Cuban Highlights Ride

Cuban Highlights Ride

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8 Days
From

$2475

$2407

Cuban Highlights Ride

8 Days Starting and ending in Havana

Visiting: Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Playa Ancon, Río Hanabanilla, Manicaragua

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

MAC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 18

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active

Interests:

Cultural, History

Activities:

Cycling, Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$2475
$2407 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $68
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Tour Overview

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 Havana where this trip ends.

Highlights

  • Time to relax, swim and sample Cuba's famous mojitos

  • Full vehicle support throughout trip

  • Immerse yourself in Cuba's unique history and culture

  • Cycle gently through stunning tropical scenery

  • Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic usually available

  • Cycling leaders trained to UK leadership standards (CTC Bike Tour Leader Award)

  • Cuban Tourist Cards included for all UK residents

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start Havana.
Location: Havana
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel National (or similar)
Meals Included: No Meals

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.

Day 2 : Havana Cycle Tour; To Playa Larga And The Bay Of Pigs. 
Location: Havana
Accommodation: Casas Particulares
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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, we’ll stop for a visit to a community
cycling project run by an inspiring group of Cuban women. As well as renting
bikes and promoting cycling as the best form of transport, they teach
children of ‘La Habana Vieja’how to ride and help fix people’s bikes
up so that they are roadworthy. 

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.

Day 3 : Coastal Cycle Ride; To Cienfuegos.
Location: Cienfuegos
Accommodation: Casas Particulares
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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.

Day 4 : Ride From Cienfuegos To Rancho La Vega Farm; To The World Heritage Site Of Trinidad.
Location: Trinidad
Accommodation: Casas Particulares
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

Day 5 : Cycle To Playa Ancon And Back; Salsa Class.
Location: Playa Ancon
Accommodation: Casa Particulares
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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 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!

Day 6 : Cycle To Rio Seibabo; Transfer To Hanabanilla.
Location: Río Hanabanilla
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Hanabanilla
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we 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 a farm 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.

Day 7 : Cycle To Manicaragua; Transfer To Che Guevara Mausoleum In Santa Clara; To Havana.
Location: Manicaragua
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel National (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. 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.

Day 8 : Sightseeing In Old Havana; Transfer To The Airport.
Location: Havana
Meals Included: Breakfast

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.

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

  • Tourist card visa for UK residents

  • All accommodation 

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Tour leader throughout

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • Arrival & departure transfers (if booking incl. group flights)

  • Local bike hire

What's Not Included

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

Accommodation

We spend seven nights in casas particulares, traditional Cuban guesthouses that provide a warm welcome and, best of all, an insight into the local lifestyle and culture. Rooms are on a twin-share basis with air conditioning and private bathrooms.

Every property we use has been inspected and assessed by our local team. Some are large multi-room houses that are home to entire families, others are run by individuals, and in some cases the owners live elsewhere. We typically use several different properties in close vicinity to accommodate our full group. We always do our best to ensure those in single-room accommodation are within a house where other Exodus clients are staying.

The casa owners are usually happy to help with laundry for a small fee. Most casas do not have hairdryers. There are often pets (a cat or dog) at the casas - please advise at the time of booking if this is problematic.

Please note, power cuts occur regularly in Cuba and you should expect there to be blackouts for hours at a time. This is a part of daily life in Cuba and torches are readily available for evening/night-time blackouts. Hot water supplies are not always guaranteed and water pressure can be temperamental. Cuba is not a luxury destination and anyone travelling to the island should be prepared for this.

Food

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners are included, allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings. We provide 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.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Minimum

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    Staying in standard hotels

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    British and most Western European passport holders do not require a visa but do require a tourist card.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    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 Exodus approx. 4 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 GBP17.00 per per

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes,Arrival & departure transfers (if booking incl. group flights)

  • What is the maximum group size?

    18

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Minimum 16 years age people can go on this tour.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A. We are advised that there is no risk of malaria.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

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.

Cuban Highlights Ride (MAC) 11-18 Feb 2016

A most enjoyable 8 days with a perfect combination of cycling and cultural activities. The guide (Laz) was excellent, as a cycling leader, with knowledge of Cuba, and with melding and helping out the group. The cycles were in very good condition (nearly new) and ideal for the task and the mechanic/safety cyclist (Guillaume) was ever cheerful - and had the biggest thighs we've ever seen. The bus was very comfortable and the driver (Ivan) very safe. The weather, the music, the accommodation, and the cocktails were always excellent.

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.

Cuban Highs and Lows

In the immortal words of Kate Humble: things don't go wrong, they just go different! There is nothing like a little adversity to cement friendship. In fact it is an essential ingredient of group cohesion. Our guide overcame every obstacle with skill and confidence. He made even the most challenging experiences pleasurable. The bus, the mechanic and the driver were the best support team one could have wished for. Cuba is unpredictable but they made our journey a delightful experience in spite of a few difficulties.

Cuba on two wheels

This trip gave us a brilliant insight into all Cuba has to offer as well as the delights of cycling along the coast and through the countryside

CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end! Lovely group, a beautiful place to cycle to and a vibrant and friendly place, and a brilliantly organized itinerary. 

Cuban Highlights cycling

Well constructed itinerary exploring many interesting facets of Cuba's latter day existence.

Amazing cycling in beautiful countryside - go before it's too late

This was my first cycling holiday, and I couldn't fault it. The roads are almost void of cars, making riding peaceful and safe. Also the scenery is ever changing, one day we were cycling in open farmland, another along the coast and another in the lush valleys of the interior of the island.The cycle days aren't too long giving you a bit of the afternoon to either, relax, swim, or take in some local sights.

Cuban Highlights Ride

Beautiful scenery, plentiful food and lots of history.

CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Never a dull moment!  This trip has everything from historic interest, great scenary, rides which were not too challenging and great company.  As usual the local Exodus staff were second to none for their friendliness, stamina and exhaustive local knowledge.

Read all 68 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024
$2475 $2407 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $68 (USD)

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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