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Cuba to host first ever Nature Photography Contest in Topes de Collantes reserve

  • 12-Oct-12 16:11
  • Cuba
  • Holiday Industry

Seducing nature lovers and amateur photographers with the unique opportunity of trying out their "pointing and shoot" skills during inspiring Cuba holidays, the first ever Nature Photography Contest will soon take place from 11-15th November 2012 in Topes de Collantes, a nature reserve of outstanding natural beauty and rich biodiversity sprawling over 20,000 hectares.

Cuba to host first ever Nature Photography Contest in Topes de Collantes reserve

As a new way to bring tourists closer to the best of Cuba’s nature, the island’s Gaviota Tourism Group, S.A. has created a new photography competition inviting all amateurs and professional photographers to embark on a unique journey and take eco-friendly Cuba holidays to discover the beauty of the nation’s most breathtaking natural sites whilst having the opportunity to earn a prize.

The creation of the Nature Photography Contest will see many hopefuls battling it out to capture the most unique nature shots in Cuba’s most spectacular nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site – Topes de Collantes, a vast and lush valley that comprises over 20,000 hectares, beautifully spread out over the provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus.

The new photography competition has been developed with the aim of showcasing the best of Cuba’s landscapes and showing its enthralling natural beauty through travellers’ camera lenses. Its secondary aim is to entice more visitors to the island to discover the many natural wonders in the Cuban archipelago as part of their holidays in Cuba and go beyond the allure of the beaches. The initiative also aims to cater to a growing market of eco-tourism lovers and those wishing to escape the common perception that the island is just another sun and beach destination and find something more inspiring to do when planning holidays to Cuba.

 Topes de Collantes in Cuba
Image by: McTumshie, on Flickr

With striking elevations ranging between 250 and 9000 metres above sea level, the protected and enchanted area in Topes de Collantes is a striking natural wonder that dramatically stands out because of its rich and unique biodiversity. Exuberant forests, rivers and streams with dramatic waterfalls, natural ponds and abundant wildlife will captivate the heart and soul of the even the most discerning and well-travelled eco-tourist.

For the competition, the images will have to be taken in six different trails, to be chosen by the participants. They’ll be able to select from: The Magic Carpet, Sentinels of the Melody River, Tracks of History, Gardens of Giants and Vegas Grandes.

Contestants will be able to compete in the following categories: Landscape, Flora and Fauna and Man and Nature.

 Topes de Collantes in Cuba
Image by: kirstf, on Flickr

All those interested can hand in up to 10 different photographs which must be presented in digital format (TIFF or JPEG – 300dpi) and they will be submitted to a jury presided by Dr Julio A. Larramendi and made up of prestigious photography artists and specialists in Cuban biodiversity.

The photography competition will be taking place over the course of four days from 11th to 14th November 2012 and a full 10-day Cuba holiday programme for the event has been put together by the Gaviota Group which includes transfers, accommodation pus specialised guided service. As part of the programme participants will be staying six nights in a Havana hotel and four nights in Topes de Collantes.

Winners will be selected in three categories with a unique Big Award given to the author of the overall winning photograph and a first, second and third prizes will also be awarded in each competition category. The winner of the Big Award will be awarded with special beach holidays to Cuba for two people staying at the Playa Cayo Santa Maria hotel (5 stars) on an all inclusive basis and the rest of the winners will receive two nights' accommodation with a companion at the eco-friendly Los Helechos Hotel in Topes de Collantes with an included tour.

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