Join us in support of the Cuban people as we discover the beautiful waterfront city of Cienfuegos, the colonial heritage and elegant charm of the towns of Trinidad and Remedios, and revisit Havana, the capital city of Cuba. Unplug and return to this magical isle to continue your explorations with a small group of six photographers, led by Jennifer and Jorge as your guides and mentors.
After an afternoon arrival to Havana on Wednesday, Jan 6, we gather for a welcome evening orientation and dinner. Early Thursday morning we depart for our drive across the island, enjoying lunch in the vicinity of the Nature Reserve of Zapata Swamp, and visiting local charcoal farmers on our way to Cienfuegos.
We stay for two nights 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-architecture influenced city. On Friday morning we gather for an early morning boat ride to visit a long abandoned recreational island in the Cienfuegos bay, as well as a small coastal village full of friendly local families and fishermen. Later that afternoon we meet and make portraits of local residents while visiting the magnificent Parque Martí and surrounding Cienfuegos neighborhoods.
We enjoy Saturday morning photographing in town and nearby areas, before a lunch and a short drive to colorful Trinidad, Cuba’s third oldest settlement and our home for the next two days. On Sunday we explore this town’s patrimonial center, visiting historic private homes and picturesque winding streets, and wandering the vibrant city through the stunning late light. After dinner, we gather as a group to share our images.
Monday 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 San Isidro and the legend-filled Manaca Iznaga sugar-cane plantations.
That same afternoon we travel to yet another of the oldest Spanish settlements in Cuba, the charming town of San Juan de los Remedios, in the Villa Clara province. Tuesday, morning and afternoon, we explore different neighborhoods of this colonial town, famous for the “Parrandas”, some of the most bizarre fireworks festivities in the Caribbean. On Wednesday morning we visit nearby smaller towns, return to Remedios for lunch, and use the afternoon to return to Havana and immerse ourselves in a city forever pulsing artistic, musical, and spirited energy. We stay in private apartment houses in the quiet Vedado neighborhood, which boast stunning views over the city, and offer wonderful opportunities for sunrise pictures.
Thursday morning we meet and photograph a local dancer before a group lunch in the sea town of Santa Fe, west of the capital city. We gather again in Vedado that evening to celebrate our trip and share a slideshow of favorite images.
True to the requirements of a General License for Support for the Cuban People with U.S. Treasury Department, Cuba Unplugged: Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Remedios, and Havana offers a full-time schedule of meaningful interactions with the Cuban people that promotes independent activity and records their amazing lives with our cameras.