Yoga Retreat in Cuba

Yoga Retreat in Cuba

Our yoga retreat in Cuba is the ‘Best Yoga Retreat in the Caribbean’
according to Shape Magazine

 

Legal travel to Cuba for Americans under our general license of Support for the Cuban People §515.574.

 

Join us for an insiders look at history, art, culture, music, and expression from a local’s perspective. Practice amazing yoga, connect with yourself and those around you. Cuba is unique and one of our favorite destinations. Join us for this unique adventure to discover an incredible island and to Support the Cuban People (they need it now more than ever!)

 

Historically when any policy changes have been made towards Cuba travel, the US government has honored travel by any American who has already made payments toward their trip as a way to ‘set the wheels of your Cuba trip in motion’. US Airlines are flying directly to the island daily. If for some reason travel is fully banned we will refund your deposit in full, but this should not be the case.

 

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August 20 - 25, 2019 December 3 - 8, 2019 December 10 - 15, 2019 February 4 - 9, 2020 February 12 - 17, 2020 March 10 - 15, 2020

Yoga Retreat in Cuba

About Includes Pricing Itinerary Stay Payments Video Travel Tips GuidePraise Gallery

About

Legal travel to Cuba for US Citizens on our amazing yoga retreats in Havana and beyond! Cuba has become one of the locations nearest and dearest to our hearts over the past several years. The newly opened privatization of the island has blessed Havana and beyond with a deep expression of the underlying creative pulse that defines Cuba. It is our deepest desire to support this expansion for the Cuban people and to do all we can to help them grow as a culture and gain independence as a community.

Our yoga retreat in Cuba offer an insiders look at history, art, culture, music, and expression from a local’s perspective. Our itinerary is filled with Q&As with historians, art gallery and studio visits, yoga exchanges with local teachers and students in our classes, donations to local organizations working to aide families in need from natural disasters to economic hardships, and workshops in music and dance from Cuban Salsa to Ballet.

We’ll explore the city of Havana re-emerging as one of the hottest cultural centers in the world, loaded with rich history, incredible music, art, amazing food, charming people, and lots of soul with locals supporting locals.

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.

Includes

Cuba Yoga Retreat Includes :

 

– 5 nights accommodations in a Casa Particular

– Yoga practice daily as per the itinerary

– Breakfast daily in Casa Particular

– Donation offerings for families and working artists

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

– Beach day with clean up

– History talk with Cuban local guide

– 3 dinners together as a group

– Classic Car ride along the Malecon

– Day trip to Viñales to visit an artisenal 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


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What’s not included :

– Airfare, tourist visa, and health insurance
– Alcohol, bottled water
– Three lunches & 2 dinner on your own
– Travel insurance
– Extras
– Staff Gratuities (suggested between $35-50usd for the incredible staff)


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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.

Pricing

PRICING & DETAILS


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PRIVATE ROOMS

1 Double Bed with private bathroom ensuite.

Double Bed 1,750 Euro private; 1,580 Euro shared bed* per person


SHARED ROOMS

Double Bed 1,600 Euro  +  Twin Bed 1,555 Euro
Private bathroom ensuite

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All rooms are part of a beautiful Colonial style home in the neighborhood called Vedado which is close to a variety of restaurants, bars, nightlife, and art galleries.

Itinerary

YOGA RETREAT IN CUBA ITINERARY*

DAY ONE : 

 Arrival Transportation from Havana International Airport
3:00pm  Casa Particular arrival and check-in
6:30-8pm  Welcome circle & opening stretch
8:30pm  Dinner together as a group at our host house


 DAY TWO :

 

8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10:30am Yoga Practice together
10:45am  Breakfast at Casa Particular
1-3pm Salsa Dancing & Music workshop at local dance school
3:30-6:30pm Lunch at private resto in Old Havana (not included in pack)
 6:30pm Classic Car rides back along the Malecon
Dinner on your own


DAY THREE :

8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30am Sorting donations and offerings
9-10:30am Yoga Practice together
10:45am  Breakfast
12pm Visit & donation drop at Caritas Cubana
2-5pm Beach Clean-up day & lunch included
6-7pm Visit working artist studio and deliver supplies to resident artists
8:30pm Dinner together & gallery visit at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano


DAY FOUR :

8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9 – 10:30am Yoga Practice together
10:45am  Breakfast
1-3pm Salsa Dancing & Music workshop at local dance school
3:30-6:30pm Lunch (not included in pack) at private resto in Old Havana
Dinner on your own
Optional Dance workshop with Cuban dance instructors


DAY FIVE :

 

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.
7:30pm Closing Circle & final stretch
8:30pm Dinner together at host house


DAY SIX :

 

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.


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Stay

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 amazing families. Each house we choose is unique and we are sure you’ll love the experience of staying in a Cuban home!

 


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Payments

Payments :

Historically when any policy changes have been made towards Cuba travel, the US government has honored travel by any American who has already made payments toward their trip as a way to ‘set the wheels of your Cuba trip in motion’. US Airlines are flying to the island daily both direct and with layovers. IF anything is different and travel is banned we will refund your deposit in full, but this should not be the case. Please be brave and join us for these epic adventures to Cuba to SUPPORT THE CUBAN PEOPLE! They need it now more than ever…

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


Please choose your retreat dates



POLICIES


CANCELLATION POLICY

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.

CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY

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.

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Video

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

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

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An adorable short film about our adventures in Havana and beyond as created by our friends and local artists.

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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
— Bottled drinking water
– 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.

We will be taking balances in Euro upon arrival at the daily rate IN CUBA for the Euro. Typically it is around 1cuc/usd : 0.869 Euro so around 85 cents to the Euro. We will email you the details of the rate with your balance due email a few weeks prior to the retreat. Rates don’t tend to fluctuate too much from day to day.


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!

Praise

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

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

As per usual– thank you for envisioning, coordinating and executing such an amazing experience. Cuba remains mostly untouched by the corporate arm that sustains and controls most of the world. To immerse in a city (Havana) of nearly 2 million people who never ask, “where’s Starbucks?” or “what’s the wifi code?” (A personal favorite and somewhat shameful question of mine) and to see them operate by interpersonal connection in a way we used to before text and constant access, was refreshing and offered me perspective while reminding me— there is always another way. Kiran’s story in relation to his son about experience over objects really stuck with me this trip– as I’m sure it did you. Sure, we are fortunate to have many nice things, but the experiences and the relationships we have built are what truly touch us deeply. Being in Cuba and utilizing the connections you developed and allowed us to share gave me the opportunity to see, understand, question, and learn about Cuban culture in a way I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I am so grateful that you have facilitated this type of unique experience in places around the world. You model a way for people to get to know the people who ARE the cities we visit. Also, being part of The YAWW family has allowed me to make lifelong friends out of strangers again and again. I feel like the richest woman in the world! I’m a #YAWW woman loud and proud! Where to next??   Aimee M. Los Angeles, CA USA

“When I met Wendy in Cuba, I had been suffering from 5 weeks of extreme digestive pain and insomnia. I had gone through rigorous medical testing and it seemed that the only rational cause was stress. Throughout the five days of yoga practice with her, my pain went away and I enjoyed deeply restive sleep. Wendy’s style of yoga teaching helped to restore my health plus the setting and the retreat itself were spectacular! Can’t wait to go on another yoga adventure with these ladies!” –Desiree B., Boston MA, 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

“Best thing I have done for myself! 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 hotel was also great and the house was clean and in a central location. The town has many great restaurants and shops close by. The retreat schedule was perfect allowing time for 2 yoga classes a day 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