The week we spent in Cuba was just spectacular. Just as you had predicted, we absolutely loved Juan and have to thank him for making our experience so special and meaningful. From the first moment when he found us at the airport, he took such good care of us. He paid such attention to every detail, worked out every step of our journey with us and was charming, delightful and flexible throughout. We found ourselves totally comfortable and the joke became that we did not know what we would do without him when we had to leave Cuba! We found Juan to be a fabulous font of knowledge and were able to learn so much just from his discussions about the country, the politics and the economic and social situation. It was a joy to talk, to question and even to present alternate points of view during our time together. Our driver, Igor, was wonderful as well. He was incredibly lovely, patient and caring and made us feel as though we were always in good hands. The experiences we had were superb. We loved the lecture and musical performance of Prof. Alberto Faya, the many galleries and studios we visited, the museums and experts who led us through them, the architectural tour around the city, the visit to hear about Santeria and the influence of African culture in Cuba and to the Escuela de Taller to learn about the restoration project in Havana as well as the students who study the art and craft of all this. We loved walking around Havana Vieja, visiting an old synagogue, seeing the malecon, National Hotel and Colon Cemetery. We so enjoyed our experience at Lazaro Salsita's Children's Art Project and at the home and neighborhood of Jose Fuster to see the unique work he has led there. We enjoyed our foray to the Viñales Valley and learning about the tobacco farmers and tobacco production as well as our journey to Hemingway's home and environment. Every place and experience helped us to begin to understand and certainly appreciate the country and the people. Being able to talk to the subject experts you arranged was a major highlight of the trip. The artists and gallery owners were most interesting as were Nelson Ramirez at the Fototeca, Nelson Herrera who led us through the Museum of Cuban Art and Pedro Vazquez Rodriguez who so ably explained the various forms of architecture in the city. We loved our discussions with Marta Nunez Sarmiento at lunch and Marcelino Feal at dinner, feeling as though we would want to spend many more hours with both. The hotel was lovely and we cannot say enough about all the paladars in which we ate. Each was beautiful and the food was delicious at every meal. We want to thank you and the group at Cuba Cultural Travel who created such an exceptional experience for the four of us. We loved the fact that we could travel just as our own family group and found that to be the perfect way to go. It was a most meaningful, memorable and wonderful trip.
Susan, Private Journey