International Digital Nature Photo Contest

International Digital Nature Photo Contest - Edition VIII - 14-19 September - 2020 - Topes de Collantes - Cuba

    • Havana
    • Sancti Spíritus Province
    • Topes de Collantes
    • Adventure
    • Active
    • International Event
    • Nature
    • Photography

For already 9 consecutive years, an international competition for digital nature photography has been organized in Cuba. This prestigious competition takes place in Topes de Collantes, a mountain village in the Sierra de Escambray, near Trinidad.


Topes de Collantes is a prime location for nature photography. Located on the flanks of the Sierra del Escambray, near equally photogenic Trinidad, it is a treasure chest of nature; rich in extraordinary fauna and many native and endemic plant species. The biosphere reserve houses the most beautiful (sub) tropical forests and several waterfalls, which descend into deep blue pools, sometimes from a height of 60 meters. The pure mountain air also makes the area pleasant to linger. Before the Cuban revolution, there were four small parks, mainly inhabited by coffee farmers. Today it is one big nature park, a challenge for the creativity and craftsmanship of many nature photographers.

With a guide, you will walk through the untouched wilderness along marked routes and it is up to you to focus and be sharp. The environment is fully cooperative.

There are 4 themes

  • Landscape: The protected natural landscape with its parks, nature phenomena, climatic conditions, mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls. In short, every natural environment that has not essentially been changed by humans.
  • Flora & Fauna: Plants and animals in their natural environment.
  • Human being and nature: Capturing the life of the local residents, their culture, their customs, their traditions and idiosyncrasy. Their concerns about the environment can also be a topic.
  • Macro photography

You can submit up to 3 images per theme, with a total of 12 participating photos for all categories. The images may be in color or black and white (at least 4500 pixels). The organization has set out various routes and provides a guide for your orientation in this sometimes less accessible area.

The images are judged by the jury on content, composition, technical difficulty, technical quality, details and dynamic range and effects.

The photos must comply with the rules of the competition.

Hotel Los Helechos

You will stay, full board, in Los Helechos, a secluded 3-star hotel, decent, but with few pretensions in the field of luxury and entertainment. However, it stands perky at 800 meters altitude, in the middle of the nature park where the competition takes place.

The hotel has Wi-Fi (in the lobby), a small indoor pool, a restaurant, a lobby bar, a small disco and a bowling alley. Several paths near the hotel offer immediate access to the settings for the photo contest.

Here you can watch a video made during the previous photo contest.

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Gaviota Turismo - Cuba
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Tour on Map

Price per room from

Opening hours

Opening hours
Phone number

Departure time
07.00 am
14-19 September 2020
English, Other languages on request, Spanish
Activity level
Average (hiking, biking and more)
Insider's tip
Pack a sweater or jacket with you. It can cool off in the mountains in the evenings and in the morning. Also bring swimwear, sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the competition routs. Good physical condition is required for the photo trajectories. The lobby of Hotel Los Helechos has Wi-Fi. Participants who have not brought their own laptop or iPad can use computers that are provided by the organization. Grupo Gaviota Tours Cuba may use the winning photos for promotional tourist purposes, with copyright protection (credits are for the photographer). Participants and their travel companion may not have contact with the judges before submitting the photographs. Various prizes will be awarded. Apart from a first, second and third place per theme, there is also a premium prize, a 7-day luxury hotel stay in Cayo Santa María.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1: September 14, 2020

  • 07.00 am: Departure by bus from Hotel Kohly in Havana.
  • 12.00 am: Arrival at Topes de Collantes.
    Check-in at Hotel Los Helechos and accreditation.
  • 03.00 - 05.00 pm: Start of the photography contest.
    Information about the area, the contest and the marked routes.
    Official start of the contest.
  • 08.30 - 11.00 pm: Dinner and welcome activity

    • Havana
    • Topes de Collantes
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

  • 06.00 am – 06.00 pm: Accompanied by a guide you walk one of the competition routes.

    • Topes de Collantes
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

  • 06.00 am – 06.00 pm: Accompanied by a guide you walk one of the competition routes.

    • Topes de Collantes
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

  • 06.00 am – 06.00 pm: Accompanied by a guide you walk one of the competition routes.
  • 10.00 pm: End of the competition, the images will be handed over to the jury.

    • Topes de Collantes
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

  • 7.30 am: Departure in Russian truck. Visit the local museum. Opening of the Photo Exposition. Group photo.
  • Visit to Trinidad. The Scale Model of Trinidad. Plaza Santa Ana (brewery) and a ride along local haciendas.
  • Lunch in Guachinango.
  • 03.30 pm: Return to Hotel Los Helechos.
  • 07.30 pm: Dinner.
  • 09.00 pm: Award ceremony and farewell party.

    • Topes de Collantes
    • Trinidad
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

  • 08.00 am: Last joint breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
  • 09.00 am: Check-out and departure by bus to Havana.

    • Topes de Collantes
    • Havana
    • Hotel Los Helechos, Topes de Collantes

More Information

Accommodation included

  • Hotel Los Helechos – Topes de Collantes
Also Included
  • Arrival transfer from Havana airport to your accommodation in Havana.
  • Group transport by air-conditioned bus from Havana (Hotel Kohly) to Topes de Collantes (hotel Los Helechos), and vice versa.
  • 5 Nights in Hotel Los Helechos in single, double or triple room with shower / WC.
    Meals: Full board, starting with lunch on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 6.
  • Competition program according to description.
  • Guide service.
  • Departure transfer accommodation in Havana to Havana airport.

Not included 

  • Other consumptions.
  • Tips.
  • Expenses of a personal nature

You can adapt this travel program to your personal wishes. You can add destinations, you can extend or shorten the trip. Do you want to add accommodation? Add activities or excursions? Do you need any other travel services? We are happy to help you.
Contact us. With your specific wishes and our knowledge, together we create the perfect trip.