Expert's Corner

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!
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USA Cuba Travel

U.S. Cuba Legal Travel It is possible for American citizens to go to Cuba legally. However, before embarking on your Cuba trip planning, be aware of all updates, revised restrictions and the intricacies of the

Cuba Travel Regulations
"The International Jazz Festival was amazing and we got to listen and see artist that we would never have encountered. We had heard about the music in Cuba from friends that have attended the Jazz festival in the past. Your organization of this tour made it so easy for us as we did not have to worry about planning our day. The trip was first class and our thanks again for putting together an amazing package." George & June Kawaguchi
"I want to thank you for organizing the perfect trip to Cuba! Dana and I had a wonderful time and we will definitely go back there with your company-hopefully sooner than later. Merilyis (I apologize for the botched spelling!!) was perfect.-warm, very informative, organized, timely--everything you would want a guide to be. We were very happy with the way everything went." Diane Nothnagel
"Thank you, I had an amazing trip with Authentic Cuba Travel. I am getting ready for a show in a few weeks, so I will send more feedback and images once that has passed. The trip itself, the studio visits and the range and quality of the art and artists we met exceeded my expectations. David, our guide, was patient, helpful, and knowledgeable. He was a good bridge between having a "tourist" view of Cuba and a facilitated, "real" view." Lynn Tomaszewski
"I just wanted to say thank you for arranging our trip to Cuba. I just got back yesterday and the trip was incredible. I LOVE Cuba and can't wait to go back. The trip was very organized, informative, and I learned so much. Alexis, our local guide, was the best-- so much knowledge!! And our driver, Ramon was so much fun. I also loved the music we had with the new group Autotiempo...it was a private show! So good!!! We had a lovely, memorable experience." Nahyon Lee
"We found Authentic Cuba Travel to be wonderfully helpful, not only with the arrangements for the Film Festival tour, but for extra add-on arrangements. As for the tour itself, a week in the Hotel Nacional and a pass to the film festival add up to pure happiness. Everything else was icing on the cake. Can’t wait until next year’s film festival!" Kathy Kahn
"The trip went absolutely wonderful. Tatiana, our tour guide, was superb and dealt with the different situations in the most professional and kind way. None of the students were in sociology, politics, economics etc. so many concepts might have been irrelevant or over their head to them or over emphasized, but this is the reason I wanted to take them to Cuba. In that perspective it was great and Tatiana was great, the many people we met were great, and the driver was outstanding." Jessica D. Cassleman, Washington State University, USA
"We were welcomed by Deacon Juan Rios in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We distributed rosaries, holy cards, medicine and financial aid to the Deacon. During our second day, we visited the "Santovenia Senior Center," a Catholic nursing home for the elderly run by Sister Consuelo Pena..." Rev. Thaddeus Dzieszko
"We all had a really good trip to Cuba. It's a fascinating country with a lot of potential for the future. The people were warm and welcoming. Mirelys was as good a guide. She couldn't have been more cooperative. Efrin, our driver was also very capable. We appreciated all that you and Authentic Cuba Travel did to make our trip so rewarding." Arthur Selkowitz
"Thanks you for providing a lovely and educational experience. The guide service was superb. We had Ileana and she was very open, knowledgeable, efficient, and just a lovely lady. You have a gem. The hotels were pleasantly comfortable. The itinerary with visits to several legal entities mixed with local history, architecture and culture was perfect." Marianne Kanning
"I think it was very well planned as a birding trip- I just wish it could have been bigger in scope, but that would have meant more time. I would have liked more music, more art, more theatre, and a chance to sit and watch and take more pictures of real people. But you can't have it all. Thanks so much for all the planning and help in getting us to this wonderful place! " Ralph Van Dusseldorp
"I must say that Mario was an excellent guide as well as Joaquin, the driver. My presentation and Al's went very well at the Jose Marti Nacional Library. I was very moved by ASCUBI (Cuban Association of Librarians) who honored me and Al for our work with Cuban librarians." Herbert Rogers, Librarian and Author

Cuba Architecture Tours Reviews



Architectural Detail, Cuban Building

Read Reviews and Testimonials about Cuba Architecture Tours by Authentic Cuba Travel. Please do contact Authentic Cuba Travel if you would like to hear directly from those who have so generously traveled and published their experiences in our websites

Dear Yane, I can think of only positive things to say regarding your organization and the trip to Cuba. Your communication and attention to detail is spot on. I lacked nothing during my week in Cuba. You prepared us well. Our tour guide, Alexis, was the perfect blend of professionalism, knowledge, and sense of humor. I had a fabulous time and have no complaints. The Paladars in Havana are wonderful, we ate excellent food. The Paladar by the sea and lighthouse in Cienfuegos while visually beautiful could use some help with their food. Well done, Authentic Cuba Travel.

Kathryn Dohn

Group Picture Cuba Tour 2013

Authentic Cuba Travel Team,

We can't thank you enough for the wonderful trip. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Although we seemed to be Nervous Nellies right before we took off, everything you lined up came off like clockwork. Pedro was in Miami to meet us and worked his magic to get us checked into the charter flight. John McCaullif join us there and, when we landed and got through customs in Havana, we were met by Alexis.

I won't go on about Alexis because you know and every person who sends comments from our group will gush about him but I can't write without THANKING YOU for giving us such a wonderful guide. Since I was involved in getting this group together to begin with, I felt responsible and it could have been a disaster for me. But it wasn't. Alexis took over completely and made my time there such a pleasure. There were genuine tears from most of us when we had to leave him.

Activities that you planned were perfect. Each day we had diversity and interest. There was enough relaxation and free time. Although we did not get there, I understand some of our group went to a large print making workshop and the art there was amazing. Someone told be we were supposed to go there but they were closed that day? Anyway, keep it on your list of activities.

You might also, in the future, warn people that tipping is very big in Cuba and every performance and service warrants some sort of compensation. Travelers should always have small bills or coins readily available and easily accessible every day, all day long. It’s never a lot, but it adds up. When they get change from the beginning, get 50 or more 1 CUC bills. Its embarrassing not to leave a tip and performers may not understand that all I have in my pocket is a 20 CUC bill!

If you have any influence with the hotels, please let them know they do NOT have to provide such an excessive amount of food every morning. In Europe, all they ever serve is coffee and rolls and possibly some fruit. In a country, like Cuba, where people are hungry, this kind of waste and excess makes us feel guilty - not to mention makes us fat!

We learned so much about the political situation there, met with the Canadian Ambassador, saw the Russian delegation arrive at our hotel and had several meaningful conversation about the future of Cuba and American relations.

By the way... the hotels were great! (although when we returned to the National from Cienfuegos, they had clearly given all the good rooms to the Russians and we were delegated to looking at the parking lot) Whoever said there were water problems and so forth must have been there years ago - we had no problems.

I will, of course, never hear Guantanamera and not think of Cuba (although they wore it out while we were there.)

I can't wait to go back to Cuba and we will definitely call on Authentic Cuba Travel when I do!

Thank you.

Janis Haley, Historic Macon Foundation

Yane- it was a wonderful trip- Alex was the best tour guide- he is not only tremendously knowledgeable- he has the people skills that made the tour a total success in my opinion. I could not have asked for better travel mates (that's not within your scope, but it made the trip that much more fun). I loved the country and the people- I felt totally safe at all times. I loved the cities and sites that we visited. I am recommending Cuba to all of my friends. It was a terrific experience. Thank you and the staff for a great trip.

Blair Train

I want to thank you for the work you did in putting the Historic Macon trip together for us. Please give the rest of your team my thanks as well. The trip was perfectly planned. We had busy days but we saw more than I could have imagined. Alexis must be the best guide in Cuba, and all of the other speakers were excellent as well. I was amazed at the amount of knowledge and passion that all of the historians had for their cities.

We had some confusion in the Miami airport on our way out and we missed our flight coming back, but all of us were experienced travelers and we knew that those things happen. It was an excellent trip and we have you and your team to thank for it.

Will O'Connor

Alex has opened our eyes to Cuba! It is so much more than we expected. We have learned so much and experienced even more. A week we will never forget.

Carlene and Walter Massey

This trip met all expectations plus so much more. Wonderful opportunity, architecture, sights and experiences. Thank you! Alex is the best –intelligent and knowledgeable. He opened Cuba for us.

Linda and Jim Tonn

I loved the church we visited in Regla. It was fascinating that two religions co-existed in the Catholic Church. The singing, dancing, and artistic talent in Cuba is amazing. Thank you for making this opportunity available for our group. Loved it,

Nancy Eaton

Authentic Cuba Travel did such a great job planning and organizing this trip. It has been a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the ‘Cuban experience’. I look forward to being able to come back some day!

Kay Gerhardt

photo of Cuban people

@Photos posted on this webpage our courtesy of Authentic Cuba Travel tour participant Al Carlay, and can not be reproduced or published without explicit permission from the owner.

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