about us Havana Adventures Day Tours is a product of Big Planet Adventures Pty Ltd - Australian Company Number: 154669360 and is represented legally in the USA by Cuban Adventures USA - a registered travel service provider with the Office of Attorney General, Department of Justice of the State of California pursuant to CST#2121440-4 which authorises us to provide people-to-people programs for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. The general license allows us to engage, organize and conduct authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba for participants that want to experience meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.
Big Planet Adventures provides tourist services only in Cuba. We've decided to dedicate ourselves exclusively to this one country which, because of it's uniqueness, does require a company with a set-up that is specifically geared to operating here. The first thing you"ll notice when you come to Cuba, is that things work differently in here!
We operate in Cuba through our three main products:
- Cuban Adventures which operates multi-night tours across the country for small groups.
- Cuban Adventures USA which operates legal licensed travel for US citizens.
- Havana Adventures which concentrates on tour services exclusively in Havana.
With these three products, we"ve been running tours and providing services in Cuba since 2005.
What we see as being most unique and fascinating about Cuba is it's culture, society, history, and it's people. Our focus is to help our visitors gain an understanding and an experience of these aspects of Cuba, and to enjoy themselves as much as they can. Our goal is provide the best possible quality of service, and to continually learn and improve ourselves as individuals and as a company. We aim to be better rather than bigger.
At Big Planet Adventures, we operate under specific guidelines created to ensure that our trips promote a positive impact on local environment, culture, and economy.
why choose us
- As a company we now have more than 10 years of experience in providing tourist services in Cuba. Some of the individuals in our team have even more than this. Since we focus exclusively on Cuba, we are true specialists. We don't know much about running tours or providing tourist services in other countries, as we dedicate ourselves to making sure our operations work specifically in Cuba. Its a unique country, so it requires unique systems to be implemented, and our operations are optimised to make sure our services are delivered with the best possible quality, efficiency, and value for money.
- We are a small organization with less than 50 employees so we have a more personalized and intimate relationship with our travelers. This small size also makes us quicker to adapt to changes that are happening on the ground in Cuba.
- We employ solely fully qualified English speaking local tour guides. Many of our tour guides in Havana join our tour company having previously worked for other tour agencies in Havana before they come to us, because we offer better working conditions and pay that many other operators in Havana. Even so, before they are able to work with us, these tour guides are given specific training on our ethical, and interactive style of travel. Our values of responsible travel, respect, and transparency are very important to us, and these values are instilled in our tour guides and admin workers in Havana. All of our tour guides in Cuba are at least bilingual, speaking as a minimum Spanish and English
- We recommend to our clients that they select guesthouse accommodation for their stay in Havana. We believe that it is the best choice of accommodation in Cuba for foreign travelers and tourists, because it provides a more authentic and interactive experience with local Cubans, because it supports small locally run businesses, and because the level of service is actually superior to the more expensive government run hotels and vastly more personalized. We have our own network of private guesthouses in Havana. These are carefully selected and we maintain a close relationship with the guesthouse owners who we most regularly work with to provide them feedback, suggestions, support, and in some cases, micro loans to help them improve their facilities and levels of comfort. Selection criteria and points of improvement that we most focus on in the guesthouses in Havana are cleanliness, comfort, convenience of location, safety, local atmosphere, and most of all customer service.
sustainable tourism practices
- Making a positive contribution to the world is close to our heart and something that takes an integral place in everything we do. We make all efforts to support local individuals and locally owned businesses in Havana and to find more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to go about our business in Cuba. We have a full membership with the Responsible Travel organisation and the International Ecotourism Society.
home office practices
- Our head office in Australia is a shared work space. This enables us to share office facilities such as printers and meeting rooms, which is a more efficient use of resources. The office is close to a metro station, and all of our head office staff either walk to work or use public transportation. We support the ongoing efforts of the recycling industry and use recycled products whenever we can.
contribution to charity
We are regular donators to these humanitarian organisations...
- Medecins Sans Frontieres
- Save the Children
meet the team
4 staff members
ArmandoHavana Tour Guide - CUBA
Armando is one of our most outstanding guides who has an impressive depth of knowledge. He has also proven to be a dynamic and enterprising team member by being the designer of quite a few of our tour itineraries around Havana. He is a very sociable person, loves meeting new people, and is a keen photographer.
DayanaHavana Tour Guide - CUBA
Dayana is one of our most reliable guides of our Havana Day Tours. She has the same dedication to managing big groups of up to 50 cruise ship visitors, as she does with a group of 2 on a specialized day tour itinerary. Her natural charm and friendliness, along with her knowledge of all things Havana, are an unfailing combination.
LazaroHavana Tour Guide - CUBA
If you are lucky enough to have Lazaro as your Havana tour guide you are guaranteed to not only have a great time, but to be enriched with some fascinating knowledge of Havana, its history, and current situation. Lazaro is an extremely charming and jovial person who loves his job so much he says he would do the job for free!
MarcosHavana Tour Guide - CUBA
Marcos has a personality tailor-made for tour guiding. His natural charisma and enthusiasm, ability to listen and communicate makes him a joy for our tour participants as he shows them to his favorite places around Havana. Marcos started guiding for us on our Comida Cubana food and culinary experience, and made the tour such a success we decided to unleashed him on many of our other Havnana day tours.
4 staff members
John AhrensDirector - AUS
John's interest in Cuba first came about through his love and fascination with Cuban music. He first visited Cuba in 2002. His initial interest in Latin America came through a 1 year exchange to Bolivia in 1990. After starting a career as an Environmental Engineer he decided to follow his passion and travel and work in Latin America, which he did so from 1997 to 2005 before starting the company in 2005.
Clarita DerwentGeneral Manager - AUS
Clarita's passion for travel began as an exchange student to Japan at 15. She has spent her life travelling the globe, & the place she fell in love with was Cuba, in particular the city of Santiago de Cuba where she lived and studied. Clarita's training and experience is predominantly in The Arts & Tour/Event Management. She has since completed studies in Tourism, Sustainable Travel & Business. Apart from Cuban culture, her other passions are music and the arts, and social and environmental fairness.
KireniaDestination Manager - CUBA
Kirenia is a much loved member of our team in part for having taken on the important and rather complex responsibility of managing our local operations in Cuba. From her base in Havana, she coordinates with verve, sensibility and determination the many facets of our tour operations in a country where things rarely work as they should, and where systems often function in directions contrary to normal logic and rationale.
YanetHavana Tour Manager - CUBA
Yanet has proven to be an extremely capable manager of our local tour operation in Havana. In fact she won an international prize for being an outstanding local manager of one of our other Havana day tour products that we operate for another agency. She is a very energetic and enthusiastic person with a sparkling smile. She doesn't want to give up the contact with travelers from all over the world so she still guides the occasional Havana day tour to keep her in touch with things on the ground in Havana.