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Cuban Highlights Ride

Cycle through Cuban countryside



At a glance

5 nights hotels, all en suite and some with swimming pools 2 nights Casas Particulares in Trinidad
4 days cycling with 100% vehicle support
90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track
Routes mainly follow quiet roads and can be potholed

Cycle through Cuban countryside

Following country roads we cycle around the lush Bay of Pigs, site of the failed US 1961 invasion attempt, and swim in the inviting waters of the Caribbean Sea. We spend time in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cienfuegos and Trinidad – colourful, colonial cities bursting with atmosphere. Cycling through the tropical forest of Topes de Collantes National Park to Lake Hanabanilla reveals the natural splendour of this island. We end the trip learning about Cuba’s revolutionary history, visiting Che Guevara’s Mausoleum before returning to Castro’s capital – enigmatic, charming Havana.

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Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
All accommodation (see below)
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Arrival & departure transfers
Local bike hire

Food: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included, allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings. We provide basic packed lunches during the day and there are plenty of water and fruit refreshment stops. 3 litres of water pp is included on cycling days. You may wish to bring some of your own energy snacks, as food shops, cafes and restaurants are scarce in many of the rural areas we visit.
Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence (although it is improving). Food can sometimes be relatively unexciting and expensive – in no small part due to the long trade embargo implemented by the US. Vegetarians will find the food choice limited. Meals will be more varied for everyone in Havana and seafood is widely available on the coast.
We recommend that you allow CUC 20 to CUC 30 pp per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. If you need more bottled water than provided, it is available for CUC 1.50 per bottle.

Start destination: Havana

End destination: Havana

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight arrives in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Those on Land Only arrangements should join us at the hotel in the evening.

Day 2

After breakfast we drive east to Cienfuegos via the Bay of Pigs. We stop mid morning for bike fitting and cycle to Playa Larga along the coast. We stop for a swim and picnic close to Punta Perdiz. After lunch we transfer to Playa Giron, where we will visit a museum that commemorates the Bay of Pigs invasion, one of the most important events in Cuba’s recent history. After visiting the museum we drive to Cienfuegos arriving in time for a visit of the historical centre.

Day 3

We set off from the hotel cycling through Cienfuegos and then into the countryside past mango groves. After some short sharp hills, we start to enjoy stunning views of the Escambray Mountains across valleys of sugar cane. The road then undulates close to the coastline and through gentle hills until it reaches Guajimico, sometimes we will continue a bit further to Yuguanabo depending upon which hotel we are using. The rest of the day can be spent swimming in the Caribbean, walking in the surrounding hills or enjoying the views and sipping a mojito!

Day 4

The ride today is along a road that clings to the shimmering Caribbean coastline all the way to Trinidad. We pass small communities and cross bridges over picture perfect bays. Some undulations just before Trinidad give us an appetite before a restaurant lunch in the town! After we’ve reached Trinidad we can spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful World Heritage Site.

Day 5

Today you can either take a break from the saddle or continue exploring Cuba on two wheels. For the cyclists, we will make our way through the picturesque fishing village of La Boca and then continue onwards along the coastline to reach Ancon beach, a classic white sand Caribbean beach. We’ll then cycle or transfer back to Trinidad for a free afternoon. If you’d like to recharge your batteries with a well deserved day off, take the optional catamaran trip to Cayo Macho instead – a chance to get away from it all on another of Cuba’s pristine beaches. Look out for the tame iguanas!

Day 6

After a transfer this morning through the stunning Topes de Collantes National Park, we start cycling along the valley floor between impressive mountains. Scenery is lush with small farms and villages giving way to open vistas as we descend towards Manicaragua. We stop for a picnic along the way and then start to climb towards Hanabanilla, situated on the shores of Lake Hanabanilla and surrounded by lush tropical hills. This is one of the most beautiful days in terms of scenery.

Day 7

In the morning we transfer to Santa Clara. This was the first major city to be liberated by Castro’s army in December 1958. Today a number of monuments commemorate this important period of Cuba’s history, including the mausoleum of the legendary Che Guevara, where we stop for a visit. We then transfer to Havana, with a short stop for lunch along the way. Havana is one of the finest colonial cities in the Americas with narrow streets, spacious plazas and glorious Spanish architecture. There is an air of faded grandeur about the place with paint peeling off buildings and ’50s and ’60s American automobiles still dominating the roads. Time permitting we explore some of modern Havana including Revolution Square and the Capitolio building before checking into our hotel for the night.

Day 8

We dedicate the morning to sightseeing in Old Havana, taking a walking tour of its restored plazas. Those on group flights will transfer approx. 30 – 40 minutes this afternoon to Havana airport for the return flight to London.

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Customer Feedback

Cuban Highlights Ride

Summary:
This was a really enjoyable trip. As well as enjoying a good variety of cycling, we learned a lot about the life and politics of the country and had the chance to explore some amazing historic towns.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
I really enjoyed cycling through the country villages and seeing the pace of rural life. I preferred the habited areas to the coast as there was more variety of landscape.
However, I also really enjoyed riding around Havana in an open-topped sixty year old Pontiac.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Alex was a very conscientious and thoughtful leader with a good sense of humour and a good manner with the group. He made every effort to ensure that we made the most of our holiday. He was also very informative about the history and politics and gave us a much greater understanding of the social issues in the country.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The holiday was graded leisurely/moderate, which I thought could be slightly misleading. I went on the Indo-China and Angkor Wat ride last year which was graded moderate. However, although the mileage in the Cuban trip was significantly less, I thought the cycling itself was harder with more hills and a regular headwind. If I had done the Cuban trip first, I might have been worried about the Indo-China trip being too hard for me. It is always difficult to judge these issues though, and sometimes it depends on the fitness and pace of the overall group.

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

Answer:
This trip was an excellent way of getting a flavour of Cuba and enjoying some cycling in a short period of time

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Cuban Highlights Ride

Summary:
A very well organised trip with a great leader who kept us motivated and entertained. Cuba is changing fast so great to see it firsthand. Cycling conditions were pretty good although it got hot afternoon when the combination of the heat and the hills meant the going got tough from time to time.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
The feeling on achievement after a good ride and seeing Cuba close up. Cycling means you can see details close up.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
A great leader who kept us motivated and entertained.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take lots of suncream ! Some basic cycling gear makes all the difference (good gloves, cycling tops and padded shorts or a gel saddle).

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

Answer:
A couple of ideas for the future: get a good detailed map so the route can be shared with the group members each day so they can see the context for the ride: a couple of earlier starts would mean the group can finish before it gets too hot: and some evening cycling once it gets cooler would also have been a good variation.

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Cuban Highlights cycling

Summary:
Well constructed itinerary exploring many interesting facets of Cuba's latter day existence.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Pros
First view cycling alongside the turquoise ocean………..Cycling into Trinidad……..Old town Havana…….Fifties American cars
Cons
The Russian built hotel by the lake

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Laz made the tour. He was helpful, happy and informative. His communication of the recent history of Cuba was first rate giving a fascinating insight to how it shaped the island into what we saw on this tour. Thanks.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
It was a great trip these are just thing to bear in mind.
Its difficult to generalise but due to the unseasonal heat (35C) and headwinds the cycling was not particularly leisurely!
As Laz said the tour was a cycling tour not a 'gourmet' tour and he was right.
Accommodation was perfectly good.

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

Answer:
Havana airport immigration inadequacies nearly sparked a revolt as we waited to leave!

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Cuban Highlights Ride (MAC) 11-18 Feb 2016

Summary:
A most enjoyable 8 days with a perfect combination of cycling and cultural activities. The guide (Laz) was excellent, as a cycling leader, with knowledge of Cuba, and with melding and helping out the group. The cycles were in very good condition (nearly new) and ideal for the task and the mechanic/safety cyclist (Guillaume) was ever cheerful – and had the biggest thighs we've ever seen. The bus was very comfortable and the driver (Ivan) very safe. The weather, the music, the accommodation, and the cocktails were always excellent.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Wandering around Trinidad and the excellent home stay (Hostal Slovenia ~ Margarita). Music everywhere.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Laz was a perfect tour guide; relaxed, patient, knowledgeable and with excellent English. We were never hassled to move on, never chased to keep up, yet there seemed to be time to do everything. He tolerated our inability to remember timing, restaurant and food options with a smile. Many on the tour were going on to other locations in Cuba or elsewhere and he sorted out all accommodation, directions and transport issues.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If you are thinking about it – go for it! We were concerned that we would not cope with the cycling – we are very irregular cyclists. The cycling was occasionally hard (temperature and hills) but we managed very well. The roads are very quiet, we were always on tarmac (if occasionally potholed) and it was possible to opt out and get on the bus at any time – though we hardly ever did. Seriously, you will cope

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

Answer:
The food was always good and plentiful in quantity and choice. Sandwich lunches on the move were always fine and water was always available from the bus. But is almost impossible to get 'snacks' – it is worth taking a few cereal bars and/or dried fruit to nibble on the road.

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Cuban Highlights Ride 11FEB2016

Summary:
A really interesting insight into this amazing country, viewed from two wheels! We've never experienced such a different culture and way of life, and doing it on a bike, gave us a genuine feeling of connection and involvement.
Everyday was different and varied. The cycling was moderate for non-regular cyclists, but the excellent bikes with good gears made the routes easily doable

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Difficult to choose one moment. The scenery is lovely, but not spectacular. The inspiration was really for us the insight into Cuba and the way Cubans organise their lives

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Laz is a knowledgable and amazingly patient guy. He was always ready to answer any questions and change his plans to fit with our requests. We were a very diverse group, with different interests and abilities, and he managed to make sure we all had a good holiday.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Bring everything you want or think you will need, there are NO shops! Well, of course there are some, but they are not as we know them and they don't sell the odds and ends that you would expect in a tourist destination.
Bring snacks, there is nowhere to buy sweets or chocolate, etc. (our guide was always very grateful for a sweet offering!)
Food is filling and healthy, but not very varied. Do not expect to have a gourmet experience in Cuba !
Bring sterling or Euros to change rather than rely on ATMs, they are few and far between, and some people had trouble making them work.
Wifi is very limited, although there did seem to be good mobile phone reception.

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

Answer:
Don't forget your swimming kit, snorkles and goggles: most of the hotels have good pools and there was plenty of opportunity for a swim in the sea.

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Cuban Highlights Ride

Summary:
I'm not really much of a cyclist but I'd decided that seeing Cuba from the seat of my saddle was the only way to experience this fascinating destination. In the end, I fell in love with Cuba and fell in love with cycling too! The holiday was just the right mix of culture, history and beach and it was all done at our own pace. Each day we saw or did different things and I'd wake up each morning, looking forward to whatever the next day would bring! Also, I felt very safe on my bike. The traffic was very light and always gave us a wide berth.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Meeting the Cuban people. They seem to have very little but they give you so much. Some of us brought small gifts (toys, toiletries, pens, books) which we gave to our hosts in the 'Casas Particulares'. Seeing their smiles was very uplifting.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Jose was excellent. He was very helpful (cycling off at one point to get more currency for the group). He was a proud Cuban with a good sense of humour and was always on hand to sort any issues which arose.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
About half way through the holiday, quite a few members of the group ran out of Cuban money or needed to top up their currency. Changing money wasn't quite as easy as in other parts of the world, so I would advise changing more than the £150 which we were advised to change on arrival at the airport. Oh…and some of my twenty pound notes were refused by the cashiers because they weren't 'perfect'. Make sure the cash you bring into Cuba has no small tears. They will be refused.

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

Answer:
I'm not a cyclist but I completed the course! At times, the hills presented a real challenge but that just added to the sense of achievement at the end of the day. The food was quite ordinary really but nobody in our group was ill. However, my advice would be – just go!…before Cuba changes!

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Cuban Highs and Lows

Summary:
In the immortal words of Kate Humble: things don't go wrong, they just go different! There is nothing like a little adversity to cement friendship. In fact it is an essential ingredient of group cohesion.
Our guide overcame every obstacle with skill and confidence. He made even the most challenging experiences pleasurable. The bus, the mechanic and the driver were the best support team one could have wished for.
Cuba is unpredictable but they made our journey a delightful experience in spite of a few difficulties.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
For me, I was literally inspired by Trinidad where we had time off to ourselves. The Casa Particular where I stayed with two other members of our group was a cozy, homely retreat with a family atmosphere.
I felt inspired to paint. While others went on excursions, I sat and filled my sketchbook with water colours, painting the little cobbled squares and tall towers with their round windows.
Where else in the world can you see 18th century buildings in pristine condition without an advertisement, a traffic light or any other piece of 21st century clutter? Even the few wandering tourists were so sparsely distributed that they did not interfere with my concentration.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Yasell was an inspiring guide whose grasp of English and knowledge of Cuban history kept me fascinated all the time. He was very attentive and amusing. I admire his patience. It can't be easy to deal with 16 people of all different ages.
As a result of his commitment and attention to detail, we all felt we were being very well looked after.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don't gripe before you grasp the realities of life in this very different world. The hotel receptionists may ignore you. They will not have a room ready, the toilet will not have running water, the handles are going to fall off the doors and the taps will be broken. The light switches will not work. The showers will have lost their brackets. The barman won't speak to you.
In short, no one (except our excellent guide, driver and mechanic) will appear to be accountable for anything!
Nonetheless Cuban people, once you get away from the big hotels, are wonderful to spend time among. They are often very warm and not afraid to show their feelings. It feels safe and ultimately very hospitable in spite of the chaos.

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

Answer:
An organized group activity is something that normally provokes in me a severe allergic reaction. However, on this occasion, I did not come out in a rash and I hope, for the sake of my fellow travelers, I made a good impression and entered into the spirit of bonhomie.
Seeing Cuba by pedal power with a well organized group of like minded enthusiasts was one of the best experiences of my life. I will treasure the memory and the friendships I have made for a very long time.

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Cycling Cuban Highlights

Summary:
Fantastic holiday, well organised trip around fascinating and beautiful country. Hotter and more humid than expected. Cycling also harder than expected only because of heat, humidity and head winds. Stops came every 10 to 15km and were much appreciated. Plentiful water was provided but note you do need to take your own snacks, fruit or energy bars/drinks. We were bitten more than we expected so do take repellant with you and possibly some antihistamines. Casa stay in Trinidad was very interesting and despite appearances was very comfortable with full facilities. All the Cubans were very friendly. Day trip on catamaran to beautiful deserted tropical island was outstanding but was a long motor out (2hrs). Boat trip around lake and dam was quite different though! – rather worryingly unstable, noisy and full of exhaust (and driver's cigarette) fumes! Somewhat spoilt the beauty of the lake and surrounds.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The helpfulness of the Exodus team when we accidently mislaid a bag. (James was very kind)

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:

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

Answer:
Would like to spend more time in the country.

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Cuba Highlights were the Highlights!

Summary:
Just returned from the eight day trip cycling around Central Cuba. Still on a high!. Brilliant first holiday with Exodus. The combination of an excellent tour guide (Thank you Yasel and his crew), a great bunch of fellow travellers/cyclists, lush green undulating countryside, a variety of good accommodation including two nights "homestays" in Trinidad, the vibrant music, and a hot sunny climate to contrast with the dark, cold grey of London I left, resulted in a memorable holiday experience.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Most inspirational moment? – Freewheel cycling 5 KM downhill in blissful sunshine and fresh morning breeze in a stretch of the lush green Topes de Collantes National Park, from the beautiful Lake Hanabanilla. Pure elation! Sadly our last bike journey of the trip before returning to Havana.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Yasel was a real star and key to the whole success of the trip. His knowledge of Cuban history, geography, culture, politics, and culinary delights made it a stimulating week of learning and fun. Always aware of striking the right balance of keeping us to schedule but also able to adapt and improvise if external conditions or requests from the group needed or could be accommodated. He and our driver and mechanic made it so easy for us to just enjoy the whole experience. Even down to laying on a shower of cold water (flagen of cold water poured on our heads) at the top of some of the more challenging hills.)

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Just go! Be flexible to try new things, don't make comparisons to other holidays/hotels/meals you've experiences and enjoy the charm, beauty of Cuba and its people as it is today, maybe a unique time in its history. Also I found it good to do a bit of pre reading on the country's history before I went. Its also given me incentive to read more now that I'm back.

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

Answer:
I guess a trip like this can very much depend/success rest, on the make up of the group you are with. This was the first Exodus trip I've done, so while I can't compare but this group were a great crowd, we had lots of laughs and it was a pleasure meeting and spending time with them.

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Fantastic trip

Summary:
Cycling in Cuba

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
seeing the Cuban culture

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent, knowledgable and professional.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
sun is strong whilst cycling so while vests may seem the cooler option a cycling t-shirt will protect you from sunburnt shoulders/back.
During the heat you may prefer to make use of bus to carry back pack whilst cycling so bring water bottle if you have camel back. A small bag that can attach to Bike frame (behind seat or on cross bar) would of been useful to carry camera/phone/sun cream etc when not using back pack although bus is accessible at each stop.

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

Answer:
Great trip with a great group of people.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
I really enjoyed this trip. I was really taken by the friendliness and beauty of Cuba, and the bravery and resilience of the people there. The itinerary was good, allowing us to see different aspects of Cuba, and the accommodation was comfortable and well-located. The cycling was not particularly easy, as it was seriously hot (between 35 and 40 degrees some days), and there was often a really annoying headwind, but, despite that, it was enjoyable as we passed through some great scenery. The group was great too.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
There wasn't one particular moment. The whole place is inspirational, although it's hard to see how the changes currently taking place are going to have a positive impact on all Cubans. It's hot. It's humid. There's music everywhere. The rum based drinks are fab. The men are a bit too forward. The sea is so blue and the sand so white. The renovations of the old colonial buildings are starting to make things look a bit Disney-like. It all makes for a really great, interesting trip, and I'd go again in a heart beat.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our leader was Laz, and we had Guille as mechanic and Eduardo as driver. They were a great team, and I think we all really enjoyed being in their company.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Try and keep loads of ten and 25 centavo coins to give to the toilet attendants. Take some long sleeve tops for cycling – even wearing high protection suncream some of us got burnt. You might need ear plugs as Cuban cockerels, pineapple sellers, etc. etc. start early! Immodium might be a good idea too, as there were a few dodgy tummies among the group!

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

Answer:

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Wonderful country and people

Summary:
Cycling in Cuba sounds like a great trip but it was a bit of a leap in the dark in many ways for me and my wife. However the trip was a great success on every level! The bikes were really good, much better than the ones we trained on at home. Las, the tour guide was also ideal, informative, funny and resourceful – and he needed to be sometimes as in Cuba things don't always run to plan but he managed to make this part of the fun. Gear, (never really sure about his name), was great as our super-fit support cyclist who kept an eye on us when we were cycling and was always there for anyone struggling for any reason. Edwardo the driver was always where he needed to be and the converted coach carrying the bikes and us to our next start point was very comfortable. The great thing was never having to worry as the travel, support, hotels and meals were all well organised so all we had to do was enjoy the scenery and the wonderful Cuban people. They ultimately made the trip so good as they are polite, friendly, entertaining and most of all fun! Having a good time seems to be ingrained in the culture so a few Salsa lessons before the holiday are recommended.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
A group of us being given a Salsa lesson in the HQ courtyard! It was really, really fun not least because the Cuban staff found our attempts hilarious enough to film, ( although I hope I'm not on YouTube) and you could see why when 2 staff gave us a demonstration of how it is really done.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent. He was good fun without being ingratiating and obviously very knowledgeable about the local area and wildlife. when things didn't go quite according to plan he simply improvised, re-organised and calmly resolved any issues. We learnt a lot about the revolution and it's effect on the Cuban way of life and I finished the holiday feeling a great deal of respect for the Cuban people.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Learn to Salsa and get some cycling practice. The cycling isn't too difficult but over 25 miles a day can be a challenge if you're inexperienced.

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

Answer:
We spent the last evening in the Hotel Miramar which is on the outskirts of Havana, but many felt it would have been much nicer if we could have stayed in the Hotel Nacionale which was a more traditional hotel in old Havana.

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Highlights of Cuban Highlights Ride

Summary:
This was our first guided cycle tour experience and it definitely will not be the last. Beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, regular exercise, interesting locales, sharing the adventure with a bunch of like-minded strangers (not for long) – all the ingredients for a truly memorable vacation.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
This was my first trip to Cuba. I had expected to see "poverty" but soon realized this is not an impoverished nation in the traditional sense of this word. Definitely, the living standards are low compared to First World. However, the people are well educated, mostly well-fed and housed, and make do with much less "stuff" than we are accustomed to having. Cuba is a fascinating country that is best experienced first-hand because it truly is unique.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Yazel was knowledgeable, patient, extremely well organized and a passionate host to the group. He took great care to make sure everybody was well prepared at each stage of the tour itinerary. Our driver (Eduardo) and bike mechanic ("TT") did not speak much English but were very friendly and always willing to listen to our own sorry attempts at communicating in Spanish. Yazel provided a steady supply of information, with historical and local flavour, prior to and during each day's riding or bus transfer.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Unless you are used to riding in high heat (averaged 32-34C by mid-day) and humidity, I would say the riding is of mild to moderate intensity most of the time, not leisurely. The optional "challenge" hill on the last biking day is fun but it is a true challenge – slow and steady wins the day!
Take more cash than you think you will need, and expect to pay for everything in cash. Our Canadian bank cards (debit and credit) did NOT work, even in Havana. Awkward! Fortunately, our new biking amigos bankrolled us.

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

Answer:
This trip exceeded our expectations in every way. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody who is curious about the country.

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Great way to experience Cuban city, coast and mountains

Summary:
I really enjoyed this trip. It was varied and exciting, and we had an excellent guide. Cycling was an excellent way to see the "real" Cuba, getting out of the cities into the countryside. We also saw lots of interesting historical sites, and had plenty of opportunities to swim, relax and drink mojitos.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Cycling through the Escambre mountains, listening to the birds singing and seeing the small farms which seemed unchanged for centuries.
Overtaking horses and carts on quiet country roads.
visiting the historic city of Trinidad.
Snorkelling on coral reefs in the Carribean.
Seeing the Buenavista Social Club perfom live.
Drinking mojitos and pina coladas in shady terraces and by the sea.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leader Yazel was excellent in all respects. Everything ran smoothly and we were always given clear information. The choice of restaurants for meals was excellent, we had some lovely meals. He gave lots of interesting information about history and society in Cuba.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Cycling – given the heat and the number of hills – was a bit tougher than I expected from the "Leisurely moderate" grading! (Though bus back up is always available if you need it). If you are not already a regular cyclist, do some training.
Bring plenty of cash and don't rely on using cash machines or credit cards.
Spend a day or two extra in Havana at the end of the trip – it is a fascinating city.

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

Answer:

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Cuban Highlights Cycling Adventure

Summary:
When I took the Exodus flyer from my windscreen 8 years ago at my local trail centre, I knew I'd be going on a cycling holiday one day… and that day has just been. Cuba did not disappoint – it is a perfect destination for a holiday like this. Lots of cycling and lots of culture… oh and lots of Mojitos!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Seeing the Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum and learning about life in Cuba before and after the Revolution.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Yazel was brilliant – he made everything happen behind the scenes, organised our accommodation and evening meals – he kept us informed and looked after the groups' needs as and when things happened.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Living out of a suitcase pretty much moving day to day meant there wasn't too much opportunity to do laundry or dry wet articles of clothing – if you travel with this in mind you shouldn't go far wrong.

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

Answer:
We had Aussie and Canadian travellers in our group and they did experience problems in withdrawing cash even though their banks are not US – I would recommend bringing the relevant cash to change if possible.

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Amazing Cuba!!

Summary:
A fantastic trip – does exactly what it promises…gives you all the best Cuban highlights and the best way to see them is by bike! The cycling was harder work than I was expecting, but that suited me (and most of the group I think) just fine, so was a mixture of sight seeing, mojitos and exercise – so a great balance overall. Cuba is a wonderful country and I'm so pleased to have been and seen it this way. We stayed in some nice hotels and the guest house (Casa) experience in Trinidad added a bit of extra variety. The food is nothing special, but the rum and coctails more than make up for that!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Cycling along the coast roads, around the mountians and through towns and villages – rewarded by either a dip in the Caribbean sea or a hotel pool.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Jose was a great group leader. Very knowledgable so acted as a fab tour guide, not just a cycle group leader. Learnt alot from his information and experiences as we travelled around.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
A must do trip. If you have the time and energy I'd consider the 2 week trip as once you get there, you'll want to stay longer and see more!

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

Answer:
Don't go cuisine, but do go for the cocktails!! Lovely country, lovely people and a really lovely holiday.

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Highly Recommended Highlights Tour

Summary:
Great cycling tour in a unique and welcoming country. Cuba seems to have a first world health system (thankfully not tested on this trip!), second world bureaucracy and third world agriculture. Best of all, though, is the warmth and old-fashioned civility of the people. Not to mention the climate!

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Too many to list them all. Getting to the top of the big hill on our last day of cycling felt great. We had wonderful meals at Alberto's in Trinidad and at the Restaurant Moneda Cubana in Havana. Although the quality of the casas particulares in Trinidad was very variable, Lopez and Jumele looked after us royally.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Jose was a great Cuban character with an endearing habit of laughing at his own jokes – so surprisingly and raucously that the rest of us generally fell about laughing at him. He was very informative and shepherded us gently.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take some diocalm or something of the sort: quite a few of the group had dodgy tummies by the end of the tour.

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

Answer:
This would have been a 5* review but for the extension trip to Cayo Levisa which we found a bit disappointing. It's a long way from Cuba, the food was very basic, and there is significant building work going on to add a new restaurant and several new bungalows. I'm sure it will be terrific when finished and re-planted but, for now, it felt a little like living in a building site.

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Cycling and Salsa

Summary:
Cycling in Cuba is the only way to do it! Beautiful scenery on quiet roads. Combines a Caribbean adventure with sightseeing, history, salsa and beach.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
I would call myself a 'social cyclist' but cycling in such a wonderful place and with such a fun group makes me want to cycle more now that I am back home. For me, a real sense of achievement.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
I know everyone makes favourable comments about their guide, but Freddy was absolutely amazing. He really could not have done more for us. His first hand knowledge of his homeland was excellent. He has a brilliant sense of humour. He looked after us so well, even on the evenings we had 'on our own'. Our group was truly great and inseparable. All 17 plus Freddy dined together every night, and we all did the optional bike ride to the lovely Playa Ancon.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I read all the reviews. Great advice. I would add: wheelie case useful for all the moving, and don't pack full….you are literally living out of a suitcase. Also take quick drying stuff e.g. Travel towel. Sink plug useful. I got to use my mask and snorkel but could have managed without the fins, which take up space. A friend told me to take boiled sweets….thank you, they helped me up those hills. Spare water bottle, yes dropped and broke one. Changing money is easy, we did ours after exciting the airport before getting on the bus (we asked Freddy if we had time). But we underestimated how much. We had to change more later in the week. Although most food in, and drinks cheap, you will want to buy soft drinks, coffees, beer and cocktails! The trip notes say 20 to 30 CUCs per day per person for days when food not provided. I would budget 20 per day! And if you want to buy a lot souvenirs, more. Finally, wish we'd taken a Go Pro!

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

Answer:
All hotels very clean with air conditioning. Casa charming. Food plentiful. Fantastic holiday. Wish I was still there!

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Fantastic trip!

Summary:
This was my first solo adventure! My first trip with Exodus, My first cycling holiday and the first trip to Cuba…..they will not be the last! I had a wonderful holiday and have only positive things to say about the week. I absolutely loved Cuba and cycling was a great way of seeing the country. It was such a vibrant place to be.
The organisation of the holiday was great, not too structured and rigid , just the right amount of free time and you always had the choice of whether to join in or not. The group of people I was with were very friendly and fun and also supportive and encouraging. I felt that we saw alot in the week, from beaches, to beautiful forests to exciting towns and nightlife.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The last cycling day was really quite challenging for me , it was a great feeling to get to the top of the hills!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Freddie is brilliant and a perfect group leader. Very self assured, relaxed but in control. Very encouraging and reassuring. A cool guy!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Personally I would n't describe the cycling we did as particularly leisurely but I guess this depends on cycling fitness. We did some roller coaster hills which I think required a certain level of fitness. I certainly wish I had done more cycling prior to the trip. I got very saddle sore!

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

Answer:
I would highly recommend this holiday and would definitely book another exodus trip! Thankyou so much!

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Amazing cycling in beautiful countryside – go before it’s too late

Summary:
This was my first cycling holiday, and I couldn’t fault it. The roads are almost void of cars, making riding peaceful and safe. Also the scenery is ever changing, one day we were cycling in open farmland, another along the coast and another in the lush valleys of the interior of the island.
The cycle days aren’t too long giving you a bit of the afternoon to either, relax, swim, or take in some local sights.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Cycling though small towns and villages, where the local children would run out to give you a wave – cliché I know, but lovely when it happens.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We were a full group, but our guide Jazel had a great command, while still being warm and friendly. His knowledge of Cuba was next to none. He went way beyond what I expect from a leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Snacks, like nuts, crisps and sweets, are quite hard to come by, so take some with you.
The casa’s can be quite noisy, so make sure you take some ear plugs.

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

Answer:
While we were there, Presidents Castro and Obama made their historic speeches, announcing a renewal of relations between Cuba and The USA. This will no doubt change Cuba beyond recognition; go now, before it’s too late.

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A wonderful trip

Summary:
I've wanted to cycle Cuba since I first visited in 1998 and saw cyclists arrive at my hotel. Yes, it's taken me a long while to finally get there and I was afraid I may be disappointed but this is a brilliant trip that will leave you wanting to do it all over again.
We were lucky to have Freddy as our guide and he was an absolute professional. Every step of the tour was designed for us to get the most out of each day and evening.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
There were plenty. Diving in the cave of fishes, swimming in the Caribbean, dancing in Trinidad, sharing my 50th birthday with the group, reaching Hanabanilla and seeing the view, cycling through stunning countryside.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
A consummate professional. We were lucky to have Freddy as our leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Read the travel notes and the reviews. The travel notes are very accurate and give you a good idea of what to pack. The traveller reviews are full of good ideas of what to take like a gel saddle, loo roll, torch, F50 sunscreen.
Expect to find some of the accommodation a little basic but all was habitable.
Relax and enjoy the experience as it passes in a flash. Say yes to every suggestion to go to a local bar, family home or club and you'll see the real Cuba.

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

Answer:
We went for my 50th birthday – I loved every minute of the holiday.

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Cuban Highlights Ride

Summary:
Beautiful scenery, plentiful food and lots of history.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
It was fantastic cycling through Cuba rather than sitting on a bus. There was so much time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the quiet roads, fully appreciate the scenery and make lots of stops at road side stalls for refreshments. Trinidad was a beautiful town with lots of great photo opportunities. The history of Cuba was fascinating and, having never visited this part of the world before, it was great to experience the music and feel the salsa beat! Staying in the Casa in Trinidad was a great experience and one that I would highly recommend.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our guide, Yuri, had a quirky sense of humour and managed our large group of 18 people very well. He was full of information about Cuba and suggested some really nice restaurants to go to on the days when food was not included.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I took quite a lot of snacks, but found that I did not need them. Food was plentiful and the portions large, so I ended up giving most of my food to our guide. Definitely take loads of biros and soap to give to local people, hotel chambermaids etc. as they really appreciate it. Our guide wanted any medicines that we had too, especially paracetamol, and also sun cream, so it would be worth taking spare with you to give to your guide.
The cycling was reasonably leisurely, although the hills, when they came, were killers! I cycled in trail shoes and others in my group just in sandals, and both were fine. I would definitely recommend taking a gel saddle and padded cycling shorts-I am so glad that I had both! People are not joking when they say Havana immigration is lengthy-it took me two and a half hours to get through! Make sure you have plenty of water (as it was very hot in the arrivals hall), snacks, a book and a whole lot of patience!!!!

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

Answer:
Cuba is definitely a great destination to do on 2 wheels-we needed the exercise too after all the big meals! It is fascinating to see all the old cars everywhere, as well as the colonial buildings, and it is worth visiting Cuba now before it changes too much. A great trip with fantastic scenery and a good mix of activities.

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CUBA HIGHLIGHTS

Summary:
An excellent experience for the occasional cyclist who wants to see and experience the unique sights and sounds of this fascinating country. Extremely well-led by first-rate guides who convey the sense of history whilst, also, making sure that you enjoy the holiday.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Visiting the amazing old town of Trinidad. It has an eventful history that encompasses the slave trade and tabacco plantation era. Nowadays the ‘owners’ original estate mansion is preserved as it was centuries ago, whilst the ‘workers’ tiny terraced houses provide a remarkable contrast to the palacial style of the mansion.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
He was a font of knowledge who guided the group with such a natural and friendly style. It’s impossible to find any shortfall.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I wish that I had read a little more of Cuba’s history prior to the trip. There was so much to take-in that I’m sure that I missed many interesting features.

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

Answer:
The trip is provides exactly what ‘it says on the can’!! Its an opportunity to see and hear [many street musicians!!] the best highlights of that Caribbean island

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Cuban Highlights October 2014

Summary:
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Cycling through Cuba was an excellent way to see the countryside and enjoy the weather.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
One of my favourite days was the optional day of cycling from Trinidad. We cycled to a sugar mill in the morning and the views from the top of the tower were fantastic. We then returned to Trinidad and our guide took us to a family run restaurant (which we never would have found on our own) where we had a delicious lobster lunch. Following lunch we cycled to the beach where we were had a well earned swim and a mojito (or two).

I also really enjoyed the final day of cycling when we had some excellent downhill sections, cycled through beautiful countryside and saw working farms, including cowboys. The day finished with a 9km hill climb (don’t worry, it is optional), which although I found it very challenging, I felt the sense of achievement at the end made it all worthwhile.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our group leader was excellent. He was incredibly knowledgeable and taught us a lot about Cuba’s history and economy. He was friendly, approachable and good fun.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t forget to take padded shorts. We also found a bumbag useful for wearing on the bike to carry a camera, loo roll and money etc.

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

Answer:

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS

Summary:
It was closer to a moderate ride than leisurely and thoroughly enjoyable.
Could not have wished for a better group.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Just having the most amazing Exodus guide who spoke fluent English and his knowledge of Cuba was superb so his narrative along the journey made the whole trip inspirational

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Absolutely the best. He was so enthusiastic, knowledgeable, had a great sense of humour and was there for us 24/7 – truly able to knock on his door at any hour for help.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Have a reasonable level of fitness, be prepared for the heat, be relaxed about the whole trip, get to know your fellow travellers and enjoy.

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

Answer:
Will be sure to use Exodus again – just hope next group leader is as great.

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Cuban Highlights – Cycling

Summary:
I had an excellent time on this trip. The cycling through rural areas was great and the knowledge, help and organisation by our guide, Yazel, exceptional.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Seeing how local Cubans live with their “daily struggle”.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Fantastic. Yazel was approachable, funny and well liked by our group. He did his best to ensure that we had an excellent time. His dancing was great as well.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I think the trip notes say it all.

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

Answer:
I would recommend this trip to anyone (and I already have)!

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A good quick cycle through Cuba, avoid the crabs !

Summary:
Cuban Highlights is a good leisurely trip through Cuba. The cycling itself is fun, fairly easy and the views are great, certainly the highlight being when the crabs are crossing the roads and you try to avoid them!

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Making it up the highest climb with the sun beating down in 35c heat was an inspiration. Along with the locals who always have a band striking up nearby, always do salsa and smoke cigars.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Tony was very informed, knew everyone was funny and kept everyone organised involved.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Go, definitely go while the Castro's are in power as without doubt the country will change drastically after that point.

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

Answer:
Cuba is like stepping back in time, vintage cars, Old Havana hasn't changed much and is full of charm, like the locals. Go !

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A trip full of excellent memories with the experience heightened by the enthusiastic guide and his colleague who drove the bus. A thought provoking view of a different type of society, with a recent and impressive history.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The Che monument at Santa Clara: not the monument but the explantions and understand that occured while we were there.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
superb

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
go

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

Answer:
go and then you’ll go back

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end! Lovely group, a beautiful place to cycle to and a vibrant and friendly place, and a brilliantly organized itinerary.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Well, I loved the evening out in Trinidad when the group meal included dancing and joining in with the band on percussion! Such a laugh! An evening that makes me smile just to think about it! After that we found a bar where we watched some gorgeous camp young men (great fun!) do synchronized salsa and they invited us to join in with them, and then danced salsa in the street as there was a festival on. The locals are great fun and have a real love of dancing and for life and love dancing with the tourists!
I also loved the cycling, especially the fourth day, a fabulous way to see the country. Last but not least the day on the catamaran where we did some snorkelling and then had lunch on a Caribbean island was also to die for!!! Can’t think of a better way to spend a holiday!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Lovely! Tony is a cool Cuban knew all about the island and could answer any question. (and could salsa, as could everyone from what we could see)

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Yes, when I arrived at Havana airport and was waiting for the rest of the group to get through immigration (a long process) I went to exchange some money. As I was a bit confused to begin with the girl on the exchange pretended that I had given her less money than I had. She went through an elaborate procedure of looking for the extra 50 euro note that she said I hadn’t given her. Eventually, when I wouldn’t back down, she ‘found’ the missing 50 euro, just in front of her underneath a shelf. So be careful!
The locals don’t ask for money but all would appreciate pens and soap, if you want to take some extra!!

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

Answer:
The cycling isn’t too difficult, only the first day I was slightly under ‘duress’, (and I’m not fit) but I think it was because it was the day after a long flight and I wasn’t used to the heat.
I loved the ‘home-stay’.
One week isn’t enough, better to stay a few extra days, it’s a really friendly place, even on your own it would be fun.
The first hotel didn’t do a good breakfast and food, and generally the food is a bit plain for my liking but you get used to it!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Wow! My first trip with Exodus and it won’t be my last. My first trip to Cuba and it won’t be my last. My first Group holiday and it won’t be my last. Taking this trip ranks alongside some of the very best decisions I’ve taken and I can’t recommend this trip highly enough!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
I really can’t single out one inspirational moment, so I’ve identified 10 reasons why this trip will live in my memory for a long, long time and why I would recommend this trip to anyone reading this review.
1. Exodus made everything so easy. As a first time group holiday traveller, I was unsure what to expect but the support from Exodus staff, the quality of the Trip Notes and the joining instructions, the help with additional extras like airport hotel/parking made this so so easy. I will never use any other company for the many more trips I now plan to take.
2. Cuba – wow, what a fascinating country to visit. Full of contradiction, full of authenticity, full of inspiration and warmth, full of beauty and of history and full of fun and laughter. The scenery was beautiful, the climate warm and pleasant for cycling. I can’t recommend Cuba enough – go now before it gets spolit by westernisation in the future.
3. Cycling – I’ve never experienced such pleasurable cycling. The roads are a joy to cycle in as there is so little traffic on much of the roads this trip uses. What traffic there is respects cyclists and is quite content to stay behind the riders and only overtake when it is very safe to do so. Even then, they give you a wide birth and you never feel at risk like you do in the UK much of the time. The weather was great, the scenery stunning, the amount of cycling generally ok if a little light (for me) on day 1 and day 4. The level is mostly ‘easy’ with occasional ‘moderate’ patches such as the final 8k uphill climb on day 5. The bus was never far away if anyone wanted to take a rest, so have no fear about joining this trip if you are concerned about your ability to keep up. This really is accessible to all who have a reasonable base fitness.
4. Food – I read much about Cuba being a ‘poor’ culinary experience. Nonsense! Sure, if you’re expecting nouvel cuisine or gastronomic delights and michelin standards then you will probably be disappointed. But the food was in the main very tasty, plentiful, nutricious and satisfying. Exactly what you want when cycling in my opinion. My only quibble would be the lack of option for vegetarians since most meals had simple chicken or beef to go with the rice, beans and potatoes.
5. Fellow Travellers – what can I say about my fellow travellers? As this was my first group holiday, I was a little apprehensive that I would be joining lots of couples or big groups travelling together. I also feared my fitness would be short of the group’s, or that I would be the ‘old man’ of the group. I needn’t have feared. This trip seems to attract people of all ages, from 20s/30s right through to a gentleman in his 70s who was more than able to keep pace. There were couples, there were solo travellers, there were cyclists and there were non-cyclists. It really was a mixed group. What everyone had in common was that they were fun people to be with. I never for one moment felt alone, and the trip was undoubtedly made so amazing by the people I had the pleasure of being with.
6. The Trip Leader – Tony was a great trip leader. Excellent English, great knowledge of Cuba, warm and friendly, sensitive to the level of the group and their needs, supportive and helpful at all times, Tony did a lot to make this trip feel safe, well organised, fun and interesting. I particularly liked the way Tony listened to what the group wanted to do on the last night in Havana, and rather than insisting that the whole group did the same thing, he supported everyone’s desire to make the most of the last night and do thier own thing in old havana. Given that many didn’t have extra nights to explore, this was definitely very welcome by most of the group.
7. The Music – I’ve never listened much to Cuban music, and I’m not much of a dancer. But I was overwhelmed by the stunning music in Cuba. From street music in and around squares and next restaurants to the huge array of restaurants, bars and clubs where music is the soul of the place. Highlights included having a performance by Son Malibran while the group had dinner in Trinidad, a group so engaging and fun that they had us joining them as honorary band members for a song. Then there was the Legendarios del Guajirito show in Havana which seems to be associated to the Buena Vista Social Club, sharing many of the same musicians. Stunning show, stunning music and just impossible not to get off your feet and dance. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve danced in the last 10 years, and that night was the best of them without a doubt.
8. The logistical support – Our bus was always close by and always there in case anyone needed a rest, some water, some fruit or to get sun screen or anything else off the bus. We had a great technical support man who was quickly able to deal with the very few issues we had; punctures, chains coming off, severed pedal. At times, he was also able to lend a hand ‘pushing’ flaggers up the ‘undulations’, very welcome by those who were close to getting on the bus on the hills but really didn’t want to.
9. Trinidad and the Casa Particular – Trinidad is such a fun and authentic place to spend a couple of nights. The personal owners of the Casa could not have been more welcoming, could not have done more to make our stay in their home fun and memorable. I would always choose a Casa for future Cuban trips. The atmosphere on the streets was one of fun – not the faintest undercurrent of tension or trouble, just masses of people happy to dance, laugh, chat, engage and welcome us into their town. Everywhere there were vintage cars, delightful little stalls and shops, music coming from yet another bar / club / restaurant. Fantastic place.
10. The fire eating, glass treading, salsa teaching mad-man who provided the brooding, mysterious entertainment in the hotel at Yuguanabo. Turns out he’s also the egg chef at breakfast the next day. Great fun!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Tony was a great trip leader. Excellent English, great knowledge of Cuba, warm and friendly, sensitive to the level of the group and their needs, supportive and helpful at all times, Tony did a lot to make this trip feel safe, well organised, fun and interesting. I particularly liked the way Tony listened to what the group wanted to do on the last night in Havana, and rather than insisting that the whole group did the same thing, he supported everyone’s desire to make the most of the last night and do thier own thing in old havana. Given that many didn’t have extra nights to explore, this was definitely very welcome by most of the group.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Go to Cuba now before it changes! Take some snacks for the flight out to Cuba if travelling direct from Gatwick to Havana. The Virgin food, while tasty, is meagre in portion size and given the flight is into prevailing winds, quite a long one and so I felt overly hungry by the time we finally got through immigration. Be patient when going through immigration, it’s slow.

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

Answer:
Just the most amazing trip. I’m a convert to exodus, to group holidays, to Cuba and to activity holidays. I can’t wait to do more of all of these!!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
What better way to justify another mojito than by burning off the calories cycling along the amazing Caribbean coast of Cuba! With great views, an amazing and informative guide and not too many hills to spoil the rest of the holiday!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Meeting the locals and having the opportunity to stay in a Casa was the best part of the trip for me.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We had Freddy, a local Cuban with 20 years experience as a guide in Cuba and the cycling proesse of the pros! With a wicked sense of humour and a relaxed antitude it was great to hear his views about the country.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The cycling isn’t as bad as some had expected. All of the the bikes are boy bikes however, so if you do a lot of cycling yourself you may want to consider bringing your own seat.
I also took a handlebar with me so I could put my camera in it. This was the only thing I needed close to hand as the bus was always not far behind. Many people didn’t even have a rucksack with them.

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

Answer:
Great trip and I’d really recommend it to anybody!!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
What an amazing country to cycle in. Pretty much traffic free. Fascinating history. Beautiful landscapes, especially through the national parks. Cheap rum. Lovely people. An hilarious, funny tour guide who made the trip extra special and an amazing bunch of guys we cycled with. A memorable holiday

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Not sure if inspirational is the right word. All of it was amazing. Havanah fascinating and a perfect end to the trip. Driving and cycling thru the national park, the scenery was awesome.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Hose was extremely helpful, funny, entertaining, courteous and kind. He went beyond the call of duty to make the holiday special and smooth flowing for everybody. It was wonderful seeing the passion and pride that he had in his country. We all wanted to take him home at the end.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If they can try to extend their stay at the end in Havanah. Perhaps even for just one more night. Also they should try and discover more of the island themselves. The usual – plenty of high factor, padded bike seats. they should not worry as we felt extremely safe there.

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

Answer:
Food is not one of the highlights. Perhaps some of the heavy lunches could be swopped for a more lighter fare or even not include lunches and people can decide for themselves what they want to eat. some of the food was not edible. the final lunch in havanah should be omitted so that people can go and chose a nice place to have a drink and a bite to eat.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Excellent and well organised trip. Perfect way to see various parts of Cuba in a short space of time.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The last days cycle to Hanabanillia was particularly good, however the whole country is intoxicating. Trinidad is a beautiful town providing ample opportunity to practice your salsa moves after the days cycle. I highly recommend the ‘cave disco’ after a few mojitos.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
José was a supportive and informative leader. He entertained us with Cuban history and the odd joke between transfers. Get him to tell you the canary one, it still makes me giggle.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The bikes are well maintained but I’d recommend a pair of cycling shorts or a gel seat and camelback for hydration. Both will make the undulations more enjoyable.

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

Answer:
The route takes you through a number of villages, along coastal paths and up to the Emcambray mountains. Take plenty of photos because you won’t get the chance later on. I would also recommend buying a Lonely Planet or alternative guide book and staying in Cuba after the tour is over. Several members of our group did so with José’s help and I regret not doing the same.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
An excellent trip which exceeded our expectations. We had a great time in a country in which we always felt very safe. Cuba is wonderful, such a fascinating country, well worth visiting before Western influences and an increase in tourism change it irrevocably. As others have commented, you cycle with some really nice people on these trips.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The caves in Guajimico, the music in Trinidad and Havana, the constant backdrop of the Escambray mountains, the iridescent turquoise waters of the Caribbean or the sunset in Hanabanilla, but there wasn’t just one inspirational moment, there were lots of them throughout the trip. For us the best day’s cycling was the optional ride in the Valle de los Ingenios, the best place visited was Trinidad and the loveliest location for a hotel was Guajimico on the south coast or Hanabanilla beside a lake in the Escambray hills. If you have extra time in Havana, it is a truly inspirational city.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
He was very good – professional, patient and well organised and offered us some very interesting insights into Cuban life.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I would support much of the advice given by other contributors to these reviews.
1. Take plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent and toiletries, toilet rolls and plenty of cash (ATMs are few and far between). Also take a padded seat cover to put over your seat and padded shorts. We would also strongly recommend that you take immodium with you.
2. If you enjoy snorkelling, take a snorkel – a number of people in our group regretted not having one when we stopped at a couple of excellent spots for snorkelling.
3. In Guajimico we were offered a trek in the afternoon of our arrival. It is excellent, not a ‘trek’ but a leisurely one and a half hours stroll through the woods along the coast, a swimming opportunity in an idyllic little cove and a visit to some caves where we saw some bats.
4. In Trinidad there is a rest day which gives you the opportunity to have a rest, go on a catamaran trip or cycling in the Valle de los Ingenios. Most went on the catamaran trip (the usual boat trip with bar facilities, lunch and some free time on a beach) but my wife and I cycled in the Valle de los Ingenios – for us it was the best day’s cycling as the valley with the Manaca Iznaga tower is a Unesco World Heritage site and the views were wonderful.
5. At the Havana hotel, the Occidental Miramar, we would recommend the à la carte restaurant El Patio – it was our best meal in Cuba, a little more expensive than other meals but still under 50$ for two.
6. The group tour of Havana at the end of the trip is too short for such a fascinating city. My wife and I booked a two weeks holiday in Cuba – 3 nights in a hotel in old Havana, the 8 nights cycling holiday and 4 nights in an all inclusive hotel beach hotel in Varadero – and would thoroughly recommend it.

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

Answer:
The holiday is advertised as a leisurely cycling holiday and I think that this is an accurate reflection of the degree of difficulty of the terrain with only the last 8km to Hanabanilla moderately difficult. However, on two of the cycle days all the cycling (45km) is done before lunch and therefore completed in little over three hours, which is not a particularly leisurely pace. I would repeat the comments of an earlier contributor. When cycling don’t be deterred by others who seem keen to travel quickly through the terrain – you’ll catch them up when they stop at the planned resting places every 15km or so. You are there ‘to see Cuba by bicycle’.. you can’t see much if you are cycling without pausing to have a closer look at the more interesting things you pass . Stop en route to take photos: you will be surrounded by wonders. Just enjoy!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A wonderful trip: varied, well organised, challenging and relaxing.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
many highlights:
cycling though the countryside and in the rolling hills
meeting lots of very friendly, honest and lively Cubans
the bustle and beauty of Trinadad and Havana
strolling, eating and drinking in the evenings and at night
swimming and snorkelling in the Caribbean
a great group

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Tony was very helpful, knowledgeable and passionate. Always very responsive to requests and feedback.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I’m glad I took my saddle, and saddle bag, as it meant I did not need anything on my back.
If you have clip-on pedals and shoes then bring them- they helped on the hills, especially on the “moderate” last 8k climb!
Bring sweets and snacks for the rides, and then give them away to kids at the end.
I took unused soap and shampoo from hotels to give to people- much appreciated.

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

Answer:
The food and accommodation were much much better than hinted at in the trip notes.
The trip would have been perfect if it could have included some visits to Cubans in their home, and perhaps a meal with them.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A great country to see from a bike and a great group of people to make it fun!

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
No one single moment but a combination of amazing architecture (albeit crumbling!), great countryside, fantastic old cars, cheap food/cocktails, friendly people and a great bunch of “strangers” to spend a week with. Everything went smoothly and to plan.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Tony was extremely knowledgeable about his country’s history, politics, economics and geography! So we learnt a lot from him about Cuba. He had a light touch so we could rely on him to be around without him being in our faces. He could advise without ever telling us what to do/not to do.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take a comfy chair unless your bum is used to being in the saddle and do a bit a training before you go (I rarely cycle and was glad that I went to the gym a few weeks before!).
Take pound notes – they don’t accept US dollars!
Take a map as it’s useful to know here you are in the country.
Don’t stay in the hotel – get out and see the town especially Trinidad! Its only a short taxi ride away and a lovely place to chill out.
Go your own pace and enjoy it.

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

Answer:
Don’t delay as Cuba is changing fast! It really is a great way to see Cuba!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday. It had just the right mix of leisurely sight-seeing and slightly more energetic cycling.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Experiencing Havana was amazing. There’s something special around every corner. I couldn’t stop taking photos and ran out of memory on my camera!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Freddy was great. His in-depth knowledge of the areas we visited, the history, geography and the local environment were just what we needed – and all the personal stories he was able to give us from his own experience made it more relevant and interesting.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Cuba is obviously changing fast and tourism is becoming an increasingly important part of the economy. If you want to see the ‘before’ rather than the ‘after’, now’s the time to go. Just remember to take an extra memory card for your camera!

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

Answer:
Be prepared to be patient with the queues at the airport and the unique Cuban approach to “customer service”.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A nice relaxed way to see real Cuba as you cycle along the countryside roads passing smallholdings and towns.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Looking around the Bay of Pigs museum and considering the impact of such an event on the locals.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Gladys and her team of a mechanic and driver were really helpful and shared information with the group and individuals as we went along.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Try the 7 year old dark rum its really great.

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

Answer:
Be aware you are in a poor country. People are not hungry and they have an excellent medical service. They are however cronically short of consumer goods and clothing. Take the usual precautions that you would expect to take when visiting anywhere in western europe.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Cuba – a trip to remember forever! It proved to be so much more than I had originally imagined – great people to meet, amazing scenery, steeped in history and with all year fantastic weather; what more do you need from a holiday? Cycling around the island added something so more real that you would never have received the same experience had you opted for a standard tourist coach trip. There was so much to see, so much to learn from Cuba’s revolutionary history and so much friendliness from the people themselves in welcoming us to their country.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Visiting Che Guevara’s mausoleum, and hearing his story and those of his fellow revolutionaries. They committed their lives in aiding to free the Cubans from their past and into a future controlled by themselves.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Yazel was amazing as a guide. He was always there to help, happy to offer his advice, and informed us well of the Cuban way of life (past and present). He was willing to go out of his way to help with anything we needed or places we wanted to visit that were not on the itinerary. And he had a great sense of humour – definitely added to the holiday experience. It is also worth mentioning our driver Jose who was awesome in being the support man preparing our bikes each day, handing out the bottled water whenever we needed it, and offering us his view on life with added humour (all in Spanish!). They were a great team.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Definitely go on this trip. Seeing Cuba through the eyes of a cyclist is worth every single moment. You get a totally different experience from it and it’s worth so much more. The cycling is not that difficult and anyone who has a reasonable level of fitness will find it well within their reach.

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

Answer:
This was one of the best trips I have ever been on – very well put together and with an awesome bunch of fellow travellers and guide. Wish I was still on holiday there!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
We, like others on our trip, wanted to experience Cuba before it changes to radically. We weren’t disappointed. Cuba is a wonderful country, with great scenary and fantastic people. Our tour takes us from Havana to Trinidad and back via Che Guavara’s mausoleum. So on this trip, you get a real insight into the modern social history, which was fascinating. You get to see the wonderful city that is Havana and from there, the chance to cycle in some spectacular scenary as you head towards the Caribbean side of the island. Thoroughly recommended

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Seeing the Restoration taking place in Havana
The coastal rides in and around Trinidad
Whilst cycling, being raced by a local riding bareback on a beautiful horse

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Freddie was great and it helped that his Grandfather was a revolutionary. It meant that he could bring his stories to life with such colour and passion. The genuine article

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t worry about the cycling. As the week progresses, so will you

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

Answer:
A big shout out to the support crew. They are there every step of the way, smoothing out things for you. They really become an integral part of the group.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Rated as moderate, the cycling was broken down into comfortable sections, with coffee and lunch breaks – closely followed by the bus, mechanic and leader to ensure everyone kept together. The group worked really well with a mixture of couples, singles and mother and son helped by plenty of cocktails! Cuba is a great country to go to and their beaches are fab ! Several opportunities to party and listen to live music if you want to. Would definatly return.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Last days cycling was really tough, lots of hills, so a great acheivement to make it without getting a lift!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Group leader was extremely friendly and approachable. She really went out of her way to help, going to bed at 4am when we were being interviewed by the police over my stolen phone!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Tips would be to take toilet roll, sterling only cash,( which you can change at the hotel) immodium, your own water bottle & crash helmet a small day pack for camera whilst cycling and wet wipes. Take lots of suncream as its very expensive over there. There really aren’t shops (other than the hotels), so take everything you need. Security of property take note, I did have my phone stolen from my locked bedroom, another guest had their trainers stolen from the poolside, and a camera aquired from a handbag whilst clubbing……

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

Answer:
y first experience with Exodus, after poor customer service when trying to book with a competitor. The sales team were extremely efficient and knowledgeable when booking. I have returned feeling very fit and looking forward to booking another cycling holiday !

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Then best holiday for a long long time. Partly because everyone on the holiday was really great but also because it was really well organised and with great backup. Freddy and Thomas were really friendly and informative. I got the feeling that they really wanted us to enjoy our holiday. All the Cubans we met were friendly. A real feel good holiday. The cycling was nicely balanced with a real sense of acheivement at the end of each day

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Lots of things. The last days cycling had some real highs. I enjoyed Havana and Trinidad. Nice sightseeing and also the beach in Trinidad. Cubans trying to teach me to play the guitar etc..

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The best. I was very disorganised at the start of trip and Freddy was very helpful in sorting everything out. He really wanted us to enjoy our holiday, get to know Cuba and its history, gave us a good personal perspective and we got to see the best of Cuba. Top bloke

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If you have clip in peddles and your favourite saddle you can certainly bring them. The bikes were good quality front suspension mountian bikes. A racer with thin wheels wouldn’t be suitable. I hybrid even without suspension would probably be suitable. The roads on this trip were reasonable quality provided you are sensible and avoid the larger pot holes

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

Answer:
I think that Cubans try to conserve water so don’t expect to have a very warm shower ever day. Having said tha that I had a really great time.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
I very much enjoyed travelling around Cuba, learning about its history and seeing its beautiful countryside in action. Our guide, Freddy was excellent: informative and thoughtful. It was great to be in a group where you could share discoveries and talk about everything we were seeing and learning.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Cycling through the rich countryside, past farms and forests.. fragrent and fertile!
But the historic visits were much more interesting than I expected and I felt much better informed by the time I left – was glad to learn it all.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Just brilliant: Freddy told us so much about Cuban history and helped us look at what we were seeing with informed gaze. Always ready to answer questions and help us get the best out of our stay. He was relaxed, cheerful and patient with us all!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
BRING YOUR OWN SADDLE! the saddles on the hire bikes were excruciatingly hard and knobbly and those who brought their own had a much better time.
Bring a universal bath plug – several places had no plugs.
Make it clear what degree of cycling energy you plan to put in – and don’t be deterred by others with a different outlook.
Several of our party were there for the cycling ‘challenge’ of travelling quickly through the terrain. This made a difficult contradiction with my motivation – at 66 I was there ‘to see Cuba by bicycle’.. you can’t see much if you are rushing to the max. If you are like me and don’t want to rush, stick to your guns, don’t be hurried and in extremis get on the bus!
Get out and explore each of the places you stay in: you will be surrounded by wonders and you are VERY safe: just ENJOY!

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

Answer:
Thank you! I would be inclined to rate my cyc;ing holiday itinerary as mostly ‘moderate’ rather than ‘easy’… and I think you could try to recruit people of similar motivations for the same trip. I felt sometimes under pressure for not being interested in racing to the next rendezvous…
But our guide was to be congratulated and thanked for introducing us so thoughtfully – through his introductory ‘lectures’ and explanations – to his wonderful country. I would love to come here again under my own steam and bring my children to enjoy it too.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Brilliant trip.Good organisation and excellent leader in fabulous country.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
1950s classic car ride into Havana followed by an evening at the Buenavista Social Club.
This was organised by our trip leader, something he did not have to do!
What a night. Unmissable!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Superb – he really did his best for us.
Very professional, patient, well organised and really wanted to show us around his fascinating country of which he was very proud.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Definitely bring a back pack and, if possible, the best camera you can!
Keep lots of small change for little tips – even just for taking a picture of someone.
Totallly concur with Exodus’ advice regarding small cheap gifts – pens, crayons, perfume samplers.
Prepare to accept that everything will not happen quite as you expect or plan – but it will turn out all right in the end – if not better!!

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

Answer:
Just go there – before it changes!
Prepare to have your opinion of the country altered.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
We hadn’t been on this kind of holiday before and it far exceeded our expectations. Although only 8 days from start to finish, and including cycling on most days, we also had time for sightseeing and visiting historic places of interest. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about all things Cuban (history, social aspects, birdlife, flora and fauna…..) and entertained us all with his knowledge during the coach transfers from place to place. Transferring by coach allowed us to see different parts of Cuba in just a few days.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Not just one moment, but seeing real Cuban life as we cycled along was fascinating. Trips to a salsa club in Trinidad were fun too, great music and Mojitos.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Freddie was the icing on the cake. Have already said how knowledgeable he was, also nothing was ever too much trouble – we asked him endless questions but he was always happy to share what he knew about his country, often offering fascinating personal insights. He also had a great sense of humour!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take padded cycling shorts and maybe a gel saddle cover. We used over a bottle of DEET too (in August) but didn’t get bitten.

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

Answer:
Just do it! It may seem a long way for 8 days, but it was so worth it.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Great trip, fantastic way to see a country. friendly people, amazing sights, fab music and mojitos.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Finishing the cycling on the last day – up the hill – great achievment and amazing scenery

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Group Leader was fantastic – knowledgeable, friendly, responsible and good fun. very patient, nothing was too much trouble

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
– Take plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent and tolietries. Things are hard to come by. Take plenty of cash – cash points work but can be difficult and plenty of the places are remote.
– Take a padded seat cover to put over your seat

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

Answer:

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
This is my 5th cycle trip (4th of which with Exodus). Done about 20 group trips such as this to dateCouple of points- Most people spent about 200 pounds (best to take GBP), generally easy to change along the way, incl in Hotels so don’t change too much up front. Everything is paid in CUC, so no option to pay in EUR/GBP (USD is not a good idea !)- Bikes were all in excellent condition, many in the group took gel saddle covers, the roads are quite bumpy !- There are 2 good (scuba) dive sites where I stopped to dive , Caleta Buena and Guajimico (day 1 and 2 on land only itinary) , although the guide didn’t seem to know much about them. Diving was generally 25 CUC (40 CUC for the cave dive near Calenta Buena), if you book thru a hotel, add 40%, so best book direct. (take your dive card !)- Most companies are moving to local guides to contain costs, they often don’t understand what westerners are interested in, so do some reading up, make it clear what you interested in, early start, see more, etc. – I generally take my own bike on trips such as these, I didn’t however on this trip and would recommend others to use the hire bikes, they’re good quality and reasonable.- The cycling is very easy, if you can cycle round Richmond Park twice in a few hours, you will sail thru this trip.- It is very hot, take plenty suncream, possibly a wide brim hat that fits under your helmet- Some Exodus trips have operators print day route maps (very useful), unfortunately this is not done here so you need to stick with the group- This trip is very short, I would recommend an extra day at the end in Havanna(Exodus do whatever flight booking you need, no issues there), I wouldn’t stay in group accommodation for extra nights tho, the group hotel is way out of town (and no character). Some stayed in Town before the trip started , and seemed to find some far more interesting/central alternatives. The group City tour is too short (and doesn’t go into any sights), and extra day following a LP walking route (or similar) should do the trickNot my best trip to date, but very enjoyable nevertheless. These cycling trips do tend to attract and interesting and fun group (from my experience), which certainly helps !

Rating: 3

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

Answer:

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:

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

Answer:

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
First cycling holiday experience for me. Good mix of cycling, seeing the country/sites, and free time.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Tough 8km hill climb on final cycling day to hotel (at very end of ride).
Trinidad my favourite city, great place.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Jose was enthusiastic, informative, and obviously enjoys his job which help tourists enjoy their holiday.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Worth spending a few extra days somewhere before or after cycling segment.

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

Answer:
Will certainly be doing more cycling holidays.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
This was a well organised holiday combing wonderful cycling with visits of great contemporary interest- a fine way to experience acountry at first hand.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
A wonderful climb in the mountains.
A visit to Santa Clara and the site dedicated to Che Guevara
Listening to Buena Vista type music on the steps of Plaza Mayor in Trinidad.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
He was ever helpful and informative and organised the whole trip very well. An excellent leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Give it a go.

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

Answer:
Cuba is a different cultural experience from Europe,so it is all very fascinating- a holiday of a lifetime.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
I was lucky enough to travel with a great bunch of people who really made the trip for me. The weather was fantastic and the scenery superb.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Walking through Old Trinidad which felt a bit like something out of an old Clint Eastwood movie- very Mexican with so little traffic and fabulous buildings. The local musicians playing with such fire and passion and the people watching opportunities.

The army of enormous black shelled crabs marching across the motorway was a wonderful sight.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
OK

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t leave anything of value in your hotel room (unless it’s locked away) as I had a decent pair of cycling sunglasses stolen.
Although Cuban healthcare is free you may want to bring some everyday medicines with you as they are really expensive for local people to buy at pharmacies. Soap is a very welcome gift as it is also a bit of luxury.
Try to speak to local people (if your Spanish) is good enough to get a greater understanding of the country and its culture.
You may want to try the “Dirty Havana Trilogy” books by Pedro Jaun Gutierrez for a taste of gritty urban realism!
I would definitely try to stay on in Old Havana for a few days at the end of the trip as it’s absolutely full of beautiful old buildings such as the Barcadi HQ

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

Answer:
The food isn’t as bad as the trip notes might lead you to believe! Bland yes but saved by an abundance of fresh fruit and excellent grilled fish.
Do bring energy bars as with the heat you can burn off calories really easily!

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
A very well organised cycle holiday, full of great experiences and meeting some like minded travellers. The place and people were fantastic and our Guide and Driver helped make the experience memorable.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Just sitting on the pavement in Trinidad listening to some street musicians playing marvellous music – we were their main audience and as a result of our support and applause the crowds gathered!
The way a group of people can gel almost immediately and create friendships that we all know will last long after the trip

The friendliness of the people and stress free approach to enjoying life.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Jose was really incredible. So passionate about his country but also very keen to make sure we had an amazing experience. He was flexible when necessary and managed to squeeze the most out of the opportunities for us to experience Cuba.
Occasionally his briefings were a little long but his humour and enthusiasm were infectious.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
We were advised via Trip Notes and friends that we had to watch for 3 things.
To quote “The food will be bland, the hotels average and take your own toilet paper ”
Wrong!
The food was excellent, varied and healthy (I have never felt fitter), the hotels were of a good standard and toilet facilities just fine .
Advice? Make sure you take insect repellant – we did and were grateful …. and high factor suncream.
More advice? Go there!
One extra piece of information – make sure you are fit for cycling, train before you go – it was sometimes demanding in the heat and the last day’s hill climb with 30 degree heat was quite tough!

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

Answer:
I have not travelled with Exodus before (being used to the hard slog of Charity rides) so this was a perfect balance of holiday and cycling. The organisation and itinerary were great – there was really good attention to detail. The coach was air conditioned and our bikes were stored safely on board (the bikes and mechanics were first rate too) and our driver was careful and friendly.
The bottom line for me is that I would definitely use Exodus again.
Thanks for doing such a superb job

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Just what it said in trip notes. Really helpful, efficient and enthusiastic guides. Despite warning excellent fresh food – fruit, salad and fish to die for.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
trip to sugar plantation

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
brillant so enthusiastic

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
enjoy

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

Answer:
nice mix cycling and tourism

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Never a dull moment! This trip has everything from historic interest, great scenary, rides which were not too challenging and great company. As usual the local Exodus staff were second to none for their friendliness, stamina and exhaustive local knowledge.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Reaching the top of the last hill climb – without falling off!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Friendly, knowledgeable, dedicated, approachable and reliable.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t forget the insect repellent in case you are prone to insect bites.

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

Answer:
Thank you for the perfect holiday which was better than any medicine.

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CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

Summary:
Like going back in time…

Rating: 3

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

Answer:
Seeing how Cubans make the best of what they have, and try have a good time regardless of hardships.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leader was absolutely brilliant, talked for hours about life in Cuba, really bringing the country a lot closer, and helping to understand the situation. Good local tips too!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t expect good food and hotels. Very, very basic, and toilets are the worst I have ever seen. Carry around toilet paper everywhere you go…

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

Answer:
Just the right amount of cycling for a novice, leaving plenty of time to sightsee. Not a lot of chances to swim, so make the best of it when you can.

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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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