Meet the Cuban Adventures Team
John Ahrens - Director - AUS
John has been living, studying, traveling and adventuring in Latin America since 1990, and guiding and developing tourism programs there since 1997. He speaks both Spanish and Portuguese fluently and first starting working in Cuba in 2002. Since then has found it hard to stay away from the island for any length of time. His passion is to share the uniqueness of Cuba and its culture with others and to provide an authentic experience for those who are willing.
Clarita Derwent - General Manager - AUS
Clarita had the travel bug from an early age, travelling to Japan at 15 as an exchange student.
Since then her passion for travel and other cultures has only grown over time.
She has travelled extensively to many countries, has lived in Mexico, and now calls Santiago de Cuba her second home.
Clarita is trained in The Arts, in Event & Tour Management, and Tourism. Her speciality and interests are strongly rooted in Cuban Culture and the Arts. She has worked, coordinated and performed in some of Cuba's fantastic festivals. She speaks a little of many languages, and is fluent in Spanish.
Mariane - Finanacial Manager - AUS
Mari is a qualified accountant from her native city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She now lives in Australia and has the complex task of managing all of our finances and accounts, including payments, invoicing, and book-keeping. She somehow manages to carry out this duty with an outward appearance of serenity and equanimity. She loves spending time with friends and caring for her excitable puppy, 'Theo'.
Kire - Destination Manager - CUBA
Kire is the Manager for our whole operation in Cuba. She works on just about everything, from the organisation and booking of tours to managing the entire local team - no small job! She also manages operations for other travel brands outsourced to us here in Cuba. She is a graduate in English and Social Science, an expert Arabian dancer, and graces us with her obvious and abundant charms. Kirenia is the longest serving member of our Admin team and without her Cuban Adventures would not be what it is today.
Dadi - Guide Manager - CUBA
Before joining Cuban Adventures, Dadi worked as a specialist guide in Trinidad for several years. She speaks both English and German fluently, and is a graduate from the University of Santa Clara in English Language and Literature. Her interests are many and include creative writing, with which she has won a couple local competitions. At the moment her book of poems is being edited and due to be published soon.
Sarah - Sales Manager - USA
Sarah first fell in love with the rich culture and crumbling beauty of Cuba after receiving the National Geographic Cuba edition from her grandfather in 1999. She is thrilled to join the Cuban Adventures family to help travelers plan their visit to a country that is sure to captivate their hearts as it has hers. In particular, her goal is to help U.S. travelers understand the special considerations involved in travel to Cuba. An avid (some say obsessed) traveler, if she isn't planning her next vacation from her home in California, she is trying to create the perfect packing list.
Ysabel - Administration - AUS
Originally from Lima, Peru, Ysabel has worked in tourism since she was 18. That was several years ago, although we won't mention how many! She started in administration and accounting and then moved on to become a tour guide for a world-wide adventure company. This allowed her to travel throughout Latin America and also to parts of Europe, living the life of a global nomad for several years. She has settled for the moment in Australia and we are lucky enough to count on her vast experience in tour management and sales as well as her diligence and adeptness in computers and computing systems.
Ana - Social Media Manager - AUS
Working part-time, Ana manages our many social media profiles, ensuring that we keep active and in touch with our client base on the multitude of popular platforms in use today.
Ana was fascinated about Cuba and the similarities and differences it has with her native Brazil and wrote about these in a blog about her impressions of the Cuba that she had on her first visit here in 2011.
Alan - Sales Representative - AUS
Alan and his wife Virginia live in South Australia. They have one adult son Joshua who is 37. They are semi retired and travel regularly and widely overseas each year. In 2012 a trip to Cuba with Cuban Adventures guided by Ossie introduced them to the richness of the Cuban culture and way of life and the opportunity to work for the company promoting Cuba and helping clients with questions about Cuban travel is Alan's dream job. Alan's working life was mostly spent as a teacher and education administrator and then as owner / operator with Virginia of a beach front cafe / restaurant in South Australia. His interests are travel, travel planning, cooking and sport.
Lalani - Sales Representative - USA
Lalani works in our US sales office. She particularly works on sales of the licensed tours for US citizens. More on Lalani coming soon!
Roger - Senior Tour Guide - CUBA
Roger is passionate about the arts, and in particular, literature, poetry, music, architecture, and the visual arts. In no small way this is due to his up-bringing in Cuba's third, and possibly its most cultural city, Camaguey. He is a keen linguist and, apart from English, he is studying French and Italian. Like most Cubans, Roger is an excellent dancer, and he has recently won an award for his first published book of poems.
Tony - Senior Tour Guide - CUBA
Tony was one of our first guides. Before joining Cuban Adventures, he worked as a local guide in and around his hometown - the island's oldest and most beautiful city - Baracoa. He has also worked as a film producer with the Cuban Film Institute. Cheerful and enthusiastic, Tony has a great sense of humour and, loves to teach his guests the latest Cuban expressions and slang. He is also quite an impressive magician.
Valeri - Senior Tour Guide - CUBA
Valeri is a graduate in English and Education. Before joining Cuban Adventures Valeri worked as a passenger assistant at the International Airport. Being from a rural part of central Cuba, Valeri is an honest, earnest, hard working, and extremely likable person, who brings these qualities to his job as a guide.
Natalia - Senior Tour Guide - CUBA
Natalia has been venturing the globe and roaming far from her native Spain ever since she was old enough to travel. Luckily for us she has decided to spend a lot of this time in Cuba. You won't ever regret having Nata as your tour guide in Cuba.
Due to her outstanding work over a number of years for us, Natalia has been selected as the designated guide for our only comfort class tour - Essential Cuba.
Zarelys - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Zarelys majored in English and French at University, and also studied Italian. Before joining Cuban Adventures, she was teaching languages at University. Proudly Cuban, Zarelys' passions are music and dancing. She loves to share her country with her travelers, and to give them an experience of the culture that is as authentic as possible. She has a charming and happy demeanour and loves to meet people and make new friends.
Inti - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Inti has been a professional tour guide in Cuba for over 10 years and brings to Cuban Adventures a wealth of guiding experience. However it is his natural traits and personality that make him so valuable to us. Inti charms all with his lovely disposition, great sense of humour, impressive general knowledge, thoroughness and professionalism. He is proud of being Cuban, and of Cuba's culture and heritage.
Tatiana - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Tatiana also comes from the beautiful Cuban province of Baracoa, where she excelled as a local guide for several years. Before that she worked as a teacher and studied English and literature. She has a very charming and laid-back nature along with a wicked sense of humour.
Mickel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Mickel is an extremely capable and professional guide who, apart from his native Spanish, speaks both English and German fluently. Before joining Cuban Adventures he worked for many years as a specialist cycling guide. He has a love of nature and the outdoors and maintaining his quite impressive physical condition.
Yanna - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yanna comes from the far eastern corner of Cuba and the town of Baracoa. She is a very cheerful and positive person and enjoys meeting people from all corners of the globe. She comes from an artistic family and loves to dance to pretty much any sort of music. Yanna is happiest when helping others and is eager to share her knowledge and experience and to show people the beautiful side of Cuba.
Diosbel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Before becoming part of the Cuban Adventures team, Diosbel had a variety of life experiences. These include working as a physical education teacher and a carpenter. After graduating in physical education, he also studied English and German at a languages school in Camaguey. Diosbel loves trekking and is our go-to man for expeditions to Cuba's highest mountain - Pico Turquino.
David - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
David - otherwise known as "D" - has a zest for life and is into dancing and sports. Among his many talents is his impressive singing voice. He is a very energetic and caring person with an increasingly impressive vocabulary in English. D loves to give his groups the best possible experience in Cuba.
Abel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Abel is a local from Havana. He is an eloquent speaker and has a fine grasp and insight of Cuba's politics and culture. Before joining Cuban Adventures Abel worked as a professional tour guide in Cuba for 10 years. He has a calm disposition and is a very honest and generous person.
Willmar - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Willmar is a graduate of economics, and his level of English language is excellent. Willmar is very passionate and knowledgeable about many subjects: he loves arts, music, architecture, history and nature. He guides many of our specialist tours in Havana and is an absolute fountain of information! When he is not working as a guide, Willmar spends his time dedicated to dog training & dog breeding.
Ivan - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Ivan is originally from Trinidad and has been a professional tour guide for many years in Cuba. He speaks exceptional English, and as a guide there is almost nothing Ivan can not do! He loves reading and enriching his already vast knowledge of history and geography.
Aimara - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
After studying to be an English teacher, Aimara started working as a local tour guide in her hometown of Camaguey. It was here that we met her and invited her to join us at Cuban Adventures. Aimara is passionate about nature, and the arts, particularly visual arts, and loves meeting people from all over the world. She also has strong interests in music and dance, including classical ballet, and salsa.
Yaima - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yaima is as charming as the beautiful city of her origin - Trinidad. Yaima has come to us through a more normal path of developing as an outstanding local guide in her home city, before training with us to be able to guide tours across the whole country. For many of our guides part of the joy of their work is being able to travel to different areas of Cuba, which is a country of much more cultural and geographical diversity than what many visitors might first imagine.
Camilo - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
The talented Camilo is from Habana and has an interesting educational background having completed some of his university studies internationally in both Russia and North Korea. Apart from his fluent English he also speaks French and Russian. He worked his way into the field of guiding through other jobs in the tourism industry in Cuba including waiting tables, bank telling, and hotel reception. This varied experience and his industrious nature makes him a very attentive guide and a more than interesting travel companion.
Miguel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Fluent in both English and German, as well as his native Spanish, Miguel has taken a more conventional route in the career of tour guide in Cuba. He has been working as a guide now in Cuba for the best part of nearly 10 years. He believes this experience has helped him a lot in becoming a better person and in enriching his language skills and cultural awareness. He loves meeting people from all over the world and showing them not only the beauty of his country but also its reality, whether that is something beautiful or otherwise..
Osvaldo - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Osvaldo is a vastly experienced and highly regarded tour guide. He has adapted very quickly to our grass-roots and adventurous style of travel and is reveling in our more flexible structure and our performance based pay system. His interests include art and literature as well as a variety of sports, his favourite of which is basketball.
Alex - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Alex is fluent in German and English. He joined us after having worked as a specialist cycling guide in Cuba for several years. After much friendly coercion we convinced him to trade in his long days in the saddle to join us at Cuban Adventures. Alex is an extremely fun and enthusiastic person who loves communicating and meeting people from all over the world. He loves being a tour guide and showing his guests his country and teaching them about its culture and history. He doesn't smoke but is happy to light up a cigar to share with those in the group who are willing. He loves music, and is quite an impressive singer.
Olexis - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
After suffering through a year of compulsory military service, Olexis decided that studying languages might lead him to a life more enjoyable and meaningful than tough and endless military training. Lucky for us he decided to do so! After excelling in his English studies, he also spent some time teaching English at university. Apart from his experience and language abilities, Olexis brings with him an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, and joy to his work.
Rayner - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Like many of our tour guides in Cuba, Rayner comes from a background in teaching English at university level. His home city is the central Cuban city of Sancti Spiritus, the capital city of the province of one of our most popular destinations in Cuba - Trinidad. Rayner also studied French. He is a very friendly person with an outgoing demeanour and has a zest for knowledge and understanding.
Rioger (Andy) - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Rioger is an extremely talented, interesting, jovial person who has multifaceted interests. Before deciding to join us at Cuban Adventures, he was a guide for several years with another agency. Prior to that he worked as a University professor in English literature at the Havana University. He is originally from Guantanamo.
Adita - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Before joining Cuban Adventures, Adita studied communication and hospitality. She worked for a few years in 4 and 5 star hotels in Cuba but realised that she needed something more challenging and dynamic to satisfy her adventurous personality. Adita speaks both French and English as well as her native Spanish. Her passion is to deliver the best experience for her clients that she can.
Yanet - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yanet is an extremely hard working guide who takes on his task of guiding his groups with admirable energy and enthusiasm. Yanet's indefatigable qualities no doubt have something to do with him growing up in the countryside in Cuba, where the need to fully apply oneself to ones duties is often a matter of survival. His country origins also gave him his valuable qualities of honesty and earnestness.
Omar - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Omar coming soon!
Yanniel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yanniel is a charming, energetic, and very friendly person who takes to guiding his tours with great enthusiasm. Outwardly at least, he is rather uncomfortable about his reputation as being our best looking tour guide. Away from work he loves nurturing his many friendships.
Yraida - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yraida can come across on first impressions as stern and pensive, however soon after you get to know her, you realise that she is one of the most lovely people you'll ever meet. She carries out her guiding responsibilities with great pride and earnestness.
Yunior - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Yunior coming soon!
Alexis - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Alexis accumulated over 20 years of tour guide experience before being picked up by Cuban Adventures. His vast knowledge of Cuban history and culture impresses, not only his tour groups, but also the rest the team at Cuban Adventures. His emphasis on showing his guests the inside and out of Cuba - showing the real life of Cubans today as well as the classic tourist sites, was something he brought with him to the job and there was not need to train him in this style of guiding. He has a warm friendly disposition, a wonderful sense of humor, and is quick to adapt to the wishes and moods of his groups.
Alejandro - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Before becoming a tour guide, Alejandro was a lawyer. Despite his relatively young age, he has managed to gain experience in a range of industries in Cuba, in both the public and private sectors. He has worked as an attorney and a business advisor, and he has taken advantage of Cuba’s fee free universities to study a range of post-graduate courses including foreign relations, history, social sciences, and English. This wealth of knowledge and experience in a diverse range of fields, is an invaluable asset to his services as a tour guide.
Margarita - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Margarita is one of the most sweet and caring people you will ever meet. Her impressive command of the English language started at a young age through conversations with her Jamaican grandparents and family members. Maggie loves to meet new people and most of all to dance - whether that be to Caribbean, international, or Cuban music.
Piniella - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Piniella is Roger's surname. Before coming to work for us at Cuban Adventures, Piniella was a first rate scuba diving instructor. He brings his energy and enthusiasm for adventure and discovery to his work as tour guide. He loves meeting people from all over the world and getting back to the water or into nature whenever he can.
Lex - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Lex is one of the few guides we have that comes for the Western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, which is mostly known for the popular tourist destination of Vinales. Before becoming a tour guide, Lex studied a range of subjects at tertiary level including commerce and computer science. However his main area of study was in the languages of French and English, and he worked for a time teaching English at a medical university. His experience in the services industry came about through work as a head waiter in a popular restaurant in Vinales.
Adrian - Local Tour Guide
Adrian is an energetic and enthusiastic person who loves increasing his knowledge and adding to his already impressive vocabulary in English. Like most Cubans he is quite a good salsa dancer (actually he will dance well to just about anything!) and he is a very genuine and kind person.
Emilio - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
For many years Emilio worked as a local guide in Vinales and was a regular favourite of our tour guides who would request him for the local tours of the Vinales valley. Like many of our guides, Emilio has a background in a diverse range of areas. His first career was in law. After graduating with honours in law, he worked as a tax lawyer for the Cuban government. While at university he also studied English and French. When tourism became the main industry and activity in Vinales, Emilio took up an offer from us to work as local guide for our Vinales short stay packages. During this time he did some formal study in biology concentrating on Cuban flora and fauna and especially birds. Emilio also has an excellent knowledge of Cuban history, and along with his experience, as well as his charming and vibrant personality this made him an obvious choice to offer the opportunity of a full-time position in our guide team.
Eduardo - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Eduardo coming soon!
Rainer - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Rainer coming soon!
Karel - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Karel is an extremely friendly and caring person who applies these qualities undisguised to his role as tour guide. Before joining us at Cuban Adventures, Karel was a professional dancer. If you are lucky enough to have Karel as your tour guide in Cuba, you might get to dance with him at one of Cuba's music venues, or even a witness an impromptu dance performance.
Dani - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Dani comes from Baracoa - Cuba's first capital city and favourite destination for many of our travellers who have taken our tours in Cuba. A computer engineering graduate, he worked for 3 years in a software development company in Havana. However, having done quite well in his English studies, on returning to his family Baracoa, he saw the potential for a more fulfilling career as a tour guide. He gathered a lot of experience working as a local guide in Baracoa and waited several years to be selected for Cuban Adventures. He has been relishing the opportunity ever since.
Orledi - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Orledi coming soon!
Yoani - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
More information on Yoani coming soon!
Maurice - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Maurice is one of our guides that has the experience and credentials to lead bicycle tours. At the moment we are only providing such tours for some other agencies that use our services in Cuba. So much of the time Maurice is used by us to run tours for other agencies instead of our own Cuban Adventures tours. When we have the fortune to schedule him on one of our own tours, we also have the possibility of utilising his ablity to speak fluent German. At university Maurice studied English, German, and literature.
Yonelkis - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Yonelkis is from the popular tourist destination of Trinidad. His path to becoming a top tour guide was a more traditional one. All of his formal studies have been in the tourism, cultural promotion, tour guiding, and English language areas. Before joining Cuban Adventures he worked as a tour guide for a number of different Cuban government agencies that contracted him to work for many different foreign tour companies.
This gave Yonelkis exposure and experience in working with many different types of tourists and styles of tourism. He was very keen to join Cuban Adventures to concentrate on the cultural interactive side of tourism in Cuba, to work with smaller group sizes, and for the favourable work conditions we provide our guides at Cuban Adventures.
Osmany - Local Tour Guide - CUBA
Apart from tour guiding, Osmany has a background in sports and journalism, as well as languages and translation. Before restarting his tour guide career in 2015, Osmany worked as a sports journalist for a international news agency. This worked involved translating between Spanish, Italian, and English. He also speaks French, demonstrating his obvious talent for languages. A native to Havana, Osmany loves any type of sport including adventure sports and nature tourism, such as scuba diving and trekking.
Yenni - Local Tour Guide (Havana Specialist) - CUBA
Yenni is our local specialist for day tours in and around Havana. She is a very sweet and friendly person and takes great pride in her work. After several years in the position she knows Havana as well as anyone and loves to share this knowledge with others.
Janet - Local Tour Guide (Havana Specialist) - CUBA
Originally from Camaguey, Janet moved to Havana as a teenager. She concentrates on our tours around Havana and is a veritable font of knowledge about local culture and history. Janet is an English language graduate and is a very kind and cheerful person. She takes great pride in her job and is very concerned that every visitor to Havana has a great experience learning about her home city.
Javier - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Javi works on the reservations of tour groups that arrive to us via other international agencies. With the increase in popularity of Cuba as a travel destination, he has seen this part of our operations in Cuba expand dramatically in the last few years. Luckily for us, Javier has proven himself to be a very dynamic, spirited, and resourceful team member who has helped us find the solutions we need to maintain ourselves as a leading tourism operator in Cuba in our sector of the market.
Monica - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Mónica is a cheerful girl, native of the beautiful city of Camaguey. She loves nature, poetry, music, dancing, and making friends, but her favorite hobby is reading books! Monica is trained in computer technology and has also has worked for our company in the past as a Spanish teacher. She is very smiling and kind, speaks very good English, and loves her job. Monica manages our regular group tours in particular the 8 day Original tour of Cuba, our most popular tour!
Yoise - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Yoise manager our short stays and classes in Cuba. More on Yoise coming soon!
Liss - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Liss manages the local operations for all the custom and private tour packages ('FIT groups') that we run in Cuba. Self-taught in English, in her free time, apart from studying a lot, Lisandra loves nothing better than to visit one of the beautiful beaches near Havana or to go out salsa dancing.
Kenia - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Before joining our team, Kenia studied philosophy. Unfortunately, despite this being her passion, it wasn't earning her enough money to get by. Kenia works on reservations for other agencies that send us their groups for us to deliver their services in Cuba. Kenia is a calm and very interesting person to talk to and contributes to the very positive and energetic office atmosphere.
Raydel - Local Havana Accommodation Coordinator Custom Tours - CUBA
Raydel is a crucial member of our team. He is the owner and manager of Casa Obrapia - a standard setting guesthouse in Old Havana. Apart from being guest friendly and extremely practical, we believe that it is one of the most stylish in all of Cuba. Raydel also manages the reservations for our guesthouse accommodation in Havana for our custom groups. Raydel's vast network of contacts, interpersonal skills, outgoing nature, and positive attitude towards a challenge, makes this task look must easier than it is.
Roy - Local Havana Accommodation Coordinator - CUBA
Roy is in charge of selecting guesthouses in Havana for us, and coordinating the Havana guesthouse reservations for all of our regular groups. With well over 600 guesthouses in all of Havana, this is by no means a simple job. Roy's training in information systems helps in this complex task, as well as his calmness, attention to detail, and willingness to work hard.
Roy is a shy and serious character as well as being very honest. We are grateful for his dedication to the task.
Jorge - Local Havana Accommodation Assitant - CUBA
Jorge assists Roy in organising the Havana guesthouses for our groups. He is a very friendly and charismatic person and he uses this charm to help him keep the guesthouse owners happy most of the time, despite all the complications that are frequently thrown his way.
Away from work Jorge dedicates himself to caring for and bringing up his daughter.
Ileana - Local Santiago Coordinator - CUBA
Lovely Ileana takes on a variety of responsibilities out of her office in Santiago. Being Cuba's second largest city and quite different and geographically distant from Havana, we soon realised that we needed a person dedicated to helping our groups with bookings, local contacts, and the latest knowledge of what is going down in Cuba's hottest city. Luckily for us we can count on Ileana who has years of experience managing cultural events and institutions in Santiago as well as representing many music groups over the years.
Roger - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Roger is an extremely diligent and professionally minded person who takes great care in his work and also in taking care of his family. These qualities were abundantly clear the first time we met him and we had no hesitation in making a position for him as soon as he expressed his interest in working for us. We are lucky enough to count on Roger to manage the reservations for our licensed tours for US citizens.
Reynaldo - Reservations Team member - CUBA
Reynaldo is in charge of arrangements and reservations for our longest itinerary in Cuba, our 20 Day Complete Cuba Tour. Logisitically it is also our most complex itinerary and Reynaldo does a great job, amongst other things, of keeping on top of the whimsical nature of Cuba's domestic flight schedules. In his spare time, Reynaldo loves to do his own fieldwork research into what is the coolest and most happening venue in the very dynamic scene of Havana nightlife.
Leo - Insurance Sales Manager - CUBA
Leo manages the Asistur insurance for your travel to Cuba. Before joining our Cuban Adventures admin team, Leo studied medical technology. In his spare time he loves to listen to music and he also does some of his own background music composition.
Ernesto - IT Manager - CUBA
Ernesto is the official nerd of our team, and expertly deals with all of our technological issues, computational problems, and website design. He is a graduate in computer science and information technology, and is one of the few Cuban's who is into rock music. Despite this unfortunate flaw we still love him.