For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
- Wildlife & Polar
Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
This was my third Exodus trip and was as well planned and as immensely enjoyable as the others. It was a great taste of the whole island, encompassing its history, architecture, culture and natural beauty.
These were many and varied: trekking up to Fidel's hideout in the mountains, riding in vintage cars in Havana, swimming in turquoise seas, dancing to the Salsa beat
Freddy was excellent, you couldn't ask for a better guide. He was extremely informative, a great communicator, funny and charming. He made Cuba's recent history come alive with his anecdotes about his own family. His knowledge of flora and fauna was very impressive and his commitment to Cuba and conservation shone through everything. He was also extremely well organised, everything ran smoothly and you could rely on his arrangements.
A great trip, I enjoyed every minute. There is a lot of travelling and the first couple of days were mainly driving. I enjoy this and was happy to look at the scenery and hear about Cuba from our guide. But if you don't like coach travel this may be difficult.
Looking forward to my next Exodus adventure...!
A great way to see the whole of Cuba. The tour guide talked about Cuban life, history, culture, whilst giving us cocktails on the very long days in the coach that made the day's fly by. Excellent hotels, food a lot better than the Trip Notes (I'm vegetarian) and a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
Sierra Maestra, where Castro hid in the mountain with his followers. Amazing.
Alex Baraja - legend. Knowledgeable, witty, organised and had a DVD of music, videos and documentaries to keep us occupied on the whole of the trip.
I spent £600 on this trip as spending money. Spend a few days longer in Havana before/after. Take advantage of the water on the coach and drink a bottle per day per person minimum. Try everything at least once (twice just to be sure you don't like it). Buy a money belt. Ensure you have enough cash and small notes at each major city.
Trip Notes need some revising. No longer CUC25 to leave the Airport. Etc.
A two-week, whistlestop tour of the island from top to bottom and back. Interesting, exciting, and enjoyable... but with a lot of time spent on the bus.
Everyday in Cuba, I encountered expert musicians, talented dancers, and endless rum cocktails: the passion for an easygoing, fulfilled life that is exuded by seemingly all Cubans, is truly inspirational.
Getting drunk with the locals in the best music bar in Havana was a highlight, but there were many more: swimming under a waterfall, trekking to Fidel's mountain hideaway, snorkelling in the Bay of Pigs, riding around town in a pink convertible Chevrolet classic; as well as regular 'escapes' from the group in search of alternative eating and drinking venues. A diversity of landscape, abundant cultural opportunities, hospital locals and a rich history: this trip keeps you busy.
Ichael was a true gentleman. He was knowledgeable, professional, and passionate about his country. Always responsive to the needs of the group, his willingness to accommodate requests and answer questions was remarkable!
Be warned that there is a lot of driving on this trip. And be prepared to spend more money than you expect; apart from cocktails and souvenirs, Cuba is no cheaper for tourists than Western Europe.
It was pretty apparent that Exodus plan this trip meticulously and expect tour leaders to follow it to the letter. I was annoyed about this on a few occasions because our tour leader had the knowledge and experience to make small deviations and suggest alternatives that would have suited our group, but it is evident that deviation from the script is not tolerated.
We stopped for one hour at an ubiquitous roadside cafe/bar after having just driven through an interesting and historic town without stopping. Why on Earth couldn't we have spent the hour in town???
Havana has a great bar called El Floridita, which was a regular drinking spot for author Ernest Hemingway. I definitely recommend trying a strawberry daiquiri or two!
Another excellent bar is the Casa de la Música for a salsa show in Trindad. The live music and local dancing will conjure up images of the Buena Vista Social Club, with its lively and fast-paced jazz, rumba and salsa. Be prepared to dance!
Sophie Ashworth - Marketing
Souvenirs are available at all major cities and towns in Cuba. They range from wooden handicrafts, local paintings to the classic Cuban Cigar.
Havana has a souvenir market on a Thursday afternoon, which is great for local artists showcasing their work, however Trinidad seem to have the better quality souvenirs, especially of the hand carved variety. I would recommend Cienfuegos as the place to buy your cigars!
Dan Cockburn - Product Manager
Food in Cuba consists mostly of rice, fish, meat, beans and plenty of fresh fruit. You can't go to Cuba without trying the famous Mohijo or Cuba Libre, but beware that they don't use measuring glasses so they might be stronger than the ones you have tried at home! Fresh lobster served with salad is also a lovely treat if you visit the island of Cayo Macho. There is also plenty of safe bottled water available throughout Cuba.
Karol Rogacki - Customer Operations
It can get hot and sweaty here at times, so lightweight cotton (or quick-drying fabrics) is best as a starting point! Long sleeved shirts and trousers will help prevent mosquito bites, especially in the evenings when they could be buzzing around. You should also take a jacket and/or sweater for evenings, as it will cool down. Essential kit includes some sunglasses and a sunhat, along with good sunscreen. A lightweight waterproof jacket or rain poncho is optional, as you can get some tropical rain here now and again!
Karol Rogacki - Americas Operations
It's very easy to exchange money in Cuba as long as you have cash. I took sterling cash. You can exchange some money on arrival at the airport (maybe £100) or at the start hotel. Then you can exchange a bit more later on once you are about to run out of pesos. Most hotels (if not all) have exchange facilities and it won't take more than a minute to exchange cash. Some places will also accept credit cards (not debit ones though; credit cards can't be issues by an American bank).
Don't count on ATMs. There are a few in Havana, plus in other big cities but you'll spend some time walking around looking for them. It's best to take Sterling in £10 or £20 notes (not £50). If you have some spare CAD or euro you want to get rid of you can take it too.
Please see below average prices in Cuba - that should help you estimate the amount of money you are likely to spend.
Lunch - 8-15 CUC
Dinner - 10-25 CUC (usually 15-20; 25 for a lobster in Havana)
Beer - 1.5 CUC for a 0.33l can
Water - 1.5 CUC for 1.5L
Cocktails - 3-4 CUC
T-shirt - 10 CUC
Cigars - up to 20 CUC each for top end ones
Rum - 8 CUC for a standard Havana Club
Please remember to take extra money to cover the airport tax (25 CUC), tips and optional trips (prices in the Trip Notes).
Tips for keeping it safe? Just apply the same criteria you would at home, it's more common sense. Cuba isn't a dangerous or threathening place, and crime against tourists (and in general) is very rare. Most hotels have safety deposits and also most hotels have money exchange facilities.
Tipping is pretty much like here, for anything small if you like to give something. In better restuarants they'll add it to the bill, like here as well.
Any of the optional activities are decide locally and booked locally, so no need to do anything in advance.
I took a Universal Adaptor, which fits all plug types, and can be bought from Boots or similar for less than a tenner.
As far as I know you can easily take most electrical items into Cuba apart from GPS units. Officially it applies to all GPS' but in fact it more to do with stand-alone units and not the ones that are built in in a phone or a watch.
In the worst case they would confiscate such an item on your arrival and give it back to you on your departure (most likely you'd need to pay some fee for storage).
I have never come across anyone who specifically has had something removed, but I'm sure something like an iPhone or iPad would be ok.
Yes, lots! Cigars, maraccas, rum, lace, wooden carvings and definitely jewellery (I bought some lovely wooden earrings).
Gifts for local people
Anything like pens, crayons, colouring books are always appreciated. They also quite like any toiletries you don't want at the end of a trip, as these are quite hard to come by there, so shower gels, toothpaste, make up etc. Sounds odd, but it was really appreciated, and wasn't something I hadn't heard about before.
It wasn't anything threatening, but you could have someone just tap you on the shoulder in the middle of a city tour and ask for shampoo or toothpaste! It was mainly older and young people, and always very friendly. We collected the toiletries from the hotels and at the end of the tour just stood outside and had people swarm around to grab what we had!
I'm sure it's possible in the hotels where you stay two nights, although people in our group washed their own things. I think laundry can be expensive.
I would advise maybe taking some snacks like chocolate and biscuits from home, if you like those, as they can be limited in places.
Cubans are pretty eager to speak to tourists. If your Spanish is not too bad I'm sure you can have some nice conversations with them however if you only speak basic Spanish Cubans who speak English would probably want to switch to English. English in Cuba is spoken relatively widely.
Rachael Stone - Customer Services
Cuba unfortunately has very few ATM machines, making it slightly more difficult to manage your money supply while in Cuba. Cuba has dual currency system: Cuban Peso (CUP; it's unlikely you will ever need it) and Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC; the one tourists always use). It's best to take all spending money in Sterling cash (Euro or Canadian dollars will also be fine), which can be easily exchanged upon arrival in Cuba. Travellers cheques are accepted at major banks but incur a 5% commission, and some smaller outlets cannot accept them. Also, along with credit cards, they must have no association with an American bank i.e. Virgin Credit Card or American Express travellers cheques, as they will not be accepted anywhere in Cuba.
Sophie Ashworth - Marketing
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email [email protected] and they will get the answers you need!
To view the Forums, including the Departure Lounge, you do not need to be member of the Exodus Community, simply click on the Community link at the top of every page and read the posts in their respective sections by entering the Departure Lounge, or one of the other options in the list on the page.
To join in a discussion, if already a member, please sign in to your Exodus website account (not related to booking reservations) to contribute to the Forum. If you are not a member of the Exodus Community, you can register by clicking the 'Sign in' at the top of every webpage and select ‘Register’ within the drop down panel.
When viewing the Forum area of the website, as you scroll through the 'Rooms' which are set out by 'travel months' during the current year within the Departure Lounge. You can then select the 'month' of intended travel, then filter the list of trips that have already been created by fellow travellers to see if your trip is listed. If the trip you are travelling on is not in the list, you can start the process by clicking on the 'Post new forum topic' link above the list on the same page. If you do see your trip within the list, select it to view the 'discussion' by your fellow travellers and you can join in by completing the 'Post your comment' section below the discussion thread.
Please note: there might be slight a delay before your post/comment appears as intended because we moderate what is published on the website.
We hope you enjoy using the Departure Lounge to meet your fellow travellers and continue to contribute right up to the start of your journey with Exodus.
To compare trips for consideration, you can add them to your 'Shortlist'.
During your search for your next adventure you can save 'holidays' to your Shortlist and compare trips. For this to work correctly, you must be signed in during your 'user session'; i.e. during your time on the Exodus website. These will then be saved in your account (don't have an Exodus website account? Sign up now!).
The Shortlist menu item (top of every page) only appears when holidays are added. Adding holidays can be done by clicking on the 'Add to shortlist' with the 'Heart' symbol on any 'Holiday' page above the 'At a Glance' section, or in the 'holiday' panels within Search Results pages, or in the 'You might also like...' section at the foot of the trip page viewed. The selected holidays will be saved into your account for consideration and can be removed there, as well as from the 'compare trips' page from the menu link located at the top of every page.
|Date||Trip Status||Price excl. flights (pp) from|
|Thu 25 May 17 - Thu 08 Jun 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,599||Book now|
|Thu 08 Jun 17 - Thu 22 Jun 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,689||Book now|
|Thu 22 Jun 17 - Thu 06 Jul 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,599||Book now|
|Thu 06 Jul 17 - Thu 20 Jul 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,789||Book now|
|Thu 20 Jul 17 - Thu 03 Aug 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,879||Book now|
|Thu 03 Aug 17 - Thu 17 Aug 17||Unavailable||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,849||Contact Us|
|Thu 07 Sep 17 - Thu 21 Sep 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,629||Book now|
|Thu 28 Sep 17 - Thu 12 Oct 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,719||Book now|
|Thu 12 Oct 17 - Thu 26 Oct 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,629||Book now|
|Thu 26 Oct 17 - Thu 09 Nov 17||Limited Availability||Price excl. flights (pp) from GBP £1,799||Book now|
Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!