Yoga Retreat in Cuba FAQ

Join LYC teachers Julie (Jiwan Shakti Kaur) and Andrea for a week of yoga and culture in Cuba, February 17-24. See details here.

Rooftop Yoga Old HavanaThis Yoga Retreat to Cuba is a perfect balance between culture and yoga. It’s a People-to-People tour, showcasing the multi-cultural history, music and dance of Cuba, along with plenty of opportunities to come to our mats in a variety of stellar settings. You can find the full itinerary here.

We know that there are many questions about travel in Cuba. Is it legal? Is it safe? What should I expect?

As part of our effort to provide as much information in advance as possible, we’re hosting a free Info Session on Saturday October 21 at noon.

FAQ

Is it legal to travel in Cuba?

Yes, absolutely. And even if the current administration changes the Cuban travel laws as threatened, this will not affect our People-to-People tour, which is fully licensed. You will pick up a visa at the airport upon departure; the cost ranges between $50 and $100, depending on your airline.

Is Cuba safe?

Extremely. The crime rate in Cuba is among the lowest in the world. That doesn’t mean that petty theft doesn’t happen! So be aware of your surroundings and hold on to your valuables such as passports and cash.

How expensive is Cuba for tourists?

Like any destination, costs vary according to your personal tastes. Havana has a burgeoning active food scene, with some restaurants that rival the best you’ll find in the US–both in quality and in price! We have allowed for several evenings where you can have dinner on your own to explore some of Havana’s newest restaurants–but reservations may be hard to come by so we recommending booking as much as a month out. Havana also has an active art scene, and you’ll have the opportunity to visit galleries and meet some of the artists, so you might want to bring extra cash for purchases. Remember: No credit cards are accepted in Cuba.

Can I use my credit or ATM cards?

As of now, credit and debit cards issued from US banks are not accepted in Cuba. So bring cash. Insider tip: You’ll get a better exchange rate with Euros or Canadian dollars, as there is a 10% commission charged when you exchange US dollars.

Internet hotspot in HavanaIs there internet in Cuba?

To use the internet, you must purchase ETECSA cards which allow you to go online at hotspots. Many hotels offer hotspots and you’ll find them in public parks and plazas. Cards cost 1.50 CUC per hour (about $1.75US). But be forewarned: getting online can be time consuming and frustrating, so plan for minimal internet use if possible.

Will my cell phone work?

That depends on your carrier. You may be able to send and receive calls and texts but will probably not be able to access data. SIM cards aren’t sold to foreigners at the current moment.

Is there vegetarian food in Cuba?

Fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Most restaurants offer side orders of black beans and rice, as well as fresh salads and sautéed vegetables. Some paladares (private restaurants) are now beginning to create more innovative vegetarian and vegan options, including “vegetarian meatballs” made with rice and black beans; a variety of dishes made with garbanzo beans; and entrees and sides that showcase seasonal vegetables. (One word of warning: the famous “moros y cristianos” dish which is a combination of rice and black beans is sometimes made with pork, so ask in advance if you’re unsure).

I’m gluten free. Is that a problem?

No. While Cubans love their sandwiches, rice is a staple. It’s easy to avoid bread and other gluten products.

Will we have free time during the retreat?

We have specifically organized the retreat in a way that you’ll have plenty of free time to explore Havana and Viñales, or to engage in some optional activities that Julie and Andrea will organize. In addition to the full itinerary, we’re going to try to organize a visit to the fabulous Fábrica de Arte Cubano in Havana, provide optional hikes and horseback rides in Viñales, and maybe even a public yoga class in Havana with some of the Cuban yoga community! Havana and Viñales are a non-stop collage of music, colors and surprises.

 

 

 

 

What is the lodging like on the retreat?

The agency that is organizing the retreat, USA International Travel, has booked us into some very nice lodging. Here are some photos of our hotels in Havana:

Hotel Tejadillo room

Hotel Tejadillo room

Hotel Tejadillo breakfast

Hotel Tejadillo breakfast

Hotel Tejadillo entrance

Hotel Tejadillo entrance

Hotel Tejadillo patio

Hotel Tejadillo patio

Hostal Las Brigidinas patio

Hostal Las Brigidinas patio

 

Hostal Las Brigidinas Entrance Havana

Hostal Las Brigidinas Entrance

Hostal Las Brigidinas garden Havana

Hostal Las Brigidinas garden