Some countries are just made for photography, and Cuba is one of them. Travel to Cuba has been very limited until recently, which means that this is one country that hasn’t been ruined by tourism – yet! Cuba oozes with history, culture, colour, and vibrancy, so plan an unforgettable trip before any of that changes!
With a rising popularity from both professional and budding photographer’s alike, you’ll find numerous different photographic tours available to book. If that’s not your kinda thing, then no problem. Just keep your camera at the ready, and your eyes peeled, as you’ll be surrounded by photographic opportunities anywhere you go.
Let’s start with my favourite type of photography – portraits! The people are often the best part of any place. Watching someone’s character unravel is always so fascinating, but catching that moment on camera can sometimes be a little tricky. How do you get that perfect shot without intruding? Strike up a conversation, engage, and most importantly, seek permission before taking any photos.
I absolutely loved how Cuba’s history is visible, with all the old pre 1960’s American cars still driven in Cuba today. It’s actually refreshing not to see someone driving around in something that’s worth more than someone’s home! Whilst I might not know much about cars, I can appreciate the beauty of some of these classics!
Pastel colours adorn the front of pretty much every building, especially throughout Havana and Trinidad. Churches, museums, homes – everything is wonderfully vibrant and full of colour.
Cobbled streets always for make a good photo, and there’s no shortage of those in Cuba, it’s like time stood still! Now add the horses clip clopping along, dragging their wooden carts, and this is the type of scene you’ll see down most back streets in Trinidad.
One of the best things about Cuba is watching people go about their everyday lives. You could sit in one of the piazzas with a cup of coffee and people watch all day! Men huddled around a table playing chess. Kids playing in the streets. Musical performers setting up their equipment to busk for the afternoon. There’s always something going on somewhere.
We spotted this group of men playing chess on the street, directly outside our casa. I would have loved to have pulled up a chair, but I’m not sure my chess skills are on par with theirs!
I wish I could comment on the northern Cayo’s but sadly we had bad weather throughout our three day stay there – boo. They are however meant to be splendid when it isn’t raining! The southern coast I can account for however! Ancon Beach, 15 km to the south of Trinidad, is often referred to as one of the best beaches along the southern coast of the country.
Getting around town is pretty easy in Havana, but for anywhere further, take a taxi. Taxi’s cars are plentiful, but have some fun and getting chatting to one of the local tricycle or motorised taxi’s instead. If you can negotiate a good rate, this is also a fun way to pull together your own city tour under the guidance of a true local.
There is a piece of history everywhere you look. Be it Cuban flags, posters, street art, or graffiti, keep your eyes peeled!
Plan a few days to visit Vinales, the best area for landscape photography in Cuba. Stroll through the lush countryside, and seek out the stunning limestone cliffs in the area. This is also a popular area for cyclists, so you might also be able to catch a few action shots at the same time. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to include a visit to Vinales within our trip, but I wish we did.
Cuban food stems from a mix of Native American, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Try a Cubano, a loaded sandwich. A ropa vieja, shredded steak in a tomato based sauce. Or how about an arroz con pollo, rice with chicken? Don’t forget to wash it down with some of Cuba’s famous Havana Rum!
I could rave about Cuba for hours! This was one of my best trips in recent years, and I couldn’t recommend it any more. To see more of my photos taken in Cuba, have a look at my photo journal by clicking here.