REAL INTRODUCTION TO CUBA:
Join Ludisis Mones a Cuban dancer and certified Yoga Teacher for Yoga and Afro-Cuban Religious Retreat .
Welcome to our Yoga and Afro-Cuban Culture Retreat . During this adventure we will visit the cities of Havana, Santa Clara, Cayo Santa María, Cienaga de Zapata y Trinidad .
We will walk through the typical streets of the city to get into the popular culture and meet the people of the town. On this retreat, we will not only have yoga but also you will have the opportunity to learn and be part of afro-cuban religion experience .
Cuba is the most colorful place I've seen, not only for its beautiful architecture but also for its cheerful people. The pearl of the Caribbean gathers several races, cultures and religions that make it without a doubt a wonderful destination for yoga retreats.
Loaded with history and secrets, Cuba has an unrivaled wealth: Its people. We Cubans are positive, pure of heart and in solidarity. And maybe it's our solidarity that catches the attention of visitors.We Cubans share our music, our folklore, our food and even our funny words that sometimes we do not even understand.
We cubans are very family oriented people. The family is our backbone, no matter how distant we are physically, every Cuban carries in his heart the grandpa who smoked his cigar while helping you do the homework or that grandmother who each morning placed a marpacific flower in her hair while singing a song to Yemayá.
Cubans from different social backgrounds seek inspiration from the religion of the Orishas - sometimes known as Santería - a spiritual practice rooted in West Africa.
Those who follow this path seek to be guided by the orishas,
deities or "saints" who reign over human efforts and the forces of nature. The ceremonies are carried out in the houses instead of a public temple or a church.
To honor the orishas, practitioners often create elaborate altars or "thrones," sacred spaces that present these powerful beings in a majestic splendor.
The orishas - gods of the Yoruba religion - have been recognized in Cuba for almost five centuries, reflected with their human characteristics and those elements that distinguish them, among them: colors, music, animals, preferences in food and drink.
Derived from the Yoruba culture, the so-called Rule Ocha, popularly known as Santería, is generated, which has as its center of worship those orishas with different myths and attributes.
MUSIC AND DANCE:
In the religion of the Orichas, people communicate with the deities through the rhythmic language of the batá drums.
In front of the altar, the percussionists greet the orishas with their own rhythms in a sequence called gold. Then, they turn to the people and they play while a singer of praises sings in lucumi, a Yoruba language.
Highlights and What is included:
5 nights Accommodation in Private Houses in Havana and Trinidad.
2 nights Hotel accommodation in Cayo Santa María with all inclusive meals.
All Breakfast at your "Casa Particular".
Participation in Orishas Party.
Explanatory Workshop on Afro-Cuban Religion.
All transportation to Cayo Santa Maria, Trinidad, Ciénaga de Zapata, Havana and Santa Clara.
All airports Transfers.
Afro-cuban Orishas Dances Workshop with live music and demonstrations of orishas dances.
Excursion to the Topes de Collantes National Park.
After clearing immigration and customs at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, you’ll take a short drive to your "Particular House" for check-in and orientation. This evening, we'll celebrate your arrival over a traditional Cuban welcome dinner with live Music.
We start the day with a relaxing Hatha Yoga class that will prepare you for the rest of the activities. Breakfast in your private house.
Next, we will make a walking tour of Old Havana and its labyrinthine cobblestone streets. We will also enjoy a tour in old cars through places such as Plaza de la Revolución, Malecón Habanero and Vedado.
After lunch, we will be part of a celebration of the Orisha Saints in which we will share with priests of the Orisha religion and we will learn about this interesting Cuban syncretization. This night you will have dinner by your own.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast in your private home. Then please get ready because we will head to Cayo Santa María, an island of 21.4 square kilometers located in the middle portion of the Jardines del Rey archipelago, north of the central region of Cuba.
On the way we will make a stop to discover and have lunch in La Ciénaga de Zapata a marshy ecosystem, belonging to the province of Matanzas in Cuba. This is the largest insular Caribbean wetland with an approximate area of 300 thousand hectares and is part of the best preserved green regions of the archipelago.
After having lunch in this ecological zone, we will continue the trip to Cayo Santa María, where we will stay in an all inclusive hotel on the shore of the beach.
This day you can optionally attend a free Vinyasa Yoga class on the beach, adapted to your level and needs. Contemplating the sunset we will have a session of meditation and offering to "Mother Water" one of the orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon.
After a delicious breakfast and a dip on the beaches of Cayo Santa María, we will travel to the province of Santa Clara to visit the Memorial of Ernesto Guevara "El Che".
In Santa Clara we will have lunch in a "paladar" Typical Cuban restaurant. Then we will continue the journey towards the old and restored Trinidad one of the best preserved colonial cities not only of Cuba, but also of America, and to be inscribed on the World Heritage List by Unesco next to the Valle de los Ingenios in 1988. In Trinidad we will stay in "Casas Particulares Trinitarias".
This morning you can take a Hatha Yoga class listening to the birds singing. After breakfast we will make an excursion of approximately four hours to the sugar and hiking plantations in the Topes de Collantes National Park, where you can enjoy a refreshing natural waterfall.
We will have lunch in a peasant restaurant near the Park. At night, the steps of the house of music await you to dance salsa and share delicious mojitos.
After having breakfast in Trinidad, we will travel to Havana. In the afternoon you can enjoy a workshop of Afro-Cuban dances with live music and demonstration of the Orishas Dances.
After breakfast at your private home, we will have a farewell ceremony.
Art Shutter - Netherlands
You will enjoy the beautiful city of Havana more with a tour guide who really appreciates the beauty and culture of her city. Ludisis will bring you to the best places where you can enjoy the nice side of Cuba. She knows the cultural hotspots, places to have a good meal, and where to go dancing and meet the locals. Ludisis is educated as a classical dancer, tourist guide and yoga teacher. She has lived and travelled in various countries. Ludisis as a guide is trustworthy, punctual, cultured and fun to be with. Ludisis understands the subtle difference between making you a plain tourist and making you a partaker of the local culture.
Thanks Ludisis for showing me Havana!
MARIAJOSE CASTILLO - Chile
Tener a Ludisis como maestra ha sido una experiencia maravillosa. Ludisis me enseño con mucha paciencia y dedicación.Ella tiene mucho conocimiento de las materias que enseña . En sus clases no solo aprendi a bailar salsa cubana sino que también amplie mis conocimientos espirituales y de autoconocimiento. Recomiendo a Ludi 100 por ciento
Petter Muller - Switzerland
Niemals habe ich mir Kuba so schön vorgestellt. Ihr Programm war sehr gut geplant, und die Meditation hat mir sehr gut gefallen.Tolles Gefühl ! Ich habe das echte Kube gesehen und in der Zukunft werde ich Kuba sicher wieder einmal besuchen. Diese Yogaferien mit Ludisis sind sehr zu empfehlen ! Vielen Dank Ludisis !
Recommendations for your trip to Cuba!
IF YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH, YOU WILL FIND ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA LEGALLY:
1- Fly to Cuba from the US is allowed under 12 acceptable travel reasons:
Official affairs of the government of the United States. United States, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations
Professional research or professional meetings
Educational activities and exchanges from person to person
Public performances, clinics, workshops, sports and other competitions and exhibitions
Support for the Cuban people
Activities of private foundations or research or education institutes
Export, import or transmission of information or information material
Travel related to certain authorized export transactions
You can also travel to Cuba with a license issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States. UU (OFAC) or as a national home of Cuban return.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THE CATEGORY: "SUPPORT TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE", BECAUSE WE OFFER YOU A LEGAL AND DETAILED TRAVEL ITINERARY, UNDER THE GUIDELINES OF THE CATEGORY, INDICATING EACH ACTIVITY FROM THE BREAKFAST TO THE MOMENT BEFORE GOING TO THE BED.
2- Book your flights and get a "Visa or Travel Card" (it's the same)
Destination airport: Jose Marti (HAV) Cuba
For flights departing from the United States, the visa process may be different depending on the airline you fly with. Here is more information on how to obtain the Cuban visa in the United States, depending on which airline wants to fly.
The visa is called Travel Card!
Southwest: $ 50. It can be purchased online in advance or at the airport upon departure.
Delta: $ 50. Buy at the door or request by mail in advance.
JetBlue: $ 50. Buy at your final airport before flying to Cuba.
United: $ 75. Buy at the Newark or Houston entrance.
American: $ 85. It can be purchased online or at the Charlotte or Miami airport on the day of departure.
WE RECOMMEND TO BUY THE FLIGHT WITH AMERICAN AND THEN BUY THE VISA AT "CUBA TRAVEL SERVICES" A TRAVEL AGENCY WITH MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE THAT PROCESSES THE VISA AND SENDS IT TO YOUR ADDRESS. SEE THE LINK TO BUY THE VISA BELOW.
3- TRAVEL INSURANCE
The insurance policy can be taken in the country of origin of departure or upon arrival, you could subscribe an insurance and assistance policy of Cuban insurance companies at the airport, port or marina in Cuba.
Travel insurance from Cuban insurance companies and most international insurance companies receive travel assistance services in Cuba from Asistur SA, available 24 hours a day throughout the year.
SEE www.asistur.cu TO BUY OR WRITE DIRECTLY VIA E-MAIL.
4- Bring Cash
Plan to bring cash. American banks are still not uploaded to the Cuban banking system. Keep things simple. Just bring U.S. dollars or Euros. There are plenty of money exchanges and hotels in Havana who will give you the best exchange rate at the time.
Now, in our yoga retreat you have 7 days of lodging included, all means of transportation in Cuba, transportation to and from the José Martí airport in Havana and several lunches and dinners included. So you can decrease those expenses. You only need cash for tickets to museums and National parks, Your personal purchases, Entertainment; etc.
WE HOPE THAT THIS INFORMATION CLAIMS YOUR DOUBTS.
SEE YOU IN CUBA
After clearing immigration and customs at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, you’ll take a short drive to your “Particular House” for check-in and orientation. This evening, we’ll celebrate your arrival over a traditional cuban welcome dinner with live Music.