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Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
112 posts
6 reviews
Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

I am debating whether to use a Canadian group called "Cuba Explorer" to secure a 8 day education tour of Havana and I think a national park. They have been diligent in answering my questions, etc. I wanted to know if anyone has had experience with this operation out of Vancouver? Tried to do a google search regarding reviews but nothing valid came up.

Thanks!

451 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
1 post
38 reviews
261. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

My recommendation for U.S. citizens is DiscoverCorps, which is based in San Diego, California (google it). It offers a number of tours to Cuba, and rather than using hotels, it uses casa particulars (B&Bs) for a more authentic experience (and one that benefits the Cuban people rather than the Cuban government, given that the hotels are government owned). Also, the tour guide and the bus driver are Cubans. I had a great experience with DiscoverCorps last year, and our "tour group" consisted of just four U.S. citizens, plus the tour guide and the bus driver! I personally think that with the current travel regulations in place, using a U.S.-based company makes better sense for U.S. citizens.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8,540 posts
5 reviews
262. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

@261 ?"it uses casa particulars (B&Bs) for a more authentic experience (and one that benefits the Cuban people rather than the Cuban government, given that the hotels are government owned"

Casa particular owners form one of the richest groups in Cuba. Who do you think work in hotels other than ordinary Cuban people? Using casas still gives money to Cuban government through taxes and fees that the owner must pay.

Also where does the money come from for the free education, health care and the highly subsidised food and services like water, electricity, phones etc etc ?

" I personally think that with the current travel regulations in place, using a U.S.-based company makes better sense for U.S. citizens."

Why?

Level Contributor
2 posts
2 reviews
263. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

I just returned from the Havana Jazz Festival sponsored by Cuba Explorer. The tour guide Linnett Brown was phenomenal; so knowledgeable and personable. And the tour bus driver Quintana, the best driver in Cuba.

The daily tours prior to the evening jazz concerts were amazing. Visits to museums, historic plazas, and provinces was extraordinary. The hotel accommodations at Hotel Capri were wonderful and the VIP passes to all the jazz venues was a major plus. I highly recommend this tour group and intend to return in the future with Cuba Explorer as my guide.

1 post
264. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

Our group just returned from a fantastic eight day / seven night trip to Cuba. Cuba Explorer was our travel agent and they were great through the whole process. I can not say enough good things about Cuba Explorer and would use them again without hesitation if we plan another trip to Cuba. I spoke to another group leader who used Cuba Explorer last year for their trip to Cuba and there experience with the company was the same as ours, great! Good luck and have a fun time in Cuba, its an amazing place to travel to, one of my best trips ever! Safe travels!

Wyckoff, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 posts
35 reviews
265. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

Cuba Explorer is an extremely professional tour company which I would highly recommend. My husband and I spent 11 days on a private tour in Cuba in January. We wanted to see a bit more than Havana, so Cuba Explorer set us up for 4 days exploring the middle part of Cuba visiting the Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara. At first, this side trip was planned for 3 days but we requested a slower pace and they obliged quickly by adding another day with additional activities.

Then we spent 7 days in Havana and surrounding areas. Let me say that EVERYTHING was EXACTLY as they promised - all the meals, the level of hotel we chose, the activities, the schedule.

Our guide Claudia was AMAZING and I highly recommend you request her as well! She was always early, awaiting us in the hotel lobby, even when we were a few minutes late. She and our driver Jorge escorted us all over Cuba, making it comfortable and easy for us to visit many community projects, museums, musical events, lessons and natural environments. Our tour was well-balanced in terms of history, art, music, walking tours, etc. They were extremely accommodating to allow me to rest my feet, whenever necessary (which was pretty often), never making us feel rushed or stuck to a schedule. She went above and beyond the call of duty when I caught a nasty cold, by taking me to 3 different pharmacies to translate my request for cold medicine! Claudia was also very accommodating in addressing our special requests or in making slight changes to the itinerary as needed.

All in all, the trip was wonderful - we learned so much about Cuban history, art, music, how the people live, a little about politics and economy.

The staff in Canada, Florida and Havana are professional, quick to reply and empathetic. In the planning stages, we exchanged multiple emails to ensure that our tour was exactly what we wanted. Special thanks go to Ana Maria and Lillian! They are also extremely helpful in figuring out what you need in terms of visas and paperwork. Their website gives a lot of useful information too.

All in all, I would highly recommend Cuba Explorer to plan your trip to Cuba! You will be very happy you did!

Holmdel, New Jersey
1 post
266. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

I just came back from a weekend in Havana tour with Cuba Explorer. They were excellent. Going to Cuba was so much easier than I expected. It’s a shame that people think you can’t go since Trump was elected. We were a little worried since Cuba Explorer cost less than other options but no corners were cut. The hotel was good, the restaurants were good and our guide Geldrys was awesome. We felt safe wherever we went. My daughter is a vegetarian and Geldrys went out of her way at every meal to make sure the restaurant took care of her. The Cuban people were super friendly and welcomed us with open arms. Two thumbs up!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1 post
12 reviews
267. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

We took a trip to Havana with Cuba Explorer in Oct 2017. We had a great time during the 3 days we were there. Our guide, Jai, was very knowledgeable, spoke great English and did everything she could to see to it that we had an enjoyable experience - including giving honest recommendations about what was worth doing during our short stay.

Andover...
1 post
268. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

Yes, my wife and I and four of our college friends took a trip to Havana and attended the Havana Jazz festival last month (January, 2018), organized by the group Cuba Explorer and it was a FABULOUS trip! The folks from Cuba Explorer were incredibly helpful in making this trip a piece of cake to take. Everything was perfectly organized from the moment I called Cuba Explorer to get info and then booked this trip. And the arrangements they made for our tour group in Havana were outstanding...every detail was covered to make the trip one of the most enjoyable ever, without any hassles! And the tour guide they hired for our trip was wonderful. My wife and I plan to take another trip to Cuba, and plan to do it through Cuba Explorer as we did our trip to Havana. I cannot recommend Cuba Explorer highly enough...they made this one of the most enjoyable trips we have ever taken.

Edited: 17 February 2018, 13:21
269. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

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Carlisle...
1 post
270. Re: Any Americans Used the Canadian Group "Cuba Explorer?"

You do not have to fly from Canada to visit Cuba from USA with Cuba Explorer. I went from Newark to Havana. Then had 3 days in Havana and 3 days in Veradera beach resort. It was an excellent trip. Very educational and very enjoyable. Cuba Explore made it easy.

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