Why Cuba Should be Your Next Wellness Destination
Cuba is a magnificently colorful country filled with history, culture, art, music and friendly people. It’s a travel destination like no other. While it may be known more for it’s music and food, the island’s healthy lifestyle makes it the perfect wellness destination. Read on for more the inside scoop on Cuban culture and why we’re obsessed with Cuban wellness retreats.
DESPACITO (…Slowly, slowly like the song says…).
Travelers to Cuba have no choice but to slow down and immerse themselves in the culture and magic of the island. Things in Cuba are slower, “manana” or tomorrow is the way of life. In other words, there’s never a hurry and people take time to really enjoy every moment (hint: the perfect place to relax and live in the moment). Internet in Cuba is still limited and expensive. Which means less time on the phone and more time traveling well (and if that means a drink on the beach, no judgment there). Remember that patience is an important virtue to master when visiting Cuba, so don’t expect speedy service either!
Staying active is a part of life in Cuba, so eat as much as you want! Cars are limited and expensive, so most Cubans walk. Cities like Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad are designed for the pedestrian and are perfect places to go for scenic walks. Walking doesn’t only have to be your daily dose of exercise, but a way to mingle with locals, discover hidden places, and experience Cuba like a local. Or, hop on a bike or e-bike and discover to your heart’s content. Local companies offer daily or even multi-day bike rentals.
Cuba is also a remarkable nature getaway with spectacular hikes and nature walks in lush parks, mountain ranges, and along its rivers and beaches. But the most important exercise in Cuba? Dancing! Cubans love dancing and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take a salsa lesson, join a street party, or head to a local show (dancing is a must)! Private yoga studios, spas and gyms have also been popping up throughout Havana lately!
Our all time favorite part of Cuba? The food! Cuban food is really delicioso, not spicy, but super flavorful, with staples such as rice and beans, pork, and plantains. Cuba’s sub-tropical climate lends itself to some pretty amazing local produce as well.In other words, pineapples, papayas, guavas, bananas, mangoes, cassava, sweet peppers, boniatos (white sweet potato), and yuca, oh my. No need to pay crazy amounts for organic food here. Most of what you will eat is grown organically and sustainably without fertilizers and pesticides, and in the case of fish, from non-polluted waters. What’s even better? Much of this delicious food can be sampled in privately run restaurants, called paladares, or in local farms that cater to tourists.
CULTURE & EDUCATION.
Spanish, African, French and Indigenous roots give cuba it’s unique flair (and super interesting history). While we are huge fans of soaking in the sun all day, make sure to get and out and experience the culture for yourselves. Wander the streets of Havana looking for murals and outdoor art and listening for street performers:our favorite way to experience the island’s art and music scene. Their world-renowned music is the back-bone of Cuba and offers an instant connection between both visitors and residents. No matter where you turn, you’ll experience something that makes Cuba’s culture so special.
Every time we visit we can’t help but admire Cubans positive attitude (despite years of hardships) and resourcefulness. You can see this everywhere you turn. Reusing old things like an old Russian washing machine to create a mixer or using parts from a Toyota car to keep the American classic cars going are everyday tasks in Cuba. Nothing is wasted, taking recycling to a whole new level (a lesson, we americans could use). Cuba will enlighten all your senses and open up your eyes to a lifestyle reminiscent of the past. Nowhere else can you see such contrasts of old and new coexisting harmoniously. Cuba’s allure is tied to its way of life, its vast cultural offerings, and it’s warm and caring people.
Important Note for U.S Tourists
It is important to note that visiting Cuba from the US requires that you qualify under one of the licensed categories for travel under the US Department of the Treasury. As of June 4, 2019 the educational people-to-people program was rescinded, however it is STILL legal to travel to cuba. The most common category is under support for the Cuban people, which can be used by individuals. This is a perfect way to truly discover why Cuba is so different from the rest of the world. She Travels Well always recommend that you book Cuba through a fully licensed and insured company. We love working with Annette, the President of Daiquiri Tours USA.