Architecture
Colours of Cuba
March 30, 2017
10
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Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color

The colours of Cuba are a palette of vibrant pastels faded under the Caribbean sun, maybe a metaphor for the country itself. Sorbet hues of tropical ocean inspired green-blues and blue-greens shine alongside blushing pinks, terracotta oranges and mellow yellows.

Cuban culture is no doubt colourful, however while admiring this seemingly idyllic, multi-hued haven – it pays to keep in mind the inconvenient truth. The rainbow of the Trinidad streetscape is not simply artistic charm, but also the result of locals not having access to the same paint colour twice. The artists peddling their work in the street or their studio, may not have had access to new paint brushes for years. In fact, it was an artist that made me realize that my standard answer for why I was visiting Cuba – “I wanted to beat the first McDonalds” – sounded utterly selfish and insensitive when heard through a local’s ear. If I thought about it some more, this wasn’t at all the reason I was visiting Cuba, but merely the reason for the timing of my visit. Cuba has long been on my bucket list because I wanted to experience the culture and landscape; to take a salsa class; and visit the birthplace of one of my lifelong heroes.

Therefore, I encourage you to enjoy the colours of Cuba with a critical eye. Before getting lost in the romantic nostalgia of vintage cars and crumbling buildings, pause for those who don’t have the luxury of “new” and pay respect to the incredible resilience and innovation that it takes to live in this environment every day and not just as a passing traveller.

Disclosure: I may earn compensation from the purchase of any product or service linked on this website, at no extra cost to you. I only link to products I use and love, therefore feel comfortable recommending.

Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
A line up of taxi trikes outside Floridita, Hemmingway's prefered source of Daquiris
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
The pink walls of the Havana Club Museum
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Hotel Ambos Mundos in its salmon glory
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
A Havana laneway framed in red doors leads to a green washed home
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Street art on a peppermint green wall
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Trinidad pastels
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
The courtyard of a Trinidad casa
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
The mid century styled entrance of a Havana home
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Snorkelling the beautifully blue Bay of Pigs
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Palacio de Valle, Cienfuegos
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Colours of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo #cuba #colour #color
Pink Ford

Plan a trip to Cuba

Find flights to Cuba with Skyscanner.

Search for accommodation using Tripadvisor.

See the best of Cuba with Locally Sourced tours.

Don’t forget travel insurance, I recommend Seven Corners or World Nomads.

You can find more Cuban inspiration covering a unique, art-filled casastreet art and architecture right here on Duende.

Peace, love & inspiring tavel,

Madam ZoZo

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Hotel Ambos Mundos, Havana, Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo
The vibrant and faded hues of Cuba | Duende by Madam ZoZo

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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There are 10 comments

  • Crystal says:

    Stunning photos and cultural insights. Cuba is fascinating…we can learn much from them. I recently learned that they have rich traditions of maintaining organic farming, that is currently threatened by big corporations now coming in. I have seen that some people are fighting to protect the organic way of life. So critical on delicate island ecosystems.

    • Madam ZoZo says:

      Hi Crystal, thanks for stopping by Duende. Yes, Cuban’s are the best at making do, reusing and recycling!
      We had a lovely lunch at an organic farm overlooking Vinales valley. We discussed with our guide and driver how we feared for the disruption of the natural environment and people’s health with the great changes on the horizon. I hope they take a moment before following in some of the developed world’s less glorious footprints.

      • Crystal says:

        I bet that was a wonderful experience. I wonder, did you speak Spanish mostly there? Did you find that people spoke some English?

        • Madam ZoZo says:

          Hola Crystal! Unfortunately I know only enough Spanish to be polite. I found that the English spoken ranged considerably, and our local guide was excellent help.

  • Joe says:

    Hey Zoe,

    Amazing pictures. The colors around Cuba have to be awesome to see first hand. Where did you go in Cuba and what do you recommend? I would love to visit at some point.

    Joe

    • Madam ZoZo says:

      Hi Joe and thank you!
      We had a wonderful and eye-opening experience in Cuba. Havana and Trinidad are where we spent most of our time, but also enjoyed shorter trips to Vinales, Cienfuegos and the Bay of Pigs.
      There is great snorkeling in the Bay. Gorgeous natural scenery and outdoor activities around Vinales and Trinidad. Havana is a terrific cultural center with museums, history and arts galore!

  • Emma says:

    That’s a really interesting fact about the house colours! I have to stop and remind myself of things like this. We want to see “the authentic” “the rustic nature” of a place, but really sometimes the people want something more.

    • Madam ZoZo says:

      Yes! I experienced a few wake-up calls on my Cuba trip. It made me realise that I was unconsciously wearing “developed world glasses” when looking at the countries I visit, and that I need to ask more questions and make fewer assumptions.

  • […] If you love colour like I do, Duende has an entire series dedicated to the most vibrant and colourful destinations I’ve travelled. Check out Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cuba. […]

  • […] If you love colour as much as I do, check out the other posts in the “Colours of” Series including Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. […]

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