Guided tour

Cuban Highlights Ride

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Key Features

Cuba

Country

Havana

Region

Guided

Trip Type

Beginner

Difficulty

Road Cycling

Adventure type

3*

Accommodation

8

Nights

Am I protected?

The operator of this tour provides financial protection

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Overview


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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 Cubas 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 Havana where this trip ends.

What's the plan

Itinerary

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.Accommodation: Hotel National (or similar)

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.Arriving into the Old Town, well stop for a visit to a community cycling project run by an inspiring group of Cuban women. As well as hiring out bikes and promoting cycling as form of transport, they use limited resources to help fix peoples bikes up so that they are roadworthy, and teach the children of La Habana Vieja how to ride!Later we transfer to Playa Larga and 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.Accommodation: 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. Todays 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 Cubas 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 maleconcoastal road is usually a lively place to soak up the atmosphere with locals.Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Day 4

On todays 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 its 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 & Osmarysnew 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.Accommodation: 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 we have some time to relax and enjoy the sea. 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 weve learnt the basics of salsa well go to the towns 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 Cubans keen to let us practice our dancing with them!Accommodation: Casa Particulares

Day 6

After breakfast we cycle to Rio Seibaboin 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 willbeat the house of campesinos where we are introduced to a local farmer and his family who make delicious honey.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 transfer to Hanabanilla, where we eat at a private paladar for a taste of authentic Cuban cuisine.Accommodation: Hotel Hanabanilla

Day 7

This morning we have short ride from Hanabanilla to Manicaragua, 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.Afterwardswe 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 1950s and how on earth the owners manage to maintain them! This evening we have dinner at a private paladar in Havana.Accommodation: Hotel National (or similar)

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. Everyone else is free to make onward travel arrangements.

Other key

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

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