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Kayaking FAQ’s

  1. Do i need to be a kayaking expert to join this trip?
  2. What kind of training/exercise do you recommend prior to the trip?
  3. What’s the equipment like and are singles kayaks available?
  4. What happens if the weather conditions aren’t favorable?
  5. Are these trips suitable for children?
  6. Can a custom departure be accommodated?
  7. How far in advance should I request my trip?
  8. Can WoWCuba assist with pre and post-trip stays in Cuba ?
  9. What flights work best with these trips?
  10. Are the trips compliant for legal US Travelers?
  11. Can vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets be accommodated?
  12. Are restrooms available during the day?
  13. Is there snorkeling available and is equipment provided?
  14. General Cuba questions

 

Do i need to be a kayaking expert to join this trip?

Answer: 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.

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What kind of training/exercise do you recomend prior to the trip?

Answer: 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.

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What’s the equipment like and are singles kayaks available?

Answer: 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.

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What happens if the weather conditions aren’t favorable?

Answer: 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.

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Are these trips suitable for children?

Answer: 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.

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Can a custom departure be accommodated?

Answer: 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.

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How far in advance should I request my trip?

Answer: 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.

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Can WoWCuba assist with pre and post-trip stays in Cuba ?

Answer: 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.

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What flights work best with these trips?

Answer: 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.

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Are the trips compliant for legal US Travelers?

Answer: 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.

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Can vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets be accommodated?

Answer: 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.

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Are restrooms available during the day?

Answer: 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.

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Is there snorkelling available and is equipment provided?

Answer: 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.

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General Cuba questions

Answer: Visit our Cuba Info page for general info on the following topics:

Introduction
Electric Power
Climate
Seasons
Temperature
Protected Areas in Cuba
Customs Regulations
Immigration & Visas
Departure Tax
Currency Info
Gratuities and Tips
Purchases in Cuba
Medical Insurance
Communication

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