Take the trip you’ve always dreamed of taking: eight days and seven nights in Cuba! Savor sunrise meditation and yoga by the beach at our retreat center in the tropical paradise of Playa Del Este just fifteen minutes from Old Havana. Dive into local culture with salsa dance lessons, sustainable organic farm tours, stand up paddle-boarding, a trip to Hemingway’s Finca Vigia residence, beach and relaxation time, cigar tours by horseback, nights out at Fabrica De Arte, sunset meditations overlooking the Caribbean, authentic cafe con leches, an overnight excursion to the stunningly beautiful mountain region of Pinar Del Rio, a special practice with celebrated Cuban yoga teacher Eduardo Pimentel, vintage cars, amazing dinners and an unforgettable adventure full of inspiring and unique experiences only to be found in Cuba.
You have just arrived at a tropical paradise on the beach of Cuba for a magical week of exploration, adventure and bliss with Jai Rhythm and Colin Brightfield.
Rise to the sound of waves lapping on the shore just steps from your beach bungalow. Grab your morning tea, coffee or fruit and stroll to the open-air yoga pavilion. Enjoy sunrise with a morning meditation as the Caribbean sun slowly rises and the birds start their song. We’ll transition into a rejuvenating vinyasa flow yoga practice that sharpens the senses and energizes you for your day of adventure and culture ahead.
Following practice, we’ll enjoy an organic and delicious breakfast followed by free time for exploring, going out for a stand-up paddle, making new friends, or lounging at the beach or pool. Your freshly sourced lunch will be waiting for you after your morning adventures.
A couple of the days we’ll go on amazing and unique excursions like exploring Old Havana together with a local English-speaking guide. We will take an excursion trip to the gorgeous mountainous region of Cuba and the small town of Vinales known for its organic cigar plantations. Another day you have the option to visit Hemingway’s Finca Vigia residence. We’ll also enjoy ample down time at our hidden tropical paradise Playa Del Este where our retreat center is located.
Connect with everyone in the main lodge for a family style supper while you recount the fun of the day, laugh with new friends, and plot the next day’s escapades. Most evenings we will gather for delicious cuisine at our retreat center followed by relaxing music and conversation. Sprawl out under the stars and take a night swim. Or enjoy the nightlife of Havana at the blossoming Fabrica De Arte – a multi-level venue featuring all kinds of art, music, food, and culture all under one roof in a restored old factory.
Collapse on your bed, instantly floating off into a restorative sleep in a stupor of joy combined with deep relaxation and calm. Wake up the next day to do it all again.
Most rooms are doubles, but there are a limited number of triples and singles available. Each room has it’s own ensuite bathroom in the room.
We’ll arrange roommates based on gender, age and interests.
You will fly into Havana, Cuba (Airport Code HAV).
The retreat center is called Mhai Yoga and is located about fifteen minutes from downtown Havana. Taxis from the airport will cost about $45 to the retreat center. Mhai Yoga will arrange the transportation for us, but guests will be responsible for paying their for taxi ride to the retreat center. Please bring some cash so that you can easily take care of this when you arrive.
If you are planning your own transport, please let your driver know the following address (and please let us know that you have organized your own travel): Tarara, Playas del Este, Havana
Villa Harmonia, Casa 309
Once you arrive to the gate of Tarara please let the guard know you are attending the yoga retreat.
We will be staying in Harmony Villas (Armonia).
You WILL need a valid passport to enter Cuba and US citizens do not need a visitor’s visa since we will be traveling under the People to People program that supports cultural exchange. For any more specific questions please contact your local travel agency, embassy or consulate.
You WILL NOT need to get a visa as long as you have a US Passport. It’s all taken care of through the new laws that went into effect. If you have questions, please let us know and we can get you in touch with our hosts at Mhai Yoga who can help with more in-depth answers.
All the cuisine at Mhai Yoga is fresh and of the highest quality and purity available. They support local and organic farms as much as they possibly can. The cuisine features primarily vegetarian dishes with some fresh seafood as well.
The kitchen is happy to customize the meals for you depending on your dietary needs, whatever it may be – gluten free, soy free, dairy free, nut free, vegan, etc. Mhai Yoga is willing to do whatever they can to meet your dietary requests.
Yes, the kitchen at Mhai Yoga welcomes all diets and is happy to meet your needs. Please just let us know when you sign up so we can let them know.
The yoga classes will be all levels and Colin will make each class accessible for beginners while also offering a challenge for the more experienced participants.
Yoga classes will be multi-level, so there will be options for all sorts of practitioners. The beauty of retreat classes is that they offer more time to break down poses and explain things, so chances are that everyone will be learning something, no matter what level they are! We will also do yoga with Eduardo Pimentel along with meditations and more restorative sessions.
We will enjoy a long morning practice each day. The length of the practices may vary from day to day but will all be about 90-100 minutes, with some longer, some shorter. Two of the afternoons Colin will lead a yoga workshop explaining and breaking down specific aspects of the practice. Some of the practices will be more fiery and energetic while others will be more grounding and restorative inspired practices, creating a balanced yoga experience for everyone to enjoy.
We will also enjoy the chance to take a class by the celebrated Cuban yoga teacher Eduardo Pimentel who learned yoga from BKS Iyengar via mail.
Our hotel in Havana does have wifi, but it will be spotty. Consider a trip to Cuba an excellent opportunity for a digital detox! Forget Instagram. Log off from Facebook. Even if you’re prepared to pay for data roaming, it won’t work here as there’s no unregulated internet access. Occasionally you’ll see an internet cafe but be prepared for working with 1995 level internet – and that sound you hear…that’s dial up. Some major cities recently introduced wi-fi hotspots in public plazas where you’ll find people gathered to try and get a signal, but it’s best to assume you’ll be cruising Cuba offline only.
There will be about 20-25 people on the trip.
Stick with sealed, bottled water on this trip.
In February, Cuba tends to be in the high 80s Fahrenheit during the day and in the mid to high 70s in the evening. Most of the time you will be comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt or tank top. Most days will be sunny and clear.
YES! Everyday you will have plenty of time to explore any of the activities you are interested in. Follow your bliss.
Bring yoga clothes, a swimsuit or two, and comfortable walking shoes. Some other things we recommend bringing are a camera, hat, water bottle, sunscreen, and yoga supplies.
The peso (CUP, sometimes called the “national coin” or in Spanish moneda nacional) is one of two official currencies in use in Cuba, the other being the convertible peso (CUC, occasionally called “dollar” in the spoken language). There are currently 25 CUP per CUC.
Most Cuban state workers receive their wages in national pesos, but some receive a portion of their salary in convertible pesos. Shops that sell basics like fruit and vegetables generally accept only the normal peso. “Dollar shops” sell the rest. The word “pesos” may refer to both types of money.
Cuban convertible pesos are 25 times more valuable, but that does not completely eliminate the confusion for tourists. Since goods bought in national pesos have government-controlled prices, tourists are sometimes confused by prices that look “too cheap.” The hard (CUC) pesos are easy to tell apart from the national (CUP) ones, as CUC coins have an octagonal shape within the outer round rim. Also, CUC currency shows monuments, and CUP bills have portraits. However, if you have some free time to explore on your own or choose to go on any optional excursions, you will be responsible for the costs but we can definitely help you arrange anything.
Due to recent changes enacted by the White House, we will be required to make use of a third party firm with Treasury department licensing to keep our travel legal. This firm is called Cuba Candela, and they will be handling all the logistics to make our adventure legal and smooth. I have reduced my pricing and so has the retreat center Mhai Yoga in order to help defray some of these costs.