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Cuba Photo Tour

Next Photo Tour of Cuba dates to be determined for 2019

Visit amazing locations during the best light of the day on a 1143 km photo tour of Cuba west island. We'll visit 6 different locations, including Havana, Viñales, the Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and the Ernest Che Guevara mausoleum over 11 days in a private air conditioned van with a personal tour guide, driver and professional photographer as your photo coach. Do you love to travel and also want to learn to take better photos? This tour of Cuba is a great way to spend a vacation and improve your photography all at the same time.

classic car in cuba

cuba convertible taxi in havana

Photo Tour Cuba- Quick Details

  • Where: Cuba
  • When: Early 2019 dates TBD
  • Who: You and 11 other fabulous people. Spouses and non-photography types are welcome.
  • What: Photo tour catering to photographing in the best light of the day, in the field practice in a fun small group setting, and a flexible schedule to allow us to decide how long we stay at each location!
  • Why: Learn to take better photos, immerse in some local culture, help some kids and have a whole lot of fun doing it from a beach on Cuba's Pacific coast!
Price: $TBD USD
Remaining Spots: 12

This tour is currently in Notification List mode with dates TBD

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elderly gentleman wearing a beret with Canadian pin salutes the cameralittle boy in Trinidad Cuba walks down stone steps with the sun on his face

It's all about the light

This photo tour is designed for doing photography during the best light of the day. We travel, experience the culture, learn, or relax when the light is harsh, and shoot when the light is good.

The best locations

This is NOT the kind of tour that goes to your typical tourist locations. Where others might go in, we go around. Where others have their map, we wander and get lost on purpose. This is a custom designed photo tour vacation, by a photographer, for photography enthusiasts. You do NOT have to be a pro to join us.

Less rushed

We get to fully explore each location, which allows you to discover all the hidden gems and meet people on a deeper level. It will be a full week of activities, but you won’t feel rushed or pressured. Plenty of time scheduled as “your own” to do with as you please… so wander around by yourself or a companion. Maybe even an afternoon side trip to the beach one day?

a car and a motorcycle on the cobblestone street at nighta little taste of Cuban night life

I've tried to incorporate as many photo and cultural related events and opportunities as possible into the schedule. The itinerary is flexible and we have the ability to adjust our schedule to meet our needs. For example, if we travel to one location and are supposed to be there for an hour, but we are really enjoying it and want to stay longer – we can do that, and perhaps shorten or delete the next location or rearrange to another day.

 
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Ron Henningsen

Experience what Cuba is really like

 

If you want a photo excursion that offers you a chance to experience what Cuba is really like on a realistic local level the Digital Photo Mentor tour to Cuba is for you.

The reasons I prefer the Digital Photo Mentor adventure to Cuba compare to my other 4 major photo trips is the very high level of on site organization and planning.

They allow for a greater flexibility in so many areas and promote and encourage interaction among participants

They schedule meals at local homes and restaruants allowing participants to experience the local culture and meet the local people.

They provide a grass roots experience level of how the local people really live.

When I was on the tour I sometimes wished for a fancy hotel but when I did a different tour and stayed in a fancy hotel I realized I was missing what Cuba was really like.

Later, I took a another tour of Cuba Darlene. Had I only taken the second trip and not yours I would not really have any idea of what life in Cuba is really like.

This is a tentative schedule, may not be exactly as shown here:

the stunning view inside a building in old havana

Havana, Cuba

the crumbling interior of a stairwell in a building in old havana cuba

Stairwell, Old Havana

a classic car drives by on the Malecon

The Malecón, Old Havana

woman in curlers sits on the curb in Trinidad, Cuba

Woman in Curlers, Trinidad Cuba

Old Havana from above

Old Havana from above

Traditional Cuban dance

Traditional dance

a plate of really good cuban food

Delicious Cuban food

a trio of guitar players entertain the restaurant patrons

Guitar trio entertains
Day 1 – Arrive in Havana
Arrive at José Martí International airport, in Cuba. Upon arrival, the group is met by a local tour representative and you will be transported to the Hotel Inglaterra where you’ll check in to your hotel and be greeted.After an introduction from our tour leader, your evening is free to relax and settle in. The best way to see Havana's colonial buildings, elegant plazas, vintage cars and cigar-smoking musicians is by foot. Visit the Plaza de la Revolution and pass giant monuments of the legendary Che Guevara and José Martí. The striking baroque facade of the Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana is a must see.
Day 2 – Havana
After breakfast at your hotel, our guide will meet us and take us on a walking tour of Old Havana. In the afternoon, a photography lesson and the evening is free to spend at your leisure.
Day 3 – Havana
The morning is free to do with as you please while in the afternoon we take a 3 hour panoramic tour ride in a vintage convertible car. In the evening there is the option of going to the Buena Vista Social Club show in Old Havana. This is not included in tour cost, but we highly recommend you take in this show and enjoy a part of Cuban history. A few of the original musicians who played at the club still perform today. Some participants who went in the previous Cuba tour say the Buena Vista Social Club show was the highlight of their trip.
Day 4 – Havana to Viñales via Soroa
After breakfast we depart Havana and make a stop in Soroa. Enjoy a walk to the Orchid Garden and to the waterfall. The Soroa orchid garden features hundreds of varieties of orchids, covers an area of 35,000 square meters and has more than 20,000 orchid plants mixed with thousands of ferns and trees that make it a truly unique destination in the world. One of Cuba's most attractive areas, the fertile valleys and distinctive limestone ‘pincushion' hills surrounding Viñales are well worth exploring.
Day 5 – Viñales
The morning is free for taking pictures and independent adventures. After lunch, take a scenic walking tour in the valley. See how Cuban cigars are hand rolled ans sample the goods with a cigar and coffee tasting! Before the sun completely fades, we drive to an organic farm to watch the sun set and enjoy a feast of epic proportions. My husband will tell you that the most memorable meal of his entire life was at this farm. You'll find out why. An amazing evening filled with a farm tour, hours of beverages, feast, music and companionship… and we'll pick up the tab!
Day 6- Viñales to Cienfuegos via the Bay of Pigs
We leave Viñales for our next destination, Cienfuegos, right after an early breakfast at 7 am. We're on the road a long time today as it's nearly 500 km to Cienfuegos, so over 7 hours of driving. We'll see a lot of the Cuban country side and with a stop at the Bay of Pigs. As we get closer to the Bay, you'll see defensive positions and equipment at consecutive areas along the highway. The small country has been surprise attacked so many times that they're not going to let it happen again. We're stopping at the Bay of Pigs for a short while, but enough to visit either the Pigs Revolution Museum, or dip your toes into the ocean.We continue on to Cienfuegos arriving in time for some sunset and night photography on the dock by the port.
Day 7 – Cienfuegos / Trinidad
The early morning is yours and then at 11AM, we visit the Palacio de Valle. Palacio de Valle is an architectural jewel reminiscent of Spanish-Moorish art with influences of Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Mudejar arts. Place of cultural events, in addition to restaurant, museum and bar. Construction began in 1913 and ended in 1917 costing a million and a half pesos. From here we leave for Trinidad. After a short 1 hour bus ride and checking into our homestay, we will be take on a walking tour of the town with our guide. We'll take our time, enjoy ourselves, watching for good light and taking many photos. The evening is yours to take for yourself.
Day 8 – Trinidad
The morning is yours to spend as you like.
Day 9 – Trinidad
A day to do with as you please. As you would have seen on the walking tour the day before, there's a lot of shopping, culture, and music to discover. The beach is a short 20 km away and has, as I can attest to, one of the best pina colada's in the world. Share a taxi with a friend and get your feet wet for a portion of the day. Or maybe a horseback ride? A local stable gets incredibly high reviews for their tours by horseback. Or perhaps a nap and day to yourself in your casa might be what the doctor ordered.
Day 10 – Trinidad to Havana via Santa Clara
After a breakfast in your casa, we travel to Havana, stopping en-route at Santa Clara. Here we visit the Ernesto Che Guevara museum and mausoleum. We continue on to Havana and check back into the Hotel Inglaterra. We'll eat together as a group tonight at a local restaurant and reflect on our experiences during the tour.
Day 11
After breakfast you are transported to the airport for your flight home.

NOTE: this itinerary may be changed for an Eastern Cuba route for 2019.

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My jaw was dropping at so many places

Jaye Cook , Australia

It was worth waiting 10 years to go to Chefchauon, and to experience the Riad, the town, the people and the support of all the people in our group. My jaw was dropping at so many places. The diversity within the country of Morocco was amazing.


Cost of Photography Tour of Cuba

Price: $TBD USD
Remaining Spots: 12

Currently, this tour is not scheduled or available for booking. Once dates and a confirmed price are announced it will be reflected on this page and you can book it with Merit Travel. But please do not contact them to ask about it as there is no additional information currently available.


Includes:

  • airport pickup and return
  • 4 nights accommodation at Hotel Inglaterra in Havana and 6 nights at homestays (casas)
  • all activities as listed in the itinerary
  • 10 breakfasts, 1 dinner
  • private transportation and a private driver to complete the tour program and itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide throughout the tour
  • photography tutoring and help as needed, you just have to ask

Here is the printable flyer for the Cuba 2016 Photo tour from Merit Travel Adventure Company:

Meals: For the most part meals are not included with the exception of breakfast daily and a couple of lunches and dinners. We will try and eat in smaller Paladars which are restaurants in people’s home. More authentic local food, and great ambiance and prices.

Transportation: The land transportation included for this tour will exclusively be in private air conditioned minibus with private driver and a tour leader for a maximum group of 14 passengers. The service of private transport gives us opportunity of starting the days trips at convenient times and stop in interesting locations along the way.

Prices do NOT include your flight or other travel to Cuba. More than likely, you'll all be traveling together and arrive at the same time. An Adventure Company guide and driver will meet you at the airport and accompany you to the hotel

Please note: keep in mind that this is Cuba. We go to Cuba, and similar places, to experience what daily life is like, see how the people live, what they do, and who they are as a people. We spend time with the locals as much as possible, and embed ourselves into the culture. We are NOT going for a five star hotel stay and buffet meals in hotels. If that's the experience, or kind of travel you prefer, this may NOT be the right tour for you. Our accommodations will be comfortable, clean and safe, not five star (with the exception of Hotel Inglaterra). Our meals will be mostly family style (at Casa's), healthy and nourishing, but not gourmet. So please set your expectations accordingly.

Improve your street photography skills

Increase your confidence doing street photography and photographing people – this is a perfect place to practice this if you have any anxiety around taking photos of strangers. The people are friendly and you have a well-qualified photography teacher to lead you, guide you and encourage you, as well as safety in numbers if that makes you feel better too

See Cuba in its natural charm

Go now before the US trade embargo gets lifted and Cuba changes forever. Invariably once they are allowed to trade with the developed world Cuba will lose a lot of its charm.

Special note for American travelers: due to the restrictions places on us by our local travel agent, which were placed on them by the US government, we can no longer accommodate American citizens until further notice. Even if you can get into Cuba on your own, we must register your passport with Merit and cannot take US citizens.

How to book the tour (not available right now)!

Currently, this tour is not scheduled or available for booking. Once dates and a confirmed price are announced it will be reflected on this page and you can book it with Merit Travel. But please do not contact them to ask about it as there is no additional information currently available.

Our Photo Tours & Workshops

Click here for our complete list of photo tours of Central America, Africa, Asia and South America, and if you'd like more hands on, photography education, you'll love one of our workshops, held in Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Mexico and soon Asia.

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I felt connected. And that difference, shows in my pictures.

Lucia , Brazil

I never had a tour guide so good as yours for this tour of Morocco. He made a Huge difference between an average trip and a WOW one.

His love of Morocco showed in every way and made us look at the country and his people with different eyes.The way he taught us, how to behave, how to talk to the people, made a huge difference from my other trips.