Are you curious about Cuba? Us too. While it's much easier to get there now, the best way to navigate the island is to travel with a tour group that has the inside track. If you prefer vacations served up with loads of physical activity and a healthy helping of party on the side, head down with Surf Yoga Beer. You can expect blissful days of total Cuban immersion including team bonding bootcamp, water adventures, beach yoga, local farm-to-table food and of course, beer. SYB curates some pretty rad fitness adventures, touching down in Belize, Oahu, Nicaragua, Sayulita, Amalfi Coast and the Hamptons to name just a few. Cuba is their latest charted territory. They’ve scoped out great lodging, the tastiest restaurants and the prettiest spots to downward dog.
Get there while it’s still unspoiled. Do it for the cigars, vintage car rides, Hemingway’s home, mojitos and the vibrant music. With Surf Yoga Beer you’ll experience all the retro beauty of Havana while channeling your inner beach warrior. Get ready to put down your phone and start living life. We’ve asked founder, Mantas Zvinas to run us through the trip and you can watch here.
What's special about the SYB Cuba experience?
In a matter of four days, beyond the bootcamps and yoga, cultural exploration, “despacito” relaxation, mojito-salsa-dancing-cigar-smoking-vintage-car-cruising nights, the most rewarding thing that happens is honestly the bonding. There is a type of person that signs up for our SYB trips, and it’s not about age, sex, orientation, salary, etc. It’s a person who is eager to live and love what life has to offer. Bring together a collection of these people and you create friendships that last a lifetime.
Can you fly from anywhere? Tell us about the lodging?
Since the embargo was lifted about a year ago, you can fly in from anywhere you can get airline service to the country. Once you arrive to Havana, it’s pretty easy to get around or to ask how to get somewhere (and on an SYB trip, you’re taken care of the minute you step off the plane!).
Tell us about a typical SYB day in Cuba?
Our typical day started early at about 6:30am with wake-up calls. We’d meet around the pool with coffee and either have a yoga class or do a bootcamp to jumpstart the day, with breakfast and fresh juices waiting afterwards. We then begin our adventure of the day, whether it was getting a tour of Old Havana, exploring the natural springs or beaches beyond the city, bar tastings of fresh mojitos, exploring local artists' homes or seeing where Hemingway lived, ate and drank! After a day of those various cultural experiences, we’d then stop by our place to get ready for the rest of the evening – Havana Nights!
Is there really no cell service?
No service! Of course there are ways around this if you really need to make a call, but part of the time travel experience of going to Cuba is really letting go of our social media habits (at least during the day). Plus, SYB always has a professional photographer on all adventures to capture everything, so you can enjoy the trip without worrying about missing something, experience it fully and “like” it in real life!
What about the food? Can you give us an idea of what's on a day’s menu?
The food in Cuba can have a not so good reputation, but we’ve made connections and have reservations set up in the few restaurants that are privately owned and take much pride in producing all-organic meals. But the thing to remember about Cuba is that almost everything is imported, so these restaurants are few and very far between, so do a little research before traveling (and once again, with SYB, we’ve got you covered!).
Is it all surf, yoga and beer? Or is there time to do some sightseeing?
Cuba has a culture that is too rich to ignore, so our SYB trip in particular was designed to be heavy on the learning and exploring. We wanted our guests to meet and talk to artists and some other locals you'd otherwise might not get a chance to connect with if you went yourself.
Speaking of beer, is there a great local Cuban beer to write home about?
Cuba is known for its insanely good mojitos, daiquiris and Cuba Libre's, but of course we tasted the local brew too and we loved Cristal in particular. Just don’t get that mixed up with the champagne!
What's your favorite memory from Cuba so far?
My favorite memory from Cuba was, just after visiting Hemingway's house, there’s this outdoor bar right there where live music was beautifully filling the air as the sun was setting. The singer was so amazing, and somehow it was just our group there, and then we all started to dance around and randomly formed a conga rum line. I think you can guess where this is going!