Bone by Dawn
Come to Cuba & Get ‘BONED by Dawn’
Looking for the best yoga and creative retreat in Cuba?! We can’t think of a more creative place to be inspired than Havana. The city is pulsing with art, music, dance, and movement. We’ve chosen Cuba to explore our creative side with Dawn Dafgek of Bone by Dawn. The week includes vinyasa yoga classes, hat making workshop, jewelry making, and other creative activities like photo shoots, painting, and writing. Explore this incredible city like a local, visit art studios where our friends are painting and creating amazing artwork, dance all night long, enjoy amazing food in the city’s best new private restaurants, relax on the breathtaking Caribbean, and enjoy all the fresh mojitos you can drink on our spectacular Yoga + ART retreat with BONE!
Our Creative Expression retreat in Cuba takes place in the artistically thriving city of Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have carefully woven our activities to include creative workshops with the mastermind behind BONE x DAWN, Dawn Dafgek, paired with our most creative exploration of Havana and beyond.
This week our senses are stimulated by the architectural eye candy of the city at every turn, Cuban music pulsing through the streets, artistic expression via sculpture, painting, ballet, and yes, even culinary. Together we create pieces inspired by our time together in Cuba.
About Dawn :
Bone is a contemporary lifestyle brand based in Los Angeles, California specializing in high-quality, handcrafted jewelry designs using pavé diamonds, fine metals, and semiprecious stones. Each piece of the line reflects the accessible yet elevated style of its creator Dawn Dafgek.
Dawn is a new jersey native who moved to California over 15 years ago, chasing the siren call of better weather. After finishing her degree at Fashion Institute in New York, she started her fashion career working in wholesale for a clothing line where she learned the ins and outs of merchandising and design. She then went on to be a buyer for a boutique in Manhattan Beach, California. It was during this time that she began designing and crafting jewelry for herself.
Soon she started receiving more and more requests to make pieces for friends and clients alike. Dawn realized she was on to something and got busy creating her first collection. Bone now includes a full-fledged line of necklaces, chokers bracelets, and earrings that can be worn solo or layered to your heart’s desire, depending on your mood.
Dawn’s frequent travels, both stateside and international, inspire her designs. She infuses her personality into the line – a mix of east coast edge with a touch of west coast bohemian. She knows better than anyone that the modern woman is complex – she’s got a lot going on, and she can’t be easily defined. This is where bone really stands out, in the simplicity and versatility of the pieces, allowing you to play with many different looks that suit a range of styles.
The guiding force behind Bone has always been to support and inspire women to be independent and go after their dreams. Having been raised by a single mom and experiencing strong female connections throughout her life; empowering women is a cause close to Dawn’s heart. She recognizes fashion as a powerful agent in helping women access their inner strength and confidence but men are more than welcome to join us and make their own pieces. Bone has recently expanded to include custom designed hats and men’s jewelry.
This retreat falls under the US Department of the Treasury, Division of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Support for the Cuban People general license § 515.574. This license allows US citizens to travel with us as a group to Cuba and participate in a full schedule as outlined by the US government while we are in Cuba. You can read more in our Travel Tips Guide below about travel to Cuba.
RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUDES :
– 5 nights in 1940s style Casa Particular
– Breakfast daily and all dinners together as a group
– Workshops with Dawn : make your own jewelry and hat as per itinerary
– Grounding circle with mojitos
– Optional Vinyasa Yoga classes as per itinerary
– Donation offerings for families and working artists
– Museo Bella Artes visit
– Salsa Dancing class at local dance school
– Beach day on a gorgeous deserted beach
– Hemingway Tour around the city
– Classic Car ride along the Malecon
– Optional create your own scent at Havana’s oldest perfumerie
– Night out to the hippest gallery and performance space in town, Fabrica de Arte Cubano
– Roundtrip airport transfers from Havana International Airport on scheduled retreat days
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. Our retreat falls under the general license of Support for the Cuban People for legal group travel for US citizens. You will be provided with everything you need for this prior to the retreat.
What’s not included :
– Airfare, tourist visa, and health insurance
– Travel insurance
– Staff Gratuities
Cuba Creative retreat pricing :
PRIVATE ROOM #1 – Main House
Double Bed $2,075 Euro private; $1,790 Euro shared bed per person
Private bathroom located just outside the room.
PRIVATE ROOM #2 – Garden Casita
Larger Room : Double Bed $2,030 Euro private; $1,755 Euro shared bed per person
PRIVATE ROOM #3 – GARDEN CASITA
Smaller Room : Double Bed $1,960 Euro private; $1,720 Euro shared bed per person
Shared bathroom for these 2 rooms
SHARED DOUBLE ROOMS – Main House
Room #1 (1 double & 1 twin)
(This is the double bed in the shared room, twin bed no photographed yet.)
$1,825 Euro Double bed; $1,755 Euro Twin bed
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #2
SHARED DOUBLE ROOM – Main House
Room #2 (2 twins)
$1,755 Euro Twin bed per person
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #1
SHARED Triple ROOM – Main House
(3 Individual Beds)
(These photos are a representation of this option. Actual photos will be up beginning of 2019.)
$1,705 Euro per person
Exclusive bathroom just outside room
All rooms are part of a beautiful 1940s home in the neighborhood called Playa. Bathrooms are ample and shared amongst the rooms.
CREATIVE RETREAT IN CUBA ITINERARY*
DAY ONE : Arrival & Ground
Arrival Transportation from Havana International Airport
3:00pm Casa Particular check-in
5pm Organizing donations for distribution
6:30-8pm Welcome circle & happy hour
8pm Dinner together as a group at our Casa Particular
DAY TWO : Photography & Art
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Optional Group Yoga Practice
11:30am To the streets of Old Havana with local photographer & tour guide
2:30pm Lunch (not included in pack) together
4pm Museo Bella Artes visit
5:30pm Classic Car rides home
8:30pm Dinner out together
DAY THREE : Salsa & Hat Making
10:30-12:30pm Hat Making Workshop with Dawn
2pm Lunch (not included in pack) together
5-7pm Salsa Dancing at local school
8:30pm Dinner together at our Casa Particular
DAY FOUR : Beach & Nightlife
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Group Yoga Practice
10:15am Breakfast at Casa Particular
12-5pm Secluded beach day with lunch by local fishermen
6:30-8pm Jewelry Making Workshop with Dawn
9pm Dinner and gallery visit at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC)
DAY FIVE : Perfume & Hemingway
9am Breakfast at Casa Particular
11am Donations drop
12pm Old Havana Perfumerie to create your own scent
2:30-4pm Lunch together (not included in package)
4:30-6:30pm Hemingway Excursion around Havana
7:30-9pm Gentle Yoga & Closing Circle
9pm Dinner together at Casa Particular
DAY SIX : Departure
8am Coffee, tea, fruit & breakfast available
Leave for Havana International 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.
AMAZING CASA PARTICULAR JUST FOR OUR RETREAT!
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 newest accommodations are in a charming 1940s style home surrounded by green and located in the neighborhood called Miramar/Playa just far enough away from the hustle of the city but close enough to enjoy tons of amazing restaurants and nightlife nearby.
Deposits* of $500usd are due to secure your space in the retreat.
The balance of your retreat (minus your $500usd initial deposit*) is due in cash in Euro in Havana. All details for this will be emailed to the group two weeks before the retreat. You can order Euros from your local bank branch or most of the time they have them in stock if you call in advance.
If cash is not an option for you, you may pay with a credit card via PayPal (4% fee applies). We also accept Bitcoin.
MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT HERE :
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 Paypal.com
Travel Tips GuideLearn More
What to expect on your cuban adventure
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) Support for the Cuban People §515.574. This license allows US citizens to travel with us as a group to Cuba and participate in a full schedule as outlined by the US government while we are in Cuba. You can read more in our Travel Tips Guide below about travel to Cuba.. 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.
What exactly does ‘Support for the Cuban People’ mean? This is a category of license set up by the US gov’t that encourages connection between the people of Cuba and the people of the US (and beyond so don’t worry if you are from another place! It is really for everyone). We discuss everything from Democracy to Privatization together with locals. This means we will only be directly supporting the Cuban people with our activities and plans while on the island.
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 setbacks 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.
DONATIONS AND WHAT TO BRING FOR OFFERINGS
Please plan to bring a duffle or suitcase full of items to be donated to children, women, men, and families in need in Havana. Plan to bring a variety of items of clothing (remember the climate is hot and hotter but chilly in winter so a hoodie and long pants also could serve especially this time of year), toys, books (in Spanish if you can find them or basic workbooks in English), hygiene products, underclothes, and any other items you feel appropriate or that you have to offer. Sizes can range from babies to teens, both boy and girl please as well as adult clothing and other items that you may have around. If you have items in your own closet that you can forego feel free to add those in. Think basics as those tend to be the most treasured. Last time I was there white sheets and towels were being suggested as they are hard to come by as well as clothes hangers and wax for marble! It’s the little things I guess…so if any of those are overflowing from your cabinets feel free to toss them into your bags!
We also will be supporting local artists with hard to get supplies so please drop by your local art store or your own studio and pick up oil paint tubes. A variety of brushes, palettes, and canvas rolls if you can fit them into your suitcase (you could roll up some canvas and fit it inside your yoga mat or fold up both when packing. They can iron out the creases later!) These are a few suggestions. We will separate them out on opening night and distribute them throughout our stay. We are very close with a leader in the Cuban art community who will accept our offerings and distribute them as needed throughout the city and beyond.
Thank you so much in advance for your generosity. Keeping in mind the recent hurricane that pummeled the island, Caritas Cubana the organization we work with on the ground distributes their accumulated donations across the island far and wide to reach those most in need.
COMMUNICATION AND WHERE TO FIND YOU IN CUBA
Getting online in Cuba is tricky. If you need to check in there is a place you can do so a couple blocks away at a wifi park. You need to get a scratch off card from a guy on the corner (hopefully he is around) and enter it into your phone or computer. Bringing a laptop seems excessive so I think it’s best to embrace the idea that you are literally ‘offline’ and enjoy that. It’s kind of fabulous and freeing!
In case of any emergency have your people send an email to us with URGENT in the subject and we will get the message to you. Also we have a Cuban cell phone if you or your people need to reach me directly there. We will provide that in our group email the weeks leading up to the retreat.
MONEY : HOW MUCH AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
Cuba operates on 2 currencies: CUC, the Cuban Convertible Peso which is for tourists and CUP, the Cuban Peso which is for national use only.
You should bring EUROS if possible to spend in Cuba as they take 10% of US Dollars when exchanging to CUC. There is a currency exchange desk at the airport in Havana (one inside upstairs and one outside when you exit from customs). You will need your passport to make these transactions. Just let your driver know that you have arrived before your exchange and he will wait for you to do so! Please keep in mind that the items not included in your retreat are :
– Alcohol or any nightlife you’d like to enjoy and taxis getting to and from
– A few Lunches
– Any extras like souvenirs, cigars, art, or rum
– Staff Gratuities which is always much appreciated (and well deserved!)
We recommend that you start out exchanging the equivalent of $200usd and then if you need to exchange more there wil be opportunities in Old Havana to do so during the retreat.
For Americans, your bank card will not work in Cuba (and shouldn’t be used anyway) so you want to make sure to bring enough money with you. Cuba is not as inexpensive as you might think so plan to spend what you would in say Manhattan or San Francisco daily for food and other purchases. With that in mind you’ll have enough and likely go home with some cash.
NAVIGATE THE CITY AND BEYOND OFFLINE :
Before you leave home please take the time to download maps.me for Havana so you can navigate the city in your free time!
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.
An adorable short film about our adventures in Havana and beyond as created by our friends and local artists.