“We really enjoyed being able to talk directly to so many of the Cuban people — that is one of our favorite things to do when we travel. The trip was very, very interesting but, most of all, our guide made the trip memorable. He was so knowledgeable and informative. We thoroughly enjoyed Cuba. The people were so friendly. Our hotels, meals and activities were wonderful.” – Chris Julson of Madison, Wisconsin
“There are so many highlights. 1. People were so friendly and welcoming, eager to talk to us and ask questions. 2. The music, especially the youth symphony concert at Cienfuegos, the young trumpet player and his group at the restaurant in Trinidad, the young guitar player at the restaurant in Artemesia, and all the other music groups that played for us were a highlight. 3. The natural history information and experiences, especially the visit to the Codina section of Sierra de Escambray, and the local naturalist at Playa Larga, seeing the bee hummingbird, and the biosphere reforestation of the eroded coffee fields, and the visit to Jimenez Foundation in Havana. 4. Dinner at the Paladar La Rosa with the owner and her family (more good music from relatives), visiting the tobacco farm, lunch at the organic farm near Vinales and talking to the farmer and his daughter and son-in-law — also my favorite meal — and going to the senior center at Our Lady of Belen Convent in Havana. 5. Going to the baseball game in Havana to see the Havana Industrials beat the Santiago de Cuba Wasps. Cuban baseball fans are even more enthusiastic than our St. Louis Cardinals' fans. 6. Riding in the vintage American cars from the Hotel Ancon to the Paladar La Rosa!” - Leo and Kay Welch of O'Fallon, Illinois
“Cuba was fabulous, and the genuine people-to-people experiences - the choir, the art/music school, the tobacco factory, etc. - were wonderful. I loved observing a dramatically different social, economic and political environment, especially at this time in Cuba's history.”
– Fred Schauer of Charlottesville, VA
“I loved the Cuban people and finally being able to visit the island nation. IE’s people-to-people activities opened the door for you to engage with the locals, but I think it was up to us as participants to really make the most of each interaction.”
– Gerry Mikeska of El Campo, TX
“I loved Vinales for the natural beauty. Also thought Trinidad was very picturesque. The Cuban people we encountered were all very friendly, and I think the people-to-people aspect was successful. It was exciting to be part of the first IE group to go to Cuba. I thought that it was an interesting and enjoyable experience. I have never traveled with IE before, and was invited by a friend, but it was obvious that the company is well-liked and well-respected by everyone.”
– Patricia Dischinger of Baltimore, MD
“We have always wanted to visit Cuba legally but could not. When IE sent the letter we were comfortable traveling with your group. We knew that you had done your homework and would not put any of us in jeopardy with this visit. Some of the other travel groups stayed in Havana for all of their lodging and only did day excursions to see things. Yours had a more interesting and inviting itinerary. We liked the idea that we were able to stay in different places around the island and see the country from that perspective and not just being in Havana. The variety of daily activities made it enjoyable.”
– Ed and Louise Mahoney of Clinton, OH
"Getting to meet and talk with Cubans was the highlight of the trip for me. I have an interest in health care in various countries, and I spent more than an hour talking with a doctor in a remote clinic about medical care in Cuba."
– Fred Brock of Green Valley, AZ
"IE’s Cuba trip was very interesting on many levels - historically, politically, socially and economically. Learning about Cuba on all those levels was the most fascinating aspect of the trip. Enjoyed the musical experiences and the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana) as well as the exposure to the Cuban people when we had an opportunity to interact with them and ask them questions. The visits to the Topes de Collantes National park, Hemmingway's home (I'm an English teacher), the experience at Las Terrazas, the cigar factory, the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, and convent/senior center as well as the Revolution Museum in Havana were the other highlight of my visit. I also thought the movies shown on the bus were invaluable."
– Susan Jones of Washington, VA