Here’s what travellers have said about hiring Alain Alvarez
We came to hear about Alain from a positive comment in TripAdvisor. We wanted to go to Cuba for our 15 year wedding anniversary. We did not know anyone there so we hired Alain to be our tour guide for 8 days during March-April 2016. We are so happy we did since he made our trip worry-free. He arranged the Casitas (bed and breakfast rooms) in Old Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Vinales. He delivered in all aspects requested (AC in rooms, and locations we wanted to visit) and exceeded our expectations as he took us to places only a local would know.
He observed I liked plants and flowers, so he took us to a Botanical garden in Vinales. He made restaurant reservations even days in advance to secure we ate in the best place and was always attentive to our needs. He is an honest,punctual, reliable, friendly individual with excellent work ethics. He gave us our alone time for a romantic dinner, but always checked up on us to ensure we were okay. He also advised us when we were not sure how much to tip waiters, housekeepers, etc. His prices are reasonable and well worth your money. We definitely recommend Alain as a driver and tour guide. Hands down!!!, the best service you will experience. You will not be disappointed. His English is excellent and he has great 80’s music to listen in the road. Feel free to contact us for additional questions.
Noemi & David Alonso
San Diego, California USA
noemialonsorn at yahoo dot com
Two of us travelled to Cuba for two weeks in March, 2016, and on the advice of a friend who had travelled there on her own two years before, hired Alain Alvarez as a guide. Our friend had recommended him highly, and now we do as well!
Alain is a well organized, considerate, accommodating, intelligent and responsive guide who understands and truly likes people. He is fun and interesting to be with, has a deep knowledge of Cuban history and politics, and loves showing people his country. He is fluent in English (and Italian), and of course, Spanish. He drives a lovely Lada, but will also rent a larger car if need be.
I have travelled a lot, and have never felt the need or even the desire to hire a guide, but I am so very glad that we hired Alain. I got so much more out of the trip and understand more about Cuba than I would have without having him with us for the time that we did.
I emailed Alain many times in advance of our trip, describing to him what our desires and needs were for our stay, and how many days of our two week visit we might want to hire him.
Alain was wonderful. He helped us plan an itinerary and was willing to be as much or as little a part of that as we wanted. As well, he offered to book casas he recommended (which turned out to be perfect) for us. Before we left for our trip, thanks to Alain, with very little effort, we knew what we were doing, where we were staying, how much things cost, and what he was charging for his services.
In Cuba, Alain picked us up from the airport, drove us to our casa, and immediately helped us exchange our Canadian dollars for CUCs with no hassle. We spent some time in Havana without him, and also hired him to tour us around in his car. We always discussed possible places to visit in advance (we preferred places we couldn’t easily walk to), and his suggestions were always excellent. We went for dinner with him to wonderful restaurants, and we listened to Cuban music and modern jazz with him as well. He took us to Vinales with sightseeing stops en route, and introduced us to another couple who we loved. He organized a horseback ride for us there with a guide who was a veterinarian with information about a remarkable number of plants. It was evident that it is very important for Alain to find the best casa, restaurants and tour guides for his clients. He went out of his way for us on many occasions. In a very short time, Alain felt like a long-time friend.
I cannot say enough good things about Alain. I highly recommend him whether you want a guide just for a day or for two weeks. In our case, we hired him for a number of days (some consecutive and some just “now and then”) within our two-week stay. After a few days without Alain, we really missed him, and were thrilled to be re-united when we saw him again.
He has a website (cubatourguide.ca) with contact information there.
Betsy S. from Vancouver, B.C.
On our last day of a three week holiday in March 2016 in Cuba, the four of us ladies all agreed that this trip rated 10 out of 10. Thanks to our fantastic tour guide, Alain Alvarez. Alain’s English and knowledge of the history as well as culture of Cuba is excellent.
Our travels into cities and the rural countryside gave us a very interesting and informative taste of the real Cuba. We were very relaxed with his driving in the comfortable A/C car that accommodated all four of us and our luggage.
Alain had booked us into lovely private Casas and in one private hotel on the Malecon in Havana. Reservations in small restaurants and private homes where we ate delicious meals, were all arranged by Alain as well.
It was very heart warming for us when we stopped at a rural farm and at a very small rural school to give our pencils, shampoo, tooth brushes and paste as well as baby clothing and small toys. Seeing their gratitude was a very positive experience for us.
Alain’s patience with 70 year old ladies and his sense of humour made all of our days most enjoyable.
We introduced Alain to an impromptu picnic lunch at the side of the road while sitting on a fallen palm tree on a deserted beach…. here we had lots of laughs and time for a bit of beach combing.
We highly recommend Alain Alvarez for your unforgettable trip in Cuba where we felt we got the best enjoyment and value for our money.
Carol K., Marilyn T., Marilyn M., Verna W. – North Vancouver, BC, Canada
We went to Cuba for the first time from December 31 – January 13, 2015, and were very happy with Alain as our guide. He picked us up at the airport and spent a week with us. He is reliable, punctual and honest, he goes out of his way to make sure you have a good experience, he caters to your interests and gives you cost effective options. We could not have imagined a better guide. He really knows his facts and conveys a true love of Cuba. We spent a few days in Havana and then we went to Vinales in his car. He is a good, safe driver and his car is clean and comfortable. The casas particulares he arranged for us were wonderful.
Alain is a very caring person. Through the travel agent, he had asked us to bring some goods for people in need. We discovered that the Salvation Army in BC will prepare suitcases with humanitarian goods for Cuba. WestJet will accept these as second checked bags at no extra cost as long as they contain humanitarian goods and the suitcase stays in Cuba. Alain took the goods to several poor families and we saw where it all went. We felt a bit embarrassed, but it was greatly appreciated. If you want to do the same: clothes, shoes, toys, things for kids 8-15, pens, notebooks, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, balloons and insect repellent are a good idea.
Alain took us to the Bay of Pigs and Cienfuegos, where he arranged an absolutely wonderful boat tour.
He could only spend one week with us, but he arranged casas for us for the rest of the trip, and taxis to take us to Trinidad, Varadero and back to the airport. He phoned regularly to check if everything was ok and if we needed anything. We could not have had a better guide for our trip to Cuba. The next time, we will certainly go with him again. We can recommend Alain to anyone who wants to go to Cuba.
Paul Jensen, Margot Grant, Gibsons BC
We spent a week with him acting as our tour guide in December 2011 and were totally delighted with his attention and care. He had come highly recommended by an American friend who grew up with me and had used his services. Being someone who grew up in Havana and had returned for a “memory trip” after over 50 years away I would have to say that Alain took excellent care of us and showed us around all sorts of places (new and old). He took us to the Valley of Viñales in the Province of Pinar del Rio where we spent a fabulous day horseback riding and then returned to La Casa de Tomasa where we were feted with a truly delicious and authentic Cuban meal – complete with Calabaza (Pumpkin) a la Tomasa, black beans and rice, picadillo, etc. He even managed to secure tickets for us to the Ballet Nacional de Cuba’s performance of the Nutcracker (Cascanueces). His English was excellent and he managed to communicate very well with my husband who does not speak Spanish, but of course, I was able to speak Spanish with him.
People who know I grew up in Cuba always ask me for information and suggestions and I am more than pleased to recommend Alain to them. Since our trip I have sent many groups from the Toronto area as well as my cousins from England and they have all been extremely pleased with his services and attention.
Saludos, Kathy M.
In December 2013, my husband and I decided to visit Havana for three days mid-way through a 2-week stay on Grand Cayman Island. At the suggestion of our travel agent, we hired the services of Alain Alvarez. Without a doubt, having his services permitted us to enjoy the perfect introduction to Cuba, and in particular Havana. Alain was punctual, courteous, reliable, attentive, knowledgeable and caring, – securing reservations for us, ensuring all was as requested, and catering to our personal interests for our time there.
We have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this fine, personable man for anyone’s travels within Cuba.
Craig & Carolann
Vancouver, British Columbia
I cannot say enough good about Alain’s professionalism and personality as well as his wealth of information about Cuba, the history, the contacts he had for private “Casas particulares”, great places to eat etc etc etc. I saw the difference when I spent a few days with a Cuban friend in Havana, walked around with her and her daughter and then walked with Alain… The difference in the experience was amazing. A person cannot become an instant tour guide as my friends tried to do.
I do hope you have the great pleasure of meeting and touring with Alain someday. He has had 20 years’ experience and it comes through in everything that he does.
As a single woman, I did not want to travel alone in Cuba and joining a tour bus did not appeal to me. The places the tour company proposed were not where I wanted to go. I also wanted to see the countryside and meet the local farmers and regular people as well as visit historic towns and natural wonders. My friend told me about travelling with Alain and suggested I go with him. She has been twice to Cuba and both times Alain drove her around. So I contacted him and the rest is history! He took me to see things that were not even on the map, as well as Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Havana, Viñales near Pinar del Rio and a couple of other little towns with wonderfully warm and lovely people. I cannot recommend Alain enough. He outdid himself, finding amazing restaurants and paladares to eat in, interesting places to see, fascinating people to meet and spotless Casas to spend the night. I feel I really got a good taste of Cuba, its history and the beauty of its countryside, with Alain. Added was the safety of being accompanied by an expert and very pleasant and safe chauffeur who knew all about Cuba, and with whom I laughed a lot.
Travelling with Alain is wonderful. He is very easy going and cares about the service he provides. I have a disability with my mobility and Alain kindly anticipated my needs and saw they were met. I found all the Cuban people I met were very kind, warm and helpful.
Alain has taken me to wonderful places and I have returned to Viñales in Pinar del Rio Province on three occasions because of its remarkable beauty and wonderful people. I do not hesitate to endorse Alain as a premier tour guide and a man of integrity, intelligence and kindness.
Greetings from Hemingway On Stage.
“Alain is the best all-round guide I have met in Cuba. He knows Havana and the country intimately and has incredible connections for both accommodations and restaurants. He is completely honest and is one of the best drivers I have ever met. I have also introduced him to friends who have travelled to Cuba and they have been thoroughly pleased with his services. Do not hesitate to hire him. He is 100% reliable.”
Brian Gordon Sinclair a.k.a. Hemingway On Stage
My family and I were most satisfied with our tour in Havana, Cuba, that Alain arranged for us. He really knows his history and kept us very well informed. He is also very great company. We were very impressed with everything that we saw and did. There were so many high lights that it is impossible to name any one in particular. We found the hotel National most comfortable and the staff very caring and helpful. We were pleased that it was so convenient because we were able to get around easily. Havana beautiful and relaxing city with a lot of authentic places to eat, great sightseeing, amazing weather, and friendly people. We very much hope to return there!
Last March, Alain was our tour guide in Havana for 2 days guiding us from breakfast to after dinner, taking us in his car to many sites and private restaurants that we would not have known about. We found him most informative and helpful in explaining life in Cuba to-day. His English is very good and has an engaging personality. He really made Havana come alive for us.
Hi, Alain. Thank you for looking after us so well when we were in Havana. We very much enjoyed our visit and are sending photos etc. to Kathy in Canada. We will tell anyone going to Havana about you and hope you get some more work. Do let us know if you want piston rings. It is raining here in England!
Best wishes, Ada
Hi Alain, we are at home now and thinking lots about our trip to Cuba. Peter and I both agree that having you with us was the smartest thing we did. You drove, showed, educated and proudly exclaimed about the beauty and culture of your country and it was a great two plus days for us. I wish that we had stayed longer in Havana and less time in Varadaro. Thank you for it all.
We hope that your family is well and that you have had lots of business since we left. We will continue to tell our friends about you and will hope that some of them will visit you in Cuba. We will keep in touch.
We have known Alain Alvarez since 2009, and he has been a great driver and tour guide for us. He speaks English well and has lots of contacts; he can arrange places for you to stay as well as recommend restaurants, bars and activities. He has helped us so much and has become a good friend over time. He is punctual and reliable. He is knowledgeable about his country and its history.
In 2009, Alain showed us around Havana, taking us to some unusual and out-of-the way places that you normally wouldn’t see. In 2013, he arranged for us to stay in a bed-and-breakfast in Viñales, and it was all he said it would be. Wonderful accommodations, food and people! He drove us from the airport and back.
For 2014, Alain recommended a visit to Cienfuegos, so he picked us up from the airport and took us to Cienfuegos where we spent a few days. He showed us the area and then drove us to Viñales, where we stayed for the rest of the time. He got us back to the airport in plenty of time. Five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Greetings from Toronto,
We went to Cuba for the first time in January – February 2016 and were very happy with Alain as our guide. He picked us up at the airport in Varadero and spent 10 days with us. We toured to a number of places such as Trinidad, Vinales, Varadero, Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Havana and many other places. Cuba has so much history and thanks to Alain we gained more knowledge of his beloved country. He went out of his way to ensure we were having a wonderful time, not to mention a memorable experience. There were 5 of us so he rented a very comfortable vehicle to accommodate all of our luggage and us.
Alain is reliable and honest and a very safe driver. He arranged all of the ‘casas’ for us with some delicious breakfasts and dinners. A couple of times we had wonderful dinners that were cost effective at restaurants based on his recommendations. Very pleased.
We highly recommend Alain as your tour guide when you plan your trip to Cuba.
Marlene, Maggie, Una, Carolyn and Rita
Toronto, Ontario, Canada