Travel and fine art photographers from all corners of the globe agree that Cuba is one of the most metaphorically colorful shooting locations in the world. If that surprises you, you're not alone. This island offers an incredible array of opportunities for photographers, but it's widely overlooked in comparison to more resort-oriented vacation spots. For those who visit, however, the rich history, amazing architecture, hardy, incredible residents and their lifestyle present a unique, diverse and unforgettable experience. Let's look at a few of the prime locations to shoot when you visit this one-of-a-kind country.
Probably the most well-known city on the island, with the romance of those coveted, hand-rolled cigars fueling its popularity for ages, Havana offers so much more for a photographer. From the cathedral in Havana Vieja to wonderfully restored buildings in Plaza San Francisco, to the capitol building that's modeled after its neighbor's in Washington, DC, architectural shots are everywhere.
The incredible diversity of the people of this nation may be best represented in the streets here, too. Youngsters honing their baseball skills, Santeria women in their white garb and crowds visiting the sea wall at the Malecon are only a few of the wide range of opportunities you'll find here to capture incredible portraits and travel shots.
Once a coastal city, this town was moved inland to escape ongoing attacks from pirates. While that fact will give you a hint of the history of the location, it doesn't begin to describe the literal maze of streets and alleys you'll find here. Stories and theories of the reasons for the layout of this bustling city are part of its rich culture.
Open-air markets, bicycle taxis and an incredible mix of architectural styles and artwork, along with those friendly Cuban people – not to mention an international airport - make this a mandatory stop. Plan to spend some time exploring when you fly in here.
This fishing village on the coast of the island is worth the trip “off the beaten path” to see and photograph. Not only are there picturesque squares and crumbling, Spanish-style buildings, there's also a gorgeous bay and all the trappings that go with an ancient commercial fishing lifestyle.
Don't let the sleepy atmosphere fool you; this laid-back, less-”touristy” village is the locale for a well-known, low-budget film festival. Once a year, the festival brings in locals and visitors alike, for film showings and street parties that bring the Cuban spirit to life.
Said to have been labeled “the most beautiful place in the world” by Christopher Columbus, this village is nestled within the rain forest and rife with natural beauty as well as ancient culture. You'll find one of the iconic highlights of a visit to Cuba here, too, in the plethora of classic 1950's American cars roaming the streets.
Baracoa is also a coastal town, with all the charm and color associated with fishing. With its ancient Spanish influence and the lush greenery, this village is worthy of a visit when you make it to the island.
Take it all In
These four locations are among the best in delivering the richness of the Cuban experience. Best of all, there's an opportunity on the horizon to visit all of these locations and more, with a focus on photo opportunities. You can join pro Cindy Wilson on a guided photo tour of Cuba, featuring the four locations listed above and designed to give you the best that the island has to offer in the way of incredible photos.
Spots are extremely limited and this January 2017 tour will fill up quickly. Don't delay; go get the details and book your spot today!