Havana, Varadero, Matanzas Province, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Vinales
This attractive tour is a unique formula of exciting, adventurous biking interspersed with relaxing and interesting bus rides.
The cycling tour “Cuba Crossover” is classified as Difficulty Level 2, meaning you’ll be pedaling across flat terrain or over blacktop roads with limited traffic. On rare occasions, the daily distance covered will be over 55 kilometers. Some itineraries are slightly mountainous.
Logically, this Tour-de-Cuba begins in the vibrant capital, Havana. You will learn about Cuba’s unique landscape on the way to Viñales. The journey continues to Cienfuegos with its beautiful neoclassic architecture. The cherry on the sundae is Trinidad, followed by Santa Clara, a cycle to the famous beach of Varadero, and a visit to Matanzas city, before returning to Havana at tour’s end.
Day 1: Arrival in Havana
Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays Optional transfer from Havana’s international airport to your hotel (4 ****) in Havana, where the first two nights will be spent.
Day 2: Havana
Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays After breakfast there will be a welcome meeting with the tour guide at 08.30am in the lobby of your hotel, who will then take you to explore Old Havana on foot. The historic part of the city is full of interesting sights. Lunch will be served in a typical local restaurant and afterwards there will be a visit the community project Casa del Tango. Back at the hotel, you can plan the evening as you wish. (Mealplan: breakfast, lunch are included)
Day 3: Havana – Viñales – biking distance: 20 km. Heading to Viñales Valley. This area is famous for its fertile landscape – endless expanses of tobacco, crops, pine and palm trees and endemic flora and fauna of unequaled beauty. Once arrived, bicycles will be mounted for a first bicycle tour. After lunch and an approximate 20 km ride, arrival at your accommodation; a 3*** hotel located in the picturesque valley full of limestone, pin cushion hills known as mogotes.
Evening at leisure. (Mealplan: breakfast, lunch, dinner are included)
Day 4: Viñales – Cayo Jutías – biking distance: 55 km. Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays. Cayo Jutías is a small island connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway and has a
picturesque beach. The ride will take you past crop fields where the best tobacco in the world grows. At noon you will arrive at Cayo Jutias where you will have a picnic lunch at the beach. In the afternoon you can do as you wish, you can hire a boat or have a swim in the beautiful sea. Return to Viñales, and evening at leisure. (Mealplan: breakfast, lunch, dinner are included)
Day 5: Viñales – biking distance: 50 km. In the morning back on the bikes and follow a little path which leads you through beautiful landscapes to ‘comunidades’ (communes), established after the revolution. Bike along the tobacco plantations and the typical dry houses. (The tobacco process only takes place during the winter; in the summer months, other crops are planted and harvested). En route, we refuel at a local restaurant. Evening at leisure. (Mealplan: breakfast, lunch, dinner are included)
Day 6: Viñales – Cienfuegos – biking distance: 10 km. Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays. Today’s bus ride takes you to Cienfuegos, also known as the “Pearl of the South”. On the way Guamá will be visited, a natural site of singular attraction, located in the Cienaga de Zapata. The Laguna del Tesoro dominates this picturesque landscape, with many canals, mangrove forests and palm trees; you will travel through this aqueous landscape by boat and visit a crocodile farm nearby. After lunch, ongoing to Cienfuegos (on Cuba’s southern coast), exploring this elegant town by bike. You will discover that Cienfuegos is a clean and peaceful place with unique and interesting architecture, influenced by settlers from Louisiana. Accommodation is at a Casa Particular (a Cuban homestay). (Mealplan: breakfast, lunch are included)
Day 7: Cienfuegos – Trinidad – biking distance: 25 km. Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays. On the way to Trinidad, you cycle along the foot of the Sierra del Escambray mountains. There are several rises – easily managed by cyclists of all abilities – which provide fantastic views over the area. After the day’s ride, walk around the historic core of Trinidad, including the lovely colonial Plaza Mayor. In Trinidad you will spend the night also in a Casa Particular. Evening at leisure. (Today, you hear live music daily in Trinidad, on the streets, or e.g. in the Casa de la Trova. (No meals are included today)
Day 8: Trinidad. During a walk through Trinidad, your guide shares interesting stories about the “Golden Age” of the area’s sugar boom – responsible for Trinidad’s wealth and importance during colonial times. The balance of the day is left for you to spend it as you wish. A coco- or bici-taxi can whisk you to gorgeous Playa Ancón, for example, to relax, swim or go snorkeling in the Caribbean. Overnight at a Casa Particular, and the evening free to spend at your leisure. (No meals are included today)
Day 9: Trinidad. You can arrange this day to your liking, after all Trinidad and surroundings have enough to offer. You can opt e.g. for a guided tour to the Valle de los Ingenios. This fertile plateau, surrounded by the Sierra del Escambray mountains, owes its name to the sugar mills (ingenios) built at the beginning of the 19th century. There is a little railway leading to Manaca Iznaga, originally used to watch the slaves while working in the sugarcane fields. Or laze a bit more, reading a book at the beach. Overnight in a Casa Particular. (No meals are included today)
Day 10: Trinidad – Santa Clara – biking distance: 30 km. Havana Special Programs – Cuba Crossover – Bike & Bus Tour – hotel and homestays. Santa Clara is today’s destination, but first, you cycle through a charming mountain landscape with forests of pine, eucalyptus and broad-leafed trees. The cycling paths are a bit stony and steep at times, but manageable for all. You’ll take a break in the town of Topes de Collantes (800m above sea level), renowned for its crisp, clean air.
In the afternoon, the tour continues to Santa Clara by bus through a fascinating landscape. In Santa Clara you´ll stay in a hotel (3***). (mealplan: dinner is included)
Day 11: Santa Clara – Varadero – biking distance: 30 km. The day’s itinerary takes you west towards Varadero, on the Hicacos Peninsula. Here, you’ll be treated to Cuba’s longest and most famous beach, with powder-white sand and crystal clear waters. It is no surprise that it is called “Playa Azul”. Accommodation is at Hotel Memories Varadero. (Mealplan: breakfast, and after check-in at the hotel, the all-inclusive formula applies) (Mealplan: breakfast, and after check-in at the hotel, the all-inclusive formula applies)
Day 12: Varadero Today is a free day. You can carve out a quiet stretch of beach and relax, or go for a walk and explore Varadero. Accommodation is Hotel Memories Varadero. (Mealplan: all-inclusive)
Day 13: Varadero Day at leisure. (Mealplan: (all-inclusive)
Day 14: Varadero – Matanzas – Havana – biking distance: 45 km. The first leg takes you to Matanzas, the capital of the province of the same name. This is the world’s fourth largest port for sugar exports. Not surprisingly, Matanzas is considered one of the most important industrial cities in Cuba. After a break, you continue towards Havana, riding through the Yumurí Valley, an amazingly verdant and tranquil area. Accommodation is at a 4**** hotel in the capital. A farewell dinner will be served in a local restaurant. (Mealplan: breakfast, dinner are included)
Day 15: Adios Cuba! This morning is free to explore. You can have a look around Havana, shopping for souvenirs for example. Optionally, you can book a transfer to the airport (not included). (Mealplan: breakfast is included)
Included in Price:
- 14 Overnight stays in both Hotels (3 to 4 stars), and in Casas Particulares (homestays).
- Meals according to the description of the program.
- Multilingual (English-German speaking), qualified tour guide
- Support bus (also for bicycle and luggage transportation), with the possibility to climb aboard anytime.
- All transfers (other than by bike) not described, are optional in air-conditioned minivans.
- Entrance fees as described.
- Including hired bicycle. (City) bicycles (no mountain bikes) with 24 gears.
- Meals included as indicated in itinerary
Not included in price:
- International flights to and from Cuba. Click here for flight options.
- Arrival and Departure Transfer
- Entry card (tourist visa)
- Additional drinks and meals
- Optional excursions
- Medical (travel) insurance
- Festive dinners on 24 and 31 December 2015
- Bicycle helmet & gloves
- Meals excluded as indicated in the itinerary
Don’t miss out, book early!
For bookings and more information call Kitty snyman Tel: +27 21 462 7022 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org