I have just come back from a visit to Cuba travelling with my husband and two friends. It was our first visit and we stayed and the Tryp 'Cayo Coco but I particularly wanted to see Havana. Thanks to Trip Advisor I contacted Jorge who was extremely helpful with advice prior to our trip. Unfortunately he was booked at the time we were there but he arranged for Martha to give us the guided tour and she was excellent. She didn't kill us with information (as we have found with some guides) but showed us around Old Havana at a sensible pace. We had guide books but were especially interested in the day to day living of the Cuban people as she answered all our many questions. She spoke perfect English and also had a really lovely manner and sense of humour (no doubt needed in that job!!) We certainly would not have had such an informed tour without her. The contact for Jorge has been mentioned in the last post so won't give it again.We booked our own flights to Havana and our own hotel, the Ingleterra, while in England but booked the Tropicana show through our rep at the hotel. I spoke to several people at the hotel who had gone to Havana on the organised trips and some only went for one day and really only got a whistle stop tour and the ones that stayed the night were in a hotel near Tropicana which is way out of Old Havana. I would recommend anyone to contact Jorge as like the last post Havana and Cuba are so different to anywhere else that you will have loads of questions.
I agree that the people in Havana are amazingly clean and tidy and quite agree that they put our country to shame especially when you consider how many of them have to live. We walked around a lot of the backstreets and never once felt threatened, even at night, something you couldn't say about any English city!! All the people we met were very polite and keen to talk and we didn't encounter any of the hustlers that have been mentioned in some previous posts. O.K. a few beggers asked for money but there was no aggro if you said "No" and apart from a couple of teenagers asking for my husband's cap there was noone asking for anything.
The architecture in Havana is amazing and also the old cars, even the Lada taxis held together with tape are worth seeing.
No doubt there are some people who will go and not enjoy it but we had a great time and would recommend it to anyone.