Discover the architectural splendour of Havana

Experience Cuba’s stunning nature at the Sierra de Rosario and Ciénaga de Zapata natural parks

Cycle through world famous tobacco growing countryside

Relax on stunning tropical beaches

Experience Revolutionary history in Santa Clara at the Che Memorial

Step back in time in picturesque Trinidad

Stay in traditional family homes

Day by Day

Day 1 ➤ Arrival in Havana
A Cubania representative will be waiting for you on arrival at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.  Once you’ve collected your luggage you’ll be transferred to your accommodation with time to relax after your long flight.  If you’re hungry you can have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the old town.
Casa particular, Havana
Day 2 ➤ Havana city tour by bike and walking tour of the old town visiting the four main squares

Following breakfast we have a bike-fitting before setting off on a panoramic sightseeing trip of the city. We drive 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 three most important squares in old Havana.  We lunch in the old town before cycling back to our accommodation. Dinner isn’t included today so you’ll be able to dine out at a restaurant of your choice in the old town.
Casa particular, Havana (B, L)

Day 3 ➤ Cycle to Las Terrazas eco-community option to do zip-lining after lunch

This morning we leave the capital and head out by bus towards the western of Pinar del Rio province.  Once outside Havana we get on our bikes and start cycling towards “Las Terrazas” eco- community in the Sierra Rosario biosphere reserve where we stop for lunch. We have time to explore the tranquil eco-resort in the afternoon with the opportunity to do some zip-lining through the canopy and take a swim in the natural pools of the Rio San Juan.  We then continue to Soroa/La Moka for dinner and overnight.
Hotel la Moka or Villa Soroa (B, L, D)

Day 4 ➤ Cycle Las Terrazas to San Diego de los Baños

After breakfast we transfer from La Moka to Soroa, then downhill into the valley. We spend most of the day cycling along the plain through pretty colonial farm towns which dot the old Havana to Pinar del Rio road until we reach the Spa town of San Diego de los Baños. Once famous for its medicinal waters, the town is now a sleepy backwater of quaint squares and colonial buildings. We stop for a late lunch then transfer to Pinar del Rio for dinner and overnight.
Hotel Vuelta Abajo Pinar del Rio (or casas in Viñales if Hotel Vuelta Abajo not available) (B,L,D)

Day 5 ➤ Cycle to the heart of Cuban tobacco country a visit a tobacco “vega” in San Luis

Today we spend the day exploring the best tobacco countryside in the world. We depart from Pinar del Rio and head towards San Juan to visit the world famous tobacco “Vega” of Alejandro Robaina – the only tobacco grower who has his own brand of cigars. From here we cycle along country roads to La Guabina, a stud ranch which has a small hotel on the banks of a lake. We lunch at La Guabina and later return by bike or bus to Pinar del Rio. We have a short transfer to Viñales for dinner and overnight. Dinner will be taken at your local casas after which you’ll have a chance to explore the charming town and maybe catch some live music in the evening.
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L, D)

Day 6 ➤ Spend the day relaxing, swimming and snorkelling on Cayo Levisa

A full day excursion which starts off with a 30 minute boat-ride to the picturesque white beaches and crystal-clear waters of Cayo Levisa. It’s a great place to relax, swim or do some water sports, – the perfect beach life! You can have dinner this evening in town or at your casa for some more delicious home-cooked food. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L)

Day 7 ➤ Explore Viñales Valley by bike and visit the Cueva del Indio

Today we spend the whole day exploring the spectacular scenery of Viñales Valley by bike. We start off by visiting the Cueva del Indio with its underground river and then get back on our bikes to head into the rural heart of Pinar del Rio, passing tobacco fields and agricultural smallholdings. We cycle uphill for a spectacular view of the valley before dropping back down to the Mural de la Prehistoria for a traditional Cuban lunch.  After lunch board the bus and enjoy a siesta as we travel to the centre of the island, reaching Santa Clara in the early evening. Check into your hotel for the night. Dinner isn’t included this evening so you can decide whether to eat in the hotel or head into town for dinner.
Los Caneyes or La Granjita ( B, L )

Day 8 ➤ Visit the Che Mausoleum in Santa Clara and walk the La Codina trail at Topes de Collantes

This morning we visit Che Mausoleum and train in Santa Clara, then transfer by bus to the beautiful natural park of Topes de Collantes where we enjoy a walk along the La Codina trail. After lunch at the hacienda Codina we transfer to the town of Trinidad for a quick orientation tour, then check into 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.
Casa particular, Trinidad (B, L, D)

Day 9 ➤ Free day to discover colonial Trinidad

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.

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 mountains. Trinidad’s small scale makes it easy to explore and the many cafes, restaurants, museums 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 you can eat out at one of the many restaurants in town.
Casa Particular, Trinidad (B)

Day 10 ➤ Visit the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens

Today we set off from Trinidad to cycle to the botanical gardens near Cienfuegos. We have lunch at the gardens and then transfer to Cienfuegos for a quick orientation tour and check in to our hotel. This evening you can dine at the hotel or walk into town for dinner at a local restaurant. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Cienfuegos (B, L)

Day 11 ➤ Snorkelling in the natural sea pools at Caleta Buena in the morning and Playa Larga in the afternoon

This morning we transfer to Bermejas from where we get on our bikes and cycle the short 20kms to the idyllic swim spot of Caleta Buena, a natural sea pool teeming with tropical fish. There should be an opportunity for a quick dip at lunch time after which we set off on the final 45kms leg of our journey to Playa Larga in the afternoon. You can eat dinner at the hotel or at a local restaurant in town. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Playa Larga (B,L)

Day 12 ➤ Explore the Cienága de Zapata natural park

Another day exploring the area by bike, we enter the Cienága de Zapata National Park and spend the morning exploring the Zapata Peninsula. This area is a protected nature reserve, famous for being one of the most important sites for bird-watching in Cuba.   It’s the natural habitat of the smallest bird in the world – the bee hummingbird – and there’s a good chance you’ll see one of these as well as the Cuban National bird, the Cuban Trogon or Tocororo. The swamp is also one of the few remaining habitats of the sea cow, otherwise known as the manatee, a gentle relative of the dolphin which inhabits the still shallow waters of the Zapata swamp. We take a gentle bike ride into the nature reserve to observe the local flora and fauna and return to the hotel in time for lunch and leisure time at the beach in the afternoon. Playa Larga and the surrounding area is also one of the best scuba diving sites in Cuba and you can easily organize a shore dive while you´re in the area.    You can dine at the hotel or at one of the local paladars in town. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Playa Larga (B, L)

Day 13 ➤ Cycle to Guamá and take a boat excursion on Lago del Tesoro (Treasure Lake)

Cycle from Hotel Playa Larga to Guamá where we ditch the bikes and get on a boat for an excursion on el Lago del Tesoro (Treasure Lake) with lunch included. In the afternoon we transfer to Havana. You can head into the old town for dinner. (Dinner not included)
Casa particular, Havana (B, L)

Day 14 ➤ Free day to explore Havana

This is the final day of your stay in Cuba to enjoy at your leisure shopping for last minute souvenirs, exploring the city or having a relaxing day at the beach soaking up the sun. Lunch and dinner are not included today.
Casa particular, Havana (B)

 

Day 15 ➤ Departure day

Enjoy your last hours in the capital before your afternoon transfer to the airport 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
50km
Day 4
60km
Day 5
55km
Day 6
free day
Day 7
45km
Day 8
visit to the Che Mausoleum
Day 9
free day Trinidad
Day 10
65km
Day 11
65km
Day 12
40km
Day 13
12km
Day 14
free day
Day 15
departure day

Essential Information

L

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

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