Cycle Cuba

Experience Cuba from two wheels as you cycle around this laidback Caribbean island. Travel the colourful streets of Havana, the dusty roads past the farms and tobacco plantations of Vinales, cycle alongside vintage cars on your way to the verdant Bay of Pigs, discover UNESCO Word Heritage Sites of Cienfuegos and Trinidad and experience Cuba beyond the rum and cigar scene. Pay homage at Che Guevara’s final resting place in Santa Clara, cycle the pristine and untourised Yumuri Valley, and enjoy the perfect beaches of vibrant Varadero, Cayo Jutias’ clear blue waters and cool off in bubbling river pools near Las Terrazas. Soak up the best of Cuba as you traverse this fascinating country.

Calender 14 days

Difficulty: Moderate

From £2053.00 P/P

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Itinerary

  • Cycling through Caribbean Cuba gives you unique access to parts of the island that are off the beaten track.
  • Cycle through the lush valleys of Soroa and Yum i, one known as Cuba's Rainbow and rich in plant and wildlife, the other an untouched paradise far off the usual tourist track.
  • Cuba is recognised as the world’s finest cigar manufacturer. Learn how to roll a cigar with a local tobacco farmer near the small town of Vinales.
  • After a visit to the temporary HQ of Cueva de los Portales, a guided walking tour of Old Havana, and a visit to his final resting place in Santa Clara, you’ll understand Che Guevara's important role in the Cuban Revolution.
  • Ride through an often surprising variety of scenery; from the decaying charm of Old Havana to long dusty farming roads to dramatic limestone karst landscapes. Cuba has it all!

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.

Take a short drive to Vedado this morning to meet your support crew (approximately 15 minutes) and be fitted to your bike. Take your new wheels for a spin on a 2-hour leisurely ride from Outer Havana back to Old Havana, passing John Lennon Park, the Grand Theatre and the Capitol building along the way before finishing back in Old Havana. Enjoy lunch in a nearby cafe before stretching your legs on a guided walking tour of Old Havana, taking in the four most historic plazas. Finish your walk with a 360-degree panoramic view of Old Havana through the eyes of The Camera Obscurer – the only one of its kind in Latin American and the Caribbean, before heading to Saroa in the support vehicle (approximately 1.5-hours). Known as the ‘rainbow of Cuba’, Soroa is a flourishing landscape of flora and fauna. As the sun sets, enjoy dinner, then perhaps head to a local guesthouse for cocktails and an introduction to the curious fascination the Cuban’s have with the game of dominos. Be warned, the locals (and your support team) are fiercely competitive and have spent countless hours honing their domino skills!

This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the spectacular Soroa Orchid Garden, located just a short drive away. Set among seven acres, this serene oasis of flora features 250 plant varieties native to Cuba as well as numerous species of birds. Afterwards, cycle west (on well-paved roads), sharing the streets with local traffic: tractors, vintage American cars, old Ladas and horse-drawn carriages, until you reach a picturesque hillside lake. Take a break for a quick drink before stopping by the San Juan River for lunch and a refreshing swim. 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 Montanez. Return to Soroa (approximately 30 minutes) and spend the evening relaxing, playing pool, or perhaps take the opportunity to improve on your domino skills.

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!

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.

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.

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 (Please see the Accommodation section of our Essential Trip Information for more detailed instructions). Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your tour leader and travel group. 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. Your evening is then free to relax or enjoy an optional welcome dinner to get to know your riding companions a bit better – your leader will suggest some excellent options.
If you arrive early there are a wealth of options for you to enjoy. 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 or join the locals for a stroll past the fading facades along the iconic oceanside Malecon. For a splashier introduction to Havana, why not hire an open-top vintage American car and check out the sights while cruising the streets. There’s no shortage of restaurants or bars either – the vibrant Obispo Street area of Old Havana is sure to delight.

Start the day with a bike fitting which will help to perfect your posture and ensure comfort while cycling, then transfer to the Bahia de Cochinos, better known as the Bay of Pigs, for your first cycling tour (approx. 30 kms).

Begin at Playa Larga; sitting at the head of the bay, this is one of the two beaches that was invaded by US-sponsored exiles in 1961. Cycle along the tree-lined eastern shoreline, past an incredible flooded cave called Cueva de los Peces (the Cave of Fish) to the peaceful sandy arc of Playa Giron – the other beach that was invaded – where you’ll get to rest your weary legs in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters. The bay boasts a deep underwater well and an outstanding variety of coral and fish – it’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing dip. For an extra treat, once you’ve finished swimming in the salty sea simply cross the beachside road and jump in the refreshing waters of a beautiful cenote, a flooded cave full of tropical fish.

Afterwards, head to Cienfuegos. Set out on an orientation walk with your leader before a free evening to spend how you please.

After fuelling up on an included breakfast, today you’ll set out on a 60-kilometre/37-mile bike ride to Trinidad. Cycle through along the rolling hills and past mango trees in the tranquil countryside before nearing the coast and it’s stunning views.

Sitting on the picturesque Caribbean coast, Trinidad is a standout destination for many visitors. With its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, large plazas and sizzling salsa scene, it’s not hard to see why. Get acquainted with the town’s once-grand mansions, pasted-hued buildings, cobble streets and stunning gardens on an orientation walk. In the evening, why not practice your dance moves at one of the many live music venues or take in a folklore show at an open-air venue. Your tour leader can suggest a few of the latest hotspots for a night out on the town.

Now that you’ve experienced Cuba’s serene coast and atmospheric towns, today you’ll discover the country’s lush, tropical side at Parque Natural Topes de Collantes. This heavily protected nature reserve is a jungle-covered wonderland of limestone mountains, cascading waterfalls, caves, grottoes and incredible flora and fauna.

Drive north of Topes de Collantes (approx. 31km), stopping at Mirador del Escambray to enjoy a fantastic view of Trinidad and the Caribbean, then climb onto the bikes and explore the Guanayara section of the reserve by bike. Avoid a long climb and start at the Mirador del Hanabanilla for sweeping views of Lake Hanabanilla before covering about 10-kilometres on mixed tarmac and gravel terrain, both within and outside of the reserve. Lunch with the locals before a swim in a natural pool beside a beautiful waterfall then ride on for a further 20 kms before boarding the support vehicle and making tracks for the Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial. Check out the bronze statue of Che bearing his rifle and learn about his incredible life before arriving in Santa Clara, where you’ll enjoy an orientation walk with your group leader.

After breakfast, drive 2.5 hrs east towards Matanzas province and to the small town of Jovellanos where you begin riding today. The province is thankfully largely flat, with an enormous marsh to the south, rocky terrain to the north-west and cays and mangroves to the north-east. Uncover part of this vast province on a 30 kms bike tour, enjoying mostly flat roads passing through little towns and citrus and sugar cane plantations before arriving into the maritime port city of Cárdenas. This is a historical city where many things happened for the first time in Cuba, including the first ever raising of the modern Cuban flag. It is also considered to be the Cuban city of bicycles due to the amount of cyclists in the city.

From here it’s just a short drive (30 mins) to the resort town of Varadero and its outstanding beaches. Your accommodation for tonight is a bit more authentic than the string of all-inclusive resorts that line the coast however – you’ll be staying in a Varadero guesthouse.

Experience Cuba’s version of beach life with a free day in Varadero. After the past few cycling-heavy days, free time in the sun and sand is bound to be a welcome change of pace. Ask your tour leader about possible water-based activities and optional excursions on offer. Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling are all popular options. Perhaps head out on a dolphin-watching expedition or take a boat trip to nearby mangroves where flamingos, crocodiles, parrots and other wildlife can be found. Alternatively, simply find a patch of golden sand, grab a pina colada and enjoy the glorious views.

Alternatively if you want to explore further on your bike you are welcome to do so – just let you cycling leader the night before so the bike doesn’t get packed away.

Today is an early start as we drive (approx. 45 mins) to Matanzas before getting on our bikes to explore the historic city then riding on to a seldom-visited paradise not far from Varadero’s popular beaches – the Yumuri Valley.

Tucked behind the hills that line the province’s northern edges, your 20-kilometre bike tour of the Yumuri Valley will reveal a stunning mix of rolling pastures, fields of palm trees, small forests and agricultural plots, with views of a faded colonial city and of course the beautiful valley itself.

The road in the valley is poorly maintained as is practically deserted and traffic free, meaning there are frequent potholes, but this only adds to the feeling of cycling through a part of Cuba so few tourists ever experience. This is your last planned bike ride for the trip, so make sure to enjoy it.

Afterwards, head to Matanzas city, the capital of Matanzas province, for a guided walking tour with your leader. Though slightly rough around the edges, Matanzas boasts a fantastic literary and musical heritage. It’s known for its poets, Afro-Cuban folklore and as the birthplace of danzon and rumba (two important Cuban dances). Then it’s a 2 hour drive to return to Havana. Take a closer look at Old Havana on a leader-led walking tour, finishing up at an excellent micro-brewery where you can toast the end of your active adventure a cold brew.

Your Cuba cycling adventure comes to an end this morning after breakfast. There are no activities or cycling planned for the day. 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.

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Route overview

The guesthouses (casas) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling and each room is unique. Regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water supply are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country – but we believe that this is all a part of the local experience. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Accommodation’ section of the Essential Trip Information.

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

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)

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.

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.

Internet access can be hard to come by, and when it’s available it’s sometimes unreliable. This is, on the other hand, a great opportunity to take a break from modern devices and have a true holiday.

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

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.

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.

What’s included

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • 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
  • Havana - Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Cienfuegos - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Trinidad - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Santa Clara - Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum (entrance fee)
  • Havana - Leader led City Tour of Old Havana
  • Matanzas Bicycle Tour
Whats included

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We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person and exclude flights.

Tip: To book, please select a day of the week that the cycling holiday is operating on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the right day of departure from the list of options.

We are still updating the website with the latest dates and prices, however, all cycling holidays are available. To find out the most up-to-date details, please send us a contact form.

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