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This program is designed to give students an up close and personal “through the lens” look at Cuban life, architecture, and natural landscapes. Capture life in Havana’s old city and its surrounding neighborhoods, wander the Viñales Valley on horseback, and take in the sunsets and wildlife on the shores of Cayo Levisa. Each afternoon you will have a workshop and exposition, sharing your photos with your group and guides, learning techniques that will help you develop your photography skills.

Program Profile

Country
Cuba

2017 Departures

Departs (USA) Returns (USA) Availability
July 11 July 26 Limited

Connecting Programs

Schedule two or more programs in a row to create your ideal Rustic Pathways experience.

This program connects especially well with:

  • Day 1

    Arrival

    Upon arrival to Havana you’ll unpack your bags and photography gear, have an orientation and introduction with your group and then experience your first taste of Cuban cuisine.

    In the afternoon, head down to the Malecón near Habana Vieja, where you will capture local city life along the seawall and witness one of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see.

  • Day 2 - 3

    Havana

    Start the day off with a workshop and share session of the previous day’s photos. Here you will learn techniques designed to help you refine and perfect your photography skills.

    You’ll then head out to explore Habana Vieja’s iconic plazas, colonial architecture, and forgotten alleyways. After lunch, hop to the other side of the bay for a bird’s eye view from the lighthouse at the Castillo del Morro.

  • Day 4 - 5

    Viñales

    Head out early to the Valley of Viñales, one of Cuba’s most picturesque and breathtaking naturally protected areas.  Explore the valley and its many mogotes on horseback and learn about the traditional agricultural techniques that are used in the region.

  • Day 6

    Cayo Levisa

    Wake up early and head to Cayo Levisa, an isolated, mangrove covered north coast key.  Unlike other keys in the area, there is no causeway to Cayo Levisa, meaning students will have to make the 45-minute journey by boat.  They will be welcomed by pristine beaches and crystal clear water, perfect for a relaxing swim or snorkeling.

  • Day 7 - 8

    Travel to Santiago

    Depart for Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second largest and most important city.  Spend your days exploring the city’s casco historico (“old town”) with highlights including visits to the infamous Moncada Barracks, Casa de Diego Velazquez (the oldest house in Cuba), and the San Pedro Fort.  In the evening, join your fellow travelers and a local folkloric dance group for a dance or percussion lesson.

  • Day 9

    El Saltón

    Depart for El Saltón, a tranquil mountain escape 90km from Santiago that boasts a 30m cascading waterfall, hikes to thermal pools and nearby cocoa plantations.  Students will enjoy and escape to nature amidst the hustle and bustle of Santiago city life.

  • Day 10

    Carnival in Santiago

    After lunch, head back down to Santiago to enjoy and document what is arguably the Caribbean’s largest carnival and one of Cuba’s biggest festivals.

  • Day 11

    Travel to Havana

    Today you’ll take to the sky to return to the capital where you’ll visit the Revolutionary Museum and Paseo del Prado in the Centro Habana neighborhood before settling into your hotel.

  • Day 12

    Trinidad

    Depart Havana for Trinidad, a 500-year-old colonial city that is without a doubt one of Cuba’s most picturesque.

    Arriving to Trinidad, you and your group will stroll down the cobblestone streets, taking in sights of horse-drawn carriages and colorful facades.  After checking into your casa particular you’ll enjoy dinner at one of the town’s many paladares (private restaurants).  At night, lose yourself to the rhythm of salsa and son as you listen to a live music performance at the Casa de la Musica.

  • Day 13

    Trinidad

    Wake up early for a walking photo tour of Trinidad before hiking to the Javira Waterfall in Parque El Cubano.

    After working up a sweat, head down to the beach at Playa Ancón and enjoy amazing views and crystal clear water at one of Cuba’s best southern beaches.

  • Day 14

    Cienfuegos & Caleta Buena

    Today you’ll begin making your wake back towards Havana, making a pit stop in Cienfuegos and at Caleta Buena in the Bay of Pigs.  Cienfuegos is known for its stunningly beautiful French-inspired architecture, magnificent boardwalk and spectacular bay.  It is also home to singer Benny Moré, one of Cuba’s most famous singers.

    After a visit to the “Pearl of the South”, you will have lunch and then spend a few hours snorkeling and exploring the southern coast at Caleta Buena.

  • Day 15

    Havana

    Start off your last day with a city tour in an antique American classic.  Get dropped off at the local market where you’ll barter for souvenirs before visiting the Hotel Nacional in Vedado.  Head back to your hotel where you’ll present your best photos to your group and freshen up for one final dinner out on the town filled with lots of music and dancing.

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email cuba@rusticpathways.com

  1. a
    Havana

    Start and end your trip in this iconic Latin American city!

  2. b
    Trinidad

    During your trip you’ll spend time in Trinidad, one of Cuba’s most picturesque colonial towns.

  3. c
    Valle de Viñales

    Explore Valle de Viñales National Park, one of Cuba’s most picturesque and breathtaking natural protected areas.