I had a fantastic trip to Cuba, including the two days in Lima, Peru on the way to Havana. Our tour guide, Carlos, in Cuba, was so wonderful. He knew so much about his native country and was extremely helpful to all of us, none of whom spoke much Spanish. We were taken to all the interesting historical and current sites, cities etc. All the hotels were very good; some were really top notch like the Melia in Trinidad where we all had separate rooms – they welcomed us with daiquiris when we arrived – it was extremely hot there and the staff were very good.   The rooms were huge – I had a massive king sized bed all to myself and lots of room for luggage. The last hotel we stayed in in Havana was also very good with the rooftop restaurant, bar and swimming pool.  There was a great view from the top, all over the city.

Highlights – so many – it was good to make new friends as all on board the coach around Cuba were from NZ and I knew 4 of them before I left home.  Vinales was one of the highlights where we left Havana and travelled for almost 3 hours to this wonderful country area where the tobacco is grown for the cigars and cigarettes.   I enjoyed the farmer showing us around and explaining how they have to give 90% of their crops to the Govt – I really wonder what the Govt do with the monies they get as the roads are dreadful and supplies of petrol, oil and diesel etc are extremely limited.   In spite of all the inconvenience for the locals, they seem happy enough and smile and say Hola to everyone!  The welcome dinner and farewell dinner were wonderful – we had the farewell dinner way up on the rooftop with a couple of guys with guitars and drums singing while we dined.

I do hope that many more tourists will visit Cuba; the dancing and music is wonderful, as are the rum and cigars. The beaches with their white, squeaky sand at Cayo Coco resort were wonderful and the classic American cars are a real treat to ride in but some of the taxis are to be believed!!!