Jeff Hirsch LLC
In cooperation with Cuba Education Travel presents:
A PHOTOGRAPHIC TOUR OF CUBA
NEXT TRIP TBD
Limited to 12 participants.
Join me for a photographer's dream week in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad.
We have arranged some very special shooting opportunities this time and I can't wait to get back there with another group of photographers. Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, you are in a position to make great photographs.
As always we will have an air-conditioned bus, a driver, and a bi-lingual guide with us for the entire week.
It's a very special experience. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask any of the many satisfied photographers that have come with us for the last four years. The ground team at CET always delivers an incredibly high standard in everything they do for us. Like them, you will fall in love with your Cuban guides!
Deposit amount and deadlines are listed below the itinerary.
About CET, our travel partner:
Cuba Educational Travel (CET) is a leader in cultural travel to Cuba. CET unlocks the best of Cuba by providing access to the country’s top artists, academics, tastemakers, and cultural figures. CET’s tailor- made programs enable clients to experience Cuba’s vibrant culture and gain a deeper understanding of the island, while ensuring full compliance with all U.S. regulations.
CET has been on the frontlines of cultural collaboration, helping to bring Cubans to the U.S. and Americans to Cuba. From Yoga retreats to concerts to dance performances, CET has wide-ranging experience and contacts. Recent highlights include organizing the Diplo Major Lazer concert in Havana, which drew a crowd of over 500,000 people and bringing Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, the country’s top dance group, to perform at the Latin Grammys.
By leveraging this expertise and curated travel capabilities, Cuba Educational Travel offers a product that is unrivaled. Their strong presence on the island and in important cultural circles gives them unparalleled access and knowledge. This combined with the beauty and intrigue of Cuba and its people make for truly unforgettable experiences.
CUBA TRIP ITINERARY
Morning Arrival to Havana (pending flight information).
Meet your guide at the exit of the terminal and transfer to the city center.
12 pm Orientation meeting with your photography leader and Cuban guide followed by lunch at Río Mar, located in the luxurious Miramar neighborhood, it has a whole terrace overlooking the where the Almendares river flows into the sea.
2 pm Explore Miramar Neighborhood and visit to the home and studio of plastic artist Fuster, who has converted his neighborhood into an art project featuring murals, plastic art and other designs.
3:30 pm Check-in at the Hotel Parque Central, Trip Advisor’s selection as the best hotel in Havana. Located on the corner of Central Park and along Prado Boulevard, the hotel is just steps from the Capitol building, the Great Theatre and the famous Obispo Street.
5:30 pm Sunset photo walk along the Malecon, Havana’s famous seawall, featuring a great view of the Havana city landscape.
7 pm Dinner reservation at Al Carbon paladar (at a walking distance from hotel). Created by the owners of the immensely popular Iván y Justo, this new restaurant strikes out in a different but equally successful direction, specializing in traditional Cuban dishes cooked over charcoal. (not included – to be paid on the ground)
6:30 am Sunrise photo shoot in Centro Habana. Catch Cubans on their way to work and school, and all the hustle and bustle of the city.
TBD Return to hotel for breakfast.
9 am Discussion with Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban diplomat and expert on U.S.-Cuba relations. At Hotel Conference Room
10am Behind the scenes photo walk of Old Havana. Walk around the back streets of the old city to witness Cuban life first-hand. Visit to local bodegas, markets and the popular gathering places where locals play dominos and discuss about sports, transportation, jobs and other topics of their daily life.
12:30 pm Lunch at Doña Eutimia paladar. Famous for its ropa vieja and frozen mojitos, this cozy paladar made Newsweek Magazine’s top 100 restaurants in the world in 2012. The restaurant’s location in the beautiful cathedral square is unbeatable.
2pm Stop at the El Morro Castle for pictures of Old Havana from the other side of the bay
3pm Visit to La Finca Vigía. Formerly the home of Ernest Hemingway, today it still houses his expansive collection of books. It was here where he wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The beautiful grounds and bizarre tales from Hemingway’s many years in Cuba are captivating.
4:30 pm Model A experience. Meet with owners of Ford Model A’s from the early 1900s. Enjoy a Model-A- centric driving tour of the city, visiting the garages, former factories and other relevant sites to these passionate car owners.
8:30 pm Dinner reservation at El Del Frente, one of the cooler restaurants in town, it is located on a spacious rooftop terrace/bar surrounded by Old Havana’s historic architecture. O’Reilly no. 303, Old Havana (not included – to be paid on the ground)
Check-out of hotel.
8:30 am Depart for Cienfuegos, one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities, which is located approximately three and a half hours from Havana. Cienfuegos, referred to as the “Pearl of the South,” is one of Cuba’s only cities to display French and Spanish architecture. Housed on one of the country’s largest bays, the city offers beautiful ocean front landscapes, and is deeply rich in culture.
12 pm Lunch at El Lagarto. With views and breezes from the bay of Cienfuegos, the location of El Lagarto is unbeatable.
1:30 pm Tour of Cienfuegos by bicycle taxi. Explore the outlying areas of the city, the local bodegas, train station, markets, etc.
3 pm Walking tour with photographer Omar Garcia Valenti. Some of his work is displayed in private collections in Cuba, the USA, Canada, France, and Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and more. He is well-known for the use of a technique called Silver Reverse. His work highlights the contemporary Cuban vision in the world around him, while trying to avoid touristic images and "kich." He focuses on the daily experiences of the subjects of his photos as they navigate the streets of Cuba. He will show some of his work and then lead a photo shoot in the downtown area.
4:30 pm Continue to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its rich architecture and history from Cuba’s colonial times.
6 pm Arrival to Trinidad. Check-in at bed and breakfasts, known as “casas particulares,” or “private homes.” Since the 1990s Cuban families have been permitted to rent rooms out of their family homes to foreigners. Featuring comfortable accommodations and ample privacy, it’s a great way to interact with everyday Cubans.
Evening Enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by your hosts.
6:30 am Sunrise photo walk of Trinidad with your photography leader.
8:30 am Breakfast discussion with Nancy Benítez, a local architect, historian and restoration specialist. Ms. Benitez will provide an overview of the city’s history from an architectural, economic and infrastructural point of view.
9:30 am Morning walking tour of Trinidad’s historic center, known for its cobble stoned streets, pastel colored homes and small-town feel. Visit the main square “Playa Mayor”, surrounded by some of the most outstanding buildings of the city from the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Visit to the city historic houses with Nancy Benitez. Families will allow us throughout the homes, where we can snap photos of a number of antiques from the 1950s and well beyond.
12:30 pm Enjoy lunch at Paladar San José, a nice restaurant with a diverse menu featuring everything from lobster to pizza.
Afternoon free to explore and shoot on your own
5:30 pm Sunset photo shoot. Walk to the highest point of the city to shoot the sun rising over the bell towers and colonial homes of historic Trinidad.
9am. Morning excursion to Topes de Collantes (40 minutes’ drive), located in the Sierra Escambray rainforest, also known as the National Park of Guanayara. We will have a guided tour through the community and park, learn about the local flora and fauna and take photos at the gorgeous landscapes. We will also visit a coffee plantation and museum and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Late afternoon free to explore and shoot on your own
TBD Group photo critique session with your photography leader.
7:30 pm Group dinner at casas. Enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by your hosts.
9pm Enjoy a music performance by Trova Duo Cofradia. Discussion with musicians Lia and Pachi about the Trova movement in Cuba followed by a private performance.
Early morning free to explore and shoot on your own
10 am. Depart for Havana. (boxed lunch en route)
3 pm Check-in at Parque Central
4:30 pm Visit to the Lizt Alfonso Academy, a women-led dance company and school for local youth, specializing in various types of dance. We will watch a private performance by the adolescent dance group and then photograph the dancers afterwards in different classrooms during their dance lessons.
6 pm Reservation for rooftop drinks at La Guarida. Capture the sunset with a great view of Old Havana. (drinks not included – to be paid on the ground)
7:30 pm Dinner reservation at Mas Habana, a modern paladar in Old Havana. Great ambiance and very friendly staff. Calle Habana, 308 e/ San Juan de Dios and O'reilly (not included – to be paid on the ground)
9 am Photo shoot at Christopher Colon Cemetery, a national monument and one of the oldest and most prestigious cemeteries in Latin America.
11 am Visit a centuries-old mansion in Vedado neighborhood. Step inside this stately residence to discover what lies behind the crumbling facades of Havana’s impressive mansions. Josie, who has lived in the house for over 60 years, will show us around and explain its rich history.
12:30 pm Lunch at Mediterraneo Havana, a modern, family run paladar in the Vedado neighborhood. This cozy paladar produces much of what it serves at a nearby farm in Guanabacoa Cuba, including the vegetables and dairy products.
2:30 pm Visit to local boxing gym, where we will photograph trainers and boxers in action!
6 pm Enjoy a private performance by Yassek Manzano and his musicians. Yassek, a Cuban trumpeter endowed with a virtuosity recognized in Cuba and other latitudes, was a pupil of the immense trumpeter Winston Marsalis. This young Cuban musician captured everything that the American showed him and fed his roots with the form and style of who is considered a reference in the jazz world.
8 pm Farewell dinner at Paladar San Cristobal. Located in the heart of Central Havana, this paladar has a reputation of excellence in both atmosphere and local cuisine. Enjoy great food while the local takes you back to the 1940s and 50s. San Rafael No 469, E/ Lealtad y Campanario
TBD Check-out and depart for airport. (pending flight information)
PASSPORT AND VISA:
All travelers are required to carry a valid passport and a Cuban visa. The visa will be completed by a Cuba Educational Travel representative and given to participants at check-in at the airport OR sent to the trip leader beforehand.
Those without a valid passport will not be allowed to enter. Passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months after departure date. Passports must be U.S. issued. Foreign passports allowed only in conjunction with a valid U.S. Resident Alien card (Green Card) or valid U.S. visa. Cuba Educational Travel is not responsible for lost or stolen passports in Cuba.