Cuba can be hard to visit...
The country is not what you might call “online”.
Travel agents outside Cuba are generally limited to building their itineraries by combining off-the-shelf “products” wholesaled by Cuban government entities. Overseas operators don’t have the experience, or the local contacts, to create their own itineraries to match individual preferences.
Experience Cuba was founded by a Cuban who grew up in Cuba. Ayna’s family, friends and former colleagues are still in Cuba. We use our local knowledge and nationwide network of contacts to offer nothing but bespoke experiences.
What's Your Cuba?
Planning a trip with Experience Cuba Tours doesn’t start with typing your dates into a computer to see what’s available. Planning with us starts with a conversation about the experiences you want to have.
Are you a photographer? A history buff? Do you want to see Hemingway’s house? Is the Bay of Pigs a must-see? Would you like to stay with local families in casa particulares, or would you prefer to have your accommodation to yourself?
We work mostly with private (but licensed) providers in Cuba. That opens up a world of possibilities, not just for you, but for the more than 100 everyday Cubans and their families who work with us.
Ayna had a true 20th Century Cuban upbringing — raised in and around Havana but born in Leningrad, as it then was, while her father was studying marine engineering in the former USSR.
It was in Leningrad that Ayna’s father met her mother, a Mongolian also studying at the university. Her father moved the family back to Cuba after graduation. The port city of Mariel became Ayna’s hometown, although she boarded at school in Havana while studying ballet at Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alicia Alonso.
Ayna has a degree in computer science from the University of Havana, which is how she came to be working as an IT consultant in her mother’s homeland. It was in Mongolia that she met Nick, and together they moved to Australia.
With travel and bringing cultures together embedded in her story and that of her family, starting a travel agency specialising in tours of Cuba was an easy decision for Ayna. Her favourite part of the business is the photographs that clients send to the team after their trip, especially those of Mariel.
Nick is a Welshman who has worked around the world as a pilot, including fulfilling a lifelong dream of flying for the Royal Flying Doctors.
He was flying for a survey company in Mongolia when a happy thirst for a nightcap took him into the hotel restaurant where his future wife was sharing a meal with friends, including an Australian friend of Nick's.
Ayna and Nick married and moved to Perth, but not before Nick had a chance to fall in love with Cuba as well as Ayna. Nick is now a Cuba expert relied on by our clients to steer them towards experiences that they’ll love. He often helps them to substitute well-known tourist stop-offs for options that will far better meet a traveller's brief but rely on local knowledge.
Introducing travellers from around the world to Cuba has become as much a calling for Nick as it is for Ayna.
Your Cuban experience begins with a conversation.
We specialise in bespoke private tours of Cuba that give you the once-in-a-lifetime experience to encounter the real Cuba before it changes forever.
Confused by mixed and inconsistent information? Travelling to Cuba via the US? A million questions about Cuba?
Talk to us about what you’d like your Cuban adventure to be.