Healthy Cuba – 10 Days
Our Healthy Cuba 10-day experience is the perfect way to de-stress, boost your fitness or get motivated to lose weight, while exploring the vivacious culture and stunning natural and man-made beauty of Cuba. Our bespoke 10-day itinerary is a spirited mix of yoga, salsa classes, watersports, walks, horseback riding, tai chi and spa treatments, augmented with inherently Cuban delights. Such delights include touring the exceptional museums and art galleries of Havana, discovering wholesome Cuban culinary pleasures at plush private restaurants, and soaking up the scenery in the Viñales Valley. Your healthy holiday to Cuba is led by your own private Esencia tour guide, whose mission is to ensure you return home refreshed, fulfilled and feeling great.
Find out below an example itinerary of how we organise a bespoke luxury healthy tour of Cuba:
Launch your healthy holiday as you mean to go on with some honed fancy footwork. Everyone salsas in Havana and acquiring the skills to move to the beat will ensure you twirl like a pro on the dance floor. Follow your dance class with a lesson on Cuba’s important percussive instruments — the tumbadora drums, the clave, and the güiro. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of Havana’s beautifully restored Spanish Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the night in a suite of an enormous 1950s penthouse in Vedado embellished with the works of Cuba’s young contemporary artists.
Head out to Havana’s popular Playas del Este, the golden eastern beaches just 20 minutes’ drive east of Havana. Try your hand at surfing and kitesurfing with instructors at Santa María del Mar. Winter provides the best waves for both watersports but both surfing and kitesurfing can be practised year round. Spend the afternoon meandering through the boho-chic leafy district of Vedado in Havana, exploring museums, galleries and new, elegant private restaurants.
Your chauffeur will drive you three hours southwest of Havana to the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rock climb the mogotes — huge, round-topped limestone hills that stud the beautiful valley floor, or take a gentle horse ride through the valley passing tobacco plantations, oxen ploughing ruddy red fields, and painted wooden houses. At sunset, luxuriate in the view of this garden of Eden from the swimming pool terrace of the Hotel Los Jazmines — sundowner in hand!
It takes almost a whole day to drive from Viñales to the Bay of Pigs in the swamplands of southern Matanzas province. On arrival, a dive instructor will take you out for a late afternoon dive to glimpse the astounding deep coral wall just 100 metres offshore. Non-divers can snorkel the inviting Caribbean, too. Enjoy a lobster dinner at Casa Ronel’s B&B in Playa Girón.
Rise early to catch the Bay of Pigs prolific birdlife. Some 18 of Cuba’s 21 endemic species call the Zapata Swamp home. Take in a visit to the historic museum of Playa Girón, that details the failed US-backed invasion of April 1961. After checking into the centrally located Iberostar Grand Hotel in Trinidad and enjoying a late lunch, improve on what you learnt in Havana with a follow-up salsa lesson. Your private teacher will then take you out on into the balmy night to Trinidad’s best music venues.
Head out with a private guide on a horse riding trip through the low-lying hills around Trinidad. This is an insightful way to experience rural life in the province passing cowboys on horseback and farmers at work. After lunch at a private restaurant, head for some well-deserved relaxation on Ancón beach. A catamaran will cruise out into the sparkling Caribbean sea pulling in at Cayo Blanco for snorkelling over the shallow, colourful reef.
Leave Trinidad in the morning to drive from the southern coast to the northern coral keys of Cayo Santa María. En route, stop for a short walk around Sancti Spíritus. This small, Spanish colonial town is a hidden gem and little visited. Make time for the Museum of Colonial Art, home to one of the region’s most powerful sugar baron families. Spend the afternoon in the peaceful sand and sea oasis at the Meliã Buenavista on Cayo Santa María.
Pass the day surrendering to some serious pampering at the hotel’s Las Aguas YHI Spa. Order up water treatments, chocolate or grape massage, coffee exfoliant treatment, and mud therapy. While not slumbering at the spa, unwind under the palapas, and submerge your weary limbs in the alfresco jacuzzi.
Return to Havana, stopping off in the attractive city of Santa Clara. Visit the monolithic mausoleum of Revolution hero Che Guevara, and lunch at one of Santa Clara’s new private restaurants. In the late afternoon, enjoy a session of tai chi in Havana’s Chinatown, instructed by an authentic habanero of Chinese descent. Spend your last night in a beautiful 1950s mansion furnished with art work in Vedado.
The morning before you leave Cuba, enjoy a yoga session with Cuba’s yogi master at his studio on the outskirts of Havana.