Cycle Cuba’s West


    enquire now 7 Days From NZD $1,886 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Feel the rum-filled breeze from the back of two wheels on this 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.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: 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. Then, enjoy free time until your evening welcome meeting. 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.

    Day 2: Soroa
    Take a short drive to Vedado this morning to meet your support crew 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. 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. (B)

    Day 3: Soroa/Las Terrazas
    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 Montanes, and current studio of the famous modern artist, Lester Campa. Return to Soroa and spend the evening relaxing, playing pool, or perhaps take the opportunity to improve on your domino skills. (B, L)

    Day 4: Viñales
    Drive to the hilly Cueva de los Portales, where the legendary Che Guevara stayed and trained the Western Army of the Cuban Revolution. 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. 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! (B, L, D)

    Day 5: Vinales / Cayo Jutias
    After breakfast, drive to the Diego Rivera-inspired Mural de la Prehistoria. 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. The rest of the evening is at leisure – why not try one of the many live music venues or salsa the night away. (B, L)

    Day 6: Havana
    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 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. (B)

    Day 7: Havana
    Your Cycle Cuba adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned and you’re free to depart after breakfast. (B)

    Inclusions

    Meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
    Transport: Bicycle, Support Vehicle
    Accommodation: Guesthouse (6 nts)

    TIN-QBXC 2020

    Images courtesy of IntrepidTravel Group