Why we do what we do

George and Maria recently returned from their trip and sent us this letter with such deep insight of their experience…

Hi Teresa,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on our great trip. So here are some comments regarding the tour, guides, meals, etc.

1.    Ari is a great guy who is knowledgeable, friendly, intelligent and helpful in every respect. Rather than go on at length, I will just say that I cannot think of how he could be any better. He is just excellent in every respect.

2.    The tour construction is great as well. I confess that, when I first looked at the itinerary there were were at least a couple of things that I thought might not be all that interesting. For example, we don’t smoke, hate cigar smoke, and we are not car buffs. That said, both the cigar factory tour and our time with Fernando, the car man, were very interesting and I am really glad that we did both things,  given how integral cigar production and maintenance of old cars are to Cuban society. I would not want to have missed either of those two tours. In the end, the tour provides a thorough, busy, but not frenetic exposure to diverse aspects of a very rich history and culture in a single week. We realize that is not easy to do, and we really enjoyed it.

3.     The food was great, as were your restaurant choices, for which we thank you. We had no problem with finding excellent food that fit our non-meaty dietary needs. We did not have a bad meal, including lunches, and they were all very good to excellent.

4.    We loved the people. We found the Cuban people with whom we interacted to be warm and friendly, very much including the drivers you folks employ. Maritza and Margarita, with whom we stayed, are two of the finest people we have met in a while. I looked forward to our morning chats over excellent breakfasts, they were delightful at all times, and the accommodations we first rate in every respect.

5.    Every tour guide at whatever place we went to was excellent. They were all knowledgeable, friendly and informative.

We look forward to seeing Ari, Maritza and Margarita in the future, and to seeing more of Cuba; however, this trip really gave us a broad, thorough sense of the place, and a desire to return.

Thanks much.

George & Maria


“Our trip to Cuba was truly outstanding!” – Scott family testimonial

The Scott family recently came back from their tour and sent us this lovely email:

Dear Teresa,

Our Cuba trip was truly outstanding!  Overall, there is nothing but praise we have for Teresa, Donna and Ebony from Cultural Island Travel.  We were introduced to a friendly, happy country with wonderful people, food and culture.  From the beginning of the trip planning, with the organization that the CIT team showed, it was clear that we were dealing with consummate professionals.  The completeness of the background information, education on the country and the smooth visa process showed that there was nothing to be concerned about. 

From the arrival in country to our heartfelt departure, the family enjoyed every minute of our experiences.  Ebony O’Reilly was instructional, helpful, engaging and made every day more enjoyable than the day before.  Ebony went our of her way to extend herself to our family.  She arranged special times with restaurants, musicians, friends and a birthday party!  We truly bonded with Ebony.  Thanks to her very much (and Ari).  If and when we return we will definitely request Ebony as our guide.

Ebony and Candice

The casa particular lodging arrangements in Havana worked out very well.  Liliana was very helpful and supported our requests without a problem. The living spaces and bedrooms were clean, well maintained and there were no issues.  Next trip we might want to stay closer to evening activities.  It was hard to get around in the evening after dinner.

Our drivers, Julio 1 and Julio 2, were also terrific.  Senor Julio even went back to Fusterlandia to pick up a package that was left behind.  They were very accommodating and generous with their time and patience.

Our visit to Trinidad was also very memorable and our favorite stop.  The location for our stay really made us feel very much a part of the community and celebrate the beauty of Trinidad, it’s people, and the museum-quality of the area.  Our tour guide was very enjoyable, knowledgeable and fun!  We loved going to the beach and relaxing on the Caribbean with the entire family and Ebony.  That was a real cap to our time in Trinidad.

Happy times in Fusterlandia

Memorable excursions to Revolution Square, the tunnels in the harbor, visit to fantastic Fusterlandia, the Old Havana tour, rides in 50’s convertible cars, private jazz and vocal concerts, the Compas Dance group and the cigar factory tour certainly made the cultural part of our trip really very special.  Spending more time along the malecon, relaxing in the Central Park area and visiting more museums would be on our next trip.  As well as partaking in more of the nightlife!

Your team did a fantastic job and we truly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

The Scott Family, Cuban Music & Art Tour