20 Apr 2017 Plan a Bike Tour Experience in Beautiful Cuba!
Cuba! Why does just the sound of that make people so excited? Kept secret for years, Cuba has finally been unveiled, and now it’s time to plan your bike tour!
Alluring and Unknown
Cuba is exciting before you go, and I’m here to tell you it’s even more so once you are there! As the largest island in the Caribbean, the scenery is stunning wherever you go. From it’s white sand beaches and expansive coral reefs to it’s rolling countryside and sugar cane plantations, a Cuba bike tour is your best chance to experience as much of Cuba as you can.
Step Back in Time
So many of the rumors you hear are true. You step off the plane and out into the streets where classic cars are suddenly current day. Taxis, personal vehicles, old Russian trucks – the streets are full of vehicles not seen in the States. Even the buildings are beautiful. Each structure seems to be painted a different bright color, and even though some of them are dilapidated, there is so much beauty in their imperfections. You have seen Cuba in pictures. But when you’re there, seeing it in action, you’ll be immediately enamored.
Beauty and Survival Mark Havana’s Past
Havana Vieja, on the old cobblestone streets built in 1519 (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site), our tour begins. Our fellow bike tour guide and Cuban Historian leads the walk with story after story, starting from the indigenous tribes to the Spanish conquest and through to the current day. And with this, begins one of the most interesting aspects of the trip – the amount of education included. A definite benefit of traveling to Cuba on the “People to People” license is the daily inclusion of interactions with local Cubans and educational opportunities. Throughout the next 9 days we visited a tobacco farm, met with a local entrepreneur, partook in a Cuban block party hosted by a local CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution), spoke with a college student and so on.
Biking through Cuba’s countryside
Day 1 is spent exploring Havana and then we head out to the countryside for 7 days of biking. The roads are quiet, the sun is shining and the ocean can be seen in the distance. We share the road with cows and chickens, and the group starts getting excited to begin the Cuba bike tour.
We are on our way to Santa Clara where we’ll spend the next two days. From there the ride continues to Remedios, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and finally Playa Largo. On my favorite day of biking from Sancti Spiritus to Trinidad, we pull the
group over for an extra special treat: guarapo (Freshly squeezed sugar cane juice). Perhaps the greatest hydration drinks ever. Shortly thereafter we pull over to a fruit stand for a taste of mamey sapote. This fruit is rarely seen in the US. The texture of an avocado, but the color of a papaya, it’s a treat on a hot day.
Cuban Romanticism in Trinidad
Trinidad, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is set in the hills. The old cobblestone roads are reminiscent of Havana Vieja. Once known for its sugar mills and now for tobacco, Trinidad still retains old world charm. A bit quieter than Havana, and welcoming to visitors, the town makes you want to stay a little longer. However, we continued onward. More country roads, biking past horse and carts, classic cars, expansive views of Escambray Mountains – the biking just continued to get better and better. We still had to swim in the Bay of Pigs and dine on its shores before returning to Havana!
Fresh Ingredients. Local Flavor. Delicious Drinks
And then there is the food. Lobster, fresh fish, pineapple, papaya, flan, fresh bread, guava jelly….it’s fresh and delicious. Topped off with a mojito or pina colada, a perfect day indeed.
Welcoming & Wonderful
Biking on the old country roads is delightful. The history learned during the trip makes it that much more meaningful. A Cuba bike tour is the perfect way to experience everything the largest island in the Caribbean has to offer.