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WESTERN CUBA

HAVANA, TRINIDAD & VINALES

DATE: 16 - 26 February, 2015
DATE: 1 - 11 June, 2015
DATE: 16 - 26 November, 2015
DURATION: 11 days
COST: 2195 GBP

Step back in time, Caribbean style

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Wave after wave of convertible Buicks pass you by as you stroll looking for sunset views over the Malecon. Behind you, the faded, colonial architecture of old Habana, slowly being restored brick-by-brick. Cigar smoke scents the air and all around, the sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club start to hum. Welcome to the amazing, iconic, unparalled Cuba.

Come experience eleven days of turquoise Caribbean seas, lush tropical plantations, step-back-in-time museum towns and the unmissable Havana. We'll snooze in colonial mansions, dine in local paladares and get to the very heart of both rural and urban. This is our photography holiday in Cuba.

ITINERARY

DAY ONE

We'll meet you right off the plane and transport you directly to the palatial 5* Santa Isabel, overlooking the main square in the very heart of old Havana. From here, we'll hop into the back seat of a 50's convertible Buick and take a drive to the Malecon to take in the sunset. That evening, we'll get our first taste of Cuba, dining at a local paladar - elegant mansion restaurants with mouthwatering menus. The perfect start to our Caribbean photography tour.

DAY TWO/THREE

After a leisurely tour of Habana Vieja, we'll spend a few days trying our hand at capturing some of the incredible architecture, plus shooting some closeups of the myriad murals that adorn the streets. We'll capture some interiors at the Tiffany-decored Museo de la Revolucion, then take some black-and-whites at a boutique cigar factory (we'll learn how to roll those too!). Later, we'll go meet Castro's personal photographer, Roberto Salas, who will regale you with stories of the revolution over tea and cake. Later, we'll review our pics over a few mojitos, check out the music scene and sample local delicacies that are putting Cuba on the culinary map.

DAY FOUR/FIVE/SIX/SEVEN

Today we head east to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage town seemingly still stuck in 1850. With perfectly preserved cobbled streets, red-tiled mansions and breathtaking scenery, this is our base for a few days exploring (plus enjoy 5* comforts!). The following morning, we're up early to board a wooden-carriaged steam train up to the stunning Valle de los Ingenios, to our classroom in the mountains, then catch some open air jazz in the old town square. The following day, we're off on seafari, boarding our forty-foot catamaran for some well deserved R&R on a remote tropical isle, before a paddle in the El Cubano waterfall or a dip in the turquoise seas at Playa D'Ancon. Later, we're on assignment, trying out street photography styles in B&W, learning how to tell stories with your photography. Each day, we'll expand your skills further to ensure great photographs every time.

DAY EIGHT/NINE

Across to Vinales - the 'Garden of Cuba' - lush, hilly landscapes that provide panoramic views over tobacco, coffee, sugar cane and oranges in an atmosphere of almost complete serenity. We'll shoot portraits of tobacco farmers, capture the dusk light over the limestone 'mogotes' and document daily life in rural Cuba. Like all of our photography courses, our team of professionals will be constantly on hand to give advice and tips, plus give nightly reviews of your emerging work.

DAY TEN/ELEVEN

Up early, we venture into the streets Havana from the comforts of the 5* Parque Central to complete our final piece of work, culminating in our 'pop-up' exhibition that evening, before a final party to reflect on this incredible awe-inspiring destination. This is certainly a photography holiday to remember.