Cycling Tours and Holidays | Cuba

Cigars, Cyclists and Rum

3-17 July 2017 (SOLD OUT, please enquire for other dates)

Cuba is one of the world’s most unique travel destinations. The island nation is smaller than our North Island but has diverse landscapes, many multiple cultures, and a fascinating history. RIDE Holidays invites you to experience Cuba before it changes. Let’s get over there before Starbucks arrives. Like Vietnam there will be two vehicles. There will be daily bike options as well as plenty of choice for the non-riders. We won’t try and see everything. Leaving plenty of time to relax with a cigar and rum in hand.

Cuba Cycle Tour


Itinerary | Cuba Cycle Tour

Day 1, 03 July

Havana

You will be tired after such a long journey so we’ll make things easy for you. On arrival in Havana you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon – relax by the enormous hotel pool. At some stage we’ll have a look at the bikes and make sure they fit properly. Tonight we’ve arranged for a special cigar and rum tasting. Maybe a bit of food. Welcome to Cuba. A country like no other.

Accommodation: Hotel Nacional
/ Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2, 04 July

Tour de Havana

Two options – touring by bike or touring via the ladies bus. Cyclists will cover 25km today. It’s a big city so don’t expect to go anywhere fast. And why would you – there’s a lot to see. The non-riders will have their own English speaking guide. Prepare to be wowed. Havana is everything that you imagined it to be. Highlights today include Miramar, Nuevo Vedado, Revolution Square and Centro Havana. There’s also a visit to a Rum Museum. And you pop across the bay of Havana to El Morro –Cabana Fortress where you can enjoy fantastic views of the city. Cyclists and non-riders will have lunch together at La Barca restaurant in the old part of Havana.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Nacional
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3, 05 July

50km on the bike - getting used to the roads.

After breakfast we cycle to an organic farm. Today is all about getting used to the roads. It’s an out and back course covering just over 50km. You can do longer if you wish. Non-riders will have their own agenda today – visiting the farm, Finca Vigia (formerly Ernest Hemingway’s home) and Cojimar where Hemingway kept his boat, the Pilar. Cuba isn’t a weight loss program – it’s all about the food, food and food. We all have lunch together El Mediterraneo restaurant. (Organic of course) This afternoon – watch out for twinkle toes Bayly as we all experience a salsa lesson. Not compulsory but really good fun.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Nacional
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4, 06 July

Time to leave Havana

After Breakfast we pack up the vehicles and head for Pio Cua. We’ll start riding from here as we follow the coastline. Not even Peter Churchman could get lost. The ride is about 80km. There will be plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling. Non-riders and cyclists will again meet up for lunch at Caleta Buena. After lunch the cyclists will carry on to Cienfuegos while the non-riders visit a crocodile farm and also the Playa Giron Museum. Tonight we’ve booked a group dinner on the water front. Sounds like a perfect day.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Jagua
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5, 07 July

Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos is stunning and well worth some time. The cyclists will cover 60km today while visiting the historic part of town. This also includes a visit to the Botanical Gardens. Snap – for the non-riders. It’s been a fairly busy 5 days so this afternoon we suggest some quiet time. Rest those legs, have a kip, maybe we can arrange for a massage. We’ll all eat together tonight as tomorrow we leave for Trinidad. See you at the bar.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Jagua
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Cuba Cycle Tour

Day 6, 08 July

RIDE Holidays challenge

OK, enough of the short rides. Today we get in to three figures. There will of course be shorter options available. We ride from hotel to hotel. Cienfuegos to Trinidad. It’s a really scenic ride covering lush vegetation as well as the La Peninsula de Ancon. Lunch is at La Vega Restaurant. We’ll then bike the rest of the way to Trinidad (UNESCO World Heritage listed) where we’ll spend some time exploring this beautiful city. Non-riders have a slightly different plan today – no point in you following a sweaty bunch of lycra. You leave Trinidad and drive through the rolling southern hills to the base of the Sierra del Escambray to visit El Nicho Waterfall, before meeting up with the cyclists late that afternoon. Tonight we will dine together again.

/ Accommodation: Casas Particulares
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7, 09 July

It’s all about the Lobster

Yes – lobster for dinner. At the small fishing town of Casilda. Two things – firstly they have to be caught first so cross your fingers that the locals have a good day out on their boats. Secondly – there’s the small matter of earning the right to eat like this so we’ll set you 70km target today. On your bikes – off we go. We leave the hotel and ride out to Valle de los Ingenios to visit the town of Guachinango, a sugar plantation mecca in it’s day. It will be hot today so the sea will be calling – pack your speedos. Non riders will spend a bit more time in Trinidad as there’s plenty to do and see. You’ll even pop in to La Canchanchara, a famous Trinidad bar. Learn how to make their local speciality drink - made of lime, honey and rum. Afternoon at the beach. What a great day.

/ Accommodation: Casas Particulares
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Cuba Cycle Tour

Day 8, 10 July

Santa Clara – I’m sure there’s a song about that

After breakfast we all transfer to Topes de Collantes. This is the start point for our ride. There will be two options today – 45 and 80km. Totally up to you. Today we ride mainly in the valley as we look up at the impressive mountains. Let’s see if we can find one to ride up. Eventually we arrive at Santa Clara – capital city for the province and home to 250000 residents. There’s a famous square known for it’s match making abilities. Apparently if you are single then you simply walk around the square until someone joins you. Problem solved. We will also visit the Che Memorial as well as other highlights. Another great day of cycling, sightseeing, food and rum.

/ Accommodation: Las Americas hotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9, 11 July

Santa Clara to Las Terrazas

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and drive for 3 hours. We then cycle 60km to Las Terrazas – a lush national park surrounding a gorgeous lake. Cyclists will be hot today so we’ll have swim in the San Juan River and a picnic lunch on the way. One of the attractions of this area is it’s bird life. Look out for the O’Sullivan Parrot. It’s short and quite loud. You’ll love your hotel - Moka is an eco-lodge set amongst the forested hills. It’s known for being unique in Cuba. Non-riders will pretty much follow the cyclists today although we recommend a nice walk this afternoon.

Again we’ll meet for dinner tonight as a group. Watch out for the parrot.

/ Accommodation: Hotel La Moka, Biosphere Reserve
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10, 12 July

Day for the climbers

It won’t be Alpe d’Huez however there will be a few bumps today. It will be your most challenging day. The road we are taking is known as the skyline trail. Look for Burrowes to attack early and try and hold a lead. It’s a rollercoaster mountain road with spectacular views. The maximum length is 80km today. We finish the ride in San Diego before transferring by bus to Vinales where we are staying for the next two nights. May be a good idea for some of you to do some washing this afternoon as things may getting a bit desperate. Non riders will pretty much mirror the cyclists today as the skyline trail isn’t one to miss. The only addition being a visit to Robaina’s Vega, one of Cuba’s most famous Tobacco producers, with lunch included at the Robaina home. Cyclists and non-riders will eventually meet up in Vinales.

/ Accommodation: Casas Particulares
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11, 13 July

Last full day on the bikes

Last full day on the bikes today. We finish with a really nice gentle 60km valley loop. There will be a longer option if some want to thrash the legs. We’ll ride out to La Palma and Moncada. There will be some weary legs after yesterday. For those want a real challenge – the non-riders will be trying to summit Cuba’s highest mountain. (just joking) Actually, they’ll have a stroll known as the Maravillas de Viñales walk, finishing in Mural de la Prehistoria. This evening both parties come together for a sunset visit to Organic Wilfredo’s Farm. So, plenty to do. Tomorrow we leave an island to visit an island.

/ Accommodation: Casas Particulares
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12, 14 July

It’s Island time

All you have to do is google Cayo Levisa and you will want to go there. Believe me – this is the island that Robinson Crusoe dreamed of being stranded on. Even Tom Hanks would volunteer to spend time here. It’s simply beautiful. After breakfast we cycle 50km to Palma Rubia where we say goodbye to the bikes. A boat awaits and so does a 3km long beach. Time to give back to the body. Swim, snorkel, maybe even a catamaran? Simply relax as your Cuban adventure comes to towards the end.

/ Accommodation: Cayo Levisa
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13, 15 July

Cayo Levisa

It’s taken 13 days and Dennis will finally get his sleep in. No plans for today. Soak up the island.

/ Accommodation: Cayo Levisa
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14, 16 July

Back to the big smoke

Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end. We leave our Island Paradise and head back to where it all began – Havana. We’re staying at the same hotel again. Tonight we’ve booked a local restaurant for our farewell dinner. And, to go out with a bang – after dinner we all hop in to a classic car and drive to the Tropicana Cabaret. A must for anyone visiting Cuba. What a brilliant way of finishing our trip together. Tomorrow we head home. Thanks Cuba. It’s been a blast.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Nacional
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15, 17 July

Safe travels home.

After breakfast. We will transfer you through to Havana International Airport. Thank you once again for travelling with RIDE Holidays.

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Cuba Cycle Tour

Tour Inclusions:

  • Two Air conditioned private buses throughout.
  • Airport transfers
  • RIDE Holidays escort who will also ride with you
  • Two drivers, one mechanic and two local cycle guides
  • Local English Speaking Guide for the non-riders
  • All staff tips and the majority of restaurant gratuities
  • 3 litres water per person per day
  • Hotel Accommodation as described
  • Entrance admission fees - ie Tropicana Cabaret
  • All breakfasts, 12 lunches and 10 dinner included
  • RIDE Holidays Cuban cycle jersey

The Price Excludes:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Expenses (souvenirs, drinks, phone calls , laundry bills etc)

Cuba Cycle Tour

Cuba Cycle Tour

Cuba Cycle Tour

Tour Cost (per person)

$5300.00NZD for cyclists
$800.00NZD Single supplement

Bikes

You are of course free to bring your own bikes. The majority of the cycling is on tarmac (95%) however it can be very rough in places. The ideal setup would be a hybrid with front shocks and slicks. The other option is that you take advantage of the complimentary hire bikes. 100% complimentary so not a bad option.

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