Cycling holidays in Cuba

Our moderate level cycling holidays in Cuba takes you round some of the country’s most important UNESCO World Heritage sites in the central and western provinces.  These include colonial Havana; the charming colonial town of Trinidad with an excellent beach close by; Vinales, an area of outstanding natural beauty where the world’s finest tobacco is grown; the eco-community of Las Terrazas.

You can also visit the Bay of Pigs and Santa Clara for an insight into some of the most important events that have taken place in Cuba’s recent history and cycle through some spectacular landscapes, from stunning coastlines to majestic mountain ranges. Finally, visit coastal towns such as Matanzas, where Afro-Cuban rumba originated, and beautiful unspoiled beach areas at Playa Ancon and Cayo Jutias.

  • Activity level: moderate
  • Minimum age: 18 years (from 16 years if accompanied by an adult)
  • Each scheduled group departure requires a minimum of 2 people to guarantee the trip will take place.

“We had a fantastic time in Cuba and really appreciated all the effort made on our behalf. We were really lucky to find Caledonia and to benefit from your extensive knowledge of the country.”

EM, Dec 2013

Please note that we do not offer any self-guided cycling tours in Cuba for logistical reasons.

This two week cycling holiday in Cuba takes you round the highlights of the central and western regions, starting and finishing in Havana.  The itinerary takes you through incredible natural landscapes, from the rich red earth and tobacco fields of the Vinales Valley, where impressive limestone cliffs tower out of the ground; colonial and charming Trinidad with former sugar plantations lands; Cienfuegos, with its large bay and picturesque peninsula; the historic Bay of Pigs where the  US backed invasion failed in the 60s; Santa Clara, home to the Che Guevara mausoleum. A fully supported ride available on scheduled departure dates.  You will be cycling on 10 days for an average daily distance of around 55 kms.  In total this cycling holiday in Cuba includes riding 537kms around some of the most scenic areas of western and central Cuba.

CYCLING ITINERARY

Meals included are indicated on the itinerary:
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

For a more detailed description of each day’s scheduled activities, please click on the relevant day below.

Day 1, Arrive Havana

Met at Havana airport for transfer to Havana hotel.

Day 2, Bike fitting and city tour of Havana (35km cycling) – B, L

Bike fitting followed by panoramic sightseeing of  Havana including Miramar, Revolution Square, Vedado passing by the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and the Capitolio building in central Havana. Continue down El Prado boulevard next to the Museum of the Revolution and on to the Plaza de Armas square. From here we continue on foot visiting the four most important colonial squares in Old Havana. Lunch in the area. After lunch, we cycle back to our hotel at a leisurely pace along the seafront malecon promenade.

Day 3, Havana - Las Terrazas (or Soroa) (40km cycling) – B, L

Today we leave Havana and start riding once we are outside the main city limits.  The route takes us into the El Rosario biosphere reserve and the luscious vegetation of the region. On arrival we have lunch and then time to relax, or do the  tree top zip ride, swim in the San Juan river rock pools or explore the resident artists community.  Evening free.

Day 4, Soroa - San Diego de los Banos – Pinar del Rio (77km cycling) – B, L

Today we drive to Soroa, home to Cuba’s best known wine, and where there is also a small orchid garden.  Onto the bikes and cycle on the old carriageway from Havana to Pinar del Rio, through fertile farmland and small rural communities until we reach San Diego de los Banos, a pretty town with attractive colonial architecture and civic squares. From here we drive to Pinar del Rio for the night.

Day 5, Pinar del Rio - Vinales (48km cycling) – B, L, D

Leaving from Pinar del Rio, today we will be cycling along small country roads  and visiting a local tobacco farm where the owner will explain the tobacco growing process.  We then continue to a lakeside cattle ranch which also has a family run restaurant where we have lunch.  Continue by bike or on the bus to the very picturesque Vinales valley where we are staying tonight.

Day 6 – Viñales - Cayo Jutias (56km cycling) – B, L

We head from Viñales towards the coast along rural roads to spend the day on Cayo Jutias, an idyllic island connected by a short causeway to the mainland.  Enjoy the rest of the day swimming in the crystal clear sea, snorkelling or relaxing on the 3km long white sandy beach. Lunch provided. Return transfer by minibus to Viñales.

Day 7, Viñales - Santa Clara (travel day by bus) – B, L

Today we will be driving in the group bus for up to 6 hours, with plenty of stops on the way and snacks provided.  Arrive Santa Clara and check-in to accommodation.

Day 8, Santa Clara - Trinidad (travel day by bus) – B, L, D

Visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and then depart for Trinidad via the Topes de Collantes national park. Possible stop en route for a freshwater swim on one of the trails, then arrive into the UNESCO world heritage city of Trinidad.  Dinner at homestay and evening free to explore the historic city centre and its numerous live music venues and bars.

Day 9, Trinidad - Playa Ancon (26km cycling) – B

Playa Ancon is a beautiful beach on the coast close to Trinidad, and this morning we will take a route through the saltflats to the sea and cycle along the small main road to have a relaxing morning swimming and snorkelling.  We cycle back to Trinidad by midday and spend the afternoon exploring local street markets, churches and other sites of interest.

Day 10, Trinidad - Cienfuegos (66km cycling) – B, L

Following the picturesque and undulating coastal road, we leave Trinidad and follow the route north until we reach the botanical gardens on the outskirts of Cienfuegos. Time to walk around, have lunch and explore, then continue by bus to Cienfuegos city itself.  Time to look at the key sites of the city before checking into our accommodation for the night.

Day 11, Cienfuegos - Playa Larga (71km cycling) – B, L, D

Today we will start with a transfer to Navarra in the interior area behind Cienfuegos. Cycling from here we will be riding through the famous Cienaga de Zapata, an extensive marshland area famous for its migrating birdlife and recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. We stop at the Bay of Pigs with time to visit the museum telling the story of the foiled attempt by the CIA to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1961. Continue cycling to Caleta Blanca for lunch and then transfer to Playa Larga where we will spend the night.

Day 12, Playa Larga - Matanzas (57km cycling) – B, L

We begin today with a transfer to Jaguey Grande and the main road leading across the island to Matanzas. We will be riding through orange and lemon plantations until we arrive at Pedro Betancourt, a small town named after a revolutionary major-general in the Cuban war of independence) where we will have lunch at Finca Coincidencia. This is a charming organic farm and the owner will be hosting our visit and will show us around.  After lunch we continue to Matanzas, home of danzon (Cuba’s national dance) and Afro-Cuban rumba rhythms and also the birthplace of many Cuban writers and poets. Overnight accommodation in the city.

Day 13, Matanzas - Jibacoa - Havana (62km cycling) – B, L

The most challenging part of todays cycle is the climb out of Matanzas, but once we turn off at Ceiba Mocha we have cleared this part of the route and are back onto smaller roads. We ride up the Picadura valley and have stops for fresh fruit and to admire the wonderful views, before arriving at Jibacoa for lunch on the beach. Transfer by bus into Havana to arrive in time to check into our accommodation and a night out on the town.

Day 14, Free day in Havana - B

Free day to explore this fascinating and cosmopolitan city.

Day 15, Depart Havana - B

Free morning until group transfer to Havana airport for return flight.

2019 Scheduled Group Departures

Start DateCost per person
based on a shared twin room
Single
Supplement
05 October£1,899£275
02 November£1,999£300
16 November  – guaranteed departure£1,999£300
14 December£1,999£300

2020 Scheduled Group Departures

Start DateCost per person
based on a shared twin room
Single Supplement
18 January£1,999£300
15 February£1,999£300
07 March£1,999£300
04 April£1,999£300
09 May£1,899£275
13 June£1,899£275
18 July£1,999£300
15 August£1,999£300
19 September£1,899£275
17 October£1,899£275
14 November£1,999£300
19 December£1,999£300

Prices are given in £ Pounds sterling and are applicable per person.
Please note that a shared room (double or twin) is only available for 2 persons booking together

This 13 day cycling holiday by e-bike makes the going just that much easier!  The leisurely itinerary takes you from the cosmopolitan capital city of Havana through the highlights of the central and western regions, including some beautiful rural areas and stunning coastal beaches.  You will cycle through incredible natural landscapes, from the rich red earth and tobacco fields of the Vinales Valley, where impressive limestone cliffs tower out of the ground; colonial and charming Trinidad with former sugar plantations lands; Cienfuegos, with its large bay and picturesque peninsula; the historic Bay of Pigs where the  US backed invasion failed in the 60s; Santa Clara, home to the Che Guevara mausoleum; Cayo las Brujas, an unspoiled beach paradise; Cayo Jutias, an uninhabited island with pristine clear waters for swimming. A fully supported ride available on scheduled departure dates.  You will be cycling on 11 days for an average daily distance of around 52kms.  In total you will be cycling 570 kms around truly scenic areas of western and central Cuba.https://cubaniatravel.com/product/western-and-central-cuba-by-e-bike/#trip=&modal=

CYCLING ITINERARY

Meals included are indicated on the itinerary:
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

For a more detailed description of each day’s scheduled activities, please click on the relevant day below.

Day 1, Arrive Havana

Met at Havana airport for transfer to your Havana homestay where you will be welcomed by friendly Cuban hosts.

Day 2, Bike fitting and vintage car tour of Old Havana (15km cycling) – B

You will be met by our local tour guide and after an introduction to the others on the trip, you will have a guided tour around Old Havana in a vintage car for panoramic sightseeing of  the historic heart of Havana.  Lunch is in a private paladar in this part of the city before a bike fitting and safety briefing. Then we head off on the e-bikes for the first time, heading for Vedado and Miramar, two well known areas of the city.  We will have a stop at Revolution Square, with the impressive central statue of Jose Marti, and then continue to Colon Cemetery, the largest in Latin America. From here we cycle to the formerly affluent 1950s Miramar district, home to some of Havana’s most striking 20th century architecture.   We then return to our  homestays for a free evening, with an opportunity to go to the famous Tropicana cabaret or similar venue, or just relax and get to know your fellow travellers.

Day 3, Havana - Pinar del Rio and Vinales (50km cycling) – B

This morning after breakfast, we leave Havana on a group transfer to Pinar del Rio province, 3 hours to the west of the capital. Pinar del Rio is where the best tobacco in the world is grown, and the rich red earthen fields and soaring limestone cliffs of the Vinales Valley are truly stunning. We will have a stop in Pinar del Rio town for a tour, including a visit to the local tobacco factory where highly skilled workers can be seen rolling cigars by hand. In the afternoon we e-bike to Viñales, a picturesque valley famed for its mogotes, or karsts – rounded mountains that seem to bubble out of the ground. We will check into our casas particulares for the next two nights. Free evening.

Day 4, Vinales - Cayo Jutias (60km cycling) – B

Today we will be heading to the coast to spend the day relaxing and snorkelling in the pristine, crystal clear waters of Cayo Jutias, a small island  just off the mainland.  First, however, we will e-bike through the Sierra de los Organos mountains via quiet rural areas, with only local farmers and horses in view. Once we get to the coast we cycle along a causeway for 14 kilometres before arriving at the beach where we have lunch (optional) at a seaside café before enjoying the rest of the afternoon relaxing.  For the return journey,  you’ll can either cycle back to Viñales by e-bike or on your support bus.

Day 5, Vinales - Las Terrazas (90km cycling) – B, L, D

After breakfast in Viñales, we head off in a northerly direction with a stop at  Cueva de los Portales where Che Guevara established his headquarters during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60s. A packed lunch is provided today and we will stop in the Parque Nacional La Güira before continuing through the Sierra del Rosario mountain range to our destination, Las Terrazas, a biosphere reserve. Las Terrazas is an eco-community founded in the late 60s and is dedicated to reforestation and ecotourism.  There is a small man-made lake here, rock pools in the River San Juan for bathing and some beautiful hiking trails as well as a zip ride over the treetops. It also has an artists community with opportunities to get to know local artisans and members of the community. We check into the Hotel La Moka, an ecological hotel that was built to complement the surrounding landscape and will be here for the next 2 nights.

Day 6 – Las Terrazas (25km cycling) – B, D

After a hearty breakfast this morning, we head off to explore the biosphere reserve by e-bike.  We will pass by the ruins of a former coffee plantation and along a wide dirt track to the San Juan river where we can bathe in the rock pools.  Free afternoon to explore on your own, go rowing on the lake or try the famous zip-line for an adrenaline-fuelled panoramic view of the reserve.   We will all meet for dinner in the well known vegetarian restaurant run by the community, one of the first such restaurants in Cuba.

Day 7, Las Terrazas - Playa Larga (30km cycling) – B

To reach the central province of Cuba today we will have a long drive (approx. 5 hours) in the morning, with a stop at the old sugar mill village called Australia to find out about the sugar trade and see an old steam locomotive. After this stop we start riding on our e-bikes along the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park route, a large marshland which is famous for its impressive migrating birds and other wildlife, including crocodiles! The town of Playa Larga  lies on a wide coastal lagoon and is where we will be staying overnight. After checking into our homestay accommodation, we have free time to enjoy relaxing on the beach and to have dinner in one of the beachside restaurants.

Day 8, Playa Larga - Cienfuegos (70km cycling) – B

After breakfast, we set off on our e-bikes along the coastal road, with a stop for a swim in the turquoise blue sea before we arrive at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron).  Here we will visit the small museum to learn about the failed CIA backed invasion of Cuba in 1961. In the afternoon, we will e-bike through the southern part of the Cienaga de Zapata National Park before driving the short distance to Cienfuegos, a historic coastal city characterised by its 19th century French architecture.

Day 9, Cienfuegos - Trinidad (80km cycling) – B, L

In the morning we explore the historic city centre on our e-bikes before heading eastwards towards the beautiful UNESCO world heritage colonial town of Trinidad.  We have a lunch stop at La Vega community before continuing along the scenic coastal road to Trinidad. Check in to our homestay accommodation  for the next 2 nights.  Free evening to explore the town’s live music scene and dancing venues such as the Casa de la Música or Casa de la Trova.

Day 10, Trinidad (30km cycling) – B

We start the day with a guided walking tour of Trinidad.  A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, Trinidad has the largest area of preserved colonial buildings anywhere in the Caribbean.  The scenic national park Sierra del Escambray lies behind the town providing a dramatic backdrop.  Trinidad is one of the original 7 cities founded by the Spanish, and it made its fortune during the sugar boom of the early 19th century.  Expect winding cobbled streets, small market places where we can buy artisanal goods and picturesque brightly painted colonial style buildings everywhere you look. In the afternoon we will e-bike to Playa Ancón, a beautiful beach close to Trinidad to relax and swim before returning to Trinidad.

Day 11, Trinidad - Sancti Spiritus (80km cycling) – B

This morning we cycle to Sugar Mill Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site close to Trinidad that once had over fifty working sugar cane mills.  Climb the Torre Iznaga, a tall bell tower which was used to watch over the slaves working in the fields, then we’ll continue along the foothills of the Sierra del Escambray to the city of Sancti Spiritus, another of the original 7 towns founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century. This is a quiet, historic place which is home to the Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo, the oldest operational church on the island.  We will also see Puente Yayabo, the only European-style red brick bridge in Cuba.

Day 12, Sancti Spiritus - Cayo las Brujas (40km cycling) – B, D

This morning we have a minibus transfer to Placetas before heading off on our e-bikes through rural areas to the picturesque colonial town of Remedios, famous for its loud Christmas celebrations known as the Parrandas, where two rival areas of the town compete for the best firework displays in the town centre. Short walking tour of Remedios before we drive out to the coast and along the 48km-long causeway to Cayo Las Brujas, a small unspoiled island.  Check into our hotel and free time for the rest of the day.

Day 13, Cayo las Brujas - Havana – B

After breakfast on this picturesque island, we drive back to Havana to finish the tour, arriving late afternoon. If you wish, you can extend your tour by staying on in Cayo Las Brujas for a few extra days, subject to availability.

2019 Scheduled Group Departures

Start – Finish DatesCost per person
based on a shared twin room
Single
Supplement
11-24 November£1,749£300
09-22 December  – guaranteed departure£1,749£300

2020 Scheduled Group Departures

Start DateCost per person
based on a shared twin room
Single Supplement
13 January£1,749£300
07 February£1,749£300
09 March£1,749£300
20 April£1,749£300
04 May£1,465 EARLY BIRD PRICE£300
13 July£1,749 EARLY BIRD PRICE£300
21 September£1,645 EARLY BIRD PRICE£300
19 October£1,645 EARLY BIRD PRICE£300
Novemberto be confirmed
Decemberto be confirmed

Prices are given in £ Pounds sterling and are applicable per person.
Please note that a shared room (double or twin) is only available for 2 persons booking together

Can you supply bikes in Cuba for this trip?

Yes, we can!  Bikes are included in the cost of the tours, whether an e-bike on the 13 day ride or a road bike on the other tours.

Our bikes are Trek 4300 or Specialised Hardrock Sport models, both with front fork suspension, shimano parts, 21 Gears. Bikes have semi slick tyres fitted and we have 13”, 16”,18”, 19.5” & 21” frames. We will require your height in advance so that we can assign the correct bike size. No helmets are available for rental so it is essential that you bring your  own and also a water bottle. We recommend that you always wear a helmet when riding.

When would be the best time of year for a cycling trip?

The coolest and driest time of year in Cuba is from October to late March, so anytime in these months would be ideal. However, not everyone can take holidays in those months which is why we have scheduled group trips all year round.

What happens if I get too tired whilst cycling?

Our support vehicle and driver will be with you all the way so if you get too tired at any point along the route, you can simply jump into the minibus. Our local tour leader will continue cycling with the others in the group and will meet up with you at the end of the days ride.