Our tour guide, Orlando, was the best part of our trip to Cuba. We hired him through Tour Republic to be our private guide for two days in Havana. We had asked for a guide who was well-versed in Cuban history, and we preferred that the tour be in Spanish. Orlando was the perfect choice. He is knowledgeable, friendly and easy-going, and his Spanish is very easy for me, an intermediate speaker, to understand. On our first day he took us through Old Havana, telling the history of the area but also sharing interesting personal stories he had of archaeological research he himself had conducted there. On our second day we toured Modern Havana, and talked about the recent changes in Cuba, and what direction it might take.
Orlando was interesting, engaging, flexible, knowledgeable, and fun — everything you’d want in a tour guide. He was very responsive to our interests, and incorporated the things we’d asked about into our tour. He knew which businesses were on the list of places U.S. citizens were not allowed to go to. We were able to have a full-time schedule of learning and interacting with the Cuban people, without worrying about the restrictions.