• Solapas de Genaro Waterfall in Sancti Spiritus
  • The Valley of Vinales with its mogotes
  • The Cuban Hummingbird
  • Caburni Waterfall in Sancti Spiritus
  • A Cuban Parrot
  • Majagua flower
  • Bella's Waterfall at Lomas de Banao in Sancti Spíritus province
  • A Cuban Reinita Azulada
  • Sunset at Jobo Rosado Protected Area in Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus
  • Road in the middle of the Escambray Mountains
  • Waterfall in the Escambray mountain range
  • Waterfall in Jobo Rosado Protected Area in Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus

MEET THE MAGNIFICIENT NATURE OF WESTERN CUBA

  • Codina Ranch at Topes de Collantes in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba

- Overview -

List of Activities

Day 1
Arrive at Havana International Airport José Martí at any time. Transfer Hotel Horizontes Los Jazmines, in Viñales, check-in and welcome cocktail. Orientation talk in the evening with photographer-guide. Dinner and evening by the pool.

Day 2
Breakfast at the hotel. All day at Viñales Valley and Viñales downtown, visit to a tobacco plantation, Prehistoric Mural and lunch at Paraiso farm. In the afternoon, visit to handcraft market in Vinales downtown. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Soroa and visit of the waterfalls, orchid field and Castillo de las Nubes. Drive to Las Terrazas community and check-in at Hotel Moka. Lunch at Casa del Campesino restaurant followed by city tour at the community. Dinner and evening at the hotel.

Day 4
Early breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Zapata Swamp and time for taking pictures. Visit of Hatiguanico river and Caletones village with lunch in a local restaurant, paladar, followed by a visit of Enigma de la Roca trail. Transfer until Guajimico village and check-in at Campismo Villa Guajimico. Dinner and evening at the village.

Day 5
Morning transfer to the nature reserve Topes de Collantes, in the Escambray Mountains. Visit of El Cubano and Codina parks, with trek through La Alfombra Magica trail and lunch at Condino farm. Visit of Guanayara park. Transfer to Trinidad and check in at the all-inclusive Brisas Trinidad del Mar.

Day 6
Whole morning photo shoot at Trinidad downtown featuring all main sites. Transfers to the ecological reserve Lomas de Banao and lunch at ranchón-style restaurant. Afternoon at the reserve and transfer back to the hotel in Trinidad. Evening at the hotel and time scheduled for camera roll review with your photographer guide.

Day 7
Morning road trip to to Hanabanilla Hotel in the province of Villa Clara. Check-in and lunch at the hotel. Boat ride across Hanabanilla dam as we head to El Nicho national park. Transfer back to the hotel for dinner and evening.

Day 8
We will take an early breakfast at the hotel, followed by transfer back to Havana and check-in at Hotel Capri. Lunch and afternoon at the Botanic Garden. Evening will be spent at famous Cuban club and cabaret Tropicana.

Day 9
Expedition closure and final imagery review with your tour leader and guide. This day is mostly free so you can make all late arrangements for your trip, although we encourage you to go out to the city on your own, depending on your departure time.
Duration
9 days

Group Size
Small group of 6-8 people

Type of Photography:
Nature, Animals, Birds, Architecture and Landscape photography

Highlights:
People-to-people, cultural and educational trip. Photography and travel advice.

Photographer-guide:
Marcel Fernández

Accommodations:
Hotel Los Jazmines, Hotel Moka, Hotel Brisas Trinidad del Mar, Hotel Hanabanilla, Hotel Capri

Featured in this Tour:
Viñales Valley, Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, Escambray mountains, El Nicho national park, Trinidad

Activity Level:
Easy/Moderate

Difficulty Level:
Everybody: Beginners to professionals alike

- Dates & Pricing -

Costs are per person and based on a double occupancy. For requesting a single occupancy please specify "single occupancy" in the bookings form. Please note that prices may vary depending on your selection of dates and type of occupancy.
Minimum number of participants is 5. Once you have submitted your request, one of our team members will contact you confirming the number of participants already enrolled.
You may also request additional Cuba travel services using the bookings form below.
A 20% deposit is required to secure your booking.


Date
Photographer Guide
Cost
Availability
Sep 4 - 12, 2017
Marcel Hernandez
On Request
Dec 14 - 22, 2017
Marcel Hernandez
$2085.60
Jan 4 - 12, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$2085.60
Mar 5 - 13, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$2085.60
Apr 23 - May 1, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$2085.60
Jun 11 - 19, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$1074.00
Jul 30 - Aug 7, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$1074.00
Oct 22 - 30, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$1074.00
Sep 17 - 25, 2018
Marcel Hernandez
$1074.00

- Full Itinerary -

  • camera_enhanceDay 1
    Following your arrival in Havana's Jose Marti Airport, you will be transported in the very heart of the Island: Viñales Valley, one of Cuba's most recognizable and photogenic places in the whole of Cuba. The valley itself is defined by lush tobacco plantations and endemic, flat-topped mountains known as "mogotes".

    On the way to hotel Los Jazmines, where we will be staying for the first 2 nights, you will get your first impressions of Cuba and by all means feel free to request a quick stop should you see a good shot. Check in at the hotel and meet us a little later for a welcome cocktail and orientation talk. During this time, your tour leader(s) will provide essential information on the activities scheduled and the country itself, and will also answer all of your questions.

    There are no activities scheduled in the evening or nighttime so you can relax after the journey by the pool immersed into a stunning landscape. Feel free to ask your tour leader for advice on the best places to eat and drink nearby. There are a great many of suitable paladares serving local dishes in the nearby towns and villages.
  • camera_enhanceDay 2
    Straight after breakfast, we will start our all day visit of Viñales. Nature and landscape photographers will thrive on their way through day's schedule. Lush fields growing tobacco and a very unique set of towering mogotes add to the pristine charm of this area.

    Among the highlights of the day, there will be visits of a peasants village, rustic tobacco plantation and several tobacco-drying houses, where you can linger and photograph the making and makers of Cuban cigars in the very core of it. You will also have the opportunity to buy your quota of the real thing at rock bottom prices, directly from producers. Bare in mind that a Cuban professional photographer-guide will always assist you in exchanges with local farmers and provide helpful tips and insights to improve on your experience. We will also see and photograph the massive Mural de la Prehistoria, a 120m-long painting, symbolizing the theory of evolution, designed in 1961 by Leovigildo González Morillo, a follower of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. For lunch, we have reserved at a local, country-style type of restaurant. During the afternoon we will visit the handicraft market, where we will be able to meet with more locals. You’ll notice many Cubans speak English and make for some interesting conversation as they are not shy, not to mention they are great subjects for a photo or two, so make them feel comfortable and you'll get interesting portraits to bring back home. Dinner will be at a local restaurant and in the evening you can relax by the pool, sharing a cocktail with fellow CubaFotografia adventurers and flicking through your camera roll.
  • camera_enhanceDay 3
    A shuttle departs from the hotel early in the morning, will take you to the gorgeous natural area of Soroa, also known as the rainbow of Cuba. It is a site of breathtaking natural beauty, with a 22-meter waterfall that invites visitors to take a refreshing swim any time of the year. One big attraction of Soroa is the nearby botanical gardens which contain an excellent orchidarium, home to more than 700 different types of orchid. The surrounding countryside is lush, hilly and very pleasant to wander around. There's time allotted for photos as landscape photographers are guaranteed to thoroughly enjoy the experience and outstanding mountain landscape. After this visit, we will take a short drive to Las Terrazas community, where we will check-in at Hotel Moka and have lunch at La Casa del Campesino restaurant. We will spend the afternoon at the local community, which is characterized by beautiful white houses with colorful roofs, surrounded by ponds and gardens. Local Cubans living in the community are used to foreign travellers and you will be able to share an experience with them. Dinner and evening at the hotel.
  • camera_enhanceDay 4
    After breakfast a little over 2 hours drive brings you to the Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, a huge natural reserve for all manner of wildlife including local and migratory birds, lizards, crocodiles and rock crabs. Plenty of time will be guaranteed during the day for you to get the best pictures of this unique location and landscape. From the Zapata Swamp we will carry on to the Hatiguanico river, where birdlife is abundant and you may also see turtles and crocodiles. During the journey, we will also take you Caletones village, where we will have lunch at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, we will carry on our journey in the nature and have a trekking through Enigma de la Roca trail. This whole area is a true paradise for birdwatchers and nature photographers and you will soon discover that. One of the endemic species of the ares is the hummingbird, so make sure you have your full camera gear always ready.

    At the end of the evening, we will have a transfer to Guajimico village, where you will check-in at Campismo Villa Guajimico. Here you can relax and enjoy a quiet dinner and evening.
  • camera_enhanceDay 5
    First thing after breakfast, we'll be off on a road trip to the nature reserve Topes de Collantes, in the Escambray Mountains, Cuba's second-largest mountain range. The beautiful crenellated hills are rich in flora and surprisingly isolated. Nature lovers are guaranteed to enjoy this expedition into the wild.

    We'll spend the morning in a photo-safari expedition through different trials. We'll visit and photograph the El Cubano and Codina parks and after a hearty lunch at a ranchón-style restaurant, we'll be back on the road as we head to Guanayara park.

    After late afternoon check-in all-inclusive Hotel Brisas Trinidad del Mar, diner and night time will be left free for you to relax by the beach and get some rest after such intense previous days.
  • camera_enhanceDay 6
    After breakfast, we'll take a 20 minutes bus ride to the centre of Trinidad for a more architectural oriented part of the tour. Trinidad is a preferred destination for a true experience in the allure of a well-preserved, colonial city. It is amongst Cuba's oldest cities and subsequently holds a vast, gripping history and, of course, a myriad of photogenic places. There's so much to see in the streets of Trinidad, which are to be regarded as a good example of colonial, maze-like city layout, from elegant buildings and villas that were at some point turned to museums to spacious cobblestone plazas with a certain nostalgic feeling. We will be on a route to make sure you don’t miss out on landmarks and all main streets.

    For lunch we'll be back to the nature, as we have reserved a ranchón-style restaurant in the ecological reserve Lomas de Banao (Banao Hills), where we'll also spend the afternoon. This is a protected area, distinguished by its values concerning flora and fauna. In fact, over 260 endemic species are found in this reserve and some of them are said to be native of the Escambray Mountains. We'll take plenty of time to make sure you can capture at least some of this uniqueness. As was the case in previous days, a local photographer-guide will join you during this excursion out of the city and ensure you enjoy your experience.

    After a very productive day, we'll go back to our hotel and spend the evening there. We scheduled time for camera roll review with your photographer guide and expedition companions.
  • camera_enhanceDay 7
    As usual, the day starts early, as we'll be heading to Hotel Hanabanilla, in the province of Villa Clara. After check-in and lunch, we'll go on a boat ride across the Hanabanilla dam and lake onto El Nicho, a natural, unpolluted heaven with a myriad of astonishing waterfalls and lush vegetation. This whole area is comprised within a protected national park that treasures a huge biodiversity, a true paradise for birdwatchers and nature photographers. You will be left plenty of time to take photos of this unique location and landscape. Nature lovers are guaranteed to enjoy this expedition into the wild.

    Evening and night will be spent at modest yet comfortable Hotel Hanabanilla, where you might get the chance to get few great night shots.
  • camera_enhanceDay 8
    After an early breakfast at the hotel, we'll head back to Havana and check-in at the renowned Hotel Capri, located on the Havana Malecon, an evocative 7km-long sea drive.

    We'll spend lunch and afternoon outside the city at Jardín Botánico Nacional' Havana's curiously under-visited 600-hectare botanical garden. Opened in 1984, the gardens host a collection of 250 species of palm trees. The greenhouses are a real highlight, housing everything from arid cacti to tropical celebrations. The Japanese garden is both beautiful and the place where you can get the best value lunches in Havana. As we'll spend the whole afternoon here, plenty of time is allotted for photos.

    In the evening, we'll visit world-famous Tropicana club and cabaret, where you will be able to witness the acclaimed Diosas de Carne -flesh goddesses- dancers and the Paraíso Bajo las Estrellas late-night show. Dinner is included for your Tropicana night.
  • camera_enhanceDay 9
    It's been well over a week of new, amazing experiences in soulful Cuba. Your last day with us will show some room for a final camera roll review with your photographer-guide, as well as some time for you to spend on your own, whether it is by going out to the streets one last time or simply staying at the hotel and prepare for your flight back home. Bare in mind, it is never too late for a quick getaway to Havana's seafront Malecón.

- Important Info -

  • hotelAccommodation
    Whilst we have visited all hotels featured in this tour, you need to be advised that sometimes even in top end hotels in Cuba, the standard are of the same as in other counties you might have previously visited.

    Right now Cuba is an exciting destination, with rapidly changing local conditions and legislation. Hence, Cuba has seen a massive increase in tourism lately, which has put a strain on local tourist infrastructure. While we will strive to operate our tours as closely to published, minor tour modifications, such as accommodation changes, may be necessary with no advance notice. In any case, we guarantee that the itinerary and activities will not be affected.
  • restaurantMeals
    Unless differently specified, only breakfast is included. Food in Cuba is very tasty and cheap, locals take their time to eat all together around a table and fast foods restaurants are still not very common, although recently some have opened their doors; allow USD25-30 per meal if not included. In our itinerary, we have included restaurant suggestions, so members can eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. Although recommended, there is no obligation to do so.
  • card_membershipTourist Cards / Visas
    Not included in this package.
    Almost everybody needs a Cuban Tourist Card/Visa to enter in Cuba. You can check our website www.cubavisas.com for more information.
  • local_hospitalMedical Travel Insurance
    Not included in this package.
    From 01 May 2010 all tourists entering Cuba will require "Medical Travel Insurance" that is on a Government approved list. We urge you to check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy is on the list of approved providers. If it is not, tourists will be forced to purchase a Government approved policy on arrival in Cuba. The cost of buying this insurance in Cuba will be in addition to any insurance already purchased, and it is likely the rates for these polices will be inflated compared to what you may purchase in advance from home.
  • monetization_onMoney
    Cuba has 2 different currency: CUC for non-Cuban citizens and CUP for Cuban nationals. The value of CUC is set 1:1 with the USD. However, when exchanging USD in CUC a commission of 10% is applied.

    CUCs are only available in Cuba and they can be purchased at the Cuban airports, banks, some hotels and Cadecas or Casas de Cambio (currency exchange offices). In the main cities ATMs are available. Cards accepted in Cuba are Visa, MasterCard and for Americans Stonegate Bank and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico - you should check with your financial institutions for the latest information. You will be charged a 3% processing fee for a cash advance from the Cuban bank as well as whatever your home bank charges.
  • location_onJoining Instruction
    Our photographer/guide will welcome you at Havana international airport, if you arrive in Cuba on the same day the tours starts. If you cannot find him, please contact the emergency number provided or make your own way to Hotel Capri (or the alternative starting hotel if you have been notified of a modification).

    If you arrive in Cuba before the tour starting date, please meet our photographer/guide directly at Hotel Capri (or the alternative starting hotel if you have been notified of a modification).

    If your arrival to Cuba is for any reason delayed, please contact our Sales and Customer Service Team as soon as possible (sales@cubafotografia.com). We will have to start the tour on the set date anyway, unless you are travelling in a group and this tour is exclusive to your group.
  • assignment_indTour Leader
    While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of Cuba, including historical, cultural and religious aspects, aside of the socio-cultural side which they live and experience on their everyday life.

    Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other than your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
  • local_mallWhat to Take
    Your photography equipment!
    We recommend a practical and easy to carry luggage or backpack - you must be able to carry your own package throughout the whole itinerary - and a good size day pack.
  • playlist_add_checkCheck List
    Documents:
    Flight info and tickets
    Insurance info + photocopies
    Passport + photocopies
    Tourist Card / Visa + photocopies
    Vouchers + photocopies

    Essentials:
    Your photography equipment + extra memory cards and batteries
    Cash, credit and debit cards
    First-aid kit (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
    Sunscreen lotion
    Flash light/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
    Sun hat/bandana
    Outlet adapter
    Personal entertainment (cards, music player, reading and writing materials, etc.)
    Sunglasses
    Toiletries
    Watch and alarm clock
  • local_atmTipping
    Not included in this package.
    As in most of South and Central American countries, tipping expected, though not mandatory. The salary of state-owned enterprises is quite low, so although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to some of the people you will meet. Your hotel maid, waitress or taxi driver will value your tips (propinas in Cuba).
  • directions_runOptional Activities
    Our CubaFotografia Expeditions are quite tight, but please feel free to let us know if you would like to participate in any additional activity.

- Book This Tour -

Please fill out this booking form carefully. After you click on "Send", please allow 1-2 business days for one of our Cuba travel specialists to get in touch via email for deposit and payment arrangements, as well as for any other details resulting from your booking choices.

Thank you for requesting a booking of our Havana Street Tour. You will shortly receive an email regarding the details of your request. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
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- Western Cuban Nature, 9 days -