Feel the rum-filled breeze from the back of two wheels on this cycling adventure through Cuba’s west.

Want to know how it feels to ride alongside tractors and vintage cars, past tobacco farms and the smell of cigars, to have the Caribbean wind whip through your (helmet-covered) hair on a two-wheeled journey through the rich history and crumbling ruins of Old Havana? Find out, on this small group cycling adventure through Cuba’s west. Experience Cuban culture from handle-bar height as you take a leisurely peddle through the capital’s colourful streets, cycle to the pristine shores of Cayo Jutias to cool-off from the heat, and end a rewarding day in the saddle in Vinales with a farm-to-plate feast. From the flora and fauna-filled valleys of Saroa to the welcoming arms of renowned farmer Mama Luisa, take a ‘brake’ from the beaten path and access unique parts of the island that you can only reach on a trusty bicycle.

30% OFF select 2019 trips

Explore Japan, New Zealand, Cuba and many more.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Destination
Cuba
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
QBXC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience Cuba’s dynamic scenery on two-wheels, from the decaying charm of Old Havana to the dramatic limestone landscapes of Vinales.

  • Immerse yourself in everyday life as you share the Cuban roads with local traffic: ride alongside tractors, vintage American cars, old Ladas and horse-drawn carriages.

  • Enjoy a delicious farm-to-plate experience in a hilltop restaurant – the produce is 100% organic and locally grown, oh, and the rum is free!

  • Recognised as the world’s finest cigar manufacturer, top-off your Cuban experience at a tobacco plantation and witness a local farmer expertly roll an iconic Cuban ‘habana’.

  • Stretch your legs along the pristine beaches of Cayo Jutias, enjoy free time to flop and drop on the sands or go for a refreshing dip in the Caribbean.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a cycling trip, so it requires a certain amount of cycling fitness. This being said, there’s always a comfortable, air-conditioned support vehicle following close by.

  • To complete this trip, it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

  • Import restrictions make the purchase of new bicycles a difficult challenge. Our bikes come from a variety of different manufacturers but are all mechanically sound.

  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a backmarker where needed).

  • The Caribbean climate can be very hot and humid. It's important to wear the appropriate clothing, drink plenty of water and apply sun protection regularly. Lycra cycling shorts are ideal for warmer temperatures.

  • Cuba's roads aren't always paved, but when they are, they can range from smooth to downright terrible. However, it’s a fun experience to share the road with tractors, vintage American cars and horse-drawn carriages.

  • Part of Cuba’s appeal is its old-fashioned style – this includes the banking systems. Funds in Cuba can be difficult to access. Ideally bring multiple credit cards from several different banks just to be sure.

  • Internet access can be hard to come by, and when it's available it's often unreliable and expensive. Treat this as a great opportunity to take a break from modern devices and have a true holiday.

  • While Cuban food can sometimes seem limited due to a ban on imported goods, your guide will steer you towards the best eateries in each destination you visit.

  • Cuba is different and that’s what makes it such a fascinating destination. You will find that things don’t always go according to plan or work the way they do back home. Regulations concerning foreigners and currency may appear strange to you, transport sometimes runs late and sometimes the water in your bathroom can run cold and the electricity fail. In order to get the most out of your holiday, a degree of patience, good humour and understanding is a definite advantage. Cuba may not be wealthy in a monetary sense, however if you approach your holiday with an open and enquiring mind, the warm welcome you receive from Cubans will ensure you a rich and rewarding holiday experience.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 07 Jan 2020.
View the 2020 itinerary
Bienvenido a Cuba! To make your arrival into often chaotic Cuba a bit easier, a complimentary transfer from the airport to your accommodation (guesthouse) is included with your trip. Then, enjoy free time until your welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early there are a wealth of options for you to enjoy in Havana. For a fascinating insight into the Cuban Revolution check out the Museum of the Revolution, indulge your inner literary fan on an Ernest Hemingway tour, join the locals for a stroll past the fading facades along the iconic oceanside Malecon or hire an open top vintage American car and simply cruise the streets and boulevards of Havana. After the meeting, why not get to know your riding companions over an optional group dinner in one of the city’s many restaurants
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Ernest Hemingway tour - CUC70
  • Havana - Cigar factory tour - CUC12
  • Havana - Morro Castle - CUC3
  • Havana - American Vintage Car Tour - USD55
  • Havana - Revolution museum - CUC5
  • Havana Bike Hire - Ruta Bikes - CUC20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. As the group is sometimes spread between several (but nearby) guesthouses your leader will leave a note for you explaining where to meet and what to bring.

During the group meeting, your trip leader will ask you if you would like to contribute to the snack kitty. This is usually 20 CUC per person. The snack kitty is spent on water, fruits, and local-made snacks. It is not a compulsory kitty, although as these can sometimes be hard to come by in Cuba in remote areas, the kitty is designed to make the purchasing of snacks easier and more convenient for you. If there are any leftover funds, they will be returned to you at the end of the trip. You can find out more information from your leader upon arrival.

Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 da
This morning you leave our guesthouse early with your bags and drive 15 mins to Vedado to meet your support crew and be fitted to your bike. Take a 2hr test ride from Outer Havana back to Old Havana to ensure everything is working smoothly.

Along the way we pass by John Lennon Park, Jose Marti Memorial, Plaza de la Revolucion, the Grand Theatre and the Capitol building before ending back in Old Havana at the Parque Cespedes. While the distance is a short 12kms the pace is slow as we enjoy the city and get used to riding in Cuban traffic.

Sate your appetite with lunch in a nearby café before enjoying a guided city walking tour of Old Havana, taking in the four most historic plazas, passing by Catedral de San Cristobal, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de San Francisco. Finish your walk with a special ‘one-of-a-kind’ surprise before we bundle into the support vehicle to be transported (1.5hrs) down to Soroa.

Known as the 'rainbow of Cuba', Soroa is a flourishing landscape of flora and fauna but this evening we arrive as the sun goes, with enough time to enjoy dinner then opt for sleep or meet at one of the guesthouses for Cuban cocktails and an introduction to the curious fascination Cuban’s have with the game of dominos. Be warned, the locals (and our support team!) are fiercely competitive and have spent countless hours honing their domino skills!

Riding distance: approx. 12 kms/7 miles, mostly flat with 80m/260ft of elevation gain

Road Condition – 100% tarmac in mostly good repair
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cycling Outer Havana
  • Havana - Leader-led Walking Tour of Old Havana
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we drive a short distance before taking a guided tour of the spectacular Soroa Orchid Garden. Set in 7 acres this serene oasis of flora features 250 species of plants native to Cuba as well as numerous species of birds.

From here you cycle west on good paved roads, sharing the streets with local traffic of tractors, bicycles, vintage American cars, old Ladas and horse drawn carriages to a picturesque hillside lake. Grab a quick drink or get your first taste of the famously strong Cuban coffee. Continue on to the San Juan River for a quick lunch then it’s time to join the locals for a refreshing swim in the same bubbling waters of that irrigate the local coffee plantations.

Continue by vehicle on to the small but renowned lakeside eco-village of Comunidad Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve set in beautiful green surrounds and home to a lively art community. Grab a coffee near the main square then visit the former home of the celebrated Cuban musician Polo Montañes and current studio of the famous modern artist Lester Campa.

After our visit to Las Terrazas, we drive (approx. 30 mins) back to Soroa. Tonight you can relax at guesthouse or head for drinks, pool, internet and of course, dominos.

Riding distance: approx. 24kms/15 miles, undulating with a couple of steep hills at the start, 450m / 1500ft of elevation gain

Road Condition – 100% tarmac (80% in mostly good repair, 20% in poor/broken condition)
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Las Terrazas - Eco-village Visit
  • Soroa - Orchid Garden (Entrance fee and Guide included)
  • Las Terrazas - Casa de Polo entry
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to the hilly Cueva de los Portales, where the legendary Che Guevara stayed and trained the Western Army of the Cuban Revolution (approximately 1.5 hours). From here, cycle on to the UNESCO-listed town of Vinales. Set among low-lying mountains, this beautifully remote area is reminiscent of the limestone karst scenery of Vietnam and is the perfect place to ride with very little traffic on the roads. Push your pedals a short distance uphill and be rewarded with spectacular views before continuing on to meet the delightful Mama Luisa, a seasoned farmer who’ll provide you with a delicious local meal (and a hug!). Afterwards, ride to a tobacco farm where you’ll meet another farmer who’ll show you how tobacco is dried and then rolled into cigars – here you have the chance to purchase this Cuban speciality directly from the maker. Jump back into the support vehicle and return to Vinales in time for a delicious farm-to-plate experience at a hillside restaurant. The food here is 100% organic and grown locally, and although drinks aren’t included, you only pay for the mixers as the rum is free, classic Cuba!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vinales - Tobacco farm visit
Optional Activities
  • Vinales - Salsa lesson (per hour) - CUC10
  • Vinales - Live Music Venues (Entrance fee) - Subject to change depending on the performer - CUC2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 46 kilometres (28 miles) undulating with a couple of steep hills at the start, and an elevation gain of 575 metres (1890 feet). The road conditions are 90% tarmac – mostly in good repair but some are broken and in a poorer condition, and 10% gravel.
After breakfast, drive to the Diego Rivera-inspired Mural de la Prehistoria (approximately 10 minutes). Painted on a cliff at the foot of the Sierra de Vinales, the huge eye-catching mural took 18 people four years to finish. From here, leave the towering limestone karsts behind as you cycle to the sublime Cayo Jutias, traversing smaller roads through dry and flat farmland, with barely a vehicle to be seen, until you reach the surreal white beaches and pale blue waters of Cayo Jutias. After your ride, stretch out on the shoreline and enjoy a packed lunch and fresh juice. Then enjoy free time to relax – swim in the warm waters or perhaps walk to the neighbouring beach where the locals often park their beautiful old cars on the sands. After some time to soak up the atmosphere, take the support vehicle back to Vinales (approximately 2 hours). The rest of the evening is at leisure – why not try one of the many live music venues or salsa the night away.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vinales - Beach excursion to Cayo Jutias
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 63 kilometres (39 miles) undulating at the start and then relatively flat towards the end, and an elevation gain of 342 metres (1120 feet). The road conditions are 70% tarmac – the majority of which are in a poorer condition, and 30% gravel.
After breakfast, drive to the nearby lookout point for a view of the Vinales Valley before descending to the flat plains where you’ll begin your final ride – cycling through rural landscapes, passing many small towns and communities along some of the smoothest tarmac in Cuba, before finishing on top of a small hill. Celebrations are in order as you enjoy one last delicious meal before re-boarding your transport for the short drive (approximately 2 hours) back to Havana. On arrival in Havana, bid farewell to your bikes and your support team before checking into your guesthouse. Make the most of a free afternoon to reacquaint yourself with Cuba's charming capital, perhaps visit the Jose Marti Memorial Tower or your guide can help organise a final group meal in one of the many paladars in Old Havana.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Jose Marti Memorial Tower - CUC2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 42 kilometres (26 miles) lightly undulating, and an elevation gain of 320 metres (1050 feet). The road conditions are 100% tarmac – mostly in good repair.
Your Cycle Cuba adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart after breakfast.

If you have not already organized a transfer to the airport your guesthouse can usually arrange one for you – please discuss this with them the day before you need to depart.

Riding distance: none
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you have not already organized a transfer to the airport your guesthouse can usually arrange one for you – please discuss this with them the day before you need to depart.

Meals

6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Bicycle, Support Vehicle (Bus)

Accommodation

Guesthouse (6 nts)

Included activities

  • Cycling Outer Havana
  • Havana - Leader-led Walking Tour of Old Havana
  • Las Terrazas - Eco-village Visit
  • Soroa - Orchid Garden (Entrance fee and Guide included)
  • Las Terrazas - Casa de Polo entry
  • Vinales - Tobacco farm visit
  • Vinales - Beach excursion to Cayo Jutias

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle Cuba: West trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitably sized bike.
4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. You are unable to purchase or hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed)
6. There are unprecedented changes happening in Cuba right now. It is an exciting time but it also means some patience and understanding is required for the heightened demand of infrastructure, accommodation and crowds.
7. The laws around health and safety in Cuba are very different than in more developed countries, even for government licenced accommodation. While we endeavour to source accommodation that is compliant to our own health and safety standards there will be occasions where the accommodation will not have a marked fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. Please ask your casa owner to explain the fire evacuation plan to you when you check in.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews