Tours

“The Best Classic Car Trip to Havana from Varadero”

By far the highlight of our family trip to Cuba was our drive to and tour of Old Havana. Before we flew to Cuba, we researched the best way to tour Havana.
 
We kept running across a name, Hamlet. Apparently, when Hamlet started conducting Havana tours, his first customer said that “Hamlet” was too difficult a name to remember, so he said he would call him “George”. 
 
The reviews we read about Hamlet were very positive so we took down his number before heading to Cuba.  Our first day at our resort, the Blau Marina Varadero, we struck up a conversation with some other Canadians while swimming in the ocean.

 
When we mentioned wanting to go to Havana, they said we had to use their guy, George. We quickly discovered that it was Hamlet.
We called him that day and booked our trip.Hamlet picked us up at our hotel the next morning with a driver, Julio, and his beautifully restored 1957 Buick. You can do the trip in Hamlet’s VW, but we insisted on going in a classic car and so Hamlet brought Julio and his Buick. 
 
Hamlet acted as our tour guide and Julio was our driver. I am a car guy so we had to have a classic car. You can’t tour Havana in anything but a car from the fifties. The car was retrofitted with A/C so when it got hot mid-day, we were able to roll up the windows and cool off. I have a grin from ear to ear. I love those old American cars. 
 
Hamlet studied the English language in university and is an official interpreter. His English is impeccable. When we arrived at Old Havana, Julio dropped us off near a small Greek Orthodox Church that my wife and I wanted to visit. Hamlet knew exactly where it was even though it is hidden in a courtyard of a much larger Catholic church. From there we continued to tour Old Havana by foot. What a beautiful city. 
 
Hamlet gave us tips on how to deal with street performers and other locals. He was a knowledgeable guide making sure that we saw all of the major attractions and he always added historical context. When it came time for lunch, he calls Julio and he met us quickly to take us to a place called: El Cañonazo. 
 
This was an authentic Cuban restaurant named after The cannon that fires at the fort across the street at 9 pm every night to indicate that the city gates were closing for the night. The cannon has been firing for hundreds of years, although today it is just the sound of the cannon as they do not fire it anymore. At this restaurant, we were seated outside under tiki style roofing and umbrellas. 
 
The place had roosters running around and it was a huge highlight to eat high quality authentic Cuban food. It was a much-welcomed break from the buffet line at the resort. My son ordered roast pork and my wife and I had a seafood medley while my daughter had the lobster. All of the food was awesome and they would keep refilling the side dishes such as rice or salad
 
The beers were so cheap as well. Hamlet told us that the restaurant is a family run business and there is another family that operates a B&B right next door at 30 pesos a night (that is rough US$30 a night) and if we stay there, the restaurant will give us a discount on our food. My wife and I definitely want to return to Havana and spend much more time there than just a day
 
If we return without the kids, we can partake in that famous Havana nightlife. We would recommend this Havana restaurant to everyone. There is no way we could have found it without Hamlet. Others that we spoke to were very disappointed with their Havana restaurant experiences while on tour. 
 
El Cañonazo was awesome. Julio ate lunch with a bunch of other drivers as the restaurant feeds them separately. We insisted that Hamlet eat lunch with us and we treated him. We talked about our families and his life in Cuba. He is very personable. 
 
After lunch, we walked to the fort where Hamlet took a number of family photos for us. While there we went to the tobacco shop to buy a box of cigars and some rum and then started the 2 hours trip back to our resort. The whole trip was about $150 pesos and well worth it. It was a great experience and whet our appetite to come back and dedicate more time to discovering Havana. 
 
Our kids, on the other hand, love the resort and the buffet line. They’re still too young to appreciate Old Havana, but if you find yourself in Cuba and are within a couple of hours of the city, you should definitely call Hamlet and book a tour. You can call Hamlet at (+53) 5289 2031 or (+53) 015 289 2031. Calling a mobile phone from Cuba you have to dial 015 before the number. 
 
I recommend emailing him before your trip. His email address is info@customizingcubatours.com. You won’t soon forget your Old Havana tour with Hamlet

31 October 2016

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A personalized experience!

In 2010 we visited Cuba on our second annual girls trip,  and we got connected to Hamlet and we took a day trip to Havana in a 1956 Buick!

It was so much better than the bus trips that we had been on before, very relaxed and casual, with the ability to stop and check things out along the way, a very personalized tour.

We have all recommended Hamlet's tours to many of our friends over the years and we continue to keep in contact with him with updates on his business and his family!

If you are going to Cuba this tour needs to be on your list!

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BEST TOUR GUIDE EVER !

Hamlet is an utmost professional tour guide, he speaks fluent English, he is very good at what he is doing. 

He will guide you to a good place to visit accordingly to best fit the time of the day by reason of heat, traffic, on how busy the site will be etc. 

Oh, let’s not forget he knows the best restaurant that you would never find in a million years. The four of us toured from Varadero to Habana on the week of Dec 4, 2016...Simply amazing 

If you want to stay and rent for a few days or weeks, he knows all the best place to go to and at good prices

He knows everything about Cuba, he is very very knowledgeable and friendly. The best of all is that is services are not expensive.


Thank you so much Hamlet for our pristine visit to Habana.

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Excellent tour à la Havane!! Excelente viaje por la Habana!!

Nous avons eu l'opportunité de faire le Tour à la Havane avec l'excellent service de Customizingcubatours et je peux le récommandé fortement. Danaith est une professionnelle et connait son travail. C'est un excellent service!! Merci Danaith pour le merveilleux tour que mes amis et moi avons eu en mai 2016!! El año pasado tuvimos la oportunidad mis amigos y yo de hacer el tour a la Habana con Danaith y su esposo Hamlet y fue una excelente experiencia yo recomiendo fuertemente Customizingcubatours!! Gracias pour su profesionalismo y por la bonita expériencia que tuvimos en Cuba. Yajaira y sus amigos!! Montréal, Canada!!

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Excellent Tour, January 20th 2016

The trip to Cuba was my birthday gift to my husband and our day tour of Habana with Hamlet was definitely the highlight of our vacation!

Reliable, friendly and knowledgeable. He will customize the experience based on your preferences and fill it with beautiful surprises.

His English is great too, highly recommend!

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Fantastico

Estuvimos un grupo en Mayo del 2016 y la pasamos fantastico tuve suerte de tener este servicio y fue increible tuvieron mucha paciencia son muy amables. El chofer con un humor espectacular y la guia muy clara y explicativa y siempre con una sonrisa.

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Great day out in Havana !

Many thanks to Hamlet for another great day out in Havana from Steven Taylor, Sue Taylor, Phil Evans, Linda Evans, Mary Smith & Tim Smith.

23 October 2016 at 13:41

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Great trip

Danaith was an amazing tour guide. We had such a great time getting to know her and Cuba. She is so lovely and very sweet. Perfect English and super informative. I recommend her and her husband to everyone going to beautiful Cuba !!!

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Havana Tour

We had just come back from Cuba and Hamlet took us and friends of ours to Havana. Our friends had already done a trip with Hamlet last year and recommend him. Hamlet drops them off in Havana and took us on a personal tour. Brilliant person and his knowledge are second to noneWould recommend him to anyone.

22 de October de 2016

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Havana Tour

Hamlet is an awesome guy he took us out for 2 days once for Havana, and once for snorkeling in the Caribbean sea. He definitely knows his stuff and is very friendly. I give him a solid 5.

4 de mayo de 2016

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