Cuba Photography Tour
10 Days / 9 Nights
This special round trip explores the “real Cuba” many people are looking for. We slightly go off the traditional tourist routes to see the non-touristic side of the country. Take part in the special Cannon Firing Ceremony, visit art galleries, and explore Cuba from Pinar del Rio province to the Escambray Mountains and the UNESCO world heritage sites of the Viñales Valley, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Admire the unique microclimate of Soroa, visit Cuba’s largest Orchid farm, learn about Cuba's largest cave system, go bird-watching at the Bay of Pigs, visit a crocodile breeding farm, go horse riding and jungle trekking and swim in a waterfall. Extend the tour in Varadero where the All-inclusive hotel amenities will let you relax on this beautiful, white sandy beach.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Cuba with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Havana (-/-/-)
Arrive to Cuba in the afternoon. Meet & Greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 2. Modern Havana - Habana Vieja – Cannon Firing Ceremony (B/-/-)
After breakfast full day sightseeing tour of Havana, one of the most beautiful cities of Latin America. Havana captivates all its visitors. This true Caribbean metropolis has a unique atmosphere that makes tourists travel back in time to the Colonial era while appreciating the mark of the ‘50s US mob which coexists with the retro architecture, and the ambiance of the current socialist society. View a Scale Model of Old Havana to have a general view of the city and see the development from the colonial times up until today. After that explore the old part of the city on foot with its rich cultural and historical attractions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. During the tour all those who are interested can hunt local antiques at the authentic antique market while we visit the Plaza de Armas (the "Arms’ Square"), the Governor's palace, and walk through the Plaza San Francisco with the old Stock Exchange Palace, the St. Francis of Assis Church and Cathedral Square. Our next stop on our photography tour, we will visit La Plaza Vieja, the "Old Square" where our optional lunch will be served in a typical local restaurant. After lunch, visit the “Taller Experimental de Grafica”, where we will meet local artists and discuss their work in the workshop. In the afternoon return to the hotel. In the evening we visit the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabaña, a unique location offering spectacular views of the city. Participate in one of the oldest ceremonies of Cuba, the Cannon Firing Ceremony at 19:00 hrs where we remember the colonial times when at this time at night the city did close until dawn. After the ceremony return back to the hotel.
Day 3. Havana (B/-/-)
Today we continue our discovery of the Capital. We will visit the Fototeca de Cuba to see a temporary exhibition of Cuban photographers and we will have the opportunity to interact with them. The Center of the Cuban photography was founded in 1937 by the former City Historian, Emilio Ruig de Leuchsenring and holds about 14,000 photos inside. Next, we will visit several photographic workshops of local artists where we can discuss the techniques, locations, and see the contemporary artists’ work. We have our optional lunch in a private restaurant (Paladar) and after lunch we visit the “Callejon de Hamel” where we can make an interesting photo shooting session of the local religious art. The Hamel Alleyway is located in Centro Habana where we will have a walking discovery session, exploring interiors, patios and beautiful buildings. Prepare for a warm bumpy and noisy time among bikes, people, vintage cars and diesel fumes. In the afternoon return to the hotel. Evening free. Optional visit to the famous Tropicana Show or the Concert of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Day 4. Havana – Soroa – Viñales Valley (B/-/-)
After breakfast depart to the western part of the country, directly to Pinar del Rio province, the “green” province of Cuba. This province offers superb natural beauty and untouched nature. Its unique climate makes this land the most fertile on the island. It is one of the highlights of our tour; we spend two days here touring the countryside and the highlights of the area. On the way we stop at Soroa also known as the “Rainbow of Cuba”, named after the “Salto de Arcoiris” waterfall that is located here. Here we visit the largest Orchid farm in Cuba that offers over 6,000 plants and 700 different types of orchids - including some very rare types - in an area of more than 25 hectares. Soroa offers a unique micro climate that makes “El Orchideario” florulent all year long. We continue to Pinar del Rio city, the “City of Columns” where we take a panoramic city tour. Later on, we leave for Viñales, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, where the unique karst formations, the “Mogotes” can be found. Once there, we stop at the Mirador Los Jazmines, where we can enjoy the breathtaking panorama with the remote scenery of "Mogotes"(karst hills) and the mountains that make this place deservedly a World Heritage site. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we start hiking at the “Cueva del Indio”, and boating inside the cave on an underground river observing the various stalactites that formed different shapes and therefore each has some story to tell. See the famous wall painting, the "Mural de la Prehistoria" that fascinates us with its unique technology and gigantic size. We continue our trip to our accommodation. Evening free. It is worth going to the village in the evening to meet locals and experience the unique Cuban hospitality.
Day 5. Viñales Valley – Santo Tomas Cave (B/-/-)
After the previous day’s adventures wake up relaxed and head for more escapades. Today discover the Cuban country life and Viñales Valley. This area of the country has the best soil for tobacco, the best tobacco in the world is produced here. On the way stop at a tobacco plantation where you can explore the house of the tobacco farmers. They will show you around in the “Casa de Tabaco” and you will learn about the producing and processing of tobacco. Optional lunch at a typical Cuban restaurant. After lunch depart for the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas cave, the largest cave system in Cuba, second largest on the American continent: it is 46 kms long and has 8 levels. We discover the part of the cave that is open to the public with a specialised guide on a 1 km path that is accessible for tourists. The specialty of the program is that local authorities give permission to visit the cave only to a very limited number of tourists. This allows the conservation of the cave system in its original state. In the afternoon return to your hotel in Viñales. Evening free. It is worth going to the village in the evening to meet locals and experience the unique Cuban hospitality.
Day 6. Viñales Valley – Montemar National Park – Guama – Bay of Pigs – Playa Larga (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to one of Cuba's most important nature reserves, the world famous Zapata Peninsula, a bird and animal sanctuary which is located in the Montemar National Park. The largest swamp of Cuba is located here. It houses many endemic and migrant birds, among others the most emblematic Cuban birds, the Tocororo (Cuban trogon), the national bird of Cuba; the Bee Hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird; the Cuban Tody, which is small, but all the more colourful. In Cuba, crocodiles are indigenous; the Zapata swamp grants habitat for them. The first stop is Guama, the main attraction of the National Park. There we take a speedboat tour of the natural lagoon, the Laguna de Tresoro, where the untouched nature can be observed, and migrating and endemic birds can be seen. Then we will visit the Aldea Taino, the reconstructed Taino Aboriginal village where we learn about the customs of the ancient indigenous inhabitants. We get back to port and visit the country’s largest crocodile breeding farm, where we can observe hundreds of these reptiles in their natural habitat. Visit the crocodile nursery; where those who feel brave enough may hold the yet harmless infants in their hands. Optional lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we will arrive to the Bay of Pigs, where you will have some time on the beach. Check-in to the hotel. Evening free.
Day 7. Playa Larga – Zapata Peninsula – Cienfuegos – Trinidad/Ancón Peninsula (B/-/-)
After breakfast depart to the city of Cienfuegos, also known as the “Pearl of the South”. First we make a stop on the way for bird watching: the Montemar National Park has more than 900 plants and 160 bird species and 12 other animals in their natural habitat. A specialist ornithologist will lead the bird watching. With his help we will have a better chance to find these hiding birds. Then continue to Cienfuegos. Once we arrive, optional lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Later on we begin our sightseeing tour. The city was founded by French settlers in 1819. They started to call the city “The Pearl of the Caribbean”. Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005, and the first, and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th century. Walk by the famous Malecon, see the beautiful seaside villas. Stop to take pictures at the Palacio del Valle, a unique palace with architectural richness. It has Gothic influences, Romanesque, Baroque and Italianate combined with the Mudejar style of Spain from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Visit a local Art Galery, “La Maroya”, where you will have the opportunity to meet local artists and discuss their work, plans and their visions. Then head towards downtown Cienfuegos, where we continue on a walking tour of the city of former aristocrats. Cienfuegos, founded by French settlers, has European-style architecture. We will walk down the Boulevard of the city via the Prado; visit the Jose Marti Square, the Governor's palace, the Thomas Terry Theater famous for its excellent acoustics, and the Cathedral. In the afternoon transfer to Trinidad. Our hotel is located on the Ancon Peninsula, 10 kilometres from the city. We will spend two nights here and we will discover the area from our all-inclusive resort to ensure that we can relax after each days' tours. Evening free. We suggest going to the city in the evening for its sizzling nightlife with authentic salsa parties.
Day 8. Trinidad/Ancon Peninsula – Escambray Mountains (B/-/-)
After breakfast we depart to the nearby Escambray Mountains on the platform of Russian army trucks and drive up to the 800 metres high peak: to Topes de Collantes. This high and abundant mountainous area was the hiding place of the counter-revolutionists in 1959 after the victory of the Cuban Revolution. The area is also famous for its flora and fauna and its continental divide feature. Its northern side is lush, rainy, with coffee plantations on the slopes; the southern side has a drier climate, with Agave plants and arid zones. The Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve was named after the mountain’s second highest peak. Fulgencio Batista constructed here the Kurhotel that still operates as a sanatorium. Once there, we start a 3 km jungle tour in the Guanayara National Park. Our trip is led by a specialist local guide who is an expert of the Cuban Flora and Fauna. During the trip we will get to know the local animals and plants: more than 40 types of orchids are endemic and more than 100 types of ferns are registered, 7 of them grow as high as 6 metres. Also visit a coffee plantation where you will learn about coffee production, the main types of coffee produced here: there are more than 40 types of coffee grown in the shades of pine and eucalyptus trees. Reach the “El Rocio” waterfall, where you can swim in the transparent mountain river. Keep your swimwear on you, as your next stop is the El Venado natural lagoon, where you can swim in the clear waters of the lagoon. Optional lunch at “Casa de Gallega” ranch. After lunch have a Caribbean siesta and afterwards return to the hotel. Evening free.
Day 9. Trinidad Old Town – Sugar Mills Valley – Havana (B/-/-)
After breakfast visit Trinidad. The city was founded more than 500 years ago; Trinidad preserves the singular atmosphere of the colonial era. First we walk through the old part of the city. While walking along the small winding streets we have the feeling that we are going back in time. Visit the Plaza Mayor, The Tower of Contrabandido, the Cathedral, La Santissima Trinidad Square and the exhibition of the Romantic Museum. The museum is located in the palace of what used to be the town's richest family with balustrade yard, marble floors, and neoclassical decoration. Stop at the famous Canchanchara bar where you can sample the authentic drink of Trinidad, the special cocktail still made from the original recipe of Aguardiente and honey, called Canchanchara. Later we have our optional lunch in the centre of the city. After lunch visit the famous Valley of Sugar Mills that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, once the centre of sugar production and processing in Cuba. The 270 sq km valley employed more than 30,000 slaves. A large part of the 18th century sugar consumption was produced here. The valley together with Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Visit the Manaca Iznaga estate. It is possible to climb the seven-story tower that offers a beautiful panorama. The tower was used to keep an eye on the plantation and the slaves. Once the highest building in the country in its era, the tower offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. After the tour return to Havana. Arrive in the evening, check in to your hotel.
Day 10. Departure (B/-/-)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel. When you are ready your driver will transfer you to Havana airport for your international departure flight or transfer to your chosen resort for your beach stay.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS FROM £2,229 per person + international flights
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Accommodation: 3+1 nights in Havana, 2 night in Viñales, 1 night in Playa Larga, 2 nights in Trinidad, in selected private accommodation, in standard rooms. The above package price includes accommodation in Casas Particulares (guesthouses) during the entire program. This can be upgraded to hotels on request. Breakfast is included in the program. Lunch and full board option can be booked separately. All transfers with air conditioned vehicle. Programme as per description, with entrance fees included. Specialised English/Spanish speaking local guide. Meet & Greet upon arrival at the airport. English/Spanish speaking 24-hour assistance during the entire tour.
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Cuba. Request a quote from us.
Tourist card (visa)
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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