Culture + Yoga in Cuba: Full Itinerary

Duration: 8 days and 7 nights of learning, fun and friendship in Cuba

Dates: Saturday February 17th to Saturday February 24th, 2018

To register, please download and follow instructions on the attached cuba retreat registration form.

Accommodations

  • Boutique hotels, Havana
  • Private houses, Viñales

Trip details:

DAY 1 – SATURDAY February 17th / ARRIVAL / HELLO Cuba 

  • Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Collect your bags and go through customs. You’re welcomed at the airport lobby by guide and professional bus chauffeur. Bus transfer will be provided directly to your boutique hotel.
  • Free time to settle in and rest up at your private house.
  • Transfer in old convertible cars to Río Mar restaurant for welcome dinner, included.
  • Evening is free to explore the sights and sounds of the city.

DAY 2 – SUNDAY February 18th / Exploring Old Havana, our common heritage 

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast in hotel (included)
  • Morning Yoga on a rooftop of Hotel Raquel in Old Havana. Opportunity for amazing photos too!
  • Followed by a walking tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit four of the five historic plazas that make Havana unique in the western hemisphere. It contains the largest collection of remaining colonial-era architecture. This is a private tour led by your Cuba Education Tours guide.
  • The rest of the day is free for yoga and to explore the sights and sounds of the city.

DAY 3 – MONDAY February 19th / Viñales Valley/ Pinar del Río Province 

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast in hotel (included)
  • Morning Yoga in the gardens of La Cabaña Fortress. Get ready to flow with an uplifting yoga sequence and set the tone for a day of green open spaces with extraordinary views.
  • After yoga, you will depart in a luxury coach bus to the western province of Pinar Del Río, home of Cuba’s most lush landscapes and one of the main agricultural regions of Cuba.
  • Tour of Viñales Valley: Viñales village is a picturesque town in the heart of Cuba’s prime tobacco growing region. The town itself sits in the center of a flat valley surrounded by stunning karst hills formations known locally as mogotes. Mogotes are irregularly shaped steep-sided hills that can rise as high as 300m (985 ft.) and have bases ranging from just a few hundred yards in diameter to as much as a couple of kilometers in length. The mogotes comprise part of the Sierra de los Órganos mountain chain, and were formed by eons of erosion. Many consider this the most beautiful nature spot in Cuba.
  • Enjoy lunch at Yuri y el Niño private restaurant (included)
  • Free time for hiking!
  • Check in at private house
  • Dinner tonight at the private house (included)
  • Evening suggestion: Patio Central Cultural Polo Montañez, or El Palenque de Los Cimarrones for incredible live Salsa Music! (Not included)

DAY 4 –Tuesday February 20th : Indian Caves/ sustainability

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast at private house
  • Morning Yoga session will include all levels yoga on the grounds of Hotel Los Jasmines or La Ermita. We will breathe deeply and relax with a beautiful view of the valley.
  • Free time for optional horseback ride or hike.
  • We will visit “Finca El Paraíso” a sustainable organic farm for a tour. The owners will explain how they harvest and filter their own rainwater for irrigation, use companion planting techniques and terraced raised beds and to grow dozens of varieties of organic produce on the hillside. After the tour, the owners will host a true farm-to-table organic lunch! (included).
  • Visit Cueva del Indio [Indian caves]. One of Cuba’s natural caves on a unique walking and boat tour that offers breathtaking views overlooking the entire Viñales valley region, an agricultural hub and the epicenter of tobacco production in Cuba.
  • Dinner this evening is not included.
  • Evening entertainment suggestion: Practice your new dance moves at Casa de la Música or see the legendary Cabaret show at Club Tropicana!(not included)

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY February 21st   / VINALES / LAS TERRAZAS/HAVANA 

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast at private house and check out.
  • Morning departure to Las Terrazas, a small community and nature reserve in the municipality of Candelaria, of Artemisa Province. It is located in the Sierra del Rosario mountains (part of Guaniguanico range), which was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1984. This nature reserve includes 5000ha of secondary forest, which was planted on the surrounding (deforested) hills by building terraces to avoid erosion; hence the name (in Spanish, terrazas means terraces)
  • Visit a rural village called Rancho Curujey
  • Visit Cafetal Buena Vista, the ruins of an ancient coffee plantation run by African slaves
  • Lunch at El Romero restaurant (included)
  • Departure to Havana, with the rest of the day and evening free to explore

DAY 6 –Thursday February 22  /  CUBA SOCIETY/ARTS 

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast at boutique hotel (included)
  • A visit to the historic Hotel Florida, with a special presentation and dialogue: “Overview of Cuba today” by Dr Marta Núñez Sarmiento
  • We’ll feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fuster, one of Cuba’s most important ceramists and painters at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana.
  • Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, which exhibits Cuban art collections from the colonial times up to contemporary generations. Its first director and well-known architect, Emilio Heredia, founded it in 1913. After frequent moves it was finally placed on the block once occupied by the old Colon Market. In 1954, a new Palacio of Bellas Artes was opened. The original Palace was recently reconstructed and a second building was taken over for the Museum
  • Evening is free to explore the city

DAY 7 – FRIDAY February 23/ HEALTH CARE SYSTEM/COMMUNITY PROJECTS/AFROCUBAN ARTS 

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast at private house
  • Visit Salvador Allende local polyclinic
  • Visit House The Boy and The Girl a community Project located in Central Havana.
  • TOUR HIGHLIGHT: Lunch prepared by private restaurant El Ajiaco, included
  • Visit Cojímar, small fishing Village one of Hemingway’s favorite’s places
  • Visit Callejón de Hamel [Hamel Alley] to see the artwork of famed Afro-Cuban Artist Salvador González
  • Return to hotel.
  • Dinner at Café Taberna restaurant (included).
  • EVENING HIGHLIGHT: Enjoy a performance by Buena Vista social Club at  Café Taberna, included

DAY 8 –SATURDAY February 24

  • Sunrise yoga
  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Check-out of hotel.
  • Transfer to José Martí International Airport for flights home.

INCLUDED IN TOUR COST

  • All taxes. Prices listed are the total amounts you pay. All amounts are quoted in US dollars.
  • Airport transfers: We meet you at José Martí Int’l Airport in Havana and take you to your hotel upon arrival. We return you to José Martí Airport for departure.
  • Hotels as listed in tour itinerary or similar.
  • All breakfasts. Welcome lunch and dinner. Other lunches and dinners as listed in tour itinerary.
  • All activities, services, speakers, meetings and meals as described in tour itinerary except those noted as “optional” or “not included in cost.”
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach transportation and a full-time professional driver.
  • An expert Cuban English-speaking guide and translator whose background matches tour content throughout the program.
  • Mandatory official Cuban medical insurance coverage during your island stay.
  • Ongoing support from Cuba Education and Explorer Tours staff in Canada before, during and after your stay.
  • Emergency collect call access to our North American staff while in Cuba.
  • Emergency cash advances for our tour participants who face complications accessing funds from aboard while in Cuba.
  • Tour cost includes an excellent Cuban medical policy.

NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COST

  • Cost of airfare to and from Cuba.
  • Cuban tourist card ($100, can be purchased at the airport in the US).
  • Optional activities, including guided hikes, horseback rides, meals not included in the itinerary and drinks.
  • Gratuities for Cuban tour guide, bus driver, chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters, etc. Please see gratuities guidelines.
  • Optional travel interruption and cancellation

PAYMENT DETAILS

Space is limited to 16 participants.

Cost: $2450 if registered and paid in full by October 1, 2017

Full price: $2595 if paid after October 1, 2017

A $400 deposit is required to hold your space.

Registration deadline: January 2, 2018

Refund policy: Refunds are available prior to October 1, 2017 minus a $100 service fee. Between October 1 and January 2, refunds of up to 50% of the cost of the tour will be available. No refunds after January 2, 2018.

Payment by check is requested. We’re working with a Cuban agency and US credit cards aren’t accepted in Cuba. If you prefer to pay by credit card, a transaction fee of 3% will be added to your payment.