We took an excursion to the Bay of Pigs. What a cultural eye opener. We even had lunch at a family’s “restaurant” in their home.
Walk around and visit the market place. People were friendly and helpful.
Interesting an educational experience.
We did the colonial Trinidad excursion. It is a 75 min drive from Cienfuegos, but is a quaint town with lots of beautiful pastel colors. There isn't too much to see otherwise, but still worth a trip to visit.
Not much there. Not necessary to visit.
Did an excursion to the fortress. Our guide was interesting, but his pro-government talk was targeted to the mostly American group. The relationship between Cuba and Canada is quite different.
Again, we did a private tour, this time with Caribbean Pearl Tours at a cost of $170. When compared to Havana tour, it was over-priced. We walked, again 3 blocks from the terminal, to find the private tour operators and again were offered many tours on that walk. We were driven in a 30 year old Lada, a Russian car, with no air conditioning, but a very friendly driver. His father bought the car 30 years ago and passed it on the his son. We chose the Cienfuego walking tour and Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden is actually an Arboretum, no flowers just trees. Because we were on a private tour we had the advantage of having one of the Botanical Garden staff walk with us and explain all the different trees. If not for that I don't believe the trip would have been worth the 30+ minute drive, although we did get to see a lot of the out-lying living areas and farms. Our guide, Ana, was very eager to please and show us what we wanted. Her English was ok. I didn't do as much research on this area, which I regretted. We walked the pedestrian boulevards, visited several mansions and hotels and toured a church. Ana was willing to find us a lunch place, but it was hot and had been a hot ride. We did stop for lemonade and coffee in a cafe on the square; it was delishish. The street vendors were not as pushy as in Havana. Ana was an actress and was paid 8 Cuc a month. She also worked as a babysitter. Our driver, Urban, drove as a taxi driver after teaching for several years. They were both concerned about the possible decrease in future cruises to their city. Both the driver and Ana were definitely not as well off as the tour people in Havana. We tipped a little extra for that reason, $50 each and we had small gifts in addition to tips for both and they were genuinely touched and slightly tearful. I cannot recommend Caribbean Pearl Tours for several reasons. Although we were told we would have an A/C car, it was a 30 year old Lada which the driver had to hand us the ONE window crank to lower the windows. Ana was pleasant, but kept asking us what we wanted to see instead of making recommendations. We may have seen the places listed on their web site, but because Ana didn't have a set agenda, and limited English I am not sure we saw everything. Interesting to note the horse drawn carriages were the major mode of transportation for the populous whether in the city or outside.
Revolutionary square not very scenic. Loved the old cars. Enjoyed the forest walk, waterfall and the restaurant on our tour. Theater troupe in Havana performing, raining so could not tour facility so not very interesting. entire area somewhat drab except where renovations have begun. Guide was informative, easy to understand.
Tours should not include 3 hr drive time to get to and from the site.
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