Cuba is an amazing place for any photographer. Havana and Trinidad are full of street and architecture photography opportunities, Vinales Valley is perfect for landscape and travel photography. Colonial architecture and fantastic textures make Cuba a great background for fashion/portrait photography as well.
Below you will find a list of places (with sample photos and GPS coordinates) I think are the best for photography in Cuba. Make sure to visit them next time! If you have other favourite photos spots in Cuba, make sure to share them in the comments under this article.
The capital of Cuba and its most impressive city. Full of history, old colonial buildings, fantastic textures, vintage cars and interesting people. Wherever you go in the old Havana, you will probably find something or someone worth photographing, whether it will be colonial building, a busker or classic car driving through the streets.
The Streets of Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
It’s not a single spot, rather a whole large area: wander the narrow streets and four main squares (Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza de Armas), and you will find good photo subjects every second. Below are some examples (which also show a variety of interesting subjects):
It’s a broad esplanade and roadway, which stretches for about 8 km along the coast. Great place to photograph the sunset, old architecture, fishermen or people of Havana (it’s one of the most popular meeting places for them, especially young couples).Below you can see two images I took there:
Below you can see two pictures I took there: the first one is a long exposure photo I took there during sunset and the other one shows fisherman “at work”.
National Capitol Building
El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building, is a former seat of the Cuban government until Cuban revolution in 1959. Now it serves as a Cuban Academy of Science. Although often compared to Capitol in Washington, it’s not a direct replica, and in fact, many people find it more beautiful than its US counterpart.
Unfortunately, the building itself is being renovated right now, but it still looks quite impressive especially in the evening or at sunrise. Also, the area surrounding it is really picturesque with stretches of very colourful buildings.
Best views of the Capitol are from the rooftop of nearby Saratoga hotel, which happens to be the highest building in the area.
Parque Central and Vintage Cars
Photographing vintage cars is a must when in Cuba, and even though you can still come across them virtually anywhere in Havana, one of the easiest spots to do so is in Parque Central (which is one of the most popular spots in Havana, and many vintage taxis are parked there). Besides this place might be good for some street photography as well.
Classic models from 50’s are really beautiful, and many are very well preserved. Cubans hope that in a few years they will be able to get new cars from the USA much easier and cheaper, so it’s very probable that those vintage cars will soon disappear. You can try some panning technique to create really great and colourful images similar to the one on the left.
Plaza de la Revolucion is a huge square from where Fidel Castro used to make his lengthy speeches addressed to the people of Cuba. It’s surrounded by Jose Marti memorial monument (Jose Marti: a poet, writer and leader of independence movement is a national hero of Cuba) and huge “portraits” of Cuban revolution leaders: Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto “Che” Guevera. The latter are a great background for some nice photos like the one below.
Vinales Valley is an agricultural area, where crops of fruit, vegetables and especially coffee and tobacco are grown. The valley itself, which is surrounded by mountains, is very beautiful and picturesque. It’s ideal for some landscape photography but also great if you intend to photograph farmers at work.
Trinidad is a town located in the central Cuba, on the southern coast. It’s one of the oldest Cuban cities, and it’s full of colonial architecture. Even though it’s relatively small, especially when compared to Havana, it’s still full of great photo opportunities.