CUBA December 8-18, 2019
Beginning in Old Havana hitting the highlights of Cienfuegos and Trinidad we'll delve into the best of Cuba, her people, culture, and food. We will be immersed in the rich culture, and people of Cuba and enjoy awesome street photography, breathtaking landscapes, and more - all filled with color. This photo tour is a perfect introduction in to Cuba.
About the Tour
Per person double occupancy
International Airfare INCLUDED
Single Supplement Optional
$2,000 USD due at time of booking
Tour Guest Limit
12 Guest Maximum
90 Days before departure
This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy airfare from Miami, FL.
Tour Pricing Info
Flight from Miami to Cuba
First-class accommodations in hotels and/or rooms in private homes where available
Travel health insurance while in Cuba
Cuban Visa ($85) - Havana Airport departure fee ($25)
Letter of Authorization and U.S. Department of the Treasury License
Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
Cuban bilingual guide
All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
All in-country ground transportation 24-hour emergency phone while in Cuba
Tips for drivers/ guides
Personal expenses like laundry etc.
Other things not mentioned in the itinerary or "What is included"
We use local boutique hotels and other establishments that give us access to great photos, food, and transport.
More specific information on accommodations will be provided on a closer date to the tour.
Hola, bienvenido a Cuba! There will be a guide and driver waiting at the airport for your transfer to the Habana Libre hotel. Visit Cojimar, the place inspired Hemingway to write The Old Man and the Sea. Sip a mojito at Terrazas de Cojimar and move to "Finca Vigia" the home where Hemingway lived in Cuba..
6:00PM Orientation meeting in the hotel. Presentation of your Cuban photographer and local guide. Welcome cocktail and Question and Answer session on what to expect.
Dinner will be served at 7:30PM at PortoHabana, one of the best paladares in Cuba with a stunning view of Havana skyline. Return to the hotel and visit Cabaret Turquino on 25th floor of your hotel.
This morning we will walk through Old Havana in a guided tour for architectural appreciation of the colonial buildings in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Central Park, Obispo Street, Cathedral Square, the Old and Saint Francis Abbey and a book market are among the spots we will visit. After a short walk through cobblestone streets in Old Havana, lunch will be served at “Cuba 54". After lunch, complete the Old Havana tour visiting the Cuban Association of Artisans. Bargain and buy artworks from authentic Cuban painters. There will be plenty of street photography today.
Meet self employed taxi drivers who run their businesses in old cars such as Chevy, Chrysler, Oldsmobile, all of them built in U.S. before the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Ride those cars through Malecon, Revolution square and visit Art Studio of Jose Fuster. He is well known for his work converting a poor fishermen village into an open art gallery. Lunch at "Living Havana", enjoy the real sandwich Cubano. Continue the city tour walking through El Vedado neighborhood and later visit Museum of Yoruba or Callejon de Hamel. Explore the roots of the Afrocuban religion, a mix of art, music and tradition. We will attend a live music and dance show with Cuban Orishas. Return to the hotel for rest and leisure or walk Havana for some awesome street photography. Dinner will be served at a local paladar and then attend a meet & greet show with Buenavista Social Club at Habana Cafe cabaret.
Depart to Las Terrazas. Visit this biosphere reserve and discover the living of Cuban artists and people in the countryside of Pinar del Rio, the westernmost province of Cuba. Visit the studio of Lester Campa or one of the artists living in the village. Visit other projects in town. Lunch at Casa del Campesino. Visit the coffee terraces and if possible visit the orchid garden. Continue the trip to Vinales. Check in at private homes. Rest and wander around in the neighborhood. Dinner at home with the Cuban families.
After breakfast we will head our steps to a tobacco farm to learn about the tradition of growing and making the best cigar in the world. Visit the faux prehistorical mural and if possible ride a horse in the surrounding area. Lunch will be served at the organic farm Finca Paraiso where you will learn about organic farming in Cuba. In the afternoon visit Cueva del Indio where you will ride a boat through the river under the cave. Continue with a visit to the center of the town for local-made crafts shopping. Dinner at a local paladar or at a Patio with the group. Depending on the schedule of Casa del Son, attend a Fiesta Campesina with live music and dance.
Depart to Cienfuegos. Exotic lunch at Paladar "Palpite". We will make a stop to visit the historic Bay of Pigs, learn the role of the invasion in the history of the relations between Cuba and the USA. Continue our trip to Cienfuegos. Check in at your Melia Hotel in Cienfuegos. Dinner will be served at a local paladar in front of the Cienfuegos Bay. Wrap the night with a mojito at Palacio del Valle or along Cienfuegos Malecon where locals use to play music and dance.
Visit Jardin Botanico de Cienfuegos to learn about the environmental protection projects they are undergoing. Lunch at a local paladar. In the afternoon visit the street market in The Boulevard to better understand the dual currency system in Cuba. Continue walking to Parque Marti and visit Tomas Terry Theater. Wrap the afternoon with a visit to the UNEAC Gallery in front of the park.
Visit Trinidad one of the 7 first villages of Cuba. It was founded by Diego Velazquez in 1514. We will meet Annia, the Historian of the Village who will talk about the Colonial Heritage in the region. We will visit the gallery of Danilo Moreno or Yudit Vidal. The tour will continue with a visit to the Main Parish, the street market and the museum of Colonial art. The lunch will be served at paladar "La Botija" with a pizza menu. Visit the home of Chichi Santander, the most important ceramist of the Valley who works in the restoration of the village. In the afternoon we will visit "El Valle de los Ingenios". In the way back to Cienfuegos, stop by Playa Yaguarama for one of the nicest sunsets in Cuba. Farewell dinner will be served at a local Paladar in Cienfuegos.
Depart Santa Clara after an early shoot. Return flight to Miami. Adios Cuba! See you soon!
What To Take (These are only suggestions, they are NOT required!)
Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour
· 2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses
· Camera battery charger and cords
· CompactFlash/SD Cards (bring as much memory as possible. At least 40 gigs)
· Card Reader for file transfer
· External hard drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 500GB drive)
· Black Rapid camera strap
· Extra batteries (lots!)—best packed in checked luggage even when traveling abroad
· Lenses (Depending on the tour) Medium telephoto, Fixed, Wide angle & Macro lens that give you a wide range
of length. 10mm to 500mm if possible
· 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens
· Tripod and head
· Flash—strobe with automatic TTL fill flash capabilities or Reflector
· Photo backpack
· Lens cloth and cleaning fluid
· Blower ball for dust
· Circular polarizing filter
· Grad ND filters
· Rain sleeve for camera and lens
· Cable or electronic shutter release
· Laptop computer (travel size such as a netbook)
· Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom
· International power adapter
· Multiple plug power strip & adaptor to gain electric outlets in your room for simultaneous downloading & recharging
· Sensor cleaning supplies
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE. M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO (http://www.benrousa.com/products/travel-angel-ii/) HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
Tour Difficulty = Easy to Moderate depending on the day
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months. We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended. M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time. In the even of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given. It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc. assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.
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