Cuba had been on Svetlana's bucket list for a number of years, with its fascinating history, and even her son was curious about life in Cuba. She wanted to visit Cuba sooner rather than later, in its current state, before it changed too much and our Havana and the Heartland of Cuba itinerary had a little bit of everything - culture, nature, and history. Here's her story and photos:
"We have taken several trips with Wildland in the past, all of which have been excellent; terrific itineraries and phenomenal guides. I was a little nervous about traveling to Cuba, but I had complete trust in Wildland's planning. Cuba was a feast for the eyes and ears. The trip was even better than I anticipated. It was so interesting to learn about the culture and to experience a place that feels a world away. I so admired the resourcefulness of the people, making do with so little (which is a lesson we have long forgotten in America). I enjoyed all of the activities and I also enjoyed time on my own to just walk around the streets of Havana, taking in the amazing architecture, the vintage cars, and the friendly people."
"Our main guide, Kalea, was terrific. She quickly figured out our tastes and interests and added some extra things to the itinerary that were great. Cuba is not an easy place to drive, but we felt in excellent hands with our drivers. We enjoyed lavish meals, most of which I could not finish, and while many Cubans have very little, we learned that tourism is important to the Cuban economy, so it felt good knowing we could contribute in a small way. We loved all aspects of the trip but I would have to say the Vinales Valley was one of my favorite parts. It was such a beautiful place, and the experience of it transporting; their lifestyle there hasn't changed for many decades. I also enjoyed the Casa Particulares in Vinales, it was very cozy and had a clean room/bathroom, delicious dinner, and I loved waking up to the sounds of roosters crowing. One of our best meals was at Tres Jotas in Vinales, which was recommended by our guide. I also really enjoyed the roast duck at Finco Paraiso in such a beautiful setting. We even returned there at the end of our hike to watch the sunset and have more cocktails. If you go to Cuba, keep your eyes, ears and your mind open; it's an unforgettable, one-of a kind experience." - Svetlana K.