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Cycling Cuba

The best of Cuba on two wheels



At a glance

* 10 nights hotels, 4 nights in Casas Particulares. All rooms are en suite
and most hotels have swimming pools.
* 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
* 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track
* Good level of fitness is required

The best of Cuba on two wheels

Cuba’s music, beaches, old cars, striking architecture and revolutionary
history combine to make the perfect cultural destination with a lively
atmosphere. Our relaxed 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!

A number of changes are being made to this product for travel after the 1st
January 2018. The trip in 2018 will no longer pass through Camaguey twice,
instead the trip will now include Playa Santa Lucia. Please click here [1] to
view the 2018 trip.

[1] node/56376

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mah.jpg?t=1DfIsu

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 5 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

Food:
14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 5 dinners included allowing the option to try
some local restaurants on the other evenings.

We provide packed lunches during the day and 3 litres of bottled water pp on
cycling days. There are also plenty of refreshment stops for water and fresh
fruit. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence and some ingredients
are just not possible to get hold of (due in no small part to the long trade
embargo implemented by the US). As such, flavours tend to be relatively
simple, with most mealtimes consisting of meat or fish accompanied by rice
and salad/vegetables. Seafood is widely available on the coast, including
cheap and abundant lobster! Vegetarians will probably find they have the most
limited choice. Snack food is not freely available in Cuba so you may wish to
consider taking some with you – particularly energy snacks for cycling days.
Paladares are likely to be a highlight of any visit to Cuba – they are one of
the few types of private enterprise allowed (although still heavily
regulated), where families can set up a restaurant selling authentic, Cuban
food. The atmosphere this creates and opportunity to integrate with local
Cubans will no doubt enhance your stay! We recommend that you allow CUC 30 pp
per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not
included. You may also spend money on bottled water, which will normally cost
about CUC 1.50 per bottle if bought from the coach (less if you purchase from
local shops).

Start destination: Havana

End destination: Havana

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight arrives in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Land
only clients will meet the group at the start hotel in Havana.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 2

In the morning we will have our trip briefing, followed by bike fitting
before we set off on a warm up ride round Havana. Traffic is remarkably light
for a capital city. We cycle through the Miramar and Vedado districts of
Havana to reach the dominating Plaza de la Revolucion, whilst Buicks and
Pontiacs cruise past with gleaming chrome. We finish our sightseeing with a
walking tour in the heart of Old Havana and a stop for lunch in a local
restaurant. In the afternoon we transfer to Matanzas for dinner and stay
overnight.

Transfer approx. 105km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 3

We leave the hotel by bike and ride through Matanzas province. The landscape
here is full of sugar cane and citrus plantations with the occasional sleepy
village. This pretty ride takes us through rural communities to the Autopista
Nacional where we load the bikes on the bus and drive to lunch. Once we pass
the Australia Sugar Factory (where Fidel Castro set up his headquarters for
the Bay of Pigs crisis) we enter the Cienaga de Zapata. The road is flat and
is skirted by a swamp, once full of crocodiles. After lunch we continue on to
the Bay of Pigs where we stay overnight in casas within the town of Playa
Larga. This was the site of the failed invasion by CIA-backed Cuban
Americans. Many of the beaches here are ideal for snorkelling and swimming.

Transfer approx. 90km.

*Casas Particulares*

Day 4

Continuing south to cross the island, our route today covers a variety of
landscapes. We ride through the biggest swamps in Cuba (Zapata’s
Peninsula), and then cut through agricultural routes to reach the main road
towards Cienfuegos. This is a day for discovering the rural heart of Cuba as
we pass through small communities dedicated to agriculture and charcoal
production. A stop at Playa Giron gives us the chance to learn about CIA
backed invasion of Cuba in the early 60’s. From here we have a short ride
to lunch in Caleta Buena, a natural sea pool teeming with tropical fish.
There should be the opportunity to have a dip upon arrival. Afterwards we
continue by bus to Cienfuegos. Casas may be located in the town centre or
close to the coastal road.

Transfer approx. 90km

*Casas Particulares*

Day 5

Today’s ride takes us further along the coastline to Trinidad. Trinidad is
beautiful; a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and perhaps the
best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad can feel like
entering a time warp, its colourful, cobbled streets and horse drawn
transportation whisking us back to colonial times. There are many interesting
museums housed in old colonial buildings and music drifts through the streets
and plazas.

*Casas Particulares*

Day 6

Today is free to soak up the atmosphere of Trinidad or join an optional
excursion to explore the surrounding areas. For example you can walk the ‘El
Cubano’ trail in the nearby national park. This evening we recommend a visit
to Trinidad’s Casa de la Trova (the ‘House of Music’) for traditional Cuban
music and dancing.

*Casas Particulares*

Day 7

We ride inland towards the city of Sancti Spiritus. The road rises and falls
through the beautiful scenery of the Alturas de Banao, where coffee
plantations and farms adorn the landscape, passing the Valle de los Ingenios
(Valley of the Sugar Mills) which was once Cuba’s most important sugar
producing area. At the village of Manaca Iznaga we can stop to visit the
farmhouse and the famous ‘run away slaves’ tower; for a small entrance fee
you can climb the 136 steps and enjoy the view. Upon arrival in Sancti
Spiritus, we enjoy some free time in the town’s colonial centre and then
transfer to Camaguey.

Transfer approx. 200km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 8

Our day starts with a transfer to Las Tunas, where we saddle up to ride
across this lively city. We continue to Bayamo, located in the province of
Granma, one of the island’s most important regions from a revolutionary
perspective and consisting mainly of the floodplain of the river Cauto
(Cuba’s longest). The area contains many sugar cane and rice plantations, and
lies below the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The charming city of Bayamo is the
capital of the province, and has a pleasant, relaxed ambience full of
poignant monuments and revolutionary atmosphere.

Transfer approx. 180km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 9

A challenging ride from Bayamo into the Sierra Maestra. As we head deep 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 and is rarely visited by tourists. After passing through
numerous villages we reach our hotel where we can relax after probably our
hardest day’s ride.

*Standard Hotel*

/*See Accommodation section for occasional tour alteration that affects today
and tomorrow./

Day 10

This morning we take a short break from the saddle to enjoy the spectacular
scenery of the Sierra Maestra. Starting early, we take a gentle stroll into
the mountains with a local, passing through tropical forest and coffee
plantations before stopping for coffee and fruit in a local farmer’s home,
before returning to the hotel for lunch. We take a transfer from Salton to
just beyond Palma Soriano, then it’s back on the bikes and ride to El Cobre.
After visiting Cuba’s most important Holy Shrine, we transfer to Santiago de
Cuba. The city is rich in traditions, folklore and legends, making almost
every street corner famous. But it is at night that Santiago really comes
alive with legendary Cuban music and dancing.

Transfer approx. 70km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 11

Santiago de Cuba is known as the city of heroes, for the important role it
played in Independence and Revolutionary struggles. The morning is spent
sightseeing, including the Moncada Barracks – where the opening shots of the
Revolution were fired on 26 July 1953 when Castro and his men attacked the
barracks. There is a rich tradition of dance, music and festivals, largely
based on the Afro-Cuban population. Afternoon transfer to Gibara.

Transfer approx. 135kms.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 12

Today we cycle directly from our hotel in the morning and head towards Puerto
Padre where we stop for a picnic lunch. From here we transfer to Camaguey,
the capital of the province.

Transfer approx. 145km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 13

After breakfast we transfer to the town of Majagua and enjoy a final cycle
ride to the rural setting of Mayajigua, our base for tonight. The route today
will be challenging as we make our way over the northern range of hills, but
the support vehicle is on hand just in case!

Transfer approx. 180km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 14

Today is a long day so we leave Mayajigua early in the morning and return by
road to Havana via Remedios, one of the earliest Spanish settlements in Cuba.
We will stop in Santa Clara to visit the Che Mausoleum and armoured train
exhibition. The evening is free to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of charming
Havana.

Transfer approx. 350km.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 15

Today there is a city tour of old Havana, described as a living museum, with
its marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces. We will stop for lunch at
one of the many great local restaurants in Old Havana. After lunch we
transfer to the airport for those on the group flight to London. Passengers
travelling independently will leave the group in Havana.

Prices & Dates

Date: 2017-11-302017-12-14

Trip code: MAH171130

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2565

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Date: 2017-12-142017-12-28

Trip code: MAH171214

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2435

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Date: 2018-01-042018-01-18

Trip code: MAH180104

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-01-112018-01-25

Trip code: MAH180111

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-03-082018-03-22

Trip code: MAH180308

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Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-03-292018-04-12

Trip code: MAH180329

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-06-142018-06-28

Trip code: MAH180614

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Price: €2755

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Date: 2018-07-122018-07-26

Trip code: MAH180712

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Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-07-262018-08-09

Trip code: MAH180726

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Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-08-092018-08-23

Trip code: MAH180809

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Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-09-062018-09-20

Trip code: MAH180906

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Price: €2755

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Date: 2018-10-042018-10-18

Trip code: MAH181004

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Price: €2755

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Date: 2018-10-112018-10-25

Trip code: MAH181011

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Price: €2755

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Date: 2018-10-182018-11-01

Trip code: MAH181018

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Price: €2755

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Date: 2018-10-252018-11-08

Trip code: MAH181025

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Date: 2018-11-012018-11-15

Trip code: MAH181101

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Price: €2985

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Date: 2018-11-082018-11-22

Trip code: MAH181108

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Date: 2018-11-152018-11-29

Trip code: MAH181115

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Date: 2018-11-222018-12-06

Trip code: MAH181122

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Date: 2018-11-292018-12-13

Trip code: MAH181129

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Date: 2018-12-062018-12-20

Trip code: MAH181206

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Date: 2018-12-132018-12-27

Trip code: MAH181213

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Date: 2018-12-202019-01-03

Trip code: MAH181220

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Date: 2019-01-032019-01-17

Trip code: MAH190103

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-01-102019-01-24

Trip code: MAH190110

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-01-172019-01-31

Trip code: MAH190117

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Date: 2019-01-242019-02-07

Trip code: MAH190124

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-01-312019-02-14

Trip code: MAH190131

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-02-072019-02-21

Trip code: MAH190207

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Date: 2019-02-142019-02-28

Trip code: MAH190214

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Date: 2019-02-212019-03-07

Trip code: MAH190221

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Date: 2019-02-282019-03-14

Trip code: MAH190228

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Date: 2019-03-072019-03-21

Trip code: MAH190307

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Date: 2019-03-142019-03-28

Trip code: MAH190314

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Date: 2019-03-212019-04-04

Trip code: MAH190321

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Date: 2019-04-112019-04-25

Trip code: MAH190411

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Date: 2019-04-252019-05-09

Trip code: MAH190425

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Date: 2019-05-092019-05-23

Trip code: MAH190509

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Date: 2019-05-232019-06-06

Trip code: MAH190523

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Date: 2019-06-132019-06-27

Trip code: MAH190613

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Date: 2019-07-112019-07-25

Trip code: MAH190711

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Price: €3115

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Date: 2019-07-252019-08-08

Trip code: MAH190725

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Price: €3115

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Date: 2019-08-082019-08-22

Trip code: MAH190808

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Date: 2019-09-052019-09-19

Trip code: MAH190905

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Price: €2915

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Date: 2019-10-032019-10-17

Trip code: MAH191003

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Date: 2019-10-102019-10-24

Trip code: MAH191010

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Date: 2019-10-172019-10-31

Trip code: MAH191017

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Date: 2019-10-242019-11-07

Trip code: MAH191024

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Date: 2019-10-312019-11-14

Trip code: MAH191031

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-11-072019-11-21

Trip code: MAH191107

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-11-142019-11-28

Trip code: MAH191114

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Price: €3135

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Date: 2019-11-212019-12-05

Trip code: MAH191121

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Date: 2019-11-282019-12-12

Trip code: MAH191128

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Date: 2019-12-052019-12-19

Trip code: MAH191205

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Date: 2019-12-122019-12-26

Trip code: MAH191212

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Date: 2019-12-192020-01-02

Trip code: MAH191219

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Customer Feedback

Cycling through Cuba and it’s history

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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.

Read full review

Cycling Cuba

Summary:
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!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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

Read full review

Cycling in Cuba

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

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Making it to the hotel in Sierra Maestre.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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.

Read full review

Unforgettable

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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 .

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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.

Read full review

Cycling Cuba

Summary:
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.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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)!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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.

Read full review

Exhilarating and fun

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I am already looking at other trips with Exodus. I felt it was extremely
well organised and the informafion given accurate.

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Cycling Cuba

Summary:
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.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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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Cycling Cuba

Summary:
I would definitely recommend this fabulous trip! Cycling through Cuba is one
of the best ways to see the country and its people along the way. The trip
ambitiously covers large distances over a sizeable island but the mixture of
cycling and bus transfers just about works. There is a good mixture of
accommodation-types from larger, swankier hotels (either modernist government
hotels or beautiful colonial-style buildings) to staying in a local’s home
(Casas particulares).

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Everyday starting off from our accommodation on our bikes, as a team, in
unison and then finishing the day together. I loved cycling in the mountains
near Santiago, the countryside was more interesting and the cycling more
challenging.
Attending a local dance evening in a ‘village hall’ and dancing salsa as a
group with the locals.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Lismar was a very good guide – well organised, engaging, very informative. We
learnt lots about the complex history and culture of Cuba.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Do take medicines such as Immodium and be cautious – the level of hygiene is
not always what we’re used to and many of us succumbed to the inevitable!

Read full review

The best holiday ever.

Summary:
You exceeded my expectations for this trip. Everything was handled smoothly
and well. We had a variety of accommodations, some Obviously better than
others, the the owners of the casas we stayed in were very accommodating and
made up for in kindness what they may have lacked in amenities. We had a
variety of tours and th MOST DELIGHTFUL tour leader whose memory for dates
and details was beyond compare. He was also encouraging and supportive for
those including myself who struggled on a couple of rides. (Due to my lack of
cycling ability). I believe the rides were exactly what I
expected…challenging for me but not beyond my capabilities…..although
there were a few times I questioned that!!!! The drivers were kind and
funny. When I mentioned we really liked pineapple…Alexis went and got
more! The rooms varied a lot in each hotel and I noted that everyone had
“the best room” at least once….I have to think that was intentional….it
was the extra little touch that made this trip so truly memorable and
special. I am already looking at my next Exodus cycling trip! I would
highly recommend it!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
My personal a I.ity to do this…alone. I had worried that going by myself
may be challenging but a group comraderie developed fast…I am sure this was
encouraged by your staff.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
FANTASTIC!
Personal le smart funny and professional. His handling of the medical
condition of one of the group was excellent. It was a terrible unavailable
situation…but I do no think he could have done more.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared to cycle….I knew I could do 60km…..if I tried….but I did
not expect to do it so fast…but I did do it..and I felt that I had achieved
something.
Bring pens and sweets to give to the kids you see along the way. Bring older
clothes you. Could donate at the end of the trip if you want to…so many in
Cuba would love to have what you don’t want!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
No….I absolutely loved it.

If you could stop the head wind blowing so hard it would be nice!!!!!! I am
of course joking!!

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The turning wheels on a Cuban odyessy

Summary:
Now………….. the first thing to say is that I am NO cyclist…..well
that’s not totally true of course as of course I CAN ride a bike and myself
and my wife have a reasonable level of fitness, however its not my
recreational pastime as was some on our trip…….BUT…..What a holiday.

If you are any doubt about your ability to do this, then so long as you have
that reasonable level of fitness you should be just fine….and if you feel
like riding on the support bus one day or more, then you can do that as well.
No problem or aspersion cast from your fellow travellers.

The perfect thing is that you get to see the country side as it SHOULD be
seen……Up close. Cuba is very beautiful and majestic in places with areas
untouched and great vistas. Lovely to see from a bike.

The tour starts and ends in Havana and you go East going through some of the
most important places such as the historic Bay of Pigs area, World Heritage
site of Trinidad, the National park, and the Bustling City’s of Santiago and
Havana….I’m not going to say all the secrets….I want you to go and find
them yourself, but I promise you will NOT be disappointed. The history and
beauty of the island is a great mix. You really learn a lot.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Well I really loved the off road cycling sections as we went through some of
the areas away from the City’s, beaches and tourist places and you see
exactly how the “ordinary” people live. Its a real eye opener.

That said………. learning Salsa dancing on a roof top in Trinidad will
live long in my mind as well!!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Angel Lopes was a local man who had been to Europe so had travelling
experience himself. He also had a great balance of local knowledge, humour,
and leadership when needed.

He looked after us well and I thought actually handled a couple of difficult
situations with good customer face. Our group was a real mix of young and old
from all over the world, and I think he sized up our personal characters
fairly quickly.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Go with an open mind. Things don’t always go to plan so be prepared to think
on your feet and go with the flow.

The Casa Particulares, (the “bed and breakfast” home lodgings) are variable
standard but apart form one slight issue, all of ours were totally
acceptable. The ones at the Bay of Pigs and Trinidad were especially good.
But they are people homes so have that in mind.

Take hand gel and Toilet paper!!…sounds odd but gives you a bit of personal
protection especially when you are totally away from the city’s.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Consider the Heat (we went in December/January which was very hot at times)
and your personal hydration needs. We found that after a few days we
discarded our backpacks as you can leave things on the bus and you stop
enough, but its good to have your water bottle topped up at all times. The
guides make sure you do that anyway.

The internet is patchy….good news I thought as it was a blessing being away
from the phone….but if you really need to get online it can be done from
time to time.

So………I think This is a great trip and my wife and I really loved
it……….but a county once closed is now slowly opening up. Go and find
your own Cuban odyssey soon.

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Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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