THE NATURAL WONDERS OF CUBA
with INSTRUCTOR LAURA L. GINGERICH
This photography workshop is $3,600 per person for 8 days & 7 nights in Havana, Isla de la Juventud, Bay of Pigs, & Trinidad, Cuba.
The package price is based on double occupancy in the rooms. The single room supplement is an additional $200.
We are very excited to announce our first photography workshop tour of the natural wonders of Cuba. After a short stay in Havana upon arrival, we will leave the city behind to explore Cuba’s black sand beaches, pristine waterfalls, caverns, rivers, flora and fauna. We will guide the vintage vehicles into the countryside to examine the beauty among the complexities. Come and capture Cuba as very few have.
Your trip includes around the clock photography instruction and coaching by photographer extraordinaire, Laura L. Gingerich. Laura will meet you where you’re at and help you reach your photography goals. All levels are welcome. The only requirement is the willingness to learn and ability to focus.
Highlights of Your Adventure!
- Surprises of Old Havana
- The mystic and wonder of the Isle of Juventud
- The pristine beaches and fishing villages of Playa Larga
- The unknown Bay of Pigs
- Cuban naturalist guide in Zapata National Park
- The waterfalls of the Escambray Mountains via Russian Jeeps
Your Trip Includes:
- 8 days & 7 nights in Havana Isla de la Juventud, Bay of Pigs, & Trinidad, Cuba.
- 24/7 Photography coaching, tips, tutorials and lessons.
- Round trip airfare from the port of departure.
- Cuban visa processing and fee (There is an additional fee for Cuban born travelers).
- Medical insurance while visiting Cuba.
- All airline and airport fees (U.S. & Cuba except baggage & excess weight fees).
- Ground transportation within Cuba.
- All accommodations while visiting Cuba (Private Bed & Breakfast with air conditioned rooms and en-suite bathrooms).
- Entrance fees when applicable.
- All gratuities are included.
- Experienced tour guides (English, Spanish, Portuguese and French speaking are available).
- All meals are included (two “mixed” National drinks). Due to the nature of this photography tour, some lunches may be light and “on the go”. Cuba has no fast food restaurants so we will do our best to keep the photographers happy and well fed while out in the field. Please advise us about any restrictions or food allergies.
- Baggage fees for overage.
- Activities outside the tour itinerary.
- Travel insurance, which is highly recommended for all travelers.
DAY 1 & 2: HAVANA, CUBA
Upon arrival we begin our journey to Nuevo Vedado to meet your hosts and settle into the homes. This first evening, we will enjoy welcome cocktails and dinner at Balcones, which is home to one of very few recognized International Chef’s in Cuba. Here, we will talk about the days to follow while enjoying Cuban cuisine at its best. Night photography in Havana is an option!
Day two, we will wake up with Old Havana, shoot sunrise and explore La Habana Vieja, which in 1982 was awarded UNESCO Heritage Site status. We will walk through squares surrounded by the impressive baroque and neoclassic-style buildings that have made Havana one of the most architecturally significant cities in the Americas.
A day of great photography, terrific Cuban food and a cultural surprise later in the afternoon. Sunset on Casa Blanca followed by a wonderful meal in Havana.
DAY 3 & 4: ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD, CUBA
Both “paradise and prison” the Island of Youth off the mainland offers darkness and beauty. Our challenge will be to capture this juxtaposition. This is where the remnants of the prison, Presidio Modelo and an abandoned American cemetery meets exotic black sand beaches and rugged coastline. We decided to spend two nights on this “little big” island to have enough time to capture what we feel. The inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” was born here and it is ours to explore.
DAY 5: PLAYA LARGA & BAY OF PIGS, CUBA
Few know the Bay of Pigs as a “birders paradise” and the land of lush forests, pristine beaches, rivers, lakes and caverns. Here we will photograph the colors of this small fishing village by day and feast on fresh cuisine at night. We will explore the Zapata National Park where experienced guides will lead us to exotic corners of this biological superpower.
DAY 6 & 7: TOPES DE CALLANTES NATIONAL PARK (TRINIDAD), CUBA
Off to the Escambray mountain range situated in the center of Cuba, where we will use Russian style jeeps to explore and shoot majestic waterfalls, natural pools and streams. We will stay in Trinidad, a one-of-a-kind Spanish colonial settlement where cobble stone streets and the colors of the rainbow meet. What a wonderful place to be for the final two evenings to reflect and toast the natural wonders of Cuba.
DAY 8: TBD, CUBA
Travel to the airport at the port of departure, which will be determined at a closer date.
Please keep in minD...
- The light will dictate our schedule.
- We may change plans if we stumble upon something interesting to photograph.
- By design we will engage you in various aspects of the Cuban culture.
Frequently asked questions:
1. My loved one isn’t into photography as much as I, can she/he come along?
2. Where will I stay?
We will be divided among four ‘Casa Particulares’ (private homes) in walking distance from one to another.
3. What about laundry?
Your host will clean your clothing for a small fee.
4. What kind of electricity?
The same as USA, 110v (two prong only).
5. Is there safe drinking water?
Yes. You will have access to bottled and filtered water.
6. What about basic toiletries?
Best to bring your own.
7. What about wifi?
Ahhh, enjoy a rare opportunity to be disconnected from the world as you know it. There are currently seventy wifi hotspots in Cuba and we may find a spot or two during your stay. Please contact your cell phone carrier about charges and instructions if you choose to connect, call and/or text.
8. What about my valuables?
Cuba is one of the safest places to travel. Crime is extremely low. That said, you are advised to keep your passport and valuables in the lock box in your room.
9. What if I get sick?
While in Cuba you will have medical coverage through us, in the event it is needed.
10. How much money should I bring?
USA based credit and debit cards are not accepted in Cuba. We suggest you bring new $100 bills to exchange for CUC’s. Popular souvenirs such as honey, coffee, art, cigars and rum are available and there is no limit to how much you bring home “for personal use”. How much you need to bring is totally based on your souvenir purchases, tips and alcoholic beverages. Note, this is an all-inclusive journey which includes all meals and two alcoholic beverages per dinner.
11. What about tipping?
We embrace our Cuba staff as our family and take good care of them. If you wish to tip anyone on the staff that is totally up to you. Please reach out to Eli or Jordan for advice and/or assistance.
* Your Cuba Travel will make every attempt to adhere to the itinerary as planned above. Should circumstances change, we have the right to make proper modifications that will benefit you our guest.
Travel authorized by license through the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that authorizes registered guests of our programs to legally travel to Cuba to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between travelers and people in Cuba.
A $700 deposit is required at the time of booking to guarantee your reservation, which will be applied towards the cost of your tour. Deposits are generally non-refundable, except in rare cases when we cannot confirm all components of a booking at the purchase price.
The balance must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Your Cuba Travel's PHOTOGRAPHY Instructor, Laura L. Gingerich
Laura L. Gingerich is an award winning photojournalist specializing in relief and disaster assistance worldwide. She is known for “having an eye for beauty in the midst of chaos” from her work in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Haiti, Pakistan, West Bank and India. When Laura is not on assignment, she loves sharing her knowledge by leading photography workshops that inspire and motivate beginners to advanced level enthusiasts.