CUBA: yoga, culture + community
havana and viñales, cuba • NEW DATES TBA SOON!
Take the trip you've always dreamed of... Six days and five nights in CUBA. Morning rooftop yoga overlooking Old Havana, cigar rolling, sustainable organic farm tours, paddleboarding in the Tarrera River, a trip to Hemingway's Finca Vigia residence, beach time at Playas Del Este, nights out at Fabrica De Arte, salsa dance lessons, sunset meditations overlooking the Malecón, authentic cafe con leches, a boat and walking tour of Vinales, cave exploring, vintage cars, amazing dinners and an unforgettable adventure.
We'll start and end our trip in Havana, at the Hotel Presidente, one block from the renowned Malecón seawall. Mornings will start with rooftop yoga and breakfast and our Havana days will be filled with walking tours of Old Havana, a trip to the National Museum of Fine Arts, a trip to Hemingway's Finca Vigia home, shopping in local markets, cabaret shows at Club Tropicana, paddleboard yoga, a day to trip to Playas del Este, lunches and dinners in favorite Cuban restaurants like La Bodeguito del Medio (home of the mojito), El Aljibe, EL Litoral, evenings out at the incredible Fabrica De Arte and more. We'll also get the chance to practice with legendary Eduardo Pimentel, the light hearted godfather of yoga in Cuba, who studied yoga via mail with BKS Iyengar.
We'll do an overnight stay in the western province of Pinar Del Rio, home of Cuba’s most gorgeous landscapes and the main agricultural region. We'll spend the afternoon exploring Cuba's natural caves on foot and by boat, visit a tobacco plantation, try your hand at rolling a cigar and then check into Hotel Los Jazmines for the night and soak up the view of the valley from your balcony. Wake up with sunrise yoga overlooking the lush mountains, pack your bags and we'll head to an organic farm for a tour and a true farm to table lunch.
We're working together with Cultural Contrast, an arranger of travel to Cuba for over 25 years - with tons of experience - and we are SO EXCITED to explore Cuba with you!
TRIP PRICE $2299 DOUBLE // $2599 SINGLE
PLUS travel via chartered group airfare via American Airlines to and from Miami International Airport and all visas and licenses through Cultural Contrast Cuba + $1000.
TOTAL COST $3299 DOUBLE // $3599 SINGLE
** SIGN UP DEADLINE: JAN 1st, 2016 (Cuban policy requires all visitor info 90 days in advance)
YOUR TRIP INCLUDES:
• 6 days and 5 nights in Havana, Cuba plus day trips to neighboring towns
• Round trip airfare via chartered commercial airline flight from Miami - Havana - Miami
• All hotel accommodations in Cuba
• Gratuities to wait staff at included meals and hotel bellboys while in Cuba
• Gratuities for your professional guide and driver
• Included meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners from some of the best cuisine in Cuba. Some special dietary needs can be accommodated.
• Ground transportation within Cuba will be provided on a luxury coach with a professional driver.
• Your group will have an experienced English speaking professional guide who is knowledgeable on Cuban history, politics, education, medical system, arts, economics and more
• All entrance fees to the important cultural and historic sites
• Daily yoga classes
• Medical insurance while in Cuba (this does not cover preexisting conditions).
• All US airport and airline taxes
• Cuban visa fee
• Travel Insurance - it's recommended that each participant purchase trip cancellation insurance. Cancellations prior to departure without insurance could cause participants to forfeit their payment.
• Miami lodging - The trip originates and terminates in Miami. If you do not live in Miami, you may wish to book a hotel in Miami the night before departure.
• Upon check-in in Miami, baggage fees are common and are the responsibility of each passenger.
How do I get there?
Our chartered American Airlines flight will get you straight from Miami to Havana. We'll fly in and out as a group so no need to worry about booking your flights or organizing transportation to and from the airport.
When's the deadline to sign up?
Cuba needs traveler names 90 days before travel so the deadline for your deposit is January 1st, 2016.
What should I expect?
Everything in Cuba is different than anywhere else you may have traveled in the world. Service can be very slow, customer service is not excellent, and itinerary items and even the specific hotel selection may change without notice based on availability. Cuba may be considered a third world country, but Cubans are warm and friendly and they maintain a first world culture. They want to meet you and talk with you. But you should adjust your expectations - you're not on a luxury vacation; consider it more like a mission/trip where you need to be a bit more flexible than usual.
Why is the travel so expensive?
Unfortunately, it's still very expensive to get to Cuba. We're flying on a chartered flight, which is not open to the public. The only people on the flight will be licensed travelers to Cuba. Your travel cost includes all licenses, fees etc.
Is there wifi there?
Our hotel in Havana does have wifi, but it might be spotty. Excellent opportunity for a digital detox!
Can I drink the water?
Stick with sealed, bottled water on this trip.
What if I’ve never done yoga before?
You’re also in luck! Yoga classes will be multi-level, so there will be options for all sorts of practitioners. The beauty of retreat classes is that they offer more time to break down poses and explain things, so chances are that everyone will be learning something, no matter what level they are! We will also do yoga with Eduardo Pimentel along with meditations and more restorative sessions.
What if I’m gluten-free/low-carb/celiac/raw vegan/sugar-free?
We will do our best to accommodate food sensitivities. Please let us know of any specifics ahead of time!
What should I bring?
Bring yoga clothes, a swimsuit or two, and comfortable walking shoes. Some other things we recommend bringing are a camera, hat, water bottle, sunscreen, and yoga supplies.
Do I need to get a visa?
Nope, It's all taken care of through Cultural Contrast!
Do I need to bring a yoga mat?
Yes please! Also, Cuba is very low on yoga supplies. If you have an extra mat that you would like to bring and donate - or maybe you want to leave your mat behind when you're done with the trip, that would be incredible. They could really use your help with yoga supplies - anything you can spare!
THE YOGA TEACHERS
AMY: A leader in the Miami yoga community, Amy teaches dynamic and creative classes set to great music and layered with spirituality - drawing inspiration from her personal practice and frequent travels. Outside of the classroom, she is known as a community activator, blogger and yoga event producer. Amy loves traveling to new places, writing, exploring, riding her bike and cooking up fresh plant-based recipes.
MIKE: A yogi, surfer, tech entrepreneur and a Blissology-inspired yoga teacher, Mike teaches yoga classes that combine his love for movement and laughter with questions that push the boundaries of our conscious awareness, all threaded together with Mike's signature sense of humor. Mike has battled addiction, depression and suicide and shares vulnerably about this experiences and loves to connect with others who are seeking growth.
Cuba: an island brimming with vibrant art, soul-stirring music and villages cloaked in colonial charm. Home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a population as warm and scintillating as its tropical climate and colorful arts, Cuba—once again accessible to American travelers—is a country begging to be explored.
Located 90 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida, Cuba is the largest Caribbean island nation. Its neighbors are the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti. Cuba spans 44,200 miles, making it a bit smaller than the state of Pennsylvania. Its varied geography includes rolling farmland, rugged mountains, urban metropolises, quaint Colonial villages and white-sand beaches.
The 11.2 million residents of the island are divided into 15 provinces and one special municipality, Isla de la Juventud. Notable Cuba areas include rural Piñar del Rio, where tobacco farming builds economic momentum; seaside Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city next to Havana rife with colorful Afro-Cuban influence; and colonial Trinidad, a sleepy town nestled between majestic mountains and the sea.