The colors of Cuba. And how to play dress up

Color and Cuba go hand in hand like two peas in a pod. There is so much color in Cuba, a rush of bright happy colors no less, that it’s not surprising how much happier one can feel while here.

The exuberance in color is simply staggering.

Everyone talks about the classic cars of Cuba. But my utmost delight to document, all throughout the island, were not the cars – stunning in both color and make, of course – but the doors, the unbelievably beautiful doors, each of a different style and color but not one that could be deemed as ugly. Whether old or new, each single one was exquisite. The same went for the windows, of intricate motifs, statures and shapes. Pair all of these up with monumental columns,  elaborate arches and romantic balconies, and you’ll have yourself an architectural paradise. Ah, bliss.

Havana selfie

And this is where dress up came into play. In fact, everywhere I went, I blended in perfectly. The mix of colonial architecture, blue skies and brightly painted walls and doors made for a photography dream, one I would love to engage in again and again; and again. I would never tire. Few people asked (ok, most of you) if I color coordinated my outfits everywhere I went on this trip. The answer is no. I just packed my most summery outfits that either had a 1950s flair to them, or would fit for any Caribbean island. I basically went for vivid colors, polka dot dresses and flowery tops. At least this is what I envisioned I would want to wear in Cuba.

And in regards to style and travel fashion, I won’t lie. I felt most inspired in Cuba.

Blue door in Havana

In Old Havana’s Plaza Vieja 

The faded glamour, the old plazas, the colorful art, all made me feel at home and content, 100% in my element.

Besides Old Havana, which has been restored in recent years to its previous splendor, Camagüey was the one that in the end captured my heart. Home to a large community of artists and a seemingly endless row of colored buildings and winding streets, this city and capital of the province bearing the same name, was the perfect destination for my travel fashion explorations.

Colors of Camagüey

Camagüey – everywhere I looked I saw bright colors

Old house in Camagüey

The houses in Camagüey, both old and new, are gorgeus! This was my favorite

Streets of Camagüey

The colors of Cuba, and in particular, of Camagüey 

Old house in Camagüey_2 Old house in Camagüey_3

Looking for Fidel … 

Old house in Camagüey_4

Fidel, are you home? 

Old architecture in Camagüey

The streets of Camagüey

On the winding streets of Camagüey 

Plaza San Juan de Dios Camagüey Twirling in Plaza San Juan de Dios Camagüey

Twirling in Plaza de San Juan de Dios, also in Camagüey

Castillo del Moro Cuba

At Castillo de los Moros, Santiago de Cuba 

Polka dots were my favorite to wear in Cuba, as I did on one of my favorite nights in Havana. But little did I expect at Morro Castle, a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana Bay, to find these unexpected bright blue grids gracing the windows of such an ancient structure.

But as I learnt along the way, Cuba is nothing less but a constant dose of unexpected. And the colors of Cuba were just a small part of it.

Photos by Josie Webb, © 2014

All other photos are my own.

Disclaimer: These photos have not been edited from their original form, which gives you an idea of the power of color that Cuba really exhibits. I would like to thank Josie Webb for being not only a wonderful travel companion, but for pulling out her camera for impromptu photo shoots in 90 degree weather, in the mid-day burning sun. 

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  • @mrsoaroundworld

    Can’t decide which is my favourite photo. I really cannot. Maybe the one with the pink door. Love the outfits!

    • monicasuma

      Thank you! I think the pink door ones are my favorite too.

  • Mary Anne Been

    the blue door is my favorite. Lovely and you look amazing in all your pics. Cuba suits you!

    • monicasuma

      Thank you! The blue door was one of the first pictures I took, probably one of the most representative for the trip.

  • lola

    Oh Cuba! i feel like belong there…it’s so colorful. you look so pretty, as always, Monica.

  • You have no idea how much I love this post! Great outfits and of course gorgeous scenery!

    • monicasuma

      Thank you, this means so much to me!!

  • Amazing pics… I love this post. Thanks!

    • monicasuma

      Thank you for reading!

  • CaptainandClark

    Ohh, I love that yellow dress! These photos are beautiful. I hope we’re able to make it to Cuba soon!

    • monicasuma

      Thank you, guys! The yellow dress is definitely one of my favorites. And do go to Cuba, it’s like none other place I’ve been!

  • Love all your outfits, just as colourful as the buildings! 🙂

    • monicasuma

      Thank you, Becky!

  • Nice pictures and outfits matching the mood of the places !

  • Anne

    Love the outfits, the spaces, the COLORS! Can’t believe the photos are untouched! Beautiful.

  • Andres Moran

    Beautiful pictures…..Thanks for the images of Camaguey, the place I was born. And you look great in all of them. Have a wonderful day 🙂