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Cycling Adventure in Central Cuba

Guide(s)
Maurice Llanes, Cuban Adventures
Trip options

Booking for a group?
Reserve spots for 5 or more people, and get $30 off for each

Add-ons

Accommodation options

For the duration of this active tour in Cuba, you’ll be staying for 7 nights at guesthouses. If you’d like to secure a room to yourself and not share it with anybody, you can choose the option of a single supplement.

If you would like to share a room with a specific person from your group, please let us know their full name(s).

Bike rentals

Bike rental is included in the price of the trip. E-bike rental is also available, but with limited availability and at an additional cost. Contact us to make arrangements. Keep in mind that you still need to bring your own helmet.

Price for e-bike rental is set at $338. This needs to be paid directly to the guides following the booking. Keep in mind that there can be a maximum of 2 e-bikes per departure (read more about it in Things to know section), so getting the e-bike is not always guaranteed. An invoice for the e-bike rental will come directly from the guides company and must be paid within 7 days to them to guarantee e-bike allocation.

If you are booking for more than one person, please make sure to include the names of all participants who will be traveling with you. Otherwise, just provide your name.

People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
8 day
Guide(s)
Maurice Llanes, Cuban Adventures
Reserve deposit (30%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse

       

      Havana city and a car
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch

       

      Old Havana, Cuba
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Cycling: 40 km / 25 miles
      Elevation gain: 138 m / 453 ft

       

      Sunset at Varadero, Cuba
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 50 km / 31 miles
      Elevation gain: 156 m / 512 ft

       

      Che Guevara statue, Santa Clara
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 30 km / 19 miles
      Elevation gain: 390 m / 1,280 ft

       

      Trinidad, Cuba through the window
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Cycling: 60 km / 37 miles
      Elevation gain: 356 m / 1,168 ft

       

      Cienfuegos city, Cuba
    • 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.
      Accommodation: Guesthouse
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Cycling: 30 km / 19 miles
      Elevation gain: 64 m / 210 ft

       

      Cenote in the Bay of Pigs
    • 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!
      Meals: Breakfast

       

      Havana capitol building
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local cycling guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • 8-day guided cycling tour in Cuba
        • Accommodation for 7 nights in guesthouses (twin-shared, air-conditioned rooms with an ensuite bathroom)
        • Support vehicle for the duration of the tour
        • Havana walking tour, orientation walking tours in Trinidad and Cienfuegos
        • All breakfasts and lunches, 1 dinner
        • Cold filtered water to refill bottles
        • Airport pick-up
        • Bike rental (e-bikes are additionally charged and have limited availability)

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to Cuba
        • Airport drop-off at the end of the tour
        • Accommodation prior to and after the tour — guides can arrange this, let us know in advance
        • Some meals — details in the itinerary
        • Drinks
        • Snack kit — optional, but recommended
          • $20 upon arrival (your guide will buy snacks for the trip since they’ll be hard to come by in remote areas)
        • Visa and passport fees
        • Helmet
        • E-bike — available at an additional cost, but limited availability
        • Travel medical insurance — required
        • Optional activities, day-tours, and excursions
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • 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.

      E-bike rental is possible, but at an additional cost and it is limited (two e-bikes per departure). An invoice for the e-bike rental will come directly from the guides company and must be paid within 7 days to them to guarantee e-bike allocation. We ask travellers who believe they are physically able to do the route without e-bikes use normal bikes, and if needed, they can travel in the transport vehicle at times.

    • 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:

        • Bike helmet
        • Cycling clothing
        • Leisure clothing
        • Fleece top or similar
        • Appropriate shoes and sandals
        • Water shoes — optional
        • Swimwear
        • Rain gear
        • Small towel and swimwear
        • Sun hat
        • Padded bike shorts — optional
        • Quick-dry clothing (e.g. socks, jersey) — optional
        • Windbreaker — optional
        • Cycling gloves — optional
        • Saddle and pedals — optional

      Here’s a list of personal items you need to bring:

        • Day pack large enough to carry all the items you might need throughout the day (25-40L)
        • Water bottle, hydration pack, or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, soap, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
        • Sunglasses
        • First-aid kit (lip salve, aspirin, band-aids, antihistamine, Imodium or similar)
        • Binoculars — optional
        • Money belt — optional
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)
        • Snacks — optional

      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 pedals, 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. A maximum of 2 e-bikes can be rented per departure. An invoice for the e-bike rental will come directly from the guides company and must be paid within 7 days to them to guarantee e-bike allocation.

    • 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.Accommodation 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. Typical room in accommodation in Cuba

    • Group sizes and prices:

        • For this guided cycling tour in Cuba, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 12:1.
        • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate.
        • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

      Cycling in Cuba can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
        • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the tour on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

      If your group has cyclers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • 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”:

        • Apply through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate closest to you.
        • When you purchase your air-tickets, check with the airline to see if they provide the service of arranging visas for you.
        • Tourist cards for Cuba have been available for purchase for many years at airports throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean and can be purchased in a matter of minutes at the time of check-in. NOTE: Please ensure you check the status of this service before heading off to Cuba, these regulations are subject to change—it cannot be guaranteed!
        • Some airlines (Virgin Atlantic, Air France) will not permit you to board the flight without a Cuban tourist card. NOTE: check the regulations with the airline in advance.
    • 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:

        • Use privately-owned businesses (e.g. private restaurants, private shops, private taxis, etc.)
        • Stay in privately-owned accommodation—these are the casas particulares you’ll be staying at.
        • Maintain a full schedule of meaningful interactions for 6-8 hours a day.
        • Enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities and that result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.

      Here are some suggestions that are considered acceptable:

          • Supporting local artists by visiting galleries and/or purchasing art
          • Conversing with your hosts at casa particular
          • Volunteering
          • Taking lessons (dance, language, music, sport…)
          • Shopping in privately-owned businesses
          • Eating at privately-owned restaurants
          • Taking guided tours

      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!

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