Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed November 2017
    Jenny Sinnott

    Amazing country, but Exodus were a shambles

    Cuba is amazing, fantastic country and people. But Exodus were poor from start to finish. Before we left - most staff were great. One asked us for same info 3 times! On arrival, we had booked an extension in Varadero. We weren't told that Exodus can't guarantee your hotel for this part of trip. We found out at airport we couldn't stay at hotel we booked. Disappointing, but the substitute hotel was lovely too. Havana - hotel so far out of town hotel we couldn't do sightseeing as planned. Took an hour to check in! Room was dirty and badly maintained. On a road so noisy the windows shook as big trucks drove past constantly. I asked to move and was given a quieter room, but with no hot water! Vinales - beautiful place, but more issues with room. It was cramped, grim and noisy. Could have coped with that, but also had swarms of mosquitoes in my room. I killed dozens. Told tour leader, who chided me for not telling her immediately, although I had no way to contact her! My phone wouldn't allow me to make outgoing calls in Cuba. Owners sprayed my room, but I still killed another couple of dozen mosquitoes later that evening. This room is available for $20/night on airbnb. Massive mark up charged by Exodus. Cienfuegos- decent, quiet room, although windowless. Air con broken and leaked all over bed. No one to report this to. Told tour leader in morning and she looked at me blankly and said nothing! Breakfast was bread and jam. Pot of coffee to share that allowed only half a small cup each. If we wanted more coffee we had to pay! In this hotel, my iPad was stolen. It was charging and never left my room. In morning, I checked the room was clear. As soon as i sat on bus (at 7.45am), I realised I hadn't packed ipad. Told tour leader immediately, hoping she would call hotel. She didn't call them until we reached Trinidad and she told me my iPad wasn't in the room. Only explanation, it was stolen by hotel staff, either before or after I left. I told Exodus hoping they could use influence to pressure maid into returning stolen item. Exodus did nothing for THREE DAYS! After a lot of hassling, they called me, but still did nothing to try to get the iPad back. I believe they still use this hotel, so beware! Trinidad - decent room, but didn't get any breakfast one day. We think they mistook the time we requested food, due to language barrier. Girl was barely listening to us when we booked breakfast. Tour leader arranged breakfast for us elsewhere. Havana - finally a decent hotel! And trip home was fine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Vinales - beautiful place, fantastic way of life for the locals, in my opinion.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I took a while to warm to her. I had a lot of problems on this trip and she made me feel uncomfortable when I told her about them. I only complained when I really felt it necessary. For example, I didn't tell her I got food poisoning from 2 of the restaurants she took us to. She talked too much for my liking. She was interesting and very knowledgeable. But on a 7 hour bus journey, she probably talked for 6.5 hours. I couldn't talk to my friend on the bus or I got a glare from her! Couldn't talk to her privately for most of the trip, she was always talking to the group and didn't like being interrupted, unless it was a question relevant to her lecture. On the plus side, she was fun, very interesting and knowledgeable. Happy and able to give advice on anything I wanted to do or know.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I wouldn't recommend travelling to Cuba with Exodus, sorry! The accommodation was below par. I expected basic, but it was worse than any back packing hostel I've ever stayed in and massively overpriced. You need to get up horribly early every day in order to beat the other crowds of tourists. You're very much on the tourist trail. I would not have chosen to go to the tobacco and rum factory where crowds of tourists stare at the workers, it was weird and an uncomfortable experience. Could have done without the mojito lesson and I found the one on one salsa too intense and awkward. Two Cuban lads baa'd at us and I agreed with them. I felt like a herded sheep! Best times were free time. So much to see, but not enough free time to see it all. Exodus are useful for getting you around the country, but if you can do this another way, I would advise it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be careful of your belongings. If anything goes missing I doubt you'll get it back and Exodus won't help.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Serena Chance

    A fantastic whistle-stop tour

    A great week - lots of different aspects of Cuba, really enjoyable, very informative and a lot of fun. There is a lot of travel involved however it gave us all a good insight into some of the life in a different and fascinating country. Very hospitable hosts in the Casals Particulares.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final Salsa class with our Cuban dance partners; realising how hard most Cubans have to work in order to make ends meet; appreciating just how widespread the ability to perform music to a high standard is amongst the Cubans;

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lenay was a fabulous guide. Kind, helpful, very informative, assertive when needed, always smiley cheerful and positive, realistic about what we should expect, and she made it a great week for us all. She was very concerned that we were happy with the accommodation wherever we were, and that we let her know if anything wasn't as it might be. I don't think we could have had a better guide. A big thank you to Lenay for a great week, and for all her hard work.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect some long journeys; don't expect European luxuries or standards of accommodation everywhere; take time to learn some Spanish as the hosts in the cases particulares are extremely kind, and friendly; take things as you find them and with a sense of humour; understand that we are very wealthy/privileged in comparison to most Cubans; enjoy it all!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would love to return.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    rona barton

    Taste of Cuba

    Hugely enjoyed this tour..... truly was an adventure. We were introduced to an extraordinary peoples and culture....our guide was exemplary. I luved every moment and and am extremely keen to return. 'The Taste of Cuba' filled every moment with fascination and surprise. Everywhere very comfortable and safe but with a sense of how challenging it is for the locals...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to single out one... 'growing insight into the history of past 200years The positivity of the guide..... a 'child' of the post revolution The awesome colonial architecture the enterprise of the peoples...rural and urban snorkelling in the Caribbean The delightful hospitality of the hosts in the casa particulares very little that could be left out!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A star plus plus plus. She was so informative and prepared.... always positive and enthusiastic. The whole group thought her fabulous. For the whole week she was completely available and responsive to our needs and foibles.. a huge asset to Exodus and excellent Cuban ambassadress. In addition to the program, she researched material for further research into our family history during her free time... superb young woman!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    'bother' the team online via web chat......! it allays all doubts and instant access to advice or help.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    kindly forward info on your input/ support for local charities (for my information only) As a family, we left small gifts in the casa particulares..... hoping this was sensitive and right action...?
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Kathryn Moore

    More than just cocktails!

    A fantastic introduction to Cuba, its culture, history, music, dancing (and cocktails!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved it all!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ray is the best leader I've had on any group holiday. Informative, funny and encouraging during our attempts at dancing. I couldn't rate her highly enough. She made it a memorable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect too much of the Casas and then you'll be pleasantly surprised. Take the optional Cadillac ride; it was great fun!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Helen Power

    A Taste of Cuba

    A fantastic glimpse of Cuba with an excellent mix of sightseeing, music, free-time to further explore, and fun activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A major highlight was exploring the streets and alleyways of Trinidad and enjoying the music and dancing at one of our cocktail stops. I also loved the tour of Havana in the open-topped old American cars. Quite exhilarating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was fantastic. Excellent knowledge, friendly and helpful personality and a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it soon.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You need to keep an open mind. Lifts may not work, the water might be tepid, the infrastructure can't quite keep up with the demands made on it, but if is a sensational (and still unspoilt) travel destination.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Rachel Jones

    Does exactly what it says on the tin!

    The title of this trip is exactly what it suggests. It offers a real taste of Cuba and the itinerary, although packed, is perfect. Not rushing from place to place and plenty of free time to explore by yourself.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking trip around both Trinidad and Havana was excellent and well guided.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raysalis was absolutely brilliant. She had a lovely disposition, was very knowledgeable about the island and its history. She also went out of her way to make sure everyone was happy and any issues were resolved quickly (i.e. one lady had a problem with her camera and she helped sort it out). Her English was fantastic and she was very clear about the plan for each day ensuring that the whole group knew what was going on and that everyone's timekeeping was as good as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a lot of construction going in Havana at the moment (i.e. the Capitoli building currently has scaffolding on it), but don't let it put you off, it's amazing to see the development and changes happening. The food is bland but very good - just don't expect anything spicy! Snacks are hard to come by, so take chocolate / crisps / sweets if you can't survive without them. There are various towers to climb in Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Havana - climb them all, the views are worth it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We drove through the Bay of Pigs and stopped off to enjoy a dip in the sea which was fantastic and a welcome break to the bus journey, however it would have been nice to have the option to visit the Bay of Pigs museum.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Rebecca Wakefield

    Coach with a window tour......

    After seeing so many great reviews for this trip I decided to book it to travel over Christmas 2016. Basically it is a view of Cuba from a coach! Long, drives - quick stops 2-3 times during the day for a 45mins-1hr max - really no time to appreciate anywhere are you are always on the go! A few pointless places where we stopped were also thrown in. Accomodation was average - first night hotel was below poor quality however the homestays (all be them basic) were clean and adequate, and the families could not do enough to please you. Food is basic - you get the same breakfast, lunch and dinner choices daily. In summary Cuba the island is green and lush with white sandy beaches, fab old cars everywhere and Havana is a great city to mooch around, top that up with the friendly welcoming people then its a great place to visit, however this weeks tour really packs too much in - but saying that I certainly could not do the two week tour either as I am sure it will be much of the same just over a longer time period!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the che guevara museum - an amazing and moving story of his life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge was a friendly leader with good local knowledge however we never had enough time in any area/town to really apprecitate what he was telling us. Ray was a great driver coping well with the long 7-9 hours driving he was doing on most days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do visit Cuba as its a good place to see, however take toilet roll with you where ever you go, take snacks as there is very little in the way of chocolate, crisps, sweets etc, if you wanted take spices or sauces to pep-up your food, definately book an add-on beach hotel via Exodus at the end of the tour so you can chillout for a few days at the end as you will be exhausted from not doing much! Oh and buy Rum out there as it is really cheap.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've toured with Exodus before and they are a great company however I do usually travel independently so to be stuck on a coach for a week was not really my idea of fun. The tour does say long days travelling however you will not appreciate it until you get there. Don't not go on the tour -just be aware of this before you go. Enjoy.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Briony Burns

    A taste of Cuba

    A good week. Being on a tour sliced through the hassle of organisation and was a great queuebuster when visiting museums and events. Great variety of things to see and do in a very colourful varied interesting country

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Salsa dancing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent . Good English , knowledgeable and keen to give us a good experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extend the trip preferably at the end for a few days either in Havana or to go to the beach
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Sue Ellis

    taste of cuba

    superb tour with what must be the best 'guide' we have ever had Rayselis, her knowledge, sense of commitment and humour made the tour more wonderful than it was.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the whole trip was made up of wonderful moments - not possible to single out just one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    as mentioned above Rayselis was a 'complete gem'

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Internet very poor - just be prepared if you think you will need it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the stays in the 'casa's' were really enjoyable and comfortable
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Emma Wooldridge

    A Taste of Cuba

    An apt name for the trip, it gave a taster of several parts of Cuba

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing/experiencing Havana. The dinner at the organic farm in Vinales. Watching the locals salsa dance at a bar in Vinales Walking around Trinidad The included dinner at Trinidad Santa Clara (for the history) and Sancti Spiritus (for a less touristy feel to the place)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lazaro was knowledgeable and answered all questions honestly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a book/mp3 player as some of the journeys are long. The sooner you adapt to 'Cuban Time' the easier it is. Whilst some of the food is a bit bland there are there are some really good meals to be had too
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