|November 2-8, 2018
The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a fascinating country. With relatively little traffic, friendly and curious locals, an eternal summer, endless unspoiled coastline and a fascinating blend of cultures, it’s an ideal place to explore by bicycle. On this educational People-to-People group tour, we have many interchanges with the Cuban people we meet along the way, as well as a number of scheduled experiences designed to provide you with more insight into the culture and history of the country. We are accompanied by Cuban Cyclists who share their experiences of cycling in Cuba and give us an insight into the cycling culture of the country as well as the challenges that cyclists face.
Now is undoubtedly a fantastic time to visit Cuba to see and experience the island. Visiting Cuba is like stepping back in time as little has changed over the past 50 years. Its a fascinating place to see: a very different culture and a step back in time.
To fully enjoy the Cuban experience you should travel with a willingness to expect the unexpected and, above all, an adventurous spirit. In our opinion go now and experience this unique destination before it changes.
In city centres, from Havana to Santiago, ramshackle streets are lined with decaying colonial mansions and art deco towers, while rectangular Soviet apartment blocks dominate the suburbs. 1950s Cadillacs chug alongside horse-drawn carriages, arthritic rickshaws and sleek diplomats’ saloons, swiftly overtaken by bright yellow eggshells on motorbike chassis. Out in the countryside, from the tobacco fields to the Sierra Maestra, the highways are lined with billboards extolling the virtues of the Revolution.
Our tour starts in Havana, the capital city that was once larger than New York City! It is always a good place to gain insight into the culture of the island. The old town, Habana Vieja, is being painstakingly renovated and many of the colonial palaces have been converted into desirable boutique hotels. Others are museums and art galleries containing unrivaled treasures or Revolutionary memorabilia.
On the south coast, Trinidad is one of the best-preserved towns in the Americas and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It remains in a time warp from the Spanish colony of the 19th century, with its cobbled streets, tiled roofs, wrought-iron railings, churches, palaces and humble dwellings. We also visit the beautiful city of Cienfuegos, set on a beautiful bay and filled with historic architecture.
Cultural, rhythmic and evocative, Cuba promises to be like nowhere else you’ve cycled. This vibrant Caribbean island has many steep contrasts. It boasts beautiful beaches and tropical sun, crumbling but opulent architecture, cigar-smoking Cubans who groove to salsa beats in the streets, and a revolutionary history of both triumph and oppression. Cycling through Cuba is one of the best ways to experience this fascinating country. Most Cubans travel by bike or with horse and carriage , rendering the roads relatively car free. On this adventure we spend five days biking through Western and Central Cuba’s most cultural and historically rich cities, including Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. We experience the authentic Cuba and engage with the Cuban People, whilst immersing ourselves in it's culture and history.
Day 1 - Friday
Welcome to Havana
We highly recommend that you book a flight that brings you into Havana around midday or early afternoon.
You will be met upon arrival and be provided with transport from Havana Airport to Havana Hotel.
In the afternoon there will be a walking tour of the Old City, followed by a welcome orientation meeting.
Welcome dinner at La Moraleja Paladar with two drinks included.
- Accommodation at Comodoro Hotel, Havana, with breakfast included.
- 20 km driving from the airport/ 25 minutes by bus.
Day 2 – Saturday
Havana – Las Terrazas – Havana 43 miles
Today we will explore western Cuba. Ride from the hotel in Havana to Las Terrazass. In 1967 the Government built an artists colony here. The community is still the base for artists who sell crafts and paintings from their workshops. There is a museum with Pre colombian artifacts from the region. The town is in a protected area declared by UNESCO known as Sierra del Rosario Mountain Range.The ride is fairly flat, with a 10km challenge at the end. We will have a panoramic tour around Las Terrazas in order to know about its nature and history. After this, we will go by bus till Cafetal Buenavista Restaurant where we are going to have lunch. After this we will return to Havana by bus. Have dinner in a local paladar. In the afternoon there is a "People to People" Seminar to discuss with our Cuban cyclists about cycling in Cuba and the challenges they face. We have dinner in a local private restaurant in Havana.
- Accommodation at Comodoro Hotel, Havana, with breakfast included.
Day 3 - Sunday
Havana – Matanzas- 69 miles
Early in the morning, we´ll start the ride to Matanzas Province. In the 18th century this was a rich city thriving from sugar cane cultivation and the slave trade. It later became a rich cafe society with many poets and artists making their homes here. We will end the ride at Bacunayagua View Point and continue by bus from here to Chiquirrín Restaurant which is in Matanzas Province for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Museum of the Pharmacy and enjoy a walking tour of the city. We visit las Cuevas de Bellamar, one of the Caribbean's largest and most beautiful underground formations. Then we continue by bus to the resort town of Varadero where we overnight.
- Accommodation at Roc Arenas Doradas Hotel in All Inclusive Plan. Bell
Day 4 - Monday
Varadero – Cienaga de Zapata 59 miles
Today we are cycling from the north to the south. First rest stop will be at Jovellanos town at a Cuban home and the second one at Jagüey Grande. Then, we continue to La Boca Restaurant to have lunch. During the afternoon you can enjoy a refreshing swim at the beach just in front of the small fisherman's town named Caletón. It is located next to Playa Larga Hotel. Near Cienaga de Zapata we have a 45 minute visit a crocodile breeding centre run by the park services.
- Accommodation at Playa Larga Hotel with breakfast included. This hotel is the best in the town but have low expectations here.
Day 5 - Tuesday
Cienaga de Zapata – Cienfuegos 66 miles
The panoramic views today will different because we will be cycling through the south shore line. You will have a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea. Our first stop will at Playa Girón Town where there was the Cuban First Victory against the United States. We visit the Museum here that tells the story of this invasion. From here the panorama will change because we will be cycling into central area. We will make a second stop at Yaguaramas. Then we will continue to Cienfuegos for a lunch time in a local Paladar out of the city called Punta Milpa.
In the afternoon we have a walking tour of Cienfuegos and have a chance to meet with a local choral group and hear a special performance just for our group. There is time to visit with the members to learn about the role of music and choirs in Cuba.
The dinner will be at Doña Nora Paladar located in the Downtown.
Optional Tour: During the night our Cuban guide and our driver will be available for a walking tour . There is a famous club called Benny Moré where you can enjoy a nice show with traditional Cuban music (The visit is optional – Not included in the price). But remember you have an early cycling ride the next day!
- Accommodation at Jagua Hotel with breakfast included.
Day 6 - Wednesday
Cienfuegos – Trinidad - Cienfuegos 53 miles
After a good breakfast we will be cycling on our fourth stretch to Trinidad. In this section our first stop is a little longer than the prior days We will stop at Guajimico Ranch and then we will continue to Trinidad. This road has several nice views because you will be cycling between the mountains and the Caribbean Sea. On many parts of the road, you will see many rivers coming from the mountains. Then our second stop will be at Trinidad City. Have lunch in a local Paladar in Trinidad. Then continue to Playa Ancón. It is located 15 kilometer to the south from Trinidad.
In the afternoon we meet the local photographer and entrepreneur Julio Munoz to learn about his work in Cuba as well as his horse care education program called Project Diana.
Optional night tour: During the night we can return to Trinidad for night tour and learn about history and music there. There are some Night Clubs where you can go for a visit (The visit is optional – Not included).
- Accommodation at Jagua Hotel with breakfast included
Day 7 - Thursday
Tour with informative tour guide for the trip back to to Havana Airport (3.5 hours) for your return flight to the USA. Please try to book a later flight from Havana. Please note that the bus transfers are shuttle bus so the bus will leave in time to accommodate the first departing passenger from each airport. As such it could mean that you could have a longer wait at the airport for your departure, so please be prepared for this.
Those departing from Cienfuegos airport, can take a taxi to that airport as its close by (not included in price)
- Package A $2499 full payment at time of booking valid to August 29, $2699 after August 29 if space is available. This tour will sell out early
- Package AN Payments in two parts. Deposit $1399 to hold your place, with balance $1300 due by August 29. This is only possible for bookings made by July 31st.
Package Rates are per person and include:
- All transportation to and from the airport and between cities
- Transportation of luggage between hotels
- 6 nights hotel accommodation based on twin/double occupancy
- 6 breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 5 lunches
- Transportation to museums and attractions as described in the schedule
- Entrance fees to attractions described in the schedule
- Tour Escort from the United States with the group at all times (requirement for US citizens)
- Tour Escort from Cuba with the group at all times (bi-lingual))
- Official tour leaders and cycling guide support: Combination of Cuban & Jamaican professional Cyclists
- Technical support ( bike mechanic) along the entire route
- Sag wagon ( support vehicle) with each group of riders.
- Certified First Aid personnel
- Refreshment stop every 20 miles - included.
- Water, Hydration fluid, Fruits and snacks included
- Official Finishers medal
Optional Single supplement: US$ 495 ( At registration on the Active registration system, this is found under Additional Purchases). If you do not purchase this, and are travelling alone, you will be automatically paired up with another person of the same gender.
Additional nights post tour are not being offered at this time.
Early one day arrival can be booked. Rates will be posted soon.
We highly recommend you plan to arrive early and plan for a late afternoon departure