Cuban Highlights Ride

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Experience the real Cuba on two wheels

Cycle through lush Cuban countryside, colourful colonial towns and alongside quiet coastal roads where the inviting waters of the Caribbean await. Cuba is the ideal destination for a cycling holiday, with a refreshing mojito to reward your efforts at the end of the day! Out of the saddle discover Cuba’s fascinating revolutionary history, visiting the Bay of Pigs and Che Guevara's Mausoleum. The UNESCO towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad are bursting with music and Cuban spirit, not forgetting enigmatic, charming Old Havana where this trip ends.

Highlights
* Time to relax, swim and sample Cuba's famous mojitos * Immerse yourself in Cuba's unique history and culture * Cycle gently through stunning tropical scenery * Full vehicle support throughout trip * Cycling leaders trained to UK leadership standards (CTC Bike Tour Leader Award) * Cuban Tourist Cards included for all UK residents * Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic usually available
Food

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners are included, allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings. We provide basic packed lunches during the day and there are plenty of water and fruit refreshment stops. 3 litres of water per person is included on cycling days. You may wish to bring some of your own energy snacks, as food shops, cafes and restaurants are scarce in many of the rural areas we visit. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence (although it is improving). Food can sometimes be relatively unexciting and expensive - in no small part due to the long trade embargo implemented by the US. Vegetarians will find the food choice limited. Meals will be more varied for everyone in Havana and seafood is available on the coast. We recommend that you allow CUC 20 to CUC 30 pp per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. If you need more bottled water than provided, it is available for approx. CUC 1.50 per bottle.

Profile
* 4 nights Casas Particulares and 3 nights hotels * 6 days cycling with full vehicle support * 90% tarmac roads, 10% unpaved tracks
Destinations
  • North America
  • Central America
  • Cuba
  • Havana
Tour Types
  • Cycling
  • Road Cycling
Day 1

The group flight arrives in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Those on Land Only arrangements should join us at the hotel in the evening. *Standard Hotel*



Day 2

After being fitted with our bikes we have a cycling tour of Havana with members of the Cuban ‘Masters’ Road Cycling Club. This club is made up of veteran Cuban cyclists who regularly compete in races in their respective age groups and will give us an insight into competitive cycling in Cuba. We stop for coffee at Cuba Libro, the only English-speaking second-hand bookshop in Havana and a hub for creative projects. Following a transfer to Playa Larga, we stay overnight at the Bay of Pigs and have dinner at a small beachfront restaurant with a large Cuban welcome. The speciality here is fresh fish caught by local fisherman just off the coast. *Casas Particulares*



Day 3

Our day begins with a coastal cycle ride from Playa Larga to Playa Giron where we visit a museum to learn about the Bay of Pigs invasion and the region's historical significance. Afterwards we cycle to the coast and a place called Caleta Buena for lunch and a swim, before transferring onwards to Cienfuegos. Today’s riding will be along a flat road that clings to the shimmering Caribbean coastline. The city of Cienfuegos is full of architectural delights, with a beautiful main square and restored buildings. One of the best ways to get around is by Bici Taxi, a fun tour using Cuba’s eco-friendly and typical city transport. Each Bici Taxi can accommodate two people and will be pedalled by a local resident (most of whom like to introduce their guests to reggaeton music!) The Bici Taxi tour is a great time to talk to local Cienfuegos residents and have a go at practising your Spanish. Afterwards we check into our casas for the night. Casas will be located close to the town centre, and to some great paladares. The malecon coastal road is usually a lively place to soak up the atmosphere with locals. *Casas Particulares*



Day 4

On today’s cycle ride we are joined by members of the Cienfuegos Cycling team, there will be plenty of time to chat before and during the ride at the various pit-stops. This morning we cycle from Cienfuegos to Rancho La Vega farm. During our visit we will have time to have some fruit juices or coffee.  Trinidad has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988 and is perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad can feel like entering a time warp, its colourful, cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisking us back. There are many interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings and music drifts through the streets and plazas, bringing the town to life. We will be joined by a local resident to have a walking tour who will give us an insider perspective of what it’s like to live in Trinidad.  We'll stay overnight in charming Casa Particulares, private Bed and Breakfast accommodation in local Cuban houses. Our dinner this evening will be at Alberto & Osmary’s new restaurant or casa, where a local collective of musicians will perform interpretations of classic Cuban trova songs. This is sure to be a lively evening and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Cuban music with its distinct rhythms. *Casas Particulares*



Day 5

We cycle to the fishing village of La Boca which is a popular spot with local fisherman going about their daily business, before continuing our ride to Playa Ancon, a classic white sand Caribbean beach, where weather dependent we will have a picnic lunch. Otherwise our cycle continues to Casilda where our lunch will be taken at La Marinera, a private family run paladar.  We will have a short cycle to get back to Trinidad, where this evening we take part in a salsa class with Cuban dance partners. There will be one dance partner for each member of the group, to assist with teaching the correct salsa moves. Trinidad is known for its nightlife, so after we’ve learnt the basics of salsa we’ll go to the town’s ‘Casa de la Trova’ live music venue to listen to local musicians playing authentic Cuban music. This venue is always lively and sociable, with plenty of local Cuban’s keen to let us practice our dancing with them! *Casas Particulares*



Day 6

After breakfast we will cycle to Rio Seibabo in the heart of the Sierra del Escambray mountain range. On route we will stop at the Manaca Iznaga textiles market where we will meet traditional textile makers and sellers. Our next stop will be at the house of campesinos and are introduced to a local farmer and his family who make delicious honey. We will also go to a small coffee farm where a family of coffee growers welcome us to taste their freshly roasted coffee. Hanabanilla is situated on the shores of Lake Hanabanilla and surrounded by lush tropical hills. This is one of the most beautiful days in terms of scenery. Afterwards we will transfer to Hanabanilla, we eat at a private paladar for a taste of authentic Cuban cuisine.  *Standard Hotel*



Day 7

This morning we have short ride from Hanabanilla to Matagua, stopping along the way to visit a tobacco factory before transferring onwards to Santa Clara. Santa Clara was the first major city to be liberated by Castro's army in December 1958. Today several monuments commemorate this important period of Cuba's history, including the mausoleum of the legendary Che Guevara, where we'll stop for a short visit. Afterwards we transfer back to Havana. There is no better way to see Havana than by classic car, travelling in immaculately looked after classic cars in vibrant colours. Visiting both the old and new areas of the city, we discover the distinct neighbourhoods of the capital, stopping at points of interest for explanations and stories. Feel free to ask questions about why the streets of Cuba are filled with classic American cars manufactured in the 1950’s and how on earth the owners manage to maintain them! This evening we have dinner at a private paladar in Havana.  *Standard Hotel*



Day 8

This morning we'll have a walking tour of old and new Havana, Cuba's capital and the largest city in the Caribbean. Havana is a busy, bustling, energetic capital. It is one of the finest colonial cities in the Americas with narrow streets, spacious plazas and glorious architecture. There is an air of faded grandeur about the place with paint peeling off buildings. The area of Old Havana is often described as a living museum, with its marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces. During our tour we visit a ration store, food market and artisan market for a chance to buy some souvenirs. Those on group flights will transfer approx. 30 - 40 minutes this afternoon to Havana airport for the return flight to London.



Day 9

Arrive London. **



* 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners * All accommodation  * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader throughout * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights) * Arrival & departure transfers (if booking incl. flights) * Local bike hire * Tourist card visa for UK residents


Cycling Cuba - Fantastic!

What an amazing way to see Cuba! I loved every second & Freddy, our guide, was so knowledgeable & clearly passionate about Cuba, that it really added to the experience. The group was great fun too. All in all a brilliant holiday.

Rating: 5




Cuban Highlights Tour

Fantastic trip with great cycling, cultural and historical aspects. The entire trip exceeded my expectations for the quality of bikes to accommodation and food. The cycling was relaxed and, although mostly on main roads, traffic was not heavy (unlike the headwinds!) and there was always full back up with the support bus. The food was simple but tasty and the casa's were comfortable and far more interesting than staying in a hotel. Cuba was fantastic and everything we needed was available, just be prepared for some unreliability such as lack of hot water, toilet paper etc

Rating: 5




Cuban Highlights

Very enjoyable and well organised. Lovely rides through varied countryside and interesting towns which transported us back in time and gave fascinating insights into the country's history. Routes were good and the bikes ideal for the various challenges - hills, road surface etc. Pleasant helpful supportive staff always ready with water, snacks and repairs if needed.

Rating: 5




Cuban Highlights Trip

Wonderful holiday!

Rating: 5




Historical, Hot and Colourful Cuba - on Christmas Day!

Take what you imagine to find in Cuba - this is most likely what you will get. I did anyway. Marinade yourself in Cuban culture with salsa, cigars and mojitos. Get lost in the myriad of cobbled streets in Trinidad. Combine some great sightseeing with some challenging but not impossible cycling. From Ernest Hemingway's bar to a tour of the city in a Cadillac, Havana is rich and diverse in both its history and landscapes and even how the country is in a little bit of a technological time warp adds to its charm.

Rating: 5




Cuban Highlights Ride

What a lovely trip - we had lots of laughs, learned a great deal about Cuban history and enjoyed a wonderful Cuban crew.

Rating: 5




Wonderful country, beautiful and vibrant.

I throughly enjoyed the trip, a true holiday of a lifetime! I LOVED Cuba, it was so colourful, sunny and full of music and dance. A great tour group, everyone was lovely and happy to join in! Cycling was fine, I am active person but not a cyclist except for cycling tours in the Netherlands, but the cycling was steady and I was tired at the end of the day, but manageable. Cycling was on tarmac roads, and mostly fairly straight, but there was little traffic, just a 1950s car passing regularly to add to the atmosphere. There were regular breaks, and water was provided by the guides, and the bus was behind us all of the way. Was glad to have cycling shorts with padding and also a gel saddle cover. Ended up leaving my bag on the bus which was always with us, and just cycling. It was hot and found a bag too annoying to be carting around. Accommodation was clean and comfortable, though lacked soft furnishings, but personally for me clean is the important bit! Staying in the Casa's were my favourite, gave a more authentic feel, and while simple still had air con, and I think more comfortable beds than the hotels in my case (we broke into smaller groups for the nights in the Casa's). Food was simple, a yummy meat (grilled chicken, pork that fell apart), with rice and plantain chips. I thought it was tasty, even if less varied! Fizzy drinks and fruit juice with meals that you bought separately. Group tour leader, Alex was excellent. He organised on the tour excellently, looked after us, and also taught us so much about Cuba's history and way of life. He was full of tips and ideas. Non cycling time was just as fascinating, we learnt to salsa, drank mojitos, had walking tours around and went swimming in the sea. Really liked Trinidad and staying there two nights, and Havana town was charming. Think that doing a tour was a really good way to see Cuba, afterwards stayed on 4 days at the memories hotel in Jibacoa, but after the fun of the group and wandering around and being able to mingle it felt a bit fake at the resort - wish I had done it before the tour rather than after. Other people in the hotel who did organised trips out weren't that enamoured and felt alone it was a bit complicated doing a trip to a neighbouring town or Habana.

Rating: 5




Fantastic Cuban Adventure

We have just returned from Cuba having done the Cuban highlights cycle & a beach extension in Cayo Levisa. This is a fantastic trip with very pleasant cycling, trips to places of cultural & historical importance & some down time. The bikes were much better than we expected, the cycling was relaxed & not too demanding & the motorists very mannerly. The roads were quiet. Full backup with the bus is there at all times which is great. It was nice to be able to leave all our things on the bus while cycling.

Rating: 5




Cuban highlights ride

Excellent trip, (I was in Jane's group, see review below) Freddy was indeed excellent, in addition to being a great cycle guide his knowledge and passion for Cuba knew no bounds, I came away refreshed and more knowledgeable after a most enjoyable holiday

Rating: 5




Cuban Highlights

This was a very well organised trip lead by Freddy, who was a brilliant guide. His knowledge of Cuba and its history was exceptional. He made the trip so interesting and his attention to detail was second to none.

Rating: 4



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You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
01-Aug-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
01-Aug-2019 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
07-Nov-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
07-Nov-2019 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
29-Dec-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
29-Dec-2019 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website

Touring with Exodus

Exodus is an award-winning company built on adventures. It started life on 4 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. They continue to discover countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles - exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, they know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, they always remember that they are only guests. So they ensure they travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise their impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved. This is a philosophy they take around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across 90 countries – choose from walking, cycling, culture, wildlife and even polar adventures in guided groups or self-guided, tailor-made for you or a ready-made itinerary in Peru or India, Costa Rica or Italy – the choices are endless. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure with their combined experiences spanning 171 different countries and in their former lives, some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – all guaranteed to give you the very best adventure possible. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are just some of the ways this expertise comes through in your adventure.

Exodus recognises their obligation to operate their tours in a responsible and sustainable fashion to address the environmental, economic and social impact tourism can have. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that host you and the natural environment that you are there to experience. Key points in their philosophy include small groups which have less impact on local communities and environments, putting money directly into the communities visited by using locally owned and run accommodation and eating locally produced food, ensuring local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services, encouraging their own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly, endeavour to ensure that their practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas visited and provide their clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

7 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:4 - 18
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
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