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Cycling

Road Cycling Cuba

Cycling

Road Cycling Cuba

  • Duration 15 Days
  • Activity level Challenging
  • Includedaccomodation gear meals transport staff

Cycle the highlights of Cuba’s classic road cycling race, the Vuelta de Cuba.

From £2,199.00 / per person
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    Arrival In Havana

    Welcome to Cuba! A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival in Havana before transferring
    to the start hotel. The largest island in the…

    • Hotel Memories Miramar, Havana
    • Dinner
  • Day 2
    Day 2
    3 hours

    Cycle In Havana Province (97km); Transfer To Remedios

    After breakfast we head to the Cubania workshop to build and fit your bike, then transfer to Berroa on the outskirts of Havana where the…

    • 97 km
    • +465m -475m
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    Cycle In Central Cuba (149km); Transfer To Gibaras

    After yesterday’s warm up ride, today we focus on distance as we follow the ruta del Norte, passing the entrance to the Northern Cays (Cayo…

    • 149 km
    • +572m -578m
    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    Cycle From Gibara To Mayari (117km); Transfer To Baracoa

    Today’s ride is a real treat as you discover Oriente’s beautiful landscapes and culture. We leave Gibara and ride towards Holguin before skirting round this…

    • 117 km
    • +884m -878m
    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    Rest Day In Baracoa

    Today you have a day off the bike to explore Baracoa. The idyllic tropical landscapes more than live up to Christopher Columbus’ claim Cuba was…

    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast
  • Day 6
    Day 6

    Cycle From Baracoa To Guantanamo (152km); Transfer To Santiago

    After an easy day in Baracoa, we prepare this morning for one of the most iconic climbs in Cuba. La Farola road takes us from…

    • 152 km
    • +2011m -1958m
    • Casas Particulares in Santiago
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 7
    Day 7

    Cycle From Santiago To Bayamo (129km); Transfer To Sierra Maestra

    Leaving the hustle and bustle of Santiago we climb West out of the city and take the pretty Santiago to El Cobre road through the…

    • 129 km
    • +1173m -1130m
    • Hotel Villa Santo Domingo
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 8
    Day 8

    Sierra Maestra; Transfer To Camagüey

    We spend this morning in the Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra, a spectacular national park within Cuba’s highest mountain range. This region is well known…

    • Hotel Colón (or similar)
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 9
    Day 9

    Cycle From Camagüey To Majagua (140km); Transfer To Sancti Spiritus

    Today we cross the flat plains of Cuba leaving the Oriente behind and heading back into Central Cuba. We set off early in the morning…

    • 140 km
    • +482m -472m
    • Hotel Rijo Plaza (or similar)
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 10
    Day 10

    Cycle From Sancti Spiritus To Hanabanilla (103km)

    After breakfast we head off into the Escambray Mountains, one of the hideouts of Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution and crucial to the ultimate…

    • 103 km
    • +1,132 m -840 m
    • Hotel Hanabanilla
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11
    Day 11

    Cycle From Hanabanilla To Trinidad (84km)

    Today’s ride is one of the prettiest as we backtrack down the hill towards Manicaragua before heading to Guinia de Miranda, a small village in…

    • 84 km
    • +1,016 m -1,328 m
    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12
    Day 12

    Cycle From Trinidad To Playa Ancón (26km)

    This morning we’ll have a short and easy ride to the nearby beach at Playa Ancón. After time for a dip in the sea we’ll…

    • 26 km
    • +128 m -127 m
    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast
  • Day 13
    Day 13

    Cycle From Trinidad To Cienfuegos Via Topes De Collantes N.p. (89km); Transfer To Playa Larga

    Following the Vuelta de Cuba, we are challenged with the Topes de Collante climb this morning. Setting off from Trinidad we turn into the mountains…

    • 89 km
    • +1,844 m -1,875 m
    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14
    Day 14

    Cycle From Playa Larga To Matanzas (126km); Transfer To Havana

    This morning we start riding inland through the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, a vast marshland home to Cuba’s most important bird species and world-renowned…

    • 126 km
    • +468 m -464 m
    • Hotel Memories Miramar
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15
    Day 15

    Depart Havana

    After breakfast your guide will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana which is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas.…

    • Casas particulares
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: Arrival In Havana

  • Day 2
    3 hours

    Day 2: Cycle In Havana Province (97km); Transfer To Remedios

  • Day 3

    Day 3: Cycle In Central Cuba (149km); Transfer To Gibaras

  • Day 4

    Day 4: Cycle From Gibara To Mayari (117km); Transfer To Baracoa

  • Day 5

    Day 5: Rest Day In Baracoa

  • Day 6

    Day 6: Cycle From Baracoa To Guantanamo (152km); Transfer To Santiago

  • Day 7

    Day 7: Cycle From Santiago To Bayamo (129km); Transfer To Sierra Maestra

  • Day 8

    Day 8: Sierra Maestra; Transfer To Camagüey

  • Day 9

    Day 9: Cycle From Camagüey To Majagua (140km); Transfer To Sancti Spiritus

  • Day 10

    Day 10: Cycle From Sancti Spiritus To Hanabanilla (103km)

  • Day 11

    Day 11: Cycle From Hanabanilla To Trinidad (84km)

  • Day 12

    Day 12: Cycle From Trinidad To Playa Ancón (26km)

  • Day 13

    Day 13: Cycle From Trinidad To Cienfuegos Via Topes De Collantes N.p. (89km); Transfer To Playa Larga

  • Day 14

    Day 14: Cycle From Playa Larga To Matanzas (126km); Transfer To Havana

  • Day 15

    Day 15: Depart Havana

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Individual transfers from airport to start accommodation (in micro/van) regardless of arrival flight.
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage.
  • Accommodation: 6 nights in standard hotels & 8 nights in casas particulares.
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 12 lunches and 5 dinners. Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day.
  • Staff: Local English-speaking Cuban guide throughout. Cuban ‘Master’ cyclist/mechanic (2 Masters if more than 7 pax) to accompany group throughout. Driver. Professional mechanic for bike fitting on Day 2.
  • 11 x cycle rides of varying length and duration.
  • Transport: All transport in air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver, used as group transport and as support vehicle during rides.
  • Support: 100% vehicle support during rides.
  • 3 litres drinking water per person per cycling day (bring your own refillable bottle).
  • Snacks for riding days (fruit, biscuits, peanut bars).
  • Cubania Travel office support.
  • 24-hour emergency contact in Cuba.

What is not included?

  • Flights to and from Cuba.
  • Bike transport fees with airline.
  • Bike hire.
  • 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, Cuban Masters cyclists, driver and local staff. We recommend that each participant contributes a minimum of CUC 40 – CUC 50 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).
  • Predominantly paved roads, small sections of unpaved, with some potholes. Some long bus transfers involved in order to cover large travel distances.
  • A good level of fitness is required.

Cycling

  • Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some potholes.
  • Some challenging climb sections (see daily ride profiles in itinerary).
  • No. of days cycling: 11.
  • Total Distance: 1,212 km.
  • Average Daily Distance: 110 km.
  • Moderate Pace: approx. 20-30 kmph depending on terrain.
  • 100% vehicle support throughout rides—jump on the bus whenever you like!

Essential packing list

  • Cycling helmet compulsory.
  • Water bottle.
  • Cycle gear.
  • 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!

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!

Optional items

  • Most people bring a small backpack 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.
  • Cycle shoes and cleats.
  • Cycling gloves.
  • Comfortable trainers for walking.
  • • 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. Depending on the location they are relatively modern International style hotels or traditional colonial hotels.

We use Casas Particulares in Remedios, Gibara, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Playa Larga. 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.

On cycling days you will have a packed lunch (sandwich, fruit, juice etc ) Cuban packed lunches are relatively basic but we supplement them with local snacks and fresh fruit. However, some people bring their usual gels, hydration mixes and snacks such as protein bars from home since these are not available to buy in Cuba.

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: Arrival In Havana

  • Hotel Memories Miramar, Havana
  • Dinner

Welcome to Cuba! A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival in Havana before transferring
to the start hotel. 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. If your flight arrives early, you can request access to the workshop today (subject to confirmation) so that you can build your bike. After an early evening arrival briefing your guide will take you to dinner in a restaurant nearby.

3 hours

Day 2: Cycle In Havana Province (97km); Transfer To Remedios

  • 97 km
  • +465m -475m

After breakfast we head to the Cubania workshop to build and fit your bike, then transfer to Berroa on the outskirts of Havana where the ride will start. We will cycle through small villages and past sugar cane fields – the area once belonged to Milton Hershey and provided his factory in Pennsylvania with all the sugar needed to make USA’s most popular chocolate brand. There’s a good climb after 40km and you’re rewarded by stunning views over tropical landscapes when you reach the summit, stopping for a packed lunch en route. We will finish at the small village of Nueva Paz and transfer to Remedios for the night (approximately 3 hours). This pretty colonial town is one of the oldest on the island and is famous for its raucous Christmas celebrations known as the Parrandas.

Day 3: Cycle In Central Cuba (149km); Transfer To Gibaras

  • 149 km
  • +572m -578m
  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After yesterday’s warm up ride, today we focus on distance as we follow the ruta del Norte, passing the entrance to the Northern Cays (Cayo Santa Maria) at the beginning of the day. We’re already in the Central part of Cuba and this area is relatively flat and mainly pasture land.

Our aim is to cycle 149km today but with the support vehicle accompanying us throughout our ride, you can do as much or as little as you like.

There is very little traffic today and we find a shady spot to eat our packed lunches before we continue our journey. This afternoon we have our longest transfer which takes us all the way to Gibara and into Oriente, the East of the island. Gibara is a sleepy fishing village on the Northern Coast of Cuba, made famous by its annual international Low Budget Film Festival (Festival de Cinema Pobre) .

After checking into our accommodation, explore this quirky town and enjoy dinner and cocktails in the town centre.

Day 4: Cycle From Gibara To Mayari (117km); Transfer To Baracoa

  • 117 km
  • +884m -878m
  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s ride is a real treat as you discover Oriente’s beautiful landscapes and culture. We leave Gibara and ride towards Holguin before skirting round this busy city and heading off in the direction of Biran, birthplace of Fidel Castro. We will go deep into the Cuban countryside and ride the undulating route described in one of Cuba’s best-loved songs “Chan Chan”, the opening song from the film Buena Vista Social Club.

After a picnic lunch along the way, we load our bikes at Mayarí and drive past the nickel mines at Moa. If time allows, we’ll stop for a swim in Playa Maguana en route to Baracoa.

Founded in 1512, Baracoa was the first Spanish settlement and served as the capital for three years.
It’s location on the easternmost tip of the island left it open to attacks from pirates, smugglers and
the English, so three forts were constructed in the 18th Century for protection. Baracoa has only been accessible by road since the 1960s and this has left it largely off the tourist route. Surrounding the
quaint town are lush, tropical mountains and golden sandy beaches. This area is renowned for cocoa growing and chocolate production. The Malecón on the northeast side of the town is known as the Caribbean’s first ocean drive. There is still a strong Indian influence here and the El Yunque Mountain, (the anvil shaped mountain described by Christopher Columbus in his diaries) used to be the site of various aboriginal communities. We arrive late afternoon and spend some time exploring before checking into our hotel.

Day 5: Rest Day In Baracoa

  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast

Today you have a day off the bike to explore Baracoa. The idyllic tropical landscapes more than live up to Christopher Columbus’ claim Cuba was “the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes”. The town of Baracoa is a sleepy backwater of fishermen and farmers who lived in isolation for centuries before the town was connected to the rest of Cuba by La Farola, the mountain road to Guantanamo city. You’ll find culinary influences from Haiti just across the water and culture is rooted to the indigenous ways of the Taino and Arawak people who once thrived in Cuba. There are two options for today:

Option 1 – Cycle to Punta Maisí

A morning 60km ride to the Easternmost point of Punta Maisí takes in some majestic coastal scenery. Riding back in the coach enables you to spend the rest of the day on the beach and the evening exploring Baracoa’s cafés and paladars.

Option 2 – Short walk and boat trip.
This morning we take a boat trip on the River Toa followed by a short walk through the lush vegetation surrounding Baracoa. The whole area is a Biosphere Reserve and protects the richest endemic flora and fauna in Cuba. The afternoon is free to explore the town or visit the beach.

Day 6: Cycle From Baracoa To Guantanamo (152km); Transfer To Santiago

  • 152 km
  • +2011m -1958m
  • Casas Particulares in Santiago
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After an easy day in Baracoa, we prepare this morning for one of the most iconic climbs in Cuba. La Farola road takes us from Baracoa up and over the mountain range and drops down to the Southern coastline near Imias. This is a challenging 70km ride rewarded by spectacular vistas as you climb up into the hills and through the tunnels which were engineered in the 1960s to connect remote Baracoa by road to the rest of Cuba.

Cuba’s Tour de France equivalent, the Vuelta de Cuba, is traditionally held in February and includes this climb in one of the étapes.

Some may decide to end their day’s ride at Imias with a picnic lunch and a dip in the sea. The rest will continue cycling into Guantánamo province, famous for its US Naval Base and for the Cuban song Guantanamera, a love song to Cuba.

We reach the provincial capital of Guantánamo and transfer from here to Santiago, Cuba’s second city and formerly the capital during colonial times.

Santiago de Cuba is known as the ‘city of heroes’ owing to the important role it played in Independence and Revolutionary struggles. Santiago rivals Havana in literature, music and politics, and is rich in traditions, folklore and legends and is considered the birthplace of Cuban music. It was here that Fidel Castro was educated as a schoolboy and his remains were returned to Santiago where he is buried in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, close to Cuba’s National Hero and Poet José Martí.

After checking into your casa particular, enjoy an evening of music and mojitos on the streets of Santiago.

Day 7: Cycle From Santiago To Bayamo (129km); Transfer To Sierra Maestra

  • 129 km
  • +1173m -1130m
  • Hotel Villa Santo Domingo
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Santiago we climb West out of the city and take the pretty Santiago to El Cobre road through the foothills of the Sierra Maestra.

We stop for a short visit to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Cobre, Cuba’s most important religious shrine and a site of pilgrimage for Cubans who pay homage to Cuba’s patron Saint. We continue into the foothills, stopping in Contramaestre for a picnic lunch and a cold drink before continuing along the relatively flat road to Bayamo.

Bayamo is one of the 7 original colonial “villas” founded by the Spanish Conquistadors. We visit the town centre and learn about it’s importance in kickstarting Cuban Independence. Even today Cuba’s National Anthem is named after this provincial capital.

Continue by bus high up into the Sierra Maestra mountains where we stay the night in Villa Santo Domingo.

Day 8: Sierra Maestra; Transfer To Camagüey

  • Hotel Colón (or similar)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

We spend this morning in the Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra, a spectacular national park within Cuba’s highest mountain range. This region is well known as Fidel Castro’s base of operations during
the Cuban Revolutionary War. High in the Sierra is Comandancia La Plata, the secret mountain hideout from which Castro and Che Guevara planned the revolutionary war in the 1950s. It was also the location for Radio Rebelde which broadcast information for the revolutionaries. We will hike to the revolutionary base through the lush vegetation. After time for lunch in Villa Santo Domingo, we continue our journey to Camagüey where we’ll spend the night. After almost continuous attacks from pirates, the original city (founded as Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe around 1515 on the northern coast) was moved inland in 1528. The new city was built with a confusing layout of winding alleys that made it easier to defend

from raiders.

Day 9: Cycle From Camagüey To Majagua (140km); Transfer To Sancti Spiritus

  • 140 km
  • +482m -472m
  • Hotel Rijo Plaza (or similar)
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Today we cross the flat plains of Cuba leaving the Oriente behind and heading back into Central Cuba. We set off early in the morning to make the most of the cooler morning hours and hit the Carretera Central all the way to Majagua. The route takes us through small towns and pasture land and we share the road with a variety of local vehicles, from bicycles and horses and carts to tractors and Russian lorries! There are few undulations along the way and we stop for a packed lunch in a shady spot. Our ride finishes at Majagua where we climb onto the bus and transfer about 1 hour to our destination for the night, Sancti Spiritus.

Sancti Spiritus, like Bayamo is the provincial capital and one of the first seven villages founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century. This is a quiet, parochial place steeped in history. Its inhabitants are proud of the Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo; the oldest operational church on the island, as well as Puente Yayabo, the only European-style redbrick bridge in Cuba.

 

Day 10: Cycle From Sancti Spiritus To Hanabanilla (103km)

  • 103 km
  • +1,132 m -840 m
  • Hotel Hanabanilla
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we head off into the Escambray Mountains, one of the hideouts of Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution and crucial to the ultimate triumph of Fidel Castro’s Revolutionary Army in 1959. After approximately 20km we peel off the main route and head into the foothills and away from the traffic. The rest of today will be spent on minor roads through tiny rural communities as we start climbing into the mountains.

Although Viñales and the West are more famous for tobacco production, this area is full of “vegas” growing tobacco. You’ll see the thatched huts used to dry and cure the leaf before they are selected and rolled into cigars and there may be time in Manicaragua to visit a small tobacco factory.

Tonight we stay in Hanabanilla, once exclusively for Cuban political leaders who would come to relax and fish on the reservoir. Nowadays the simple hotel welcomes visitors who choose the area for the stunning views of the lake and tropical mountains. There is a steep 7km climb to reach the hotel.

Day 11: Cycle From Hanabanilla To Trinidad (84km)

  • 84 km
  • +1,016 m -1,328 m
  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s ride is one of the prettiest as we backtrack down the hill towards Manicaragua before heading to Guinia de Miranda, a small village in the mountains which is well known to Cubans for being the location of one of the crucial Revolutionary battles against the dictator Batista. You’ll pass commemorations of the battle and images of Che Guevara who led the attack on the Army Barracks.

The road is relatively smooth today and practically empty of traffic as it undulates through tropical mountains, past tobacco fields and small holdings and crossing rivers. Royal Palm trees abound and endemic birds provide a soundtrack as you ride through the hills.

After Rio Seibabo we start dropping down towards Condado and we finally reach the main road at Manacas Iznaga. Located in the “Valley of Sugar Mills”, the ruins of the Manacas bell tower remind us that this area of Cuba was once covered in sugar cane and provided enormous wealth to colonial masters (and immense suffering to their slaves). It’s a fitting introduction to Trinidad, 15km away, and explains why this small town is packed with beautiful colonial buildings.

Trinidad is probably Cuba’s most famous provincial town and rightly so. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and is perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad is like stepping back in time; the pastel coloured houses, cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisk you back to colonial times. There are a number of interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings to visit during the day, but it is as the sun sets that Trinidad really comes alive with music and dance.

Day 12: Cycle From Trinidad To Playa Ancón (26km)

  • 26 km
  • +128 m -127 m
  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast

This morning we’ll have a short and easy ride to the nearby beach at Playa Ancón. After time for a dip in the sea we’ll return back via a different route to Trinidad for midday. This afternoon will be at leisure in beautiful Trinidad. Have a stroll around the cobbled streets, visit some of the town’s many museums and breathe in the special ambiance of this perfectly-preserved colonial market town. Ask your guide for tips and advice, or for help booking any activities. Trinidad is probably Cuba’s most famous provincial town and rightly so. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and is perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad is like stepping back in time; the pastel coloured houses, cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisk you back to colonial times. There are a number of interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings to visit during the day, but it is as the sun sets that Trinidad really comes alive with music and dance.

Day 13: Cycle From Trinidad To Cienfuegos Via Topes De Collantes N.p. (89km); Transfer To Playa Larga

  • 89 km
  • +1,844 m -1,875 m
  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following the Vuelta de Cuba, we are challenged with the Topes de Collante climb this morning. Setting off from Trinidad we turn into the mountains after about 5km and start to climb immediately. Although shorter than the climb out of Baracoa, the climb to Topes is no less intense, gaining 800m in approximately 12km.

Reaching the summit, we take the road less travelled towards Cienfuegos undulating out of the pine forested peaks in Topes and down into tropical forests as we descend.

Once out of the mountains we take the main Trinidad-Cienfuegos road with nippy hills through pasture land and wide vistas of the Caribbean sea and the bay of Cienfuegos. We finish our ride in the main square at Cienfuegos and, after a cold drink and a wander, head towards our accommodation for the night on the Bay of Pigs. Our casa for tonight is located on the beach at Playa Larga, a great spot for a swim and dinner on the beach.

Day 14: Cycle From Playa Larga To Matanzas (126km); Transfer To Havana

  • 126 km
  • +468 m -464 m
  • Hotel Memories Miramar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we start riding inland through the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, a vast marshland home to Cuba’s most important bird species and world-renowned as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Leaving the park we will ride through Australia, a village with an old sugar mill before passing citrus plantations and the small town of Pedro Betancourt (named after a revolutionary major-general in the Cuban war

of independence). Our destination is Matanzas known as the “City of Bridges” or the “Venice of Cuba” as its streets span three different rivers. It is also the birthplace of two Cuban dances; rumba and danzón, as well as several religions of African origin, making it a vital contributor to Afro-Cuban culture. From Matanzas we will transfer back to Havana for the night (approximately 2 hours).

Day 15: Depart Havana

  • Casas particulares
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast 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. We’ll have lunch at a paladar in the Old Town and then you will have some free time before your transfer to the airport. We will then say Adiós, or, as we prefer to say hasta luego, see you later! Afternoon transfer (30–40 minutes approx.) to Havana airport.

What's included?

Accommodation

6 nights in standard hotels & 8 nights in casas particulares.

Gear

Bike gear

Meals

all breakfasts, 12 lunches and 5 dinners.

100% vehicle support

during rides, Cubania office 24 hour contact

Staff

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

What to bring

1. Helmet

compulsory

2. Water Bottle

standard water bottle holder on each bike

3. Sunscreen

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: Challenging

You are used to exercising, have a good level of fitness and enjoy being active. You keep in good shape and like to push yourself. During the tour your focus is on cycling through beautiful and challenging scenery.

Group style: Small

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

Notes:

Predominantly paved roads, small sections of unpaved, with some potholes. Some long bus transfers involved in order to cover large travel distances.

Upcoming departures

January, 2020

Jan 16
Thursday 16th January
-
Thursday 30th January
£2,199.00

February, 2020

Feb 13
Thursday 13th February
-
Thursday 27th February
£2,199.00
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