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Cycling

Bike Cuba

Cycling

Bike Cuba

  • Duration 5 Days
  • Activity level Moderate
  • Included accomodation gear meals transport staff

A cycling holiday through Cuban countryside visiting the tobacco fields of Viñales Valley and a pristine Caribbean beach.
Private group dates from £799 pp

From £675.00 / per person

Havana

Discover Cuba’s exciting capital from your saddle

Nature

Visit Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve

Viñales

Ride through Cuba’s tobacco growing region

Unwind

On a pristine Caribbean beach at Cayo Jutías

What's included?

Accommodation

3 nights in casas particulares, 1 night in hotel

Gear

Bike Hire

Meals

All Breakfasts, 4 Lunches

100% VEHICLE SUPPORT

during rides, Cubania office 24 hour contact

Staff

English-Speaking Cuban tour guide, bus driver, mechanic (day 2 only)

What's not included: Flights, travel insurance, vaccinations, visas, gratuities

    Bike Cuba

    Essential Information

  • Day 1

    THE CYCLING

  • Day 2

    General

  • Day 3

    Accommodation

  • Day 4

    FOOD & DRINK

  • Day 5

    GUIDES

Cycling

  • Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some potholes and sections of rough road conditions.
  • Moderate difficulty: Undulating terrain with some short climbs and descents (see daily ride profiles in itinerary)
  • No. of days cycling: 4
  • Total Distance: 195 km
  • Average Daily Distance: 49 km
  • Moderate Pace: approx. 20-25 kmph
  • 100% vehicle support throughout rides—jump on the bus whenever you like!

Essential packing list

  • Cycling helmet compulsory.
  • Water bottle.
  • Padded cycling shorts (with loose ‘over-shorts’ if you prefer).
  • Lightweight waterproof/windproof top or jacket.
  • Breathable clothing.
  • High factor sun cream (50+), sunglasses and sun hat.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Insect repellent – tropical strength.
  • Long sleeved shirts and light trousers for
    the evenings.
  • A sense of humour and patience are useful in Cuba!

Optional items

  • Most people bring a small back pack which they keep on the bus for easy access during the day.  Typically they will carry a spare T shirt, their valuables, snacks and a camera.
  • Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking but are not essential.
  • Cycling gloves.
  • Comfortable trainers for walking.
  • Torch.
  • You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes.  However, please remember to retrieve your own equipment at the end of the trip!

What is included?

  • Arrival transfers from airport in private air-conditioned vehicle if required.
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage.
  • Bike Hire: Trek hybrid 8.3 DS bikes with front fork suspension.
  • Accommodation: 3 nights in casas particulares, 1 night in hotel
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 4 lunches. Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day.
  • Entrance to Las Terrazas Biosphere, visits to Las Terrazas community and tobacco farm in Viñales, salsa lesson in Viñales.
  • Staff: Local English-speaking Cuban guide/mechanic throughout, and driver. Professional mechanic for bike fitting on Day 2. For groups of 8 pax or more, the mechanic will accompany group throughout.
  • Transport: all bus transfers in private air-conditioned bus.
  • Support: 100% vehicle support during rides.
  • Local snacks and 3 litres drinking water per person per cycling day. Bring your own refillable bottle, and preferably an additional bottle with built-in water filter.

What isn’t included?

  • Flights to and from Cuba.
  • Travel / medical insurance (compulsory to provide proof of cover for entry into Cuba).
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, phone calls etc).
  • Vaccinations.
  • Visas (Tourist Cards).
  • Cycling Helmet (compulsory) and water bottle.
  • Tips for guide, driver and local staff.
    We recommend that each participant contributes a minimum of CUC 25 – CUC 30 to be shared between the local staff.

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?

  • Group Size 4 – 18 people of mixed nationalities and cycling ability. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).
  • Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some potholes. Hot and humid conditions, especially during summer months.
  • A moderate level of fitness is required.

Throughout the tour we stay in a range of accommodation typical to any trip to Cuba, with a mixture of hotels and private accommodation (Casas particulares). It’s fair to say that the standard of Cuban accommodation is not always comparable to that which you would expect in other countries owing to years of isolation, under-investment in the country’s infrastructure and effect of the US trade Embargo. Anyone travelling to the island should be prepared to rough it a bit at times! Décor tends to be a little dated, there might be the occasional power cut, and you may find that your water pressure isn’t all it could be. Fortunately, it’s warm enough most days that the lack of hot water is not a major problem!

Hotel La Moka in the Las Terrazas Biosphere is a 3 star hotel with en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. The accommodation in Havana and Viñales will be in Casas Particulares; most people love the opportunity this gives to stay in a relatively normal Cuban home and see how Cubans live. These homes are simple compared to ours but the welcome is warm and rooms clean. All the casas also have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. You’ll be spoilt at breakfast in the mornings.

Cuba doesn’t have the same variety of international cuisine we might be used to although in recent years lots of privately run restaurants (paladars) have opened (particularly in Havana) offering a wider choice and better quality food than the government run establishments. Think soul food – rice, black beans, slow roast pork and chicken, fresh fish, lobster and plenty of
tropical fruit.   

For those with special dietary requirements, be prepared for a very limited menu while you are in Cuba. There are very few vegetarians and vegans in Cuba so there are sometimes misperceptions as to what you can eat. Vegetarians often bring snacks and spreads to liven up their meals.

It can also be difficult to find a decent sandwich in Cuba so please don’t give your guide a hard time if he recommends a proper sit-down meal for lunch! Cubans generally eat two full meals a day and don’t have many places that cater for snack lunches yet, so the sandwiches tend to be pretty basic. Some people bring snacks such as protein bars from home, but this is not strictly necessary as we provide local snacks such as fresh fruit and peanuts on all our rides. 

Cuba is the land of the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre. You’ll find that plenty of rum-based drinks all over the country with prices ranging from 2-6 CUC for most cocktails. But beware, they don’t use measuring glasses, so they might be stronger than the ones you have tried at home!

All our guides at Cubania are Cuban nationals who are registered with and trained by Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism. They come from all kinds of different personal and professional backgrounds. They’ve been teachers, I.T. professionals, bakers, vets, army officers and even underwear salesmen! What they have in common is that they are all highly educated graduates who are passionate about guiding and proud of their beautiful country. They all speak excellent English and receive annual training in First Aid.

We are especially proud of the training that we have given our bike guides. We are the first travel company in Cuba to take cycling safety seriously and all our bike guides have received Bike Leader certification from British Cycling. Their staff travel to Cuba annually to deliver the training exclusively to our guides. These high standards have been maintained for more than a decade meaning that we are recognised as the most experienced and well-respected cycling company on the island.

For larger groups (over 8 people), a bike mechanic will cycle with the group throughout the itinerary fixing punctures and small mechanical issues on the spot and supporting the lead guide in managing differences in pace between group members.

  • Day 1
    Day 1

    ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

    Welcome to Cuba! Touch down in Havana and make your way through the airport to be greeted by a Cubania airport rep waiting in…

    • Casa particular, Havana
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    Havana City Cycling; Transfer to Las Terrazas

    This morning we’ll get fitted with our allocated bikes. The bike-fitting session will take place outside Cubania’s bike workshop in the Miramar district of…

    • 24 km
    • +163m -169m
    • Hotel La Moka, Las Terrazas
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    Cycle from Las Terrazas to San Diego de Los Baños

    In the morning we’ll take a walk around Las Terrazas community with a local resident, learning about what makes this place special and visiting…

    • 75 km
    • +665m -770m
    • Casa particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Packed Lunch
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    Cycle to beach at Cayo Jutías

    Cycling out westwards from Viñales we’ll ride via Pons and make our way to the north coastline of Pinar del Rio Province. Today’s route…

    • 56 km
    • +530m -669m
    • Casa Particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    Cycle from Viñales to San Andres; Transfer to Havana; End

    After breakfast we’ll cycle northwards out of Viñales passing through some beautiful scenery as we wind between mountains and pass agricultural pastures. The first…

    • 40 km
    • +488m -483m
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 1

    Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Day 2

    Day 2: Havana City Cycling; Transfer to Las Terrazas

  • Day 3

    Day 3: Cycle from Las Terrazas to San Diego de Los Baños

  • Day 4

    Day 4: Cycle to beach at Cayo Jutías

  • Day 5

    Day 5: Cycle from Viñales to San Andres; Transfer to Havana; End

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Casa particular, Havana

Welcome to Cuba! Touch down in Havana and make your way through the airport to be greeted by a Cubania airport rep waiting in the arrivals area. From here you’ll have a private taxi ride into the city (approx. 30 minutes) where you’ll check into a casa particular, Cuba’s version of privately run BnB properties. If booking onto a group departure, then meet fellow cyclists as they arrive this afternoon and evening. At an agreed time, our Cubania guide will pass by the accommodation to introduce themselves and answer any questions that you may have. Enjoy your first night in Havana at leisure.

Day 2: Havana City Cycling; Transfer to Las Terrazas

  • 24 km
  • +163m -169m
  • Hotel La Moka, Las Terrazas
  • Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we’ll get fitted with our allocated bikes. The bike-fitting session will take place outside Cubania’s bike workshop in the Miramar district of Havana and should you need to fit any pedals or other bike parts our mechanics will be on hand to assist with a full array of tools.

The Cubania guide will give a safety briefing in which they introduce the bikes that we use and give an overview of safe cycling techniques when in a group. Departing Miramar district, we’ll embark on a fun and insightful exploration of Havana on two wheels. The ride will feature the following distinct parts of the capital; Playa, Rio Almendares, Plaza de la Revolución, Vedado, Centro Habana, La Habana Vieja, La Bahía de Habana. We’ll be accompanied on today’s city ride by member(s) of the Cuban ‘Masters’ veteran cyclists club, so you’ll have the chance to ride side by side with Cuban cycling enthusiasts with stories to tell. Upon arrival at the iconic ‘Paseo de Prado’ avenue which marks the edge of the Old Town, we’ll stop for a visit to a community cycling project which is helping to raise the profile of cycling in Havana. The ride ends next to the Bay of Havana and from here we’ll continue on foot to arrive at a paladar (private restaurant) where we’ll have lunch together.

Afterwards we’ll transfer out of Havana in our tour vehicle and head westwards into Artemisa Province. Our destination is Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve where we’ll spend the night in a hotel located within the community.

Day 3: Cycle from Las Terrazas to San Diego de Los Baños

  • 75 km
  • +665m -770m
  • Casa particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Packed Lunch

In the morning we’ll take a walk around Las Terrazas community with a local resident, learning about what makes this place special and visiting some of the social facilities in the community. Departing on our bikes we’ll descend from the hotel and leave Las Terrazas behind. The first 13km of the ride is on a beautiful undulating road that climbs 200m followed by a fast downhill to the town of Soroa and on down into the valley. Cycling from the town of Candelaria to San Diego de Los Baños the ride is flat and involves passing through a series of small bustling towns where we’ll be able to soak up the sights and sounds of rural Cuban life. At the end of the ride we’ll transfer for approx. 1 hour to the mountain town and activity hub of Viñales. The short drive ends with some spectacular views as we enter Viñales Valley with its dramatic limestone karst rock formations. In Viñales we’ll be staying in casas particulares.

Day 4: Cycle to beach at Cayo Jutías

  • 56 km
  • +530m -669m
  • Casa Particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling out westwards from Viñales we’ll ride via Pons and make our way to the north coastline of Pinar del Rio Province. Today’s route involves some short climbs and some sections of very poor quality road surface with some stunning views from the winding road. The last section of the route to Cayo Jutías is a causeway with water on both sides. Whilst the causeway is full of potholes, it can still be cycled and the reward at the end is the beautiful golden sands of Cayo Jutías beach. Here we’ll have lunch and spend some time relaxing on the beach before driving back to Viñales. Back in the town we’ll walk out to a nearby tobacco farm known as a ‘vega’ and learn about the growing process of Cuba’s most famous export. This is the best region of Cuba for tobacco production and so what better place to try our hand at rolling a cigar! In the evening we’ll have a salsa class with local dance teachers showing us some steps.

Day 5: Cycle from Viñales to San Andres; Transfer to Havana; End

  • 40 km
  • +488m -483m
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast we’ll cycle northwards out of Viñales passing through some beautiful scenery as we wind between mountains and pass agricultural pastures. The first half of the route is on paved roads and the second part on rougher terrain. Our ride ends at Casa Maria, a small farm property in the village of San Andres where we’ll visit their family-run organic farm and have a delicious meal cooked with food sourced entirely from their property. Afterwards, time permitting, we’ll take a visit to the nearby Cueva de Los Portales cave system, where Che Guevara camped out during the 1962 Cuban ‘missile crisis’. From here it is approximately 2.5 hours drive back to Havana where the tour ends at the Montehabana hotel in Miramar district. For anyone who has booked extra accommodation nights in Havana through Cubania the bus will take you to your accommodation.

What to bring

1. Cycling helmet

compulsory

2. Water bottle

Standard water bottle holder on each bike

3. Sun protection

High strength sunscreen, sunglasses for cycling, sun hat

4. Cycling clothes

We can fit your pedals or seat to our bikes should you wish to bring them. You should bring light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates. For the evenings bring lightweight clothes, some mosquito repellent and a jacket or fleece.   

Cubans dress casually but are always impeccably turned out. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery.

Is this tour for me?

Travel style: Cycling

Discover Cuba on a bike while immersing yourself in local culture.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

You are used to exercising and enjoy being active.

Group style: Small

4 - 18 people, mixed nationalities and cycling ability. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).

Go private:

Create your own travel bubble by booking a private trip with friends or family. Private departures confirmed with two participants.

Notes:

Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some potholes. Hot and humid conditions, especially during summer months.

Upcoming departures

November, 2020

Nov 15
Sunday 15th November
-
Thursday 19th November
£675.00

December, 2020

Dec 26
Saturday 26th December
-
Wednesday 30th December
£675.00

January, 2021

Jan 17
Sunday 17th January
-
Thursday 21st January
£675.00

February, 2021

Feb 14
Sunday 14th February
-
Thursday 18th February
£675.00

November, 2021

Nov 14
Early bird
Sunday 14th November
-
Thursday 18th November
£675.00
1. Select date
2. Passenger details
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