Friday 6th December 2019
Cuba: Havana, Havana, Cuba
The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a fascinating country. With relatively little traffic, friendly and curious locals, an eternal summer, endless unspoiled coastline and a fascinating blend of cultures, it’s an ideal place to explore by bicycle.
Now is undoubtedly a fantastic time to visit Cuba to see and experience the island. Visiting Cuba is like stepping back in time as little has changed over the past 50 years. However, the recent relaxation of US sanctions is making Cuba an ever more popular destination placing increasing demands on the local tourist infrastructure.
To fully enjoy the Cuban experience you should travel with a willingness to expect the unexpected and, above all, an adventurous spirit. In our opinion go now and experience this unique destination before it changes.
In city centres, from Havana to Santiago, ramshackle streets are lined with decaying colonial mansions and art deco towers, while rectangular Soviet apartment blocks dominate the suburbs. 1950s Cadillacs chug alongside horse-drawn carriages, arthritic rickshaws and sleek diplomats’ saloons, swiftly overtaken by bright yellow eggshells on motorbike chassis. Out in the countryside, from the tobacco fields to the Sierra Maestra, the highways are lined with billboards extolling the virtues of the Revolution.
Most visitors spend some time in Havana, and the capital city is always a good place to start and gain insight into the culture of the island. The old town, Habana Vieja, is being painstakingly renovated and many of the colonial palaces have been converted into desirable boutique hotels. Others are museums and art galleries containing unrivalled treasures or Revolutionary memorabilia.
The west end of the island is the major tobacco-growing area, where the rich soil produces crops for some of the best cigars in the world. The beautiful mountain landscape of the Sierra del Rosario, containing a Biosphere Reserve at Las Terrazas, tapers down to the fascinating and evocative limestone mogotes around Viñales.
On the south coast, Trinidad is one of the best-preserved towns in the Americas and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It remains in a time warp from the Spanish colony of the 19th century, with its cobbled streets, tiled roofs, wrought-iron railings, churches, palaces and humble dwellings.
Day 1 - Friday
Welcome to Havana
We highly recommend that you book a flight that brings you into Havana earlier in the day, preferably before midday, so you have time to settle in and get your bicycle set up.
We have a shuttle transfer included, so we group flights together in terms of arrival times . Or you can you book the private airport transfer, valid for two persons, from the airport to your hotel (under Optional extra purchases in at registration link). Driving time is about 25 minutes.
Welcome dinner at a private restaurant: Jardin de los Milagros with two drinks included.
Optional tour in Classic car after dinner (highly recommended)
Day 2 - Saturday
Havana – Matanzas- Varadero 69 miles
Early in the morning, we´ll start the ride to Matanzas Province. In the 18th century this was a rich city thriving from sugar cane cultivation and the slave trade. It later became a rich cafe society with many poets and artists making their homes here. We will end the ride at Bacunayagua View Point and continue by bus from here to Chiquirrín Restaurant which is in Matanzas Province for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Museum of the Pharmacy en route to Varadero where we overnight.
Day 3 - Sunday
Varadero – Cienaga de Zapata 59 miles
Today we are cycling from the north to the south. First rest stop will be at Jovellanos town at a Cuban home and the second one at Jagüey Grande. Then, we continue to have lunch and then visit the Crocodile farm and breeding centre run by the park services .
Day 4 - Monday
Cienaga de Zapata – Cienfuegos 66 miles
The panoramic views today will different because we will be cycling through the south shore line. You will have a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea. Our first stop will at Playa Girón Town where there was the Cuban First Victory against the United States. We visit the Museum here that tells the story of this invasion known as the Bay of Pigs. From here the panorama will change because we will be cycling into central area. We will make a second stop at Yaguaramas. Then we will continue to Cienfuegos for a lunch time in a local Paladar
The farewell dinner will be at Doña Nora Paladar located in the Downtown.
Optional Tour: During the night our Cuban guide and our driver will be available for a walking tour . There is a famous club called Benny Moré where you can enjoy a nice show with traditional Cuban music (The visit is optional – Not included in the price).
Day 5 - Tuesday
Tour with informative tour guide for the trip back to to Havana Airport (3.5 hours) for your return flight to the USA. Please note that the bus transfers are shuttle bus so the bus will leave in time to accommodate the first departing passenger from each airport. As such it could mean that you could have a longer wait at the airport for your departure, so please be prepared for this.
Holiday Services Limited
516 SW 113TH WAY, PEMBROKE PINES