Unplug and return to Cuba with Santa Fe Workshops in a small group of no more than six photographers to continue your photographic exploration of the island. Jennifer and Jorge are your guides and mentors on this unforgettable journey.
Although Cuba is changing quickly, there are cultural constants that will remain intact for years to come on this island nation. The awe-inspiring International Workers’ Day celebration in Havana on May 1st is one of these constants, as are the joys of discovering the simple life in the small colonial city of Trinidad and beautiful waterfront city of Cienfuegos.
Participants arrange for their own flights to Havana, to arrive on Tuesday, April 25 before 12pm (noon). Jennifer and Jorge meet the group at the airport and then a light lunch is enjoyed before departing across the island by private van, traveling through the lush and tropical countryside bound for Trinidad de Cuba. Along the way we briefly visit the Zapata Swamp—now a Biosphere Protected Nature Reserve area it was the site of the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Arriving in colorful Trinidad, Cuba’s third oldest settlement, we settle into family-owned casa particulars, our home for the next two days. On Wednesday, we explore the city center, visiting historic private homes and picturesque winding streets. The afternoon is free to continue wandering the vibrant city through the stunning late light. Thursday morning we pack our bags and venture into the nearby countryside and the spectacular landscape of the Valley of the Sugar Mills, including a special visit to the legend-filled Manaca Iznaga plantation.
We make our way to through the beautiful Topes de Collantes Mountains and Biosphere Reserve, well known for it’s enormous pre-historic ferns. After lunch in the park we travel to the nearby port city of Cienfuegos to enjoy a two-night stay in "la ciudad que más me gusta a mí (the city I like the best)” as the famous musician Benny Moré once sang about this alluring, French-influenced city. Over the next day we meet and make portraits of local residents while visiting the magnificent Parque Marti. Saturday morning we depart for an early morning boat ride to a small coastal village that is full of friendly local families and fishermen.
Saturday afternoon we slowly return to Havana to visit both new and favorite locations and immerse ourselves in a city that has recently erupted with a pulse and energy not seen in fifty years. We stay in quiet Vedado in private casa particulars that boast stunning views over Havana and wonderful opportunities for sunrise pictures. Sunday we visit a nearby historic mansion—a grand reminder of a once-decadent Cuba—to meet and photograph ballerinas and then head out for an afternoon of street photography, engaging with local families in vibrant neighborhoods of central Havana.
On Monday, May 1, Cubans begin their walk across the city. Rising early, we join them at the Plaza of the Revolution to witness a truly massive celebration. During the annual May Day Rally, over one million Cuban workers gather to wave flags, dance to live music, and listen to political inspiration. Our final day is a free one to explore the city before gathering in the evening to celebrate our time together with a group dinner and a slideshow of our favorite images. We depart for the United States the next day (Wednesday, May 3) and bid farewell to Cuba, until our next visit to this remarkable country.
Return to Cuba with us for an unforgettable journey and continue your photographic explorations of this Caribbean treasure and its generous people.