New Trip
New Trip

 Cuba

Cuba Cycling Tour

Pedal your bike through the narrow alleys, cobbled lanes, and vast landscapes of Central Cuba. Experience up close the diversity in nature, architecture, and adventure that this jewel of an island has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Havana

Welcome to Havana! We'll pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your guesthouse in Havana. At 6:00 PM, the tour leader will meet the group and host a welcome meeting in the main guesthouse. Your optional snack kitty of US$20 will be collected.

Go out for an optional dinner this evening (not included) with your Guide and the group.

media_ZZNYJMD4RY7GMAVB
media_RPGWJBPMRWYPR6GJ
media_7PHB2FG83FSMBKD9

In the morning, meet the crew for a bike fitting and mechanical check. Then, we go on our first riding adventure in the modern side of Havana.

Cycle through the neighborhoods Vedado, Nuevo Vedado, Havana Forest, and Miramar. We’ll stop for a photo op at the Revolution Square and have a delicious lunch at a paladar (private restaurant) in Old Havana.

After lunch, we go on a 2hr walking tour of Old Havana's four main plazas. After that, we hop on our support vehicle and head to one of the top-rated beach destinations in the world, Varadero!

MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_JRLLV72K2FMRPJ2G
media_WM2EEL5KFHA3GLCH
media_YMU2Q5MTPAY7S2RK

Today starts early with a 30min drive to Camarioca, just outside of Matanzas, where we start our cycling route.

The cycle to Matanzas is on a lightly undulating road that's in good condition. Matanzas is a hidden gem, rich in art and music heritage, often neglected by visitors in favor of the crystalline waters of nearby Varadero. We explore Matanzas treasures on a bike tour through the city.

The afternoon is at your leisure. Enjoy the sun and sand, bike around on your own, or watch the sunset on the beach.

MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_YYKRSGJ3D4Z6NXY8
media_B6VH6Q6BYRMRYS82
media_4AWRY38HGDAQNTBL

We hit the pedals early to get to our next destination, Santa Clara. The cycling route is mostly flat through agricultural fields, small villages, and interesting cities such as Cardenas and Colon.

Santa Clara is the city of Che. It's unapologetically edgy, known for its creativity and rebellion, with a large student population. Here, we'll visit the Che Guevara Museum and Memorial, and enjoy dinner together.

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

media_XVHRAMLHK2LYHLAP
media_CZH8HQF9N7EGD2EM
media_YKAMLR597HZCLZT6

Much of today's route to Trinidad is uphill. Start with a ride to the mountains of Guamuaya, with an average incline of 4%.

Meet a farming family in Jibacoa, who will prepare a delicious meal while you rest your legs.

After lunch, take a 2.5hr vehicle ride to the colonial jewel Trinidad. After arriving, go on a walking tour through the historic center.

If you’ve still got some energy, go for a salsa lesson (extra), followed by a night of dancing in one of the best nightlife spots in Cuba.

MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_5QJ7EE7RCZLVU6B2
media_NQBNKZ6C3P2766FJ
media_WSGAMJWXG8ZPE965

With the Caribbean's turquoise waters at our side, we ride along the coast from Trinidad to Cienfuegos, where French-inspired boulevards and architecture await.

After an orientation tour of the center of the city around Parque Jose Marti, you're free to explore on your own. Don’t miss some of Cuba’s most beautiful buildings on Punta Gorda. There is nothing like an ice-cold beer at the Yacht Club or the astounding Palacio del Valle while watching the sunset.

MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_4SYR8BZ89BSZEV3V
media_2QZ36M4XZ5R8W24X
media_VS6JRAJ67JPTJP3S

We start our last day of the tour with a ride in the support vehicle to the Bay of Pigs, the site of the infamous U.S. invasion during the JFK presidency. We’ll learn the Cuban side of this story with a cycle on flat terrain to the Museum of the Invasion.

Afterward, there's an hour to enjoy the beach snorkeling or swimming, and lunch on the road.

Back in Havana, we go on a farewell dinner (not included) and final night out for music and mojitos. Venue options include the Buena Vista Social Club or the Time Magazine honored Fabrica de Arte Cubano, art and nightlife megaplex (optional).

MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_46VN3MB27MCELHKP
media_QHUZG9BSK6K9N8EB
media_ETEKUPWKU7DW6QAL

Today you can depart at any time, as there are no activities or cycling planned. We suggest you stay longer to enjoy the many wonderful restaurants, museums, and galleries that Havana has to offer. Your departure transfer is not included but a taxi can easily be arranged with your casa host.

MEALS: Breakfast

What's Included

Included
  • Airport arrival transfer.
  • Accommodation: Guesthouses on twin share basis.
  • Transport: Bicycle (see packing list), support vehicle (bus or mini-bus depending on group size).
  • 2hr Old Havana walking tour (Day 1).
  • Orientation walking tours in Trinidad and Cienfuegos (Day 5&6).
  • Meals: 7 x breakfasts, 6 x lunches, 1 x dinner.
  • Cold filtered water to refill bottles
  • English-speaking tour leader Maurice, or one of our other excellent and expert biking tour leaders, bike mechanic.
Not Included
  • International flights
  • Visa & passport fees.
  • Insurance (Travel Medical Insurance is required).
  • Additional snacks (snacks included for snack kitty participants).
  • Drinks.
  • Tips & gratuities.
  • Optional activities & activities not included in itinerary.
  • Airport departure transfer.
  • Upgrade to an e-Bike for an additional US$338 (limited availability).
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

FAQs

Before you go

This tour is best for medium to highly experienced cyclists who are comfortable cycling 20-40km (12.5-25 miles) every other day. A person who cycles frequently should find this tour enjoyable, rather than overly strenuous. However, you must be prepared for the year round heat, humidity, and hills. The support vehicle is always available.

The Tourist Visa (or Tourist Card) is required by the Cuban Government for travelers from nearly every country. We recommend checking the entry requirements for your nationality to determine whether this information applies to you. The visa is valid for one entry for a stay of up to 90 days but can be renewed for an additional 90 days while you are in Cuba. It is important not to lose your visa while in Cuba because they will collect it when you depart.

If you are particular about these things you should bring them. The bike mechanic will have no problem installing them for you.

Cuba is a lot more expensive than most developing countries. Be prepared to pay as much for food and services, as you would in any western ‘developed’ country. Here's what to budget: - Food: Allow about US$25 to US$50 a day for food where no meals included - Other: Drinks, souvenirs, communications - Taxi to the airport for departure: US$25 to US$35 - Tips: US$2 to US$5 per person for local guides on day trips and other optional activities - Tips: US$3 to US$5 per person per day for your tour guide

For privacy reasons, we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, the tours appeal to a wide range of travelers, most of whom share an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience this destination at a grass-roots level. The tours are conducted in English, so this tends to attract people from North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Most participants find the mixture of nationalities an interesting and enjoyable part of the experience. The age composition in the groups is really quite a lottery and can be made up of people of all ages. A typical group could be a couple in their 20's, a single guy in his 30's, 2 single women in their 30's, a woman in her 40's, and a single man in his 50's...

Yes, you can! Many of our guests are solo travelers. Joining a group trip makes it nice and social, and you'll meet like-minded adventurers.

Accommodation is on a twin-share basis and, if you're traveling on your own, you'll share a room with another traveler of the same sex. If there is an odd number of group members and you have to have a room to yourself, you do not have to pay extra. If at some stage during the tour, you wish to have a room to yourself, the tour guide can arrange this on a request basis and charge you the difference in cost. This is subject to availability. If you decide at the booking stage, that you want a single room throughout the tour, contact your local Host as soon as possible through your Skyhook dashboard to make arrangements. Note that you'll pay this directly in country.

We strongly recommend bringing a backpack or duffel bag, or a small travel case with wheels. Keep in mind that you will normally have to carry your luggage on and off buses and along cobblestone streets. If you need to leave some luggage in Havana, this will be possible and you can ask the tour guide to help you arrange this.

DOCUMENTS: - Passport (with photocopies) - Travel insurance (with photocopies) - Airline tickets (with photocopies) - Cash and travelers cheques (see FAQ) - Visa or MasterCard credit card (issued by non-US bank) - Any entry visas CLOTHING: - Bike helmet - Fleece top or similar - Sandals and footwear for walking - Small towel and swimwear - 4 shirts/t-shirts - Sun hat - 1-2 pairs of shorts - 1 pair of long trousers - Refillable water bottle - Toiletries (including soap) - Sunglasses - Sunblock - Insect repellant - First-aid kit, including lip salve, aspirin, band Aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar OPTIONAL: - Padded bike shorts - Quick-dry clothing (e.g. socks, jersey) - Windbreaker - Cycling gloves - Cycle water bottle or camelback - Snacks (in case they are scarce locally) - Day pack - Saddle - Pedals - Camera - Reading/writing material - Binoculars - Cover for backpack - Snorkeling gear N.B. Do not bring stand-alone GPS units (e.g. Garmin) – these are restricted in Cuba. However, you can bring a GPS watch

Yes, in most cases, your local Host can arrange additional accommodation at your starting or ending hotel. You can order this on your booking form. To do this, let your Host know by messaging them from your Skyhook dashboard. You can settle this directly in country.

We can cater for most dietary requirements, provided you let us know well ahead of time. If you have dietary requirements please 'Message Your Guide' after booking from your Skyhook dashboard and also indicate this on your Trip Form as soon as possible.

On your trip

Day 2: 20km cycling (elevation gain 132m) Day 3: 40km cycling (elevation gain 138m) + bike tour of Matanzas Day 4: 50km cycling (elevation gain 156m) Day 5: 30km cycling (elevation gain 390m) Day 6: 60km cycling (elevation gain 356m) Day 7: 30km cycling (elevation gain 64m)

Accommodation is on a twin-share basis. If you're a solo traveler, you'll be paired with a member of the same sex. Guesthouse accommodation is in airconditioned rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

This money is used before departing Havana to buy additional water, sodas, crackers, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., for the road. This is because it's difficult to buy food in remote areas. It is a good opportunity to learn about how the locals like to fuel themselves between meals and to try new foods. We offer this as a convenience. It is optional, and those who don’t contribute will not have access to the kitty. Due to the scarcity of snacks in Cuba, we also recommend you bring your own packaged snacks from home.

While cycling is a fundamental part of this tour and is central to the experience, travelers who don't want to cycle can ride in the support vehicle. There will still be fun and interesting experiences to enjoy, but with the understanding that they should not expect special arrangements to be made for them.

There will be times when there'll be opportunities to tip local service providers - such as drivers and local guides. This is a completely optional practice to show your appreciation for excellent service and you should never feel obliged to do so, especially if you feel you did not receive good service. You may tip individually, or your tour guide will offer to collect the money and tip as a group.

Airport arrival transfers are included from Havana Airport if you arrive on Day 1 of the itinerary. The transfer is also included if you arrive in Cuba before Day 1, as long as you arrange pre-tour accommodation through your local Host. Otherwise, your Host can arrange your included transfer from your place of accommodation in Havana to the starting guesthouse for the tour. Note that airport departure transfers are not included. These are easy to arrange at your accommodation on the final day of the itinerary.

The maximum number of participant in these groups is 12 people.

Other FAQs

If you are flying directly to Cuba from the US (e.g. Miami, Tampa, Houston), regardless of nationality, you need a Pink visa. You will purchase the visa in the airport before you board your flight to Havana. In the process of purchasing the visa, you will be asked to verify that you are traveling legally to Cuba. This is the time to select your category of general license, the most common is 'Support for the Cuban People.' The pink visa will cost between US$50-100 and the transaction takes just a few minutes to process. Some US airlines will also allow you to buy the visa in advance and ship it to your home. Airline call center staff are usually not well informed about travel to Cuba, so it's best to search the airline's website (Airline name + Cuba + Visa in a Google search) instead of calling to ask about the Cuba visa.

Summer in Cuba is from June to August. These are the hottest months and some people (including the Cubans!) find the heat quite intense. Temperatures rise to 100 degrees F on the Eastern side of the island, which when coupled with high humidity, can be quite unpleasant. On the other hand, summer is one of the most festive times of the year with carnival being held in many cities, and festivals happening throughout the island. This is also holiday time for the Cubans so there are many social occasions. Summer is also a tourist high season because it coincides with the holiday season in Europe. Hotels, flights, and tours can often be booked out well ahead of time, and prices can be higher than during other times of the year. The hurricane season is from June to November with September and October being the months with the highest probability of cyclone activity. There is on average more rain in these months due to this tropical storm activity. When hurricanes occur they generally aren't a risk to life, however, they can cause some interruption to travel plans. Cuba's safety record concerning hurricanes is excellent and it is unusual that in even the biggest storms there is a loss of life. This is in stark contrast to other countries in the region (such as Haiti and even the US). Cuba is very well organized, disciplined, and prepared for such events and there are excellent evacuation procedures. We run tours during the hurricane season and if you book on a tour during this period you should be aware that hurricanes could disrupt the normal tour itinerary. The rest of the year in Cuba generally enjoys beautiful warm weather. December, January, and February are the coolest months of the year in Cuba where the average maximum daily temperature is 77F, and an average of 65F at night. During these winter months in Cuba, occasional cold fronts can make their way down from North America, during which, for a period of a couple of days, temperatures at night can drop to around 50F in some places. Rain may or may not accompany these cold fronts. There is more rainfall during the summer months and during the hurricane season. Even in these months the rain usually comes in short afternoon bursts, which can be a pleasant relief from the heat.

If you are flying from any country other than the US to Cuba (even on a US passport), you will buy what is known as the 'Green' visa. This is the same as the 'Pink' Visa (see FAQ) but is a different color. We recommend checking your visa requirements with your local consulate. As an overview, here are the general visa requirements for various nationalities/countries of departure: -Flying from Latin America or the Caribbean (e.g. Mexico, Panama, Cayman): Purchase your visa at the airport during check-in for your flight to Cuba. The cost is around US$25-30. Verify with your airline in case of changes. You can also purchase in advance from a third-party visa service. - Flying from Canada: The visa is usually included with your flight. Verify with your airline. - Flying from Europe: The easiest way to get your visa is to buy from a third-party servicer. There are several companies that will ship the visa to your home. Make sure you order the tourist card with sufficient time to receive it before your trip. You can also deal directly with your local consulate.

We have E-bikes available upon request. Please be aware that there is a very limited supply of these bikes in Cuba. If you are a moderately experienced cyclist, we encourage you to do the tour with the standard bike, and rest on the support vehicle when needed. To secure an e-bike for the tour: You will need to pay the US$338 amount in full when paying your tour deposit.

Anyone 18 years or older can join our tours. Anyone under this age can also participate as long as they are accompanied by an parent or legal guardian.

Your head guide is Alan

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Cuban Adventures, based in Newtown.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Alan