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Active Cuba Explorer TOP015_9

  • Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
  • Operator
  • Enquiry Form

Active Cuba Explorer

Hike, bike and swim on this active Cuba adventure that combines outdoor sports and stunning scenery with all the must-see cultural highlights.

Highlights

  • Trek through Topes de Colantes
  • Visit Che Guevara’s headquarters
  • Cycle through Vinales Valley
  • Enjoy the music and night life of Trinidad and Havana
  • Swim at Vegas Grandes waterfall
  • Zipline in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve
  • Feast on an organic meal at Vinales while watching a gorgeous sunset
  • Soak up the atmosphere of the family owned guest houses and restaurants

The fun begins with a cycle through Guanahacabibes Park with a local guide. This is one of the most uninhabited and stunning parts of the island and if you look closely, you’re likely to see the worlds smallest bird, endemic to Cuba, the bee hummingbird.

Your cycle route over the 11 days will include a visit to Cueva de los Portales, where Che Guevara kept his headquarters during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a night at a Casas Particulares and watch how plantation owners grow some of the worlds finest tobacco and a trip to the Cueva de Santo Tomas the island’s largest cave with 8 different levels.

After working up a sweat on the bikes cool off with a snorkel in the Caribbean Sea or a swim at the beautiful Vegas Grandes waterfall.

Take a break from cycling to try a salsa dance class in laid-back town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site with fantastic restaurants, handicrafts, cobbled streets and colonial houses.

This adventure requires a moderate level of fitness but all activities are optional.  You’ll be supported by top quality equipment and local and expert guides at every step of the way.

Itinerary

Day 1
City tour on bike; transfer westwards through Pinar del Rio province to coastal hotel.

Day 2
Ride within Guanahacabibes nature park; snorkel in Caribbean Sea.

Day 3
Cycle to Vinales Valley; enjoy a sunset meal at an organic farm in Vinales.

Day 4
Caving at ‘Cueva de Santo Tomas’; afternoon walk through tobacco growing countryside.

Day 5
Cycle to caves used in 1962 Missile Crisis; optional zip lining at Las Terrazas Biosphere.

Day 6
Swim in San Juan river; walk La Serafina nature trail; drive to Playa Larga at Bay of Pigs.

Day 7
Snorkel at Bay of Pigs; drive to UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad; salsa class.

Day 8
Morning walk in Topes de Collantes; swimming at Vegas Grandes waterfalls; free afternoon.

Day 9
Drive to Havana stopping at the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara.

Day 10
Sightseeing in Havana; walking tour of old town; transfer to airport; depart.

Enquire now for a full detailed itinerary.

More Details

Guided Group
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 18 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.

Activity level
You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

Accommodation details
Hotels, Casas Particulares and River Huts
All of our Cuban itineraries include staying in privately-run ‘Casas Particulares’ for at least two nights whilst in Trinidad (5 nights in total, in 3 towns on this trip). These are traditional homestays with bed and breakfast accommodation, providing a unique opportunity to experience life with a Cuban family. All the properties are located within a few blocks of each other, around a central meeting house.

Vaccinations and Visa
British and most Western European passport holders do not require a visa but do require a tourist card. Your Cuban tourist card (valid for 30 days) is included and will be posted to you by the tour operator approx. 6 weeks before travel. We will send instructions on how to fill it in but please be careful doing this as any mistakes may result in you having to purchase a new card at a cost of 15.00 GBP per person. We will send a tourist card free of charge as long as you live at a UK or Ireland address and are national of an EU country, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan.

If you are not national of one of these countries or are not resident in the UK or Eire you must contact your nearest Cuban Consulate to check what visa is required – the tour operator cannot provide a tourist card for you. The Cuban entry immigration is time consuming and most visitors encounter delays when queuing for entry into the country. The Cuban Government passed a law stating that all tourists visiting Cuba must have travel insurance to cover medical costs.

You are likely to be asked to provide proof of your travel insurance policy when you arrive at Havana airport, so please ensure your documents are easily accessible. Whilst we hope that things will change in the near future, due to present US policy, we cannot take US citizens on our trips to Cuba. There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A.  Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Holiday style
Activity: This trip is a Mixed Activity trip.
Activity Level: Moderate
Number of days cycling: 4 (including Havana city ride) You should be comfortable riding a bike up to 45 km but there is a support vehicle for anyone wanting to ride in the bus. 3 litres of mineral water per person on cycling days included.
Vehicle Support during cycling: 100%
Number of days walking: 3
Other activities: snorkelling, cave tour, zip-lining, salsa class, swim at waterfall. You should be comfortable in water for several of the activities.

This tour features some remote parts of the island. Though many of the roads are in good condition you should be prepared to encounter occasional potholes and poor road conditions in some sections. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic, except in some of the bigger towns/cities.

We provide good quality mountain bikes with hybrid road tyres and flat bars and have experienced local staff to help out with any mechanical issues.

Cuba is an increasingly popular tourist destination and unfortunately the number of hotel rooms is not increasing at the same rate. In peak season, hotels occasionally cancel bookings at the last minute and will then find alternative accommodation for the group. In some cases bookings may be transferred to hotels in nearby towns or to Casa Particulares (private houses that offer a Bed and Breakfast service). This overbooking is affecting all tour operators to the country and you need to be aware that it may affect your trip. In the event of such a change we will endeavour to ensure a property of the same standard is used to minimise disruption.

Eating & drinking
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners included. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence and some ingredients are just not possible to get hold of (due in no small part to the long trade embargo implemented by the US). As such, flavours tend to be relatively simple, with most mealtimes consisting of meat or fish accompanied by rice and salad/vegetables. Seafood is widely available on the coast, including cheap and abundant lobster! Vegetarians will probably find they have the most limited choice. Snack food is not freely available in Cuba so you may wish to consider taking some with you.

Paladares are likely to be a highlight of any visit to Cuba – they are one of the few types of private enterprise allowed (although still heavily regulated), where families can set up a restaurant in their own house selling authentic, Cuban food. The atmosphere this creates and opportunity to integrate with local Cubans will no doubt enhance your stay!

We recommend that you allow 30 CUC per person per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. You may also spend money on bottled water, which will normally cost about CUC 1.50 per bottle if bought from the coach (less if you purchase from local shops).

Weather & seasonality
The dry season runs from November through to April (with December to March being the peak holiday months for traditional style tourism). It can be humid between May and October, with heavy rains at times and the possibility of hurricanes.

July and August are some of the most popular months to visit Cuba by sun-seekers from Europe and Canada but can be hot (average 28ºC) and wet. Cuba has an average of 6 hours sunshine per day with a more or less constant humidity of 62%. Water temperature normally ranges from 24 to 28ºC.

   

Price: 2016 from 1,199 GBP / 2017 from £1,499 (Excluding flights. Flight inclusive options available, please enquire)

Dates:

  • Mon 17 Oct 16 – Thu 27 Oct 16
  • Mon 07 Nov 16 – Thu 17 Nov 16
  • Mon 21 Nov 16 – Thu 01 Dec 16
  • Mon 16 Jan 17 – Thu 26 Jan 17
  • Mon 13 Feb 17 – Thu 23 Feb 17
  • Mon 06 Mar 17 – Thu 16 Mar 17
  • Mon 16 Oct 17 – Thu 26 Oct 17
  • Mon 06 Nov 17 – Thu 16 Nov 17
WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners included
  • 4 nights hotels, 5 nights Casas Particulares and 1 night in river huts
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Free airport transfer for any flight
  • Bike hire included

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • Airport transfers

Operator

If you’re looking for a company with experience in small group adventure travel its hard to beat these guys. This operator started life in February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.

For the company, and people who work for them “it’s all about adventure” which is what they were founded on and what they are still about today. Their trips take place all around the world where they help travelers to delve into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to a country’ unique identity.

We love that their groups and guides travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise the impact, to ensure that every holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.  

Enquiry Form

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