Cuba Photosafari from 12-24th November 2016

Photosafari_page_Cuba-2016

Introduction

Cuba is a place trapped in time. Behind the sometimes shabby facades, gems can be found. It is these rich nuggets that made travel here exciting.

The historical heritage is meticulously preserved. Cuba’s colonial cities haven’t changed much since musket-touting pirates stalked the Caribbean. The atmosphere and architecture of the UNESCO-listed cities – Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and Camaguey – is a reminder of its grandiose and opulence of the past.

There are so many aspects you will love Cuba, the well-preserved colonial buildings, colorful architecture, the friendly people, food, unique Cuban arts, dances, and music. It is a complex country. Every time I visit this place I discover something new.

PhotoSafari once again is organising a discovery and fun trip to Cuba. We went there in 2014 and 2015 and it has left a great impression with most of us. This is the best country for street photography according to photosafari’s “Five top places to visit for Street Photography”.

Cuba has been a relatively unknown place to most Malaysians due to its distances and media influences. This photosafari is tailored for photographers only (ahem! Or smartphone photographers).

Cuban music

Cuban music

Cuban girl in traditional costume.

Cuban girl in traditional costume.

Lodging

We will be staying in lodging houses (Casas) operated by the locals. Most bedrooms will have air-conditioned and attached toilets with hot water facilities for bathing. These lodging houses are like Airbnb standards for those who are familiar with a Western world comparison. We will be staying at the heart of the action. You will waste no time travelling from the hotel to the places to shoot. Besides, this is the best way to learn about Cuba…..directly from the horse’s mouth so to speak. You will not only witness but feel how the local Cubans live.

Map of Cuba showing the journey

Map of Cuba showing the journey

The Journey

This year we will be doing a bit of exploring on almost the whole island except for the Western part. The journey starts from Havana the capital city of Cuba. We will be spending a couple of days in Havana to explore the different facets of the city and the famous Malecon Boulevard. We will take in the sights and sounds of Havana and enjoy the vibrant city life in a 60”s setting.

From Havana, we will drive to Cienfuegos, an old Spanish town. From here, we will travel to Trinidad then to Camaguey and Holguin. At Holguin, we will spend an extra night. The next day we will reach the biggest southern easternmost city, Santiago.

On our return trip, we will travel from Santiago to Santi Spiritus and then back to Havana.

Cuban Art

Cuban Art

Cuban boxing

Cuban boxing

We are limiting this group to a maximum of seven (7) people. We will charter a minibus throughout the entire trip and will engage a local English speaking guide who is able to show us the true face of Cuba.

WIFI facilities are not readily available except in every city or town squares. The cost of wifi is about US5.00 per hour. Cell phones and Maxis roaming work in Cuba.

Breakfast will be provided. We won’t be providing any other meals due to participants with various dietary preferences. Food is very easy to get in Cuba, seafood especially lobsters are cheap at about US10 each. For those who can’t get away from rice, there is always seafood or meat paellas. Why not try some of their local cuisines?

Cuban cuisine

Cuban cuisine

Tourist arrivals have gone up by 30% last year and so was the costs. We expect tourist arrivals to increase further this year by America allowing her citizens to visit Cuba.  However, we are still maintaining last year’s prices to encourage more people to experience what Cuba has to offer. Book your slot now, things are changing very rapidly and it gets more costly to visit each year.

How to get there?

KLM flies from Kuala Lumpur to Havana via Amsterdam or Paris. There is no direct flight from KL to Havana.

Malecon, Havana at sunrise

Malecon, Havana at sunrise

Street of Havana

Street of Havana

Havana, Chinatown

Havana, Chinatown

Old Quarters, Havana

Old Quarters, Havana

Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos

Street vendor, Santiago

Street vendor, Santiago

Street procession, Trindad

Street procession, Trindad

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – 12 Nov- Havana

  • Pick-up at airport
  • Check-in Casa
  • Dinner

Day 2 – 13 Nov – Havana

  • Morning walkabout
  • Breakfast
  • walkabout around Havana
  • Lunch
  • Visit Art Museum
  • Revolution Square
  • Dinner
  • Free and easy

Day 3 – 14 Nov – Havana

  • Sunrise at Malecon
  • Breakfast
  • Tour around Havana
  • Lunch
  • Tour around Havana
  • Dinner
  • Free and easy

Day 4 – 15 Nov – Cienfuegos

  • Breakfast
  • Havana to Cienfuegos
  • Lunch on the way
  • Cienfuegos
  • Check-in casas
  • Sunset shoot
  • Dinner
  • Free and easy

Day 5 – 16 Nov – Trinidad

  • Breakfast
  • Cienfuegos to Trinidad
  • Walkabout at Plaza Mayor
  • Lunch
  • Walkabout at Plaza Mayor
  • Dinner
  • Visit the Spanish steps for Cuban dancing

Day 6 – 17 Nov – Trinidad

  • Breakfast
  • Visit sugar cane plantation
  • Lunch
  • Explore the central square of Trinidad.
  • Dinner
  • Free and easy

Day 7 – 18 Nov – Camaguey

  • Breakfast
  • Trinidad to Camaguey
  • Lunch
  • Visit the town square
  • Dinner
  • Free and easy

Day 8 – 19 Nov – Holguin

  • Breakfast
  • Camaguey to Holguin
  • Holguin is the 4th largest city in Cuba. It is also called the city of parks.
  • Lunch
  • Explore the city
  • Dinner

Day 9 – 20 Nov – Holguin

  • Breakfast
  • Explore the beaches. Christopher Columbus this city “the eyes of the most beautiful country that man has ever seen”.
  • Lunch
  • Explore the beaches
  • Dinner

Day 10 – 21 Nov – Santiago

  • Breakfast
  • Holguin to Santiago
  • Santiago is the second largest city in Cuba
  • Lunch
  • Explore the city
  • Dinner

Day 11 – 22 Nov – Santi Spiritus

  • Breakfast
  • Santiago to Santi Spiritus
  • Lunch on the way
  • Explore Santi Spiritus
  • Dinner

Day 12 – 23 Nov – Havana

  • Breakfast
  • Santi Spiritus to Havana
  • Lunch on the way
  • Last minute shopping
  • Dinner

Day 13 – 24 Nov – Havana

  • Breakfast
  • Last minute shopping
  • Lunch
  • Leave for home

**Please note that the organiser does not warrant the itinerary will be followed to the letter. It will change to suit the ground situation, weather conditions, and anything unforeseen that may happen along the route.
If you are interested, please email for further details: maxbee@gmail.com 

Street Carnival, Santi Spiritus

Street Carnival, Santi Spiritus

Entrance to Casa

Entrance to Casa

Breakfast setting in a Casa

Breakfast setting in a Casa

Revolution Square, Santiago

Revolution Square, Santiago

Che Guevara's Tomb, Santa Clara.

Che Guevara’s Tomb, Santa Clara.

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