Experience biking through Cuba’s corazón on our tour through Central Cuba that takes you off the beaten path and Cuba’s tourist track. Havana, with its syncopated rhythms blending with the sultry tension of salsa. Santa Clara, Trinidad and Sancti Spiritus with their cobbled streets and tranquil country seats. Cienfuegos’ glimmering bays. It’s a tour through Cuba’s heritage and homeland from the best seat in the house—a bicycle seat. We’ve also included a day off the bikes with a leisurely kayak paddle suitable for novice paddlers and a short hike.
Pedal and paddle your way through Cuba’s far-flung and less-traveled countryside on a tour that begins and ends in Havana. We’ll take you on routes rich in scenic views, wildlife and meaningful interactions with Cuba’s people. Each day takes you not only across Cuba, but through it.
Please note: this itinerary and activities are subject to change due to factors such as weather, transportation schedules and availability of guest speakers. We always attempt to replace missed activities with similar opportunities that maintain the same spirit of the tour as well as our focus on Support-for-the-Cuban-People exchanges.
Havana's bright culture
Museo de Ernesto Hemingway
Glittering Caribbean coastlines
Iglesia Mayor de San Juan Bautista
3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Havana Vieja, Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, Trinidad
Casa Particular - Hostal Enrique
Hotel E Central Villa Clara
Day 1: Havana awaits! It’s hard to imagine coming to Cuba without exploring Havana, so this is where the tour begins. Since we’ll start in the morning, we highly recommend that you arrive the night prior to the bike tour so you have a night to relax and be ready for the tour to begin.
Day 2: Havana, Palpite to Playa Larga. We breakfast together, then embark on our Cuban cycling journey from Jaguey Grande, stopping for lunch at Finca Fiesta Campesina – a quirky zoo where peacocks, deer and ducks mingle with jutía and manjuarí. We arrive in the small town of Pálpite for a unique Support-for-the-Cuban-People visit with a local bird conservationist. From Pálpite we enter Zapata National Park and then on to the small beachside town of Playa Larga, where we will check into our Casa Particulares for the evening.
Day 3: Snorkeling in the Bay of Pigs, morning ride, Santa Clara. We get up early to snorkel one of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean, on the Bay of Pigs.After enjoying the water, the ride continues to the Playa Giron museum, where we’ll stop to learn about the Cuban side of the 1961 invasion. Today’s ride is a perfect combination of small villages, quiet roads and rural scenery as we make our way towards Yaguaramas. From there, we transfer to Santa Clara; a traditional Cuban town which offers alluring insight into Cuba’s history.
Day 4: Santa Clara to Sancti Spiritus. We begin our moderate morning ride to Sancti Spíritus from Santa Clara. It’s a lovely ride past sugar cane fields and smaller villages. Though our road is smooth, we can see the faint rugged lines of the Escambray Mountains in the distance. Our Support-for-the-Cuban-People interaction today is with a local guide at the Museum of the Guayabera, Cuba’s traditional shirt.
Day 5: Sancti Spíritus to Trinidad. One of our favorite rides on the tour! After a nice, flat pastoral stretch we start a gradual ascent through farmlands with the verdant Escambray Mountains in the distance. We’ll stop in the town of Banao for an ice cream and mingle with the locals to learn from regular Cubans about their daily lives. Enjoy lunch at an 18th century colonial estate, then check into your lodging and enjoy the 16th century town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with wonderfully preserved Spanish architecture.
Day 6: We give our legs a rest and savor historic Trinidad. Our morning highlight is a along a beautiful trail through the forest just outside of Trinidad. We learn about the forest ecosystem and local agriculture, including sugar cane and coffee. The trail with a jump into a tropical swimming hole! Following lunch at a mountainside restaurant we’ll head out for an afternoon paddle. The calm waters of the Rio Guaurabo will float us out to the Caribbean. Enjoy another delicious meal, and maybe a mojito, before hitting the hay.
Day 7: Trinidad to Cienfuegos.Today’s ride is filled with scenic views as you pedal along the coast, through rolling foothills and fields. It’s a stunning ride along the coast with mountains on one side and sea on the other. We take a break in Yaguanabo, where you can watch the turquoise waters of the ocean brush up against the looping beaches and take a dip in the ocean if you’d like. We stop for lunch at a private restaurant specializing in seafood. Then we transfer by bus to Cienfuegos, the winsome ocean-front city well deserving of the moniker “Pearl of the South.”
Day 8: The final ride of the tour takes place around Cienfuegos. Get out and stretch your legs before we return to Havana. Just outside of Havana, we tour the Museo de Ernesto Hemingway. This is where Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea. Following the tour, we continue towards Havana with a stop at the Mercado San Jose, a huge arts and crafts market in an old waterfront warehouse. After checking into our hotel, we’ll take a romantic pre-dinner ride in classic 1950’s automobiles around Havana.
Day 9: Adios Cuba! Unless you have made plans to stay on your own and explore Cuba further, you will bid farewell to this lively country and fly home. (We provide one morning transfer to the airport at the time when the majority of people have their flights home.)
8 Breakfasts | 8 Lunches | 7 Dinners
PP Double Occupancy
*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require separate beds.