- Custom Trips
- Cuba Trips
In 1999 Maureen took her first yoga class and it was clear from that first class that this was something she wanted to know more about. In 2002 she took her first Ashtanga yoga class and since then has been on the path to learn more about yoga each day. Maureen has been teaching yoga since 2004 and made her first trip to Mysore, India to study Ashtanga yoga with the Jois family at the K. Pattabhi Jois Yoga Institute in 2007. Several years and trips back to Mysore, Maureen was blessed with Authorization to teach Ashtanga Yoga by her teacher Sharath Jois in 2014. She travels to Mysore annually to continue her yogic studies. While in Mysore, she also takes classes in yoga philosophy, Sanskrit language and chanting under the guidance of her teachers Dr. M.A. Jayashree and Professor Narasimha. Maureen also holds a 200 E-RYT with Yoga Alliance and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from the University of South Florida.
In addition to Ashtanga, Maureen teaches various styles of yoga including Vinyasa and Gentle/Restorative Yoga. Her depth of knowledge in the field of yoga is vast and she is able to meet her students wherever they are on their path to self observation and improvement. As a student first and a teacher second, Maureen knows the importance of maintaining a daily yoga practice. It is because of her dedication to her own practice that she is able to give the best of herself to her students as well as set an example for those on the path of yoga.
• The group will meet at Orlando International Airport for group check-in at approximately 5:30AM. (Flight details will be announced approximately 60 days prior to departure.)
• Upon arrival in Havana, retrieve your luggage and meet your professional English speaking Cuban tour guide. Bus transfer will be provided directly to your beautiful casa particular (lodging in a private home).
• Enjoy Cuban hospitality as you are welcomed with a special lunch at your new “casa” for the week.
• You will have an opportunity to participate in a light heart-opening yoga session and set your intentions for the days to come.
• ‘Havana – past, present and future’. Miguel Coyula, former assistant to the city planner of Havana, will give an interactive presentation that covers the rich history and architecture of Havana, followed by a discussion about Cuba’s future.
• Group dinner at ‘paladar’ (privately owned restaurant) – Atelier – Havana’s most famous private restaurant located in a classic 1950’s Miramar home.
• After dinner, walk around and explore the beauty of Old Havana.
Breakfast included at your casa particular
• Morning Yoga on a rooftop in Old Havana. Opportunity for amazing photos too!
• After your morning yoga enjoy a professionally led tour of Old Havana. Explore the 4 main plazas of Old Havana, including: Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, and Plaza San Francisco.
• After the walking tour of Old Havana, relax for a moment at the historic La Bodeguita del Medio – home of the Mojito!
• Lunch included at La Bodeguita del Medio – The home of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite mojito!
• After lunch, visit the Cuban Museum of the Revolution for a guided tour. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents and became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban revolution.
• Enjoy some free time in the afternoon. You may wish to explore the streets of Havana in a vintage American car.
• In the evening, the group will meet for an incredible dinner at Rio Mar Paladar, enjoy, where the ocean meets el Rio Almendares.
• After dinner your join the group for live music on the Malecón with a group of local street musician and friends of Cultural Contrast.
• Morning Yoga… Get ready to flow with an uplifting yoga sequence and set the tone for a day of green open spaces with extraordinary views.
• Breakfast included at your casa particular
Get ready to leave for a day trip to Viñales Valley
• After yoga and breakfast, you will depart in a luxury coach bus to the western province of Pinar Del Rio, home of Cuba’s most lush landscapes and one of the main agricultural regions of Cuba.
• Visit an incredible 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 the owners will host a true farm-to-table organic lunch!
• Afternoon: Explore some 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. (weather permitting)
• Visit the quaint village of Viñales, including a visit to a farmer’s home and tobacco plantation. Learn the art and science of tobacco growing and you can even try to roll a cigar!
• Dinner on your own: Enjoy dinner at a ‘paladar’ in Havana.
• Morning Yoga session will include all levels yoga flow & guided Pranayama. You will breathe deeply and relax with a deeper understanding of Cuba.
• Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your casa particular
• Participate in an optional salsa dance class or enjoy a walk around Havana.
• Lunch is included at the casa particular
• Meet with Cuban artists and musicians or entrepreneurs
• Havana, is now host to a multitude of private restaurants. Whether you choose a quaint paladar in Old Havana or an elegant private restaurant in Vedado or Miramar, the options are endless. Your guides will assist you in making unforgettable dinner plans.
• In the evening you will uncover the Havana nightlife. Practice your new dance moves at Casa de la Musica or see the legendary Cabaret show at Club Tropicana! (not included)
• Morning Yoga practice with Eduardo Pimentel: Known as the “Godfather of Cuban Yoga”, Eduardo began his practice when he discovered library books about yoga in the 1970s. He corresponded with his guru, BKS Iyengar, via snail mail, (often waiting 4 months to receive a letter from India) before traveling to India to study with him in person. During his 40 year journey he has spread yoga throughout the entire island and is now known as a public figure. Experience for yourself how yoga is practiced in Cuba! Please remember to bring yoga supplies to donate to the Cuban Yoga Community.
• Breakfast included at your casa particular
• Pack your bathing suit! After yoga, we’re going to the beach! Experience the famous white sand beaches of Playas del Este, located about 15 minutes outside of Havana, Playas del Este is renowned for its pristine white sands and crystal aquamarine waters. Meet Cuban musicians and beachgoers, while you Enjoy a “coco frio” – coconut water straight from the coconut while you relax on the beach!
• Lunch – Included at Ajiaco, a paladar that specializes in traditional Cuban food with a unique twist.
• Visit Havana’s Plaza de Armas and visit the book and antique market.
• Before dinner, travel to the Malecón at sunset for a final group mediation as prepare to bid farewell to Cuba
• Return to the hotel to relax before preparing for a farewell dinner with the group.
• Dinner at Havana’s single finest restaurant – El Litoral. An incredible nautical themed restaurant that features it’s own fishing boat and an entirely organic appetizer bar.
• Breakfast included at your casa particular
• Check-out of the casa particular
• Before going to the airport, you will visit the quaint fishing village of Jaimanitas and visit the Gaudi-inspired neighborhood-mosaic-tile-art project of world-renowned artist José Fuster. Mr. Fuster turned his entire village into a mosaic project. Featured on A&E, the Travel Channel and Discovery, you will visit his private home and studio and have the opportunity to view and buy art directly from the artist at his studio/home.
• Transfer to the airport – You will check in as a group and board your brief flight back to Orlando.
• Limited lunch options are available in the airport
• American Airlines flight – Departs Havana at approximately 11:00 AM, arrives Orlando 12:10 PM (Departure time is subject to change by the airlines.)
Travel authorized by license by the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which authorizes registered guests of our programs to legally travel to Cuba, to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between travelers and people in Cuba.
Licensed Travel To Cuba!
With over 25 years of Cuba travel experience, Cultural Contrast has the experience to make your travel easy. Legal travel to Cuba is possible with a qualified, licensed group. We organize licensed travel for all types of groups from around the US. Call us today to learn about our upcoming trips, or to discuss a trip for your group!