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A world fueled by melodies, melting-pot cuisine, and passion-infused dances—this is the setting of an 8-day cycling tour in Cuba. It’s also just the tip of an iceberg of what you’ll see, hear, and feel in this lively Caribbean country. Daily outings lead you through the five provinces of Central Cuba, with each of them bringing something different, and with charming casas particulares awaiting you and your tired legs at the end of every day. Brace yourself for the ride ahead because covering up to 40 miles a day only means one thing: an ever-changing kaleidoscope of scenery and colors: one day you’re pedaling your way along cobblestone streets of the colonial Trinidad, the other you’re cruising through coffee plantations of Guamuaya. When taking a break, don’t miss out on the Cuban deep-flavored coffee or quick dips in the sea—and feel the island’s laid-back way of life.
Cycle through 40 spectacular miles of Cuban beauty per day
Find out why is Cuba called The Pearl of the Antilles on this two-wheeled adventure
Ease the tightness in your legs by sunbathing on whitesand beaches, snorkeling, and swimming
Exploring Cuba on two wheels comes with the ever-present Caribbean breeze and lifelong memories. Over the course of 8 days, you’ll get to discover the culture and scenery of five different provinces. Every day brings something new, ranging from narrow alleys of colonial cities to vast valleys in the mountains. Since you’ll be racking up up to 40 miles a day, your guide will organize and make sure you have hearty breakfasts and lunches, sometimes followed by dips in the turquoise waters and basking in the sun at the beach. And as the sun slowly sets, you’ll stay in an eclectic mix of charming guesthouses—casas particulares—every night.
Arrive in Havana and settle into your accommodation. If you arrive by 6 pm, you’ll meet your guide and your group in the main guesthouses and then go for an optional dinner. Your optional $20 for the snack kit will be collected.
Meet the crew for the bike fitting and mechanical check, and then you’re off for your first riding adventure in the modern part of Havana! Cycle through the neighborhoods of Vedado, Nuevo Vedado, Havana Forest, and Miramar, and stop at Plaza de la Revolución, where you’ll find state buildings covered with metal sculptures of Cuba’s significant historical figures. Enjoy your delicious lunch at a paladar (a private restaurant) in Old Havana. Once you’re done, go on a 2-hour walking tour of Old Havana and the four main plazas, after which you’ll hop on the support vehicle for a 2.5-hour drive to Varadero—a top-tier beach destination.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
A 30-minute drive takes you to Camarioca, just outside of Matanzas, where you start your first cycling route. You ride to Matanzas on a slightly undulating road in good condition. The city is also known as the “Venice of Cuba”, it’s rich in art and music heritage, as well as the birthplace of many important cultural figures. Matanzas is often overlooked by tourists due to the incredible Varadero being nearby—and you’ll explore the city’s treasures on two wheels. How you spend the afternoon is up to you, you can relax on the incredible beach, bike some more, or watch the sunset.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Cycling: 40 km / 25 miles
Elevation gain: 138 m / 453 ft
Rise and shine, it’s time for a new location—Santa Clara, 3.5 hours away from Varadero. The route today is mostly flat though agricultural fields, small villages, and charming cities such as Cardenas and Colon. Santa Clara is another city often overlooked by tourists, but it’s a student city known for its creativity and rebellion. You’ll also visit the Che Guevara Museum and Memorial. As the day draws to a close, go for dinner with your guide and your group.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Cycling: 50 km / 31 miles
Elevation gain: 156 m / 512 ft
Have a hearty breakfast because you’ll be riding uphill for much of today’s route. Start with a ride to the mountains of Guamuaya, with an average incline of 4%. Meet a farming family in Jibacoa, who will prepare a delicious meal while you rest your legs. After lunch, take a 2.5-hour vehicle ride to the colonial jewel Trinidad—no other Cuban city is that preserved, with the locals extremely friendly and festive. Once you get there, go on an orientation walking tour through the historic center. If you’ve still got some energy in you, go for a salsa lesson followed by a night of dancing in one of the best nightlife spots in Cuba.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Cycling: 30 km / 19 miles
Elevation gain: 390 m / 1,280 ft
Today you’re riding along the turquoise waters of the Caribbean coast to Cienfuegos—or “The Pearl of the South”. The terrain is slightly undulating in the beginning, but soon it flattens out with the sea to the left and the mountains to the right. The last 20 km (12 miles) will be hilly. Take the rest of the journey—a 2-hour drive—with your support vehicle. French-inspired boulevards and architecture await you in the elegant city of Cienfuegos. You’ll have an orientation tour in the city center, and after that you’re free to explore on your own. Don’t miss out on some of Cuba’s most beautiful buildings on Punta Gorda! Have an ice-cold beer at the Yacht Club or Palacio del Valle while watching the sunset.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Cycling: 60 km / 37 miles
Elevation gain: 356 m / 1,168 ft
Take the final, 5-hour ride with your support vehicle to Havana via the Bay of Pigs, site of the infamous U.S. invasion. You’ll learn about the Cuban side to this story as you cycle on flat terrain to the Museum of the Invasion. Afterwards, enjoy some beach snorkeling or swimming. Have lunch on the road as you drive to Havana for your farewell dinner. Enjoy your last night in Cuba with music and mojitos—maybe the Buena Vista Social Club or the Time Magazine honored Fabrica de Arte Cubano, an art and nightlife megaplex.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Cycling: 30 km / 19 miles
Elevation gain: 64 m / 210 ft
Today is your last day of the tour. Take a shuttle to the airport—it’s not included in the price of the trip, but it shouldn’t cost more than $20 per taxi—and catch your flight. Alternatively, stay a bit longer in Cuba, just ask your guides for some recommendations!
We went on an 8 day tour with this company. They are accommodating to the needs of American citizens that are allowed to visit Cuba to support the Cuban people. The guide was very good, the group was very small. They gave good tips to help prepare visitors before arriving in Cuba. The days were full with activities, good value for your money. I highly recommend using this company.
DO IT! I had the best experience on this trip with Cuban Adventures. Everyone we encountered along the way was incredibly kind and generous. The food was great, the accommodations were great, and the company was even better. I cannot recommend this enough!
Very well done… glad to have the guidance to see and learn about the entire country of Cuba. Great balance of planned activities and free time for a small group tour. Our guide (Camilo) was fun and easygoing and yet maintained the pace to ensure we were able to see and experience everything… even things we wanted to do outside of the planned tour. Accommodations were authentic & modest, and all had AC and breakfast. Even the bus ride was enjoyable with AC, reclining seats, and a competent and friendly driver. Great value and a lot of fun… book it!
What an awesome, first-rate, outfit! The trip was great – perfectly planned and executed, the best guide and driver ever, and every aspect was handled professionally and accurately. Very responsive, and everyone was nice to work with and extremely helpful.
What you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
In order to join this cycling tour in Cuba, you should have an excellent level of fitness.
You’ll be cycling every day between 12 and 37 miles (20-60 km) in a humid climate. Bus support will be provided. Keep in mind that it can get very hot and humid in Cuba in the summer months of June through August. And though the temperatures in Winter generally don’t get very low, the cold can be hard to escape from due to the humidity levels and the fact that Cuba houses aren’t set up for cold weather.
It can get very hot and humid in Cuba in the summer months of June through August, when lightweight clothing is recommended. In the winter months, it can get colder, particularly in the evenings. Although the temperatures generally don’t get very low in Cuba, the cold can be hard to escape from due to the humidity levels and the fact that Cuba houses aren’t set up for cold weather. During the day, the climate in Cuba is hot and tropical.
Here’s a list of clothing and equipment we recommend bringing:
Here’s a list of personal items you need to bring:
It’s best to bring a backpack, a duffel bag, or a small travel case with wheels. Our advice is to pack as lightly as possible since you’ll normally have to carry your own luggage from the minibus to the accommodation. It’s possible to leave some luggage in Havana, just ask your guide to help you arrange it—it only costs around 5 euros per week.
If you have special dietary requirements or are traveling with children and like to eat snacks between meals, we recommend bringing your own snacks to Cuba, especially for travel days. Though they are available in Cuba, they may not be readily available or to your liking.
Make sure to bring plenty of cash. Almost no card issued by a U.S. institution will work in Cuba and access to your funds may not be possible, so bring more than you’d expect to spend, just in case. EUR and USD are the most useful currencies—they’ll be accepted in many places, but you can also exchange them once you’re there. Cryptocurrency is also sometimes accepted.
Do not bring stand-alone GPS units (e.g. Garmin)—these are restricted in Cuba. You can, however, bring your GPS watch.
Bikes are included in the price of this trip. If you’d prefer to bring your own saddle or helmet, feel free to do that, the bike mechanic will have no issues installing them. All you have to do is bring your own helmet.
E-bike rental is also available, but at an additional cost and with limited availability, as all bikes must fit into the support vehicle. Contact us if you’re interested in renting an e-bike.
Your guides have breakfast arranged for you every single day—you’ll have breakfast at the guesthouses, and you can expect coffee, milk, fruit juice, bread, eggs, and fresh fruit.
In general, many travelers are pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of food that can be found in Cuba. One of the highlights has to be fresh fruit and vegetables—think mango, pineapple, papaya, guava, coconut, grapefruit, breadfruit, and avocados. And the drinks? Start looking forward to world-famous Cuban cocktails, such as Daiquiri, Mojito, or Ron Collins. Excellent draught beer as well as coffee are also very popular.
If you’re vegetarian, you won’t struggle finding a vegetarian meal, though there won’t be much variety. Gluten-free options should also be possible, but let your guide know in time.
Guesthouses, bed & breakfast, casas, casas particulares—these are all names for the same type of accommodation you’ll be staying at. Casas are generally run by local families and located in residential areas, which gives you a great opportunity to interact with local Cubas.
Guesthouses are generally quite basic, but reasonably comfortable and very clean—the families will try to make you feel at home as much as possible. The level of service and personal attention is generally far superior to the hotels in Cuba.
While the style and comfort levels of casas may vary throughout the tour, you can always expect air-conditioned rooms with an ensuite bathroom. Your guides work hard to select the best guesthouses for your adventure. Keep in mind that the group will likely be placed in a number of different houses within a short walking distance. Every day you’ll meet your group at the “base house”, a central one with the biggest capacity.
All accommodation is based on a twin-shared arrangement—two people per room and if you are joining the tour as an individual, you may have to share the room with another member of the group. If there’s no one to share it with, you’ll end up with a room to yourself—and you don’t have to pay a single supplement. If you’d like to guarantee a single room to yourself, you can add the option of a single supplement upon booking.
Group sizes and prices:
Cycling in Cuba can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If your group has cyclers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
A $100 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 80 days prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
Guide reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient sign-up (not meeting the 2-person minimum). In that case, a full tour refund will be issued or 100% of the credit can go towards another tour.
Within 60 days of departure, any amendments to a file depend on availability and will be on a request basis. No changes can be made within 15 days of departure. This includes booking additional accommodations, transfers, or excursions.
If you are prevented from traveling on the tour you booked by circumstances such as those which would permit you to make a claim on a standard cancellation insurance policy, you may transfer your booking to another person, provided they meet all the requirements relating to that tour. More than 60 days before departure, an administrative fee of 10% of the total value of the tour will apply. Within 60 days, name transfers are not permitted.
Almost all tourists visiting Cuba need to obtain a tourist ‘visa’ which is called the Cuban Tourist Card. The tourist card is valid for 90 days. Make sure you do not misplace this while in Cuba—you cannot leave the country without it. If you’re a U.S. citizen or are flying in via the U.S., a new set of rules applies to you. Find more information in the FAQ below.
The most important thing is to check your entry requirements with official websites or embassies. Here are some general suggestions on how to get the “Cuba Visa”:
This applies to all U.S. citizens as well as people traveling via the U.S. Yes, that’s right, even if you aren’t a US citizen or resident, if you travel to Cuba via the U.S. (specifically if you fly directly to Cuba from a U.S. port or fly from Cuba directly to a U.S. port) then you will need a different Visa (a “pink” one!) that you will purchase during check in for your Cuba flight.
If you are flying directly to Cuba from the U.S. (e.g. Miami, Tampa, NYC) you can purchase the visa in the airport before you board your flight to Havana. This will cost between $75-100 and the transaction takes just a few minutes, no need to worry about adding extra time to your layover to get it. Some US airlines will also allow you to buy the visa in advance and ship it to your home. Do not call the airline to ask, instead search the airline’s website (Airline name + Cuba + Visa in a Google search).
You must also be prepared to comply with legal travel to Cuba under US regulations as if you were an American! In simple and somewhat misleading terms, this is often called a “license”, but it is really just a set of guidelines to adhere to. More detail about the license below.
You’ve heard that you can’t travel to Cuba as a tourist—and that’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit Cuba and book a trip with a responsible travel company! All you have to do is to fit your travels under one of the 12 categories of a general license for entry. That makes your visit a meaningful one and allows you to come to Cuba. This applies to U.S. citizens, foreign citizens living in the U.S. and foreign citizens transiting through the U.S.
This cycling tour in Cuba is an SCP tour—specially designed for compliance with the Support for the Cuban People category.
None of the general license categories require any prior government approval. If you follow the rules of the license you selected, you’re automatically considered “authorized”. You need to be able to state this category to anyone that asks (such as the airline or a border agent) and document what you do and spend while in Cuba. You must save the documentation for 5 years. It’s also recommended that you carry an affidavit with you because it helps to show paperwork even if it’s not required. If you join this tour, your guides will send you an affidavit.
Keep in mind that this general license is not the same as a tourist card/tourist visa, which is a requirement of the Cuban government. If you’re a U.S. citizen or traveling via the U.S., you will purchase your visa during check-in for your Cuba flight.
The easiest category to qualify under is Support for the Cuban People (SCP). And this cycling tour in Cuba is an SCP tour! Your guides created a tour which is specially designed for compliance with the SCP. This is the best way for U.S. travelers to have a fun and easy trip to Cuba, legal and hassle-free. Here is a summary of the 5 requirements:
Here are some suggestions that are considered acceptable:
Avoid transactions with Cuban Government entities on this Prohibited List. The most important thing is to avoid the hotels and shops listed. For example, most 5-star hotels are prohibited so you wouldn’t want to make purchases there.
Document your activities and transactions in a ledger or travel journal and maintain the records and receipts for 5 years.
As soon as you join your tour, you’ll be spending time with your local guide—thus having a “meaningful interactions” and “promoting independence”, which is a part of SCP.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or are not traveling via the U.S., please check the entry requirements for your country. Keep in mind that the tourist visa—also called the Cuban Tourist Card—is a must. Apply through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate closest to you.
To get to your Cuba adventure, fly into Havana Airport (HAV). Airport shuttle to Havana is included, even if you arrive in Cuba prior to Day 1 of the tour, as long as you arrange your pre-tour accommodation through your guides. At 6 pm, the guide will meet with those who have already arrived and go for an optional dinner.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Cuba, please refer to Cuba travel advice and entry requirements by the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!