Western Cuba boasts white sand beaches, turquoise seas, lush valleys and quaint farming villages where life is slow and people are chill. Visit the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve, and learn to salsa in the evenings. And of course Havana, with its art and culture (and vintage cars). It’s a place like no other.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • In Havana, our city tour includes stops at our favourite Cuban designers, including Isania del Rio’s Clandestina and Piscolabis Bazar-café
  • Dinner in Havana at a favourite restaurant of Diego Maradona’s
  • Entrée at music venues that you won’t find on your own
  • Charming casas particulares such as Finca Kenia in Trinidad
  • The best available bikes in Cuba

Before registering for this trip, decide if you are of the right mindset to travel to Cuba at this time. Hotels are not to the standard of hotels that we use elsewhere around the world. In smaller villages especially, options are limited – we stay in Casa Particulares, which gives us a chance to stay with locals and experience Cuba in a genuine way. Road conditions in some areas are not smooth and potholes are common. Itinerary changes may be required due to things beyond our control. With appropriate expectations, we are confident you will enjoy this amazing country at this amazing time.

Straight Talk

Location

Havana

Starting, Day 1+2, Day 7 and End Location

Viñales

Day 3

Maria La Gorda

Day 4

Guanahacabibes National Park

Day 5

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
7 nights lodging in B&B basis in standard hotels or casas particulares
5 lunches and 5 dinners. Lunches may be restaurant or picnic
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Transfers upon arrival and departure

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

Jan 6-13
Jan 20-27
Feb 2-9
Feb 15-22
Mar 16-23
Mar 23-30

2020

Jan 5-12
Jan 19-26
Feb 1-8
Feb 14-21
Mar 15-22
Mar 22-29

Custom trips also available.

TRIP SIZE

4-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

8 days/7 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Havana

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate
25-85km daily
Van supported

TERRAIN

Moderate with some hills. Average elevation gains 500-750m per day

COST

US$2550 pp
Includes 7B/5L/5D
Single Supplement: US$650
Bike Rental: US$180

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Getting there
Havana
Cuba has 10 international airports. The largest by far is Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí in Havana. The only other sizable airport is Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport in Varadero. One of our drivers and or guides will be meeting you on arrival at the airport and whisk you to the hotel.


1

Day 1

Arrival in Havana
Our driver will be waiting for you on arrival at Jose Martí International Airport in Havana and transfer you to your hotel with time to relax from your flight. We have a welcome reception at 7 pm followed by dinner. (D) Overnight: Hotel Nacional, Havana

2

Day 2

Havana City Cycling Tour & Drive to Viñales
After breakfast we have a bike fitting before setting off cycling through Havana. There is lots to see as we cycle through Miramar, Parque Metropolitano de la Habana, and Nuevo Vedado and Revolution Square. We continue through Vedado to the old town via Centro Habana. After lunch there is time to explore more of old Havana on your own before we transfer to Viñales late afternoon. This evening we dine at a farm overlooking town.
Ride Distance: 25 km; 150 m gain. Transfer time: 2.5h Overnight: Casa particular such as Hotel Los Jazmines, Hotel La Ermita, villa Rancho San Vicente, Viñales (B, L, D)

3

Day 3

Viñales circuit ride

Today we’ll have a scenic cycle through Viñales Valley and surrounding countryside. In the afternoon we’ll visit a tobacco farm and learn about Cuba’s most famous export – cigars!
Ride Distance: 62 km; 630m gain. Transfer time n/a Overnight: Casa Particular, Viñales (B,L,D)

4

Day 4

Cycle to Guane & Drive to Maria La Gorda

This morning we set off on a wonderful ride through a lesser visited region to the west of Viñales. Along the route we’ll stop to eat a picnic packed lunch, cycling to the small town of Guane where we’ll stop and load up the bikes on to the support vehicle. From here we’ll transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) to the western point of Cuba called Maria La Gorda.
Ride Distance: 81 km; 600m gain. Overnight: Casa Particular, Maria La Gorda (B, L, D)

5

Day 5

Guanahacabibes National Park; Snorkelling

We will offer an optional morning loop ride out to Playa Ancon, one of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba, stopping in the village of Casilda on the way back with additional mileage if you choose; there is also an option to trek, or should you prefer sailing, there may be an option to sail on a catamaran in the bay. Trinidad’s small scale makes it easy to explore and the many cafes, museums, handicraft markets and shops are perfect for browsing.
Ride Distance: 25-40 km. Overnight Finca Kenia, Trinidad (B, L, D)

6

Day 6

Drive to Soroa; Cycle to Las Terrazas

This morning we’ll drive back along the Pinar del Rio highway with the Rosario Mountain Range to our left. Turning off in to the town of Soroa, we’ll saddle up and cycle a short but challenging ride to Las Terrazas. The ride starts with a climb before being rewarded with a downhill in to Las Terrazas community.
Ride Distance: 42 km; 510 m gain. Overnight at La Moka Hotel or Hotel Villa Soroa (B, L).

7

Day 7

Tour Havana in a vintage American classic car with time to explore old Havana in the afternoon

Today, we ride back to the outskirts of Havana and transfer to the hotel. We return to our accommodation on foot through the pedestrianized streets of the historic district. Tonight we go out for our final dinner in the old town.
Ride Distance: 64 km; 360 m gain Overnight: Hotel Nacional, Havana

8

Day 8

Walking tour of Old Havana; Departure Day

This morning we will go on a walking tour of Old Havana. Havana is the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas and one of seven towns or “villas” founded by the Conquistador Diego Velazquez in the 16th century. Post-revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 mean that Old Havana has been well-preserved and is often referred to as a “living museum”. The many marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces of the city’s historical centre are brought to life by a constant hustle and bustle and the unmistakable sound of Cuban son. After this morning’s tour it’s time to part ways and say Adios

Casas Particulares “Private Houses”

They have been permitted in Cuba since 1997, which allow Cubans to rent out rooms in their houses to visitors, providing Cuban families with new sources of income. These are similar to B&B’s and represent a unique way to connect with locals.


Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Housed in a 1930’s structure overlooking the Malecon esplanade, celebrities like Frank Sinatra have stayed here, but the retro-glamour is faded. On the plus side, there is a breezy garden terrace and there is a swimming pool.



			

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