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Cycling

Western Skyline Ride

Cycling

Western Skyline Ride

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

A week long cycling holiday through western Cuban countryside visiting Las Terrazas and the tobacco fields of Viñales via the spectacular Skyline Trail

From £1,109.00 / per person
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

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

    • Hotel or Casa Particular in Havana
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    BIKE FITTING & CITY TOUR

    This morning we start by getting acquainted with our bikes before setting off on a panoramic tour of Havana. We’ll visit the well-to-do Miramar district,…

    • 35 km
    • -209m +208m
    • Hotel or Casa Particular in Havana
    • Breakfast , Lunch
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    TO LAS TERRAZAS ECO-COMMUNITY

    After breakfast we’re straight into the saddle and headed out west, swapping the hustle and bustle of Havana for the calmer climes of Pinar del…

    • 75 km
    • -417m +580m
    • Hotel or Casa Particular in Soroa
    • Breakfast , Lunch
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    ‘SKYLINE’ ROUTE TO VIÑALES

    We start out early this morning and wind our way through Las Terrazas’ hilly landscape. Around 20km into our ride we exit the Biosphere’s and…

    • 78 km
    • -1445m +1334m
    • Casas Particulares, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    TO CAYO JUTIAS

    After breakfast in our casas we hop on our bikes and head westward, following farm roads that just skim the edge of the Parque de…

    • 56 km
    • -669m +530m
    • Casas Particulares, Viñales
    • Breakfast , Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6
    Day 6

    VIÑALES CIRCULAR ROUTE

    After breakfast we saddle up and head out on a circular route around Viñales. The valley’s Jurassic landscape is one of Cuba’s finest and it’s…

    • 41 km
    • -441m +441m
    • Casas Particulares, Havana
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 7
    Day 7

    FREE DAY IN HAVANA

    Today you have a free day in Havana. Why not explore Old Havana on foot and do some people watching, it is full of colonial…

    • Casas Particulares, Havana
    • Breakfast
  • Day 8
    Day 8

    END OF TRIP

    The morning is free for last minute sight seeing or shopping. Check out of your accommodation at midday, so it’s Adios, or, as…

    • Breakfast
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Day 2

    Day 2: BIKE FITTING & CITY TOUR

  • Day 3

    Day 3: TO LAS TERRAZAS ECO-COMMUNITY

  • Day 4

    Day 4: ‘SKYLINE’ ROUTE TO VIÑALES

  • Day 5

    Day 5: TO CAYO JUTIAS

  • Day 6

    Day 6: VIÑALES CIRCULAR ROUTE

  • Day 7

    Day 7: FREE DAY IN HAVANA

  • Day 8

    Day 8: END OF TRIP

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Transfers from airport upon arrival and departure
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage
  • Bike Hire: Trek hybrid 8.3 DS bikes with front fork suspension
  • Accommodation: 3 nights in hotels, 4 nights in casas particulares on B&B basis
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners.  Lunches will be in restaurants or picnics depending on the day. 
  • Entrances to Las Terrazas Biosphere and tobacco farm
  • 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
  • Mineral water and local snacks on cycling 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 cycling ability. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).
  • Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some pot-holes. Hot and humid conditions, especially during summer months.    
  • A good level of fitness is required.

Cycling

  • Mostly on paved, quiet rural roads, with some pot-holes.
  • Some challenging climb sections (see daily ride profiles in itinerary)
  • No. of days cycling: 5
  • Total Distance: 285km
  • Average Daily Distance: 57km
  • 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!

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 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!

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. We will use Casas Particulares in Viñales and on your return to Havana. 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.  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: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Hotel or Casa Particular in Havana

A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival in Havana before transferring to the start Hotel. Welcome to Cuba! 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: BIKE FITTING & CITY TOUR

  • 35 km
  • -209m +208m
  • Hotel or Casa Particular in Havana
  • Breakfast , Lunch

This morning we start by getting acquainted with our bikes before setting off on a panoramic tour of Havana. We’ll visit the well-to-do Miramar district, home to the city’s foreign diplomats and some of Havana’s most striking 20th century architecture. Keep an eye out for the sprawling and strange Russian embassy. We’ll
then cycle through Parque Metropolitano de la Habana and Nuevo Vedado (home to Havana’s middle classes), be- fore stopping at Plaza de la Revolucion, the hub of the Castro regime. 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 Ha- bana 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. At the end of Prado we’ll turn right and pass Havana’s old train station (now an indoor market) as well as the ruins of the old city walls before ending the cycling portion of our tour in Plaza de las Armas. From here we continue on foot to discover Old Havana’s four beautifully renovated colonial plazas and stop for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we cycle back to our hotel along Havana’s romantic Malecon, a sea-wall that follows the city’s entire coastline. Enjoy this evening at leisure.

Day 3: TO LAS TERRAZAS ECO-COMMUNITY

  • 75 km
  • -417m +580m
  • Hotel or Casa Particular in Soroa
  • Breakfast , Lunch

After breakfast we’re straight into the saddle and headed out west, swapping the hustle and bustle of Havana for the calmer climes of Pinar del Rio Province. We stick to the coast before turning inland at the small sea- side town of Mariel and following winding backroads (watch out for the fairly frequent potholes!) towards the Sierra del Rosario Mountain range. These impressive mountains form part of the Guamuhaya range, which stretches across the Western part of Cuba and provides the spectacular tropical scenery for the next few days. After stopping at a scenic spot for a picnic, we continue to the “Las Terrazas” Biosphere Reserve. Upon arrival you can cycle a further 8km to our hotel or head straight to the Rio San Juan for a refreshing dip. Enjoy an evening at leisure in this beautiful Biosphere Reserve.

Day 4: ‘SKYLINE’ ROUTE TO VIÑALES

  • 78 km
  • -1445m +1334m
  • Casas Particulares, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We start out early this morning and wind our way through Las Terrazas’ hilly landscape. Around 20km into our ride we exit the Biosphere’s and continue uphill to join a skyline road through the Guaniguanico hills. Though today is our most challenging cycle, the mountain trail affords spectacular views across the island and on a clear day it’s even possible to see both Cuba’s northern and southern coastlines. We’ll picnic en route. Once we descend from the Skyline road we’ll join the main Havana-Pinar del Rio highway where traffic will be light but varied – expect to share the road with vintage American cars, oxen and horses! Our ride will end in San Diego de los Baños where well enjoy a well-deserved drink before taking a 1.5-hour transfer to Viñales, where more luscious scenery awaits. Tonight we’ll be staying in local casa particulares, where your hosts will prepare you a delicious home-cooked dinner. Despite being a quiet country retreat, Viñales has several ven- ues with live music so if you wander out tonight you’re sure to find somewhere to tap your feet.

Day 5: TO CAYO JUTIAS

  • 56 km
  • -669m +530m
  • Casas Particulares, Viñales
  • Breakfast , Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast in our casas we hop on our bikes and head westward, following farm roads that just skim the edge of the Parque de Viñales, eventually bringing us to Santa Maria on Pinar del Rio’s western coast. Though this rural route offers poor road conditions, the relative flatness will be sweet relief after yesterday’s undula- tions. Once we reach the coast we’ll be following a causeway over a collection of islets to picture-perfect Cayo Jutías: a 3km-long white sand beach with idyllic turquoise water. Lie back on the sand, bask in the in- viting shallows, or discover the cayo’s underwater life on a snorkelling or scuba diving trip (not included and subject to availability). We’ll lunch on the beach and then you’ll have the option of cycling back to Viñales via a different route or soaking in more of Cayo Jutías’ delights before transferring back to Viñales for the night. Tonight we’ll enjoy a sunset meal at Finca Wilfredo, an organic farm that uses its own produce to cook delicious Creole food.

Day 6: VIÑALES CIRCULAR ROUTE

  • 41 km
  • -441m +441m
  • Casas Particulares, Havana
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast we saddle up and head out on a circular route around Viñales. The valley’s Jurassic landscape is one of Cuba’s finest and it’s not hard to see why it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also a key player in two of Cuba’s major industries: tourism and tobacco. Viñales is home to Cuba’s (and possibly the world’s) best tobacco and we’ll stop at a farm to learn a little about the Tobacco-growing process. Towering around the farm you’ll notice mogotes, strange rounded mountains that seem to bubble out of the valley floor, creating Viñales’ unique and spectacularly lush landscape. After a scenic picnic lunch we will transfer back to Havana and check in to casas particulares in the heart of the city.

Day 7: FREE DAY IN HAVANA

  • Casas Particulares, Havana
  • Breakfast

Today you have a free day in Havana. Why not explore Old Havana on foot and do some people watching, it is full of colonial charm and the streets are buzzing with activity. Walk up the famous malecon coastal road and visits the garden at El Nacional in Vedado district. If you’re worn out from the last 2 weeks of cycling, why not relax by the hotel pool and then mooch out later this evening to enjoy some of Havana’s world-famous live music dance venues or cabaret shows. Check out the Cubania Travel What to do in Havana guide for recommendations.

Day 8: END OF TRIP

  • Breakfast

The morning is free for last minute sight seeing or shopping. Check out of your accommodation at midday, so it’s Adios, or, as we prefer to say hasta luego, see you later! Afternoon transfer (30–40 minutes approx.) to Havana airport. Have a safe onward journey and we very much hope to see you in Cuba again soon. 

What's included?

Accommodation

3 nights in hotels, 4 nights in casas particulares

Gear

Bike Hire

Meals

All Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 2 Dinners

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

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:

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

Upcoming departures

October, 2019

Oct 19
Guaranteed departure
Saturday 19th October
-
Saturday 26th October
£1,109.00

November, 2019

Nov 9
Guaranteed departure
Saturday 9th November
-
Saturday 16th November
£1,199.00
Nov 30
Saturday 30th November
-
Saturday 7th December
£1,199.00

December, 2019

Dec 21
Saturday 21st December
-
Saturday 28th December
£1,199.00

January, 2020

Jan 11
Saturday 11th January
-
Saturday 18th January
£1,199.00
1. Select date
2. Passenger details
3. Billing details