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Active

Cuban Active Adventure

Active

Cuban Active Adventure

  • Duration 8 days
  • Activity level Moderate
  • Includedaccomodation gear meals transport staff

Cuba from a different perspective – cycling, snorkelling, trekking and kayaking!

From £1,099.00 / per person
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    Arrival in Havana

    Welcome to Cuba!  A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in the…

    • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    Havana by Bike and Classic Car

    This morning we’ll drive to the start point of our city cycle and get acquainted with our bikes before setting off on a…

    • 24 km
    • Casa Particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, lunch
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    To Las Terrazas and Playa Jibacoa

    This morning we transfer to the outskirts of Havana to start our ride to Las Terrazas. We will be entering the Sierra de…

    • 48 km
    • +377m -278m
    • Hotel Villa Tropico, Playa Jibacoa
    • Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    Snorkelling; Caving; to 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…

    • Hotel or Casa Particular in Santa Clara
    • Breakfast, lunch
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    Trekking; to Trinidad

    This morning we will transfer to Topes de Collantes in the stunning Escambray mountain range, where we will trek along the Guanayara trail,…

    • 7 km
    • Casa Particular, Trinidad
    • Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 6
    Day 6

    Playa Ancon; 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…

    • Casas Particular, Cienfuegos
    • Breakfast, lunch
  • Day 7
    Day 7

    Kayaking in Cienfuegos; To Havana

    This morning we will go on a kayaking excursion in the bay of Cienfuegos.  We set off from the Cienfuegos Yacht Club…

    • 7km
    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, lunch
  • Day 8
    Day 8

    Walking tour in Havana, End

    This morning your guide will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana which is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in…

    • City Tour
    • Breakfast
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: Arrival in Havana

  • Day 2

    Day 2: Havana by Bike and Classic Car

  • Day 3

    Day 3: To Las Terrazas and Playa Jibacoa

  • Day 4

    Day 4: Snorkelling; Caving; to Santa Clara

  • Day 5

    Day 5: Trekking; to Trinidad

  • Day 6

    Day 6: Playa Ancon; To Cienfuegos

  • Day 7

    Day 7: Kayaking in Cienfuegos; To Havana

  • Day 8

    Day 8: Walking tour in Havana, End

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Transfers from airport upon arrival and departure
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage
  • Bike Hire: Trek or Specialized hybrid bikes with front fork suspension
  • Kayaking equipment (kayak, paddle and life jacket), mask and snorkel
  • Accommodation: 2 nights in hotel, 5 nights in casas particulares on B&B basis
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners.  Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day
  • Vintage American car tour in Havana; entrances to Las Terrazas Biosphere, caves in Matanzas, Che Guevara’s Mausoleum and museum; walk in Topes de Collantes national park.
  • Staff: Local English-speaking Cuban active guide throughout, specialist local guides for some activities, driver. 
  • Transport: all bus transfers in private air-conditioned bus
  • Support: 100% vehicle support during rides
  • Mineral water included on all active days

What is not 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 fitness levels. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).
  • Busy days with a variety of activities, travel and exposure to Cuban culture.  You need to be a confident swimmer to participate in the water activities.  Hot and humid conditions, especially during summer months.
  • You enjoy exercising and being active.

Cycling

  • Cycling mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some pot-holes.
  • No. of days cycling: 2
  • Total Distance: 64 km (see ride profiles)
  • Moderate Pace: approx. 15-20 kmph
  • 100% vehicle support throughout rides—jump on the bus whenever you like!

Trekking and Caving

  • Walking on uneven paths and trails.  Expect a variety of surfaces which can be slippery when wet.  Please bring appropriate footwear.

Kayaking

  • Takes place in the bay of Cienfuegos. Participants must be confident swimmers.
  • Local kayaking guide will provide instruction and safety briefing before you set off.
  • Lifejacket provided and compulsory.

Snorkelling

  • Independent snorkelling on a reef close to the beach. Participants must be confident swimmers.
  • Masks and snorkel provided. Fins available for hire in the hotel. 

Essential packing list

  • Cycling helmet compulsory
  • Water bottle
  • Comfortable cycling clothes, cycling shorts preferable
  • Lightweight waterproof /windproof top or jacket
  • Swimwear
  • For kayaking and snorkelling you may want to bring a UVA top or T shirt.
  • Breathable clothing
  • Sturdy trainers suitable for uneven and slippery surfaces
  • 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!

If you would like to buy one of our Cubania Travel cycling tops or a pair of cycling shorts ready for your trip, see our online store!

Cubania Cycling Jersey Cubania Cycling Shorts

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
  • 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! 
  • If you have a mask, snorkel and fins, and would prefer to use your own, feel free to bring them
  • Torch

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!

Most of the hotels we use are 3 star with en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. The hotel in Jibacoa is a relatively modern International style hotel and the hotel in Santa Clara is inspired by indigenous Cuban culture.   

We use Casas Particulares in Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos. 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 an 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. 

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 additional training that we have given our biking and adventure guides. We are the first travel company in Cuba to take cycling safety seriously and give all our biking 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 adventure travel company on the island.

Day 1: Arrival in Havana

  • Casa Particular, Havana

Welcome to Cuba!  A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in the heart of Havana. 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 enchanting Havana.

Day 2: Havana by Bike and Classic Car

  • 24 km
  • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, lunch

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 1950s Miramar district, home to some of Havana’s most striking 20th century architecture. Keep an eye out for the imposing Russian embassy and the elegant neoclassical homes, many of which are now embassies. We’ll then cycle through Parque Metropolitano de la Habana and Nuevo Vedado, before stopping at Plaza de la Revolución, the hub of Revolutionary Cuba.  From here we wheel through young and vibrant Vedado towards the famous Hotel Nacional, which has offered shelter to many a celebrity over the years, including Winston Churchill and members of the Mafia. Now we whizz through bustling Centro Habana to the famous Capitolio building, a mirror-image of Washington’s Capitol Building. With the Capitolio behind us we veer left down the regal Prado promenade, a favourite with street artists and skateboarders alike.  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 Havana in 1950s classic American cars. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Day 3: To Las Terrazas and Playa Jibacoa

  • 48 km
  • +377m -278m
  • Hotel Villa Tropico, Playa Jibacoa
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning we transfer to the outskirts of Havana to start our ride to Las Terrazas. 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 of precious hardwoods. Nowadays Las Terrazas is a sustainable 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 east of Havana. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Day 4: Snorkelling; Caving; to Santa Clara

  • Hotel or Casa Particular in Santa Clara
  • Breakfast, lunch

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 homecooked lunch and a tour of this charmingly eccentric farm. After lunch we will transfer further east to the provincial capital, Santa Clara. Santa Clara is 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.  Enjoy the evening at leisure in this charming university town.

Day 5: Trekking; to Trinidad

  • 7 km
  • Casa Particular, Trinidad
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning we will transfer to Topes de Collantes in the stunning Escambray mountain range, where we will trek along the Guanayara trail, 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!

Day 6: Playa Ancon; To Cienfuegos

  • Casas Particular, Cienfuegos
  • Breakfast, lunch

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.  In the afternoon we transfer along the coastline 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.

Day 7: Kayaking in Cienfuegos; To Havana

  • 7km
  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, lunch

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 where we can admire 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.

Day 8: Walking tour in Havana, End

  • City Tour
  • Breakfast

This morning your guide will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana which is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas. Since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site millions of dollars have been invested in its restoration. 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 say hasta luego, see you later! Afternoon transfer (30–40 minutes approx.) to Havana airport. 

What's included?

Accommodation

2 nights in hotels, 5 nights in casas particulares

Gear

Bike hire, mask and snorkel, and kayaking gear

Meals

All Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 2 Dinners

100% vehicle support

during bike rides, Cubania office 24 hour contact

Staff

English-Speaking Cuban tour guide, bus driver

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

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. Comfortable clothes for cycling

We can fit your pedals or seat to our bikes should you wish to bring them. For kayaking and snorkelling you may want to bring a UVA top or a T shirt. 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: Multi activity

Busy days with a variety of activities and exposure to Cuban culture.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

You enjoy exercising and being active, and you enjoy the freedom and healthy sense of relaxation that it offers.

Group style: Small

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

Notes:

The cycling is on predominantly paved roads, small sections of unpaved, with some pot-holes. For the caving and trekking you will need sturdy trainers with good grip. You need to be a confident swimmer to participate in the water activities. Hot and humid conditions during summer months.

Upcoming departures

December, 2019

Dec 19
Thursday 19th December
-
Thursday 26th December
£1,119.00

January, 2020

Jan 16
Thursday 16th January
-
Thursday 23rd January
£1,119.00

February, 2020

Feb 13
Thursday 13th February
-
Thursday 20th February
£1,119.00

March, 2020

Mar 12
Thursday 12th March
-
Thursday 19th March
£1,119.00
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