JOIN FIVE-TIMES ‘TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR’ ROBERT HOLMES, ACCLAIMED PHOTOGRAPHER ANDRÉA JOHNSON, PLUS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER AND CUBA EXPERT CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER ON A 'BEST OF CUBA' PHOTO TOUR

You will have the undivided attention of not just one but three award-winning photographers – an unprecedented ratio for such a small group.  We have partnered with Christopher Baker, a longtime colleague and friend, and recommended by National Geographic as “One of the world’s leading authorities on Cuba travel and culture.” Chris has traveled to Cuba more than 200 times on magazine assignment and to research his eight travel books about Cuba, as well as a tour leader for National Geographic Expeditions and other, including our Lumaria Workshops tours in 2016 and 2017. Chris knows the very best casas particulares (private B&Bs) and paladares (private restaurants). Plus, during three decades traveling Cuba end to end, Chris has developed depth of knowledge and a Rolodex of contacts that make traveling to the island with him an amazing experience.  -- ROBERT HOLMES / LUMARIA WORKSHOPS

From its classic American cars and fantastical yesterday architecture to its vivacious Afro-Cuban music and dance culture and arts scene, Cuba is by any standard one of the most photogenic destinations on earth. That's why it's suddenly on the agenda of almost every major photo tour company. It's also one of the world's most complex and enigmatic societies, with historical and political paradigms that shape almost every aspect of the visitor's experience. Chris has distilled the most memorable (and lesser known) venues for photography in three of Cuba's most iconic and varied destinations to produce an itinerary that is no less than a photographer's dream! 

ITINERARY (subject to change)

Day 1: Saturday / Arrive Havana
Clients arrive on separate flights. Our tour begins this evening for an orientation meeting and welcome reception. We’ll then ride in 1950s convertible cars to dinner at La Guarida, Havana’s most sensational (and photogenic) restaurant.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Havana (Meals included: D)

Day 2: Sunday / Havana
This morning we’ll explore the back streets of Habana Vieja, the colonial quarter, with its non-stop and über-intriguing and colorful street-life, including humble yet immensely photogenic solares (crumbling tenements). In the afternoon, we’ll shoot boxers at Gimnasio Rafael Trejo (or a similarly funky boxing ring) and spend time photographing in and around Iglesia de la Merced–Havana’s most beautifully decorated church, including its shrine drawing adherents of Santería. We’ll close our day around Parque Central to photograph classic American autos and the fantastical Gran Teatro at dusk. We’ll enjoy dinner together at El del Frente or similar acclaimed restaurant.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Havana (Meals included: B, D)

Day 3: Monday / Havana
An early morning visit to Mercado Agropecuario Egido or other farmers’ market is followed by a private photo shoot with the National Ballet, Lizst Alfonso Dance Company, or Raices Profundas Afro-Cuban dance company. After lunch, professional models and/or ballet dancers will join us for a one-of-a-kind afternoon photo shoot in a stupendously aged 1913 mansion. Chris will also introduce us to his close friend and raconteur Luis Enrique, an ace mechanic–a chance to photograph him working on his collection of antique Harleys. Time permitting, we may also enjoy cigars and cocktails at Hotel Nacional and then shoot the Malecón at dusk. This evening is free to dine at leisure, and/or you may choose an optional visit to the Tropicana cabaret.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Havana (Meals included: B)

Day 4: Tuesday / Viñales
A highlight this morning as we venture beyond Havana, stopping first to photograph at Fusterlandia, a spectacular community art project inspired by Gaudi, Picasso and Brâncuși. We’ll continue to the mountain community of Las Terrazas to photograph this exquisite village and savor lunch at Fondita de Mercedes. Continue to Viñales, arriving in time to settle into our private B&Bs before a sunset photo shoot.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Viñales (Meals included: B, L)

Day 5: Wednesday / Viñales
Up early for a sunrise shoot in the tobacco fields. We’ll spend much of the day photographing the farmers and magnificent landscapes of this unique region, renowned for its mogotes (sheer-faced, freestanding limestone formations) and tobacco fields studded by Royal palms. We’ll savor lunch at Finca Ecológica. Late afternoon and early evening offer further tremendous photo ops as we stroll the village at sunset.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Viñales (Meals included: B, L)

Day 6: Thursday / Viñales – Cienfuegos – Trinidad
We depart early this morning for Cienfuegos, arriving in this lovely Caribbean bay city in time for lunch at Chris’ favorite paladar (private restaurant), Finca del Mar. Time permitting, we’ll photograph the funky fishing boats at Laguna del Cura before visiting a former sugarcane processing community where we’ll photograph locals in the ration store, surround by incredible revolutionary murals. We’ll arrive Trinidad in late afternoon. Tonight enjoy dinner alfresco at Vista Gourmet, the city’s top gourmet restaurant, boasting views over the colonial core.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Trinidad (Meals included: B, D)

Day 7: Friday / Trinidad
We’ll explore Trinidad with Chris’ close friend, local photographer Julio Muñoz, reveling in the colonial setting, yesterday lifestyle, and gorgeous early morning sunlight. We’ll also photograph an astonishing bas-relief artist at work in his studio. The afternoon is at leisure to pursue your own photographic interests (and/or siesta) before we journey to the nearby Río Guarabo for a special sunset photo shoot. Tonight we’ll dine with Julio at his restaurant: Muñoz Tapas where Bob will offer a slideshow tutorial.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Trinidad (Meals included: B, D)

Day 8: Saturday / Trinidad
This morning we’ll journey into the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills), a UNESCO World Heritage Site where we’ll join local photographer Teddy Bravo Saavedra to shoot a quinceañera–a girl celebrating her fifteenth birthday–at Chris’ favorite 18th-century hacienda. We’ll also photograph the farm, and lunch here before returning to Trinidad. The balance of the afternoon is free for you to explore and photograph Trinidad at leisure.
Overnight: Casas particulares, Trinidad (Meals included: B, L)

Day 9: Sunday / Havana 
This morning depart Trinidad and return to Havana, arriving in time for lunch in the fishing village of Cojímar. We’ll photograph the Cojímar fishers’ collective before checking into our casa particular.  This evening we’ll enjoy a slideshow of everyone’s favorite images before our farewell dinner at one of Havana’s top paladares.
Overnight: Private B&B, Havana (Meals included: B, D)

Day 10: Monday / Depart 
Today depart Havana for home. (Meals included: B)

Trip Details
April 9-18, 2022
Trip cost: $4,950 

Single supplement: $500
Limit: 12 participants
 
All participants are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid.
 

Highlights

  • Photograph the fantastic street life of Havana, including classic cars, colorful colonial facades, and sensational culture.
  • Explore tobacco country and the magnificent landscapes of Viñales.
  • Shoot dramatic sunrise and sunset shots in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Trinidad.
  • Learn to improve your compositional skills and how to use all kinds of light to your best advantage from three top professional travel photographers.

Tour Leaders

ROBERT HOLMES
Robert Holmes, founder of Lumaria Workshops, has the unique distinction of being the only person ever honored five times by the Society of American Travel Writers as the ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’.' His assignments have taken him from coverage of the 1975 British Everest Expedition for Paris Match to searching for snow leopards in the remote valleys of western Nepal for National Geographic. He has also worked for GeoSaveurWine SpectatorLifeTime and hundreds of other major magazines, as well as illustrating more than 45 books. His stock catalog of over half-a-million images is represented  by Getty.

ANDRÉA JOHNSON
After earning a B.A of Fine Arts in communication with a concentration in film, art, and journalism from Northwestern University, Andréa began her career as a photography producer for Nike, and in-house at several adventure sports and travel magazines, including Oregon Outdoors. She has since established herself as one of the world’s leading photographers specializing in the wine, agriculture, and adventure travel industries. Andréa has photographed four books, and regularly works on assignment for Wine Spectator, among other leading publications. She has received the prestigious Gold Award by the Society of American Travel Writers (2008, 2014, 2017) three times for photo essays in Vietnam, Canada, and Cuba.

CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER
No-one knows Cuba as well as renowned travel journalist, National Geographic photographer, and Cuba expert Christopher P. Baker–the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year.’ Chris has authored and illustrated eight travel books on Cuba (including the National Geographic Traveler Cuba and Moon Cuba guidebooks, plus a coffee-table book Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles), and has written about and photographed Cuba on behalf of entities from the BBC and CNN to National GeographicNew York Magazine, and Playboy during three decades of travel to Cuba. He has led photo tours of Cuba for Jim Cline Photo Tours, National Geographic Expeditions, and Santa Fe Photo Workshops.

U.S. Legal

Despite President Trump’s restrictions on travel to Cuba effective September 24, 2020, and still in effect, every U.S. citizen can still legally travel to Cuba, pre-approved and at any time, under the “support for the Cuban people” license. This program is designed in accordance with U.S. regulations intended to maximize “support for the Cuban people” through stays at private B&Bs, meals at private restaurants, and interactions with independent artists, private tobacco farmers, owners of classic convertible taxis, etc.