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Cuba

Cuban Wheels

Guided Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,375 P.P.
Cuba

Cuban Wheels

Guided Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,375 P.P.
BOOK NOW
From the moment you land at the airport, Cuba will do its best to get into your soul and you'll go home changed forever! At times frustrating, at times mind blowing, a visit to Cuba will be nothing if not stimulating. In this one week holiday, we've managed to pack in a fantastic selection of cycling and sight seeing - every day we've carefully balanced the mix of cycling, sightseeing, exploring on foot and soaking up the sights and sounds in one of the incredible towns and cities that pepper the island.
The trip starts and ends in the capital Havana. This incredible city is like nowhere else - beautiful (if dilapidated) architecture, an amazingly eclectic mix of vehicles 1950s American cars, 1980s Russian Ladas, old-fashioned single speed Chinese bikes and the occasional horse and carts, tree lined boulevards and narrow cobbled streets, vast churches and public buildings, hole-in-the-wall cafes and big pedestrianised squares - perfect for people watching. In the background you might catch Salsa and Rumba beats, a waft of fat cigar and the callout from a Santeria priest selling artifacts for a forthcoming Saint's day.
We start by exploring Havana by bike, before taking a transfer down to Santa Clara. The next morning, we cycle out to explore some of the highlights of Santa Clara, before biking to our next destination, Sancti Spiritus - one of the seven original villas built by the Spanish Conquistadors. Next on our itinerary is the sugar cane capital, Trinidad. To get a real flavour for Cuban life, we're going to be staying here with a local family in a Casa Particulares (a local home where tourists are allowed to stay). Trinidad is close to an amazing area of coastline so whilst we're here, we're going to spend a day with a lovely cycle to the beach followed by walking tour of the town. 
After Trinidad we explore Cienfuegos, "The Pearl of the South", before heading to the small town of Playa Larga, located on a beautiful white sandy beach on the edge of the Gran Parque Natural Montemar. The following morning we head into the National Park on our bikes for some gentle exploration and wildlife spotting - the park is the home to the world's smallest bird, the bee hummingbird and the incredible manatee.
From here we return to Havana for an afternoon walking tour of the Old Town before celebrating all the amazing sights and experiences we've had along the way. 

Holiday Highlights

  • Seeing the best bits of Cuba in just one week
  • Getting off the beaten track on the Zapata Peninsula
  • Sipping a mojito or a daiquiri as the sun goes down in Trinidad
  • Soak up the incredible atmosphere in old Havana
  • Explore the historic centre of Sancti Spirius
  • Experience life with a Cuban family in a Casa Particulares

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Havana

Arrival into Havana’s José Martí International Airport, where your local guide and driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for the night.

Day 2
Havana and Santa Clara
15 Miles / 24 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 100m

After an arrival briefing and once checked out the hotel we’ll head out for a guided city tour by bike. Our route will take us through the Miramar and Vedado Districts and will include stopping for photographs at Revolution Square. We’ll then carry on to the Old City, before heading along the famous seafront road, the Malecon.

After the City Cycle Tour we collect a packed Lunch and transfer to Santa Clara where we visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum and the centre of the city.

Day 3
Santa Clara - Sancti Spiritus
42 Miles / 69 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 420m

Today we have a short transfer through the busy centre traffic to a small town on the outskirts of Santa Clara called Miller where we begin cycling.

The Carretera Central is the original Havana to Santiago Road but now that the nearby highway has been built, this road has become a secondary route and traffic is light and local. Expect to share the road with horses, carts, bikes, tractors and the occasional Russian truck! We’ll be cycling through agricultural communities and the road undulates past sugar cane and pasture land. Along the way, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch before carrying on to Sancti Spiritus. Depending on the progress we make during the ride, we might need to transfer the last section into Sancti Spiritus.

This evening we’ll have time to wander through the historic centre of Sancti Spiritus one of the seven original “villas” constructed by the Spanish Conquistadors.

Day 4
Sancti Spiritus to Trindad
45 Miles / 75 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 650m

A lovely ride with plenty of small hills to keep you entertained on the way. Setting off from Sancti Spiritus, we take the main Sancti Spiritus to Trinidad road stopping for lunch in Manacas Iznaga where we visit the remains of a sugar plantation. Previously sugar cane and refining was big business in this area and Trinidad grew extremely rich thanks to this produce.

From Manacas it’s a short ride to Trinidad where we check into our casas particulares and enjoy the experience of staying with a local family. In the evening we’ll eat at the Casa Felix and later have some free time to explore the delights of Trinidad.

Day 5
Trinidad y La Playa
15 Miles / 25 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 100m

Trinidad, with its Spanish architecture, beautifully preserved cobbled streets, tiled roofs and fine palaces, is one of the loveliest cities in Cuba. Little wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As well as taking time to visit this beautiful city we’ll also cycle to the nearby Playa Ancon beach for lunch and a swim. Following this we return for a guided tour of the city. Or should you prefer you can spend the afternoon relaxing and taking in a slice of Cuban daily life.

This evening we will have the opportunity to have a group meal and enjoy some of the varied cultural music and dance available in Trinidad. A must during any visit is the Casa de la Música – arguably the best music venue in Trinidad. Here you’ll find live music concerts and vibrant Afro-Cuban music and it is a great way to get a taste of local music culture. You’ll also be able to take your two left feet on a salsa dancing journey here too.

Our evening meandering will also take us to Palenque de los Congos Reales. This open patio on Trinidad’s music alley boasts an eclectic menu incorporating salsa and Son (Cuban popular music). The highlight of the night however is the late-night rumba drumming with its smooth African rhythms and energetic dancers.

Day 6
Cienfuegos & Playa Larga
42 Miles / 67 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 500m

This morning, we set off from Trinidad by bike and ride towards Cienfuegos. Along the route we have glimpses of the Caribbean coast to our left and the lush Escambray Mountains to the right. It’s a fairly gentle morning’s ride with lunch taken at the lovely setting of the Botanical Gardens just past Arimao.

It’s from here we then transfer to Cienfuegos Cuba’s ‘Pearl of the South’ a place that has delighted visitors with its French elegance and vibrant Caribbean spirit. Founded in 1819 by French émigrés its architecture has earned it a UNESECO World Heritage Site and is a lovely place to wander around before we continue to Playa Larga.

Once here you’ll have the opportunity to relax on white sands of the beautiful Playa Larga beach and take a dip before your evening meal.

Day 7
Zapata Peninsula & Havana
15 Miles / 25 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 50m

Depending on the group there may be a change in the early dawn to spend the morning exploring the Zapata Peninsula. This area is a protected nature reserve, famous for being one of the most important sites for birdwatching in Cuba. It is the natural habitat of the smallest birds in the world – the bee hummingbird – and there is a good chance you will see one of these, as well as the Cuban National bird, the Cuban Trogon or Tocororo which can usually be observed along the roadside.

Alternatively we have a relaxing morning before setting off on a gentle bike ride into the Nature Reserve to observe the local flora and fauna and return to the hotel in time to pack our bikes onto the bus and set off back to Havana.

On arrival, we have lunch and then enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana. Described as a living museum with its marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces, this is the finest surviving Spanish colonial complex in the Americas.

Preserved by a combination of little war damage, post revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982.

The evening together would of course not be complete without a memorable evening meal, mojitos and perhaps a spot of salsa until the early hours of the morning, for those with the energy and the moves.

Day 8
Departure from Havana
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast you’ll be free to explore Havana, stock up on cigars and souvenirs and take a leisurely lunch.

Early evening we depart for the airport for flight connections arriving back in the UK / Europe the following day.

For those looking to add a little more time in Havana, this can easily be arranged.

This itinerary is a guide to our Cuban Wheels Tour. It is important to note that it may be subject to change in relation to road and weather conditions, etc.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Our Cuba trip covers a wide range of different terrains. A lot of the route sticks to quiet surfaced roads which although tarmaced may not be in the best condition. In a few places, we may follow unsurfaced dirt roads which can be a little rough in places although you don’t require any mountain biking ability to ride them. Although generally undulating, large climbs are few and far between with our support vehicle being on hand for anyone needing a lift up any steeper sections.

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Cycling Adventures Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 - 3: Gentle/ Moderate

Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays

Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes

Some modest climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.  

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
20/03/2021
Return Date
27/03/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,475.00
Start Date
16/10/2021
Return Date
23/10/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,375.00
Start Date
13/11/2021
Return Date
20/11/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,475.00
Start Date
19/03/2022
Return Date
26/03/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,475.00
Start Date
15/10/2022
Return Date
22/10/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,375.00
Start Date
12/11/2022
Return Date
19/11/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,475.00
Start Date
10/12/2022
Return Date
17/12/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,475.00

Whats Included Tick

A) All accommodation (twin or double occupancy)

B) Full tour service including Cuban cycling guides, back up vehicle etc.

C) Unless stated at least one leader qualified in First Aid.

D) Entrance fees to National Parks or sites, which are an integral part of the itinerary.

E) Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Evening meal)

F) Airport collection/drop off on scheduled arrival and departure days

What's not Included Cross

A) Flights and associated costs of travelling with a bike

B) Cuban Tourist Card (approx £25)

C) Bike Hire (available if required)

D) Tips for guides, etc.

E) Travel insurance

F) Bar bills, hotel refreshments, laundry, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

G) Personal clothing and equipment.

H) Medical check up and innoculations.

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival and departure days.

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour in particular we ask that you fly into and back from Havana airport (HAV).

Both Airfrance and KLM and offer options from several regional airports with a connection in either Paris or Amsterdam. There are direct flights with Virgin from London Gatwick but these are only available on Mondays and Thursdays.

Please contact us for more information on the most suitable flights for your chosen departure. Please do not book any flights without prior consultation with Skedaddle.

Accommodation

During our Cuba trip we stay in a variety of accommodation, including modern hotels with pools, some smaller more basic hotels and for two nights, in Trinidad, you will be staying in Casas Particulares (private houses). In order to help Cuban families find small sources of additional income, the Cuban government allow them to rent out rooms in their houses or apartments to tourists. By staying in one of these Casas Particulares, you will be directly contributing to a family’s standard of living.

Outside of the large tourist resorts, a lot of Cuban accommodation can be quite basic. Although a warm welcome can be guaranteed, a lot of accommodation cannot offer the same facilities as their European counterparts.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire.

These bikes for this trip are currently Trek DS 8.3 Hybrid bikes. These lightweight bikes come with 24 gears (Shimano Acera Shifters), front suspension (63mm travel), 700c (28“) wheels (with suitable tyres) and mechanical disc brakes.

IMPORTANT: Although they are fitted with bottle cages for all our trips in Cuba we require you to bring your own bottles and cycle helmet.

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