Cuban Highlights Ride Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : EMAC
Trip length : 8
Trip starts in : Havana
Trip ends in : Havana
Maximum group size : 18

overview

The perfect introduction to our range of cycling trips or simply a true holiday on which to unwind, this relaxed trip discovers some of the best attractions that Cuba has to offer. Following country roads we cycle around the lush Bay of Pigs, site of the failed US 1961 invasion attempt, and swim in the inviting waters of the Caribbean Sea. We spend time in the World Heritage Sites of Cienfuegos and Trinidad - colourful, colonial refuges far removed from the modern world. Cycling through the tropical forest of Topes de Collantes National Park to the stunning lake at Hanabanilla reveals the natural splendour of this island. We end the trip learning about Cuba's revolutionary history, visiting Che Guevara's Mausoleum before returning to Castro's capital - enigmatic, charming Havana.

itin

Day
1

The group flight arrives in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Those on Land Only arrangements should join us at the hotel in the evening.

Day
2

After breakfast we drive east to Cienfuegos via the Bay of Pigs. We stop mid morning for bike fitting and cycle to Playa Larga along the coast. We stop for a swim and picnic close to Punta Perdiz. After lunch we transfer to Playa Giron, where we will visit a museum that commemorates the Bay of Pigs invasion, one of the most important events in Cuba's recent history. After visiting the museum we drive to Cienfuegos arriving in time for a visit of the historical centre. Ride approx. 40km.

Day
3

We set off from the hotel cycling through Cienfuegos and then into the countryside past mango groves. After some short sharp hills, we start to enjoy stunning views of the Escambray Mountains across valleys of sugar cane. The road then undulates close to the coastline and through gentle hills until it reaches Guajimico. The rest of the day can be spent swimming in the Caribbean, walking in the hills around Guajimico or sitting by the pool enjoying the views and sipping a mojito! Ride approx. 45km.

Day
4

The ride today is along a road that clings to the shimmering Caribbean coastline all the way to Trinidad. We pass small communities and cross bridges over picture perfect bays. Some undulations just before Trinidad give us an appetite before a restaurant lunch in the town! After we've reached Trinidad we can spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful World Heritage Site. Ride approx. 45km

Day
5

Today you can either take a break from the saddle or continue exploring Cuba on two wheels. For the cyclists, we will make our way through the picturesque fishing village of La Boca and then continue onwards along the coastline to reach Ancon beach, a classic white sand Caribbean beach. We'll then cycle or transfer back to Trinidad for a free afternoon. If you'd like to recharge your batteries with a well deserved day off, take the optional catamaran trip to Cayo Macho instead - a chance to get away from it all on another of Cuba's pristine beaches. Look out for the tame iguanas!

Day
6

After a transfer this morning through the stunning Topes de Collantes National Park, we start cycling along the valley floor between impressive mountains. Scenery is lush with small farms and villages giving way to open vistas as we descend towards Manicaragua. We stop for a picnic along the way and then start to climb towards Hanabanilla, situated on the shores of Lake Hanabanilla and surrounded by lush tropical hills. This is one of the most beautiful days in term of scenery. Ride approx. 40km.

Day
7

In the morning we transfer to Santa Clara. This was the first major city to be liberated by Castro's army in December 1958. Today a number of monuments commemorate this important period of Cuba's history, including the mausoleum of the legendary Che Guevara, where we stop for a visit. We then transfer to Havana, with a short stop for lunch along the way. Havana is one of the finest colonial cities in the Americas with narrow streets, spacious plazas and glorious Spanish architecture. There is an air of faded grandeur about the place with paint peeling off buildings and '50s and '60s American automobiles still dominating the roads. Time permitting we explore some of modern Havana including Revolution Square and the Capitolio building before checking into our hotel for the night.

Day
8

We dedicate the morning to sightseeing in Old Havana, taking a walking tour of its restored plazas. Those on group flights will transfer approx. 30 - 40 minutes this afternoon to Havana airport for the return flight to London.

meals  

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners included.

Accommodation

7 nights hotels. All hotels are en suite and some have swimming pools.

single-room-sup

A single room supplement is available. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. Please contact us to discuss this as accommodation varies from trip date to trip date. Single supplement prices from:

AUD 165.00
NZD 210.00
CAD 165.00
USD 165.00
EUR 120.00
GBP 95.00

trip-grade

Standard

Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for a fun, informative experience.

    • A number of included activities
    • Tourist class, family-run hotels
    • Various meals included throughout
    • Public & private transportation

Active

Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.

This tour is operated by our partners Exodus.

transport

Average daily distance: 42km (26 miles) No. of cycling days: 4 (and 1 optional) Vehicle support: 100% Terrain and route: surface 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track, some hills, but overall the trip is not demanding. Routes follow mainly quiet backroads and can be potholed.

fitness

This trip is classified road and graded A/B. Please see the introductory pages of the Cycling Brochure for more important information on classification and grading. Overall the trip is not too strenuous but a good level of fitness is required. Many of the roads are in good condition but you should expect potholes and poor road conditions on some sections. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic, except in the towns. Mountain bikes are ideal for this trip and flat bars are preferable, but a good strong tourer will suffice (though make sure you have suitably low gearing). Please remember to drink lots of water when cycling as the heat and humidity can be high. Cuba is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and unfortunately the number of hotel rooms available is not increasing at the same rate. Hotels occasionally cancel bookings at the last minute and they will then find alternative accommodation for the group. This tends to be more likely in peak season. In extreme cases they may have to place groups in nearby towns or in Casa Particulares (private houses that offer a Bed and Breakfast service). This overbooking is affecting all tour operators to the country and you need to be aware that it may affect your trip.

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