Can you think of a better way to live adventures than traveling?
When we travel we open our minds to new experiences and learn new cultures by making the destination we visited our home for a short time. My job as part of the Espiritu Travel team is to ensure that after your trip, you will always remember that destination as another one of “your home”. I am passionate about designing trips that include the highlights of Spain and Portugal, including small places that go beyond the conventions and show the authentic culture of the place.
I am Spanish by birth but my father is from France so my heart is divided. My passion for traveling came from my parents, who have shared their trips around the world with me. Since then, I haven't stopped, always looking for authentic experiences that help me understand the culture of the place I visit. I have had the opportunity to live in the state of Michigan, in Amsterdam and in Paris, and I have traveled through many of the corners of the world and in my country Spain, the cradle of the Flamenco Art.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"We specialize in trips to Spain and Portugal as well as Cuba. In both countries, we have our own offices so we can create all types of tailor-made trips; culture, art, history, culture, architecture, gastronomy, outdoor activities, nature-based, small groups, off the beaten track"
How did you get involved in travel?
"Since I was little, I've had the opportunity to travel through wonderful places and I was always amazed at the exchange of cultures that occurred while traveling, whether traveling as part of a group or solo. I decided to start my career as a professional in the world of travel at the age of 19 when I started studying the Tourism degree in Madrid. Since then, I have worked in different roles in the tourism industry: in travel agencies, as a tourism consultant, and in hotels. In addition, I studied the Master “International Tourism Management”. As part of the Espíritu Travel team, I continue my trip through the tourism industry as a local Travel Specialist in Spain and Portugal."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"It is difficult to choose an experience of all the lived one while traveling ... it is like choosing a favorite song, so difficult!
But if I had to choose one I think it would be the one I lived during the Holy Week in Malaga, it was not the first time I visited Malaga but it was the first time I saw a procession. Malaga is a beautiful coastal city in southern Spain.
I was shocked with the magic of the city during these holidays, especially when the processions happen at night. The city is silent and the music of the orchestra touches you in a magical way accompanied by the light of the torches carried by the brotherhoods.
Regardless of the religious character of this party, it is moving to see how the Spanish live Holy Week."
Featured trips & expertise
Enjoy the family trip of a lifetime over seven days on the Dominican Republic's south coast. You'll do it all, from snorkeling around offshore islands to visiting mysterious caves to off-roading around some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the Caribbean. You'll also get active on a bicycle tour of Santo Domingo's historic sights, go starfish spotting in natural pools, and even spend time with playful squirrel monkeys.
This packed seven-day itinerary will take you to some of the most beautiful and remote locales in the Dominican. It includes relaxing on white-sand beaches, hiking through national parks, visiting remote farming villages, and experiencing hidden gems most tourists never see. You'll also spot plenty of wildlife throughout the adventure, from iguanas and exotic birds to crocodiles and pink flamingos.
Get ready for seven days of highlight tours and off-the-beaten-path adventures in the Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, you'll tour the historic streets of the oldest city in the Americas, followed by horseback riding and river rafting in the highlands. Then, after lazing on sun-kissed beaches on the north coast, you'll hike to romantic waterfalls and soar over the treetops on a zip-line ride you'll never forget.
This great escape to the north coast of the Dominican Republic packs a lot of adventure in just seven days. Around the city of Puerto Plata, you'll explore colonial history, laze on white-sand beaches, and hike to romantic waterfalls. Then, on the unspoiled Semaná Peninsula, you'll embark on quad adventures, trips to hidden beaches, and discover the best snorkeling spots along the coast and offshore islands.
Get ready to stroll the streets of the oldest city in the Americas: Santo Domingo. This is just the first first of many adventures you'll enjoy over five action-packed days that include the highlights of the Dominican Republic. You'll see it all, from the Spanish colonial fortresses in the south to the white-sand beaches in the north—plus stops along the way for hikes to romantic waterfalls and to visit national parks.
Get ready for nature excursions and beach life in one of the most romantic, unspoiled regions of the Dominican Republic: Samaná. This peninsula has it all, from rainforests and waterfalls to secluded white-sand beaches. Over five days you'll discover the highlights on various hikes that will take you from coast to jungle, where you'll visit laid-back towns, mangrove forests, offshore islands, and everything in between.
Recent trip reviews for Marina
Fabulous trip to Paris and Barcelona!!! · Spain - Jun 3 - Jun 11, 2022
How lucky we were to find Marina!!! I was not familiar with kimkim prior to this trip but it was a blessing to find and work with Marina. She has a lot of first hand knowledge of both cities and she was patient as we worked through organizing various groups of family members in both places.
Our time in Paris was exceptional. In addition to seeing the usual sites we had a day trip to Versailles and Giverny. The tour guide was wonderful and the driver gave us a nice stress-free ride... read more
Go For It! · Spain - May 28 - Jun 3, 2022
My mother wanted to see the Rolling Stones in Madrid. I stumbled upon kimkim online trying to figure out how many days to spend in Madrid if we decided to go. I was feeling overwhelmed with work and other commitments and did feel like I had time to plan a trip. I looked at the reviews and thought this sounds a little too good to be true. Then I looked at reviews of kimkim overall. I thought I'll fill out this questionnaire and see. Much to my surprise I got an immediate response from... read more
Working with Marina Courtaut of Espiritu Trav... · Portugal - Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2022
Working with Marina Courtaut of Espiritu Travel was an absolute pleasure. During all the planning she was responsive and very helpful. She listened will to our interests and planned a vacation to match our needs.
During this vacation there were a couple of mishaps related to transfers, however, having Marina and Espiritu Travel on the other end of What’ App was very helpful. We simply advised Marian of the issues and she worked to get them corrected.
The first situation was that upon... read more
Dreams of Dominicana · the Dominican Republic - Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2022
I cannot say enough good things about the Dominican Republic! KimKim always gets me in touch with the best travel specialists for unique, culturally-centered experiences. Marina and her team made me feel very well taken care of and safe while visiting the DR solo! From my drivers to my tour guides, everyone was an absolute pleasure to be around. They embraced me and made sure I had an amazing experience with every activity.
Mosquito Boutique hotel staff was unforgettable and I will... read more
All guides were incredibly knowledgeable as w... · Spain - Jun 8 - Jun 14, 2022
All guides were incredibly knowledgeable as well as courteous and helpful. read more
Marina was wonderful and very responsive thro... · Portugal - Jun 7 - Jun 17, 2022
Marina was wonderful and very responsive through the entire process. I was a little dissapointed in having to upgrade two hotels used during our stay. However, Marina was quick to help resolve and get us where we needed to be, however the additional expense durning the trip wasn't ideal. I think perhaps discussing more room options and cost differences would be helpful during the reservation process and expectations of hotel quality and location should match the travelers desires. read more
Fantastic trip to Portugal and Spain! · Spain - Jun 8 - Jun 14, 2022
We had an amazing trip. The whole experience from initial contact to the return flight home was memorable. Working with Marina was easy and quick. She is very knowledgeable and listens very well to what her customers want. She was very responsive and the tours, hotels and trip planning were fantastic. The first night stay in Obidos in the Castle was an unforgettable experience. The next day our guide Sandra in Portal was really good. Deep knowledge of the city and region and fun and full of... read more
We had a fantastic mother/daughter trip to Sp... · Spain - May 28 - Jun 3, 2022
We had a fantastic mother/daughter trip to Spain. Marina and Kim Kim arrangements made it most enjoyable.
Tapas tour was great. Our guide Lindsey was accommodating, engaging and lots of fun!
Geza (our walking tour guide in Madrid) was terrific! We were on this tour the day after Real Madrid won the European championship —so excitement was in the air. He explained many historical facts and interesting nuggets of information we would have never known about on our own.
We... read more
Our Guides were great and they presented oppo... · Portugal - Apr 4 - Apr 13, 2022
Our Guides were great and they presented opportunities and activities that we wouldn't have gotten on to connect with on our own.
Portugal Excursion · Portugal - May 27 - Jun 3, 2022
Every facet of the trip was organized and executed in the most professional manner possible. Most importantly we loved the agenda, tours, and tour-guides. We will absolutely be using KimKim again.
Multiple destinations in Spain · Spain - May 14 - May 24, 2022
We had a wonderful experience on our trip to Spain. It was great to experience the culture, language and diverse history of various locations in Spain. Marina was very patient and helpful during the booking process. She was able to quickly give advice when we missed our train in Madrid. I'd also like to recognize the efforts of Vanessa at the Petit Palace Puerta del Sol for her repeated efforts to find us dinner reservations. We had personal guides in each city and all added tremendous... read more
Our culinary and wine tour of Portugal was ex... · Portugal - May 14 - May 25, 2022
Our culinary and wine tour of Portugal was excellent! Our specialist was always available for communications and everything went very smoothly. This was our second trip with Kimkim and they go above and beyond. It won't be our last! read more
Portugal and Spain 2022 · Portugal - Apr 27 - May 4, 2022
Marina was outstanding in our quest to get to Portugal and Spain. She listened to our feedback and am made adjustments as needed. Marina’s quick responses took the worry out of planning our trip. Once we arrived in Lisbon, it was clear to us just how much work Marina put into our trip. From the food and historical tours to the highlight of the trip of cooking a dinner with a Portuguese chef we had an outstanding week. Thank-you Marina and Kim Kim. You are a top notch travel agency. ... read more
We will be back PT! · Portugal - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2022
This trip was curated well. I would give it 5 stars had the hotel in Lisboa have been better. Turim Restoradores was well situated however, the rooms are painfully outdated. My bathroom was so narrow( and dirty on our last night). Both rooms' temperature was not regulated and when asked, we were told that there is NO AC just heat. I'd hate to be in that hotel in the summer. Imagine dreading going back after a full day of walking(I would have given 5 stars otherwise)As a tour company, I... read more
We really had great tours and guides. The coo... · Spain - Apr 13 - Apr 23, 2022
We really had great tours and guides. The cooking class was lord of fun with great instructors. Jospeh our hiking guide and Pedro our 4x4 guide did an excellent job as well. The can Alberti was an excellent hotel with great service read more
Incredible Trip to Portugal! · Portugal - Apr 8 - Apr 14, 2022
Had an absolutely amazing time thanks to the great planning by Marina. Hotels were fantastic as were the guides that were arranged. The driving trip to Sintra is a can’t miss event and our guide Rui was incredible, making it feel like a trip with our Portuguese cousin. All our other guides (Miguel and Pedro in Porto) and Felipa in Lisbon were top notch.
Truly had a great experience thank you Marina! read more
An amazing trip to Portugal! · Portugal - Apr 3 - Apr 10, 2022
We really enjoyed everything that was planned. All of our guides were great. Sintra was probably our favorite outing. The accommodations were perfect. The hotel in Porto was very beautiful but it was a little far from everywhere we saw or ate. It felt like it was a 20 minute walk everywhere we went. It would have been nice to be a bit closer. The hotel in Lisboa was in the perfect location. There was no way to change the weather. As we could see a couple of days in advance that there... read more
A Stellar First Visit to Spain · Spain - Mar 26 - Apr 2, 2022
This was our first experience planning travel with kimkim and we will definitely use you again. The trip was really flawless due in large part to Marina and the kimkim team listening to what we thought we wanted to do and acting on, and enhancing, our ideas. Our local guides in Madrid (Geza, fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable), Cordoba (Olivia, extremely knowledgeable, loved her visual aides), and Sevilla (Raul’s love of the city and the Alcazar really came through), were OUTSTANDING. Each... read more
Portugal Trip · Portugal - Feb 15 - Feb 24, 2022
We had the best time! All of our guides and transfers were amazing. Thank you Marina for helping us book an amazing trip. You were the best.
John and Donna
Marina was a wonderful trip planner! She was ... · Spain - Dec 20 - Dec 25, 2021
Marina was a wonderful trip planner! She was knowledgeable about the cities in Spain we wanted to visit, offered detailed guidance, took care of all the details and was exceptionally responsive. She selected hotels that were perfect for us and provided all the resources and information we needed to have a wonderful trip. She checked in with us all week, even on Christmas day! Thank you, Marina! read more
Marina was great help in selection of cities ... · Spain - Nov 15 - Dec 15, 2021
Marina was great help in selection of cities and help along the way. Our first stop in Girona was magnificent and Carmen was an elegant host.
Salmanca was also excellent. Hotel Rector was amazing.
Amazing trip to Portugal · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 29, 2021
We had an amazing time in Portugal! Marina was wonderful; we absolutely could not have planned this trip without her help. While we were in Portugal, the support we received from Karin was also so helpful. I will definitely use KimKimin in the future.
Some of the highlights included:
-Porto was a favorite! Thanks to Nelson, the day trip to Duoro Valley was one of the best activities/days that we had on our trip. Nelson went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed the day, learned more about... read more
Great 3 week trip to Spain · Spain - Oct 10 - Oct 30, 2021
Marina worked extremely hard to put together a last minute trip to Spain. We were traveling with our 6 yo son, and she was able to incorporate family friendly activities and tour guides that included fun stories and activities for kids. Great communication, friendly, responsive, and professional. We had a great trip and highly recommend Marina and Karin. Thank you!
Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's h... · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 31, 2021
Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's hard to say what our favorite part was. Marina was absolutely fantastic in helping us plan our trip, and responded quickly and kindly when we asked for changes. A few standouts...4x4 adventure near Porto, Douro Valley wine tour, day in Coimbra, Knights Templar tour in Tomar, lunch at the olive tree farm near Evora. Overall an absolutely amazing trip! Thank you again to Marina, and to Karin for serving as POC for one week.
Anadalucia 2021 · Spain - Oct 23 - Oct 30, 2021
Marina put together a great itinerary that met my goal of lots of active time out of the cities, while still seeing the cultural highlights in each place I stayed. All of the guides were very good, but a Rachel who was our guide for Caminito del rey was truly outstanding.
Marina was great! · Portugal - Oct 4 - Oct 17, 2021
Marina designed an amazing trip for us! She really understood what we were looking for and went out of her way to deliver. She was also very easily accessible during our trip to help us navigate any hiccups or last minute changes. Would definitely book with Marina again!