Experience the vibrant culture of historic Havana

Ride through Zapata Peninsula and visit the infamous Bay of Pigs

Step back in time in colonial Trinidad, Cuba’s most famous provincial town

Stay in a traditional family home

Day by Day

Day 1 ➤ Arrival in Havana

A Cubania representative will be waiting for you on arrival at Jose Martí International Airport in Havana. Once you’ve collected your luggage you’ll be transferred with your group to your hotel with time to relax after your long flight. If you fancy a bite to eat you can head into the old town for dinner. (dinner not included)
Overnight Havana

Day 2 ➤ Panoramic Havana city tour by bike, walking tour of the old town visiting the four main squares, then transfer to Playa Larga
Following breakfast we have a bike fitting before setting off on a panoramic sightseeing trip of the city. We cycle through Miramar, Parque Metropolitano de la Habana, and Nuevo Vedado, stopping for a quick break and a chance to take photographs at the famous Revolution Square. We continue through Vedado passing the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, then down to the old town via Centro Habana, stopping briefly at the Capitolio building. We carry on down Prado near the former Presidential Palace and continue cycling to the train station, ending at the Plaza de Armas (Arms Square) at which point we continue by foot, visiting the other most important squares in old Havana.  After lunch in the old town there is time to explore old Havana on your own before your transfer to Playa Larga. This evening we dine at a local paladar.
Casa particular, Playa Larga (B, L, D)
Day 3 ➤ Cycle through the Ciénaga de Zapata natural park and visit infamous Bay of Pigs

We get up early to go bird watching in the Ciénaga de Zapata natural park accompanied by a local guide. We return to the hotel for breakfast then set off cycling through the biggest swamps in Cuba, the Zapata Peninsula. The road clings to the Bay of Pigs, giving us views of the emerald Caribbean Sea. A stop at Playa Girón ( Bay of Pigs ) gives us the chance to learn about the failed CIA backed invasion of Cuba in the early 1960s. From here we have a short ride to lunch and a swim in Caleta Buena, a natural sea pool teeming with tropical fish. After lunch we continue by bus to Cienfuegos. We have dinner that evening in a local paladar.
Casa particular, Cienfuegos (B, L, D)

Day 4 ➤ Cycle along coastal roads with views of the Escambray mountains to the charming colonial city of Trinidad
We set off in the morning along an undulating coastal road followed by some short, sharp, hills through beautiful pasture lands. After approximately 20kms we stop to enjoy stunning views of the Escambray mountains across a valley of sugar cane. The road then sweeps up and over gentle hills until we join the coastal road just beyond Guajimico from where we continue cycling for a further 50kms. We stop for lunch at La Vega farm restaurant from where we cycle ( or transfer! ) the final 30kms stretch of flat road which clings to the shimmering Caribbean coastline all the way to Trinidad. There are some hillier sections just before reaching Trinidad but once we’ve entered the city it’s downhill all the way to our accommodation for the night.

Tonight we’ll be enjoying Cuban hospitality, staying in a Cuban style bed and breakfast (casa particular).   Accommodation is simple but rooms are clean, with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. You’ll enjoy tasty home cooked food in your casa this evening before you head out into Trinidad to explore this charming World Heritage Site by night.

Trinidad is probably Cuba’s most famous provincial town and rightly so. It’s a picture perfect colonial town with cobbled streets, pastel painted colonial homes and very little traffic in the centre – other than horse drawn carts and the occasional vintage car. Walking around the town is like stepping back in time! In the evenings Trinidad welcomes visitors with live music and local bars where you can kick back and enjoy a rum cocktail or practice your salsa steps.
Overnight Casa particular, Trinidad  (B, L, D)

Day 5 ➤ Free day to explore Trinidad, colonial jewel and World Heritage Site
Today is a free day to enjoy a number of activities at your leisure including horse riding, salsa classes, a trip on a catamaran out to one of the keys or trekking in the nearby mountains. Trinidad’s small scale makes it easy to explore and the many cafes, museums, handicrafts markets and shops are perfect for browsing and whiling away an afternoon.   Ancon beach, 12kms away, is a classic Caribbean beach and well worth visiting. Lunch and dinner are not included today but there are plenty of options to choose from in town.
Overnight Casa particular, Trinidad (B)
Day 6 ➤ Cycle to through Escambray Mountains to Manicaragua, then on to Santa Clara to visit the Che Mausoleum

After transferring to our start point, we begin with a challenging 10kms section over mountainous peaks through pine and eucalyptus forests before beginning the descent to Santa Clara. Today is the most spectacular day of the trip in terms of scenery as we cycle through the Topes de Collantes national park. Palm trees and other tropical plants slowly replace pine forests as we descend to the valley floor between impressive mountains before reaching the market town of Manicaragua, where we stop for a picnic lunch. From here we either continue by bike or transfer to Santa Clara by bus, arriving in time to visit Che’s Mausoleum before checking into our hotel for the night. Tonight you’re free to explore the city centre of Santa Clara at your leisure and dine at a restaurant or paladar of your choice. (dinner not included)
Overnight overnight Los Caneyes or La Granjita (B, L)

Day 7 ➤ Tour Havana in a vintage American classic cars with time to explore old Havana in the afternoon

If it wasn’t possible to visit the Che Mausoleum yesterday we’ll do so today before transferring back to Havana, arriving in time for lunch in the capital. In the afternoon we enjoy a 2- hour tour of the capital in vintage American convertible cars, ending at the El Floridita bar in the old town. This was one of Hemingway’s favourite haunts where the daiquiri claims to have been invented. We return to our accommodation by foot through the pedestrianized streets of the historic district. Tonight we go out for our final dinner in the old town.
Overnight Havana (B, L, D)

Day 8 ➤ Departure Day
This is the final morning of your stay in Cuba with time in the morning to relax, do some final exploring of old Havana or some last minute souvenir shopping before we depart for the airport in time for check in 3 hours prior to departure.
(B)

Bike Route

Activity Level

Cycling Profile

*all distances shown are approximate

Day 1
arrival day
Day 2
37km
Day 3
45km
Day 4
85km
Day 5
free day
Day 6
40km with option to extend
Day 7
free day
Day 8
departure day

Essential Information

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Health & Medical Insurance

No need for any complicated jabs to visit Cuba but you will need to ensure you have medical insurance in order to enter the country. Pack a copy in your hand luggage along with your passport in case Immigration asks for proof of insurance on arrival in Cuba. Drink bottled water and pack a good insect repellent and you should have a problem free trip.
See trip notes for more info

Passports, Visas, Departure Tax

You’ll need a visa (Tourist Card) to enter Cuba which can be obtained from the Cuban Consulate. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your entry into Cuba. Make sure you keep 25CUC per person for a departure tax which is payable in cash after check in for all passengers leaving Cuba.
See trip notes for more info

Money Matters

Cuba currently runs a complicated 2 currency system: the CUC (Convertible Peso) has the same value, more or less, as the USD. Most of your transactions will require this currency. The CUP (Moneda Nacional ) is used by Cubans to buy food, pay utility bills and buy certain goods. It’s unlikely you’ll use these at all during your trip.

Cuba’s economy is cash driven so make sure you bring plenty of money in small denominations (GBP, EUR and CAD are the best options). Only exchange cash at a bank or the official exchange house CADECA (Casa de cambio) on arrival to avoid being ripped off. There is very little variation in exchange rates as all banks and CADECAs are government owned!
See trip notes for more info

Food & Drink

Cuba is as famous for its delicious rum cocktails as it is infamous for its dreary food. Luckily the food is improving and you can now expect to eat, as well as drink, quite well! However, expect little variety and plenty of rice and black beans, especially when you’re travelling in the provinces. Cuba’s repertoire of ingredients is quite limited and those with special dietary requirements (especially gluten free, vegetarians and vegans) should consider bringing some extra food with them to supplement their diet.
See trip notes for more info

What to Bring

Helmet, water bottle or CamelBak, lycra shorts, bike shoes and if you wish, your own saddle and pedals. Don’t bring your seat post as sizes aren’t universal. Bring High Protection sun cream (SPF 50+) rehydrations salts, and some snacks if you want to add variety to the local snacks available. You should bring light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates and a jacket or fleece for cooler evenings. Cubans dress casually but are always impeccably turned out. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery. Ensure you bring all necessary medication as well as a good insect repellent and some antihistamines in case you get bitten. We also recommend you bring a small first aid kit to cover any basic needs you may have.
See trip notes for a more detailed packing list
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Safety Matters

Cuba is one of the safest destinations to travel to and it’s highly unlikely you will feel threatened during your stay. However, common sense dictates that you take the usual precautions and avoid backstreets and uninhabited areas. Dress down and keep jewellery to a minimum.

During your stay you’ll almost certainly have an encounter with a friendly local trying to sell you cheap cigars, or take you to a local restaurant/casa particular and possibly even try to set you up with one of his family members! Known locally as “jineteros” these Cuban hustlers earn their living from commissions made from steering tourists towards the services they offer. A polite refusal is usually all you need to get rid of them!
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Tipping

Tipping is part and parcel of everyday life in Cuba. Wages here are very low so people who look after tourists expect a tip for good service. 10% is the minimum expected amount when eating out, and if you have a guide and/or driver you should budget for a tip which you can give them at the end of your tour. Usually we will recommend you on the amounts but when in doubt, set aside CUC5 per guide/driver per day for each person. Tip the bell boy 1CUC for carrying your bag to your room.
See trip notes for more info

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