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Espíritu Travel

At Espíritu Travel we are passionate about travel, as is natural we want to help to maximize the benefits that tourism can bring to the places that we offer. Responsible Travel (RT) does not mean having to compromise on the enjoyment of your trip or the quality of your accommodation.

We strongly believe that our trips should directly benefit the communities we visit whenever possible through the principles of sustainable travel;
minimizing environmental impacts and optimizing community benefits, without sacrificing comfort or the character of vacations.

In a place like Spain and Portugal, it is easier than say a place like Cuba, where sustainable, responsible tourism is practically unheard of, it is no easy task but we believe that slowly this will change and we hope to be a part of that change.

Espíritu Travel is part of the following groups: Cuba Travel Agents, the Dominican Republic Travel Agents, Portugal Travel Agents

Featured trips & expertise

Porto's scenic riverfront
Immersive Portugal: Porto & the North - 12 Days

Get to the heart of Porto and northern Portugal on this unique 12-day itinerary that combines history, gastronomy, and stunning countryside. Starting with a selection of guided tours and day trips, you'll explore Porto's UNESCO-listed city center, sample the best local cuisine, and cruise the Douro River through spectacular wine country. On day six you'll shift to a more independent itinerary, self-driving your way south through Coimbra, Nazare, and Obidos as you explore the rest of the region's highlights at your own pace.

Valencia's historic Plaza de la Virgen
Family-friendly Spain: Barcelona & Valencia - 6 Days

There's fun for the whole family on this relaxed 6-day tour of eastern Spain. Starting in Barcelona, you'll ascend Mount Montjuic via cable cars, take a sunset sail around the harbor, and wander the cobbled streets of the Gothic Quarter. After a day trip exploring the wonders of surrounding Catalonia, you’ll head down the coast to finish your trip in Valencia, where all ages can marvel at underwater wonders in Europe’s largest aquarium and sample the city’s signature dish of paella.

Colorful views of the city
Best of Paris & Barcelona - 8 Days

Enjoy the top offerings of Paris and Barcelona — from historic sites to culinary delights — on this 8-day trip. You'll start your trip in the City of Lights for a visit to the artistic Montmartre neighborhood and a wine & cheese tasting in a medieval cellar. Continue to Spain to see impressive Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture and feast on traditional Catalonian fare.

The Alhambra and Generalife, Granada
Discover the Flavors of Southern Spain - 12 Days

Explore the highlights and flavors of Spain with visits to the cities of Madrid, Granada, Málaga, Cadiz, and Seville on this 12-day trip. You'll enjoy private tours of the historic old towns, visit ancient religious sites, and taste Spain's best culinary offerings. Start the trip in Andalusía to see the Alhambra in Granada, visit Málaga to learn to cook in a traditional finca, then wrap up the trip in Seville to enjoy a flamenco show.

Underground cellar for storing wine
Epic Wine & Culinary Trip Though Spain - 12 Days

If food and wine are your passions, then this unparalleled 12-day trip through the heart of Spain's Basque Country has your name on it. You'll see Barcelona's highlights — including the Sagrada Familia — as well as the coastal towns of the Bay of Biscay. Tour family wineries, visit shepherds, and hop from pintxos bar to pintxos bar, grazing until your heart's content.

Caleta de Famara in Northeastern Lanzarote
Ultimate Canary Islands Tour & Madrid - 8 Days

This 8-day trip covers the archipelago's three easternmost islands. Traveling by road and ferry, you'll discover historic villages, orchards, forests, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, and vineyards to understand just what makes this region of Spain so unique. There will be plenty of free time to explore each isle's capital—especially in the evenings—to round out this fun adventure. End the adventure in Madrid to experience the magic of a flamenco show.

Recent Trip Reviews for Espíritu Travel

Karin planned our trip across Northern Spain ... · Spain - Aug 31 - Sep 8, 2021

Traveler: Catherine G. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Karin planned our trip across Northern Spain that we had wanted to do for many years. Although we had some specific places that we wanted to see, Karin was able to recommend several places that we would never have found, and that absolutely delighted us. She hired guides that were knowledgable, friendly and flexible, and twice when an emergency came up for them, another was substituted at the last minute, which was also great! We could never have done that. I recommend Karin, and Espiritu travel with Kimkim

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Catherine, thank you for taking the time to do the review. I am pleased to read that you had such a lovely long await trip to northern Spain and that you were able to see some hidden gems.

Ellen

Portugal Travel Extraordinaire · Portugal - Sep 9 - Sep 24, 2021

Traveler: Ellen F. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

We have traveled a great deal in our lives, but concerns about handling our own arrangements in light of the ever changing Covid restrictions led us to Kimkim, Espiritu Travel and Karin Exkhard our travel consultant. We were so pleased with every aspect of our trip, the attention to details, response time, selection of tours, guides, and flexibility when changes were either necessary due to inclement weather, or we decided to add a tour mid trip, or change a destination during the final days... read more

We have traveled a great deal in our lives, but concerns about handling our own arrangements in light of the ever changing Covid restrictions led us to Kimkim, Espiritu Travel and Karin Exkhard our travel consultant. We were so pleased with every aspect of our trip, the attention to details, response time, selection of tours, guides, and flexibility when changes were either necessary due to inclement weather, or we decided to add a tour mid trip, or change a destination during the final days of our trip. Karin and her team were exceptional and we will without question return to them again, and use Kimkim in the future for other destinations.

We loved our time in Portugal, the care being taken regarding Covid-19, the warmth, friendliness and knowledge of everyone we encountered. Hotel selections, tours and guides were all spot on, reflecting a genuine understanding of the interests we expressed for our trip.

Our exploration of the walled city of Evora, in the Alentejo region, was enhanced by the knowledge of Martin, our guide. Our visit to a Cork Estate and Vineyard in the Alentejo region with a 4 x 4 Jeep tour, was an excellent way to deepen our understanding of the growth and production of cork, the numerous products made from cork, and the importance put on the preservation of these trees. We really enjoyed learning about the Alentejo region and the exceptional wines produced in this large region of the country.

We also, with Martin, visited several of the impressive megalithic monuments discovered in the Alentejo region. These standing stones, which you can walk among, predate Stonehenge by 3000 years. This day also included an olive oil tasting at a small organic farm, that has been in operation for three generations. They create an extraordinary olive oil, Amore é Cego "Love is Blind" and truly witness the love this family has for the trees, the olives themselves, and the creative process used to protect the olives and create this extremely high quality olive oil through the use of sustainable agricultural processes. The opportunity to sit among the olive trees for our tasting and to share a beautifully prepared lunch with the family, (both teachers) and their beautiful daughters, was a high point of our trip.

From Evora we traveled by private transfer to Lagos, which we used as a base for our exploration of the Algarve. The recommendations on what to do in this area while on our own were also spot on. We explored many of the beaches on foot, even walking from town to Ponta da Piedade shortly after our arrival in Lagos.

Although we'd planned a trip inland to explore the Western Algarve, inclement weather prompted our guide Pedro Marreiros to propose an alternative coastal tour, which turned out to be the perfect decision. Pedro's knowledge of the area, and our opportunity to see some of the smaller and more wild coastal areas and to visit Cape St. Vincent was a perfect day.

The next day as rain was intermittent, our planned Catamaran trip was cancelled. We were informed as soon as this decision was made, and a refund was promptly issued. With proper rain gear, we walked the long beach in Lagos and set off on foot to explore many of the other beautiful beaches, some quite close to town.

Our last day in Portugal we requested a transfer from Porto to Lisbon with a stop off to visit the city of Aveiro, often described as the Venice of Portugal. Our driver Anna was excellent and she took the time to show us around the city, encouraged us to take the canal tour even when rain was threatening (it held off until we finished our boat trip) and then she took us to another nearby community, Praia da Costa Nova, to show us the beach and exceptional tile work on the houses. She was delightful, and offered us a truly memorable last day in Portugal.

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make our first visit to Portugal truly memorable. We look forward to returning!

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

I don't have words to respond to this review! Other than wow and thank you so much for taking the time to write such detail. I am so pleased that you had such a fabulous time, it is what our team always strives for. I enjoyed working with you and Donna to create this wonderful trip!! I look forward to working with you in the future. Karin :-)

Portugal done right · Portugal - Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2021

Traveler: Michael V. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Every guide we had, and there were several, was prompt, professional, engaging and courteous!
I’d never travel again without going through Kim Kim!

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

So lovely to read this review! I am thrilled that you had a fantastic time in Portugal. We look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. :-)

What a blast! · Portugal - Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2021

Traveler: Stella S. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

We could not have asked for a better itinerary. We saw so much in such a short amount of time, yet had enough time to ourselves to explore.

Every guide was friendly and professional. It was like meeting a new friend in Portugal everyday.

Thank you so much for the very well thought of tour for us. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and family!

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Stella for this review and for posting all these great photos! :-) I am so please you had a blast and have left Portugal will lovely memories of your trip. It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan this trip.

Kaisha

Northern Portugal:10days · Portugal - Aug 8 - Aug 17, 2021

Traveler: Kaisha S. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

The trip was planned really well. Karin actually took into considerations my preferences and requests and planned it out well in a very short period of time. Karin and Marina were available even during the trip in case I had questions and were very prompt in their responses. They really were experts in the city and provided recommendations on what to do during my trip in a short period of tome with a blend of power packed days and free days for leisure so that it felt like a holiday. The... read more

The trip was planned really well. Karin actually took into considerations my preferences and requests and planned it out well in a very short period of time. Karin and Marina were available even during the trip in case I had questions and were very prompt in their responses. They really were experts in the city and provided recommendations on what to do during my trip in a short period of tome with a blend of power packed days and free days for leisure so that it felt like a holiday. The locals who were responsible for walking tours Pedro, Jose actually customized the tour based on my preferences which is different from the typical tours and also the Nelson and Marta customized the day tours very well. They were experienced, know what they are doing, checked with me what I prefer or would want to make of the day and made the tours fun. This is a rare ask as usually the tours are standardized and there is no flexibility. Karin planned every details with recommendations in each city and was a splendid experience. This was my first experience with Kimkim and I would definitely recommend it. Obrigada<3

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kaisha, thank you so much for this lovely review and the attached photos of your trip. It was a pleasure to help you plan this last-minute getaway to Portugal. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the trip and all the fantastic activities. Karin :-)

farah

Marta was an absolute pleasure to work with. ... · the Dominican Republic - Jul 8 - Jul 17, 2021

Traveler: farah a. - Local specialist: Marta Bermejo Acosta

Marta was an absolute pleasure to work with. She planned everything from the stays, to excursions, to any last minute changes we needed and was always easily accessible and available to help. She was very adaptable to our requests and worked her hardest to make sure we had everything we needed! We had an absolutely wonderful time in the Dominican and would love to go again!

Marta Bermejo Acosta profile photo
Marta Bermejo Acosta, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Farah,
Thank you so much for your kind words!
It was my pleasure helping you plan your Honeymoon to the Dominican Republic and I am happy to hear you enjoyed your trip and that you would like to visit the island again!
I wish you the best and I look forward to working with you again in the future.
Warm regards,
Marta

Lindsey

Fantastic Trip to Dominican Republic During Uncertain Times! · the Dominican Republic - Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2021

Traveler: Lindsey F. - Local specialist: Marta Bermejo Acosta

We can’t say enough good things about Marta. She helped plan an unforgettable trip to the Dominican Republic in March/April 2021. We had a mix of adventure and beach relaxation! Marta set us up with Johnny who was our driver for the whole trip and Johnny was incredible as well! Marta made the trip easy and stress free. All rides and tours were
coordinated through Marta and we had zero issues. Marta’s communication and accessibility is awesome! She was constantly checking in with us and... read more

We can’t say enough good things about Marta. She helped plan an unforgettable trip to the Dominican Republic in March/April 2021. We had a mix of adventure and beach relaxation! Marta set us up with Johnny who was our driver for the whole trip and Johnny was incredible as well! Marta made the trip easy and stress free. All rides and tours were
coordinated through Marta and we had zero issues. Marta’s communication and accessibility is awesome! She was constantly checking in with us and Johnny to make sure we were doing well! We stayed at some incredible hotels including the Dominican Treehouse Village in Samana and the Bahia Principe in Punta Cana. Tours included horseback riding to El Limon waterfall, Scuba Doo in Punta Cana, hiking and jumping off the 27 waterfalls, a day trip to Playa Rincon and a bike tour in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo! I can’t wait to use Marta again for when I go to Portugal!

Marta Bermejo Acosta profile photo
Marta Bermejo Acosta, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Lindsey!

It has been a pleasure helping you plan this fantastic trip to the Dominican Republic. I am happy to hear you had a great time and you liked all your activities. The Dominican Republic is truly a unique destination and I am happy you got to see and experience the true essence of the island. Thank you very much for your kind words. I am looking forward to helping you plan your perfect trip to Portugal!

Marta

Sally

Cuba was a nice place to get away from being connected all the time · Cuba - Jan 16 - Jan 20, 2020

Traveler: Sally P. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Cuba was a nice place to get away from being connected all the time. The great weather is a huge plus.

Usually, I personally prefer mid-budget, backpacking style trips, but I was with family and saw that Cuba is easier to see with a guide, so I opted for a guided tour. For my first time in Cuba, I wanted to see a little bit of everything, so I asked for an itinerary which included Havana, Viñales, and the beach. This itinerary is a very common one, and the price appears to be similar to tour... read more

Cuba was a nice place to get away from being connected all the time. The great weather is a huge plus.

Usually, I personally prefer mid-budget, backpacking style trips, but I was with family and saw that Cuba is easier to see with a guide, so I opted for a guided tour. For my first time in Cuba, I wanted to see a little bit of everything, so I asked for an itinerary which included Havana, Viñales, and the beach. This itinerary is a very common one, and the price appears to be similar to tour packages I found on other sites. Since it is a private guided tour with taxi for the whole stay, it is pricey. There was a mix up with the prices (I received the wrong pricing), and my trip was almost canceled last minute, but Kate from KimKim reached out to me and we resolved the issue.

In Cuba, Darián, who was our guide for Havana and was with us for the early part of Viñales, was very professional and knowledgeable. He used to be a professor so his history and ecology knowledge was immense. If we had any questions, he was very helpful, and went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable at all times. The driver we had was also very skillful, always on time and prompt, and always had water for us in his car which was great. He also took us to a beach for the last day. Beach was beautiful and mostly locals only. The guide at Viñales was great. I recommend the walking tour over the horseback riding tour if you only have a day as you get to see more in detail, have a chance to climb up a steep mountain and walk through a cave as well. Bring some cash as you stop by a farm on this tour which sells homemade cigars and coffee.

The casa particular we stayed at was a bit far from Old Havana, but walkable to the Hotel Nacional and the Malecón, near a popular restaurant and a park with wifi (very spotty/poor), and was very clean. There were two bathrooms (with new towels provided upon request), and the breakfast prepared every morning was very filling and excellent. Also, we asked about beach towels, and they went above and beyond by providing sunscreen as well (we were actually running pretty low). The beds were mostly okay, nothing outstanding, but we were usually tired after a long day, and slept fine. Next time would probably prefer to stay closer to Old Havana.

Overall, the days were packed and busy. We got to see a lot in a short time. I would say this is good for anyone looking to get a taste of Cuba. Definitely would've liked a tad more time in each place we went. I appreciated that we were not really taken to shops (unless we wanted to go) since on other tour packages, I always feel pressured to buy something. The old car tour was just okay, tad disappointing. The places we went in the car tour were not very interesting, and we definitely weren't prepared for it - bring sunglasses and maybe hair tie. I think driving even a short while along the Malecón would've been nicer, and getting some pictures taken with a better background. Plan to come back, but it will be more leisurely paced and hopefully, a longer trip.

Side note: I had baggage issues where Air France/Delta lost my baggage, and Karin and Darián did their best to keep me updated on the bags. I am very grateful for their part in this as the lack of internet access had made me very worried. Unfortunately, I never got those bags until more than a month later, but that is the airlines' fault 100%.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sally, thank you for taking the time to write a review especially after so much time has passed, one year in fact. And thanks for sharing your photos! I was pleased to read that you and your family had a good time and were able to sample a bit of Cuba in a short time. There is certainly a lot to see in Cuba and a longer more leisurely pace is ideal.

I wanted to respond to your comment about the location of the casa particular in Havana. The casa you stayed in is located in... read more

Hi Sally, thank you for taking the time to write a review especially after so much time has passed, one year in fact. And thanks for sharing your photos! I was pleased to read that you and your family had a good time and were able to sample a bit of Cuba in a short time. There is certainly a lot to see in Cuba and a longer more leisurely pace is ideal.

I wanted to respond to your comment about the location of the casa particular in Havana. The casa you stayed in is located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana rather than Old Havana and there is a reason for it. Old Havana is lovely with its cobbled streets and historic buildings but it's filled with tourists, not Cubans, other than those working in the bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Vedado is a real Cuban neighborhood and the place to be if really want to get to know Cuban life. In addition, it is a more modern and affluent neighborhood, but it is still packed with bars, restaurants, music venues and, best of all, regular Cubans. There are hundreds of fun things to do in Vedado. Old Havana is a short 10-minute ride ($3) from Vedado. I understand that you would have preferred to be in Old Havana but I wanted to give a quick explanation as to why we use a particular location in Havana.

In regards to the classic car ride, you should have definitely been driven down the Malecón! That is the point of the ride. If this was not done, my apologies as it should have been. If you had mentioned it to Darián at the time, I am sure he could have rectified it.

A quick mention about shops, our guides never bring travelers to shops unless asked as you have mentioned. While the trip is booked as a package (i.e. organized), all our trips are customized to each traveler so activities are not part of any type of ¨tour group¨.

It was a pleasure helping you create and plan your family trip to Cuba. :-)

Lucas

Overall excellent experience... · Cuba - Nov 24 - Nov 29, 2019

Traveler: Lucas T. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Overall excellent experience. Vinales National Park was worth the 3 hour drive. Bike ride through Vinales was incredible. Very thankful that we did a full day guided tour in Havana on our first day. It helped us get our bearings and find a comfort zone for the remainder of the trip. Karin was very responsive and tremendous to work with.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Lucas, thank you very much for this review and I am pleased to hear that overall you had an excellent experience and that you had enjoyed your time in Viñales. It was a pleasure helping you create your customized trip. :-)

Truly a reliable travel agency and an amazing experience · Cuba - Oct 15 - Oct 19, 2019

Traveler: Niki N. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

I am very impressed with the service. I submitted my request less than a week before I decided to make a trip to Cuba. Karin responded quickly to my request and curated an itinerary for me. I’m grateful for the swift respond and the customised planned itinerary with accommodation included.

When I arrived Cuba, it took me a while to find my tour guide (Fernando). My feedback is that the signages could be bigger. But other than that, it was alright.

Throughout the trip, I had 2 tour guides... read more

I am very impressed with the service. I submitted my request less than a week before I decided to make a trip to Cuba. Karin responded quickly to my request and curated an itinerary for me. I’m grateful for the swift respond and the customised planned itinerary with accommodation included.

When I arrived Cuba, it took me a while to find my tour guide (Fernando). My feedback is that the signages could be bigger. But other than that, it was alright.

Throughout the trip, I had 2 tour guides with me - Fernando and Laura. Both had given me an amazing overview of Havana and a delightful time. On days that were meant to be spent at my own leisure, they provided me great recommendations and always cheerful. They did make some tweaks here and there. For eg my itinerary stated half day at Vinales but they explained that I wouldn’t see much of it with a day trip as most times would have been spent on the road due to the long distance ride. Hence instead suggested to bring me to Las Terrasaz and Finca Vingia, which is totally enjoyable. My itinerary did not include Buona Vista social club, maridaje (cigar ceremony) and cannon shooting ceremony but they went out of their way to arrange it for me.

Honestly I came to Cuba with lil expectations but I left my heart (heavily) as I totally enjoyed myself thoroughly. My only gripe is that I didn’t stay longer than 4 nights. I will definitely be back again (for the beaches which I think it’s amazing) and without a doubt would engage Espiritu travel services.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Glad you thoroughly enjoyed yourself! Cuba can be addictive! I look forward to helping you plan another....longer trip in the future. Karin :-)

Aneri

A great introduction to Cuba · Cuba - Oct 9 - Oct 13, 2019

Traveler: Aneri P. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Carlos is a great and experienced guide. He was very candid and happy to answer any questions about Cuba, the political situation, and more. It was a refreshing and fascinating introduction to the country - our only regret was that our trip was too short.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Aneri, thank you very much for the review. I am pleased to hear you had an excellent introduction to Cuba.

driving Spain · Spain - Sep 6 - Sep 21, 2019

Traveler: joe h. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

My wife and I recently took a trip to Spain and it was a trip of a lifetime in large part due to the creativity and attention to detail of Karin and the entire KimKim team.

Following a week on the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela we did a driving tour of southern Spain including Salamanca, Caceres, Toledo, Seville, Córdoba and Granada. Kimkim’s support was top notch from start to finish.

Creative pre-trip planning based based on our likes/ dislikes and strong... read more

My wife and I recently took a trip to Spain and it was a trip of a lifetime in large part due to the creativity and attention to detail of Karin and the entire KimKim team.

Following a week on the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela we did a driving tour of southern Spain including Salamanca, Caceres, Toledo, Seville, Córdoba and Granada. Kimkim’s support was top notch from start to finish.

Creative pre-trip planning based based on our likes/ dislikes and strong attention to detail led to an excellent experience. Karin arranged all the hotels, rental car and local guides in each city. It all cane together flawlessly. Each local guide was born, raised and still resides in their home city. Each brought an individuality to their tour and were passionate about their hometown and patient with our questions. We couldn’t help but be excited by their passion and knowledge.

We plan to work with KimKim again on our future trips.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Joe and Diane, it has been a pleasure to help you create the trip of a lifetime!

Walking & site seeing in Spain · Spain - May 12 - May 28, 2019

Traveler: Jamie R. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

We had a great trip and are sending a big shout out and thanks to our local specialist - Karin Eckhard w/Espiritu Travels - and her team. We were in expert, caring hands w/Karin: she was very responsive and capable in orchestrating our 16-day trip to Spain and Portugal with "lots of moving parts". We were pretty specific in where we wanted to go and what we were interested in (architecture, history, nature, hiking/biking, food/wine, culture) and she accommodated it all! Everything went like... read more

We had a great trip and are sending a big shout out and thanks to our local specialist - Karin Eckhard w/Espiritu Travels - and her team. We were in expert, caring hands w/Karin: she was very responsive and capable in orchestrating our 16-day trip to Spain and Portugal with "lots of moving parts". We were pretty specific in where we wanted to go and what we were interested in (architecture, history, nature, hiking/biking, food/wine, culture) and she accommodated it all! Everything went like clockwork - all the drivers and guides were on-time and prepared, all the hotels and activities were ready and waiting for us. The drivers and guides were wonderful company and very well informed - we loved spending time with them and learned a lot.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for the lovely review! It was a pleasure helping to create your trip to Spain and Portugal. :-)

Portugal in 5 Days · Portugal - May 23 - May 27, 2019

Traveler: Lina D. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Karin was just great. She planned the best trip ever and help us get the most of Portugal in just 1 week. All the hotels, tours and transfers were perfect. She was always available and proactive while we were there.
The Kim Kim Team is also great. They have this great company that is always willing to satisfy and help their clients!

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Lina for the lovely message. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your trip!

Marlynn

Portugal · Portugal - May 9 - May 24, 2019

Traveler: Marlynn R. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Almost all of the trip when exactly by the itinerary, except when one time a driver waited to pick us up at the train station where instead we were to be picked up at our hotel. Another time, one tour was rescheduled with no notification to Karin or us, but we were able to get in touch with the tour guide who cancelled and said our tour was rescheduled for the next day which still fit into our schedule. Most memorable places were the Douro Valley and wine and port tasting, and Tomar, the... read more

Almost all of the trip when exactly by the itinerary, except when one time a driver waited to pick us up at the train station where instead we were to be picked up at our hotel. Another time, one tour was rescheduled with no notification to Karin or us, but we were able to get in touch with the tour guide who cancelled and said our tour was rescheduled for the next day which still fit into our schedule. Most memorable places were the Douro Valley and wine and port tasting, and Tomar, the beautiful monastery. Also Sintra and walking up the old castle walls was memorable (it was very hot the day we went up, but we made it and the views were very rewarding.

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Marlynn, for five-star review. So pleased to hear you had a memorable trip!!

5 Days in Cuba - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas · Cuba - May 15 - May 20, 2019

Traveler: Jessica D. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Karin was so easy to work with. Booking the trip could not have been easier.

The trip to Cuba was really seamless and eye opening. Everything went off without a hitch and was well paced. We loved all of our guides. Fernando was waiting for us at the airport in Havana and was with us both days in Havana. He was knowledge, fun and accommodating. His love for Cuba was evident.

He drove us to Trinidad where we stayed at the Casa de Mi y Osi. It was in a perfect location and we could not have... read more

Karin was so easy to work with. Booking the trip could not have been easier.

The trip to Cuba was really seamless and eye opening. Everything went off without a hitch and was well paced. We loved all of our guides. Fernando was waiting for us at the airport in Havana and was with us both days in Havana. He was knowledge, fun and accommodating. His love for Cuba was evident.

He drove us to Trinidad where we stayed at the Casa de Mi y Osi. It was in a perfect location and we could not have asked for two better hosts.

Kirenia promptly met us for an interesting and educational walking tour. We not only saw the tourist spots but also the neighborhoods where many locals lived. We also went to a fantastic pottery making studio.

Luis picked us up the following day for a tour to the mountains. We went to a small coffee farm and hiked to some beautiful waterfalls. Luis was an exceptional guide - so knowledgeable, informative, and a great conversationalist.

The trip ended with Fernando picking us up to travel to Santa Clara. We flew back to the US from Santa Clara. Thank you to all the hosts and guides - we are so happy to have met you all!

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jessica, thank you very much for the lovely review. I am so pleased you had a great trip to Cuba!

Spring Portugal Trip · Portugal - Apr 6 - Apr 21, 2019

Traveler: WARREN F. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

All hotels were quite fine. Staff in hotels were great . The rooms assigned to me were underwhelming. All private guides were outstanding. Overall the trip was wonderfull.
Warren Finlay

Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for the review and I am pleased to know that you had a wonderful trip. Historic buildings that have been renovated into hotels and which are located in the city centers, the rooms are often smaller than what one might expect coming from North America.

Cuba 2019, Father and Son trip · Cuba - Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2019

Traveler: Boris K. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Very educational trip, tour company did it's best to insure our best possible experience.

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Boris, for this review and I am pleased that you an excellent experience.

Trip to Portugal · Portugal - Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2019

Traveler: Iwona P. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Without doubt one of our favorite trip so far! Portugal is an awesome country to visit.

Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by our driver , our names were mentioned on the board and we felt welcomed and with such a friendly atmosphere we had a fantastic start! The guides and tour were extremely good, very flexible (appreciate this!) and for that the organizer, Karin, deserves a special thanks. We had three great days in Porto and Porto area, which obviously also added up to the experience,... read more

Without doubt one of our favorite trip so far! Portugal is an awesome country to visit.

Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by our driver , our names were mentioned on the board and we felt welcomed and with such a friendly atmosphere we had a fantastic start! The guides and tour were extremely good, very flexible (appreciate this!) and for that the organizer, Karin, deserves a special thanks. We had three great days in Porto and Porto area, which obviously also added up to the experience, and four days in Lisbon. Both our drivers/guides, Nelson and Rui deserve our special shout out. We had a fantastic time in both of the places. Nelson is a very intuitive guide, knew exactly what we like and we appreciate it. He has chosen a boutique wineries with such a idyllic scenery! The scenery was beautiful and it was a relieve to walk in such a quiet and peaceful environment. He also is quite a singer. So, if you would like a singing tour through the beautiful lands of Douro Valley,he is your guide!

Rui is such a great personality and highly motivated guide (recommendable!), full of life and a great sense of humor. We truly enjoyed getting to know Lisbon and the surrounding areas in his company.

The atmosphere is so special that it really felt like home to us. All respect for Nelson and Rui who do a great job there; a true sample of excellent tour guides! And last but not least, thank you Karin for taking such a great care of us. The accommodations were great, and you made us feel like royals.
Iwona and Tad

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Iwona & Tad for this lovely review and I am so pleased to know that it has been one of your favorite trips so far. Portugal is truly an awesome country to visit.

Father Son Havana · Cuba - Mar 13 - Mar 17, 2019

Traveler: Don J. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Karin and Espiritu Travel teamed up for a great inaugural trip to Havana. Karin communicated well and responsively throughout the entire pre-trip experience.

Julio met me at the airport and was basically a full-time guide from 9-10am until we packed it in for the day. Julio is a proud Cuban and incredibly knowledgeable about history, culture and life in general -- and very customer service (American style) focused. Luis, another guide in training tagged along for a couple of days and was... read more

Karin and Espiritu Travel teamed up for a great inaugural trip to Havana. Karin communicated well and responsively throughout the entire pre-trip experience.

Julio met me at the airport and was basically a full-time guide from 9-10am until we packed it in for the day. Julio is a proud Cuban and incredibly knowledgeable about history, culture and life in general -- and very customer service (American style) focused. Luis, another guide in training tagged along for a couple of days and was a pleasant guy as well. Annie, yet another guide, took us out one night for a nightlife tour. Julio and Luis even met us on our last day for no reason other than to make certain that we got in taxis and off to the airport (note: that was a two hour bus ride each way for Luis).

This was Father/Son trip with my 18 year old son. And memorable it was -- I was expecting the old cars, cigars and rum and none disappointed. What i did not expect was the sheer volume of beautiful architecture, the rich and interesting history at nearly every turn, the many color characters that have left their mark - some small, some big -- on Cuba. The food was fresh and fantastic (that is coming from a foodie).

The accomodations were arranged - a casa particulares - by Espiritu. Maria's place in Vedado was very nice. Maria was a terrific host and a great breakfast cook. Rooms were clean, with a/c and hot water.

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Don, thank you very much for the review and I am so pleased to hear that you had a great first trip to Cuba and a memorable one with your son. I hope you get a chance to return to Cuba!

Cuba for Culture · Cuba - Feb 7 - Feb 12, 2019

Traveler: Meredith P. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

We could not have been more pleased with our experience with Karin, Ariel (our guide), and the people of Cuba. It was an enlightening trip where we learned far more than we ever thought we would about the little island to the south.

Karin’s itinerary was well thought out and tailored to meet our interests. She was a pleasure to work with.

Ariel was extremely informative and passionate about his home country. He was interested in learning of the differences in our cultures and governments... read more

We could not have been more pleased with our experience with Karin, Ariel (our guide), and the people of Cuba. It was an enlightening trip where we learned far more than we ever thought we would about the little island to the south.

Karin’s itinerary was well thought out and tailored to meet our interests. She was a pleasure to work with.

Ariel was extremely informative and passionate about his home country. He was interested in learning of the differences in our cultures and governments while teaching us about his. We felt a special bond with him, as he went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and valued. We cannot day enough good things about him. He is a very special person and embodies the welcoming spirit of the Cuban people.

Odalys was a gracious and hospitable casa proprietor. Although there was quite a language barrier, she was eager to [enthusiastically] ensure our comfort. The breakfast at her casa was lovely and served in her beautiful dining room where we met some very friendly French tourists.

The Iberostar receives top marks for cleanliness and comfort. The staff was lovely, the beach was breathtaking, and the food was delightful.

I was sad to leave but I look forward to one day returning to Cuba.

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Meredith,

It was so nice reading this review! Thank you so much for taking the time to do but more importantly that you had such an enlightening and that you were pleased with the trip. I have already passed on your lovely comments to Ariel. The photo of you and your Mom in the classic car is a great photo! It was a pleasure helping you plan your trip to Cuba, I hope you get the opportunity to travel again to the island. Karin :-)

Organized “Freedom” in Cuba · Cuba - Nov 21 - Nov 21, 2018

Traveler: Stefanie M. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

Karin was extremely responsive and patient as we planned the trip. Our in-country guide, Thais, was extremely professional and knowledgeable. Right away she made us feel welcomed and went out of her way to ensure we enjoyed our experience. Our drivers (Pedro and Ivan) arrived on time and their cars were well-maintained and comfortable. I highly recommend KimKim and Espíritu Travel!

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Stefanie, so lovely to see your photos and I am pleased that you enjoyed the experience. It was a pleasure helping you to plan your trip!

Discovering lower part of Spain · Spain - Oct 17 - Oct 26, 2018

Traveler: ayesha a. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

First of all, this was my dream trip which is well organized and to new places which I really wanted to visit. I usually plan all of my leaves and it takes a lot of time and effort to select the places, hotels, type of tours and other. For this trip and by sudden I saw kimkim team and decide to let them plan my trip with my husband. It was really easy to use this web to plan and complete all the payment through the website. Also, connecting me with Karin who is really really supportive and... read more

First of all, this was my dream trip which is well organized and to new places which I really wanted to visit. I usually plan all of my leaves and it takes a lot of time and effort to select the places, hotels, type of tours and other. For this trip and by sudden I saw kimkim team and decide to let them plan my trip with my husband. It was really easy to use this web to plan and complete all the payment through the website. Also, connecting me with Karin who is really really supportive and well known of the places we’ve visited. The plan was reviewed 2 times with few changes, and Karin did the thing I like (activities, changing the hotel, and agreed on the timing). Karin was available all the time I need her help and support. Few things happen at the beginning with the transportation but we handled it. All of the hotels were really nice and lovely. All of our tour guides were helpful, kind and know the places we visited and give a lot of information which helped us understand everything. We’ve loved: the private city tour of Granada by bike and the Las Alpujarras tour. Others are nice too.

I would like to thank Karin for her effort from day 1 till we are back in the air plane she was asking and communicating with me. I would like to thank all of the tour guides for their professionality and kind. I told everyone about kimkim team .

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Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Ayesha, thank you very much for the lovely review and it has been a pleasure working with you to create your dream trip. I am so pleased that it was memorable and thank you for sharing some of your photos with us. I will be sure to pass on your comments to the guides that worked with you and all the places that were able to visit in Spain.
I hope that I have the opportunity to plan another trip for you in the future.
Warm regards,
Karin
Espíritu Travel

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.

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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