These trips to Cuba are designed to be the ultimate trips for photographers (designed for those with prior experience on trips to Cuba, but not required). We will have flexibility in our itineraries and have planned these trips to utilize the emerging private-sector in Cuba. This trip is scheduled for January, the peak time for the tobacco harvest in Viñales. We’ll spend 3 nights there, so we’ll have 2 ½ days to photograph the farmers and the town.
We have left some of the time open for optional activities, etc. We will work with local photographers, and we’ll try and arrange some activities according to what our participants want. We have an ever-growing network of Cuban photographers, photography venues, dance companies, Cuban families to invite us into their homes, etc. Not to mention all the private restaurants which are springing up. It is an exciting time to be in Cuba now, as the rush of tourists there has temporarily subsided.
Our B&B’s and casas have been researched by Jim after much time spent inspecting dozens of properties. In Havana, our private B&B is located in the heart of Old Havana, each room with a private bath, in-room security box, mini-fridge stocked with waters and more. It is located close to Parque Central, the Prado, the malecon, and great neighborhoods for photography. In Viñales, we will be staying in rooms in two or three neighboring casas in a good location, short walking distance from the main street with restaurants, etc., and a short walk down to nearby farms. The rooms also have private bathrooms and air conditioning. In both Havana and Viñales, the casa owners will be serving a great breakfast.
Day 1: (Jan 23)
Arrival Havana – check into your room in our private B & B. We’ll have a 6:00 p.m. orientation meeting, followed by dinner. Spend the night in Havana.
Day 2: (Jan 24)
Havana. Morning optional activities with Cuban photographers, such as boxing, or a photo walk in Old Havana. In the afternoon more photo opportunities, such as Afro-Cubano dance. Spend the night in Havana.
Day 3: (Jan 25)
Havana. After breakfast, photograph models in a beautiful old mansion, using the light streaming through windows and doorways. We’ll have a late afternoon photo walk in Centro Havana, finishing at the malecon. We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Spend the night in Havana.
Day 4: (Jan 26)
Havana –Viñales. In the morning drive to Viñales. We’ll have lunch in a private restaurant with a beautiful view of the Viñales Valley and the iconic mogotes (the limestone cliffs) which surround it. Check in to our rooms in private homes in the center of the town. In the afternoon we’ll photograph in town. Dinner in a private restaurant in town. Spend the night in Viñales.
Day 5: (Jan 27)
Viñales –Early morning at the tobacco farm, farmer’s breakfast of fresh coffee, bread, cheese juice, and fruit. Visit another tobacco farm, then back to our casas. In the middle of the day explore in town or visit more farms, then lunch on our own. In the afternoon we visit a smaller town that rarely receives tourists. We’ll finish with dinner at a good location to view and photograph the sunset.
Day 6: (Jan 28)
Viñales – In the early morning we visit tobacco farms. We’ll visit a rural school before a mid-day rest and time to explore the town some more. In the afternoon we’ll visit the farmers and stay at a farmhouse (the family has been friends of Jim’s for 16 years) for dinner and music.
Day 7: (Jan 29)
Viñales – Havana. Depart Viñales. Arrive in Havana for lunch, then check in to our rooms at the B&B. Optional activities in the afternoon. Dinner on our own. We could arrange an optional evening at the Tropicana Nightclub floorshow. Spend the night in Havana.
Day 8: (Jan 30)
Havana– Optional activities with Cuban photographers. We’ll probably have an afternoon photo walk in a neighborhood just outside of Havana. We’ll have our farewell dinner, then image sharing party in the B & B. Spend the night in Havana.
Day 9: (Jan 31)