Experience the splendour of colonial Havana

Visit the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve and Las Terrazas eco-community

Ride the spectacular skyline trail from Soroa to San Diego de los Baños

Relax on Cayo Levisa’s pristine white sand beaches

Cycle through stunning Cuban countryside

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 in the old town with time to relax after your long flight. You can head into town for a bite to eat if you wish. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Havana

Day 2 ➤ Panoramic Havana city tour by bike followed by a short walking tour of the old town visiting the four main squares

Following breakfast we transfer to Hotel Montehabana for 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 initial start point along the Malecón, Havana’s famous sea promenade. This evening you can eat at your casa or head into the old town to try out one of the many restaurants available. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Havana (B, L)

Day 3 ➤ Cycle to Las Terrazas Community followed by zip-lining after lunch

This morning we leave Havana by bus and head west to 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. Upon arrival we stop for lunch and carry on to explore the tranquil eco-resort 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 Hotel Soroa (B, L, D)

Day 4 ➤ Challenging day’s cycling from Las Terrazas to San Diego de los Baños riding the Skyline Trail

Setting off early from Las Terrazas, we ride the first 20kms through the hilly biosphere reserve until we reach the exit gate. From here we continue cycling uphill for approximately 2kms to the junction where we join the Skyline Trail. This will certainly be one of the most challenging and rewarding days of the trip, cycling through mountains on steep roads with spectacular views. On a clear day, it’s possible to see both the northern and southern coastlines. Once we descend from the mountains and rejoin the main Havana to Pinar del Rio road there will be very little traffic and road conditions improve. The day’s cycling ends in San Diego de los Baños where we have dinner and overnight.
Hotel Mirador San Diego de los Baños (B, L, D)

Day 5 ➤ Visit the Cuevo de los Portales and cycle through the famous Viñales Valley

This morning we take a bus transfer through the foothills of the Sierra del Rosario Mountains to the Cueva de los Portales, a cave system which once served as Che Guevara´s HQ during the October Missile Crisis of 1962. After the optional cave visit we set off by bike through stunning countryside which takes us via the back route to Viñales Valley, one of Cuba’s most famous natural World Heritage sites. We have a picnic lunch along the way and reach Viñales in the afternoon. This evening is free to explore the town and enjoy some of its bars, restaurants, and great live music at the ‘Polo Montañez’ club located on the main square. Dinner this evening isn’t included so you can either eat at your casa or head into town. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L)

Day 6 ➤ A relaxing day swimming and snorkelling on Cayo Levisa island

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! After lunch we transfer back to Viñales for dinner and overnight.
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L, D)

 

Day 7 ➤ Explore Viñales Valley by bike and visit the Cueva del Indio for a boat ride on the underground river

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 small-holdings. 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.  A leisurely return to Viñales town allows us a little more time to wander along the main street before we head back to Havana. This evening you can dine out in the old town. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Havana (B, L)

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
50km
Day 4
70-80km
Day 5
40km
Day 6
free day
Day 7
45km
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!
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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