The tour bus & trailer depart our outfitting facility in the Kohly neighborhood of Havana this morning at 08:30 for ground transfer to Santa Clara. Any tour participants interested in transferring along with our tour team should be at the Centro de Negocios Kohly by 08:20 with their belongings.
Some trip members arrange to transfer independently from other points in Cuba (or fly into Santa Clara), thereby avoiding the longish ground transfer from Havana. A lunch stop will be recommended enroute by our team (extra, local $). During the trip and outfitting your WoWCuba team will brief you on local etiquette including currency, bathrooms, lineups, water, personal safety and safe cycling. Our group riding system includes a lead rider, a sweep rider and a support bus that accompanies the group at all times, provides refreshment stops and advances to points of navigational difficulty as required.
DB | 0 km/mi
Breakfast at the hotel and cycle to Placetas and Cabaiguan. Van transfer to the Finca del Medio in Taguasco where you’ll discover a 10-hectare family-owned and operated permaculture farm. The patriarch, Casimiro, hosts a local radio program and loves to share his family’s experience of lovingly transforming the land he inherited from his ancestors, where he began to reside in 1994 in the midst of the Special Period, into the sustainable and productive piece of earth that it is today. He built bio-digestors that not only fertilize the farm’s soil, but also provide the family with biogas for their refrigerator, stove and hot water needs. They are proponents of the slow food movement and will prepare an ecological farm-to-table lunch for the group to savor in the company of the multi-generational family and their natural surroundings.
Proceed to 500-year old colonial Sancti Spiritus and check in to Don Florencio. Sancti Spiritus is one of Cuba’s oldest European settlements and features a Colonial Art Museum with over 90% original pieces on display in the former Valle Iznaga family’s palatial mansion.
Dinner in a local private paladar restaurant.
BB, LB, DB (40.4 km / 25.1 mi)
Cycle to Banao, an agricultural town, and visit a specialist in genetic cattle breeding for a brief conference. Our ride ends at the Manaca Iznaga entrance. Lunch in one of our favorite Trinidad paladars. Walking tour of the colonial center including visits to and exchanges with local artists in their private galleries.
BB, LB, DB (55.2 km / 34.3 mi)
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll catch a former sugar train through the fields (former plantations) to Manaca Iznaga. The 45-m tower was built in 1816 by Alejo Iznaga Borrell to oversee slaves in the surrounding sugarcane fields. In its day, the area’s irrigation system built by his brother was extensive and integral for the family’s agricultural expansion.
Free time for exploring colonial Trinidad or snorkeling/swimming in the Caribbean at the Ancon Peninsula.
Dinner tonight in town at a local Paladar in the home and gallery of one of Trinidad’s most celebrated artists.
This evening: soak up an authentic Cuban cultural performance at the Casa de la Musica.
BB, LB, DB (33.9 km or 24 km / 21.1 mi or 14.9 mi)
Breakfast at the hotel before we advance 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Trinidad to begin riding along flat coastline to the province of Cienfuegos.
Lunch enroute near Guajimico.
If you travel in late March you may witness the land crab migration on the south shore, one of just two places in the world where this can be viewed. Visit the Cienfuegos Botanical Garden for a guided tour. Founded in 1901 by Edwin Atkins, it’s one of the oldest of its kind in Cuba. Plant enthusiasts, he and his wife began a garden in the back yard of their estate where tropical and rare species were imported and grown. Today it features over 2000 species and collections of orchids, palms, ficuses and bamboo.
Accommodations in Cienfuegos overlooking the bay at Jagua Hotel.
Explore French-influenced Cienfuegos and its cultural scene this afternoon before heading to the exclusive Punta Gorda neighborhood of the city and checking into Hotel Jagua overlooking the bay. Walk to Punta Gorda for a mojito before dinner tonight at the home of a local Cienfuegos entrepreneur and hospitality professional whose owner used to work for the state hotel Rancho Luna, and believed he could offer a superior experience. You be the judge. It’s worth noting that Punta Gorda is surrounded by water on both sides. The area has experienced coastal flooding during storm surges and other weather events. Your guide will explain Cuba’s forward-thinking 100-year climate change plan called Tarea Vida.
BB, LB, DB (43.9 km / 27.3 mi)
An early breakfast is followed by a ride southwest towards Montemar Natural Park and Caleta Buena, a natural breakwater with great snorkeling and diving, rife with tropical fish swimming in plain view. The Zapata Peninsula, one of the largest wetlands in the Antilles attracting migratory and endemic bird life, is a Biosphere Reserve. The area features one of the largest freshwater reservoirs in the country, and is also of historical importance (Bay of Pigs Invasion).
We highly recommend the optional purchase of snorkeling or diving packages available on site. Lunch in Caleta Buena. Your tour leader will provide background on one of Cuba’s staples and primary export products, rum, and lead a sampling session to enable participants to appreciate the various varieties available in the local marketplace and their unique nuances. Late afternoon transfer to Cuba’s capital, Havana with dinner nearby at 5 Esquinas Trattoria, an alfresco Italian spot we love in the Loma del Angel neighborhood.
Accommodation in Havana at Hotel Sevilla (or similar).
BB, LB, DB (49.8 km / 30.9 mi)
After breakfast, transfer east of Havana. We’ll ride from the Escaleras de Jaruco Park (a Natural Protected Landscape) north to the towns of Hershey and Santa Cruz with elevated views of the north coast enroute. Some of the plants in the park include male cedar, mahogany, white quava, cigua, caisimón, white oak, and a local shiny-leafed poison ivy plant called “guao”.
Among the endemic species are the manuí spur, guairaje, Cuban platanillo, cat’s tai, walnut and more. Near our stop at El Árabe you can appreciate the Orchid Tree (Bauhinia), curujeyes, ferns, epiphytes and many other species. Our ride ends with lunch in Guanabo beach at El Piccolo, a paladar restaurant where wood-fired brick oven pizza’s the specialty. They feature a small-scale urban agriculture project with sale of fruit, vegetables, in-house cured meats, plus a fowl/small animal collection.
Guanabo or Santa Maria beach time can be provided. Dune protection programs are in place here; climate change regulations and enforcement regarding coastal reconstruction limitations will eventually change the face of the community. Continue into Havana for a panoramic city orientation by bus before cleaning up for your farewell dinner tonight at San Cristobal paladar in Central Havana.
BB, LB, DB (33.8 km / 21 mi)
Breakfast and departure.
BB | (0 km/mi)
The standard version of this trip includes Havana accommodation at the classic Hotel Sevilla.
Supplements available for upgrades to Parque Central or Saratoga hotels (all within a several block radius).
Reductions available to exclude Havana accommodations if booking your own B&B for Days 6/7, or a shortened version of this trip.
BB: Breakfast w/beverage
LB: Lunch w/beverage
DB: Dinner w/beverage
AI: All Inclusive
Itinerary and hotels subject to availability.