February 16th - 23rd, 2018
Cuba, a small caribbean island 90 miles off the coast of Florida—an explosion of exotic cultures, opulent history, and colonial architecture.
On this photographic journey we take a step back in time—with a peppering of modern thrown in at just the right moments. From the vibrant downtown of El Vedado to the historic old-town, Havana offers visitors a look into its past and present with signs of renewal for the future. Despite widespread poverty, there is an undeniable energy amongst Cuba’s people that fills the air. Laughter, dancing, and a bottomless glass of rum will accompany you throughout your Cuban experience. Direct flights from Miami included!
2018 Cuba Photography Tour Travel Plans
Friday, February 16 – Thursday, February 22 (6B, 6L, 5D)
Friday, February 16: Meet in the early AM at the Miami Airport (MIA), time TBA. We’ll check in for our flight to Havana mid-morning.
Our photography tour starts in Cuba’s capital city, Havana, which lies along the sparkling crystalline waters of the Caribbean Ocean. We’ll be immersed in the regional culture—mingling with the locals, taking in the mesmerizing historical sights, and photographing Havana’s earthy authenticity.
We’ll tour and photograph Ernest Hemingway’s charming country estate, Finca Vigia, where he resided from 1939 to 1960. Hemingway’s beloved home displays a genuine snapshot of his day-to-day domestic life during his residency in Cuba. Wander the home’s exterior, and peek into the open windows where his Royal typewriter remains propped on the bookshelf where he stood to write. For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Old Man and The Sea, two of Hemingway’s most celebrated novels, were written at Finca Vigia. It is here that Hemingway kept his most prized possessions: fishing rods, animal trophies, paintings, personal journals, thousands of photographs, and even the original manuscripts of his stories and novels. A Hemingway fan or not, anyone will appreciate this momentous monument which pays tribute to one of the 20th century’s most notable American authors!
While in Havana, we’ll be sure to pay a visit to its legendary Colon Cemetery, a resting place for more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults. Impressive, elaborately sculpted architectural memorial styles range from renaissance to neoclassical to art deco. More than 800,000 graves and 1,000,000 interments pay respect to those who shaped Havana, including illustrious political figures, service men, writers, musicians, and baseball players. Today, Colon Cemetery remains one of the great historical cemeteries of the world.
We’ll travel to the Spanish colonial settlement, Trinidad. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, Trinidad is a photographic paradise featuring cobblestone streets lined with leather-faced country folk, snorting donkeys, and guitar-wielding troubadours—one of the precious cities in the world that has maintained its historic core—a virtual outside museum!
A stopover in Cienfuegos, Cuba’s ‘Pearl of the South’ is on the agenda. Settled by French immigrants in 1819, Cienfuegos was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005 for its remarkable, elegantly maintained cluster of neoclassical architecture. Nestled along the Caribbean, Cienfuegos is an important port city and lies at the heart of the country’s sugar cane, mango, tobacco, and coffee production area. From its beautiful bay to its impressive palaces, parks, theaters, and cathedrals, Cienfuegos is a wonderful city to explore and photograph!
We’ll spend a day and venture about the traditional Viñales and Viñales Valley, a rural agricultural area known for its natural beauty, tobacco farms, and easygoing atmosphere and people. Mogotes, or limestone monoliths, low mountain ranges, and luscious green fields dominate this fertile landscape. A stop at a cigar farm is on the menu. Here the local farmers will teach us about the premium tobacco grown in this area along with the art of rolling Cuba’s famous fine cigars.
During our time at these and other notable locations, we’ll immerse ourselves in the equally significant Cuban culture, including dance, music, literature, sport, and art. We’ll meet Cuban boxers and ballet dancers, mingle with the street artists of Callejón de Hamel, and take the opportunity to learn from the diverse individuals who inhabit this intriguing Caribbean island nation.
Please Note: This trip is permitted through the People-to-People general license category from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The itinerary was designed to provide numerous opportunities for travelers to engage in meaningful interactions with Cubans, using photography as a medium for enhancing the educational exchange and cultural exploration. While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary listed here, traveling in Cuba requires flexibility, and changes to hotels and activities may occur.
Email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a note through the purple Book this trip online tab above for a more detailed itinerary.
Friday, February 23 (B)
Mid-morning, after breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Havana airport for our flight back to Miami, with a possible photography stop along the way.
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2014 CUBA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR GUEST GALLERIES
12 Guests Minimum!
15 Guests Maximum
Pricing per person depends on your hotel choice in Havana:
IBEROSTAR Parque Central
6550 pp, based on double occupancy
Single supplement: 850
Gran Hotel Manzana
6770 pp, based on double occupancy
Single supplement: 1550
Less than 15 guests, add 100-250 per person (minimum 12).
All pricing in USD
$500 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
July 30, 2017: $2500 First Installment
November 1, 2017: Final Payment
Check only for first and final installments. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Private tour with professional photographer Daniel J. Cox
- International airfare MIA/HAV/MIA (will not have times of flights until a couple months prior to departure)
- Deluxe motor coach transportation
- Bilingual guides and driver
- Water daily on the bus
- Medical insurance for Cuba (U.S.-issued medical insurance not accepted in Cuba)
- Miami and Cuba airport taxes
- Accommodations in Havana for 6 nights at 5-star hotel with breakfast daily
- Accommodations in Trinidad for 1 night
- 6 lunches and 5 dinners
- Visit to Hotel Nacional (with cocktails)
- Transfers to Trinidad and Vinales
- Dance rehearsal Ballet Nacional
- Tobacco farm tour in Pinar del Rio
- Entrance fee to Colon Cemetery
- Entrance fee to Ernest Hemingway’s house
- Tour of all four plazas of historic Old Havana with personal guide from the city Historian’s office
- Donation at boxing training
- Gratuities for guide and bus driver
- Airfare to/from Miami (MIA)
- Excess luggage fees
- Some meals
- Miscellaneous personal expenses – laundry, drinks, etc.
- Non-itinerary activities
Flights to Book
February 16, 2018
Meet at Miami (MIA) airport in the early AM, time TBA.
February 23, 2018
Depart Miami (MIA)
Havana-Miami flight times will not be confirmed until two months prior to trip. Our goal is to arrive in Miami by 3:00pm, so we suggest an evening flight home if you wish to book before flight times are confirmed.
Travel/emergency evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2018 Cuba Photography Tour
IBEROSTAR Parque Central
The elegant 5-star IBEROSTAR Parque Central Hotel is located in central Havana, Cuba. Known for its Spanish colonial-style architecture, which pulls in the rich culture of the streets, their top hotel is an excellent starting point for those wanting to dive into Cuba’s history and explore the most authentic streets and corners in Havana.
The IBEROSTAR Parque Central Hotel is nestled in the heart of Havana. Thanks to its coveted location, the hotel is within close proximity to the capital’s featured tourist sites, lined with music and the best attractions and popular destinations such as Bar Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio. Wi-Fi available for a fee.
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana
Originally built between 1894 and 1917 as the first European style shopping arcade in Cuba, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana is situated in the heart of the old Havana with a direct view of the Capitol and the Great Theatre of Havana and amidst UNESCO World Heritage sites. Experience the first true luxury hotel in Cuba, a variety of restaurants and bars—which also includes a one-of-a-kind cigar lounge and a rooftop Panoramic Restaurant and Bar with spectacular views over the old city. Relax in their spa, fitness center, and rooftop pool.
February 18, 1 Night, Trinidad
IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Trinidad
At the five-star IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Trinidad, you are close to the genuine Cuban soul in the heart of Trinidad, the so-called ‘city-museum of Cuba’ and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This exclusive hotel in Trinidad is an adults-only hotel (guests cannot be under 15 years old), one of the most impressive properties on the island, and a space where luxury, tradition, history and culture come together in perfect harmony.
Drawing inspiration from traditional colonial architecture, the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Trinidad brings guests back to sixteenth-century Cuba. Fine interior design, noble materials, and premium services make this hotel one of the most charming in Trinidad. Wi-Fi available for a fee.
Helpful Information for 2018 Cuba Photography Tour
US TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS APPLY
Due to United States restrictions, travel to Cuba is limited. OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to conditions, travel-related transactions, and other transactions that are directly incident to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Additionally, an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization must accompany each group traveling to Cuba to ensure the full-time schedule of educational exchange activities. New U.S. restrictions went into effect January 2016. Please see the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for frequently asked questions.
DOCUMENTS – Passport and Visa
You must bring your US passport, valid for at least six months from your date of entry into Cuba. You should make a copy of it to carry around in Cuba and leave the original in the hotel’s safe. Cuban visas are issued by the charter company and you will receive them at the MIA airport. It is basically a tourist card, which has two parts. It will be with your airline ticket, which you will also receive at the airport. The first part of the visa will be retained by an immigration officer upon arrival in Cuba. You will need the second part to present immigration officers upon your departure from Cuba. We suggest that you store this inside your passport for safekeeping.
Your trip package costs include medical insurance which will guarantee you access to physicians and hospitals in case of an emergency in Cuba. It covers 100% of medical expenses up to $25,000 and repatriation or transportation due to illness, accident, or death (up to $7,000). Limitations apply for pre-existing conditions. There is a doctor on call at the hotel. Prescriptions from a Cuban doctor can be bought at a pharmacy in Cuban convertible pesos. However, Cuba suffers from a shortage of medicines and medical supplies, so you MUST bring a full supply of whatever medicines you require. Please do not pack any of your prescription medicines in your luggage.
There is a limit of 44 lb on luggage—this includes carry-on and donation parcels. There is a charge of $2 per pound for any overweight luggage. We recommend using soft-sided luggage or duffel bags to reduce weight. American Airlines charges $20 USD per checked bag.
The current currency in Cuba is the convertible peso or CUC. As you change your USD into CUC they charge a 13% commission ($100 USD = $87 CUC). Cuban stores, hotels, taxi drivers, etc., can only accept the convertible pesos which can be obtained at banks, cadecas, and at your hotel. No US credit cards or traveler checks are accepted. There are no ATM machines for US citizens to use. But if you do have a credit card issued by a non-American bank it will more than likely work in Cuba. Most of the expenses throughout the trip are already covered, but we suggest you bring between $500 and $1,000 for incidentals, alcoholic drinks, and whatever art, books, or music you decide to buy. You will be surprised at how fast cash disappears. DO NOT EXCHANGE MONEY EXCEPT AT THE HOTEL. Only exchange what you may need for the day. Our local guide will advise on this.
No cell phone service compatible with ours. If you have an international cell phone you might want to check with the carrier to see if it works in Cuba. If you really need a cell phone, you can rent one from one of Cuba’s telephone company stores. Our leader will have a cell phone at all times for emergencies. UPDATE: There is roaming available with some carriers now at very high costs.
US restrictions only allow you to bring back informational material, such as books, periodicals, paintings, sculpture, records, tapes, CDs, films, videocassettes, photographs, posters, etchings, lithographs, microfilm, microfiche, serigraphs, and other informational material.
There is no specific dollar limit on authorized expenses. Authorized travelers may engage in transactions ordinarily incident to travel within Cuba, including payment of living expenses and the acquisition in Cuba of goods for personal consumption there. In addition, travelers are authorized to acquire in Cuba and import as accompanied baggage into the United States merchandise with a value not to exceed $400 per person, provided that no more than $100 of the merchandise consists of alcohol or tobacco products and the merchandise is imported for personal use only. Art is usually not included in these limits.
It is NOT safe to drink tap water. You are advised to drink bottled water only. We will provide water for you every day on the bus.
WHAT TO WEAR
Be prepared for weather similar to south Florida. There is always the possibility of rain, so bring an umbrella. A light jacket, shawl or sweater for cool evenings and sometimes for cool restaurants. A men’s sports jacket is recommended if you plan to visit Tropicana. Please bring comfortable shoes as we’ll be doing quite a bit of walking. Also, bring a hat to protect you from the sun during the day.
Please bring sunblock and mosquito repellent.
November through April is the dry season but be prepared for brief short showers periodically. Average temps will be 75-80 degrees. Evenings can be breezy.
Internet service is available at the hotel. It is expensive and not always reliable. iPads, iPhones, smart phones, and laptops can be used at the hotel lobby. They have Internet cards at the hotel business office or sometimes at the front desk.
In general, your electric razor, hairdryer or other small appliances will operate on the standard electrical current in Cuba (110 volts). However, some hotels have European outlets. A converter is sometimes available at the concierge’s desk.
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Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"I loved this trip. It is a destination that you need to access via a tour and this photography trip was perfect. I think photography helped me to connect to the Cuban people."
Beth Jones, Pennsylvania
"Fantastic experience. The architect and historian added so much. Having all meals included was a great plan. Jorge and Vicki gave us lots of good information. One does not "go" to Cuba, one experiences Cuba. This trip provided a wonderful Cuban experience."
Carol Parker, Hawaii
"Perfecto! I do not rank my trips as all are unique. However, Cuba is at the very top if I did rank them. I enjoyed every second of this trip. Dan and Tanya are the best!"
Fred Kurtz, Indiana
"Excellent! Thanks - I learned a lot about Cuban culture and about photography. Great trip!"
John Lindow, California
"Fantastic attention to small details that made the trip memorable - the note in the old cars, side trip to Trinidad, etc. Expect the unexpected! A tremendously positive experience."
Kitty Lindow, California
"Wonderful. You guys are awesome and it's a real pleasure traveling with you!"
Omar Hikal, Dubai
"Excellent trip - better than I expected. Went to Cuba for the architecture, cars, and music but found that the people and their attitude toward life is the real treasure. Fell in love with Cuba."
Ray Hirsch, Arizona
"Great trip. Good mixture of things to see and do."
Sarah Street, New York
"This visit to Cuba opened my eyes, my camera lens, and my heart! What a wonderful experience!"
Sunnie Hellman, Ohio