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Using a guide in Havana

Lincoln, United...
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Using a guide in Havana

What is everyone's experiences of using a guide in Havana, having arranged it before arriving in Cuba?

We are planning to spend 2 days in Havana and my Spanish is limited to the basics. Would people recommend a guide for the full 2 days, 1 day or not at all.

If you were shown round by a guide was there anything you wish he/she hadn't included in the tour.

How much did you pay?

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Cuba
Cuba
Caribbean
Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Using a guide in Havana

Hi Tim

I'm sure that Voy( our man in Habana) can help you out and put you in touch with Jorge. Apparently Jorge has helped many people on this forum. Voy care to wade in and help Tim out.

Cheers

Havana, Cuba
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2. Re: Using a guide in Havana

Hi Bergerman:

I think it will be easier for Mr. Tim to search the Forum using my friend’s name or his email address. He would be able to read previous reviews from other travelers. I prefer not to extend my participation on this one so I comply with the board rules.

Like many things when traveling having the budget for some events could define what to do. I am convinced that Havana should be seen through the eyes of a good guide for those coming for the first time and if the traveler involved enjoys History as well the Museum of the Revolution should not be left out IMHO.

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3. Re: Using a guide in Havana

Thanks Voy. Completely understand. Tim use the search engine for Jorge.

Cheers

Lincoln, United...
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4. Re: Using a guide in Havana

I'm already in touch with Jorge, butI was trying to find out what other people's experiences are of using a guide, since I have never used one before (except on a day trip to Luxor) and also to get opinions on whether to use a guide for one day or two. Also whether any things that the guide included in the tour were not worth doing.

For instance my guide in Luxor insisted on taking me to an alabaster factory, which in my opinion was not very interesting when surrounded by 3000 year old history and where I'm sure he got a cut from the owner. When he then proposed in the afternoon that we visit a papyrus factory I politely declined. I'm sure Jorge's guides don't do such things, but it is common on guided tours generally, I understand.

It was those kind of personal insights from people who have already had a guided tour of Havana, that I was hoping to illicit before making a final comitment. That's the beauty of TA, in that you can be better prepared for a destination that any previous generation of travellers, by drawing on a large number of previous experiences and not just a single guidebook, which provides loads of information but not the particular piece you want!!

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newmarket, canada
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5. Re: Using a guide in Havana

I was in Habana this past May and I utilized the services of Jorge. You can send him an email at jorgeguide2004@yahoo.es

Jorge was always very prompt is responding to my emails.

Jorge can arrange upon your request for a taxi cab for you for at a cost of 85CUC or you can just grab a cab from the hotel for 90CUC - these prices are based upon being picked up at the Breezes Jibacoa. Jorge will advise you in detail as to where to meet the guide inside of a book store on a street called Obispo close to the Plaza de Armas where you are dropped off and where you will meet with the driver to return. The cost for the guide is 15CUC per hour. Our guide (it was not Jorge as he was unabailable) was excellent and he showed us around many of the sights in primarily Old Habana.

If you have a specific list of locations that you would like to visit (like we did) you can email the list ahead of time.

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Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
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Cuba
London, United...
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6. Re: Using a guide in Havana

Last year we had a lovely young lady as a tour guide, she speaks perfect English and really brought so much knowledge into our walking tour (round Havana Vieja, old Havana) - if you want to contact her, her name is Martha Perez, tel (7) 8616284 she is on internet at marthica1121@yahoo.es, so you can contact her beforehand and make arrangements. Last year she charged us CUC 25 for half/day, I don't know the going rate now. We highly recommend her, she only took us to places we wanted to see in Old Havana (nothing like the tour guides in Egypt who take you to perfume shops, spices shops etc etc). We highly recommend her.

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Old Havana
Old Havana
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7. Re: Using a guide in Havana

The best place to find a tour guide would be at the front desk of the hotel that you are staying at. They will recommend a tour guide that they work with on a consistent basis that has proven to be honest and trustworthy.

Agreeing to meet a strange person at a strange location in a strange country based on information posted on a forum by someone you don't know is playing Russian Roulette with your safety. Imagine your embarrassment if something were to go wrong with your encounter with one of these rogue guides and the authorities were to ask you where you met this person? "Well, this guy on this travel forum who posted this really honest looking picture of himself said that he knows a friend of a friend who could act as my guide, and that I could really trust him." Good-bye nice vacation. Hello to being scamed.

When you go on vacation, please remember, "common sense", don't leave home without it.

Kentville, Canada
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8. Re: Using a guide in Havana

1. At your hotel you're more likely to get introduced to a relative or friend of the person you're talking to. They may or may not be a good guide but most likely not a legitimate one. Am sure hotel won't assume any liability if its not a successful tour unless booked through one of the tour companies ($$$$$ then if you want individual tour)

2.Anybody watching this forum for a while will soon know who the experienced posters are and who aren't. Personally i'd take a tip from one of them rather than an unknown hotel desk clerk.

But chris, you're right on one thing - don't leave your common sense and street sense behind. Btw, Chris did you ever make it to Cuba or still planning your trip?

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Cuba
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9. Re: Using a guide in Havana

.....Boom Boom........well said manfredz..... I second every word.

This is a travel forum and the vast majority of recommendations made on here are based on peoples personal experiences...... I think we all know that the honest looking picture of the guy that said "he knows a friend of a friend who could act as my guide", is of a very helpful and respected member of this forum.....equally his "friend of a friend" is a very much respected and trusted person who is highly recommended by many many travellers......... maybe; Chris, you could consider using his services WHEN you eventually make Cuba.

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Cuba
Cuba
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10. Re: Using a guide in Havana

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