Program Highlights ~ A Cultural and Photographic Adventure
February 2 – 10, 2018
*Program cost includes Miami-Santiago, Guantanamo-Havana and Havana-Miamiairfare, travel visa, and EIGHT NIGHTS in Cuba.
*Photographic subjects include musical sessions, environmental portraits of friendly local faces, home interiors, gardens, fishing villages, and of course the great American cars of the 40’s and 50’s surrounded by modern & historic
*Photograph the sights and sounds of Santiago de Cuba, built by the Spanish, with its art and music influenced by the Caribbean isles, French and Chinese. From the main square of Parque Cespedes to the local flare of the neighborhoods surrounding it.
*Spend two evenings in the colonial town of Baracoa on Cuba’s Northeastern Atlantic coast. Meet and interact with people’s lives on the streets of this remote and distinct village. From the fisherman to having a cup of hot chocolate at the famous Casa del Chocolate.
*Explore the colorful architecture, textures and details of Old Havana, designated an UNESCO World Heritage site.
*Panorama sunset views of Morro Cabana harbor & skyline of Havana.
*Please note these dates may change slightly due to flight schedules
For more information or to register contact Strabo Photo
Tour Collection: 607-756-8676 www.phototc.com
Join us for this fascinating tour of the land that Christopher
Columbus said was “the most beautiful land that humans have ever seen.”
Cuba was a wonderful experience that was much enriched by Strabo Tours. I was stunned by the amount of photographs to be made: people, architecture, close ups, horticulture, and, of course, the cars from the 40’s and 50’s that were everywhere. It was definitely a wonderful experience. ~ Marilyn
An outstanding trip that takes you back in time to a place filled with great music, colorful architecture, cars and a revolutionary spirit. ~ Kathy
Strabo’s trip to Cuba with Nancy Ori will be one you will never forget. There are photo ops galore. While Cuba may be economically deprived, it is photographically and culturally rich. ~ Janice
Visualize the appeal of this country that has been closed off to Americans for decades. Allow Nancy Ori to bring you to the photo ops and assist you in capturing the allure of this amazing place and its people through your lens.
Wander and explore with Nancy, from the East to the West, photographing colonial architecture, while watching the antique vehicles pass you by in Havana. Havana is amazing in its own right, yet we have designed this tour to give you a look at Eastern Cuba predominantly, with far less tourism that the now very popular west side. Start in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second largest bustling city. It has different cultural influences than Havana including African, French, and Chinese. We’ll photograph the architecture of Parque Cespedes, and picturesque local neighborhoods surrounding it. Photograph the lively musicians and dancers by the glow of the street lamps. Take a side trip to visit the near by village of El Cobre with its beautiful cathedral. Those interested in the history of the revolution can take time to visit one of the many museums in Santiago or the Castillo del Morro (fortress). From Santiago we move on to the magic of nature, in Baracoa, which is surrounded by forest and sea….keeping its people isolated from modern influences, yet preserving the ecosystem and maintaining their traditions. An internal flight has been included, taking the group to Havana to complete your tour in Old Havana.
Equally as important as the time for photography, will be daily educational discussions given by your local guide regarding the culture, history and nature.
The people of Cuba are friendly and open. You will find so many wonderful faces to photograph in the cities and the countryside. There are those in Havana that earn a living this way and those that are just as pleased to be photographed looking for nothing in return. This is a licensed ‘People-to-People’ program, which includes daily activities, immersing you in the heart and soul of Cuba. From the hustle and bustle of Santiago de Cuba, and Old Havana, to the more remote colorful Spanish Village of Baracoa, along the Atlantic Coast.
*Please note these dates may change slightly due to changing Cuban flight schedules
Day 1 Home->Miami
Travel to Cuba is changing every day. This itinerary is written as if flying from Miami. Due to the time of the group charter flight tomorrow morning it will be necessary for everyone to fly to Miami today and overnight there. Otherwise, we cannot be responsible for missed connections. We recommend everyone staying at the same hotel as your photo leader in order to coordinate departure time in the morning back to the airport. Suggested hotel to overnight will be announced. There will be an introductory meeting at the hotel this evening, to prepare you for check in tomorrow. Overnight at own cost this evening at a hotel near the airport.
Day 2 Miami -> Santiago de Cuba
Depart today on the direct group flight to the ‘second’ city of Cuba, Santiago de Cuba (time to be announced). Currently we can arrange and pre-pay the Cuba Travel Visa fee for you. The Cuban airfare and Visa are included in your tour cost. Be prepared to travel light. There will be a travel fee of about $50 that you will need to pay in cash USD on the way out.
Eastern Cuba is known as the Oriente, built on the sagas of historical rebellion and revolution. It is the birthplace of Fidel Castro and his revolution and has been influenced by the French, African, and Caribbean creole, as well as, the Spaniards. Upon arrival in Santiago, the group will travel by private bus to your hotel, followed by an introductory tour in the historic district around the Parque de Cespedes. Santiago’s most notable buildings line the square providing wonderful architecture photography of its varied international influences. One of the most notable was built in the early 1500’s, Casa de Diego Velazquez, a Spanish conquistador’s former residence, now a historical museum of Cuba. There will be a welcome dinner this evening followed by rooftop photography from the terrace of the hotel, where you can listen to the city come alive with the music from Casa de la Trova. Just east of the square, photograph the less touristy Parque Dolores, the square is surrounded by wrought-iron adorned buildings, and also just south are the Steps of Padre Pico, with its mighty steps leading to a very picturesque quarter.
Enjoy early morning photography shoots with Nancy, the next two days, returning to the hotel for breakfast. You will have opportunity to photograph the shop owners, as they bring the city back to life.
A trip to Eastern Cuba would not be complete with out a visit to the near by village of El Cobre, about 12 miles out side the city. It is most famous for its cream colored basilica, a national monument built in 1926, Nuestra Caridad del Cobre. Not far from here is the mausoleum of Jose Marti, where there will be a changing of the guard ceremony. Jose was one of Latin America’s most famous poet and writers, and he is haled to be the father of Cuban independence. He lived in exile for many years in NY as a foreign correspondent in the 1880’s-90’s, returning to Cuba in 1895 leading an insurrection against the Spanish government. He died on the battlefield three years before Spain lost its last colony.
The following morning depart for colorful fishing villages along the coast and take the ferry to Cayo Granma, a small island in the bay, where you can photograph the local fishermen, red roof buildings, and quiet streets. Capture the sunset from the San Pedro de la Roco Castle, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort hosts a firing of the canon ceremony each evening at dusk. There may be time for optional excursion to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, which is home to many of Cuba’s famous military figures, including the Mausoleum of Jose Marti. Cuban revolutionary buffs may want to take a couple hours one afternoon to visit Cuartel Moncada, it describes the history of Cuba from 1500’s onward. The building was the site of July 26, 1953 carnival celebrations, where Fidel, Raul, and Che attacked the concrete barracks in an attempt seize weapons. Overnight Casa Granda Hotel. (D; B, L; B)
Day 3-4 Baracoa
Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind as you take a leisurely drive to the north east coast and the much more remote Baracoa. Baracoa means ‘nature’ as the Cubans say, and it is surrounded by tropical forest, and the sea. This has isolated the people to rely on fishing, cocoa, coconuts, bananas, and gathering wood. Providing visitors with unique photo opportunities, surrounded by people and their daily lives.
Wander down the Malecon which connects the two 19th-century forts, Fuerte Matachin and Fuerte de la Punta. You’ll have two days to explore this quaint colonial village with Nancy, photographing the colorful
streets, shops, and children as they play. Take a day trip along the coast, photographing the natural landscape & flat top of El Yunque, seascapes and natural wonders of the local beaches, natural rocks in the ocean and gorge’s. Overnight Hostel 1511. (B, L; B)
Day 5-7 Old Havana
There will be a flight this morning from Guantanamo Airport to Havana (included in the land cost). Upon arrival your guide will orient you to the highlights of Old Havana on a walking tour. As you stroll the streets, you will be overwhelmed with all the things to photograph, from the antique American cars, children playing in the streets or in abandoned lots; from the beautifully restored hotels to the paint peeling off dilapidated buildings. Havana’s architecture is the most beautiful in the various plazas, where locals and tourists congregate to share stories.
Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Cathedral, Plaza Vieja, and Plaza de San Francisco, are a few that are within walking distance. You will be able to return late at night while music fills the air, or early in the morning to photograph as the streets come to life again.
In 1982, Old Havana was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. It is brimming with a variety of historical landmarks and interesting things to do. Walking the streets in this area is a favorite pastime and will surely result in an unforgettable experience with lots of chances to take advantage of a myriad of photo ops.
After early morning shoots on foot with Nancy to the local markets and shops, return to your casa for breakfast, then meet your guide to visit La Torre (the tower) with a bird’s eye view of the harbor and city. Morro Cabana (fortress) just across the harbor provides another perspective of the waves crashing on the lighthouse and fortress, along with the skyline of Havana.
There will be free time in the late afternoons, to walk the Prada, or Malecon along the harbor. There are also a few hotels in Old Havana in which you can capture incredible panoramic city views at sunrise or sunset from their rooftop bars, such as Inglaterra, Parque Central, or Saratoga, etc.
Overnight in local Casa’s (B, L; B; B, D)
The Cuban Casa: On all of Nancy’s tours, students have the opportunity to stay overnight in a typical Cuban casa. These are like our B&B’s in that you will have a private room with private bath and a wonderful host who will prepare breakfast for you usually in their own kitchen. This homey atmosphere will give you a unique opportunity to get to know their family and perhaps photograph them, their interiors and their pets. We have found these people to be quite gracious and helpful as we are treated with tender care and respect. It is a wonderful real Cuban experience away from the usual large hotel environment. In Havana, the group will be staying in a variety of newly created casas near the Malacon.
Day 8 Havana -> Home
There will be a morning transfer to Havana airport for your trip home (exact time to be announced). Confirm with Strabo Tours, prior to booking domestic flights. Be sure to leave three hours between flights if you are making a connection in Miami. This will all be worked out when we are closer to our workshop date. (B)
Participants should know that Cuba is a special destination. Please understand that all elements of the itinerary are subject to change and that activities listed are examples of opportunities that may present themselves. Since the program is authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, we have to abide by any changes to regulations that may take place. Please remain flexible as these circumstances are beyond our control. Be assured that all efforts will be made to provide a comparable alternative should an item on our itinerary need to be changed.
he tour cost included:
- Land transportation: All group transportation in country.
- A local guide will escort you for 8 days.
- Tour direction and photography instruction by Nancy Ori.
- Estimated airfare Miami to Cuba, tax, service charges for this portion, and Cuban Travel Visa.
- Accommodations as listed in itinerary, based on two people sharing a room.
- Medical insurance while in Cuba.
- Meals as indicated in itinerary, (B= breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
- Miscellaneous fees and service charges: All portage fees that are included in the itinerary; service charges, hotel taxes, and park and museum entrance fees.
- Pre-departure travel packet from Strabo: You will receive information on all aspects of the program, including packing recommendations, readings on the history, culture, and ecology, maps, and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure photography info packet from Nancy Ori: You will be emailed several documents about photographing in Cuba as well as suggestions on equipment and other items to pack.
- Nancy Ori offers a unique workshop bonus to her travelers on this tour: You will be invited to pre-trip and post-trip brunches at her home studio in Berkeley Heights, NJ. The pre-trip brunch will be the beginning of your instruction with orientation to the trip. The post-trip brunch includes sharing of images and critique. You will not find this opportunity with any other tour.
- Students not living in the area will by Skyped in.
The land cost does not include: Connecting air fare; transportation and transfers for those not traveling with the group; overnight in Miami; airline/airport taxes & fees; passport fees; meals not listed in the itinerary; personal and travel insurance; any activities not specified in the program itinerary, or those listed as optional; all items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone charges, beverages; and photography gear; and all tips to service personnel including waiters, musicians, housekeeping, etc. Upon completion of your tour, a modest gratuity to the local guide and driver is customary.
All Photos © Nancy Ori