During the years before the Revolution, the photographic work of
Arias and Hernandez offered a vision of the social unrest the island was
going through. Alberto Diaz, Korda, Raul Corrales, Osvaldo Salas (who covered Fidel’s visit to New York in 1953)
are the most outstanding photographers of this decade.
After the Revolution, the works of "Marucha", "Mayito” and Salas were exhibited in the First Exhibit of Cuban Culture
organized in 1966 under the auspices of Casa de Las Americas.
The first international exhibit of Cuban photography took place in Mexico in 1976. The following year,
History of Cuban Photography was launched in the same city. In recent years, photographers have resorted
to photographic essays and films which stand out for the content of their compositions.
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Cuba Cultural Tours for North American Photography Professionals, Teachers, and Amateur Photo Enthusiasts
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If you’re involved with photography on any level, Authentic Cuba Travel has Cuba photography tours that are sure to spark your interest! It’s perfect for anyone with an academic interest in Latin American, Cuban, or contemporary photography, as well as those who enjoy one on one exchange with another culture—not to mention the opportunity to take photographs in an incredible variety of authentic Cuba settings.
Our Cuba cultural tours are designed to accommodate photographers with various levels of experience. Whether you are a professional photojournalist, a fine art photographer, or just someone who enjoys making personal snapshots, the authentic Cuba we’ll share with you is one that you’re not likely to forget—with or without the photos you’ll take home!
During your Cuba travel, you’ll be exposed to many facets of authentic Cuban culture: from historic locations to unspoiled rural areas to picturesque communities.
Take A Sneak Peak at the Cuban Destinations You Will Visit Outside Havana
Authentic Cuba Travel invites North American photography professionals, wildlife and nature photographers, travel and photojournalist photographers, photography teachers and students to explore through their lens the authentic Cuba in this discovery cultural tour to the Caribbean’s largest island.
Everywhere you go on your Cuba photography trip, you’ll be interacting with warm and welcoming people who’ll provide a truly intimate window into what makes this island such a special place. Cuban culture is comprised of a fascinating blend of elements—from Spanish colonialism to Afro-Caribbean culture to being one of the last outposts of Communism.
Anyone with a curious mind and a photographer’s eye is sure to enjoy each of the amazing places you’ll visit on our Authentic Cuba tours.
Authentic Cuba Travel has structured your tour so that while we do have an organized itinerary designed to expose you to an array of potential photographic settings and subjects, you’ll also have the chance to meet with professional photographers in their studios, to visit photographic schools and museums, and to just go take photos on your own.
US Cultural and Educational Organizations can sponsor and organize travel to Cuba under the General License for Public Performances, Workshops, Clinics, Exhibitions and Athletic or non-Athletic Competitions.
U.S. citizens can travel to Cuba under this general license to participate in a public performance, clinic, workshop, athletic competition or exhibition in the Caribbean island if meeting certain OFAC criteria.
Such as; the event held in Cuba is open for attendance by the Cubans. U.S. profits (after cost) will be donated to an independent Cuban organization or U.S. based charity for the benefit of the Cuban people and to promote the people-to-people exchange in between American and Cuban citizens.
Clinics and workshops in Cuba must be held under the auspices and sponsorship of an authorized US organization.
We can take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba’s main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.
At Authentic Cuba Travel, we have been organizing such event related travel experiences to Cuba from the United States of America for years with great success.
Photography Cuba Travel Highlights
Explore Havana Historical Centre, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vinales Valley.
Guided tour of Cienfuegos city, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad.
Discover the natural beauty of Topes de Collantes National Park.
Photograph the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sugar Mill Valley.
Private visit to the studios of renowned Cuban photographers.
Review Cuba's Photographic Patrimony at Fototeca de Cuba.
Tour of the Cuba's National Art Schools (Photography Workshop).
Guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts' Cuban Collection.
Explore Cuba's famous tobacco farms in Pinar del Rio.
Visit to Hamel alleyway, a picturesque street in Centro Habana.
Meet Cuban young artists at the Experimental Printing Workshop.
Visit most prestigious Cuban photography institutions.
An unusual blend of interesting geology and history make Viñales a fascinating place to photograph. From caves to ancient pictographs to a giant modern mural in tribute to its prehistoric origins, you’ll find plenty of camera worthy subjects. It is also home to an authentic Cuba tradition of tobacco farming.
Above, photo of Korda working on his famous Che image. The father and son team of Osvaldo and Roberto Salas have also been extremely important to the photo documentation of Cuba’s modern era. Osvaldo headed up the photographic department at the newspaper Revolucion, while Roberto personally documented Fidel Castro’s transition from a youthful revolutionary in the 1950s into an elder world leader in the 21st century. The Cuba Travel experience wouldn’t be completed without some exposure to the historical aspects of Cuban photography.
For such a small island, Cuba has produced a number of internationally recognized photo- graphers such as Alberto Diaz Guiterrez, usually known by the single name, Korda. He created the iconic image of Che Guevara that is recognized around the world. We will learn about it and see originals during the visit to Fototeca as part of our Cuba Tours.
Rene Pena is a self-taught photographer who makes his home in Cerro, a neighborhood of Havana that was once home to Havana’s wealthy and that now is an African Caribbean neighbor- hood of far more modest means. Rene Pena is a photographer who explores complex themes of identity, particularly as related to race.
The historical center of Trinidad was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988 because its red-tiled roofed, pastel colored buildings have survived since the era of Cuban slavery. When the slave trade was abolished in the middle of the 19th century, the city saw little activity, thus preserving its authentic Cuba heritage.
Authentic Cuba Travel will also take you to exploreValle de los Ingenios, known as Sugar Mill Valley in English, is actually a series of valleys where once more than fifty mills processed the sugar cane coming from Cuba’s sugar plantations. At their height, more than 30,000 slaves of African heritage kept the mills operating. Both the structures still intact, as well as the ruins, make for interesting photographs.
For the Cuba Explorer, brilliantly colored birds, exotic plants, mysterious grottos, and gorgeous cascading waters make the trip up into the Escambray Mountains worthwhile for any photographer who enjoys nature. And in the village, you can get a cup of locally grown, authentic Cuba coffee!
After your arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, you’ll begin your Cuba Photography Adventure with a brief bus ride to Hotel Nacional.
Your Authentic Cuba Travel guide will facilitate the group check-in at this lovely national landmark hotel in the heart of the vibrant, Vedado Neighborhood.
Between 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. an included breakfast is served at the hotel.
Day 2: Sunday, 16 April, 2017: UNESCO World Heritage Site, Viñales Valley
Your photographic Cuba travel experience will begin right away with a day trip to Vinales Valley. Visually striking, the valley contains a number of unusual geological features including caverns and magotes—rocky hills with cliff-like sides and domed tops.
After meeting with traditional tobacco farmers in the valley, your Cuba travel will make a stop at the “Mural de la Prehistoria.” Leovigildo Morillos painted this giant mural on the side of a magote in the early 1960s.
Lunch: We’ll have lunch upon arrival at Cueva del Indio, which is a highlight in all our Cuba tours.
After lunch, your Cuba journey will continue with a fascinating boat ride through Cueva del Indio on its underground stream. Part of a massive system of caverns, the caves were used by early Amerindians—as evidenced by cave painting—and as a hiding place for African slaves escaping their Spanish masters.
During the afternoon you’ll have time to wander Viñales town and to photograph its quaint small houses and local church, take-in the handicraft market or Viñales’ famous cigar shop, or just enjoy snapping the world as it strolls by your lens.
Return to hotel.
After refreshing yourself at the hotel, Authentic Cuba Travel suggests visiting Club La Zorra y El Cuervo. It’s a must-do for jazz enthusiasts and a great way for anyone who enjoys music to experience the jazz stylings of authentic Cuba. (Not included.)
Day 3: Monday, 17 April 2017: Experience Old and New Havana- Real Cuba
Morning: Day three of your Cuba tour begins with an introduction by Dr. Miguel Coyula, a leading urban planner responsible for overseeing Havana’s development. Dr. Coyula, a thoughtful and informative tour guide, will explain Havana’s architectural history and the efforts underway to preserve its heritage while meeting modern needs. A Scale Model of Old Havana will help you visualize how the city has expanded and transformed.
We’ll continue our Cuba journey overview with a motor coach tour through various sections of Havana City. You’ll see modern construction and public art in places like the Square of Revolution and the University of Havana, as well as contrasting, traditional, buildings and monuments like the Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón.
This tour is followed with an authentic Cuba luncheon at La Mina restaurant.
Afternoon: Get your cameras ready as your authentic Cuba tour continues with a walk through Old Havana. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides ample opportunity to take some great photos as you stroll through ‘Habana Vieja’s’ historic squares.
From the Square of Arms where the Spanish colonial forces conducted their drills, to the monumental, baroque Cathedral that gives Cathedral Square its name, you’ll be treated to people watching, colonial architecture, and a pace of life that can only be described as authentic Cuba.
You’ll have the chance to see the magnificent restoration work that has been done on buildings like the 16th century, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a Spanish fortress complete with a water-filled moat.
Another visual treat will be a stop in to observe the young lithographers making prints at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica.
Your Cuba cultural tour of Old Havana will continue past rambling little side streets into the Square of San Francisco and then to Plaza Vieja, the crossroads of Old Havana featuring a mix of architecture varying from art nouveau to baroque.
The final stop of the day includes a chance to both shop and take photographs in Old Havana’s delightful handicraft market. You’ll find handmade pottery, jewelry and leather goods, authentic Cuba clothing, and fanciful paper maché.
Return to hotel.
Tonight there will be the chance to shoot photographs while soldiers in 18th century costumes shoot cannons! Making the short journey across the harbor with your Authentic Cuba Tours guide, you’ll get a taste of a popular tradition, as well as a stellar view of Havana, at the “Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock.”
Day 4: Tuesday, 18 April 2017: Art and Photography in the Cuban Capital
Returning to Plaza Vieja, you’ll be immersed in Cuban photography at the Fototeca de Cuba, a preeminent archive, museum, and exhibition space.
During your visit, you’ll have a chance to view the permanent and rotating photographic exhibitions, as well as talk to the staff about their ongoing projects to study, preserve and exhibit the photographic legacy of the authentic Cuba.
On our way to lunch, there will be a wonderful photographic opportunity at Callejon de Hamel, an innovative and imaginative community art installation. Using entire buildings as canvases, Salvador Gonzales grounds his fantastic paintings and mesmerizing sculptures in themes taken from Afro-Cuban legend. Mr. Gonzales will also be present to meet with the Authentic Cuba photo tour to discuss the impact of community art.
Lunch: Our midday meal today will include a little food for the soul as we visit the residence and workplace of one of Cuba’s most original and well-known artists. Our luncheon host, Jose Fuster, works in a variety of mediums and is a wonderful ambassador for Cuban culture.
Afternoon: Our Cuba cultural agenda this afternoon offers an intimate look into the world of some established photographers as well as a glimpse of Cuba’s photographic future.
With studio visits to well-known contemporary photographers like Juan Carlos Alom and Rene Pena as well as up and coming artists, you’ll have a rare chance to interact photographer to photographer.
Return to hotel.
Tonight the Cuba photography trip will attend a reception at the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, a non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of Cuban art. Working to create Cuba cultural bridges to other countries, LFC encourages international dialogue.
Day 5: Wednesday, 19 April 2017: En Route to Trinidad
Cuba explorer tours Cienfuegos City en route to Trinidad. Cienfuegos is not a large city, but it is home to one of the busiest harbors on the island.
You’ll have an excellent view of the bay from Palacio de Valle, an opulent, early 20th century home. Originally built for a wealthy sugar merchant, it presents a strikingly eclectic blend of European and Moorish architectural features and has three towers in three distinct architectural styles.
Lunch: The midday meal comes with exquisite scenery at Palacio de Valle.
Afternoon: After lunch, it’s time for a walking tour and a chance to photograph this stunning World Heritage Site. Your Authentic Cuba odyssey continues with a stroll through the old city, a fabulous example of early urban planning.
Singled out by UNESCO for its extensive and well-preserved Neo-classical architecture, Cienfuegos boasts 333 structures built in the 19th century or earlier. Cienfuegos is also home to the Paseo de Prado, the longest tree-lined boulevard on the island.
Known as “The Pearl of the South,” Cienfuegos offers much to please the photographer’s eye including gorgeous domed buildings, an asymmetrical Cathedral with stunning stained glass, and the Tomas Terry Theater, a national monument with an excellent ceiling fresco and its original, wooden, theater seats.
Before departing Cienfuegos, we’ll stop at Galleria de Arte Maroya located on the main city park. Featuring a variety of work by local artists and artisans, the gallery is especially known for Fidel Lopez’s handmade replicas of Spanish galleons.
Next up: White sand beaches and ocean waves. Upon arrival in Trinidad, your Authentic Cuba Tours guide will assist you in checking in to the Trinidad del Mar, a full service, beachfront hotel accented with vibrant, tropical colors. Enjoy a swim in either the sea or the pool before a relaxing dinner at the hotel (all meals included in your Trinidad del Mar package).
Day 6: Thursday, 20 April, 2017 UNESCO Sites: Trinidad & The Valley of Sugar Mills
Morning: You’ll hardly believe you are still in the 21st century as you spend your morning on a guided cultural tour of Trinidad.
You can take plenty of photographs as you walk the streets, visit museums located in historic buildings, and stop at a lookout tower for a breathtaking view of the Sugar Mill Valley.
One unusual stop is the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos, a historical museum housed in a former convent. Dedicated to the struggle against mountain-based counterrevolutionaries, part of an American U2 spy plane brought down over Cuba is also exhibited.
Before lunch we’ll also stop to visit a local family of artisans who have been making handmade pottery for more than 100 years. The Santander Family definitely represents the best of authentic Cuba.
Lunch: Lunch will be served for the Authentic Cuba photographic tour group at Trinidad del Mar.
Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon and evening on your own to relax, swim, walk the beach, explore the nooks of Trinidad and, of course, take photographs.
For a lively musical outing and a chance to do a little dancing, head over to the Casa de la Música.
At 10pm you can join with locals on its sweeping staircase for a salsa show. Full salsa concerts are also held in the rear courtyard for a small cover charge.
Day 7: Friday, 21 April 2017
National Park Visit: Topes de Collantes. Cuba Bella!
Morning: Today’s adventure includes a short trip into the Escambray Mountains via Russian army trucks, worthy of their own photographs!
While the south face of the mountains is rather dry, the north facing side of the mountains is home to a wide variety of trees and lush tropical plants.
Lunch: We’ll have an authentic Cuba luncheon at Hacienda Codina. An old Spanish estate, it’s home to numerous species of orchids, medicinal mud baths and gardens, and a cave with a secret passage leading to a spectacular view of Trinidad.
Topes de Collantes offers the chance to take wonderful nature walks during which you may spy—and photograph—the Butterfly Lily, Cuba’ national flower, the Cuban Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Cuba’s national bird, or some of Cuba’s particular species of hummingbirds.
Your Cuba photography tour ends with a morning transfer to Jose Marti International Airport.
Want to Take Your Students to Cuba?
Do not wait any longer. Now is the time to start planning the next Cuba tour for your students. Your students will consider traveling to Cuba an experience of a lifetime. They will come home optimistic and inspired by fresh perspectives on what is possible not only personally but also socially. Request a custom-made Cuba Educational Trip and complimentary no-obligation
Quote for your students, and check some of the resources we put at your service. Request School Tour to Cuba Now!
Authentic Cuba Travel
Cuba Cultural Tours
Authentic Cuba Travel's cultural tours are hosted by Cuba’s key Culture ministries, organizing committees and Cuban culture personalities. Travel with the peace of mind of knowing you are in the best hands!
Cuba cultural tour participants are provided with “All Access” pass to attend all venues of Cuban cultural international events.
Guided tour of the Experimental Printing Workshop, a cultural cooperative of young Cuban artists.
Tour the Wifredo Lam Center, a cultural institution devoted to the study and promotion of contemporary visual arts in developing countries.
Private visits to the studios of Cuban contemporary artists such as Jose Fuster, Alicia Leal, Juan Moreira, Rene Pena and others prominent artists are part of Authentic Cuba Travel’s cultural tours.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage cities such as Old Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos Historical Center, Colonial Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, and other Cuban cities.
Guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts' Cuban Collection, one of the most important cultural institutions in Cuba, where we see the evolution of Cuba's visual arts over the last 300 years.
Exchange with Cuban and international musicians, exhibitors, publishers and culture personalities.
Visit to Callejon de Hamel. An alleyway street where an effort of cultural rescue led by fine artist Salvador González has been underway since 1990.
Participate in the most traditional and popular cultural ceremonies in Cuba such as The Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock.
Warm Greetings! I’m Luis D'Aguiar, and I warmly invite you to join our cultural journeys to Cuba, the least commercialized, largest, and most exciting island in the Caribbean. Cuban culture is a very diverse cultural blend of African, European and North American design reflecting the diverse demographic of the island. I studied at the University of Havana, and guided hundreds of cultural groups from the most prestigious North American museums of arts before moving to Canada. Today Cuban contemporary art remains one of the few export items for collectors. Come and join us! Need help, send me a message.