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Self-Guided Cycling – 7 Nights

Your first night’s lodging is in the heart of Old Havana. From there you’ll ride west hugging Cuba’s north shore to the beach/artist community of Banes. Visit the Las Terrazas sustainable development community and explore the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve for a couple of nights. Make a stop at Mirador de San Diego, next door to thermal springs and one of the best birdwatching areas in Cuba before hitting one of our favorite rural properties in Viñales for youf final two nights. Viñales is a National Park and National Monument. Return to Havana via collective bus service.

Self-Guided Bicycle tour FAQ’s
Self-Guided Bicycle Pre-Tour Information

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Route ride ~ kms Destination # nights Lodging Category
Havana 1 Old Havana B&B
Havana – Banes 38 Banes Beach 1 private B&B
Banes – Las Terrazas 52 La Moka 1 eco lodge
Las Terrazas Excursion optional
Las Terrazas-San Diego de los Baños 74 Mirador de San Diego 1 semi-rural hotel
San Diego de los Baños-Viñales 63 Viñales 2 nature B&B
Viñales-Moncada-Viñales 34
Prehistory Mural-Viñales Bus Station, Havana Bus Station – CicloCuba 9
Total Distance (km): 270

Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 259.693 km Total Ascent/Descent 3423 m / 3306 m
Lowest Point 1 m (at 4.86 km) Highest Point 380 m (at 103.95 km)
Uphill 107.37 km (41.3%) Downhill 102.87 km (39.6%)
Flat 49.41 km (19.0%) Height Gain 379 m
Steepest Uphill +44.4% (at 216.18 km) Steepest Downhill -40.0% (at 216.99 km)
Longest Uphill 1.89 km (at 101.25 km) Longest Downhill 1.80 km (at 110.16 km)
USD per person
Group size
1 pax
2 pax
3 pax
4 pax
5 pax 6 pax
DBL occ $1590.86 $1374.61 $1266.49  $1260.18 $1153.10
SGL occ $2580.48 $1688.41 $1472.16 $1364.04  $1357.73  $1250.65
  • Specialized performance hybrid rental bicycle (up to 8 rental days) equipped with handlebar or trunk bag and helmet. If your head is difficult to fit, we recommend traveling with your own helmet. We are happy to switch out our saddles/pedals for your personal equipment upon outfitting.
  • 1 Garmin cycling computer per group pre-loaded with programmed routes
  • printed route cards with highlighted map, detailed daily itinerary
  • 1 spare tube per bike ($5 CUC/tube if you use it, payable at end of rental period)
  • 7 nights lodging in venues hand-selected by our local team
  • 7 breakfasts
  • collective bus transfer service (Day 8 return from Viñales to Havana)
  • luggage transfers (with options for bike pickups/equipment exchange on that schedule). *excludes luggage transfer on Day 8 from Viñales to Havana when you’ll be traveling back to Havana by bus. To avoid inflating tour costs, we suggest coordinating taxis locally between accommodations/bus stations for this route. To avoid inflating tour costs, we suggest coordinating taxis for this route. Your Viñales host can help with arranging a taxi to the bus station for your bags, and official taxis are readily available on arrival in Havana. Just note the license plate/vehicle # when giving the driver the address to deliver your gear. Or book accommodations near the bus station.
  • insider tips for meals and activities
  • For CicloCuba’s rental equipment, emergency road repair services* are free when a) notified in advance and b) combinable with scheduled luggage transfer services.

*What if you have a mechanical enroute that you can’t fix yourself? We’re on call outside of luggage transfer schedules for a fee. Or if saving $ is a priority and the luggage transfer is already underway/completed for that ride, then if you can hitch a ride to your next destination, just let us know when you get there and we can arrange to have your CicloCuba bike fixed or replaced first thing the next morning.

  •  $200 USD/bicycle pre-authorization (security deposit) on primary traveler’s credit card
  • local payments for meal services not expressly indicated as included
  • gratuities, payable locally
  • collective bus transfers with bicycles require local cash payment for the bicycle supplement (~10% of passenger fare)
  • transport between accommodations and airports/bus stations/CicloCuba
  • we recommend you bring your own lock, pump, tire irons & multi-tool for minor repairs.
  •  Optional bilingual cycling guide services ($100 USD/day excluding guide’s transportation to/from start/end of trip, accommodations &meals)
  • Local cell phone SIM card for emergency calls (prepaid phone/message/data credit not included) $3 CUC/day
  • Basic rental locks: $1 CUC/day, payable locally
  • Emergency road repair services
    • Notified in advance and combinable with luggage transfer services:
      • Your personal equipment: ∙$10 CUC/hour (roundtrip time) for mecanic (parts not supplied).
    • No advance notice &/ not combinable with luggage transfer services:
      • CicloCuba equipment: $rate/km based on roundtrip mileage from CicloCuba
        ∙Your personal equipment: $rate/km based on roundtrip mileage from CicloCuba + $10 CUC/hour (roundtrip time) for mechanic (parts not supplied).
Total route length Base Rate* CUC/km
0-99.9 $1.00
100-199.9 $0.75
200-299.9 $0.65
300-499.9 $0.55
500+ $0.50

*Base rate excludes transit on any unpaved or poorly-paved roads where the support vehicle cannot maintain 80 km/h i.e. the section of road between La Mulata & Palma Rubia Supplement $1/km (based on return mileage) for rough terrain

Supplement for payment in USD by credit card: $15 CUC administrative fee + 8% banking fees

Itinerary

Overnight in Old Havana at the charming Madero B&B, walking distance to the handcraft fair, beer gardens, Havana Club Rum Museum, restaurants, colonial squares, churches and concert halls. And, of course, CicloCuba!

After breakfast, stroll over to CicloCuba for bicycle outfitting. You don’t need to bring your luggage – we’ll pick it up. Once you have your bikes, you can dally around exploring some of Havana’s neighborhoods, or head straight out of town hugging the northern coastline. Today’s cycling route is relatively flat, and usually with tailwinds to accompany the ride. We recommend stopping for lunch at one of our favorite off-the-beaten-path seafood spots, directly on the water in the coastal town of Baracoa. Your destination is Banes Beach, a small seaside artist community. Free afternoon to swim, lounge in a hammock, or just kick back and relax with a good book in some lovely surroundings. We suggest ordering dinner at Berta’s, just a short walk from your lodging, and eating in at your lodging. Or you could also order a taxi back to the town of Baracoa, the choice is yours.

Distance (km): 38.0

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 38.032 km Total Ascent/Descent 201 m / 208 m
Lowest Point 1 m (at 4.86 km) Highest Point 20 m (at 35.64 km)
Uphill 12.33 km (32.4%) Downhill 12.33 km (32.4%)
Flat 13.32 km (35.0%) Height Gain 19 m
Steepest Uphill +7.8% (at 37.35 km) Steepest Downhill -7.8% (at 37.17 km)
Longest Uphill 1.35 km (at 34.47 km) Longest Downhill 1.08 km (at 21.15 km)

After breakfast you’ll continue west along the coast to the industrial port town of Mariel and then head inland bordering the lush Sierra del Rosario mountains and biosphere reserve. Ride past lush farmland and through forested areas. Your destination is the ecolodge La Moka, nestled in the terraced hills of Las Terrazas community, a successful experiment in sustainable development and reforestation. In the biosphere reserve you can enjoy ziplines, boating, hiking to the ruins of French coffee plantations, swimming in rivers, small waterfalls, museums, a variety of restaurants featuring Cuban cuisine, ecological dining, and even a cafe specializing in Cuban coffee.

Distance (km): 52.3

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 52.292 km Total Ascent/Descent 674 m / 480 m
Lowest Point 1 m (at 9.09 km) Highest Point 203 m (at 52.11 km)
Uphill 24.12 km (46.1%) Downhill 18.36 km (35.1%)
Flat 9.81 km (18.8%) Height Gain 202 m
Steepest Uphill +11.1% (at 22.59 km) Steepest Downhill -12.2% (at 50.13 km)
Longest Uphill 1.17 km (at 19.62 km) Longest Downhill 1.08 km (at 9.81 km)

La Moka is located within a larger community called Las Terrazas, conceived by Osmani Cienfuegos, a Cuban architect, as a project in sustainable development and reforestation after the triumph of the Revolution. The community is rich  cultural, historic but especially natural attractions that are well worth exploring while there. If you’d rather get more biking in, then the surrounding hills can offer some challenging climbs and rewarding vistas. or perhpas you might want to wander into nearby Artemisa or Candelaria, both towns rich in Revolutionary history.

Distance (km): optional

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Leaving La Moka you’ll have a climb to get your legs pumping, but every climb is rewarded with a nice downhill, in this case to Soroa, home of a lovely waterfall, orchid gardens and more. Continue along the winding Central Road heading west through small country towns and villages until you reach San Diego de los Baños. Your destination is Mirador de San Diego, located beside the local mineral baths, a great reward for your body after a day of cycling. Nearby is La Guira Park, a birder’s and naturalists’ paradise.

Distance (km): 73.7

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 73.702 km Total Ascent/Descent 906 m / 1027 m
Lowest Point 44 m (at 32.85 km) Highest Point 377 m (at 13.95 km)
Uphill 30.24 km (41.0%) Downhill 31.77 km (43.1%)
Flat 11.61 km (15.8%) Height Gain 333 m
Steepest Uphill +26.7% (at 13.50 km) Steepest Downhill -17.8% (at 14.31 km)
Longest Uphill 1.89 km (at 11.25 km) Longest Downhill 2.07 km (at 22.23 km)

Begin your ride this morning through La Guira Park, formerly a lavish rural hacienda owned by a trader in precious woods. The reforestation and park was a project spearheaded by Celia Sanchez at the turn of the Revolution. You’ll be challenging your legs with an ascent to one of the highlights, the Los Portales Cave on the western side of the park. It served as Che Guevara’s headquarters during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. When you leave the park, your rural ride borders picturesque pincushion hills, known as “mogotes”, as you make your way to National Park & National Monument, Viñales. Our suggested accommodation is near one of Cuba’s best market cuisine restaurants, which either grows or accesses all of its supplies locally.

Distance (km): 62.6

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 62.547 km Total Ascent/Descent 1102 m / 1046 m
Lowest Point 54 m (at 48.60 km) Highest Point 291 m (at 8.46 km)
Uphill 27.72 km (44.3%) Downhill 27.63 km (44.2%)
Flat 7.11 km (11.4%) Height Gain 237 m
Steepest Uphill +30.0% (at 52.74 km) Steepest Downhill -31.1% (at 53.55 km)
Longest Uphill 1.71 km (at 6.39 km) Longest Downhill 1.26 km (at 28.08 km)

There are any number of excursions that you can take from Viñales and all can be arranged locally through your host. But if you’re interested in riding, then we like the ride west to the Santo Tomas Cave and Moncada Community. There’s a zipline enroute. And if you’re not interested in exploring the largest cave system in Cuba, then just keep riding west to Pons. The scenery is delicious and the road sees little traffic. Later this afternoon you may want to check out local musicians in town, or perhaps the view from the Finca Agroecologica El Paraiso. We love their patented anti-stress cocktails.

Distance (km): 33.8

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 33.826 km Total Ascent/Descent 591 m / 593 m
Lowest Point 123 m (at 0.27 km) Highest Point 223 m (at 9.00 km)
Uphill 14.58 km (43.1%) Downhill 15.12 km (44.7%)
Flat 4.05 km (12.0%) Height Gain 100 m
Steepest Uphill +22.2% (at 33.03 km) Steepest Downhill -25.6% (at 33.12 km)
Longest Uphill 0.90 km (at 21.51 km) Longest Downhill 0.81 km (at 27.36 km)

The bus leaves the station in the center of town at 08:00 and arrives in Havana at 11:15. Your Viñales host can assist with arranging for a taxi to take your luggage to town, and on arrival in Havana, taxis are readily available at the station. To avoid unnecessarily inflating your tour costs, luggage transfer services are excluded from your package today. The supplement for transporting your bicycle on the bus service is ~$1 CUC/bicycle. Return your equipment to CicloCuba. WoWCuba’s assistance with trip extensions is available.

Distance (km): 8.7

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Route Statistics & Elevation Chart

Distance 4.502 km Total Ascent/Descent 95 m / 70 m
Lowest Point 122 m (at 0.27 km) Highest Point 155 m (at 0.72 km)
Uphill 2.43 km (54.0%) Downhill 1.53 km (34.0%)
Flat 0.54 km (12.0%) Height Gain 33 m
Steepest Uphill +26.7% (at 0.63 km) Steepest Downhill -22.2% (at 0.72 km)
Longest Uphill 0.45 km (at 1.08 km) Longest Downhill 0.27 km (at 0.00 km)

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