What better way to get to know the beautiful island of Cuba, than on a Kayak.


Kayaking is a sport that is practiced in rivers of white or white water and in calm waters of some cities and towns around the world. A Kayak is a type of boat in which one or two companions go and are propelled over the water of the rivers with a paddle or paddle operated manually. If you stay here, you can enjoy now our travels.

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    ActiveChillAdventureAdrenalineA Mix

    Musical PerformancesTheater PerformancesDance ClassesCooking Classes/DemonstrationsCuban BartendingArt ExperiencesMeet Local EntrepreneursShop Local MarketsCurated Restaurant SelectionArtesan FairsUrban GardensPhilanthropyAthletic events (baseball etc)Horseback RidingMuseumsProduct Tours (rum, cigars, chocolate, coffee, agriculture)

    Basic, Clean & ComfortableFull Luxury AmenitiesInspired DesignQuirky, One of a KindBest LocationHidden GemFamily B&BPrivate ResidenceEco LodgesRetreatsFarms

    LeisureCultural ExplorationBusinessFamily BondingRomanceMilestone OccasionHoneymoonWellnessEducation

    Food FocusAgriculture, PermacultureMusicArtArchitectureSportsLanguageSustainabilityHistoryPolitics/Socialism/RevolutionConservationAntiquesFishingZipliningSUPCars/MotorcyclesMineral baths, thermal water, spas

    UrbanRuralBeachNatureMountainsCavesCenotes, Blue HolesA Mix

    You intend to travel independently as much as possible.You're interested in a dedicated concierge / full-time local guide.You prefer a mix of pre-arranged guided excursions + free time.You'd rather WOWCuba just take care of booking accommodations/transport, maybe some key excursions or special restaurants, but leave most of your remaining activity options open.

    Tour with accommodation

    Private transfer to the Zapata Peninsula on the south shore of Matanzas province. Accommodations & dinner at a private B&B in the village of Caletones.

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    Bus transfer included from your accommodations in Cienfuegos to the Marina. Pick up kayaks/gear and continue to the Old Pasacaballos Dock at the mouth of Cienfuegos Bay, from where we’ll launch and paddle to the Jagua Fortress. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Jagua Fortress and small fishing village enroute.

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    Bus transfer included from your accommodations in Cienfuegos to the Marina. Pick up kayaks/gear and continue to the Old Pasacaballos Dock at the mouth of Cienfuegos Bay, from where we’ll launch and paddle to the Jagua Fortress.

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    Optional bus transfer from your accommodations in Cienfuegos to the Marina. Outfitting and launch with instructor to paddle in the Punta Gorda area of the Cienfuegos Bay.

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    Frequent questions of Kayak Tours

    Do i need to be a kayaking expert to join this trip?
    Whether you're an avid sea kayaker or stepping into a sea kayak for your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and all required kayaking equipment and guidance required is provided. Small groups mean you not only travel intimately through natural areas, but will receive personalized attention from guides as well. Guides will give novices an introduction to paddling and provide plenty of opportunity to practice. Paddle breaks are opportunities not only to rest & replenish fluids, but also to observe biodiversity and learn about the area from your knowledgeable guides. It's recommended to get some paddling or rowing classes in before your trip since kayaking uses muscles you may not know you have. Building some strength and acquiring some experience will help maximize your enjoyment of the trip. Sea kayaking distance is best measured in hours rather than miles. Expect to paddle from 2 to 4 hours each day, but remember this estimate can be influenced by several factors: weather, tide and currents. Each kayak tour has a planned route, but there is always some flexibility available.
    What kind of training/exercise do you recomend prior to the trip?
    While the trip isn't extremely strenuous, it is active and physical. The more prepared you are for the trip, the more comfortably you'll enjoy it. Walking a few miles per day, climbing stairs, working out with light weights, and other cardio and strength training exercises are all highly recommended activities. At the very least, taking long walks and conditioning upper body and core muscle group by exercising for a full month prior to the trip will help to avoid injuries of the wrists and arms.
    What's the equipment like and are singles kayaks available?
    Double & single polymer kayak models by RTM, Necky, Looksha are available, but the majority of the units are double kayaks. Single kayaks are confirmed on a very limited basis only.
    What happens if the weather conditions aren't favorable?
    It's rare that weather impedes nautical departures on Cuba's south shore, and much rarer that nautical departures on rivers/streams/closed bodies of water are affected by weather considerations. For the very infrequent occasions when weather isn't favorable for kayaking, the operator will make every effort to make up for services on an alternative date during your travel period, or substitute an alternative route if available.
    Are these trips suitable for children?
    The minimum age for participation in the kayak trips is 12 yrs. Accommodation can sometimes be made for minors sharing a room with parents. Inquire if interested in a triple room rate and we can check on availability.
    Can a custom departure be accommodated?
    Travelers occasionally ask us to tweak a trip to make it slightly longer or shorter, and sometimes to accommodate a start date on an alternative day of the week. Send us an email with your dates and we'll check availability to see if your tailor-made request is possible.
    How far in advance should I request my trip?
    When traveling from November through April, we recommend as far in advance as possible, as these are popular dates with many travelers, with cooler temperatures and little rain in Cuba. The sooner you reserve, the more likely we are to be able to secure your preferred departure date before someone else scoops it up. Very few requests are able to be accommodated once within 30 days of departure.
    Can WoWCuba assist with pre and post-trip stays in Cuba ?
    We regularly do this, yes. We can book rental cars, certain ground transfers, accommodations and more for your pre or post-kayak travel. Many WoWCuba travelers also enjoy combining our cycling experiences with a kayak journey as each afford a different eye and vantage point for discovering Cuba more intimately & sustainably.
    What flights work best with these trips?
    Most travelers taking part in the 1/2 day or overnight trips have plans to be in Cienfuegos at some point during their Cuba travels. For travelers booking the longer 1-week journey, we can accommodate flights from Havana, Varadero, Cienfuegos or Santa Clara airports as part of your tour package. US flights these days are limited to Havana, about 3.5 hours by ground transfer from Cienfuegos.
    Are the trips compliant for legal US Travelers?
    Yes. Visit our US Participants page for further details on all OFAC-authorized general travel categories and a sample affidavit form. We suggest using the self-certifying Support the Cuban People category which can also potentially cover pre/post trip travel in Cuba matching the license criteria. This license permits Americans to travel to Cuba with the intention of promoting independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba through cultural exchanges. Each kayak program emphasizes experiencing and interacting with Cuban artists, conservationists, naturalists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and culinary experts. Traveling through Cuba with a supportive emphasis means you'll visit places that the typical tourist seldom sees or knows to look for. Rather, these trips take participants to communities, organizations, and places that will not only be educational and enlightening, but culturally enriching. Record-keeping: Persons relying upon this authorization must retain records related to the authorized travel transactions, including records demonstrating a full-time schedule of authorized activities. Many do this in the form of a daily journal with simple notations on visits/contacts with Cubans and places visited. The trip itinerary and venues are designed to be in compliance with this license category.
    Can vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets be accommodated?
    While vegetarian diets aren’t overly challenging to accommodate on tour, vegan diets can be considerably more difficult to satisfy without infusing protein supplements. Some dishes normally suitable for vegans, such as rice and beans, are often cooked with pork fat in Cuba. While certain soy products are available for purchase by Cuban national consumers, these are often not readily available at tourist hotels and restaurants. For those who follow vegan diets, we highly recommend bringing your own protein supplements such as “instant breakfast” etc. For celiacs, you should know that gluten-free specialty products/flours are not common (or at all affordable) in Cuban markets, but rice is always available at meals. There are certainly a few exceptions in terms of bakeries now sourcing or producing alternative ingredients to service the growing popularity of gluten-free diets in international visitors, but in general you should be prepared not expect an abundance of dining establishments specializing in products for celiacs yet in Cuba. For any meals you may be partaking in on an independent basis, presenting this Gluten Free Restaurant Card can be helpful to explain your restrictions to Spanish-speaking restaurant staff.
    Are restrooms available during the day?
    It's recommended to use the restrooms available in your Casa Particular/Hotel before leaving on a kayaking adventure. Restrooms will be limited or non-existent during some kayaking excursions, so be prepared to use the outdoorsadn pack hand sanitizer/sanitary products accordingly.
    Is there snorkelling available and is equipment provided?
    You'll have multiple opportunities to snorkel during your kayaking adventure. A great selection of snorkels, masks, & fins are available for your use on tour. However, if you have your own snorkeling gear, need a very specific size, and/or do not want to share equipment with others, please bring your own gear with you. Caribbean waters are quite warm year-round, so wetsuits aren't usually required for this activity.

    Pre-tur Information


    Valid for 6 months from departure date stored in a ziplock bag. Recommended: backup copy of passport information pages, stored separately from your passport.
    Cuban visitor visa (tourist card).
    Most airlines facilitate visitors visas for travelers; either included in advance fees, or for purchase at the point of departure. For some countries, travel visas must be requested in advance through the nearest Cuban Consulate or Embassy. Check in advance with your airline for details.
    Evidence of medical insurance coverage in Cuba to comply with Cuban immigration requirement.
    Are you familiar with how your medical insurance is activated in Cuba? If not, it can be very helpful to ask in advance to know if a) services are expected to be paid locally and claimed on return to your country of origin, or b) if you present your insurance policy or boarding pass locally to have services paid by the insurance company in Cuba. You should also know c) the limitations of the policy’s coverage. You don’t want to be worrying about this detail in Cuba where communication can be more challenging.
    Invoice from WoWCuba / MacQueen’s Island Tours.
    Invoice from WoWCuba / MacQueen’s Island Tours (electronic version OK) with contact info.
    Please visit our Currency page for more details. Cuba is still very much a cash society. How much cash to bring varies greatly depending on your spending habits, souvenir purchases, etc. Tourism is based on the US Dollar. While cash remains king in Cuba, there is a move to electronic banking and certain services are only available for electronic purchase in USD. Credit cards from Canadian and non-US banks are accepted and as of November 2020, some state installations (such as car rental outlets) are even able to accept US credit cards. Travelers cheques are not widely accepted. If you have a non-US (or affiliate) bank issued credit card you may be able to use it for purchases or cash advances in Cuba. With 24 hours advance notice, WoWCuba offers an emergency cash advance service to participants in Havana if required. If you think you might buy things locally (besides the occasional beverage not included with meals, or visit a lot of museums, take a lot of taxis, bring home lots of rum/cigars/coffee…if you can find any coffee in the stores)…it’s probably better to bring a little more than you think you’ll spend, say $100 per day, to be safe. You can always take it home if you don’t use it.

    Packing List

    Pack all allowable necessities in your carry-on luggage. Checked baggage restrictions by most air carriers: 1-2 suitcases with a combined weight not exceeding 20 kilos per passenger is typical. Liquid restrictions may be in place. Allow room for purchases and remember, most people over pack. A backpack can be handy packed inside your suitcase to use as a day pack on excursions. The outfitter provides a dry pack.
    General Clothing
    Most airlines facilitate visitors visas for travelers; either included in advance fees, or for purchase at the point of departure. Informal, breathable quick-dry fabrics are recommended. Selecting travel-friendly fabrics that don’t require ironing’s always nice. Who wants to spend time ironing when traveling?
    Essential items to pack
  • Swim wear.

  • Walking shorts and/or tights.

  • Several casual tops interchangeable with a minimum of one pair of pants or wrinkle-free dress/skirt.

  • Bring a hoodie (day) or versatile sweater (night) for possibly cool mornings and evenings.

  • Footwear
    Comfortable hiking sneakers or boots for trekking/waterproof sandals for paddling, and some good walking shoes and/or sandals for the rest of the time. Especially for women, some of the newer Crocs sandal models can be versatile space-savers for moving between beach, pool, shower and outdoors for day/night.
    Sunglasses (with a cord is helpful), Paddling gloves.
    A compact hat or cap for sun protection when not paddling. There are some nice handmade hats to be found in Cuban markets, if you prefer to travel light/support Cuban artesans instead.

    Showers may occur anytime, but rain gear is only recommended in the rainy season, May – October. They’re sometimes hard to find/out of stock, but the Cuban art-themed umbrellas that the Cuban cultural company Artex produces and sells are excellent quality, spacious for 2 and a wonderful souvenir.
    If washing out paddling gear/other clothing after use, blow-up hangers or one of those awesome compact stretchy braided drying lines and some powdered detergent or shampoo can be useful. Remember: not all accommodations have laundry facilities on-site or dryers, so if you’re not washing your own, then in our experience it’s best to deliver clothes for laundering on arrival to the property programmed for any 2-night stay. They usually charge per piece (not per load)
    Toiletries & Medicines
  • Cosmetics: look for moisturizer/sunscreen brands with higher spf, waterproof features for paddling. Consider buying reef-safe sunscreen products or using a rashguard for snorkeling areas. As a responsible traveler, please take that initiative and be conscious about how important it is to reduce your impact and conserve ecosystems.

  • Comb/brush.

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste, floss.

  • Some conscious travelers check their own 3-in-1 ecologically-friendly shampoo/conditioner/bath gel and help reduce single use plastics in hotels that haven’t introduced a better solution yet.

  • Insect repellant.

  • Travel packages of tissue better than carrying a roll of toilet paper around), feminine hygiene products.

  • A small first aid kit with immodium or alternative natural anti-diarrhea medicine, glycerine tablets for constipation.

  • Aspirin or Ibuprofen for pain/fever.

  • Ginger (natural) or Gravol (pharma) for motion-sickness, nausea.

  • If you have any allergies or health issues, remember that prescriptions should be clearly labelled and in your name.

  • Antibacterial hand cleaning gel.

  • No shots are required for travel to Cuba.

  • Miscellaneous
  • Water: The kayak outfitter provides one 1.5L bottle per day/person. Bringing your own re-usable bottle that fits in a daypack pocket or clips to the outside of your daypack and to a kayak deck is ideal for transporting your water supply. We urge you to consider safe, ecological drinking water options for the rest of the water you’ll consume while traveling. Boiling water & adding iodine isn’t always practical or palatable. Check out these modern ways to keep your footprint minimal while away from home.

  • Towels/Sheets: Towels are provided at hotels but facecloths often are not. A beach towel is recommended for some out-of-hotel bathing or snorkel stops and for the overnight camping at Rio Negro. A sheet for camping is also recommended at that location.

  • Snorkel Gear: is provided by the outfitter.

  • PFD / Dry bag: provided by the outfitter.

  • Ear Plugs: Cuban music may lose its appeal at 1 AM, so if you’re a light sleeper, ear plugs may be desired although in many of your accommodations this probably will not be an issue.

  • 110v Adapter: While some hotels are 220v, most private houses are 110v. Always ask before plugging in your devices.

  • Gifts: We recommend only giving gifts after a rapport has been attained and when appropriate. Cash is a much more practical way to remit gratuities to those who have provided you with a service. In our experience, indiscriminate handouts send the wrong message and often encourages children/people to beg, not engage in meaningful work. We strongly recommended that donations of school or medical supplies be left with a responsible non-profit organization or person for distribution. We can make suggestions if required. We really love Cuba Libro at 19 & 24 in Vedado, Havana for this.

  • Photography & Electronics: Hand check phones, cameras, laptops and electronics. Bring spare batteries. Electronic, GPS or radio communications equipment is forbidden but cellular phones and cameras with gps technology are permitted. See the official Cuban customs website for further details. See our Trip Planning Resources for space-saving telephone travel app & translator suggestions for Cuba. It's not recommended to bring electronics while kayaking unless in sealed bags for transport. The outfitter will provide you with a dry pack for your daily essentials.

  • Last But Not Least: Your sense of adventure.

  • Tips of Gratuities
    Tips for tour staff, with whom you’ll build a personal relationship and who are the key to the enjoyment of your holiday, are encouraged and welcomed. Weekly tips for the staff that will be accompanying you on paddling holidays typically are in the range of 10% of your trip cost, and are often higher for private departures. Restaurant/maid/musician/porter gratuities are payable directly. More info on Gratuities in Cuba.

    Cuba is generally very safe but petty crime does exist. Because most Cubans are so friendly, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. You should use common sense and take the same precautions as you would in any country. Your physical well-being should be very secure, but your camera or hand bag may not.
    Use the safety deposit box in your room
    Carry only small amounts of cash in your purse/wallet – use a money belt for extra cash & larger bills. You should be able to entrust your belongings to your tour staff who will also be looking out for your well-being along the way.
    A passport is the best form of ID for most credit card transactions.
    Keep passport/travel documents in a designated side pocket of your luggage while traveling so that they don’t get misplaced during packing and unpacking.
    Don’t wear flashy jewelry.
    If renting a car, before or after your tour, keep your valuables under the seat and if you pick up hitchhikers, don’t ever leave them alone with your possessions.
    Good Parking
    When parking your vehicle, always leave it under the surveillance of an official (with badge) parking attendant.
    Stay alert
    Always be aware of your surroundings.

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