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
"First of all, our trip to Cuba turned out to be one of the outstanding experiences of my life. It far exceeded my expectations. Initially, the main reason for going was the music, but as it turned out, seeing the culture, seeing the people, meeting the people, interacting with some of our fellow travelers and other attractions dominated." Fred Friedman
"Kudos to our guide Mirelys. This was my second trip to explore the island of friendly Cuba with Authentic Cuba Travel. And it won't be the last! Your team has done a great job in putting together a well-rounded trip. I only wished that it lasted longer. And the price was reasonable and affordable. Again, Thank you and your team." Bret Boone
"Photographing in Cuba is a photographer's paradise. I had an excellent time and very pleased with the tour, hotels, restaurants and the service of our local guide David Camps Rodriguez. Contact between Authentic Cuba Travel worked very well as our communication increased as the tour got closer and all questions and needs were met. Cuba is a fantastic experience and my return through USA customs was very smooth and easy." Betty Lark Ross
"We thank Authentic Cuba Travel for making our trip to Cuba work so smoothly. We appreciated your professional assistance, but also your continual availability to answer any and all questions before we left. We would certainly look to you again for future Cuba travel." Anita & Jim Hadley
"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
"Our trip to Cuba was unbelievable and I have only one word to describe it ILEANA. Her knowledge of the country and her openness made the education components of the trip so wonderful for our students. She also could be tough when needed to protect our students and gentle when they need encouragement. The students all loved her and our bus drive. Hotels and staffs were great! " S. Kent Miller, Culver-Stockton College
"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
"Our judicial Cuba trip was absolutely fantastic in every way--a trip of a lifetime. But I would be remiss if I did not tell you that our tour guide, Iliana, was so fantastic that I am still shaking my head in awe. I think she could single handedly re-establish diplomatic relations between beautiful Cuba and US. Your itinerary and lectures were so thoughtfully put together. It was a fabulous trip." Martha Simonet
"Seeing so much of the country was wonderful. Happening upon the sugarcane harvest was wonderful. I am glad we got to see the main birds we hoped to see- but the birding itself was the least important part of the trip. Another highlight was our last night together- we could not have been in a better place (Chez...)- great meal, fun waitstaff, great company. Well done! " Ralph Van Dusseldorp
"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. Well done, Authentic Cuba Travel. Kathryn Dohn

Reviews & Testimonials about the Havana Book Fair Cuba Tours by Authentic Cuba Travel


Read Reviews and Testimonials from Authentic Cuba Travel Past Travelers to the International Havana Book Fair. 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



I booked travel through Authentic Cuba Travel. They did a bang-up job organizing the trip. We stayed in nice hotels, ate some good food and traveled by buses with our most excellent Havanatur guide, Eric.
The above slide show are courtesy of Havana Book Fair Tour Participant, Darenna Rainsdon, Librarian. For his entire blog on the Cuba travel experience, Click Here.

reviews on Havana Book Fair Cuba Tour
Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, Cuba’s Library of Congress (The National Library) director privately meeting with Authentic Cuba Travel tour participants. Photo Courtesy of tour participant and author Libby Hellmann. Do not miss her excellent article on Reviews on Havana Book Fair Cuba Trip for more photos and testimonials.
I'd been trying to go to Cuba for years and booked with another agency. It fell apart at the last moment, and I was disappointed. Then I saw Authentic Cuba Travel tours and the fact they were organizing a tour in connection with the Havana International Book Fair.

As an author, I am particularly interested in writing, publishing, and other literary systems, so I signed up. I was thrilled. The tour was both educational and stimulating, and very well planned. Yane, the contact at Authentic Cuba Travels, was very patient and returned my calls promptly.

Her advice was spot-on, and as a first-time visitor to Cuba, I appreciated it. Everything went like clockwork, and the tour itself, a combination of industry and sight-seeing, was fascinating. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I highly recommend this agency if you're planning to visit Cuba. Whatever your particular interest, they probably have a tour built around it. Btw, I took my 23 year old daughter, who is a literary assistant herself, and she can't wait to go back.

Libby Hellmann, Author

Thank you so much to Yane and everyone at Authentic Cuba Travel. My trip in February to the International Book Fair was everything I wanted and more. The local tour guide was so helpful and informative. The entire Authentic Cuba team took care of us the entire week and made sure we had a safe, enjoyable week in Cuba!

Not only would I recommend Authentic Cuba, but I'll probably travel with them again. Feel free to give my name and number to anyone with questions about your services.

Angela Baldree, Librarian

In 2012, I received an invite to go to Cuba to visit libraries. Now I love libraries and I have been a librarian for over 35 years, but the real word that caught my attention was: CUBA! Who would not want to go to Cuba, the exotic island that Americans are not supposed to visit? Read the entire story...

Gary Warren Niebuhr, Librarian

The tour was fabulous. Can't wait to return. Erik was wonderful as a guide and as a person.

Mary M. Carr, Librarian

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 of "Cuba, a Book List", and "A Conversation on Cuban Life & Culture"

Thank you so much for the opportunity to go to Cuba. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the trip was transformative. I would say Eric Garcia, our guide, was at least 50% responsible for it being such a great trip. Enough cannot be said about his professionalism, knowledge and flexibility. I am sure your company provides excellent guides in general but Eric is special.

I hope others who take the Book Fair Tour are lucky enough to get him as a guide. The other 50% should be credited to the great group of people on the tour. I’m a librarian not a mathematician; I will just go ahead and say that more percentages should be shared out to Authentic Cuba Travel for arranging the trip. I am calling this my first trip to Cuba. I can’t wait to find an opportunity to go back.

Our group grew quickly attached to each other and to Eric. We agreed that we needed a common place to share our photos and tour experiences. To that end, today I will be setting up a WordPress site for that purpose. I will share that address with you. For my part anything I post to that site is available for ACT to use for marketing purposes.

Thank you!

Darenna Rainsdon, Librarian

Eric Garcia is an excellent tour guide. He is both personable and professional and should be commended for his care, knowledge expertise, and friendliness. El es muy guapo tambien! Don Alfonso was an excellent and courteous bus driver! Always a gentleman who looked to our safety first, he took care of both us and our coach.

First, the people in our group made our tour much like a family traveling together. We were mostly of the same age and backgrounds, so there was much camaraderie among us. Second, Eric continued to be an outstanding tour guide, being both knowledgeable and friendly. No doubt he has made life long friends among many of us who were fortunate to travel with him. Third, and most important, I felt very safe in Cuba. In spite of the poverty, which I expected, the Cuban people seemed for the most part to be healthy and happy with their lives. They were always open to our question and comments, and welcomed us wherever we traveled.

Overall, my journey to Cuba was more than I expected. Coming from Hawaiʻi, I understood and appreciated “island people” so I felt very safe and welcomed. I would love to travel to the windward side of Cuba some day to see how it compares to Hawaiʻi. My special thanks also to Yane Marquez for making my arrangements to travel so efficiently and pleasantly.

Dr. Kamuela KaʻAhanui, Librarian

It was a wonderful trip. Authentic Cuba Travel did a great job with all the arrangements, I couldn't be happier with the experience.

Jane Carpenter, Librarian

First and foremost I want to say that Erik Fernandez (on the right with the director of Ediciones Vigia) is the most amazing tour guide EVER! He's knowledgeable, interesting, accommodating, funny, and incredibly patient (especially when dealing with 16 different personalities, some of which could be quite challenging at times.)

I think you should keep him as the tour guide for all the librarian tours. Especially because he did a superb job at translating between the Cuban and American librarians (and that was not easy I'm sure - LONG discussions - we are a verbose people you know ;) )

I thought the tour was FABULOUS! It was well planned, everything went smoothly, and the choices of hotels/restaurants/locations were perfect.

Thank you very much! If I think of anything else I'll send it along.

Jennie Stoltz, Librarian

From our point of view the trip was a huge success, thanks in large part to Mario, his knowledge, his patience, his understanding of the sometimes difficult demands of American tourists.

Mike Bowler, Journalist



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