Phone: (607) 756-8676
Our Experience, Your Discoveries
We want to show you the world, and to have you truly inspired by it - exploring its breathtaking diversity. Our enthusiasm is stronger than ever to reach out and expand your horizons.
We hope you accept this invitation and join us on one of our journeys so that our experience becomes one of your many discoveries.
Seeing Cuba Through Your Lens 11/2-11 2014 ~ Led by Ron Rosenstock
Americans are able to travel under a new 'people-to-people' program, which includes daily activities, immersing you into the heart and soul of Cuba. Designed as a cultural and historical program, it will also provide dramatic photographic opportunities each day.
Participants should know that Cuba is a special destination, please understand that all elements of the itinerary are subject to change and that activities listed are examples of opportunities that will present themselves. Since the program is authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, we have to abide by any changes to regulations that may take place. Please remain flexible as there are often circumstances beyond control and changes may be necessary. Be assured that all efforts will be made to provide a comparable alternative should an item on the itinerary need to be changed.
Travel with Ron Rosenstock to Cuba. You will be immersed in the rich culture, and strong willed people of Havana; as well as the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valley of the Sugar Mills, and the colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast. This is a perfect introduction in to the people of Cuba. Wander and explore with Ron through Havana’s colonial architecture, while watching the antique vehicles pass you by. There will be daily educational programs built in to the itinerary, including traditional salsa music and dancing, cigar factory exploration, and visiting with local families of Havana’s diverse neighborhoods.
Join accomplished photographer and guide Ron Rosenstock through this special program. Ron is a veteran eader, having conducted more than 200 programs to many destinations worldwide. Ron taught photography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His published books include his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Chiostro (Cloister), and Hymn to the Earth; color photographs in Journeys. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Ron’s striking, one-of-a-kind photographs can be seen at www.ronrosenstock.com.
Ron’s core teaching is based on a saying of the twelfth century theologian and philosopher, Mister Eckhart, "Art is not just for special people, but everyone is a special kind of an artist." Ron's teaching is designed to bring out the inner creative spirit within all of us. His teaching reflects the techniques of his teachers, Ansel Adams and Minor White. Learning not just to look, but to see, and then to know how to get a finished print, whether you are concentrating on infrared, black and white, or color. Ron uses a digital projector to demonstrate how he finishes his images with Aperture and Nik Software. He also shares photographic exercises that are an aid in "seeing photographically." Those participants that bring a laptop have the opportunity share their images with the group for comments. Ron’s programs will help you to make more meaningful photographs, whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer.
Day 1: Home - Miami
There will be a group charter flight tomorrow, November 2, from Miami. You will have to travel today November 1 to Miami and overnight at your own cost. We will recommend an airport hotel so that everyone can return to airport tomorrow morning together for the charter flight.
Days 2 - 3: Havana - Vinales
Depart the States today on the charter flight to Havana (time to be announced). Currently we can pre-pay the Cuba Visa fee for you, which is currently $75, this has now been included in your tour cost. The airfare and Visa are included in your tour cost. Upon arrival in Havana, we will be met and take time to exchange funds at the airport.
The group will depart for the Pinar del Rio Province. Viñales was founded in 1607 and has an economy based on agriculture, mainly tobacco farming, and its soil is considered to be some of the richest in the world. In the Vinales Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage site, we’ll see mountainous “mogotes”, made of hard limestone left over after millennia of erosion, as well as rural farmland vistas. The hotel offers commanding views of the landscape, which we will capture at sunset this evening, and early morning sunrise photography the next day. We will then head down into the valley and walk the paths through fields of tobacco and sugar cane, meeting the farmers and photographing their homes and farms. Lunch will be at an organic finca (farm) overlooking the valley, and continue our exploration of this beautiful valley. Overnight Vinales Los Jazmines or similar. (D; B, L)
Days 4 - 5: Playa Larga
After sunrise photography from the hotel and breakfast, we drive to the beach town of Playa Larga in the Province of Zapata. This region is known for it’s beaches, wetlands, and wildlife. There will be crocodiles, colorful birds, fishing boats, and tropical beaches to photograph along the southern coast of Cuba. Given time this afternoon or tomorrow morning we will have a chance to photograph and discuss music education with the students and teachers at the Korimacao Community Project. Overnight Playa Larga (B, D both days)
Days 6 - 7: Trinidad
After an early breakfast travel to Trinidad. There maybe time to stop in City of Cienfuegos, what seems to be a very modern city by Cuba’s standards. Trinidad was founded in the early 16th century on the southern coast of the country. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, and it’s the perfect example of a traditional colonial town. This jewel on the Caribbean has distinct architecture and a historic center with cobble stoned streets that lead to many landmark buildings, and it’s a joy in which to get lost. This evening you’ll have a guided walking program of this most picturesque town. Each evening there’s a huge gathering where both locals and visitors get together for drinks, some wonderful traditional music and a chance to dance away the night.
Enjoy an early morning photo shoot with Ron before returning to your home for breakfast. Your guide will then join you for a walking tour of the city streets, where you may visit and photograph at an artist studio, a local school, travel to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, or photograph the beautiful landscape of the south coast beaches. Overnight evenings in Casa particular (individuals will stay in various local homes to experience the family hospitality and location in the center of town. (B, D both days)
Days 8 - 10: Old Havana
You will make your way back to Havana today, where your local guide will orient you to the highlights of Old Havana on a walking tour. There maybe free time before dinner to explore the neighborhood around the hotel before walking to a lovely restaurant on the Plaza Vieja in La Habana Vieja.
In 1982 Old Havana was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site and it is brimming with a variety of historical landmarks and interesting things to do. Just walking the streets in this area is a favorite pastime and will surely result in an unforgettable experience with plenty of chances to meet the locals and to take advantage of a myriad of photo ops.
There will be sunrise photo excursions with Ron, as you explore the city on foot, photographing the antique cars, architectural details, street scenes, and the local culture. After breakfast (served 7-10am daily) your local guide will join you as you explore Old Havana. Visit the La Torre (the tower) with views of the harbor and city, Morro Cabana (fortress) just across the harbor, Rum Museum where you will have a guided program (sample included), Ernest Hemingway’s former home Finca La Vigia, is located close by, where we can view the remembrances of his 20 years in Cuba, perhaps continue on to Cojimar, ‘Cohema’ a quaint fisherman's village.
There will be free time in the late afternoons to walk the Prado down to the Malecon, with incredible panoramic views of the harbor and the skyline of Havana. You can also photograph from the roof top terraces of Park Central or Hotel Saratoga for additional skyline views. Overnight Inglaterra or similar (B, D; B, L; B, D)
Day 11: Havana - Miami - Home
There will be a morning transfer to Havana airport to begin your program home (exact time and city to be announced. If you have a connection in the U.S. be sure to leave three hours between your connection times. (B)
Tour land cost: $0 US Dollars based upon minimum of paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.
Single room supplement: Please contact us for more details about the single room supplement. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.
Note: The land costs on international tours is based upon current exchange rates. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the land cost.
Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds
A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic programs) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.
Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, film or processing, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.
Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties.
Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.
Fitness and Health
If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).
You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.
Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.
Subject to Change
This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best this destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Above is a summary of typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.