Join me on this once in a lifetime trip to Havana, Cuba.
Soak up the remnants of a forgotten era - hear amazing music, connect with Cubans and do yoga at one of the the most exciting cities in the world. This trip is the beautiful union of a yoga retreat and the wonders of Havana. After morning yoga classes, we will have full days of exploration of art, music, world heritage sites, seeing the famous beaches of Eastern Havana and connecting with Cuban culture. We will learn some great dance moves from excellent Cuban instructors. Your nights will be filled with music from World class Cuban musicians. You will also have the amazing opportunity to learn from teachers from the Cuban Yoga Association who are influenced by BKS Iyengar.
Prices start at $1899 and for 5 days 4 nights include:
Bilingual guides available for included and optional activities
Cuban insurance and access to free medical care
Daily breakfast, 2 dinners & 2 lunches
Daily yoga and exchange with Cuban yogis
Exploration of 2 art alleys
live drumming and dance performance
1 beach day and lunch in Cojima (Hemingway's favorite fishing village)
3 group salsa and Afro Cuban folklore dance classes
walking tour of Old Havana
5 days/ 4 nights accommodations in BnB apartments (casa particulares) in hip Vedado neighborhood of Havana
Airfare (flights are easy and around $300)
Ground Transportation (restaurants, nightlife, yoga are all within walking distance)
Cuban Visa (purchased with your airline, around $50)
Prices and Accommodations:
We have 15 apartments in an 11 story building in the hip neighborhood of Vedado, home to Cuba's best nightlife and culinary scenes, near the Malecon sea wall where locals and tourists go to watch the sunset.
*Note: These apartments are casa particulares - basically a mini B&B where your Cuban host lives in the same apartment in a separate wing. Your host cooks and cleans for you, but other than that you have a bedroom and bathroom to yourself (and any friends you travel with). This is one of the best ways to travel in Cuba and really immerse yourself in the culture! Cuba is a communist, 3rd world country.
**While we will have modern comforts like AC, running water, private bathrooms we are not living in luxury! If you are looking to sit on a pristine beach and be served drinks next to an infinity pool this trip is not for you. If you are interested in experiencing Cuban culture, meeting Cuban people, and opening your eyes to life at a pace we haven't seen in decades then this IS for you!
The apartments have between 1-3 bedrooms, and each bedroom has either 1 or 2 beds, so if you would like to be placed with others from the retreat or prefer to reside solo let us know. All apartments have elevator access and pool access.
Double Occupancy: $1899
Single Occupancy: $1999
$350 Deposit reserves your spot, remaining balance is split into 4 and must be paid in full by 2/1/2018
If YOU CANCEL the Yoga Retreat:
60 DAYS BEFORE:
Fully refundable minus the non-refundable deposit.
59 DAYS BEFORE:
no refunds or credits will be given during this period.
*If we cancel the trip for any reason 100% of the deposit and any fees you have paid will be returned. We recommend travel insurance to cover any illness, emergencies or other reasons for interrupting travel.
3 Day Optional Add-On Trip to Varadero Beach Town
Stay an extra 3 Days in Varadero
For the Cuba enthusiasts who want to maximize their time - Join us for a 3 day 2 night optional add-on trip to the gorgeous landscape of Varadero
We will stay in an 8 person house one block from the gorgeous beach in the town of Varadero. If we have more than 8 people interested we'll explore renting a few houses within walking distance to each other. We will have a space to do yoga where we're staying and definitely breakfast there as well. During the days we can explore the town of Cardenas (20 minutes) and have exchange with a wonderful yoga community, there. We will also have the option of a rumba performance and drumming classes in Cardenas. In the city of Matanzas, enjoy folklore dance classes and drumming classes, have lunch at a wonderful paladar and experience the flavor of this different town. Since we're staying right on the water, there will be plenty of ocean time!
$950 per person
*prices include accomodation, breakfasts, yoga, dance & drumming classes,
Deposit $150 (non-refundable, see above for link to purchase)
1) Am I allowed to travel there as an American? Yes! For detailed info on travel click this link, but in short you are allowed to travel to Cuba if you are going on an educational trip (to learn yoga and salsa/african dance from cubans as well as art). I am teaming with Cuban Wellness Adventures, which has been organizing yoga retreats for Americans going to Cuba since long before the restrictions were lifted. So rest assured, you are in good hands.
2) Do I need a passport? Yes!!! If you don't have one start this process now - USPS Passport Website. It can take up to 6 weeks to receive your passport, and sometimes longer. If you wait until the last minute you will have to pay $$$ in extra fees to expedite. If you already have a passport, check the expiration date - they might give you a hard time if it is expiring within 90 days of your travel plans to/from USA
3) Will my credit cards work in Cuba?
No, as of yet no US credit cards are taken in Cuba. You will need to travel with cash. As we get closer to the trip we will help advise you on the amount of cash to bring.
4) What are the best websites to use for buying my flight? The usual. Many Us Airlines are offering flights to Cuba now and prices are $300 and under, yeah! I am partial to Southwest Airlines and will let all of you know what flight I book, should you prefer to meet up in the airport before we leave the country. Please wait to buy tickets until we announce preferred arrival and departure time.
6) What will the weather be like?
Amazing! Temperatures range from a high of 85 to a low of 70.
7) I heard Cuban food isn't very tasty, is that true?
Like everywhere, that depends on where you go. If you eat at big government sanctioned restaurant, often the food is not very enjoyable. But tourists in the know eat at Paladares instead. And guess what, our guides are in the know! Paladares are in-home restaurants that have been legalized since 1990's. They are only allowed 12 seats and are restricted in offerings but often have the most authentic and tasty Cuban cuisine. Our guides have the in on the best restaurants in Cuba so expect to have happy full bellies! Read more on Paladares.
8) Why are other Cuba trips so much more expensive? 1. Some companies are still charging pre-2015 prices, I guess because they can.
2. They likely have you staying in a Hotel. Hotel rooms are a commodity - there are only 60,000 hotel rooms in Cuba. We will be staying in Casa Particulares - essentially, B&Bs owned and rented out by cuban locals. Much like the in-home restaurants, tourists in the know choose to stay in B&Bs. They are less expensive and often in better shape. Many of cuba's hotels are crumbling and in disrepair. they are only pricey because of scarcity. To read more about casa particulares click here. And if you want to read about the poor state of Cuban hotels look no further than Trip Advisor reviews :) Let's just visit a few of the iconic hotels for a mojito instead.
Cuba Quick Links:
While Europeans and Canadians have been traveling to Cuba for decades, travel to and from the US has been illegal until very recently. If you're like me, you are wanting to research the hell outta this before committing. In anticipation of your concerns I created a list of sites that may make your research easier!
Legal travel to Cuba - why we have to travel with an educational/cultural exchange guide
Cell service in Cuba - yes they will work, ish.
Internet in Cuba - enjoy the smartphone fast and duck into wifi hotspots when you need to connect
Safety in Cuba (crime, health etc.)
Our guide: Shoshanna Marks, Director at Cuban Wellness Adventures.
In October of 2001, before entering an intensive 18 month yoga teacher training, I decided to live in Cuba for a few months to study yoga in Spanish with Eduardo Pimentel, the Godfather of yoga in Cuba. It was a goal of mine to offer yoga to the Spanish speaking community in California. That Fall was the start of Cuba Wellness Adventures even though I did not realize it at the time. While immersed in the heart centered Cuban yoga, music and poetry, I fell in love. I fell in love with the humanity that I saw in people's interactions, with the safety that kids enjoyed in the streets, with yoga for the sake of yoga far from profit, with the powerful mixture of music that a new generation was creating and with my future husband and his family. This love drives my goal to bring people together and share our cultures, our experiences and our practices. We would be honored to show you the magic of Cuba through connections with the people who make it unique in this world.