/For Students

Best Apps to Download Before Coming to Cuba!

If you’re planning a trip to Cuba in the near future and you’re wondering which apps to download before arriving, we’ve got you covered!

Although Cuba is the perfect place to disconnect from your phone, there are some apps that can definitely make your stay a whole lot easier, and the best part about these is that you can use them offline! And if you do need to connect, there are a ton of wifi parks around Havana.

(Before we get started, we want to offer a pro tip: having a good VPN on both your phone and computer is a really good idea before coming to Cuba. There are certain sites like PayPal and The App Store that are blocked by the Cuban government, so do yourself a favour and have that ready before hand. We recommend Hide.Me VPN, but there are tons of options available.)

Maps.me

Maps.me
If we had to choose only one app to have on our phone in Cuba, it would be maps.me.. we can’t recommend it enough. It’s similar to Google Maps, however Maps.me uses GPS without an internet connection. It’s fast, accurate, and you can drop pins for your favourite places as well as navigate anywhere around the city. All you need to do is download the map of Cuba before hand, and you’re set! Havana can be quite tough to navigate, with or without an internet connection, so this is one app you shouldn’t miss.

Zapya

Zapya is one of the best apps you can have on your phone in Cuba! It allows for file transfer using bluetooth, and no internet connection is needed! It also allows you to transfer from iPhone to Android, and vice versa. Wether you want to transfer photos, videos or songs, this app is a must!

Google Translate

The google translate app has been a huge help in situations where there’s a language gap! What’s great about this app is that you can download the offline Spanish language pack (or any language pack) before hand and bam, you’re set to translate anything from English to Spanish and vice versa.

A la mesa


In Cuba, it can be tough choosing where to eat, especially without an internet connection – luckily, there’s an app called A La Mesa (“To the table” in Spanish), which gives you information on restaurants such as reviews, location, menu, contact information. It’s also the first Cuban made app!

Triposo


Triposo is great as it contains tons of information about Cuba such as main attractions in each different cities, the best beaches, nightlife and much more. The best part: all this information is available offline. It also has a built in translator to break through the language barrier. Wether or not you’re someone who likes to go with the flow or likes to plan out your day, this app will definitely come in handy in Cuba.

Shazam


In Cuba, you’re bound to ever great music playing anywhere you go, at any time of the day, and it sucks not knowing which song is playing! From salsa, to jazz, to catchy reggaeton, we can’t count the amount of times where we hear a catchy tune and have no way to find out which song it is! That’s why we definitely recommend download Shazam, especially because you can use it offline to determine which song it is, and once you’re connected it’ll let you know!

There you have it! If you have any recommendations for apps that found helpful during your stay in Cuba, please send us a message on Instagram or Facebook – we would love to hear from you!

By |2019-06-17T17:29:40-04:00June 17th, 2019|For Students, For Teachers|0 Comments

Top Ten Things to Pack for Cuba

Have you ever tried packing for Cuba and had absolutely no idea what to bring? This happens all the time and is a question we get on the daily. Cuba can be one of the most difficult places to pack for, however we’ve done it so often that we’ve got you covered whether you’re going for a quick trip or a longer stay. From food to electronics, there are certain things to bring that will really make your experience that much better!

Chocolate

If you’re looking for good chocolate in Cuba, and we’re talking high quality stuff, you’re out of luck. Although you might be able to find decent chocolate here and there, you’ll be searching for hours and hours and by that point the craving has faded. We recommend bringing a variety of chocolate for 2 reasons:

1. (The obvious reason) Who knows when that sugar craving will kick in and we all know there’s nothing like some good old chocolate (or whichever snack you love) to satisfy that craving/

2. Good chocolate is one of the greatest gifts you can bring a Cuban, seeing as it’s close to impossible to find good chocolate. It’s hard to count the number of feuds we’ve seen caused over who gets that last Snickers bar!

Our recommendation: a box of Ferrero Rocher seems to be the holy grail of chocolate care packages here.

Tylenol

It’s good to keep this on hand wherever you go, however you don’t want to be stuck in Cuba with a killer headache and needing some relief as it’s very difficult to find Tylenol in Cuba.

Bug Spray

We can’t stress this one enough, bring lots of bug spray, unless you want to spend your evening caught outside cursing at the Mosquito gods. We’ve seen it happen too many times. You can never have enough bug spray here in Cuba.

External Memory Drive

For those of us who’ve spent time in Cuba, we know all about the internet situation. for those who don’t, well. you’ll find out soon enough. Although Cuba is a great place to disconnect, you still might want to wind down with a movie or download that new album on Spotify. If you’re looking to stream or download anything, think again, as the internet is notoriously slow here. We recommend loading up a USB or External Hard Drive with a pile of movies, tv shows and music. The great thing too is you’ll be able to make the locals super happy as they are rarely able to download anything. And if you’re feeling generous, a simple USB Drive donation goes a very long way here.

Pillows

Ah, pillows in Cuba. How we love that subject. A “good pillow” in Cuba is sort of an oxymoron as it doesn’t really exist. Although you might not be the type of person to mind a bad pillow, you’ll most likely notice a small kink in your neck the next day, and that is no bueno. So pack a decent pillow before you come here, as it’ll make your stay that much better. Your future self will thank you. And again, pillows go a very long way as donations here, so leave it behind and put a smile on someone’s face!

Wine

Wine might not be a priority on your packing list before coming to Cuba, however you’ll be kicking yourself when you don’t get to pair that beautiful grilled Cuban fish with a nice bottle of white. Although more and more bottles are popping up in Cuba, they can be rather expensive and the selection isn’t the greatest. Do yourself a favour a pack a bottle or two for yourself to enjoy.

Makeup/Beauty/General Hygiene Products

You don’t realize how spoiled we are until you come to Cuba and see what’s available in terms of makeup or self-care products. Cubans do get by and are quite creative, however we all know that feeling of using a high-quality moisturizer or a beautiful selection of lipstick. These are very difficult to find here, if not impossible.

Our short list: Q-Tips, Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Nail Kit, Lipstick, Deodorant, Lotion, Anti-Bacterial Soap

Phone Charger/Batteries/Electronics

We all know that feeling when our phone dies or the batteries in the remote control stop working. Although you might be able to borrow a friend’s phone charger, or run to the store to grab some batteries, this might not be the case in Cuba. Batteries and electronics in general are quite expensive (if you manage to find them) so we highly recommend packing a little set of general cables, adapters, batteries, etc. We also recommend packing a flashlight as this can come quite handy as well.

Cash

Lines can be very, very long in Cuba and that includes banks. Long waits, ATM machines not working, cards not being accepted regular power outages are just some of the challenges you might face when trying to withdraw money. Who has time to deal with this when you have a mojito waiting for you and you’re trying to get your salsa on? That’s why we highly recommend withdrawing money before arriving in Cuba, that way all you have to do is exchange it which is the easiest part.

Camera

We’ve all seen photos of Cuba, from the amazing colourful buildings to the old American cars. Cuba is a photographer’s paradise, and although you might not be the artistic type, that can definitely change in Cuba. We’ve seen it happen many times. We recommend packing your camera, whether it be your DSLR or small point and shoot. If you don’t own any of those, we recommend making space on your phone! Trust us, you don’t want to be enjoying one of those amazing sunsets on the Malecon and kicking yourself for not having your camera on you.

Stay tuned for our next blog on top 5 apps to download before coming to Cuba!

By |2019-01-02T15:39:32-04:00January 2nd, 2019|For Students, For Teachers|0 Comments

4 Reasons Cuba is Your Next Wellness Destination

Cuba may be synonymous with rum, salsa, and cigars, but this beautiful island has so much more to offer! Find out why Cuba is an amazing wellness destination below:

Organic Food

The most common thing said of Cuba is that the food is bad and we are more than happy to prove otherwise. Cuba is one of the world’s biggest cultivators of organic produce and this is attributed to the lack of access to fertilisers and pesticides. There are over 35,000 urban gardens throughout Cuba that supply over 90% of its produce. From fresh ceviche to vegetarian cuisine, Cuban food is flavorful and nutritious.

Nature

From the white sand beaches to the lush Viñales Valley, Cuba has tons of beautiful spots to soothe your soul. Experience the “Jurassic Park” feel of the Valley as you go horseback riding through the countryside or relax by the ocean and enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves.

Fitness

Cuba is a fitness lover’s paradise. Jog along the Malecón by the ocean in Havana early in the morning. Hit up a boxing class at the world famous Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym. Spend time in the water and go kite surfing or stand-up paddle boarding with Cuba Kite Village just 15 minutes outside of Havana in Tarará, close to Mhai Yoga Centre. With so many options, you won’t have to miss your workouts while on vacation. Don’t forget to end your evening by taking a salsa class.

Yoga

Cuba has a thriving yoga community thanks to the co-founder of Mhai Yoga Centre, Eduardo Pimentel. Yoga was not exported to Cuba, it was born out of one person’s passion for the practice. Nearly 40 years later, Cuba is due to be recognized as place of community, practice, and connectivity for yogis from all over the world.

He owns a yoga studio in Havana, Vidya Yoga, where he holds weekly classes that are frequented by locals and visitors. Eduardo has come an incredibly long way: self-learning the practice through a single book, and with no yoga community on the island, he has created a movement and carried it through churches, parks, theatres, and open spaces. Eduardo spent nearly 15 years in correspondence with B.K.S. Iyengar before finally meeting in India. Since then, he has led successful yoga festivals in Havana, and has facilitated the visits to Havana for yogis such as Krishna Kaur and Deepak Chopra.

If you’re interested in learning more about traveling to Cuba, contact us at info@mhaiyoga.com and we’ll be glad to assist!

By |2018-09-22T17:29:29-04:00June 22nd, 2018|For Students, For Teachers|0 Comments