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An In-Depth Exploration of a Country on the Brink of Change

DEC 8 - 19, 2017


The Cuba EAST TO WEST workshop is a photographic exploration of communities reaching from Havana to Baracoa, on the far Eastern tip of the island. Crumbling colonial buildings, thatched fishing villages and palm-covered peaks that sweep down to the sea.  Life happens outdoors: stoops fill like grandstands, alleys act as baseball diamonds for children, plazas as musicians’ stages and national parks expand as new frontiers. Cuba is a treat for photographers.  CUBA


As relations ease with the US combined with Fidel’s passing in December 2016, Cuba is on the brink of a shift that will likely cause a major transformation. For now, however, the island remains wholly unique: stunted but still stunning.

This photographic journey, will begin in the UNESCO city of Camagüey where you will take your camera to beautiful plazas and maze like zigzag streets, which were built to thwart invaders. You will visit local families, observe vendors selling their wares at the Agro Farmers Market and Santeria Market, visit
a music school, housed in an old leprosy hospital, where you can meet students and attend rehearsals.

On our way to Santiago de Cuba you will visit the town of Holguín, the nation’s fourth largest city followed by a stop in Birán to visit Fidel Castro’s birthplace and family home.

Our next destination will be Santiago de Cuba, set on the southeastern shores of the island. Santiago was established by Spanish conquistadores in the early 16th century and served as the capital of colonial Cuba, a battleground during the Spanish-American War, and the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution. Santiago de Cuba has soul. Cuba’s second-largest city is justifiably proud of its heroes, beautiful plazas and vibrant musical tradition. Proximity to Jamaica and other tropical isles has infused the city with a distinctly Caribbean spirit that is seen in its art and architecture, particularly heard in its music. The city exhibits an eclectic assortment of architectural influences, from the imposing El Morro castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to the exquisite colonial casas of Parque Céspedes in the historic quarter, to Cayo Granma, a picturesque island sheltered in the neck of the harbor, where you can mingle with the tight-knit island community, who are still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy and Matthew.

On our way to our next destination Baracoa we will vist the town of Guantanamo, experience one of Cuba's most scenic drives along La Farola, a mountainous road that connects remote Baracoa to the rest of Cuba. Baracoa, an unspoiled paradise by the sea that was isolated until 57 years ago, with access only
by boat.


Over the next days you will not only have a chance to visit Baracoa, but we will also explore remote fishing villages along the Eastern Coast that rarely see foreign visitors.

From Baracoa we will board our plane that will take us to Havana for the last but not the least part of our journey. In Havana you will not only photograph the pulsating city and experience the different neighborhoods of Vedado, Havana Vieja, Miramar, and Regla, but your visit will also coincide with the annual Pilgrimage of El Rincon. Late afternoon we will head for El Rincón on the outskirts of Havana for the feast day of San Lázaro to join up with the faithful for a pilgrimage to the venerated shrine of Lazarus, a saint known for his ministrations to lepers and the poor.

In Havana you will have optional activities with local photographers, including dance rehearsals, a visit to the El Morro Fort, the Cristobal Colon Cemetery, a ferry ride to Regla, a visit the Hemingway Museum, or Cojímar, a small fishing village east of Havana that was the background for Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.

You will receive lots of personal attention by your guide and photography expert Magdalena Solé in a small group of 8-10 participants. Magdalena has photographed extensively in Cuba and has driven
more then 10,000 miles crisscrossing the country in search of people and their stories.


In-country flight, round-trip airport transfers, every nights’ accommodations (based on double occupancy), all transportation by modern air-conditioned bus, private English speaking national guide for entire tour duration, assistance by local photographers, all meals are included except for 3 lunches on arrival and departure day plus on one day in Havana.


Pre-tour night in Florida, if needed. Round-trip flight from US to Cuba. Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, telephone calls and internet expenses, medical or evacuation expenses. Expenses caused by factors beyond our control like airplane delays, roadblocks, vehicle malfunctions, political disturbances, taxes, etc. Tips for our Cuban guide, and our bus driver​. Cuba Visa Fee and airport taxes. Single accommodation supplement (if applicable) is US$550.


Your deposit of $800 is due to reserve your spot on the trip. On June 30th we will inform everyone if the trip is a go. If the trip is a no-go the deposit will be returned in full. If the trip is a go the deposit becomes non-refundable and  will be applied towards the cost of your tour.

The balance of the payments due are to be made by July 1st. 

Please see our cancellation policy.


Please note that the travel costs for the trip might fluctuate before it is finalized due to rate changes beyond our control. We will make every effort to keep the costs the same.



To reserve a spot you need to send in your deposit of $800 to SolePictures as soon as possible, as this trip could sell out quickly. When you fill out the sign-up form it will take you to the payment page where you can submit payment via credit card. You can also send payment by check.


Single Supplement $550

Maximum Group Size 8

DEC 8 - 19, 2017

DAY 1 - 3   Camagüey, Holguín, Birán

Day 3 - 6   Santiago De Cuba

Day 6 - 9   Baracoa and Eastern Coast

Day 9 - 12  Havana

            San Lázaro Pilgrimage

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