to return every day!
I recommend incorporating visits to local markets rather than typical tourist paces where you see the same souvenirs sold everywhere. It is a far more interesting cultural experience than the tourist ghetto of souvenir warehouses. Many tropical vegetables and fruits are on offer that are variations of our rather stand US produce.
But really, it was a perfect trip and both my husband and I agreed, we would not have done anything differently. AS I told our guide at the airport at the end, everything that was planned was great, everything that was unplanned was great. I felt very grateful and privileged to experience Cuba the way we did. And the dancers at the Buena Vista were spectacular.....
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
Zicasso matches you with the world’s best travel specialists.
Get Your Trip Planned
"I cannot say enough how AMAZING my trip to Cuba was thanks to this travel company! Everything from the accommodations to the...
"The tour guides (very knowledgeable) and drivers were awesome."
"This travel company is a classic example of a company that under-promises and over-delivers."
Copyright © 2020 Zicasso, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CST 2124858-50.
Headquarters: 1580 W. El Camino Real, Suite 14,
Mountain View, CA 94040, USA
Denver Branch: 1407 Larimer Street, Suite 300,
Denver, CO 80202, USA