Yoga and culture combined. Eight days in Old Havana and Viñales, Cuba, in this specially designed Educational Tour yoga retreat focused on exploration, community development, sustainable agriculture, and getting a glimpse of the “real” Cuba.
Stay tuned for 2019 dates! And…we have so many people who wish to repeat this journey that we will be changing the itinerary for next year and adding a visit to the historic, colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s south coast.
February 17-24, 2018
Join us for an 8 day/7-night exploration of Cuban culture. We’ll bring our yoga practice to the rooftops of Old Havana, the lawns of one of Havana’s majestic fortresses, and the homes of residents of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Viñales. Between Kundalini (and optional Hatha) yoga classes, we’ll visit some of Havana and Viñales top sites, meet locals, enjoy walking tours, and lace up our boots for optional hiking and horseback riding.
This trip will offer a perfect balance of organized activities and free time. You’ll have several afternoons and evenings off to pursue optional independent interests or participate in group yoga classes and other activities. A Cuban guide and translator will be provided. For some background on why we’re going to Cuba, check out our blog here and here.
Tour highlights – all included in the price:
- Lodging in locally-owned small hotels (hostales) in Havana and private residences in Viñales.
- Meals in select restaurants to provide a wide range of culinary experiences
- Fully guided walking tour of Old Havana
- A visit to an organic farm in Viñales Valley
- A trip to Cueva del Indio (caves), offering breath-taking views over Viñales Valley
- Las Terrazas, a nature reserve in Pinar del Rio Province
- Cafetal Buena Vista, an ancient coffee plantation that was run by African slaves
- A meeting and private lunch with José Fuster, one of Cuba’s most acclaimed modern artists
- Meetings at a local health clinic, a community youth project in Havana and a stop at Callejón de Hamel, Havana’s epicenter for Afro-Cuban art
- An evening performance of the Buena Vista Social Club at the acclaimed Café Taberna
- Private transport in air conditioned buses
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners are included
- Daily yoga classes, with a choice between Kundalini Yoga with Julie Eisenberg (Jiwan Shakti Kaur) or Hatha Yoga with Andrea Messina. On some days there will be an option for a second class.
- Airfare to Havana (approximately $479 r/t from the DC area)
- Cuban visa ($50-100, can be purchased at the airport in Miami or Fort Lauderdale)
- Optional activities such as guided hikes, horseback riding, museum entries, etc.
- Additional meals, drinks, snacks, souvenirs, and incidental purchases as desired
- Gratuities for guides
- Optional travel insurance
This trip is being run in conjunction with USA International Travel, a long-time provider of people-to-people cultural trips to Cuba. The itinerary has been exclusively crafted to meet the needs and desires of Lighthouse’s yoga community. This trip is fully legal for US passport-holders.
Lodging: We will be staying at comfortable boutique hotels in Old Havana. Single rooms are sold out, so when you book, please indicate if there is someone in particular you’d like to room with. Otherwise we’ll match you with someone of your gender.
Flight info: If you’re traveling from the DC-area, please book on Southwest from any DC-area airport (DCA, BWI, IAD) through Fort Lauderdale. The outbound will leave at approximately 6 am on 17 February and the return leaves Havana at 9:30 am on 24 February. If you are coming from elsewhere, you can book a similar Southwest departure via Fort Lauderdale and we will meet there. If you won’t be traveling from an airport served by Southwest, please contact us to arrange comparable travel. The Havana airport has two different international terminals that aren’t contiguous and we will be arriving into Terminal 2.
Airfare to Havana from the DC area is generally between $400 and $500, depending on airlines and routing. We encourage you to watch for fare sales and book accordingly. We recommend flying on Southwest through Fort Lauderdale and will send out flight booking info as we get closer to departure.
Teacher/leader: Jiwan Shakti Kaur (Julie Eisenberg) ERYT-500 is the owner of Lighthouse Yoga Center and a long-time Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Professional Teacher Trainer in Washington, DC. She has lived and worked in Latin America for many years and speaks fluent Spanish. Her love affair with Cuba was sparked after her first visit in the 1990’s as part of a volunteer delegation. When she returned to the island in 2016 and saw how the tourist industry had blossomed, she felt compelled to help others experience the joys and surprises of our Caribbean neighbor.
Teacher: Andrea Messina, yoga teacher and life coach, teaches an uplifting style of yoga that emphasizes strength-building sequences, deep stretches and a connection to breath. Her teaching is informed by alignment based yoga, vinyasa flow, philosophy and life coaching. She believes that the yoga mat is a place to cultivate awareness and create a juicy metaphor for how you want to live most fully… in addition to getting sweaty and laughing a little. She completed her 200-hour Power Yoga Training at Go Yoga, her 100-hour Anusara Yoga Immersion at Capitol Hill Yoga and is a graduate of the Accomplishment Coaching Coaches Training Program. She completed Lighthouse Yoga Center’s 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Naomi Gottlieb-Miller.