Bella Travel Group Ltd. (Authentic Cuba Travel Group/ Hello Cuba Travel Group) is a full service travel agency based in Toronto, Canada that organizes cultural, educational and adventure tours for schools, NGOs, business and community groups.
Even though each year nearly 2 million tourists travel to Cuba, they hardly have the chance to get to know the authentic Cuba that lies beyond the confines of all-inclusive full-packed tourist resorts. Once back home, those travellers realize they have hardly “travelled” to Cuba. It might have been a nice and low cost package vacation from the cold weather, but they do not know much about Cuba’s culture and its people.
Authentic Cuba Travel votes for a different kind of tourism for those travellers who demand more from their vacations. With over 24 fully escorted Cuba tours announced for 2012, ranging from educational and cultural to arts and architecture and festivals and events, Authentic Cuba Travel captures the Cuban identity that defines the island as a unique Caribbean nation.
Our mission is simple: we want tour participants to get to know the real Cuba and its people. The authentic Cuba travel experience begins from the very moment you call to ask a question or book a tour. You will talk to tour directors who are fluent in Spanish and English that have lived and worked inside the Cuba travel industry for many years. Once in Cuba, our groups are escorted 24/7 by world-renown Cuban speakers and university graduated guides.
Thanks to the direct involvement of Cuban cultural and educational organizations; universities and colleges; environmentalists and conservationists institutions; local communities and others in the design and operation of their Cuba tours, the quality and variety of Authentic Cuba Travel programs is unparalleled in the Cuba travel industry.
For Authentic Cuba Travel, sustainable tourism is where tour participants can enjoy their holiday and at the same time respect the culture of people and the environment. It also means that local people get a fair say in the design of their itineraries and receive most of the money that their tours generate. Authentic Cuba Travel itineraries are designed within the guidelines of Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism.
Authentic Cuba Travel staff has years of experience in the Cuba travel industry and with North Americans travellers. If you really want to visit the real Cuba, Authentic Cuba Travel is without doubt a great alternative to “sun & beach” packages for those who demand more from their vacations.
Authentic Cuba Travel educational, cultural and nature tours are fully customizable to meet the needs of any organization, private group or business around any interest or theme.
Authentic Cuba Travel Group is a member and maintains affiliations with the following government agencies, institutions and professional organizations for consumer protection: TICO, ACTA, IATA TIDS,
You're in good hands with our expert Authentic Cuba travel staff and Cuban guides. Our Authentic Cuba Travel guides are young university graduates recognized internationally as Cuba's best.
Together our Canadian and Cuba staff has decades of experience with educational and responsible tourism, and we are proud to assist visitors witness the authentic Cuba!
MEET OUR TEAM
Warm Greetings! I’m Luis D'Aguiar, and I warmly invite you to join our cultural journeys to Cuba, the least commercialized, largest, and most exciting island in the Caribbean. Cuban culture is a very diverse cultural blend of African, European and North American design reflecting the diverse demographic of the island. I studied at the University of Havana, and guided hundreds of cultural groups from the most prestigious North American museums of arts before moving to Canada. Today Cuban contemporary art remains one of the few export items for collectors. Come and join us! Need help, send me a message.
Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC) high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!
Hello! I’m Bernie Solymar, and I kindly invite you to join our Cuba nature tours, an odyssey of the country's culture, agriculture, ecology and beautiful nature. We'll explore the historic cities of Havana and Trinidad, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves, tour organopónicos and visit with Cuban farmers, explore forests, caves and mountains, swim in mountain rivers, meet and talk with numerous Cuban experts in the fields of permaculture and conservation, partake in traditional local food dishes, enjoy some Cuban music, rum, and camaraderie, and much, much more. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions!
Hola! My name is Yane Marquez and I was born and raised in Cuba. After graduating from the University of Havana and the Tourism School of Cuba, I worked for over 10 years as a tour guide, translator and event organizer for Cuba's travel companies and organizations. I guided many groups attending Cuba's main international festivals, fairs and events. A few years ago, I moved to Canada where I have continued promoting Cuba’s tourism industry. I would be more than happy to answer any question you have about festival Cuba travel. Do not miss out!
Hello! My name is Jeff Turner. I am thrilled to be involved with the Havana International Jazz Festival organization. I have travelled to Cuba three times now for the event. From the first time I set foot in Havana I was hooked. The culture, the music, the people will entrance you too. The venues and musicians featured during the Jazz Festival are world class. In addition to Havana you will also visit the amazing and very unique cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos. Don't miss the 2011 Havana International Jazz Festival Tour. Join our fully escorted Cuba tour!
I have been in the travel industry for over 30 years with a wealth of information as a Travel Consultant/Cruise & Tour Specialist. I have enjoyed arranging many varied travel itineraries, cruises and tours around the world and hope to continue into the future. In 2009, I introduced the Havana International Jazz Festival Tour to Bermuda. This exciting tour was first class and everyone who was a member of this tour enjoyed themselves tremendously and have forever memories of a beautiful island, its friendly people and its culture. I invite you to join our cultural tours to the Jazz Festival and all others. Nothing beats the fun and friendship you enjoy in Cuba!
Architect Miguel Coyula is a leading member of the Group for the Integral Development of Havana. Mr. Coyula has been a leading figure in urban design urban policy and community development for over 45 years, garnering design accolades, awards and public leadership roles. An internationally renowned architect, planner, and frequent lecturer abroad, he is on the faculty of architecture at ISPJAE (Instituto Superior Jose Antonia Echeverria).
Dr. Delio Carreras is the Historian of the University of Havana, where he also teaches Law. Dr. Carreras has been a consultant professor to the Universities of UNAM in Mexico, Brodeaux in France, among others. Dr. Carreras has taught for over 50 years at the University of Havana and others around the world. He has published numerous books on teaching education sciences.
Dr. Maria Elena Martin, is a Cuban urban planner and architect. In 1988 she was appointed Head of the Urban Design Department of the newly founded Provincial Office for Physical Planning and Architecture of Havana City. Dr. Martin co-authored the Architectural Guide of Havana for which she gained a large number of awards. In 2005 she coordinated “4 VECES 5”, an exhibition with 20 models of the best art deco architecture in Havana; and organized the Architecture exhibition at the 7th Biennale of Havana. She has published more than 30 books and articles.
Dr. Mario Coyula Cowley is a Cuban architect and architectural historian. He is an authority on the history and preservation of Havana. Dr. Coyula served as a Robert F. Kennedy visiting Professor from 2002-2003 at Harvard University in Urban Plan and Design. He has been a full professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Havana since 1964 and is vice-director of the Group for the Integrated Development of the Capital (GDIC).
Dr. Manuel E. Yepe Menéndez is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba's ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.
Dr Marta Núñez Sarmiento holds a Master's in Sociology from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Santiago, Chile and a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia and has been a visiting professor at universities in the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Spain and Argentina. Professor Nunez is a fascinating lecturer who will discuss unique aspects of Cuban society including family rights, property law and gender issues.
Dr. Victor Marin is the Head of Cultural Program Department of UNESCO in Havana. For many years, Mr. Marin also acted as director of the National Centre for Conservation, Restoration and Museums (CENCREM), and institution founded in 1980 for the preservation and restoration of Cuba's cultural heritage.
Architect Iran Millan Cuetara is the Director of the Office of Monuments and Historics Sites of Cienfuegos City. In Cienfuegos's surroundings coexists, harmoniously, buildings from the end of the XIX century and the first half of the XX, in eclecticism dominated by neoclassic cannons. This historical center has been declared a National Monument for its exclusive patrimonial value.