“This trip is ideal for anyone who wants to dip their toes into Cuba and into cycling, with four days in the saddle and plenty of time to explore the countryside and colonial towns.”

Highlights

Havana | Playa Larga | Bay of Pigs | Cienfuegos | Cycling the Caribbean coast | Trinidad | Topes de Collantes National Park | Che Guevara Monument | Santa Clara | Optional catamaran tour

Description of Cuba cycling holiday

This nine day Cuba cycling holiday takes in the north of the country, from the Caribbean coast and back round to the Gulf of Mexico. With four full days of guided and fully supported cycling this is a chilled cycling tour, with visits to both urban and rural Cuba crafted carefully into an itinerary that gives a wonderful Cuban cycling cocktail of places to see and people to meet.

Starting in Havana, its cultural highlights are kept for the end of your trip, as you hit the road almost immediately cycling out to two ‘playas’, with plenty of time for swimming and exploring. The former at Playa Larga and the latter at Playa Giron where the Museo Giron commemorates the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion which took place here. Conflict, culture, cycling and Caribbean coast all in a day. That’s Cuba for you.

The Caribbean coastal cycle also takes you to Cienfuegos, the only city in Cuba to have been built by the French. With lots of 1950’s architecture and Caribbean café charm on the ‘Malecón’, you will spend a night here, one of five nights spent in hotels with swimming pools for post cycling cool downs. Leaving the coast from here, the backroads take you on a slightly more hilly section of the trip, but nothing too severe, as you pass by mango groves and cane fields with views out across the Escambray mountains. Explore these mountains later in the trip, when your cycle brings you through a valley in Topes de Collantes National Park, surrounded by luscious, tropical hills and passing through rural towns and welcoming communities. Such as in Hanabanilla with a stunning location on the eponymous lake.

Trinidad is the next big urban stop on this Cuba cycling holiday, not only with a colourful history but architecture to match. Staying in ‘casas particulares’ or homestays, Trinidad is a marvellous melange of old sugar mills, Spanish colonial homes and Afro-Caribbean culture, and the music is always pumping here. As it is back in Havana, the grand finale to this cycling holiday, where you will have two days to explore, guided and independently, the cultural, colonial and contemporary greatness of this iconic city.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
05 Oct 2017
£ 1799
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Oct 2017 departure
12 Oct 2017
£ 1899
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Oct 2017 departure
19 Oct 2017
£ 1899
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Oct 2017 departure
26 Oct 2017
£ 1899
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Oct 2017 departure
02 Nov 2017
£ 2029
including UK flights
Full
 
09 Nov 2017
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Nov 2017 departure
16 Nov 2017
£ 1979
including UK flights
7 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Nov 2017 departure
23 Nov 2017
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Nov 2017 departure
30 Nov 2017
£ 2029
including UK flights
3 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 30 Nov 2017 departure
07 Dec 2017
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Dec 2017 departure
21 Dec 2017
£ 2099
including UK flights
Full
 
28 Dec 2017
£ 2349
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Dec 2017 departure
04 Jan 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Jan 2018 departure
11 Jan 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Jan 2018 departure
18 Jan 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Jan 2018 departure
25 Jan 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Jan 2018 departure
01 Feb 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Feb 2018 departure
08 Feb 2018
£ 2059
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Feb 2018 departure
15 Feb 2018
£ 2059
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Feb 2018 departure
01 Mar 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Mar 2018 departure
08 Mar 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Mar 2018 departure
15 Mar 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Mar 2018 departure
22 Mar 2018
£ 2039
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Mar 2018 departure
29 Mar 2018
£ 2279
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Mar 2018 departure
05 Apr 2018
£ 2279
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Apr 2018 departure
12 Apr 2018
£ 2069
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Apr 2018 departure
19 Apr 2018
£ 2069
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Apr 2018 departure
10 May 2018
£ 1969
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 May 2018 departure
31 May 2018
£ 1969
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 May 2018 departure
28 Jun 2018
£ 1969
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Jun 2018 departure
26 Jul 2018
£ 2369
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Jul 2018 departure
09 Aug 2018
£ 2299
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Aug 2018 departure
20 Sep 2018
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Sep 2018 departure
04 Oct 2018
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Oct 2018 departure
11 Oct 2018
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Oct 2018 departure
18 Oct 2018
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Oct 2018 departure
25 Oct 2018
£ 1979
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Oct 2018 departure
01 Nov 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Nov 2018 departure
08 Nov 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Nov 2018 departure
15 Nov 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Nov 2018 departure
22 Nov 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Nov 2018 departure
29 Nov 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Nov 2018 departure
06 Dec 2018
£ 2099
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Dec 2018 departure
20 Dec 2018
£ 2399
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Dec 2018 departure
27 Dec 2018
£ 2399
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Dec 2018 departure
Our top tip:
Bring energy snacks. They're hard to come by anywhere in Cuba, and rural areas lack shops and cafes altogether.
Trip type:
Small group, 4-18 people (average of 12). Min age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate. 4 days cycling at leisurely pace, 30-60km/day.
Accomm:
5 nights hotels, 2 homestays.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Accommodation, guide, support vehicle, listed activities, transfers. Flights if booked. Cycle hire extra.
Meals:
7 breakfasts, 4 packed lunches, 3 dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba cycling holiday

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage visitors to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We operate on a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy and local guides enforce this through responsible tourism briefings. These should help visitors to better understand the living situation for many and the environmental issues in the area. We also aim to benefit Cuban communities as much as possible by frequently stopping to use local restaurants, cafes and services.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 5 nights in hotels and 2 nights in ‘Casas Particulares.’ These are privately owned Bed and Breakfast properties which enable you to have a rewarding insight into the local lifestyle by staying in a family home. Where meals are provided, fresh and local ingredients are always used. Although this is largely out of necessity, we can ensure that local farmers and vendors benefit. We visit a number of local, family-run restaurants called ‘Paladares’ throughout the trip. These sell a variety of authentic Cuban dishes like fresh lobster, black beans and rice, roast pork and chickpea stew.

Local Craft and Culture:
We visit several important cultural and historical sites on this tour, where our entrance fees contribute towards the preservation of artefacts and monuments that commemorate events integral to Cuban heritage. These include the Bay of Pigs museum and Guevara’s Mausoleum in Santa Clara. We encounter small handicraft stalls in most towns, so guests are able to purchase local crafts. Trinidad is famous for ceramic and lacework, and Havana’s Almacenes de San Juan is a great place to buy art, crafts, shoes, clothes, hats, instruments and food. A huge part of Cuban culture is music and dance so there will also be ample opportunity to experience this in some local bars and clubs.

Charity:
Our local operator sponsors two schools in the Matanzas Province. The first is the local Primary School in Playa Giron, where they have repainted the school and provided educational supplies such as notepads, pens and sporting equipment. The second school is the Special Needs School in Matanzas City. Here, they have made a number of donations- from school materials and clothes to fans and sheets. We discourage giving to beggars on the trip as we don’t want to encourage this behaviour. Instead, our guides will help visitors to donate presents and supplies where the goods can really be utilised.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

9 Reviews of Cuba cycling holiday

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
0
7
2
0
0

In depth story review

“Music and dancing broke out wherever we were. It was great fun. The sun goes down, the music starts, and the rum comes out. Automatically.”

Reviewed on 03 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The camaraderie of the group.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for the last 10 km!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we mostly stayed at non-government establishments and had our meals at small, privately owned restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The trip was well run and the head guide was able to make small adjustments as needed. There was a bit too much lecture about the government and the
politics; more information about local culture and the environment would have been appreciated. Also, the recommended tip amount seemed way out of
line. If everyone had followed the recommendations, the guide would have made more than the yearly average wage for Cuba.

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Most memorable for me was the window into the lives of Cubans. I learned a lot from our guide and the staff, but I had the chance to talk to many Cubans
throughout the course of the tour. I will remember Cuba as a place with great untapped potential for economic development and growth. I also loved the music. It is everywhere!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The ride was ranked as a 1,2. It was harder than that. There were considerable challenges on each day except the second ride. I would suggest travelers who
are interested in this ride do significant training before hand. I would also suggest you bring extra cash for the additional events that are offered throughout the trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I do not feel that the trip reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation. We had a large bus for only 18 people. Maybe a smaller vehicle would have been better. I think the trip benefited Cubans only because we brought money into their economy, which is very poor.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a great group of folks from around the world and we all got along and enjoyed each other. Our guide was incredible. He was flexible, patient and helpful.

He has a wealth of knowledge about his country and his pride of Cuba is evident. He was able to tap into what we wanted and provide it. One member of the
tour turned 81 during the week and he arranged for a cake with candles for her at dinner!

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Cynthia. Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip.
Regarding the grading of the trip we do an annual audit of all trip grading’s based on feedback and our staff visits to ensure that we are grading correctly. We do feel that this trip is currently suitably graded however we will take your comments on board in our audit so thank you for letting us know regarding this.

I’d like to give you a little more information regarding your comments on question 3. While it is true that the local community generally benefit from our commerce we do take every step to ensure that the positive impact of our business is felt by as many as possible.

Our decision to stay in ‘Casas Particulares’ ensures that local families benefit from our stay and our visits to local family run restaurants also ensure that the economic benefits of our stay are widely distributed. Many of the sites visited also ensure a contribution to the preservation of Cuban heritage. Regarding reducing environmental impacts this is something that we are constantly working on. The availability of buses that are right for the group size is a bit of a challenge in Cuba as minibuses are not currently widely available. Clearly, things are changing fast in Cuba however so we are continuing to push for vehicles that match the group size. Another initiative we are soon to introduce will be the inclusion of drinking water on all of our Cuba trips so we can reduce the use of plastic here and manage our environmental impacts better.

We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Cuba one day.

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hearing about the way of life/history from the guide.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You need to drink alot cycling.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Staff bought local food, money went to casa's therefore to the people, we ate with families who prepared the food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, loved the way the guide introduced the whole country and way of life to us.

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling along the coast, swimming in the ocean and cycling through small villages

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


bring tabasco sauce to make the food more tasty. The tour is rated leisurely - not my experience! It is very hot there so be ready for that when cycling.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not really, any tourist travelling in Cuba is impacting the environment as they are in the 5th year of a drought and don't have a lot of food and resources. Use of local guides and drivers and casa particulares supports locals but staying and eating in government run facilities does not directly benefit locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I really enjoyed the tour guide, staff and fellow cyclists. The food was not all that great and I know that there is better food in Cuba from having it on another tour. The bikes and support were fabulous.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Vicki,
Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip.
Regarding the grading of the trip we do an annual audit of all trip grading’s based on feedback and our staff visits to ensure that we are grading correctly. We do feel that this trip is currently suitably graded however we will take your comments on board in our audit so thank you for letting us know regarding this.

We’d like to give you a little more information regarding your comments on question 3. While it is true that the local community generally benefit from our commerce we do take every step to ensure that the positive impact of our business is felt by as many as possible. Our decision to stay in ‘Casas Particulares’ ensures that local families benefit from our stay and our visits to local family run restaurants also ensure that the economic benefits of our stay are widely distributed. The government run hotels or eateries are only used when we have no other option and as such the itinerary dictates the necessity of this. Regarding the environmental impact of our commerce it is the case that we do all we can to reduce our impacts however the wider issues e.g. drought are clearly beyond our control. We do all we can to travel sensitively and to try to not negatively impact the environment and to exacerbate the lack of resources.

We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Cuba one day.

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our guide Mauro was an excellent ambassador and made the trip interesting and showed us the human side of Cuba. Whether it was biking, eating, music, dancing, tours, or on the bus, he made the trip extra special.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Cuba is a beautiful country full of nice people and interesting history. Come with an open mind and a smile. You'll have a great time.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We stayed in private homes some nights, and ate at local restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was excellent. We want to go back and see more of Havana and other parts of the island.

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most special part of the holiday was the family meeting from around the world to enjoy Cuba together for Xmas.
The country is fascinating - its history, politics & economics as well as great vibe with friendly people & wonderful music on every street corner all day & night.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go now before it gets overrun.
Cycling was great fun & there are excellent places outside Habana to spend time -for example, Cienfuegos, Santiago etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Local people definitely benefited from our spending.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastically interesting & fun - very memorable & highly recommended.

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?




2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?



Reviewed on 21 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The cycling, the music, the people and the island.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Check you can cope with the daily cycling distances in the likely temperatures before you book.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling through the national park up to the lake on the last ride it's beautiful. And an amazing thunderstorm during our dinner on the second night.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It was much hotter than the weather chart predicted - reaching at least 40C in April is normal according to conversations with people we met.
Otherwise just enjoy every minute - it's wonderful

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Two night stay in case particulares is good for the economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Exciting, challenging, warm and friendly. Unforgettable

Popular similar holidays

Petra and Wadi Rum by bike, Jordan

Petra and Wadi Rum by bike, Jordan

Cycling trip through stunning desert scenery

From £1549 - £1859 9 days including UK flights

Coast to coast cycling holiday in Costa Rica

Coast to coast cycling holiday in Costa Rica

Take in the variety of Costa Rica by bike

From £3099 - £3569 15 days including UK flights

Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

Cross three countries with contrasting recent histories

From £2349 - £2859 16 days including UK flights

Ho Chi Minh City to Angkor Wat cycling tours, Vietnam and Cambodia

Ho Chi Minh City to Angkor Wat cycling tours, Vietnam and Cambodia

Cycle through untouched Vietnamese and Cambodian villages

From £1450 12 days excluding flights

Convert currencies