• Original afternoon visit in trinidad .jpg?1469826313?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Cuba Through a Photographer’s Eyes
    Type “Cuba” into your search engine and the first photos you’ll see are bright images of old-school cars and colonial-style buildings. But that’s a small part of Cuba. The real Cuba is chattering local women, cooling down with cups of lemonade, or fishermen passing time on the Malecón. Yes, the cars are there (and they are Insta-worthy) but there’s much more to local life on the island. 

    For those of us who can’t hop on one of the first, direct commercial flights to Cuba from the United States, here’s a look at the island nation through the eyes of photographer Luis Cárdenas. 

    Photo by @lvis.ca
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    The Best Way to Start the Day
    Cuba’s famous cigars are part of daily life in Havana. 

    Photo by @lvis.ca
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    Cuban Cars
    It’s true that there are many old American cars in Cuba, but this popular model, called a Lada, actually comes from Russia. 

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original fiesta de cumplean%cc%83os in havana.jpg?1469826321?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Fiesta de Cumpleaños
    How to party in Havana!

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original bread in trinidad .jpg?1469826323?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Freshly Baked
    Wherever that bread is going, we’d like to go too.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
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    Viñales Valley
    Ever smoked a Cuban cigar? Those tobacco leaves were probably grown on a plantation like this one, located in the Viñales Valley.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original cienfuegos.jpg?1469826327?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Making Shade
    The best way to stay cool in the hot Cuban sun? By creating your own shade, of course.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
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    Cooling Down
    Drinking cocktails is another way to take a break from the Havana heat. 

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original afternoon visit in trinidad .jpg?1469826332?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Trinidad Upkeep
    Trinidad is famous for its colorful architecture, and this blue facade doesn’t disappoint.

    Photo by@lvis.ca
  • Original guajiro in valle de vin%cc%83ales.jpg?1469826334?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Afternoon Ride
    A young guajiro (farmer) takes a ride in Viñales Valley.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
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    Fruit Vendor
    In Santiago, you can buy mamey—a mild, soft fruit that’s often compared to a sweet potato—for an afternoon snack. 

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original baracoa .jpg?1469826338?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Carriage on the Malecon
    That’s one way to get around!

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original classic trinidad.jpg?1469826340?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Sweet Rides
    We just can’t resist these rides.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original fishermen in havana malecon .jpg?1469826342?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Looking North
    Two young fisherman look north from Havana’s iconic Malecón.

    Photo by @lvis.ca
  • Original airbnb.jpg?1469826345?ixlib=rails 0.3
    What’s Next
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See Cuba Through the Eyes of a Local Photographer

It’s not all retro cars and colonial buildings.