Take a two-wheel cycling tour around the streets of Havana

Visit Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve

Explore caves in Matanzas province

Walk in Topes de Collantes National Park

Dance salsa in atmospheric Trinidad

Kayak in the Bay of Cienfuegos

Tour Dates

Start End Price Status
Thursday 25th Oct 2018 Thursday 1st Nov 2018 £1,099 GUARANTEED
Thursday 15th Nov 2018 Thursday 22th Nov 2018 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 13th Dec 2018 Thursday 20th Dec 2018 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 17th Jan 2019 Thursday 24st Jan 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 14th Feb 2019 Thursday 21th Feb 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 14th Mar 2019 Thursday 21th Mar 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 10th Oct 2019 Thursday 17th Oct 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 21th Nov 2019 Thursday 28th Nov 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE
Thursday 12th Dec 2019 Thursday 19th Dec 2019 £1,119 AVAILABLE

Trip Notes

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Day by Day

Day 1 ➤ Arrival in Havana
Group Transfer from Jose Marti International airport.
Welcome to Cuba! The largest island in the Caribbean, Hemingway’s much-loved abode and one of the last planned economies in the world. You’re soon to discover that Cuba is all that and much, much more, but first sit back, relax and enjoy your first night in Havana. You’ll be staying in a local casa particular, a family-run B&B; the perfect opportunity to experience a Cuban household. Rooms are simple but comfortable with en-suite bathrooms. Head out for dinner in one of Havana’s many new paladars – private restaurants.
This evening we will meet our guide and enjoy a Cuban cocktail as he/she talks us through the days ahead.
Overnight: Casas Particulares in Havana
Meals Included: n/a
Day 2 ➤ Havana City Cycling Tour & Classic Car Tour
This morning we’ll drive to the start point of our city cycle and get acquainted with our bikes before setting off on a two-wheel tour of Havana. We’ll visit the well-to-do Miramar district, home to the city’s foreign diplomats and some of Havana’s most striking 20th century architecture. Keep an eye out for the sprawling and strange Russian embassy. We’ll then cycle through Parque Metropolitano de la Habana and Nuevo Vedado before stopping at Plaza de la Revolución, the political heart of Castro´s Cuba. From here we wheel through vibrant Vedado towards the famous Hotel Nacional, which has offered shelter to many a celebrity over the years, including Winston Churchill and prominent US mafia members. We finish our cycling tour on the edge of the Old Town next to the Bay of Havana. After lunch in a typical Old Town restaurant, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. We’ll then re-group in the early evening for the quintessential Havana experience – a tour of ‘new’ Havana in 1950’s classic American cars. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Havana Casa Particular
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Cycling Distance: approx. 24 km (city ride with traffic on roads) Link
Cycling Elevation: +163m / -169m

Day 3 ➤ Cycle to Las Terrazas Community
This morning we transfer to the outskirts of Havana to start our ride to Las Terrazas community. We will be entering the Sierra de Rosario; the closest mountain range to Havana and an area UNESCO declared a Biosphere Reserve. The Las Terrazas community was created in 1971 so that farmers in the area who had been living in desperate poverty and isolation could participate in reforestation. Nowadays Las Terrazas is a self-sufficient community surrounded by spectacular landscapes. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a community-run restaurant. After lunch you will have the opportunity to ride Las Terrazas’ famous zip line (optional), affording an adrenaline-fuelled panoramic view of this lush biosphere. This afternoon transfer to Playa Jibacoa, a Cuban beach getaway, just 60 kilometres outside of Havana to the east. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel Villa Tropica, Playa Jibacoa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Cycling Distance: approx. 40 km (farm roads with light traffic) Link
Cycling Elevation: +279m / -441m

Day 4 ➤ Snorkelling; visit caves in Matanzas; organic farm; historical tour in Santa Clara
This morning snorkel and relax on Jibacoa beach before visiting a cave network near Matanzas. Afterwards we’ll transfer south to Finca Coincidencia, an organic farm and ceramic workshop. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch and a tour of this charmingly eccentric farm. After lunch we will transfer further east into Villa Clara province, to the provincial capital, Santa Clara. The city of Santa Clara was founded in 1689 by settlers fleeing the coast and constant lootings by pirates. Today Santa Clara is an important university town but it’s best-known for the historic events that surround revolutionary Che Guevara. Che led his rebel forces in the battle of Santa Clara, a decisive victory over Batista’s army that resulted in the Triumph of the Revolution. Che’s remains were brought here from Bolivia in 1997 and are kept in an impressive mausoleum which we will visit, along with the Tren Blindado memorial park. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel Caneyes or Hotel La Granjita, Santa Clara
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 ➤ Trekking in Topes de Collantes, Salsa in Trinidad
This morning we will transfer to Topes de Collantes in the stunning Escambray mountain range, where we will trek along shady mountain paths, stopping for a dip at a spectacular waterfall. Enjoy lunch at an atmospheric eco-restaurant tucked away in the forest before transferring to Trinidad, the jewel in Cuba’s patrimonial crown. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, Trinidad’s collection of beautifully preserved colonial buildings have the Sierra del Escambray as a backdrop and overlook the Caribbean Sea. Much of the city’s fortune was made during the sugar boom of the early 19th century when the city’s nucleus of elegant mansions was built. In the late afternoon have a salsa class with a local teacher and we’ll dine together in a local casa that serves wonderful cuisine. Later this evening you might like to sample Trinidad’s lively nightlife and try out your new moves!

Overnight: Casas Particulares in Trinidad
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 ➤ Walking tour of Trinidad; Playa Ancon beach; rural community visit; transfer to Cienfuegos
This morning we’ll take a walking tour of Trinidad: the city’s cobbled streets and pastel houses will make you feel as though you’re walking through a time capsule. Afterwards we’ll drive the short distance to nearby Playa Ancon beach, where we’ll have time for a swim before lunch. In the afternoon we transfer along the coastline to Rancho La Vega, where we’ll have lunch and visit La Vega community. Here you’ll gain an insight in to typical Cuban services such as the medical facility, school, and food ration store. We continue onwards to Cienfuegos. The city of Cienfuegos is known amongst Cubans as ‘The Pearl of the South’ and its colonial centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Cienfuegos is the only city in Cuba founded by French migrants fleeing the slave revolution in Haiti in the early 19th century. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Casas Particulares in Cienfuegos
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 ➤ Kayaking in Cienfuegos; Return to Havana
This morning we will go on a kayaking excursion in the bay of Cienfuegos. We set off from the Cienfuegos Yacht Club harbour after receiving an instruction and safety briefing. Donning our life jackets, we set off across the bay, a wide natural harbour which provides sheltered kayaking. We paddle towards the narrow mouth of the harbour at Pasacaballo and there is a chance to stop and visit the imposing Castillo de Jagua before finishing at Rancho Cristal for lunch. After lunch we return to Havana, where you can enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Casas Particulares in Havana
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8 ➤ Walking tour of Old Havana
This morning we will go on a walking tour of Old Havana. Havana is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas and one of seven towns or “villas” founded by the Conquistador Diego Velazquez in the 16th century. Post-revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 mean that Old Havana has been well-preserved and is often referred to as a “living museum”. The many marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces of the city’s historical centre are brought to life by a constant hustle and bustle and the unmistakable sound of Cuban son. After this morning’s tour it’s time to part ways and say Adios, or, as we prefer to think of it hasta luego, see you later! Have a safe onward journey and we very much hope to see you in Cuba again soon. Afternoon transfer (30–40 minutes approx.) to Havana airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Bike Route

Activity Level

Cycling Profile

*all distances shown are approximate

Day 1
arrival day
Day 2
34km
Day 3
40km
Day 4
77km
Day 5
48km
Day 6
56km
Day 7
n/a
Day 8
n/a
Day 9
26km
Day 10
66km
Day 11
71km
Day 12
57km
Day 13
62km
Day 14
n/a
Day 15
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!
See trip notes for more info

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

Want to join us on the Cuba Multi-Activity?

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