ART & CULTURE OF CUBA


November 26 - December 3, 2019

February 15-22, 2020
yoga with Gigi Mao

A vibrant cultural journey into Havana, Trinidad and Viñales

An 8-day exploration of the magical culture of the fascinating island of Cuba spending our time between the bustling capital of Havana, the well-preserved colorful colonial town of Trinidad and the lush tobacco and farm region of Viñales. This itinerary takes us to the heart of the Cuban people through charming B&Bs, our local expert guides, and super personal experiences. Come see what's in this time capsule filled with beautiful art, food, culture and music. Enjoy twice daily yoga with Gigi Mao on the February 2020 dates.

Starting at $2,595 per person

TRIP INCLUDES:

  • Accommodations

    • 7 nights in charming Cuban B&Bs in Havana and Trinidad.

  • Transportation

    • Dedicated personal driver

  • Activities

    • Locally guided architecture tours

    • Havana and Trinidad city tours

    • Tobacco farm tour and cigar rolling lesson

    • Visit to a 6th generation pottery studio

    • Organic farm visit

    • Personal translator

    • An authentic look into the lives and culture of Cuba

  • Meals

    • Daily breakfast + 2 dinners + 1 lunch

  • Additional

    • Travel Visas (required to visit the country)

    • Dedicated Traverse host & local guides

    • 2x daily yoga with Gigi Mao for February 2020

    • Traverse representative assisting you from booking to departure

    • Small group experience, max 14 people

 Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner

Arrive in Havana and be picked up by our private driver to check in at our central B&B. Rest up or take some time to explore the city before our Welcome Dinner together.

Meals: D

Day 2: Explore Havana

Wake up to a delicious breakfast at our central Havana B&B before our architecture, history and art walking tour with our local expert. Enjoy lunch from a variety of local options before our van tour of outer Havana in the afternoon. The evening is yours to enjoy in Old Havana for drinks, dinner and music. 

Meals: B

Day 3: Bay of Pigs & Trinidad

After breakfast & coffee, we’ll head out on the ocean route toward the center of Cuba to Trinidad, one of Cuba’s best-preserved colonial towns and a UNESCO world heritage site. We’ll stop at the Bay of Pigs and brush up some history before time for rest and a swim at a secluded beach. We’ll have a fantastic lunch at our secret seaside spot before heading to our boutique B&B. The afternoon & evening is yours to explore or get out for some live salsa and dancing! 

Meals: B, L

Day 4: Trinidad Art & pottery 

Enjoy breakfast & coffee at our Trinidad B&B before we explore the thriving art scene of this gorgeous city. We’ll visit a 6th generation pottery studio and do a walking tour to take in the town’s brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets. Enjoy evening for some local dinner specialties and more music out on the town.

Meals: B

Day 5: Trinidad to Havana via Cienfuegos

Today we’ll make our way back to Havana through the southern city of Cienfuegos. The picturesque bayside city is known as the “Pearl of the South,” and its French influence can be seen in its food, architecture and elegance. We’ll explore the historical center, then after lunch we’ll continue on our way back to Havana. We’ll stop for snacks, mojitos, and an opportunity to purchase high quality Cuban cigars. Back in Havana, continue exploring the city and enjoy music and dinner in the evening.

Meals: B

Day 6: Havana – Art walk + Fishing at the beach

After breakfast you’ll have free time in the morning with the option to join on an art walk to numerous galleries, studios and a fabulous art market where we’ll meet with local artists. In the afternoon, we’ll take a van to the beach. Enjoy some fresh caught sea fare such as dorado or lobster and enjoy some sun & waves before heading back to Havana for dinner and an evening concert.

Meals: B, D

Day 7: Viñales – Horseride & cigar rolling

After breakfast & coffee this morning we’ll head to another UNESCO world heritage site, Viñales, in the Cuban countryside in the north-central Pinar del Rio province. We’ll jump on horses to ride through tobacco fields followed by a cigar rolling demonstration. Then, we’ll head to a local finca for a huge farm-to-table farewell lunch. Back in Havana for the evening, we’ll end our time together in a converted factory known for its live music and art. If you join our yoga trip dates February 2020 we will spend the night in Viñales for extra time in nature and outdoor yoga on a beautiful farm.

Meals: B

Day 8: departure

After breakfast & coffee, squeeze in any last minute photo ops, museums or shopping before heading to the airport any time that works for you today.

Meals: B


Trip Price:

$2595 per person, double occupancy - November 2019

$2795 per person, double occupancy - February 2020

+$350 “my own room” option

Trip Does Not Include:

  • International airfare

  • Additional meals, excursions and activities

  • Required travel insurance

IS TRAVEL TO CUBA LEGAL for US citizens?

Heck yes it is! According to the US Department of Treasury, you are still allowed to travel to Cuba with American tour operators (us) with proper licensing (also us) on group educational tours. We pepper in the required educational aspects of the tour, a walking tour of Old Havana, a horse ride through a tobacco plantation with cigar rolling lessons and meetings with local artists. We like to keep it smart AND super entertaining! We are very happy to keep providing legal, culturally immersive trips to the island!

 about Your Traverse Host & February 2020 Yoga instructor:

While living in Spain for four years, Andrew developed fluency for the language and fell in love with the culture. His time there gave him the ability to create a local's experience, highlighting some of the best-kept secrets that cannot be found in a guidebook.  After moving back to San Francisco, Andrew continued to work in the Spanish food and wine industry. In this role he was able to build relationships with the best restaurants, wineries, and Mezcal producers in Northern Spain and Mexico.  From there, he developed a totally unique, “insider's” trip to Cuba that is easily accessible for the common traveler. With plenty of opportunity to explore the areas on your own, Andrew offers both the expertise of an experienced guide and the tools you need to discover and learn on your own.

While living in Spain for four years, Andrew developed fluency for the language and fell in love with the culture. His time there gave him the ability to create a local's experience, highlighting some of the best-kept secrets that cannot be found in a guidebook.

After moving back to San Francisco, Andrew continued to work in the Spanish food and wine industry. In this role he was able to build relationships with the best restaurants, wineries, and Mezcal producers in Northern Spain and Mexico.

From there, he developed a totally unique, “insider's” trip to Cuba that is easily accessible for the common traveler. With plenty of opportunity to explore the areas on your own, Andrew offers both the expertise of an experienced guide and the tools you need to discover and learn on your own.

Gigi Mao has been a devoted practitioner of yoga for more than a decade and teaches alignment-based flow. Her classes are strong and focused while supportive and introspective. Gigi has led yoga retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua and has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Africa.  Gigi believes that both yoga and travel are a means of connection and is passionate about creating spaces for adventure and growth.  Gigi was our instructor for the November 2017  Nicaragua Yoga + Surf , October 2018  Morocco  retreat as well as  Nepal 2019  and teaches weekly public classes at  Practice Yoga Austin .

Gigi Mao has been a devoted practitioner of yoga for more than a decade and teaches alignment-based flow. Her classes are strong and focused while supportive and introspective. Gigi has led yoga retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua and has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Gigi believes that both yoga and travel are a means of connection and is passionate about creating spaces for adventure and growth.

Gigi was our instructor for the November 2017 Nicaragua Yoga + Surf, October 2018 Morocco retreat as well as Nepal 2019 and teaches weekly public classes at Practice Yoga Austin.


Terms & Conditions

Please refer to registration for complete terms.

Deposit
A non-refundable $250 deposit is due upon booking. 50% remainder due 30 days from invoice. Balance due 60 days prior to trip start.

Payment
Payment for Nov. 2019 is made directly through Coast to Costa through payment link provided on registration. Payment for Feb 2020 made through Traverse Journeys.

Cancellation Policy
Due to the nature of this itinerary, cancellations are non-refundable.

Travel Insurance
Trip protection-style travel insurance that includes travel medical coverage is required for all trips with Traverse. The coverage must have a minimum $200,000 of medical coverage and include injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation. Most domestic US health insurance plans do not cover international travel claims or provide a global network of contracted doctors and facilities. We want to make sure you are covered in case of an emergency or non-emergency illness or injury while abroad. Trip protection coverage protects the investment of your trip, including benefits for items such as trip interruption, trip cancellation, delays, baggage and personal effects, and more. We do not have a required coverage amount, but typically coverage is based on your trip costs. We partner with Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider who can offer both Travel Medical and Trip Protection. If you choose to purchase through Wanderwell, you can buy the trip protection directly from our Traverse Journeys partner page provided in your Welcome Pack, and a portion of your purchase will be donated to WeForest through 1% For the Planet to aid with carbon offset for your trip. With Wanderwell, the TripProtector Classic and TripProtector Preferred plans meet our minimum requirements for coverage. Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided.

Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.