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.
Meet some of our team
Our guides are university graduates in many different disciplines.
They are proud Cubans selected for their love of sharing their history, Cuban culture and insights into how we live in Cuba.
Your guide will speak English to a high standard, and their native Spanish will help you talk to the locals, buy in the market and experience Cuba at a deeper level.
The quickest glance at our TripAdvisor reviews will tell you our guides are the heart of Experience Cuba.
They’re knowledgeable, welcoming and friendly, but they know when to step back.