Havana & Viñales Experience: The Creative Cuba Exclusive

Trip Summary

An exclusive and unforgettable journey into the very soul of artistic Cuba where our creative aspirations will soar.

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Dates

Mar. 9 – 17, 2025

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Group Size

6 People

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Activity Level

Moderate, some walking with stairs.

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Price

$6,850 (shared room)

Trip Details

The Creative Cuba Exclusive leads us off the beaten path through small towns surrounding Viñales then back into vibrant Havana. The central purpose of this deeply personal adventure is relaxation – by connecting with the natural world, bonding with fellow creatives, and absorbing cultural nuances – while widening our understanding of Cuba and creating more mindful, project-driven images. This unique trip features access to the exquisite El MogoteArt refuge, our favorite location near Viñales, after which we return to the excitement of Havana. Join Carlos and Jennifer for an exclusive and unforgettable journey into the very soul of artistic Cuba where our creative aspirations will soar.

Our adventure begins in the heart of Viñales Valley National Park, a landscape so enchanting it is otherworldly. We will travel millions of miles in spirit, following the path of the 2019 meteor that blazed across the Cuban sky, and with a sonic boom powerful enough to break windows, shattered in the atmosphere, dropping a perfect meteorite fragment at the doorstep of El MogoteArt boutique hotel. Such a phenomenon is no surprise, as El MogoteArt is comfortably nestled among the mysterious mogotes and lush landscape in an atmosphere of sheer natural magic.

Landscape, Viñales, Cuba by Carlos Otero Blanco

© Carlos Otero Blanco

Viñales: Where Nature Meets Creativity

El MogoteArt boutique hotel will be our artistic sanctuary, snug amongst the iconic mogotes. More than just a place of stay, it will provide a unique canvas for creative inspiration. Our engagement with Cuba’s organic farmers, entrepreneurs, and artists, will spark our drive to interpret the unknown and create images that convey a vision of the indescribable. Absorbing stunning vistas, we’ll enjoy image review sessions, sharing projects and welcoming valuable feedback from Jennifer, Carlos and our dynamic group of fellow photographers. We will bliss out in relaxing accommodations that echo the calm and inspiring artistic and natural beauty surrounding us. Our amazing meals, a testament to Cuba’s farm-to-table heritage, promise culinary experiences as enriching as our explorations.

Havana: City of Vibrant Contrasts

From the serene to the stirring, we transition from the tranquility of Viñales to the electric rhythm of the capital city. Your suite awaits within a boutique luxury hotel elegantly situated in Old Havana. We are treated to VIP entry to the fabulous La Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC), Havana’s world class premier art, nightclub, and music fusion venue, for a night of gourmet dining and artistic exploration. We will meet with the brilliant mind behind the Havana Biennial, and gain unparalleled insights into astonishing Cuban photographic art.

Wandering through Havana’s hidden neighborhoods, access the authentic Cuban experience, and grasp unique opportunities to capture the true soul of the city through your lens. Create breathtaking portraits of a Cuban ballerina as the sleepy sun dips over the unmistakable Havana skyline.

Man pushing vegetable cart, Havana, Cuba by Jennifer Spelman

© Jennifer Spelman

Viñales, Cuba by Jennifer Spelman

© Jennifer Spelman

Join Us

Carlos and Jennifer extend a warm invitation to you to join us in this unique experience. We promise a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover and explore the wildly artistic character of Cuba while constantly elevating your own creative vision. This invitation is extremely limited. Please, RSVP now for an unforgettable immersion into the heart and soul of Cuba’s artists, landscapes, and adventurous spirit.

Exclusive Highlights

  • Relax in VIP accommodations that are artworks in themselves amidst the pristine beauty of Viñales and the historic charm of Havana.
  • Receive feedback on current projects and brainstorm on future work with this special group of likeminded creatives
  • Relish delicious and beautifully presented meals that delight the senses and pull you closer into Cuba’s culinary heart.
  • Engage in enlightening conversations with key figures in the lively Cuban art scene.
  • Journey deep into the Viñales Valley to spend leisurely hours with welcoming local farmers and their families.
  • Experience a drive back through time as we hop into classic cars and photograph Havana’s animated streetlife.
  • Behold the grace of elegant performers from the National Ballet and engage in an exclusive sunset photo shoot.

Publish Your Photography

Join the community of photographers who share their images between (and on) the covers of CubaSeen, our photo zine showcasing the best of photography about Cuba. As a participant on this trip you may submit images for our next issue free of charge.

Fototeca de Cuba in Havana, Cuba

Travel to Cuba Legally

This trip allows US citizens to travel legally to Cuba under the People-to-People General License for educational exchanges (Title 31 CFR § 515.560). We focus on authentic connections and meaningful interactions, capturing the spirit of the Cuban people through our lenses.

Your Instructors

Jennifer Spelman

Jennifer Spelman

Trip Leader | Co-Founder

Jennifer Spelman is a documentary photographer, educator and workshop leader based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked extensively across Cuba since 2011.

During over sixty visits to the island, she’s experienced the friendly generosity of a people always willing to share conversation and a cup of coffee. She has come to understand that to be Cuban is to greet adversity with ingenuity, patience and humor. Life in Cuba is lived on the streets, and Jennifer is happiest amidst their constant motion and layered serendipity.

She co-founded OneWorldSeen in 2021 and co-publishes its photo zine, CubaSeen.

Jennifer is a patient educator who has co-instructed with Santa Fe Workshops and National Geographic Expeditions. Among her many other photography-related endeavors, she has traveled extensively, teaching workshops in Turkey, Morocco, India, Romania, Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, and Cuba.

Website: jenniferspelman.com

Carlos Otero Blanco

Carlos Otero Blanco

Partner | Resident Cuban Expert & Guide

Carlos Otero Blanco is a dynamic photographer who specializes in inventive conceptual projects and creative underwater photography. His wide range of thematic interests spans documentary photography, portraiture, and nature.

Carlos may be best known for his sensitive photographic study of Cuban bedrooms, with hundreds photographed since 2009. The exquisite images were published in his book, Dormir con… (To Sleep with…), co-authored with Enrique Rottenberg, which has been shown in several national and international exhibits, and was featured in The New York Times, among other publications.

Born and raised in Havana, Carlos knows Cuba He has explored its rivers, its shorelines, its cities and villages, its mountains, its farmland and, most intimately, its people. His many friends across the island light up whenever he arrives. His wit and character are threaded throughout his vividly expressive portrait series, Cuba Vive, and are readily recognizable within his diverse selection of photographic subjects from around and across the island.

Carlos has a deep commitment to the natural world, and relishes adventure photography. He has participated in studies of subaquatic archeology, and holds several divemaster and instructor titles, as well as numerous awards for his spectacular underwater photography.

Instagram: @oteroblancocu

What's Covered?

Included

  • Lodging with breakfast all days
  • 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Transportation within Cuba, including airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Model and location fees
  • Please review our Terms and Conditions before registering

Not Included

  • Airfare to/from Havana
  • Meals and incidentals not listed as included
  • Visas and mandatory Cuban health insurance. This is available for purchase from your airline with prices varying from $50-85
  • Travel insurance, which we highly recommend

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