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active 2 hours ago

Karin Eckhard

I'm one of the co-owners of Espíritu Travel. Although born and raised in New Hampshire, USA, I have had the fortune to live in places as diverse as Vail, Colorado; Salzburg, Austria; London, a small village in England and many years in Madrid, Spain. I started Espíritu Travel with my partner because we wanted to create trips to Cuba that was more than just old cars and cigars, to really get to know Cuba culture and history as well as enjoy it's natural beauty. We added Spain to our destination offerings, it seemed the natural next step since my partner is Spanish and we lived for many years there. Espíritu Travel has offices in both the US and Spain.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in trips to Cuba and Spain and in both counties we have our offices and can create all manner of trips, active as well as cultural trips. Within that context we are able to create unique exp"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I got involved in travel by chance when I saw a job advertisement for a reservation agent at an international tour operator. I applied, got the job and three days later I was answering phones (80 per day) to sell trips around the world. One minute I was discussing a trip to Japan, the next hiking the Inca trail. It was a steep learning curve but I loved it. Within 3 months, I took a trip to Peru and nine months later I was promoted to operations specialist for Latin America. I loved the work and loved working in this aspect of the travel industry and I still love the work.....20 years later. During those twenty years, I have worked in various roles in the tourism industry, hotels, travel companies, in addition, I hold both a masters degree in international tourism development and conservation. I also spent a couple years working as a consultant in sustainable tourism before launching my own travel company. I have traveled extensively, 45 countries to date including visiting Cuba over the last decade 11 times. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Traveling to Cuba for the first time more than a decade ago and thinking that I just arrived to one of the most unique countries! "

Featured trips & expertise

How to Spend a Weekend in Havana

Havana is only a 45-minute flight from Miami, which makes a weekend visit easy. If you only have three days to spare, focus on quality rather than quantity with these itineraries, discovering landmark historical sites, great cuisine, and sultry nightlife in Cuba's capital.

Options for Touring Cuba

From fascinating colonial cities to rich culture and beautiful nature, Cuba has something to excite everyone. How you experience this country depends on your preferences—you can tour it solo or with a guide or group. You can stick to one region or visit many. You can focus on Cuba's natural wonders or enjoy sultry times in the cities. Here are options to suit every taste.

Family Travel in Cuba

Cuba has as much to captivate children as parents, from clowns strolling the streets of Havana to gorgeous beaches and mountains. Add in the country’s close-knit family culture and languid traffic-free streets, where local children play without supervision, and it’s hard to imagine a more kid-friendly place to visit.

How to Spend 5 Days in Cuba

Cuba may be an island, but that doesn't mean you have to spend all your time in one area. Whether your priorities lie in exploring the countryside or immersing yourself in Havana’s urban culture, it’s easy to craft a satisfying five-day itinerary with these expert suggestions.

1950s classic car on beach in Cuba
How to Spend 10 Days in Cuba

Like any intrepid traveler, you're probably keen to experience everything that Cuba is famous for: colonial history, a musical culture, tropical scenery, plus all those cigars and classic cars. Here are four sample itineraries that take the headache out of planning an unbeatable 10-day excursion, whatever your tastes. 

Recent trip reviews for Karin

Barbara

Planning your visit to cuba, Cuba - Aug 4 - Aug 10, 2018

Traveler: Barbara F. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Eiser was our guide and he was excellent in his knowledge of Cuba and his awareness of our needs. His driving on the trip to Trinidad was excellent and navigated the many pot holes with extreme expertise and diligence. He made the trip fantastic with his calmness and willingness to go the extra mile for whoever needed it. There was one participant who was quite difficult at times, and always late for whatever we were doing and complained about everything, but he showed great equanimity,... read more

Eiser was our guide and he was excellent in his knowledge of Cuba and his awareness of our needs. His driving on the trip to Trinidad was excellent and navigated the many pot holes with extreme expertise and diligence. He made the trip fantastic with his calmness and willingness to go the extra mile for whoever needed it. There was one participant who was quite difficult at times, and always late for whatever we were doing and complained about everything, but he showed great equanimity, was able to calm her down and many times I marveled at how he did it as I would not have been able to manage my annoyance if I'd been having to deal with her. The highlight for me was Trinidad and our hosts couldn't have been more warm and inclusive as if we were members of their own family. Osi and Miguel. We met her mother, daughter and grandchild, so 4 generations and even an adorable puppy! Our tour guide for the day was also excellent and it was great to have a chance to meet a wide-range of Cuban people. I consulted the recommendations on the itinerary many times and although I didn't get to try most of them, it was comforting to have. I did manage to get to a great Jazz club the last night and that was a highlight.

Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Barbara,
Thank you very much for taking the time to write us such a lovely review. I am so pleased that you had a fantastic trip to Cuba and that you were able to experience the real Cuba! Eiser is an amazing guide and valued part of our team in Cuba. Thank you for sharing your photos, you got some really excellent shots.
Thank you for traveling with us! I hope that I am able to plan another trip for you in the future. We are also specialist for Spain and Portugal through the KimKim site.

Warm regards,
Karin