Cycling through iconic Cuba

Cycling Cuba

15 days
from
$4,179 USD
incl. taxes
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Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
MAH
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
6–18
Ages:
16+

Soak up the Cuban culture on this active and rewarding cycling tour

Cuba’s music, beaches, old cars, striking architecture and revolutionary history combine to make the perfect cultural destination with a lively atmosphere. Our cycle route passes through stunning countryside with a patchwork of plantations, fields and jungle, allowing us to appreciate the traditional way of life that continues today. Out of the saddle we can experience Trinidad’s vibrant music scene, the crumbling colonial buildings of Havana and learn about the revolutionary history of Santiago. After a day of cycling you'll no doubt welcome Cuba's speciality - a refreshing mojito!

Highlights

  • Cycle the length of idyllic Cuba through the country's key historic colonial and revolutionary areas
  • 100% vehicle support throughout the trip with two vehicles for groups of 10 or more
  • High quality, well-maintained bikes and mechanical support throughout
  • Cycling leaders trained to UK leadership standards (CTC Bike Tour Leader Award)
  • Vibrant culture with its rum, mojito's and salsa beats!
  • Cuban Tourist Cards included for all UK residents
  • Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic usually available

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels, 4 nights in Casas Particulares
  • 12 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved 
  • Good level of fitness is required
  • Countries visited: Cuba

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 13 lunches, 10 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Local bike hire
  • Tourist card visa for UK residents

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

12

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved

Day by day breakdown
Day 223.0km/14.0miles
Day 353.0km/33.0miles
Day 481.0km/50.0miles
Day 564.0km/40.0miles
Day 772.0km/45.0miles
Day 869.0km/43.0miles
Day 951.0km/32.0miles
Day 1026.0km/16.0miles
Day 1166.0km/41.0miles
Day 1292.0km/57.0miles
Day 1357.0km/35.0miles
Day 1462.0km/39.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Havana
to
Havana
  • Day 1

    Start Havana.

    The group flight arrives in the afternoon, a transfer will be provided to take you to our hotel. Land only clients will meet the group at the start hotel in Havana.

    Accommodation: Hotel Nacional (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Cycle through Havana; transfer to Remedios via Santa Clara.

    In the morning, we will have our bike fitting before we set off on a warm-up ride through residential and modern Havana. Today we will be joined by members of the Cuban ‘Masters’ Road Cycling Club. This club is made up of veteran Cuban cyclists who regularly compete in races in their respective age groups and will give us an insight into competitive cycling in Cuba. We will cycle through various districts of the city, stopping along the route in the old town for a coffee and fruit juice at a small café run by local residents, located in a typical urban residential community. From here we’ll depart by bus and drive eastwards to begin our tour of the island. On the way towards Santa Clara, we’ll stop to eat our picnic lunch before continuing to see the Che Guevara memorial site in Santa Clara. The pretty town of Remedios is our final stop today. Upon arrival we will visit a workshop, in which they prepare for the towns’ famous event celebrated every Christmas, ‘Las Parrandas de Remedios’. This is a very lively street parade where people from the local community participate. We will enjoy a group dinner tonight at a local paladar.

    Today's driving time is approx. 4 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Barcelona or Hotel Mascotte (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Mayajigua; transfer to Camaguey.

    After breakfast, we take a short transfer to just outside the town of Caibarien, where we start cycling towards Mayajigua. Along the way we stop for coffee at the home of a Cuban family, where we we can find out about life in rural Cuba. The cycling route today is mostly flat as we head eastwards along a section of the country’s ‘northern circuit’. Despite the ride not being too challenging today, there is the likelihood of encountering a headwind when cycling in this direction. After lunch we transfer to Camaguey, where we check-in to our hotel located in the centre of town. A local historian will join us for dinner this evening, to discuss the history of Camaguey, the third biggest city in Cuba.

    Today's driving is approx. 4 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Colon (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Puerto Padre; partial coastal ride to Gibara.

    This morning we depart the hotel by bus, driving to Puerto Padre in Las Tunas province. Starting from the coastal Malecon road, we cycle out of town heading eastwards on undulating roads. We will be greeted by a Cuban family at the town of Delicias, who will welcome us into their home and offer fresh fruit and coffee. We carry on riding from Uñas to Aguas Claras, experiencing some climbs. Today’s destination is the charming coastal fishing town of Gibara, where we will stay at a centrally located hotel. In the evening we’ll take a short walk before dinner to meet local fisherman and learn about their way of life in this remote coastal town. Dining at a private restaurant, we will have an array of seafood specialities. The town is also the unassuming destination for an annual film festival, so this evening we will be joined by a local resident involved in the running of the festival. 

    Today's driving time is approx. 2.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Arsenita (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Holguin; cycle to Biran; transfer to Santiago.

    After breakfast we take a short transfer to the outskirts of Holguin before jumping on our bikes and starting cycling towards Biran. Today’s route covers well-surfaced roads with some undulations and several fast downhill sections. Fans of Buena Vista Social Club will appreciate riding along the route that rose to fame in their song ‘Chan Chan’. In Biran we will explore a famous village with great historical significance as it is the birthplace of Raul and Fidel Castro. A farm visit will give us an insight about the sugar cane industry in Cuba. Afterwards we board the bus and transfer to Santiago. This evening we take part in a salsa class with Cuban dance partners, where each member of the group will have their own dance partner to assist in teaching salsa moves!

    Today's driving is approx. 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel San Felix (or similar)

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Morning city tour; cooking class; visit El Cobre and drive to El Salton.

    Santiago de Cuba is known as the 'City of Heroes' due to the important role it played in the battles for both the independence and the revolution. The morning is spent sightseeing, including a visit to the Moncada Barracks ‐ where the opening shots of the revolution were fired on 26 July 1953 when Castro and his men attacked the barracks. We also visit the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where both Jose Marti and Fidel Castro are buried. No trip to Santiago would be complete without visiting Serrano park and joining a game of dominoes, which is probably the most common pastime throughout Cuba. For lunch today we will have a cooking class and learn about some traditional Cuban dishes. Expect a hands-on cooking experience, with detailed explanations and recipes to take home. After lunch, we leave the city behind and drive towards the green mountains of the Sierra Maestra, stopping to visit El Cobre, the most sacred pilgrimage site in Cuba. We will carry on our drive to our destination, El Salton.

    Today's driving is approx. 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Salton (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Ride through the Sierra Maestra to Bayamo.

    An early start for a short walk in the mountains with a local guide, as we pass through the tropical forest and coffee plantations before stopping for coffee and fruit at a local farmer's home. We return to our hotel to prepare for a challenging ride from the hotel through the Sierra Maestra. Heading deeper into the mountains, today's route is dominated by Pico Bayamesa - at 1,730m above sea level it is Cuba's third tallest peak. This is an area of stunning natural beauty that is rarely visited by tourists. After passing through numerous villages we reach our hotel in Bayamo, where we can relax after one of our hardest rides. This city is where the Cuban national anthem was composed in the mid-19th Century and is one of the original 7 'villas' founded by the Spanish conquerors. In the afternoon, we enjoy a tour of the city with the traditional transportation of a horse and cart. During this tour we will have several stops at different sights so you can gain insider knowledge from local Cubans as you enjoy discovering Bayamo. This evening we visit a local paladar for dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Royalton (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Cycle to Manzanillo; transfer to Camaguey.

    With a long day ahead of us, we start early today, leaving Bayamo by bike. We exit the city passing through agricultural towns and sugar cane plantations, on a fast and flat ride cycling westwards towards the coast. On route we will stop in the town of Yara to find out about Cuba’s national sport, baseball. We will visit the stadium and our guide will explain the importance of the sport in the culture of the island. We carry on cycling to Manzanillo, stopping to have a packed lunch by the water in a small park at the end of the coastal road. From here we transfer to our final location for today, Camaguey – the youngest UNESCO heritage site in Cuba. Characterized by 'tinajones' – large, earthen jugs found in the squares, churches and gardens that were originally used to store water during drought periods. Upon arrival you will be taken on a tour along the four plazas by ‘bicitaxi’, whizzing around in true Cuban style!

    Today's driving is approx. 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Colon (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Transfer to Banao; cycle to Trinidad.

    After breakfast we will travel by bus to Banao. Once we reach Banao, the group will start cycling along a scenic route to the town of Trinidad. On our journey, we stop to visit a group of women from the local community, who are keeping regional traditions alive by teaching textile handicraft making to younger generations. When we arrive in Trinidad, we enjoy a welcome drink at Casa de Alberto – our group’s hub for the next two days. In the afternoon explore the town of Trinidad with a local resident, adding a different perspective to the walking tour. Trinidad has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, it is one of the best-preserved colonial towns of the island. Exploring Trinidad is like stepping back in time, the cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisks you back to colonial times. The tour of the city will also include a visit to the ‘Casa Templo de Santaria de Yemaya’ where we will find out about the Santeria Afro-Cuban religion. In the evening learn how to make the perfect mojito at a cocktail making class. Local Cuban bar staff will provide a tutorial before judging the group to see who has made the most authentic Cuban drink.  

    Today's driving is approx. 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Casa Particulares in Trinidad

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Cycle to Playa Ancon; afternoon pottery making class.

    On today's ride we will be joined by members of the Trinidad Cycling Club, wtih plenty of time to chat and interact as we all cycle to the fishing village of La Boca, a popular spot with local fisherman going about their daily business. Our ride continues to Playa Ancon, a classic white sand Caribbean beach, where weather dependent we have a picnic lunch. For those who wish to, there will be swimming opportunities before we cycle back to Trinidad. On our return, we will visit the workshop used by the Trinidad Cycling Club to learn more about the local cycling culture as well as finding out how they maintain bikes without having easy access to spare parts. In the afternoon we join the Santander family and enjoy a pottery making class. Here we will learn the skills that have been passed down by several generations of this Cuban family before making our very own pottery with the guidance of a family member. This evening we enjoy dinner at a private paladar with a local collective of musicians that will perform interpretations of classic Cuban Trova songs.

    Accommodation: Casa Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Cycle the coastal road to Cienfuegos.

    This morning we are joined by our new friends from the Trinidad Cycling Club for the first part of our ride on the coastal road. Literally sandwiched by the mountains and the sea, the road clings in sections to the shimmering Caribbean. We stop at Rancho La Vega farm to have fruit juice or coffee. Today's route passes small communities and crosses bridges over picturesque bays with some short sharp hills. The road then undulates through mango groves until it reaches the Botanical Garden of Cienfuegos, where we stop to relax and take a break in the serene, natural environment. Our ride finishes here, just outside the city of Cienfuegos, and from here we will be transferred by bus to our casas. Tonight, we enjoy a Cuban themed evening which will include Cuban music, delicious roast pork, rum and dominoes prepared by our fabulous host Lily.

    Accommodation: Casa Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Ride to Playa Larga.

    This morning we depart by bus to the village of Navarra, from where we will start our ride. Today’s route covers a variety of landscapes – this is a day for discovering the rural heart of Cuba as we pass through small communities dedicated to agriculture and charcoal production. We ride through the Zapata Peninsula – the biggest marshland in Cuba, stopping at Playa Giron for a chance to learn about the CIA-backed ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion in 1961. This region of the Zapata Peninsula is a national park and swamp, providing a habitat for some of the most important bird species of Cuba. Afterwards continuing by bus to Playa Larga, we’ll stay in casas particulares. For our evening meal tonight, we will be joined by a local nature expert who will talk to us about the natural landscapes and characteristics of the area.

    Today's driving is approx. 1.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Casa Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Cycle to organic farm for lunch: transfer to Matanzas.

    This morning, a short transfer to Jaguey Grande takes us to our starting point. Today we ride alongside citrus plantations at the heart of the island, arriving in time for a country lunch at ‘Finca Coincidencia’, an organic farm in the centre of Matanzas province. The property is home to a family venture that combines farming, art and eco-friendly agricultural methods. In the afternoon, we transfer north to the city of Matanzas where we visit a pharmaceutical museum and talk to a local expert to learn how Matanzas was well known for its innovative treatments and the legacy that still exists today.

    Today's driving time is approx. 2 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Velasco (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 14

    Cycle to Playa Jibacoa; transfer to Havana.

    For the final ride of the tour, we depart directly from the hotel in Matanzas, climbing out of the city as we leave and head westwards. On the first section of the route we may encounter some road traffic. After we turn towards the town of Ceiba Mocha and begin the climb to Picadura Valley pass, we’ll soon find ourselves in peaceful and beautiful surroundings where we can enjoy valley views and the occasional small village. One of these is an old traditional sugar cane village, where we will stop to learn about the historical importance the industry had on Cuba. We will carry on cycling until we reach a lookout point, from there we are rewarded with a long stretch of flat and downhill roads that take us all the way to the Caribbean coastline. We will end the ride at the beach, arriving in time to have lunch at a hotel. Make the most of an all-inclusive pool bar and have a well-earned swim and cool down in the water! From Playa Jibacoa we drive back to Havana in time for a city tour in classic cars. Visiting both the old and new areas of the city, we discover the distinct neighbourhoods of the capital, stopping at points of interest. Feel free to ask questions about why the streets of Cuba are filled with classic American cars manufactured in the 1950’s and how on earth the owners manage to maintain them! Afterwards we will head back to our hotel to get ready to go out for our farewell group dinner at a paladar in Havana.

    Today's driving time is approx. 1.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Nacional (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Sightseeing in Havana; visit bike workshop; transfer to airport; fly back home.

     

    This morning we have a walking tour of Old Havana – the heart of Cuba's capital and the largest city in the Caribbean. Havana is a busy, bustling, energetic capital, and one of the finest colonial cities in the Americas with narrow streets, spacious plazas and glorious architecture. There is an air of faded grandeur about the place with paint peeling off buildings. The area of Old Havana is often described as a living museum, with its marvelous monuments, cathedrals and palaces. During our tour we visit a ration store, food market and artisan market for a chance to buy some souvenirs. We will finish this tour by visiting the Velo Cuba cycling project which is run by an inspiring group of Cuban women who rent bikes and promote cycling as a form of transport. During our visit we will find out how they use limited resources to help fix people’s bikes up so that they are roadworthy and about teaching children of ‘La Habana Vieja’ how to ride!

    Those on group flights will transfer approx. 30 - 40 minutes this afternoon to Havana airport for the return flight to London. Everyone else is free to leave or make onward travel arrangements.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Cuba

British and most Western European passport holders do not require a visa but do require a tourist card. Your Cuban tourist card (valid for 30 days) is included and will be posted to you by Exodus approx. 4 weeks before travel. We will send instructions on how to fill it in but please be careful doing this as any mistakes may result in you having to purchase a new card at a cost of GBP17.00 per person + admin fee.

We will send a tourist card free of charge as long as you live at a UK or Ireland address and are national of an EU country, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan. If you are not national of one of these countries or are not resident in the UK or Eire you must contact your nearest Cuban Consulate to check what visa is required - Exodus cannot provide a tourist card for you.

Please note that these tourist cards will not be valid if you are travelling via the US. If you are travelling via the US you will be subject to compliance under the same regulations as an American citizen. You cannot use a visa (Tourist Card) purchased outside the US but will have to buy a ‘pink’ Tourist Card sold only in the US at a US airport or from a US travel agent.

The Cuban entry immigration is time-consuming and most visitors encounter delays when queuing for entry into the country.

The Cuban Government passed a law stating that all tourists visiting Cuba must have travel insurance to cover medical costs. It is possible that you may be asked to provide proof of your travel insurance policy when you arrive at Havana airport, so please ensure your documents are easily accessible.

Vaccinations

Cuba

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A. We are advised that there is no risk of malaria. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 10 dinners included, allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings.

We provide packed lunches during the day and there are plenty of water and fruit refreshment stops. 3 litres of water per person is included on cycling days. You may wish to bring some of your own energy snacks, as food shops, cafes and restaurants are scarce in many of the rural areas we visit. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence (although it is improving). Food can sometimes be relatively unexciting and expensive - in no small part due to the long trade embargo implemented by the US. Vegetarians will often find the food choice limited. Meals will be more varied for everyone in Havana and seafood is available on the coast. We recommend that you allow CUC 20 to CUC 30 pp per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. If you need more water than provided, it is available for approx. CUC 1.50 per bottle.

Weather

The dry season runs from November through to April (with December to March being the peak holiday months for traditional style tourism). It is humid between May and October, with heavy rains at times and the possibility of hurricanes. July and August are some of the most popular months to visit Cuba by sun-seekers from Europe and Canada but can be very hot (average 28ºC) and wet.

Levels of humidity over these months can be very high, so it's important to
bear this in mind.

Cuba has an average of 6 hours sunshine per day with a more or less constant humidity of 62%. Water temperature normally ranges from 24 to 28ºC.

Havana

Trinidad

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road.
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure for more important information on classification and grading.
Average daily distance: 60km (37 miles)
Number of days cycling: 12
Vehicle Support: 100%
Terrain and route: surface 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, some hills.

Overall the trip is not too strenuous but a good level of fitness is required. Routes follow mainly quiet back roads and can be potholed. This tour covers some remote parts of the island. Though many of the roads are in good condition you should expect potholes and poor road conditions in some sections. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic, except in some of the bigger towns/cities visited.

Terrain varies from flat around Las Tunas to hilly, and mountainous in the Sierra Maestra. In the harder areas there are some longish climbs, requiring good fitness, (particularly as Cuba is invariably hot and humid), and also some steep descents. Day 7 is particularly strenuous as we are cycling in a mountainous region.

Please remember to drink lots of water when cycling as the heat and humidity can be high (applies especially to June/July/August departures). We have added departures over the UK summer due to the popularity of the trip. This is one of the best times to visit Cuba for sun-seekers! Levels of humidity over the summer months are very high, so it's important to bear this in mind. Some group members may want to do a slightly reduced distance each day and also avoid cycling in the middle of the day. If this is the case our back up vehicle will be available. It is possible for the rest of the group to continue on the itinerary as planned, but please don't forget to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Please be aware that mobile networks don’t make or receive calls particularly well in Cuba, and coverage may not be available in many locations. 4G was introduced in Cuba in October 2019 for the first time but not all phone networks work in Cuba, so please check with your service provider. Also please note that few hotels have Wi-Fi. Some will have internet in their lobby, and you will also find some Wi-Fi spots in the main plazas in towns. Using the internet in Cuba is relatively expensive, around 1-3 CUC per hour and you have to purchase WiFi scratch cards at either official shops or at some hotels, often you'll encounter long queues. Wi-Fi can be very slow, so it’s best to assume that you won’t be able to find a reliable internet connection whilst travelling.

Over the years we have built strong working relationships with suppliers and we have managed to prevent any major problems from affecting our groups. Nevertheless, all travellers should be aware that last minute hotel cancellations are a possibility and could affect your trip, especially during the high season in Havana (Oct to March). In the event of any necessary changes we will endeavour to ensure a property of the same standard and similar location is used. On some occasions an overnight hotel stay may be replaced with a night in a casa, or vice versa.

In addition to being prepared for potential last minute hotel changes, it is possible that you will be confronted by other minor frustrations whilst travelling in Cuba. We encourage all travellers to go with an open mind, and with realistic expectations at what a visit to Cuba entails. If your guide announces a change of plans then please be assured that everything possible has been done behind the scenes in order to make satisfactory alternative arrangements. 

Please note: As an American owned company, Exodus programmes to Cuba are fully compliant with the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) general license for Support for the Cuban People. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Casas Particulares

You will spend 10 nights in hotels and 4 nights in Casas Particulares (in Trinidad, Playa Larga and Cienfuegos). All of our Cuban itineraries include staying in privately-run 'Casas Particulares' in at least one destination as an alternative to staying in standard hotels. These are traditional Cuban properties that enable you to have a rewarding insight into the local lifestyle and culture by staying as a guest in a Cuban home. Rooms are on a twin-share basis, with air conditioning, and some hotels have swimming pools. Please note that power cuts do regularly occur in Cuba, and hot water supplies are not always guaranteed.

Hotel National
Hotel National
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed January 2018
    Ken Humphris

    Cycle Cuba

    Good trip, superb guide, interesting journey. Of 8 on the trip, 6 came back with (subsequently medically-diagnosed) Giardia. Not Exodus' fault, but people should be made aware of this problem so that they seek medical attention earlier. This is more than holiday tummy. I have been on many guided holidays, not only with Exodus, and our guide on this trip was probably the best we've encountered.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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    What did you think of your group leader?

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    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

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    Is there anything else you would like to add?

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  • Reviewed June 2017
    Heather Algar

    June Cuba Ride

    The most favourite group of the five Exodus trips I have experienced, but the least favourite of the holidays. This trip certainly isn't moderate in May/June as the weather conditions are challenging. Over 35 degrees every day and high humidity on the bike is no easy feat! Long transfers and head winds add to the interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the day cycling the Sierra Maestra. Beautiful scenery and challenging riding, a real achievement for everyone. Closely followed by swimming in the Caribbean surrounded by tropical fish, a real highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Disinterested and disengaged. Very wordy, some of the long bus transfers felt like a long day on the school bus being fed propaganda Not really proactive or showing any anticipation of his guests needs, more about how much he knew and making sure he let us know! I understand he has been guiding this trip for some time, perhaps he is just bored.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train, train, train! Bring gels and electrolyte tablets with you to keep hydrated, and bring an open mind. Cuba is a third world country, things are not up to a Western standard so take is into account.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Most hotels were fine, the last night prior to returning to Havana is substandard and needs to be removed or upgraded. Train up, bring your own comfortable seat and snacks and enjoy.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Robert Pratt

    Cycling through Cuba and it's history

    A fantastic holiday for those keen to experience the delights of this vibrant and happy country. The cycling is tough, lots of hills and a strong headwind much of the time, not to mention the potholes and exhaust fumes! But in the saddle you get to see the real Cuba, off the beaten track, the smiling Cuban faces, the simple Cuban homes and the wonderful Cuban music - all in warm weather and clear skies. We did however not expect the fantastic history lesson that we received from our leader, who left no stone unturned in his explanations of the events prior to, during and post the Revolution of the 1950s. By the end of the holiday we had all gained a much better understanding of the Cuban way of life and we found ourselves being intrigued as to what the future might hold for this amazing country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Understanding the Revolution in great detail was inspirational, but seeing inside the simple homes of a doctor and a university professor and seeing how a 'ration shop' worked, made a big impact on me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Carlos was excellent and could have done no more to make this holiday truly memorable. So close were we that there were 'wet eyes' as we said our goodbyes to fly back to London

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This holiday really suits keen road cyclists. Many sections of the route involved long straight roads against the prevailing wind in very hot sun! There was very little 'off-road', which for me personally (as a mountain biker) was a bit disappointing. Many of the roads were busy and Cuba has plenty of very inefficient diesel lorries and buses belching out black fumes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cubans are not wealthy people but you don't see many unhappy Cubans. You do see plenty of beautiful smiling children's faces as they wave at you passing by. You do hear fantastic live music just about everywhere. You will have to queue up and the bureaucracy can seem senseless and frustrating at times, so don't expect much to happen too quickly.
  • Reviewed April 2017

    Cycling Cuba

    Excellent trip cycling around the Caribbean island of Cuba. It was like going back in time to the 50s with the old American cars and basic lifestyle. Free from phone and Wi-Fi for 2 weeks was a bonus for me!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the "real" Cuba away from the tourist hot spots and living like a local. The snorkelling was brilliant on the Catamaran trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Laz was a brilliant guide, so knowledge and passionate about his home country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a scarf or some form of cover for your face as some of the vehicles do chuck out some smoke!! Wear plenty of sunscreen, the heat is deceiving when you are cycle with a head wind. Wear sunscreen on your lips too - a few of our group had blistered lips. Pack some toilet paper. Cycling shorts and a gel saddle are a must. It can get chilly in the evening so pack a cardi/pashmina. Ear plugs are also handy as some hotels are on main roads. Mask and snorkel if you go on the catamaran trip. Ladies a turban towel for your hair as most places only provide one towel each. I wore a pair of closed toe open sandals which were ideal for keeping your feet cool. Also some sort of carrier for your bike to hold camera, money, tissues etc is handy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't expect luxury! Food is very basic - rice and beans! Supplies are limited in Cuba so don't expect an a la carte menu. But, don't let this put you off - as long as you are prepared for this you wont be disappointed and our group found it quite amusing. Don't expect Wi-Fi or phone signal
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Ruth Hill

    Not the greatest cycling holiday we have had

    Cuba is very 3rd world. The standard of the accommodation was very variable and at times frankly unacceptable. Much of the cycling was on very busy roads with ancient lorries putting out thick black exhaust fumes. The island had its prettier parts but on the whole was flat and uninteresting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We enjoyed the very few off main roads rides

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very good. The driver also very helpful and safe

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You may well enjoy the experience but there are lots of downsides to travel in Cuba

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation needs to be upgraded. The bikes we used also had very limited adjustment to personal needs.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Christopher Peacock

    Cycling in Cuba

    A very interesting and enjoyable trip, the combination of the cycling, scenery, culture, history and music made for a memorable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to the hotel in Sierra Maestre.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liesner was very knowledgeable about Cuba and it's history. He was always helpful and considerate, and a very fit cyclist.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be flexible in your expectations of hotels, plumbing and food. Although not to European standards the rooms were always clean and functional. The food while not varied was interesting and some cases well cooked and presented.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have preferred more time at the destinations, more snorkelling and less time on the coach. I think covering the whole island in one trip is over ambitious, but it was still an excellent and absorbing holiday.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Ruth Bass

    Unforgettable

    This was our first group cycling holiday and our first trip with Exodus and it did not disappoint. The cycling is really well planned with great backup and the places we visited combined to give us a varied taste of this unique and fascinating country. We found ourselves in great company - the group really gelled and we had a ball.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views in the Sierra Maestre, the most challenging cycling day - reward for our effort; the atmosphere of Trinidad at sundown and the music, the people and sights by the roadside throughout the trip, the walk in the forest on day 10, snatched swims in pools and the sea and the fabulous evening out in Havana that rounded off an unforgettable holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Angel was just the best - calm and kind, managing all the unknowns one encounters in Cuba expertly.His insights into life in Cuba were comprehensive, and utterly fascinating - history and facts of course but always delivered with personal anecdotes and in a funny and insightful manner. We all loved him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Talk yourself out of using WiFi any more than is absolutely essential - it's frustrating, expensive and hard to come by. Have a break! Also, as Exodus advise, if you want snacks of any kind or hydration additives do take them as there is very little available, same goes for suncream - basically take all you need with you and don't rely on shopping .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst it was not Angel's fault (everything else he organised hit the button) we all felt very let down by the catamaran trip from Trinidad and cannot recommend it, it did not deliver what was advertised and we felt ripped off.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Simon Tomlinson

    Cycling Cuba

    Having wanted to visit Cuba for many years I'm convinced this was a great way to do it. It is a fascinating country with a turbulent history. The people and their ability to 'make do' when they have so little is inspirational. Never having been on a guided, group cycling tour before I was unsure what to expect and it took a few days to settle into the format. Apart from the opportunity to see and learn about the country the other great aspect of the trip was the other people on it. They were a lovely group of people each with an interesting life story to tell and cycling presents a great way to chat to people during those hours in the saddle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people. Cuba is a country with many problems including a broken economy and yet its people manage somehow to get by no doubt helped by the music, the dancing and the rum (one of the few "foods" that's neither rationed nor expensive)!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lismar was great. Very knowledgeable about Cuba and its history, careful in the management of expectations (some of its Russian built hotels are not in great shape), and all presented with good humour. I always felt he tried to go the extra mile, arranging extra tours and visits in addition to what was described and finding interesting Restaurants where possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    They say you shouldn't go to Cuba for the food and its true. Its bland, overcooked and with very limited choice - fried chicken, fried pork, fried fish with rice and beans just about sums it up. More to the point though most of our group had stomach upsets, some more than once. Its hard to know what the cause was but hygiene in the government run hotels and restaurants (which is most of them) is probably not great. The privately run restaurants and Casas are probably safer and definitely better quality. Be prepared to spend a long time in the coach. Cuba is a surprisingly large country with generally poor roads so getting about takes time. If you plan to take up the Cayo Levisa extension be aware that its quite a long way from Havana and none of the activities (the main reason we went) run on a Sunday (the only full day we had there). It is a beautiful island though and the food quality is an improvement on any of the other state run places we stayed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cycling itself on this tour was a bit of a mixed bag. In the first week we seemed to spend quite a bit of time on flatish, straight roads with quite a bit of traffic. The worst part was the decrepit cars and trucks belching out thick clouds of black smoke - I feel like I had a lifetime's worth of exposure to diesel particulates on this holiday. Some of the days were also not well planned in that we would take the coach somewhere, get out and cycle for a bit and then get back on the coach. One of the off road sections in the first week didn't happen as apparently the track is impassible. It sometimes felt like cycling for the sake of it. In the second week it got more interesting. The best day was one where we actually cycled from one hotel to the next giving a much greater sense of having achieved something.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Karen Wallace

    Exhilarating and fun

    This was my first every cycling holiday. I was never a cyclist and although fit cycled moe in this cortnight than i have in my life comvined....but i did it...never once riding in the bus...although there qas no ahame in that! Although one of the weaker cylists i was encouraged by the others and felt a treme dous sense of accomplishment to have completed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually not riding the bus.....altnough i had to walk short stretches on the mountainous day...i did it. The other cyclists were wondèful and our vuide, Lee superb. He woas encouraging, funny and so knowledgeable about the history and the places we visited. We all swear he has a photographic memory.! The sight seeing was perfect and the rides interesting especially when we went tbrough small towns and villages where even the school childen chered us on like celebrities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    FANTASTIC! Incredily knowledgeable and always there to help. On the tough cycling day he stayed behind with me encouraging me all the way. Our drivers too were excellent and always there with help and a joke. They made the whole experience wonderful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring pens and makers and sweets to give to the kids along the way. They flock round you, not begging but a oen or marker is a prize to them. The people are delightfyl and friendly and it is a pleasure to be able to give them something little that they really appreciate. At the end of tbe trip we asked our gyide if we could leave clothes or toiletries behind and he happily took them to give to needy people...so pack some old clothes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am already looking at other trips with Exodus. I felt it was extremely well organised and the informafion given accurate.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    William Dalzell

    Cycling Cuba

    Overall good experience with some interesting cycling towards the end of the tour . Cuba is a big island and a lot is crammed in resulting in the tour having an attritional feel with some tedious transfers and insufficient time to explore places such as Camaguey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba and for those not staying extra days, particularly Havana.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Time spent in Havana but I thought the most typically West Indian place was El Salton, which was gorgeous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lismar is excellent, his English impressive and he is a font of information and a strong cyclist, too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be careful of your food and drink - not only what you eat and drink (tummy bugs galore with our group) but what could have become mixed with it _ Rosie found a large piece of broken glass in her glass at the first lunch stop by the wharf in Old Havana( which Lismar took up with management) and more broken glass in her ice cream at the lunch stop at Santa Clara.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Day 1 would have been much better if some attempt had been made for the party to meet up, at least for a drink at Hotel Memories. As it was we were rather left there kicking our heels and waiting to meet the group on day 2. Hotel Memories is ok but too remote for anyone hoping to explore Havana. Three other hotels were drab, tatty with unappetising food - Hotel Camaguey, Hotel Sierra Maestra and Hotel San Jose del Lago.

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