Finding beauty in decay

May 22 - 27, 2018 November 6 - 11, 2018

Creative Expression in Cuba

About Includes Itinerary Pricing Stay Payments Travel Video Praise Gallery


Finding Beauty in Decay is a new creative retreat in Havana, Cuba. We will step back to an era of luxurious mansions and colorful vintage automobiles, with the distinctive clave and timbale rhythms putting a swing in your every step. And yet, for all of its faded retro charm, Cuba has a decidedly youthful, modern face as well, with über hip galleries and restaurants.

We invite you to join us in this fascinating island country, where we will open ourselves up to a simpler and more joyful way of life, one where self-expression and real connections are embraced, and WiFi hotspots are few and far between. We will stay in a beautifully restored Casa Particular to fully immerse ourselves in the local culture.

Mornings begin with a short yoga practice led by Christina to wake up the body and start with a fresh mental canvas. You’ll need a fresh canvas because Havana will paint your soul, and all of your senses, with colors you’ve never imagined. Cuba is a photographer’s dream, and Darcy will help you find the manual settings on your camera so you can capture its charm. We will sample the local salsa dance scene, visit a working artist’s atelier, and visit the birthplace of the famous Cuban cigars in Viñales. A henna session with Henna Lounge is included, yet another way to enjoy the ephemeral nature of life. And a beach clean-up adventure will ensure that we leave behind only footprints and echoes of laughter.

 No artistic experience is necessary, just a willingness to explore the world, unplug from the daily hustle, and open yourself up to the inspiration that can be found in nature, culture, and community. Don’t forget to bring your yoga mat and a sketchbook to record your memories of the week. There is also plenty of unscripted time for you to explore on your own, or with new friends.




– 5 nights accommodations in a Casa Particular

– Photography workshops with theory, practical shooting excursions and portraits

– Workshop/project with local artist in their studio

– Henna adornment by Darcy of Henna Lounge

– Daily guided yoga hour (bring your mat!)

– Breakfast daily in Casa Particular

– Donation offerings for families and working artists

– Salsa Music & Dancing Workshops at local dance school as per itinerary

– Beach clean up

– History walk and talk through Old Havana

– All dinners together as a group at private restaurants with discussions about owning and operating privately in Havana today

– Classic Car ride along the Malecon

– Day trip to Viñales to visit an artisinal Cigar Maker & Tobacco Farm followed by lunch at an ecological Farm-to-Table restaurant with garden walk and agricultural discussion

– Roundtrip airport transfers from Havana International Airport

** Gratuities for staff NOT INCLUDED but strongly encouraged**

Direct flights into Havana are available from several airports in the USA as well as most hubs abroad. Health insurance and a tourist visa is required by Cuba to enter the country and is available with the airline directly.  Please let us know if you have any questions about travel details.



DAY ONE : Arrival & Ground


 Arrival Transportation from Havana International Airport
3:00pm  Casa Particular in Vedado arrival and check-in
5pm Organizing donations for distribution
6-8:30pm  Welcome circle & happy hour in the garden with Henna by Henna Lounge
8:30pm  Dinner together as a group at our host house

DAY TWO : photography & history


8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9:30-10:15am Group Yoga Practice
10:30am  Breakfast at Casa Particular
12-1pm Photography basics and strategy workshop with Darcy
1:30-4:30pm Lunch (not included in pack) at La Guarida Restaurant with Cuban history discussion
5-6:30pm Walk around Old Havana then Classic Car rides along the Malecon
8pm Dinner in Vedado

DAY THREE : Art & Nature


8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30am Sorting donations and offerings
9:30-10:15am Group Yoga Practice
10:30am  Breakfast at Casa Particular
12pm Visit & donation drop at Caritas Cubana
2-5pm Beach Clean-up with local biologist & lunch included by local fishermen
6-7pm Visit working artist studio and deliver supplies to resident artists
9pm Dinner & gallery visit at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano

DAY FOUR : Photography & dance


8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9:30-10:15am Group Yoga Practice
10:30am  Breakfast at Casa Particular
1-3pm Salsa Dancing workshop at local dance school
3:30-5:30pm Lunch & Happy Hour (not included in pack) at El del Frente
6-8pm Group art project
9pm Dinner together in Vedado

DAY FIVE : cigars & agriculture


8am Coffee, tea & Breakfast
9am – 7pm Day trip to Viñales to learn about local agriculture. Visit a local tobacco farm, roll and sample a real Cuban cigar
Lunch at an ecological farm with guided tour of local plants and growth time tables for production as well as
discussions with Cuban farmers and produce sellers about cooperative farming and agricultural practices.
8pm Closing Circle
9pm Dinner together at host house

DAY SIX : departure


8am Coffee, tea, fruit & breakfast available
Leave for HAVANA airport

*Please note that our Itinerary is subject to change as necessary according to circumstances and any unforeseen changes in our plans.  Our intention is to keep as close to this schedule as possible but this is Cuba and at times we could find ourselves at the mercy of the powers that be. We will adjust and accommodate as best as possible if this occurs. Havana operates on a later schedule which is why our days are running later than our typical retreat schedules.





These rooms have 1 king or queen bed with full bathroom ensuite.

King or Queen Bedroom $1,990usd private; $1,695usd shared bed per person



These rooms have 2 queen or 2 twin beds with full bathroom ensuite.

Queen or Twin Bed $1,695usd per person

**You must provide your bedmate for this option. We do not pair strangers in the same bed but can pair roommates looking for a shared room.

Visas and Airfare to and from Havana are not included in these packages.

Contact Us to Reserve



Casa Particulares are private homes that rent out a few rooms to travelers.  Staying in a Cuban home is an incredible way to get a real taste of the culture and to experience this Caribbean lifestyle. Our homes for the retreat are particularly charming and hosted by some amazing families.

Our home for the week is located in the residential neighborhood of Vedado, the best and most central location to be in Havana. A stroll around the streets here will be filled with eye candy for architecture enthusiasts and lots of green spaces with lively Cuban daily life in action. Our casa particular has a front porch for you to watch the day go by or you can choose to relax in the back garden in a swinging chair and order from the 24 hour bar a fresh mint mojito or snack to wind down your day in Cuba.



Payments :

Deposits* of $500usd are due to secure your space in the retreat.

The balance of your retreat (minus your $500usd initial deposit*) is due 60 days prior to arrival. All details for this will be emailed to the group two months before the retreat.

You may pay with a credit card via PayPal or you may choose a bank wire transfer or deposit to settle your balance. We also accept Bitcoin.


Please check availability with us for accommodations before making your $500usd deposit*

Roommates should book together. If you would like to share a room and do not have a roommate we will provide one for you if possible. In the case that there is no one to share a room we ask that you take a private economy room instead.

To make your deposit, please click the link below. You will be directed to

Please enter your retreat dates



Cancellations made within 60 days or less of arrival are 100% non refundable.

All initial deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please note that with the ever-changing policies with travel to Cuba we will adjust our Humanitarian trips as necessary to make it possible to carry out our retreats as planned. By making deposits towards your trip you accept the risk that alternative routes may become necessary in order to join. We will do all we can in order to assist you in your travel needs. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferrable in these cases. Thank you for your understanding.


The acceptance of a verbal or written confirmation from YOGA ADVENTURES WORLDWIDE (YAWW) constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions listed herein. Participants are responsible to be adequately insured, therefore Traveler’s Insurance is strongly recommended*. YAWW and its staff assume no responsibility nor liability for any delay, loss, damage, injury or accident with regards to persons or property which may be caused by fault or negligence of any third party vendor. This includes hotels, transportation providers, and local operators participating in part for our services. YAWW shall be held harmless for any expense caused by injury or accident, to any participants as well as any loss or damage of personal items while on our tours. We reserve the right to make any changes to services and itineraries, with or without notice, which may become necessary. YAWW are not to be held responsible for changes in itinerary beyond our control, this includes bad weather or hurricanes; any inconvenience or complication caused by a hurricane’s direct hit, near miss, or significant threat of a hurricane strike. There are no refunds due to flight cancellations or changes, strikes, labor disputes, lockouts, threats or acts of terrorism, acts of war or declared war.

We highly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your investment. AIG offers Travel Guard at affordable rates. You will be asked if you have chosen to purchase insurance or declined at final balance due.

By submitting payments toward your retreat you accept these terms and conditions.

If you have any questions regarding the details of this retreat please feel free to contact us to set up a Skype conversation or to receive further info via email.


Travel to Cuba for US Citizens is legal with our yoga retreat programs. We operate under the US Department of the Treasury, Division of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) People to People (non-educational) general license 515.565(b). This license allows us to travel as a group to Cuba and participate in a full schedule as outlined by the US government while we are in Cuba.

Flights are available directly from the USA to Havana and are very affordable. We send you with all the legal documents you need to travel in and out of Cuba as required by US law.

Once travel plans have been made, regardless of any future changes in regulations you are still allowed to follow through with your original plans as they were when set in motion. That said, we do not anticipate any further set backs in this area of the government.

You will travel to Havana with your own tourist visa just like any country. You purchase this on your own through your airline at the airport in the city in which you are flying into Havana from. Your airline can offer further guidance in this area. The visa costs between $30-50usd in addition to your flight (note that flying through Miami you’ll see a visa rate of $100usd so try to avoid that if at all possible). There is also a way to obtain your travel visa in advance online but shipping costs apply so it might not be cost effective to order in advance. Please contact your airline directly for options and pricing once you have your flights.

You are required to hold onto this visa throughout the duration of your time in Cuba as they ask for it on your departure from the country. There are no departure taxes leaving Cuba.

Please feel free to contact us with any other specific questions or concerns you have regarding travel. We are here to set your mind at ease and help you in any way possible. We have been running retreats in Cuba for more than three years now with much consistency and have not had any problems thus far whatsoever and do not anticipate any to come.

Looking forward to having you experience this amazing country with us!


Our unique People to People Yoga Retreat in Cuba as captured by Anna Fishkin and edited by Reed Rickert of Modern Maya : Nomadic Media Collective


Some of our ‘intermediate’ salsa dancers showing their moves after a retreat.


What started out as a little Cuba retreat video became a short film about our adventures there. We turned it over to the local artists in Havana to create this little gem and we LOVE it!


Always in demand as a teacher, Darcy Vasudev is an artist of exceptional skill and ‎reputation. Even in informal situations, she is generous with sharing information and has a ‎genuine desire to see others grow and succeed. Add to that her discriminating taste and ‎eye for the beautiful, and it’s hardly surprising to find that she’s held in the highest regard ‎not only by a cadre of loyal clients, but also by her peers in the body art industry. I look ‎forward to spending time in her company at every opportunity, knowing it will be delightful ‎and that I will undoubtedly glean some new gem of wisdom.‎

–Penni AZayer, The Henna Faerie

“Darcy was awesome! I used her for a fun event and she showed up on time and ready to rock. She’s adorable, super friendly and came with printed out design ideas for guests, but people were able to tell her what they wanted as well! She actually makes her own henna and it’s natural and smells amazing and makes the skin oh-so soft.”

–Stephanie Y., Berkeley, CA

“Darcy amazing. I had henna services from Henna Lounge before my bachelorette weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. The studio is relaxing and beautiful, and Darcy is a pleasure to spend a long time with. At her suggestion, I collected inspiration photos and shared them with her. The design we settled on had all the elements I wanted including my preferred religious symbols and my and my fiancé’ Hebrew names. I followed the aftercare instructions to the letter. It was hard, but the deep stain was totally worth it! I couldn’t be happier!”

–Yael S., Oakland, CA

“The best time in paradise! I had the best time on retreat in Tulum! It exceeded my expectations – everything from the location + accommodations, the yoga with Andrea and the food were exceptional. I traveled alone and loved how the days were thoughtfully planned but gave us lots of free time to explore. Christina and Sofi were awesome to communicate with and made Tulum feel like home. I’d come back in a heartbeat!”
–Shelby L. Vancouver, BC CAN

“Best thing I have done for myself! I loved the time I spent at Zamas with Yoga Adventures Worldwide. Christina and Sofi were very welcoming and made it a safe space to be in for 5 days. I traveled solo and was slightly nervous and was welcomed by their friendly faces and immediately felt comfortable. The Zamas hotel was also great and the house was clean and in a central location. The town of Tulum has many great restaurants and shops close by. The retreat schedule was perfect allowing time for yoga and plenty of free time to do other activities. I highly recommend a retreat with Yoga Adventures Worldwide and hope to try another retreat location in the future!”
–Tiffany Z. Pittsburg, PA USA