Soul of Santiago de Cuba: Capturing Rhythm & Ritual in Cuba’s heart

The Easter Cuba program you have clamored for so many years is finally here. Dive into the pulsating heart of Cuban culture with our photo program “Soul of Santiago: Capturing Rhythm & Ritual in Cuba’s Heart.” From January 9-20, 2025, join us in Santiago de Cuba, where the city’s vibrant rhythms, historical rituals, and rich visual tapestry await your lens. Led by seasoned photographer Essdras M Suarez, this journey will immerse you in the architectural marvels, sacred sites, and intimate daily life of Cuba’s second-largest city. Whether you’re capturing the early morning light at Moncada Garrison or the sunset from Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, each day promises a blend of structured photo walks and spontaneous explorations, ensuring a profound connection with the soul of Santiago.

  • City & Sunset Photography

    • Panoramic tour from Plaza Marte to Parque Céspedes, visiting Ron Caney or Museo del Ron, with sunset shots from Casa Grande Terrace.
  • Historical & Cultural Sites

    • Capture morning activities at Moncada Garrison, explore Santa Efigenia Cemetery, and photograph Revolution Square with local dancers.
  • Religious Heritage

    • Visit El Cobre Sanctuary, photograph La Tumba Francesa dance, and end with a bay-side photo walk.
  • Cultural Practices

    • Document a Palo Monte ceremony, wander Calle de la Santería, and shoot in the Padre Pico area.
  • Local Life

    • Engage with the fishing community at Cayo Granma and capture sunset at Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca.
  • Creative Expressions

    • Conduct a nude photo shoot with dancers, visit Fundación Caguayo and artists’ workshops, and explore Jardin de los Helechos.
  • Natural Beauty & Historical Farms

    • Hike Gran Piedra, visit Cafetal La Isabelica, and unwind at Jardin Exotico Ave del Paraíso.
  • Baracoa Exploration

    • Engage in photo walks capturing sunrise, local dances, and rural life, visit a cacao farm, and enjoy sunset at Tibaracón del Toa.

Note: The program includes spontaneous stops for unique photographic opportunities, adding an element of unpredictability to the structured visits, capturing the essence of Santiago’s vibrant culture.

  • Program dates: March 10-21st, 2025
  • Program Price:  $7,313
  • Save your spot: $   600
  • Initial Deposit:  $4,000 by Aug. 30th, 2024
  • Final Payment:  $2,713 by Nov 25th, 2024
  • Single-room occupancy supplement: $450
  • Min 8/ Max 10 Participants 


  • Because there are fewer flights to Santiago de Cuba, this program requires us to depart together from Miami on March 10th, 2025. Therefore, it is suggested that you travel a day prior. The cost of this program already includes the night of March 9th in a Miami hotel and dinner.
  • (Note: In case of cancellation by customer, the ‘Save your Spot’ deposit is non-refundable. However said amount can be applied  towards any other EMS Photo Adventure program within 364 calendar days from the beginning of the program. Or toward any other EMS PA products.)

Join 2 X Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and expert in Cuba, Essdras M Suarez for a captivating photographic journey into the vibrant heart of Santiago de Cuba, exploring both its iconic culture and picturesque landscapes of the area including the Baracoa region.

  • Capture the essence of urban life and historic architecture on a panoramic city tour that includes stops from Plaza Marte to Parque Céspedes, where you’ll photograph important landmarks like the Bacardi Museum building and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. Taste local flavors at Ron Caney or Museo del Ron and catch the sunset from Casa Grande Terrace.

  • Immerse yourself in Cuba’s rich history and reverence at Moncada Garrison in the morning, wander through Santa Efigenia Cemetery where national heroes rest, and capture the evening’s energy at Revolution Square surrounded by local dancers.

  • Explore the most sacred sites of Cuba, like El Cobre Sanctuary, photograph the culturally significant La Tumba Francesa dance, and conclude your day with a serene photo walk along the bay.

  • Delve into Cuba’s religious practices with a rare look into a Palo Monte ceremony, explore the vibrant Calle de la Santería, and capture scenes around the historic Padre Pico.

  • Experience the local life at Cayo Granma, engaging with the fishing community and capturing the sunset at the UNESCO-listed Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca.

  • Engage creatively with a nude photo session featuring dancers in a colonial house, visit local artists at Fundación Caguayo, and discover the lush biodiversity at Jardin de los Helechos.

  • Ascend Gran Piedra, visiting historic coffee plantations like Cafetal La Isabelica, and relax amid the exotic flora of Jardin Exotico Ave del Paraíso.

  • Venture to Baracoa for an extensive exploration that includes sunrise photo walks, visits to a cacao farm, and interactions with local fishermen during a sunset at Tibaracón del Toa.

Each part of your journey is designed not just to observe but to interact deeply with the culture and people of Santiago de Cuba, from artists’ workshops to the streets where daily life unfolds. Our flexible program structure ensures that alongside planned visits, we are always ready to capture spontaneous moments of beauty and authenticity, making each photograph a unique testament to the soul of Santiago.

Trip Includes

  • One lodging night in Miami, Fla + dinner
  • 12 days/ 11 nights of accommodations in Cuba
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • 28 out of 31 meals
  • Ground Transportation
  • Lodging in Casa Particulars (Privately Owned Accommodations)

Not included: 

  • Airfare to Miami and to Cuba (back and forth if it applies to your travel plans)
  • Extra alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides and driver

Note: Full itinerary and details available upon booking

SPECIAL NOTE: Our programs meet the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requirements for US citizens to legally travel to the island. We travel through the OFAC general license § 515.574 “Support for the Cuban People”category that allows us to engage in a full-time schedule of authorized exchanges and activities. We foment private enterprise by staying at casas particulares and eating at local eateries called ‘paladares.’  Our activities are designed to engage deeply with local communities through cultural exchanges, support for private enterprises, and educational programs that promote an understanding of civil society in Cuba. 


Santiago March 10-21st, '25 (single)
Santiago, March 10-21st, '25 (double)

Contact us for inquiries