Cycling in Cuba
It’s easy to see why so many people visit Cuba… the music, beaches, 1960's Cadillacs, amazing buildings and the history of the revolution all add up to the perfect cultural destination with warm hospitality and a lively atmosphere. A great way to enjoy Cuba is by bike, take a look at the sample 15-day itinerary for a cycling adventure.
The cycling adventure listed below takes you to all top places to see in a relaxed two-week trip. You’ll pass through some stunning countryside dotted with plantations, tobacco farms, fields and jungle, where the traditional Cuban way of life still continues today.
Typical day-to-day itinerary
Day 1 – Flight to Havana
Spend a day relaxing after your flight before your cycling adventure begins and explore the vibrant Cuban capital of Havana. There is no city in the world like Havana… check out the Spanish colonial architecture of the Old Town as well as the masterful street musicians and vibrant energy of the city. There are fascinating museums as well as the chance to soak up the sun on the Playas del Este beaches.
Day 2 – Havana to Yumuri Valley
Today your adventure really begins as you jump into transport that takes you from Havana deep into the Yumuri Valley on Cuba’s north coast. After disembarking from your vehicles you spend the rest of the day exploring the valley before arriving at a small village for your first night's accommodation.
Day 3 – Yumuri Valley to the Bay of Pigs
After breakfast you set off for a scenic ride through plantations and farmland, then riding alongside some stunning Caribbean beaches before reaching the Bay of Pigs on the southern coast. The Bay of Pigs is the site of a failed attempt by the US to invade the island and overthrow the communist Castro government.
Day 4 – Bay of Pigs to Cienfuegos
After breakfast you leave the Bay of Pigs to cycle along quiet tracks passing through small Cuban villages and a chance to see Cuban rural life along the way. The day of cycling finishes at the southern city of Cienfuegos where you can spend the evening enjoying some Cuban cuisine as well as the music and vibrant nightlife.
Day 5 – Cienfuegos to colonial Trinidad
From Cienfuegos you continue your ride east to reach the World Heritage Site of colonial Trinidad. Trinidad has a fascinating history and you can explore the amazing architecture of the town as you make your way through the maze of narrow cobblestone streets. With mountains to the east and the Caribbean coastline to the west, this is a really picturesque town. Head down to the pure white sandy beaches with clear turquoise waters for a well deserved rest break from your cycling.
Day 6 – Trinidad to Cayo Maco de Afuera
Today is an amazing day as you jump on board a catamaran for a boat trip out to the beautiful resort of Cayo Maco de Afuera where you can enjoy some of the best snorkeling in the world. After the day’s activities you jump back on board the catamaran for an overnight cruise back to Trinidad.
Day 7 – Trinidad to Camaguey
From Trinidad the cycling continues north to Sancti Spiritus. Enjoy some excellent Cuban cuisine as you soak up the beautiful Caribbean coastal views. Cuban cuisine has evolved from a history of combining Spanish and Caribbean dishes to give some mouth watering results. After lunch you are then transferred by vehicle to Camaguey.
Day 8 – Camaguey to Bayamo
From your accommodation in Camaguey your ride continues towards Bayamo. Vehicles are waiting to pick you up for the final leg into the town.
Day 9 – Bayamo to the Sierra Maestra Mountains
Today you take an exciting ride up into the jungle covered Sierra Maestra mountains. This is a thrilling day as you explore these remote and unpopulated mountains which harbor a spectacular diversity of colourful plant and animal life and many insect species native only to Cuba. After a thrilling day you return to Bayamo for some food and sleep.
Day 10 – Bayamo to Santiago de Cuba
Be prepared as today is a relatively long ride to the lively city of Santiago de Cuba. Here you can relax and enjoy some Cuban dishes, music and of your legs are up to it, a bit of dancing.
Day 11 – Santiago de Cuba to Holguin
Spend the day resting your saddle sore rear as you explore the narrow streets and soak up the sights and history of this exotic city. In the evening you will be transferred by vehicle to Holguin.
Day 12 – Holguin to Camaguey
Today you’ll tackle the enjoyable ride north from Holguin alongside the breathtaking beaches of Cuba’s north coast. After an outstanding day of cycling you are met by vehicles and transported to Camaguey and your evening accommodation.
Day 13 – Camaguey to Mayajigua
From Camaguey you are taken by vehicle to Moron where you disembark for the cycle ride to your splendid villa accommodation at Mayajigua where you can relax and unwind after your last day of cycling.
Day 14 – Mayajigua to Havana
On your final cycling day you are transferred to Havana, but make a stop off in the historic towns of Remedios and Santa Clara for a spot of sightseeing and some lunch. This is the end of your Cuban adventure and a day of rest and sightseeing before your return journey.
How to get to Cuba
The best was to enjoy this trip is through a reputable cycling tour operator. Due to the large distances and terrain covered it is advisable to have knowledgeable guides as well as all of your accommodation booked in advance. For a real adventure and to save some money you could of course book some flights to Cuba and try to arrange guides and accommodation yourself but using a reputable cycling tour operator has many benefits.
The price of this 14-day Cuban cycling adventure price should include the following:
- Return flights.
- Applicable departure taxes.
- All airport transfer and holiday transport costs.
- All accommodation.
- All meals.
- Cycling tour leader and full support crew.
- Luggage transfers.
- All cycling equipment and basic medical kits.
Who can do this cycling tour of Cuba?
This 14-day adventure activity trip is suitable to relatively fit individuals who are able to be cycle for five to six hours in a day. Some of the days are quite long, and depending on the time of year, the cycling can be strenuous, hot and humid.
Regardless of your level of fitness, it is always good advice to have a full medical check-up before deciding whether or not to tackle a cycling challenge. Also when you are planning your trip ensure you have had at least one rest day after flying to Cusco to recover from any jet lag or travel fatigue.
Always consult your doctor for a list of all the medical requirements for an adventure activity holiday.
The table below lists the vaccinations you may require as well as the time you should see your doctor before traveling in order to get your vaccinations.
When to see your doctor
|Typhoid||Vaccination recommended||10 days before travel|
|Hepatitis A||Vaccination recommended||2 weeks before travel|
|Diphtheria||Vaccination sometimes recommended||3 months before travel|
|Tuberculosis||Vaccination sometimes recommended||3 months before travel|
|Hepatitis B||Vaccination sometimes recommended||2 months before travel|
|Rabies||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 month before travel|
In addition make sure your tetanus and polio vaccinations are up to date.
Why not do this cycling adventure for charity? Get sponsored for your trip and raise loads of cash for a worthy cause... not only will you have had the adventure of a lifetime, but you'll have helped other people too... the feeling of achievement will be fantastic!
As well as raising money for a worthwhile cause, if you do decide to go with a charity the good news is they take all the hassle out of organising the trip. You don’t need to worry about booking your flights or accommodation and all the other stuff – all you need to worry about is getting in shape.