Yoga + Art Retreat
Looking for the best trip to Cuba? Join our Yoga + ART retreat in Havana with a fantastic balance of fun, photography, art, yoga, mojitos, amazing food (yes, you heard that right!). We have our finger on the pulse of this town and are thrilled to show you the moves. Please note the 2019 Havana Biennial will be taking place during our Spring dates! Don’t miss this incredible art experience in Cuba!
Yoga + ART retreat in Cuba
Our Yoga + Art Retreat is a new creative retreat collaboration taking place in Havana, Cuba with inspirational women who have been friends and travel companions around the globe.
Together 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 art 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.
Most mornings begin with a yoga practice 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 we 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, explore art galleries and museums, and visit the paths taken by the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway during his stint in the country. A photography session is included, and a beach clean-up adventure will ensure that we leave behind only footprints and echoes of laughter.
For those of you looking to delve a bit deeper into the art world, we will guide you through galleries and museums featuring famous Cuban artists, some of whom we will have the pleasure of getting to know on our trip. This is the perfect way to find that special piece that speaks to you and have the experience and the story of sharing how you acquired a unique work of Cuban art.
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.
THIS YOGA + ART RETREAT INCLUDES :
– 5 nights accommodations in our own Casa Particular
– Daily optional yoga classes
– Breakfast daily and all dinners together as a group
– Donation offerings for families and working artists
– Photography workshop and session
– Museo de Bella Artes visit & local gallery tours
– Painting workshop
– Salsa Dancing class at local dance school
– Beach day on a gorgeous deserted beach
– Hemingway excursion to the fishing village where he wrote, his home, and his haunts in Havana
– Classic Car ride along the Malecon
– 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.
What’s not included :
– Airfare, tourist visa, and health insurance
– Three lunches
– Travel insurance
– Staff Gratuities
YOGA + ART RETREAT IN CUBA ITINERARY*
DAY ONE : Arrival & Ground
Arrival Transportation from Havana International Airport
3:00pm Casa Particular arrival and check-in
5pm Organizing donations for distribution
6-8pm Welcome circle & happy hour
8:30pm Dinner together as a group at our host house
DAY TWO : Photography & Art
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Optional Group Yoga Practice
12:15pm Museum of Modern Art & out to the streets practicing photo skills in Old Havana
2:30-4pm Lunch (not included in pack) at El del Frente
4:30-6pm Art Gallery visit
8:30pm Dinner out together
DAY THREE : Salsa & Painting
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Optional Group Yoga Practice
1-2pm Salsa Dancing workshop
2:30pm Lunch (not included in pack) at La Guarida
4pm Classic car rides down the Malecon
5-7pm Painting workshop
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
8:30pm Dinner & gallery visit at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano
DAY FIVE : Gallery & History
9am Breakfast at Casa Particular
12-2pm Art gallery visits
2:30-4pm Lunch together (not included in package)
4:30-6:30pm Hemingway Excursion around Havana
7:30-9pm Closing Circle & Yoga
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.
2019 Yoga + ART retreat pricing :
PRIVATE ROOM #1 – Main House
Double Bed $2,430usd private; $2,095usd shared bed per person
Private bathroom located just outside the room.
PRIVATE ROOM #2 – Garden Casita
Double Bed $2,355usd private; $2,055usd shared bed per person
(Shared bathroom with private room #3)
PRIVATE ROOM #3 – Garden Casita
Smaller room : Double Bed $2,280usd private; $1,995usd shared bed per person
(Shared bathroom with private room #2)
SHARED DOUBLE ROOM – Main House
Room #1 (1 double & 1 twin)
(this is the double bed in the shared room, twin bed not shown)
$2,130usd Double bed; $2,055usd Twin bed
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #2
SHARED DOUBLE ROOM – Main House
Room #2 (2 twins)
$2,055usd per person
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #1
SHARED Triple ROOM – MAIN HOUSE
Room #3 (3 twins)
(These photos are a representation of this option. Actual photos will be up beginning of 2019.)
$1,995usd per person
Exclusive bathroom just outside room
All rooms are part of a beautiful 1940s home in the neighborhood called Miramar/Playa. Bathrooms are ample and shared amongst the rooms.
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 he 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
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 Tips Guide
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 general license § 515.574. 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). 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. Items that are always cherished are fabric softener, warm light bulbs, and clothes hangers. It’s the little things…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. We will also be carrying a few items with us as we make our way around the island to personally deliver to those that cross our paths.
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 to spend in Cuba as they take 10% of US Dollars when exchanging to CUC. Most major US banks have Euros in stock or can be ordered with a little advance notice. Please heed this warning and bring Euros with you to spend in order to make your money last longer while on retreat. 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.
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!
“The best time in paradise! I had the best time on retreat in CUBA! 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 Havana feel like home. I’d come back in a heartbeat!”
–Shelby L. Vancouver, BC CAN
I first encountered Christina and Yoga & Adventures Worldwide in October 2015 when I attended the retreat in Morocco. Leading up the retreat I had a million questions and requests and Christina never hesitated to answer them and assist where she could, always with a friendly and enthusiastic mail (even though I think I must have been driving her crazy). I had an amazing time in Morocco, Christina planned everything to perfection. The accommodation was magnificent, the day trips where well thought out and well organised. And of course the yoga was incredible! After the retreat I knew I would definitely see her again and now my next adventure with Yoga & Adventures Worldwide is in Cuba. Again Christina has effortlessly assisted with every request, concern and travel arrangements. I highly recommend booking your next yoga retreat with Yoga & Adventures Worldwide and have no doubt that you will find Christina the perfect host. Elise V. Johannesburg, South Africa
“I have to say my favorite thing about our new painting was the story that Aimee paired with it. She told us about the artist’s background and his vision behind the piece, which made the experience of purchasing the artwork that much more personal and touching. Her relationships with artists, galleries and cultural experiences there are evident through the experiences she shares. She clearly has a passion for the people, their stories and bringing exposure to their cultural experience as well as their art.”
–NM, Collector, Los Angeles, CA
“Trabajar con Aimee es muy sencillo, porque ella te cuida, te protege, como una mama, como una hermana, como una amiga. ”
Translation: “Working with Aimee is very simple, because she takes care of you, protects you, like a mother, like a sister, like a friend.” — Miguel Machado, Plastic Artist, Havana
Yoga & Adventures Worldwide – Havana, Cuba is a life-changing experience. From the beginning, Christina provided everything we needed to stay informed and prepared for this trip. Christina cares so much, and it truly comes out in the way she runs her programs. She arranged our travel and accommodations in Cuba as well as offered a diverse travel itinerary – allowing for a truly relaxing and inspiring experience. Our hosts were incredibly helpful and warm and contributed to our local Cuba experience. Nina, as always, offered a grounding and spiritual yoga environment for us to practice in – which really balanced our other time exploring the city, the culture, swimming in the ocean, enjoying the nightlife, and even learning how to salsa dance. This trip is a gift that keeps giving. It has opened my eyes and heart to a new beautiful country and culture all while cultivating a seamless experience that combines yoga, life-long friendships, amazing food and music, and memories I will always hold close to my heart. Thank you, Christina and Nina for an extraordinary experience. I so look forward to future adventures with you! Julia K. Portland, OR USA
“Cuba was just what I needed and I was so refreshed and full of life when I got back! I can’t thank you enough for everything! It was absolutely amazing and the best time!” –Jenny G., Tampa FL, USA