Donna LilienthalUnited States
If you want a FIRST CLASS tour while in Cuba..Ela is the one!!!! She has so much to offer from many perspectives - historical, political and personal. Ela will customize your tour to your needs. We were 4 people and fell in love with her.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Qué lindo!!! ❤ So beautiful guys you made me cry!!! Thanks so much; there are no enough words to show you my appreciation and love for you and gratitude. You were so open to learn and embrace my culture and country, and I'm so thankful because of it. Hope to see you again someday! In the meantime you'll always have a friend in Cuba. Cheers my dears and big smashing kisses Ela
Ela is a fun, passionate and very informative guide. The '4 squares' walking tour was a great introduction to old Havana. The tour of the rum museum is worth adding on. All highly recommended.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks Wayne!! I really really appreciate your kind words!! You guys were amazing and I am so happy I got to be your local guide; thanks so much for trusting me with your holidays!! Big hugs Ela
Reem El MutwalliUnited Kingdom
Very informative, covered all the important sites, happy personality and very accommodating
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks so much Reem and once again thanks for trusting me as your local guide in Cuba!!
Reem El MutwalliUnited Kingdom
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Gracias Reem! I had a great time with you guys, happy happy holidays in Cuba!!
Tsui Yee WongHong Kong
We love the private tour arranged by Ela!! We able to visit all the places that we would love to and experience the Cuba culture. Ela is very patient, as we were always late (sorry about that). She is also very informative, and showed us many interesting things! We will definitely have Ela as our tour guide again and will refer her to our friends. Thanks for the wonderful arrangement!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Hola Gloria y Lukas!!! Thank you so much guys, you were funny and insightful and so nice, I will repeat this experience again and again if I could; hope you enjoyed the Cigars!!! Until next big adventure ♡♡♡ Big smashing kisses Ela
Ela is a fantastic guide to her city. She has extensive knowledge of Havana and is keen to share it with you. She is enthusiastic, super friendly, has fantastic English language skills and was great at adapting the tour to meet our needs. This tour is listed as needing to be very fit, and while a moderate level of fitness would help, Havana is flat and we cycled at a very leisurely pace. This was our favourite tour while in Cuba and would recommend it to everybody!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Gracias chicos!!! You were so much fun to share this experience with! And I stand by my word, anything you might need just ask because you are the coolest kids in town ��. Thanks for being so inquisitive and open and just perfect... All my love and big smashing kisses Ela
Jason WimetteUnited States
Ela was amazing!! We had a group of 13 including 5 children and she did a great job engaging everyone with her passion and energy (and timely gelato stop for the kids). She is extremely knowledgeable and answers any question thrown at her with ease and excitement. I highly recommend booking Ela for your trip!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Gracias Jason!! Your family is indeed 5 stars (and plus); it was an incredible adventure for me as well and I thank you all so much for being so inquisitive and open and... the kids!! ...OMG your kids are the bomb!! I adored them all!! Thanks for allowing me share this experience with all of you. Big smashing kisses chickens, Ela
Joseph RodriguezUnited States
Was by far the best tour experience we have ever had! She was extremely knowledgeable, funny , down to earth and and took us on the best tour we ever had . I was she was in every Country we plan to visit.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks so much J.!!! Y gracias a toda tu maravillosa gente!! (thanks so much to your entire wonderful friend'mily) , you guys were a blast to hang out with, I laughed, I really enjoyed every minute of it and I'm so deeply grateful for your visit and warm and love; I couldn't have asked for a better party. All my love, massive hugs and big smashing kisses, E
Kamlesh GillespieUnited States
Ela is a wonderful, delightful guide. She's totally fluent in English. She was so accommodating and helpful and made our trip so worthwhile. She planned our day to show us the highlights but was flexible enough to deal with whatever else took our fancy - organizing a massage, getting a salsa class etc. You can't go wrong if you get Ela.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you!! Thanks so much for those lovely words!! I really really appreciate them and you girls were a true delight!! I had a great time thanks to you girls and your happy open disposition ��❤ all my loveee and here you'll always have a friend. Big smashing kisses Ela
Nicole JohnsonUnited States
Ela was the perfect guide for our family of 4! Our kids (11 & 13) loved how friendly and enthusiastic she was. Ela arranged a custom tour for us after getting to know our family via a few email exchanges. When there was a hitch in our original plan (bike rental company had moved)... she reacted quickly and positively and came up with an alternate plan. She is also very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about Cuban history as well as modern day life there. We would definitely use Ela again. Thank you Ela!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Nicole and your gorgeous family! Your kids really made an impression on me (so knowledgeable and kind and learning Spanish!) Oh I loved them! And I adore you girls! Thanks so much for having chosen me as your guide, it was a tremendous honor. Big smashing kisses, Ela
William LiebmanBethesda, MD, United States
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Gracias a ustedes! Thanks so much for both of you (my goal couple) for making our tour a much enjoyable experience for me as well! You are so sweet and supportive and kind, I couldn't ask for better clients either better friends! Your words deeply touched me, thanks, that's the only thing I can say right now, thanks so much. All my loveeeee Ela
Jeffrey DodgeUnited States
Ela was an excellent tour guide. She was full of energy, educated us on life in Cuba, explained the history of Cuba, funny AND fun to be with during our two day tour of Havana. EVERYONE in our group of 8 said that she was the best tour guide we have ever had across the many different cities and countries we visited. We would highly recommend her to all our friends and even those we don't know. The only reason we gave her five stars is because we could not give her 10.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Jeffrey! Thanks for the laughs, for the kindness, for the appreciation for my country and it's people and thanks so much for the opportunity to be your guide (and friend) in Cuba! Please do... come back!! I would love to have you over again (and I will definitely do the bourbon trail ��). All my love chickens
Cathy GarciaUnited States
Ela Velunza is fabulous! Very knowledgeable. You will see Cuba like no other tour guide can provide. Meet locals, see local art and culture. Eat great food and chocolate. Drink Cuban beer, rum and coffee. Learn the history that you can't get from a book. Everyone knew Ela, so we felt welcome everywhere we went. Wear comfortable shoes and enjoy the walk and talk. I am going back again and Ela will be my tour guide. I didn't have enough time in Cuba or with Ela! Estoy agradecida, Ela!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Cathy!!!! Gracias!!! Muchas muchas gracias! You were such a delight and I'm so deeply moved by your words and your love and passion and willingness to learn and share my culture and country... you were fantastic!! Please be certain you'll always have a friend in me. All my love and massive smashing kisses, Ela
Steven G.WELLINGTON, FL, United States
Ela is AMAZING. We have used Tours by Local all over the world. Ela is the best tour guide we have ever experienced. She is passionate, exciting, extreemly knowledgeable, fun, caring, and a joy to be with. She will customize a tour for you and give you insights to the local Cuban life. She is exceptional and I would recomend her to anyone visitng Cuba. Her English is perfect.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: �������� Steve now you just want to make me cry!! �������������� gracias gracias!! And thanks also for your knowledge and life experiences and sharing them with me. You are quite a pioneer and inspiration and I really treasure our time together. Big smashing kisses!!!
Steven G.WELLINGTON, FL, United States
Ela is the cutest, most passionete, most knowledgeable, and fun to be with during our stay in Cuba. We were able to get personal insights into daily life in Havana, eat local food, learn about the culture, see the sights with a fun loving person that made our tour such a wonderful experience. Ela is the best. Her English is perfect and a delight to be with...We have used Tours by Local all over the world and she is TOPS!!!!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Steve thank you thank you thank you!! I'm actually quite emotional right now and so deeply touched by your words. I loved every minute of it! I adore you guys, you are so funny and insightful and easygoing that I couldn't have wished for a better experience or better clients (now friends). Forever find a loving friend in me. Big smashing kisses!!
Yutong ZhangUnited States
Ela is very professional and helpful! She made our trip in Cuba more colourful and enjoyable, and she literally knows everything about the country! :) We had a nice time there and thank you so much for your help all the time!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you guys!! For all your help and support to the Cuban people; you are an amazing group! All my love Ela
Lori KirschbaumUnited States
Ela and Ernesto are the best guides EVER!!!! We were traveling with a large group of 19 ranging from age 16-76 for a 50th Wedding Anniversary. They went above and beyond to make our day in Havana so special. They are both so knowledgeable and did I mention FUN!!! Our whole group is still talking about how much fun we had. Ela and Ernesto... thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you did to make our day so very special...we enjoyed every minute of it! Love, your Chickens!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Lori, can I be honest with you? You shouldn't be thanking me, I should be thanking you!!! The fact that you trusted me with such an special holiday is beyond mindblowing! I don't deserve it, really, I am so grateful! You just jumped in head before toes and blindly put this celebration in my hands without hesitation. You allowed me to lead, you embraced our culture and there are no words to show my very deep appreciation. Love you my chickens!! Ela
Scott RasmussenUnited States
I have always wanted to go to Cuba but never really knew how to go about it. I was so excited when my husband found a guide from Toursbylocals that would do a three day private tour for us. Words cannot describe the amazing experience Ela gave us. I am still blown away by her knowledge, her enthusiasm and her zest for life and the Cuban people and culture. Our plans are to go back to Cuba and visit Havana - but only if it is with Ela V! She connected us to the people and culture of Cuba, she is a treasure
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: You guys!!!! You killed me with your kindness and love!! I had so much fun, I enjoyed my short but memorable time with you so so so much, I learn a great deal because you are amazing ambassadors of your country and culture as well, you literally gave my a ride of emotions and laughter and there are no words to thank you enough. I cannot wait to see you again! Big smashing kisses. Ela
Marvin KatzUnited States
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Marvin for the review!! All my love, Ela
Sheryl SchecterUnited States
Ela's knowledge and enthusiasm are terrific. She arranged for bicitaxis to drive us around the core area of Havana and fulfilled our request of seeing local art galleries. This was our second time in Havana and our time with Ela was enriching and showed us parts of Havana we had not had the chance to previously explore. She is flexible and was eager to show us places of interest to the us. You can't go wrong with her guidance.
Jody KroghUnited States
Ela is a vibrant, exciting and dramatic guide. She combines knowledge and energy resulting in a fabulous tour. Her english is flawless.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you so much Jody!! Thank you!! For your patience and kindness and for bearing with my theatrical stories :) :) :) you are (both of you) the sweetest! All my warm and love Ela
Lee SheldonUnited States
Our experience with Ela was fabulous. She is warm, friendly, absolutely loves what she does. She customized our tour to exactly what we wanted. She brought us to rum and cigar tasting, knew the tasting director, got us more rum than anyone else with special attention from that director. She brought us to a great restaurant for an authentic Cuban lunch, arranged transportation in a '56 Chevy. She even arranged a synagogue experience for us. If we return to Cuba, Ela will be our tour guide. Thanks, Ela!!!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you guys!! I absolutely loved this day with you and I loveeeee you! You guys really brought it for me, your questions, your care about the Cuban people and society, you great sense of humor... what else can I say? Thanks for choosing me and thanks for allowing me to corrupt you with Cuban vices ;) Here you have (and will always) a Cuban friend. Big smashing kisses Ela
We had 5 days with Ela and her driver. It was amazing, everything was amazing. Ela had your need and desire in her head constantly, taking care of every detail in our tour. Ela planned the tour according to our wishes, we saw e.g. Las Terrazas, Vinales, Zapata swamp, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, sugar mill valley, Santa Clara. We tried trekking, zipline, sailing, swimming and Ela knew everybody and took us to the most amazing restaurants and Casa Particular along the way. We strongly recommend Ela for your trip.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Heidi & Lars, my Disneylanders!!! My beloved friends, thank you! For your kindness and love for the Cuban people, specially the kids (all the Legos adventures!). Please do! Come back! You are more than welcome. Cheers my dears Ela
Marla AllenUnited States
Ela was the best tour guide we have ever had! She made us feel safe and was accommodating to our specific tour needs. She was FULL of energy and made us laugh throughout the day. She was full of Cuba facts and knowledge which helped us feel a part of her culture for the day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with her.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Marla gracias! I had such a Great (capital G letter) with you guys, so much fun, I'm deeply grateful for you kind words and for choosing me as you local Cuban ambassador hehe. Thanks for being so hungry for history and learning, I truly enjoyed our time together. Cheers from you tropical friend Ela
Don PetronUnited States
We had a wonderful time with Ela. She is very candid and honest about the good and bad of Cuban society, politics, and economics, and is very well versed on all of those topics. As a former history professor, she has a great and lively way of communicating accurate information. She also arranged a great driving tour in one of the classic cars. It took us several hours to get through customs from the cruise ship, but Ela just rolled with it. One of the best TBL tours we have taken.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Gracias Don!! Thanks so much you guys for being such good sports and for all the wonderful words, I really appreciate it and I hope your short time in Cuba has brought you happiness and warm and a new Cuban friend! All my love
Elaine WeissUnited States
Ela was AMAZING! We have used ToursByLocals in many countries and this was by far our best guide so far! Due to an incoming storm, our 2 days in Havana we're reduced to 8 hours-reduced to 5 because other ships docked unexpectedly and customs took 2 1/2 hours to disembark! In the remaining 5 hours, Ela took us on a whirlwind tour that included more than we could have hoped for. ela's English, historical knowledge, sense of humor and intelligence is amazing!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Elaine!!! My sweet pals! The 4 of you were such good sports and I still cannot believe how smiling and happy were you during all of it (the storm had nothing on you guys!) Thanks and thousands more times thanks for being so open and eager to know my country and its people. I'll have you with me forever. All my love Ela
Janet B.United States
I cannot imagine a more knowledgeable or enthusiastic or caring guide. Our brief time with Ela was memorable
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you! Thank you so much!! I had a blast myself and I cannot appreciate more this opportunity you gave me to meet both of you and share this time together. You are amazing and wonderful! Gracias
Daniele BarachUnited States
Our guide Ella was great. She planned a customized tour base on our requests, and adapted to changing circumstances. She was very well informed and informative, and was able to answer all our questions. She is extremely charming and patient, and her English is excellent. We enjoyed the day spent with her and our driver to the fullest.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Daniele!! Thank you guys! I had such a wonderful time with you and I deeply appreciate your words and love!! I couldn't ask for a more receptive open smart and inquisitive clients, I'm really thankful for you choosing me for this tour and for visiting my beloved home; all my love! Ela
Robert NowotnyUnited States
My wife and I have traveled extensively -- over 79 countries and still counting. We have been on dozens and dozens of tours, from those booked through cruise lines, large travel companies, and other Tours By Locals as well. We can honestly say this tour by Ela V was the BEST tour ever. She is extremely professional and does a tremendous job of providing lots of historic and cultural information. Let me add she is a ton fun also! Highly recommended...
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Robert! You literally just brought me to tears... you have no idea how much fun was for me to hang with Linda and you. I had huge expectations for this tour and I wasn't mistaken at all, all the waiting and the time was so worth it because you are, by far, the most wonderful amazing interesting couple I have never met. I cannot consider our day together work because it wasn't and I truly believe I learned more from you than you guys from me. Really love you guys, keep up smashing it! Cheers Ela
Luiza GuimaraesUnited Kingdom
Myself and my husband (young couple) had a great time in our tour with Ela. She explained everything really well, and tailored it to out interests. She not only explained things about the tour, but of Cuban tradition and culture, which made it much better than your average tour, pointing out places and giving us great tips. Highly recommended.
Jeanne AllenUnited States
Ela was brilliant, vibrant, fun, and made our tour unforgettable! We learned so much about the rich history and culture of beautiful Havana. As a native of Havana, there was nothing she could not answer or accommodate for us on the spur of a moment. She is Havana! We were a large group of eight and everything from the bicitaxis, Classic cars, cocos, ice cream, lunch, rum and cigar tours, shopping and more - went smooth. Everything included in a low price too. Ela made our Havana experience real. Thank U
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: You guys!! Jeanne you are literally bringing tears to my eyes! You were so amazing and fun to hang out too and just lovely and kind and curious... I couldn't have asked for a better crew to spend the day with. I am so impressed with the love you irradiated; you have the most wonderful family and I feel blessed of having meeting you. All my love Cheers Ela
Theresa KuczynskiUnited States
Ela was just awesome and amazing! She is energetic, fun, full of information and insights! I learned some much from her about Cuba's history, culture, the people and architecture. Best tour ever. Also did a bike tour with her husband, Ernesto, (site is missing that tour so I can't make any comments on his page) who was just as awesome! Can't thank you enough for everything!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thes!! Hi!!! ������ thanks so much for this wonderful review and thanks for the great time you chose to share with me; you are such a great strong lovely person I cannot be more happy to have met you! All my love! Ela
Joann GunbyUnited States
My husband & I did the "Tasting la Habana" on July 4th with Ela. From start to finish it was an amazing experience. We only had one day in Cuba & wanted to get as hands on as possible with the culture, what better way to do that than through food! Every part of the tour was fun & delicious! The highlight of the tour however was Ela herself. She was energetic, friendly, fun & gave us a lot of thoughtful insights into the culture and daily life of this incredible country. Thank you for an unforgettable day!
Catherine WoodUnited States
I traveled to Cuba under an art grant. As I don't speak Spanish, I knew I had to have a translator and guide. I emailed with Ela V. for several weeks before the trip. Very good communicator. 1. Very good English 2. Watched out for us- our safety, happiness, etc Asked us what we wanted. Flexible. 3. Proactively worked to find what we needed. She got us into several places with her contacts I would not have been able to get. 4. Kind, sweet, always felt safe wherever. 5. Punctual 6. Knowledgeable
James HuntingtonUnited States
Ela and Ernesto were fabulous; all 16 of us agree. Weather was dicey, but they did a great job. I would highly recommend both of them to friends. Jim Huntington
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks so much Jim! You guys were even better, such good sports! We will never forget you, best of Kansas in Havana ������ Go Jayhawks!! Cheers Ela and Ernesto ( and drivers Pablito and Jose with all Ajiaco team and Havana Compas Dance dancers)
Roy CarlsonUnited States
I've used TBL for the past three years [we travel a lot]. All of the guides we outstanding. However, Ela was head and shoulders above any guide ever. She was 5 stars PLUS. Our tour of Havana was not only a step in time but we experienced the daily lives of the cubans, ride in the cars [a blast from the past] and enjoyed the best food that exceeded our expectations.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks so much Roy!! I loved my time with you, I would only have wished to be longer ���� all my love for you and Jane and thanks so much ��♀️�� Cheers Ela
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Rupert!! And it was so great to meet you, honestly a pleasure! So happy you enjoyed your time in my beautiful country �� you are more than welcome back anytime you want to! Cheers Ela
Amos HalevyRamla, ISRAEL, Israel
The trip was very enjoyable with the wonderful guide "Ela" who took care of every detail and managed the trip in a professional and sympathetic way. Many thanks Amos
Ela was a fantastic guide. I highly recommend her.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks man!! You are very cool ( for a nerd ����) thanks for a wonderful day. Cheers! Ela
Roger BerkleyUnited States
Ela is a brilliant and well informed person. While we had a specific agenda to cover, and which we did cover, the real joy of our time with Ela was the discussions and exchanges we had as we proceeded and when we stopped for a refreshment and those spectacular chocolates. I really feel that we have a knew and intensely personal, intimate understanding of Cuban and its people. If you can spend time with Ela, you should. She is wise beyond her years and very thought provoking.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: My dear friends; thank you so much for the kind words, you guys are amazing!! I honestly have no way to describe how much I enjoyed our day together and how I appreciate all the wisdom and knowledge you shared with me (at certain point I felt like you guys were my guides and professors) such an incredible experience. I'm the one thankful for the opportunity to meet such great human beings ��. All my love, Ela
Maria TorresUnited States
I had the distinct pleasure of traveling with a group of 21, touring Havana with Ela and Ernesto as our guides. Our diverse group connected with Havana on a deeper level than anyone had anticipated. Everyone felt that our guides were the reason why. They accepted the challenge of crafting an ambitious 2 day itinerary. Then executing it in a way that exceeded our expectations. Ela did such a wonderful job of following up on all emails in advance of our trip. We could not have wished for better. Thank you.