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WEEK IN HAVANA / VIÑALES

CUBA PHOTOGRAPHY & CULTURAL TOUR

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS | BOOK NOW →

 

Itinerary – Due to the nature of Cuba travel our itineraries are subject to scheduling changes and activities substitutions. We will make every effort to conform to a consistent and quality travel experience.

 

SCHEDULE

Day 0 Miami or Cancun (CONTINGENT ON DEPARTURE OPTION CHOSEN)

Arrive in Miami, continue to the Hilton or Sofitel Hotel – OR – Arrive in Cancun continue to the Westin Resort or Courtyard Marriott. Join in a “Meet & Greet” for a welcome cocktail and trip overview Q&A (CONTINGENT ON DEPARTURE OPTION CHOSEN)

 

DAY 1 Havana, Cuba

9 AM – Arrival in Havana – Arrive and clear customs at Jose Marti International Airport. Your people-to-people interaction will begin as soon you meet your professional English speaking Cuban tour guide in the airport. Our interactive dialogue about Cuba continues as we make our way to our first stop, check-in and drop luggage at our hotel

11:30 AM – Bring your camera gear as we embark on a fashion shoot with Cuban models. We strive to provide an interesting and dynamic location for our model shoots such as one of the following:  an historic Vedado Cuban mansion, a classic Cuban street location such as in the Santos Suarez district in front of the historic Cine Apolo Theater, on an interesting street in Old Town Havana with two classic American cars, or at the famous stairs and building of La Guarida Paladar restaurant, for example. The idea of this shoot is to create fashion art in collaboration with four local Cuban fashion models (male and female), makeup artists, clothing designers, and/or wardrobe artists

1:30 PM – Lunch- El Aljibe Restaurant. Continue your experience and learn about typical Cuban food and what it means to be heir and guardian to Cuba’s most closely guarded secret (clue, it’s not military). Since 1946, the Garcia brothers (Pepe & Sergio) have been serving their grandmother’s secret roast chicken recipe. It was enjoyed by Ava Gardner, Mayer Lansky, Rocky Marciano and others under the original name of Rancho Luna until it became property of the State after the revolution and closed.  The same site was later reopened as El Aljibe.  The brothers were called upon to direct it, and since 1993, the likes of the Kennedy clan, Jimmy Carter, Naomi Campbell, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg and Danny Glover continue to enjoy grandma’s “mojo” seven decades later. Our English speaking tour guide will be on hand to assist in translations with the staff as you will be free to talk to staff and patrons alike. (Lunch included)

3 PM – Old Town Havana Walking Tour with English speaking tour guide. Become acquainted with the history, architecture and UNESCO World Heritage designations in Old Town Havana

6 PM – Photo-walk in Old Town Havana (optional)

7 PM – Dinner at a paladar

 

DAY 2 Havana

6:30 AM – Street Photography – Havana Photo-walk. Subject TBD (optional)

8 AM – Breakfast (included)

9 AM – We begin our day at the famous Rafael Trejo boxing gym. Here, with the aid of our English speaking Cuban tour guide, we will learn about the Cuban sport of boxing and also learn about the lives of everyday Cubans who are drawn to practice the sport at the Trejo Gym. Watch Cuban boxers training and have an opportunity to have people-to-people interaction with them. Again, this is an opportunity to engage in portrait photography to document the personal stories of these amazing athletes

12:30 PM – Lunch at a paladar

1:30 PM – Architectural Tour of Havana- On our tour of Havana’s architectural treasures, see some of the more iconic buildings representing Havana’s broad and diverse architectural history. Our tour covers Classical, Neoclassical, Baroque, Art Deco, Soviet and Modern styles of architecture around Havana. Our guide is a Cuban host from the University of Havana’s School of Architecture. We will tour notable public buildings and private homes. During this time, you will have a chance to interact with the managers of the public buildings and with the private home residents and learn about the challenges facing them in the upkeep of their respective structures

6:30 PM – Photo-walk Street Photography, Old Town Havana/Malecon (optional)

7:30 PM – Dinner at a paladar

 

DAY 3 Havana

7 AM – Street Photography – Havana Photo-walk. This is for all the interested and energized early morning risers.  Set out on a photo walk to capture interesting early morning commuters.  This is an opportunity to capture images of Cuban life, a city and its citizens beginning their daily routine (optional)

9 AM – Breakfast (included)

10 AM – Cuban National Ballet – Today we will be accompanied by English speaking Cuban tour guide to a practice session of the Cuban National Ballet. Enjoy interaction with the dancers as we learn about their individual stories and challenges they face as they move forward in their dancing careers in Cuba. During our tour, use your portrait skills to create interesting photographic portraits of the dancers in a way that you feel best captures their story. In addition to an English speaking Cuban tour guide, our professional photographer guide and trip sponsor, Roly will be on hand to facilitate dynamic discussions with the dancers

1 PM – Lunch at a paladar

2:30 PM – Havana Sites – Visit the Partagas Cigar Factory, Gran Teatro de la Habana, El Capitolio, Morro Castle, Fusterlandia, El Barrio Chino aka “Chinatown” and the Colon Cemetery

6 PM – Havana Photo-walk – This evening we set out to meet and greet some of Old Havana’s male and female Dandies. We will kindly approach them to learn about their stories and the challenges of working as a Dandy in Old Town Havana. You will have an opportunity tell them your story in turn and take their photo. Generally, it is polite to give them a small donation as this is a vocation sanctioned by the government of Cuba

7 PM – Dinner at a paladar

 

DAY 4 Havana/Viñales

8 AM – Breakfast (included)

9 AM – Depart for Viñales – We travel westward from Havana through the countryside on our way to the World Heritage UNESCO Site of Viñales Valley via air-conditioned bus. Viñales is known for its spectacular views and stunning scenery, this region is located in Cuba’s Province of Pinar Del Rio, home to Cuba’s largest production farms and the world’s finest tobacco. Tour a tobacco farm and have people-to-people exchanges with the workers and managers of the farm to learn about the history of cigar making and tobacco farming in the region

12 PM – Arrive at Viñales for lunch at Don “Vitaminas” Paladar Bella Vista

1 PM – Viñales Valley Tour – Visit a traditional Cuban farm collective and meet some of the farmers responsible for tending the land and various crops. We will be invited into the farmer’s home and enjoy a Cuban style coffee while enjoying the perfect panoramic views of Viñales Valley. This experience should present some interesting opportunities to capture the lives of rural Cubans

4 PM – Hotel check-in

5 PM – Photo-walk tour hosted by a local English speaking Viñales Tour guide provides a people-to-people understanding of the ecological activities needed to maintain a healthy balance in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and park lands

7:30 PM – Dinner at a paladar

 

DAY 5 Viñales/Havana

8 AM – Breakfast (included)

9 AM – Depart Viñales for Havana

11:30 AM – Arrive in Guanabacoa to visit the Museum of Santeria Orishas. Santeria literally means “worship of the Saints” and is a widely practiced religion in Cuba. Santeria is essentially a synergistic fusion of Catholicism and Nigeria’s Yoruba tribe’s spiritual belief system. This combination results in a uniquely Cuban religious experience and practice. Engage in people-to-people discussions with our English speaking tour guide and learn about religious beliefs in Cuba. Compare and contrast such beliefs with those of our own.

1 PM – Lunch at a paladar

4 PM – Witness a Santeria Ceremony. Meet and dialog with leaders of this religious ceremony before and after the religious event. You are encouraged to ask questions about how their religion impacts the daily roles in Cuban society

7 PM – Return to Havana and our hotel

8 PM – Complimentary group dinner at La Guarida, one of the most intimate and romantic Cuban paladars in Havana. At dinner we host two contemporary Cuban artists, one painter and one musician. Engage in people-to-people discussions about Cuban and US cultures

 

DAY 6 Havana

7 AM – Street Photography – Havana Photo-walk. (optional)

9 AM – Breakfast (included)

10 AM – This morning we visit the Museo de Bellas Artes with our English speaking Cuban tour guide and discuss the arts in Cuba. We continue with an excursion to Fabrica de Arte Cubano. There we will meet with some Cuban artists and we will have people-to-people exchanges with these artists and learn about what it is like to be a professional working artist in Cuba

12:30 PM – Lunch at a paladar

2 PM – Photo-walk. Unseen Havana with local Cuban photographers. Meet with a diversity of Cuban people on our photo walk and have dynamic people-to-people interaction with them. Visit Finca La Yoandra and Plaza de la Revolución

6 PM – Return to hotel

7 PM – Dinner at a paladar

 

DAY 7 Havana

7 AM – Photo-walk and trip to farmer’s market with a paladar owner on shopping trip for daily food provisions. (optional)

8 AM – Breakfast (included)

10 AM – This morning we meet with a variety of painters and other artists in Havana as we visit various artists’ workshops and galleries. The purchase import of Cuban art into the United States is permissible under US Law and the current embargo. You can also bring up to $100 worth of cigars and/or alcohol upon your return under the new regulations regarding travel to Cuba. Keep your eyes open for something interesting!

1 PM – Lunch at a paladar

2 PM – The “Papa” Hemingway Experience Tour- Our final tour excursion is somewhat unique, because we are poised to learn about the tremendous and lasting effects that American writer “Ernesto” Papa Hemingway had on Cuban Society. Our tour will have us riding in Classic American cars to visit Finca La Vigía, the home of Ernest Hemingway. Along with our English speaking Cuban tour guide, we will learn about Hemingway’s life, writing and fishing in Cuba
Learn how that history has become an everlasting part of today’s Cuban culture by interacting with Cubans that are keeping the legacy alive. We will also travel to some of Hemingway’s favorite haunts in Old Town Havana including La Bodeguita Del Medio and El Floridita. While visiting these establishments, try a Cuban Daiquiri. This world famous drink was originally inspired by the history of Cuba and created as a perfect complement to the Cuban experience “My mojito at the Bodeguita and my Daiquiri at the Floridita.” – Ernest “Papa” Hemingway

6 PM – Tour Ends

8 PM – Excursion to the Cabaret Tropicana, the inspiration for Las Vegas (optional)

 

DAY 8 Havana departure

8 AM – Breakfast (included)

11 AM – Depart Cuba
Tours include breakfast, daily transportation and admission fees to sites.
Meals at paladares (privately owned restaurants) and alcoholic beverages are not included.

 

Tours include breakfast, daily transportation and admission fees to sites. Meals at paladares (privately owned restaurants) and alcoholic beverages are not included.

BOOK NOW →

 

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