Central America

Viva Expeditions Sounds of Mexico and Cuba tour a success

Joanne Saunderson

Joanne Saunderson  |  31 October 2017

After a very shaky lead up to our departure with earthquakes in Mexico and hurricanes blowing through the Caribbean I was not sure we were destined to travel.  Alas all went well. The visual damage in Mexico City, where we started our fabulous tour was nominal and while there was certainly areas of the city that were badly damaged, all tourism sites and services were restored and operating as per usual. We stayed at the Hotel Zocalo Central which is right next to the famous square where James Bond Spectre was filmed. While we were there we were lucky to witness was a concert to raise money for the earthquake victims. I had never been in the presence of 200,000 people, it was amazing! Not a bad start to our musical tour!

One of the highlights of Mexico for me was interacting with the locals especially at the markets. This is such fun if you embrace the spirit of bartering!

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The ruins of Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza where simply stunning, so much grander than expected and still so much to uncover. Mexico boosts some 40 cities from the Classic Maya period which began around 250AD.

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Cancun was a surprising pleasure. A cross between Las Vegas and the Gold Coast, it is all about beautiful beaches and lots of great places to eat. Staying at the Intercontinental was a treat with beautiful views of the lagoon.

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Cuba did not disappoint with its crumbling architecture, live music and 50’s classic cars, not to forget the friendly people everywhere. We only saw one building that was effected by the recent hurricanes otherwise you would not have known there was even a hurricane through the area.

For me wondering the streets soaking up the feel of the place was the treat for sure. Going on a walking tour and a classic car tour was such a highlight.

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Things are delicate with all the changes in Cuba so I would visit sooner rather than later and make sure it’s shoulder season as peak season is super busy and a challenge to confirm accommodation. We stayed at a homestay in Trinidad which was an accommodation highlight in Cuba as the family where so warm and friendly and the breakfast was beautiful, especially when food can be limited on any given day.

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Cuba has lovely colonial towns as well as mountains to explore and beaches to lie on, what more does one need? Oh that’s right… a ukulele!! …which I strummed on the longer drives and the group sang along, now that is a perfect trip!!

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