Cuba Photography Workshop
A Journey in a Latin Rhythm
Just before this magical country changes…
Perfect Caribbean beaches, colorful alleyways crammed with cars from the 50s, colonial buildings and a street so different, so much happier than anything you’ve ever seen: Welcome to Cuba – a real paradise for adventure and photography. As the country faces the brink between tradition and progress, now is precisely the time to visit before the magic is gone.
The trip will be accompanied by two heavyweight coaches: Felix Lupa, renowned documentary street photographer and cultures photographer Oded Wagenstein.
Day 1. Flight to Havana – Assembly at the hotel
Welcome to Havana, the center of life in Cuba: old-fashioned cars, colourful streets and the people are hospitable and warm. This Latin city is different from anything you’ve ever experienced – a paradise for photographers and lovers of culture.
After landing – independent arrival at the hotel.
Arrival at the hotel. Organizing in rooms. Dinner at the hotel.
9:00 PM – Welcome talk.
Day 2. Havana – the new city
After a buffet breakfast, we’ll go on our first panoramic tour of Cuba’s capital Havana. This is a chance to get acquainted with Havana’s urban life – the iconic houses, shops, and cars. We’ll stop to take photos at Revolution Plaza, see Hotel Habana Libre and the Alma Mater statue at the University of Havana, and then finish at a wonderful ancient fortress overlooking the city. In the afternoon we’ll split into photography groups and go out to tour the city center until dinner.
Day 3. Havana – morning flight – Santiago de Cuba
After an early breakfast we fly to Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in the island, about 900 km from the capital Havana in the eastern Cuban Province of Oriente. In this area we’ll encounter Afro-Cuban culture, which is very different from the previous experience in Havana. After landing we’ll go out on a photography tour of the city. We’ll photograph the amazing view from the ancient Spanish fortress “El Morro” and have lunch at a wonderful restaurant nearby. We’ll visit the photogenic Santa Ifigenia cemetery – the burial place of the heroes who fought in the Cuban Revolution, and the father of the nation, writer Jose Marti. We’ll visit Revolution Plaza and stroll down the colorful and unique streets of the area.
Return to the hotel late in the evening.
After dinner, we’ll go out to “Casa de La Trova”- one of those homes converted into a music house where you can absorb some local music.
There may be changes on this day – pending flight schedule!
Day 4. Santiago de Cuba
Today we will “dive” to the streets and alleys of Santiago de Cuba. This City feels like “a different country”, when compared to Havana and to central Cuba. Here, we will feel the effects of the Spanish and African influence significantly. We will witness and photograph local life as they are in the colorful streets, squares and churches
Day 5. Santiago de Cuba – Bayamo – Camaguey.
After breakfast we’ll continue our journey towards the city of Camaguey, stopping on our way at the El Cobre Church, one of the most sacred places to Cubans. Then we’ll head out to Bayamo, the capital of the Granma Province, an ancient city founded by Diego Velazquez. We will visit the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Plaza, named after the first wealthy landowner to abolish slavery on the island and release his slaves. We’ll continue driving through the countryside abundant with cattle ranches. Time permitting, we’ll make a stop to take photos of the locals homes. No doubt, poverty and meagerness are pervasive here. That’s the way Cuba is. In the afternoon we’ll reach Camaguey, a city with houses and streets preserved from the 17th and 18thcenturies. The streets of the Old City were built without order “to confuse the pirates…”, and for us photographers it’s a feast for the eyes.
Dinner will be served at the hotel.
After dinner, you can tour the Old City or go see live music at one of the local clubs.
Day 6. Camaguey – Sancti Spiritus
After breakfast and a tour of the Old City of Camaguey, we continue our journey to one of the most magical towns on our trip, far away from the worn out touristy route: Sancti Spiritus. This is the place to see the real Cuba: a group of youngsters playing football in the street, women chatting at the hair salon, and a relaxed countryside atmosphere. In the evening we’ll review our images and provide mutual feedback.
Day 7. Sancti Spiritus – Trinidad
After breakfast, we’ll go out on another photo tour of the special town and after lunch we’ll continue the journey to Trinidad. Although it was founded in 1514, many families still in habit the old part of the city, which is a complex “maze” of alleys and houses painted in pastel colors. On the way we’ll drive through the Valley of the Sugar Mills. We’ll observe the valley and explore the lives of African slaves brought to work in the sugar industry. In the afternoon we will reach Trinidad – After dinner we’ll go downtown to attend a street party where the locals dance the salsa, a truly unforgettable experience.
Day 8. Trinidad- Cienfuegos
After breakfast, we leave Trinidad and set course to Cienfuegos, the beautiful colonial city on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. We’ll make stops to photograph the authentic villages along the route as much as possible.
The city was founded by the French in 1819 and prospered thanks to its port, used mainly for exporting sugar. We’ll walk down the Paseo Del- Prado promenade and reach the main square, where we’ll split into small groups before entering the favelas, the place where everything happens. The locals will likely invite you into their homes for a visit.
At 7:00 PM we’ll return to the hotel for dinner and feedback on the footage.
Day 9. Cienfuegos
Today, we will have a full day to explore one of the highlights of our trip: the
favelas of Cienfuegos. From the community markets to the children’s playground. The streets of Cienfuegos are full of stories and amazing photo opportunities.
Day 10 Cienfuegos – Havana
Will start our journey back to Havana. If time allows, we will stop along the way in small towns and villages. In Havana, we will visit a Rum workshop and a unique artists market, which is famous for local art and music instruments.
Day 11. Havana – departure
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel rooms.
We will visit and photograph some great sites like the cemetery named after Christopher Columbus. We’ll visit a cigar factory (no photographs) or a tobacco house, and then continue with a fascinating tour of Old Havana (World Heritage Site). We’ll stroll down the ancient alleyways and the scenic squares of the historic city center. After that we’ll head out to the Havana airport.
- 10 nights in top-tier hotels, double rooms with air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms.
- Accommodation: Half board + 3 meals.
- Activities listed in the program.
- 2 expert photography instructors.
- Local, english speaker, cultural tour guides.
- Air-conditioned tour bus, very convenient for travel and trip program.
- Admission fees according to the specified route.
What’s not Included:
- International flights to Cuba and back.
- Outings and entertainment on evenings not included in the itinerary.
- Entry visa for Cuba.
- Overseas health insurance and other insurance policies.
- Personal expenses.
- Cuban departure tax, accepted in cash payment (about 25 CUC per person – about $28).
- Anything not specified in the “Price Includes” section.
-If there is a rise in fuel prices/airport taxes, the cost of the trip will rise in accordance with the airline’s demand.
-The order of days and/or the sightseeing schedule may be changed due to constraints on the ground, at the instructor’s discretion.
-The trip is contingent on a minimum number of participants.
-Upon booking, $150 (deducted from the cost of the trip) will be charged as a prepayment.
Up to 90 days before the trip – no cancellation fees
89 to 61 days before the trip – $250 cancellation fee
60 days to 31 days before the trip – 50% cancellation fee
30 to 15 days before the trip – 75% cancellation fee
Under 14 days before the trip – 100% cancellation fee
It is highly recommended to get travel insurance after booking
Phototeva will do everything in its power to launch the trip as planned, as we have done with great success in previous years, but as in any journey, there may be changes or cancellations due to weather, political situation, or force majeure.
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