Late January 2019 my wife and I took a one week vacation to Cuba. More specifically to the southeast corner of Holguin province. This was our first trip to Cuba. Flight and all bookings were done through Sunwing, a popular travel agency specializing in exotic southern locations.
Our trip to Holguin province entailed a week long stay at Memories resort and four unique outings. Excursion #1 was a 1/2 day catamaran cruise that took us to two shallow reefs for snorkeling followed by a fantastic seafood lunch at a private restaurant. Excursion #2 was a 3 hour experience that took us to a local market. Excursion #3 was a 1/2 day trip to the city of Holguin. Excursion #4 was a 1.5hr adventure where we walked from the resort (lead by a local guide) to a intricate cave system for some subterranean exploring. The photos I share in this post are from each of our experiences during our week in Cuba.
For this vacation I only brought the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the 10-24mm F4 Fuji lens. This kept the photography gear relatively compact and light and supported my interest in wide angle landscape and street photography. I had the film simulation mode set to Velvia and the photos I’ve shared here are default Velvia JPG’s out of the camera with a bit of editing (some images have very little editing, some quite a bit). All editing was done using Skylum’s Luminar 3.
Memories Resort – Holguin Province
Caves (20 minute walk from Memories Resort)
A collection of photographs taken from the bus as we drove back and forth from our day adventures. These photos were selected to show a mix of poor, average and more wealthy residences in the area.
Holguin city was founded as San Isidoro de Holguín in 1545 and it is named after its founder Captain García Holguín, a Spanish military officer. It is the 4th largest city in Cuba and has a population of approx 400,000. There are several small city parks and the one we visited is the most central one, Calixto García in the downtown area. Close by one finds the galleries Centro Provincial de Arte and Bayado, a library, the club Casa de la Trova, the Martí cinema, the Theatre Eddy Suñol, the Province Museum La Periquera, a science museum and a history museum.
In Pope Francis’s visit to the United States, in September 2015, he visited Cuba before the U.S. and while in Cuba he visited the Diocese of Holguín to, among other things, commemorate the location where Christopher Columbus landed. From the hill Loma de la Cruz, which is a significant location where he blessed the city, a large crucifix has been installed and annual religious events take place there. One can drive to the top of the hill to the location of the large crucifix or can take the 450 stairs from the bottom of the hill. Once at the top, one can oversee the whole city. This is a popular tourist location because of its importance to the city and the view it offers.
For our snorkeling adventure, unfortunately I did not bring an underwater camera to show the great variety of fish at the reef we visited, but I did capture a few pics while out on the water. The last image of the bay with the cactus in the foreground represents the beautiful view of the surrounding rural area that we enjoyed while our group had the included seafood lunch at the small private hill-top restaurant.