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Cycle Cuba TOP015

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  • Trip Notes
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Cycle Cuba Adventure

Soak up culture and sun on this active, fun, and rewarding Cycle Cuba Adventure.  The beaches, music, bold architecture, old cars, lively peoples, and revolutionary history make Cuba the ultimate getaway destination for culture and excitement.

You’ll pass through the most stunning countryside while cycling through a patchwork of farms, plantations, and jungle.  This affords the best view for appreciating a traditional way of life that manages to continue to this day.  In the heart of rural Cuba you’ll see a way of life that isn’t easy, but still has many rewards in its quiet simplicity.  You’ll also get to see a good bit of history as you cycle through towns and cities still heavily influenced by colonial times.

When you’re out of the saddle you’ll have the chance to experience the bustle and beauty of city life.  Trinidad has a vibrant music scene that will keep you on your feet, Havana has the most amazing crumbling colonial buildings, and Santiago has a revolutionary history that is impactful and powerful.  No matter which city we stop in, after a day of cycling through the country you will absolutely welcome Cuba’s speciality – a tall, cool, refreshing mojito.

Can you see yourself…

  • Soaking up the culture and getting to know the people of Havana, Santiago, and Trinidad?
  • Cycling the full length of a truly idyllic Caribbean island?
  • Relaxing with a mojito (or two) after a challenging and rewarding day on the saddle?
  • Enjoying fresh local seafood on the coastline stops?
  • Visiting a crocodile farm?
  • Dancing the night away at Trinidad’s Casa de la Trova (House of Music)?
  • Sailing the Caribbean to the small island of Cayo Macho for a fresh seafood lunch?
  • Walking the El Cubano trail?
  • Enjoying fresh brewed coffee at the home of a local plantation owner?

If the answers are yes, then this Cycle Cuba Adventure was made for you.  This 15 day tour begins and ends in Havana and will challenge and invigorate you.  It’s classified as moderately challenging, with an average daily distance of 65 kilometres per day.  The most challenging day occurs as you head into the mountains toward Pico Bayamesa (1,730m above sea level), Cuba’s third highest peak.

You’ll have guides, vehicle support, and primarily travel quiet back roads that allow you to see a different side of Cuba.

You’ll fall in love with the country as you cycle.

Trip Notes

Itinerary:

Day 1
Start in Havana
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 2
Tour of Havana; to Matanzas.
We will start this cycle Cuba tour the morning with our trip briefing, followed by bike fitting before we set off on a warm up ride round Havana. Traffic is remarkably light for a capital city. We cycle through the Miramar and Vedado districts of Havana to reach the dominating Plaza de la Revolucion, whilst Buicks and Pontiacs cruise past with gleaming chrome. We continue towards Old Havana and stop at El Capitolio, the famous National Capitol Building, which is superficially similar to the White House in Washington D.C. We finish our sightseeing with a walking tour in the heart of Old Havana and a stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we transfer to Matanzas for dinner and stay overnight.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 3
Ride/transfer to Playa Larga at Bay of Pigs.
We leave the hotel by bike and ride through Matanzas province, the landscape is full of sugar cane and citrus plantations and the life, though hard, is quiet in the villages. This cycle Cuba tour takes us through rural communities to Pedro Betancourt where we load the bikes on the bus and drive to lunch. Once we pass the Australia Sugar Factory (where Fidel Castro set up his headquarters for the Bay of Pigs crisis) we enter the Cienaga de Zapata. The road is flat and is skirted by a swamp, once full of crocodiles. We pass Guama Crocodile farm and stop for a visit. After lunch we continue on to the Bay of Pigs where we stay overnight. This was the site of the failed invasion by CIA-backed Cuban Americans. Many of the beaches here are ideal for snorkeling and swimming.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 4
Countryside cycling; to Cienfuegos.
Continuing south to cross the island, our route today covers a variety of landscapes. Cycling Cuba through the biggest swamps in Cuba (Zapata Peninsula), and then cut through agricultural routes to reach the main road towards Cienfuegos. This cycling Cuba day is for discovering the rural heart of Cuba as we pass through small communities dedicated to agriculture and charcoal production. A stop at Playa Giron gives us the chance to learn about CIA backed invasion of Cuba in the early 60’s. From here we have a short ride to lunch in Caleta Buena, a natural sea pool teeming with tropical fish. This ride includes a section of off-road cycling Cuba on a track through the forest. There should be the opportunity to have a dip upon arrival. Afterwards we continue by bus to Cienfuegos.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 5
Coastal ride; to Trinidad.
Today we go even further along the coastline to Trinidad, as we continue on our cycle Cuba tour. Trinidad is beautiful; a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad can feel like entering a time warp, its colorful, cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisking us back to Colonial Times. There are many interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings and music drifts through the streets and plazas.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 6
Free day.
Today is free to soak up the atmosphere of Trinidad or join an optional excursion to explore the surrounding areas, as we take a break from the cycle Cuba adventure. We offer the option to join a Catamaran trip, embarking from the beach of Playa Ancon and sailing the Caribbean to the small island of Cayo Macho (or Cayo Blanco depending on availability) to lunch on fresh seafood amongst tame iguanas and tree rats. Alternatively you can walk the ‘El Cubano’ trail in the nearby national park. This evening we recommend a visit to Trinidad’s Casa de la Trova (the ‘House of Music’) for traditional Cuban music and dancing.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 7
Ride to Sancti Spiritus; to Camaguey.
We ride inland towards the city of Sancti Spiritus, continuing this cycle Cuba trip. The road rises and falls through the beautiful scenery of the Alturas de Banao, where coffee plantations and farms adorn the landscape, passing the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) which was once Cuba’s most important sugar producing area. At the village of Manaca Iznaga we can stop to visit the farmhouse and the famous ‘run away slaves’ tower; for a small entrance fee you can climb the 136 steps and enjoy the view. Upon arrival in Sancti Spiritus, we enjoy some free time in the town’s colonial center and then transfer to Camaguey.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 8
Transfer/ride to Bayamo.
Our day starts with a transfer to Las Tunas, where we saddle up to ride across this lively city. We continue to Bayamo, located in the province of Granma, one of the island’s most important regions from a revolutionary perspective and consisting mainly of the floodplain of the river Cauto (Cuba’s longest). The area contains many sugar cane and rice plantations, and lies below the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The charming city of Bayamo is the capital of the province, and has a pleasant, relaxed ambience full of poignant monuments and revolutionary atmosphere.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 9
Ride into the Sierra Maestra Mountains.
A challenging day, this cycle Cuba ride from Bayamo going into the Sierra Maestra. As we head deep into the mountains, today’s route is dominated by Pico Bayamesa (at 1,730m above sea level it is Cuba’s third tallest peak). This is an area of stunning natural beauty and is rarely visited by tourists. After passing through numerous villages we reach our hotel where we can relax after probably our hardest day’s ride.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 10
To Santiago de Cuba.
This morning we take a short break from the saddle to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Sierra Maestra. Starting early, we take a gentle stroll into the mountains with a local, passing through tropical forest and coffee plantations before stopping for coffee and fruit in a local farmer’s home and returning to the hotel for lunch. We take a transfer from Salton to just beyond Palma Soriano, then its back on the bikes to ride to El Cobre. After visiting Cuba’s most important Holy Shrine, we transfer to Santiago de Cuba. The city is rich in traditions, folklore and legends, making almost every street corner famous. But it is at night that Santiago really comes alive with legendary Cuban music and dancing.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 11
City tour; transfer to Gibara.
Santiago de Cuba is known as the city of heroes, for the important role it played in Independence and Revolutionary struggles. The morning is spent sightseeing, including the Moncada Barracks – where the opening shots of the Revolution were fired on 26 July 1953 when Castro and his men attacked the barracks. There is a rich tradition of dance, music and festivals, largely based on the Afro-Cuban population. Afternoon transfer to Gibara.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 12
Coastal cycle ride; to Camaguey.
Today we cycle Cuba directly from our hotel and head for Aguas Claras, where we turn right and head North towards Puerto Padre, riding along quieter roads, we make our way to the small town of Maniabon via the north coast. We finish in a tiny rural community called Chaparra where we stop for a picnic lunch. From here we transfer to Camaguey, the capital of the province.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 13
Transfer to Majagua; ride to Mayajigua.
After breakfast, we transfer to the town of Majagua and enjoy a final cycle Cuba ride to the rural setting of Mayajigua cycling Cuba, our base for tonight. The route today will be challenging as we make our way over the northern range of hills, but the support vehicle is on hand just in case!
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 14
To Havana via historic Remedios and Santa Clara.
Today is a long day, continuing this cycle Cuba tour, so we leave Mayajigua early in the morning and return by road to Havana via Remedios, one of the earliest Spanish settlements in Cuba, and then Santa Clara to visit the Che Mausoleum and armoured train exhibition. The evening is free to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of charming Havana.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

Day 15
Sightseeing in Havana; afternoon depart Havana.
ACCOMMODATION HOTEL

More Details

Additional Trip Notes:
This cycling Cuba adventure runs all year round.
Start point: Havana
Finish point: Havana

Accommodation:
Hotel (12nts)
You will spend 12 nights in hotels and 2 nights in Casas Particulares, these are simpler local rural hotels. Rooms are on a twin-share basis, with air conditioning and some have swimming pools. Please note that this kind of tourism is in its infancy in Cuba power cuts occur, and hot water supplies are not always guaranteed.

Meals:
Breakfast – 14
Lunch – 12
Dinner – 4

We provide packed lunches during the day and 3 litres of bottled water pp on cycling Cuba days. There are also plenty of refreshment stops for water and fresh fruit. Cycling 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 – particularly energy snacks for cycling days.

Vaccinations and Visa:
British and most Western European passport holders do not require a visa but do require a tourist card. Your cycling Cuba tourist card (valid for 30 days) is included and will be posted to you by the Trip Operator approx. 6 weeks before travel.

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A. We are advised that there is no risk of malaria. 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:
This trip is classified road and graded as Moderate.

• Average daily distance: 65km (40 miles)
• Number of days cycling: 10
• Vehicle Support: 100%
• Terrain and route: surface 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, some hills. Overall the trip is not too strenuous but a good level of fitness is required. Routes follow mainly quiet back roads and can be potholed.

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 28degC) 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 28degC.

   

Year Round Fixed Date Departures – please contact us for dates & availability if you know the time of year you want to visit.

Price from £2,599 including flights
OR
From £1,979 excluding flights

Contact us for live prices and availability.

What’s included?

• All breakfasts, 12 lunches, 4 dinners
• All accommodation
• London flights (if booking incl. flights)
• Airport transfers

What’s not included?

• Local bike hire (GBP100 paid on booking)
• Travel insurance
• Single accommodation – GBP160

Operator

“If you’re looking for a company with experience you can’t 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 travellers 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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