Customer reviews: Guided walking holidays in Cuba

Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our walking holidays continue to be the best they can be.

Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their walking holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their walking holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Everett on 04/05/2016

*****
The holiday was a variety of sight-seeing and walking and I felt that the mix was just right for exploring aspects of Cuban life. I found the history of the island very interesting, and we were able to find out much about how Cubans live today in our travels and by talking to local guides. The walking was varied through forests, farms, botanical gardens and along the beach, but in all cases it was easy. Our guide was excellent and helped us make the most of our time in Cuba. He answered all our questions and arranged extra activities for us such as a driving tour of Havana in an old American car! This holiday is one of the most interesting and enjoyable holidays I've had for many years.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Hill on 03/05/2016

***#.
A unique culture and experience

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Barrowcliffe on 03/05/2016

*****
This is a fascinating insight into a country and culture that has a great deal to offer, with so much packed into 10 days. Idiosyncrasies abound, but this is not just another Caribbean island. It's also changing rapidly, so it should be sampled before some of its charm is lost as the rest of the world begins to make its mark. The arrival of the American tourist is already driving this transformation, especially in Havana, and the only weakness of our holiday, as compared with earlier versions, was not being able to stay in central Havana at the Saratoga. Being able to wander around the city independently is a pleasure and this is much easier to do if you are staying close to the old city.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Eynon on 26/04/2016

***#.
Very interesting and enjoyable. Wide-ranging

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Harrison on 18/04/2016

*****
Great holiday, which gave us an excellent insight and understanding of Cuba.

Cuba Uncovered

By Ms Brackx on 18/04/2016

***#.
Classifying this as a walking holiday gives the wrong idea to sporty people (there was far more being driving around and taking in the sights than walking). But once I had come to terms with the fact that this was more of a sightseeing tour, I enjoyed it very much. The wonderful Cuban landscape, culture and atmosphere plus our lovely guide Jorje contributed enormously to us all have a great time. Thank you.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Heyes on 09/03/2016

***#.
Rather a long time in coaches travelling, perhaps unavoidable. Las Terrrazas had two free afternoons to walk round, one is enough! Some suggestions for the last day in Havana would have been helpful. A great group that we went with. 10 seemed to be just right.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Holland-webb on 22/02/2016

***#.
Cuba is a fascinating, colourful and vibrant country. A place to relax, enjoy the music and the rum and definitely, forget it is the 21st century.

Cuba Uncovered

By Ms Tomkins on 19/12/2015

*****
The holiday gave a real opportunity to experience life in Cuban cities and the stunning countryside.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Mowat on 17/11/2015

***#.
The walking part lacked purpose. The walking is very limited and although the local guide in Trinidad was very informative and made it worthwhile, the first local guide we had for 2 days in La Moya did not explain very much about the plants, animals, birds and terrain. He marched on ahead with our guide and left us behind. His English was poor and in all the walks there should have been a local guide in front and our guide at the back to ensure safety. Our own guide was excellent and imparted knowledge of the history of Cuba which made it a very good holiday

Cuba Uncovered

By Mis Chappell on 13/11/2015

*****
An excellent holiday with a good insight into the Cuban life & culture. Our guide & driver were excellent, looking after the group well. Compared to other Headwater Holidays, I would describe this as a sightseeing holiday rather than a walking holiday as only a few short walks, however humidity made walking difficult sometimes. A highlight for me was the walk around the village of Vinales & enjoying mojitos at a homestead with a spectacular view! Swimming in the Caribbean at Trinidad was very special!

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Fort on 28/04/2015

***#.
Cuba is worth going to but you must be prepared to be hassled, expected to pay tips for everything, prices for most things over the top(especially hotels) Interesting 3rd world country wanting to overcharge for every ting it can get away with Cuba needs to send senior people who will listen to learn from other experienced travel countries

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Loken on 13/03/2015

*****
The variety of places and activities were excellent! The 4 walking days were varied and interesting, and the city visits very informative. Our guide (and local guides) gave us a lot of historical information about the revolutions and Cuban history, which gave us a better understanding of the people and the places we visited. Although Cuban food is generally bland and uninteresting, our guide used his initiative to find several varied and more interesting restaurants. Altogether, a wonderful holiday.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Howell on 03/02/2015

***#.
Cuba is interesting and because of the state of tourism (30% of GDP) they are trying hard. Basically it is a developing country and should be judged as such. Our tour guide (Giovanni) had a mantra which he mentioned to us ' Remember T I C' meaning 'this is Cuba'. In other words make allowances for a country that has for the last 55 years been shunned by its neighbour the USA , and development has been delayed. We found it intriguing and hope that if the Americans do start to come that they will not swamp the place like happened 55 years ago during the american puppet regime that then existed. Let's hope that any change will be gradual-but they do need investment. Sermon over! A most enjoyable trip- walking was not in our opinion at all arduous, the food on the whole leaves a lot to be desired but we were warned so no real complaint on that score. In the hotels the Buffet Breakfast was very good especially in Havana and Trinidad.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Attwood on 03/02/2015

*****
Fascinating country at an interesting time. Excellent knowledgable guide.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Davoll on 24/11/2014

*****
A superb holiday to a beautiful country with a fascinating history. We saw how local people live, and meeting them and visits to their homes were highlights.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Haslam on 03/07/2014

*****
We really enjoyed our holiday in Cuba, it gave us a good insight into the country's diverse history; social history; natural history; and we were delighted to see areas that were not on the usual tourist routes. One of our best Headwater holidays yet.

Cuba Uncovered

By Ms Rogers on 01/05/2014

*****
I really enjoyed the experience of discovering Cuba. Fascinating country and we saw and learnt so much. Trinidad is specially lovely, another couple of days there would be fantastic! We had 3 extra days in Havana at the end of the holiday and this was well worth it to have more time there otherwise we wouldn't have really seen it much. Our guide was great and hugely helpful and thoughtful specially surprising me with a cake and bubbles for my birthday! Our driver was excellent and worked very hard to give an extra special service, including taking us to the beach!

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Turner on 01/04/2014

*****
It did what it said on the tin - and more. Fabulous holiday where I learnt about all aspects of Cuba in good company. Good combination of activity and sightseeing.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Robertsonsmith on 14/03/2014

***#.
All was as good or better than I expected, knowing that Cuba is still a Third World Country

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Raimondo on 12/03/2014

*****
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Cuba and would recommend it as a holiday destination. Every day was different, partly because our guide was very enthusiastic and this added to the overall experience. We had a good mix of people in our group and we all got on extremely well. The food was not always to our satisfaction but we were expecting this when we booked our holiday.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Wilson on 11/03/2014

*****
Found having to travel to Paris and change planes to Cuba was a chore - involving further irksome security checks. Despite this flights to and from Cuba were good. The walking with the local guides and the visits to the botanical gardens were excellent. The mixture of walking and sight seeing was first class, especially the transport in an old Russian Army truck was out of this world and will long be remembered. We would recommend Cuba as destination for anyone wanting a complete change from Western style countries.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Carlile on 06/12/2013

***#.
We had a very good holiday. You need to be prepared for problems and a relatively poor infrastructure to support solutions. However we saw a fascinating country, enjoyed the countryside and the walking ( which was very easy)

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Hall on 24/04/2013

*****
Really enjoyed the holiday. As a group we 'gelled' and all got on together. I felt the holiday really did 'Uncover Cuba' and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave us insight into the lives of ordinary Cubans and how Cuban Society operated. The locals were all friendly and I felt safe at all times and enjoyed the variety of activities and locations as well as the music and the architecture.The local guides we had on walks were also very knowledgeable about the terrain,local customs ,plants and birds . Well Done!!

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Davies on 30/03/2013

*****
This was an excellent overview of Cuba, taking us to Havana and Trinidad, and covering good walks in the mountains, and visiting places of interest such as Santa Clara. Our guide, Ernesto, was excellent, and his observations and briefings definitely added to our appreciation and enjoyment of the holiday and his country. We travelled out to Havana two days earlier than the standard Headwater holiday, and we are gald that we did, as it gave us a chance to really 'do' Havana. I think we would have felt that it had been a missed opportunity, if we had not done so The hotels in Havana and Trinidad were both excellent. The Moka Hotel was poor, as we were without hot water for most of the stay, and the hotel seemed unconcerned. We appreciate that the location is excellent, but this was most unsatisfactory on a walking holiday My expecation on the food front was low, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality - as long as you don't expect it to meet European standards. All in all, this was an excellent holiday, which will be long remembered. One could argue that there was not enough walking - but that would have meant seeing fewer of the places of interest

Headwater response

We have been in contact with the management of the Hotel Moka. The manager Haydee Diaz Cala has apologised unreservedly for the failure of the hot water system and for the time it took them to source the parts to repair it. Everything is now working normally again and we have been assured it will never happen again. The customer service in relation to this problem was also below standard and we have made the hotel management aware that we expect higher standards in the future.

Cuba Uncovered

By Dr Hodgson on 30/03/2013

*****
We went to Cuba with an unknown expectation and we were constantly surprised.We enjoyed the range of activities that we were offered. Walking, sight seeing, art and culture, politics, social aspects of rural and urban living, history...our guide Ernesto was informative and helpful in all areas. It was a fascinating, rewarding and thought- provoking holiday. Our one big disappointment was in La Moka where we had no hot water for three days and the hotel was dismissive and then very tardy in trying to rectify the problem. Hot water is an essential - and should be part of a 4star hotel's standard!!!!!

Headwater response

We have been in contact with the management of the Hotel Moka. The manager Haydee Diaz Cala has apologised unreservedly for the failure of the hot water system and for the time it took them to source the parts to repair it. Everything is now working normally again and we have been assured it will never happen again. The customer service in relation to this problem was also below standard and we have made the hotel management aware that we expect higher standards in the future.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Brown on 30/03/2013

**#..
Started badly Paris airport shut due to snow flight cancelled. Long wait at Air France desk only option fly to Amsterdam, stay overnight,then fly to Panama! On to Cuba making it an epic journey. Finally arrived at hotel midnight about 30 hours late. So we missed out on 1 nights stay and 2 included dinners and did not get to enjoy this hotel at all. Missed city tour of Havana, although we did get this on our last day, we then did not have our free day for further exploration. Hotel Moka not great no hot water for 2 days had to insist on moving room, musty smell in rooms damp wall in 2nd room food nothing special. Food out in restaurants better. Still an ejoyable experience despite above, good walks excellent guide facinating country well worth a visit.

Headwater response

We have been in contact with the management of the Hotel Moka. The manager Haydee Diaz Cala has apologised unreservedly for the failure of the hot water system and for the time it took them to source the parts to repair it. Everything is now working normally again and we have been assured it will never happen again. The customer service in relation to this problem was also below standard and we have made the hotel management aware that we expect higher standards in the future.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Penn on 02/03/2013

*****
Excellent way in which to discover Cuba without the beach resorts. Osmin was a very knowledgeable, competent, friendly guide. Very comfortable hotels. Well-designed, very interesting itinerary (including the day in Havana). Good walking and birdwatching. Comfortable minibus and very experienced, safe driver (Santiago). The restaurant in Cienfuegos was rather disappointing: wonderful building, but very ordinary lunch and service. The local guide at the Topes de Collantes was excellent in every way.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Hayes on 02/03/2013

*****
An excellent introduction into life in Cuba. Good variety in the itinerary. Could have done with an additional day in both Havana and Trinidad to relax a little. In both cities we were pretty rushed.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Collman on 26/02/2013

*****
This is not a 'leisurely' holiday, but it does 'uncover' Cuba. Local guides for walks in the forests and at Vinales were very knowledgable. Cuba ticks all the boxes for a perfect hoiday; exercise for the body and stimulation for the brain.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Costain on 16/06/2012

***#.
Overall good, but at times when we diverged from the itinerary it was not always clear what was happening.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Goodfellow on 09/05/2012

*****
Very enjoyable, but hidden costs much more than Headwater suggests, ie.£200-300 cash to be converted for extras in Cuba.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Newall on 17/04/2012

***#.
Generally very positive and better than I had anticipated.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Thompson on 17/04/2012

***#.
Enjoyed Cuba., the atmosphere, people and humour. found it politically and culturally very interesting.

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Manser on 05/04/2012

*****
Whole of the Cuban experience was excellent but the flights caused a good deal of stress at times especially on the return flight & I think Headwater needs to think seriously about changing this - a direct flight i.e. with Virgin would be much better than including a connecting flight. Time between landing at CDG Paris & taking off to Cuba was too short thus worries if there were any delays at Heathrow we might miss the flight. On the flight back,the checking clerk was unable to issue us with boarding passes for Paris as computer had frozen. Planned time at Paris between flights should have been enough but flight from Cuba was delayed by about 1.5 hours, thus worried during all of flights as had to get boarding cards & change terminals. Also although at airport about 3 hours before planned take off at Havanna unable to get seat with partner & seat provided meant too far away to read subtitles on film provided.. not a happy flight! Luckily didn't have to change terminals at Paris (changed) but queue at desk to get boarding pass was long & didn't move & staff very unhelpful (when we said our flight was due to take off in less than half hour were told just to wait in queue - didn't point out we could use self check in kiosk!) By this time we were both very stressed - not helped by having no sleep during the flight! Finally in despair tried self check in, which worked & had passes. Now only 15 mins to take off & had to get through security - long queues again. Had to run all the way to the gate for Heathrow flight (in a panic.) Thankfully for our well being the flight was delayed for an hour or more (brake problems.) Not a good ending to our holiday! Very mixed feelings about Air France - cabin staff very pleasant but too much unhelpfulness from ground staff & disorganisation at airports. Don't think we would consider a Headwater holiday with connecting flights using Air France again!

Cuba Uncovered

By Mr Read on 08/03/2012

*****
An excellent overview of many aspects of life in Cuba

Cuba Uncovered

By Mrs Thompson on 08/03/2012

*****
Had a wonderful time. Fabulous country, so much to experience.