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Vuelta Cuba Bicycle Tour

Your 2 week odyssey bike tour crosses Cuba from Santiago to Havana, east to west with the prevailing winds.

We begin cycling on Cuba’s Caribbean shore in Santiago de Cuba, providing a stunning piece of coastline bordering the Sierra Maestra mountains before crossing into the mountains and staying at the eco lodge El Salton with a natural waterfall serving as the hotel’s pool. We will visit Bayamo, passing through the cultural mecca Camaguey, colonial Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad, the charming city and province of Cienfuegos, the Bay of Pigs, and more, before arriving in Cuba’s capital, Havana.

We’ve been operating this annual tour since 1995 and it continues to be a favorite.

Our experienced support team is second to none and our equipment impresses even the most discerning riders.

A top notch, highly experienced WoWCuba representative accompanies your tour

Group Tour Prices
Dates USD/pax Rooms Remaining Cyclist Seeking Roommate Last Date to Register
  • Start: 14/01/2018
  • End: 28/01/2018

$5435.00 double

$6150.00 single

12 No 15/12/2017

Detailed Tour itinerary

Day 1

Accommodations overlooking the ocean in Miramar at Hotel Copacabana (or similar). As flight arrivals are generally staggered, participants normally take taxis between the airport and hotel. While prepaid taxis are available through WoWCuba (optional, $), in our experience they’re not necessarily the best option. You’ll be contacted by a WoWCuba representative at your hotel. Coffee is a staple to Cuban social interactions. So for those with morning/afternoon arrivals, our suggested afternoon activity is Cuban Coffee 101 partaken nearby in Miramar at Chucheria (a cafe on the corner of 1st & 28 owned by Cuban cultural icon Chucho Valdes – pianist, band leader, composer, arranger and Latin Grammy award winner), or at Café Fortuna, a funky slow spot on 3rd between 28 & 26 (lower level), providing you with the valuable opportunity to gain firsthand insight into Cuban café culture at leisure.

A buffet evening meal is included at your hotel if required. However, if you’ll be in town in time to explore tonight, for any participants able/wishing to get together at an alternative venue for a meet & greet we usually offer to coordinate an early-ish 7:30 group dinner restaurant at somewhere like Magic Flute for drinks overlooking the iconic Malecon/Hotel Nacional/US Embassy in Vedado or Rio Mar with its prime balcony seating overlooking the mouth of the Almendares River and back onto the city in Miramar. Remember when trying out the cervezas, the mojitos, daiquiris and Cuba libres as your taste may be, do so in moderation – we have an early morning flight to Santiago tomorrow.
D | (0 km/0 mi)

Day 2

Our Havana office representative will see you off at your hotel early this morning for a transfer to Terminal 1 for the flight to Santiago de Cuba.

On arrival, you’ll meet your cycle tour support team, then bicycle outfitting, test ride to the 17th century military castle El Morro for lunch, plus a visit to the former Moncada Barracks. The former military enclave is now a school, and home to the historic revolutionary museum 26 de Julio. Panoramic tour of Antonio Maceo Square, housing what’s considered the most outstanding 20th century sculptural model executed in the city, where you’ll be imparted with more background on Cuba’s revolutionary history. The balance of the afternoon’s free for relaxing and acclimatizing (and yes, time for a cerveza or two).

Accommodations at the Melia Santiago with dinner at local restaurant.
BB, LB, DB | (12 km/7.5 mi)

Day 3

Van transfer to the city limits where we’ll begin a rural ride through the Sierra Maestra mountains to eco lodge El Salton. The Sierra Maestra is the highest area of Cuba and has been the site of guerrilla warfare in Cuba’s fight for independence. It is rich in minerals, especially copper, manganese, chromium and iron.

Lunch and dinner at the hotel. This afternoon join the lodge’s resident naturalist Ricardo for a guided hike through the lush mountains where you will be introduced to local fauna and birdlife, as well as visit local mountain residents to appreciate their way of life.

BB, LB, DB | (45 km/28 mi)

Day 4

Depart El Salton and continue riding west to the city of Bayamo, capital of Granma province and one of the largest cities in eastern Cuba.

Picnic lunch enroute. In Bayamo you’ll discover a city far ahead of its time in terms of sustainable transportation, with only about 15% of commuters relying on motorized transport, 39% on horse-drawn carriages and the balance of non-pedestrian traffic being comprised of bicycle and bicycle taxi commuters. Walking tour of the area around Anthem Square where we will interact with locals while they go about their daily routines.

Accommodations at the Sierra Maestra hotel in Bayamo and dinner at a local paladar. Cultural exchange with local musicians at the Casa de la Trova.
BB, LB, DB | (35km / 21.1mi)

Day 5

Today we’ll head north to Holguin province, cycling one of Cuba’s scenic routes dotted with fresh fruit stands where we’ll stock up on healthy in-season snacks. Talk with local vendors about what’s in season, where their product supply comes from, and challenges they face as entrepreneurs.

Your destination is the coastal town of Gibara where the boutique Hotel Ordoño & Arsenita await, with the Ordoño featuring a spectacular rooftop bar/lookout.

Family-style dinner at one of our favorite privately-operated local spots where you will be charmed by the multilingual Cuban owner who will share his entrepreneurial experiences and strong background in tourism and hospitality.

BB, LB, DB | (35km / 21.1mi)

Day 6

After breakfast this morning our leisurely ride will take us through town towards the “Cueva de los Panaderos” (Breadmaker’s Cave), a 90 million year old archaeological cave system. 750 meters above sea level, it has been used for evacuations and stores enough fresh natural water to supply the whole city of Holguin, if not more. Lunch at El Patio, then ride a compacted dirt road west to visit Cuba’s first two wind farms enroute to the remote village of Caletones. Return to Gibara.

Dinner in town.

BB, LB, DB | (36km / 22.4mi)

Day 7

Breakfast at the hotel followed by van transfer to Camaguey (founded in 1515) with free time to explore the city known for its ballet, museums, and more. To gain the best local insight, we’ll explore around by local bicycle taxis before dinner in the historic center.

Visit the Martha Jimenez gallery and studio where you’ll be imparted with information on her projects.

Accommodations at the Gran Hotel or similar and dinner at one of our tour leader’s favorite local restaurants featuring local performers. Before turning in, you may want to try a nightcap at “El Cambio” café where you will be sure to enjoy the company of neighborhood residents while you soak in the atmosphere and practice your Spanish.

BB, LB, DB | (0 km/0 mi)

Day 8

Early van transfer to Moron where we begin a countryside ride to San Jose del Lago featuring mineral and thermal spring baths with reported curative properties, aquatic and migratory bird life. The property formerly had its own landing strip to attract US vacationers in the pre-revolutionary days.

Lunch and optional ride extension, followed by transfer to historic Sancti Spiritus and accommodations at the charming Don Florencio on the boulevard. 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.
BB, LB, DB | (50 km/31.1 mi)

Day 9

Cycle to Banao, an agricultural town, and visit a specialist in genetic cattle breeding for a brief conference. Cycle to the south coast and Manaca Iznaga, just outside colonial Trinidad.

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. Our group’s accommodations for the next two evenings will be at two privately-operated installations called Hostal Lola and La Casona, bordering the historic center of Trinidad.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

BB, LB, DB | (53 km/32.9 mi)

Day 10

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.

This evening: soak up an authentic Cuban cultural performance at the Casa de la Musica.
BB, LB, DB | (44 km/27.3 mi)

Day 11

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.

Accommodations in Cienfuegos overlooking the bay at the Jagua Hotel.

Dinner tonight in town at a paladar. Over dinner, your tour team will share some history of the construction of an unfinished nuclear plant in the area, abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
BB, LB, DB | (55 km/34.2 mi)

Day 12

Today our cycling will take us to 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. Continue inland towards the mountain lake/reservoir Hanabanilla for lunch in a spectacular evergreen rainforest setting. The reservoir, completed in 1963 in a sparsely-populated municipality, supplies a large part of the surrounding area with fresh water.

Return to Cienfuegos.

Dinner at one of our favorite Cienfuegos paladars.

BB, LB, DB | (45 km/28 mi)

Day 13

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 enroute at El Ajiaco, a Cuban specialty restaurant in the fishing village of Cojimar. Accommodation in Havana at Hotel Copacabana (or similar).

 

BB, LB, DB | (48 km/29.8 mi)

Day 14

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 | (42 km/26.1 mi)

Day 15

Breakfast and departure.

BB | (0.0 km/0.0 mi)

Notes

Meals

  • B: Breakfast
  • L: Lunch
  • D: Dinner
  • BB: Breakfast w/1 beverage
  • LB: Lunch w/1 beverage
  • DB: Dinner w/1 beverage
  • BAI: Breakfast All Inclusive
  • LAI: Lunch All Inclusive
  • DAI: Dinner All Inclusive

Notes

Itinerary and hotels subject to availability.

Total Distance

Typical Tour: ~500 km (310.7 mi) in 12 days of riding. Cycling days average 41.67 km (25.89 mi) per day.
Mileage is approximate and may vary according to the group’s desires.

Avid Cyclists

Most days allow for additional mileage if desired.

Slow Cyclists

Slow riders are not usually a problem. However, very slow riders or “bird watchers” may not attain proposed mileage. While this is very unusual, it does occasionally happen and a short hop on the bus usually compensates for lack of speed.

Vuelta Cuba Bicycle Tour – Hotel list by tour date

Check-in Check-out Property Area
14-jan-18 15-jan-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
15-jan-18 16-jan-18 Melia Santiago, Imperial Santiago or Casa Granda Santiago de Cuba
16-jan-18 17-jan-18 El Salton Santiago (Sierra Maestra)
17-jan-18 18-jan-18 Sierra Maestra Bayamo, Granma
18-jan-18 20-jan-18 Ordoño Gibara, Holguin
Check-in Check-out Property Area
20-jan-18 21-jan-18 Gran Hotel Camaguey
21-jan-18 22-jan-18 Don Florencio Sancti Spiritus
22-jan-18 24-jan-18 Hostal Lola & La Casona Trinidad
24-jan-18 26-jan-18 Jagua, La Union or Faro Luna Cienfuegos
26-jan-18 28-jan-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana

What is included?

  • Experienced Canadian company representatives for in-country reception and support
  • Souvenir water bottle, rental of handlebar map bag or rear insulated trunk bag & helmet (some clients prefer to bring their own helmets, saddles, and clipless pedal/shoe systems and we have no problem with installing those on our equipment)
  • Professional mechanic on tour
  • Experienced bilingual Cuban and Canadian guides
  • Air conditioned support bus
  • Accommodations as per itinerary, mainly 3-4* properties, all with private bath & a/c
  • Meals as per itinerary (all meals except dinner on Day 1 include minimum of one drink)
  • Cuba cycle jersey (includes shipping to your home)
  • Snacks and cold beverages provided for rides
  • Domestic flight from Havana to Santiago de Cuba on Day 1
  • WoWCuba reps take care of tips for restaurants and accommodations (porters, reception staff, musicians, etc.) while on tour with you. If you feel the services of your Havanatur tour guide, Transtur driver and WoWCuba/MacQueen’s Island Tours tour leader warrant recognition, gratuities are welcomed. Click here for more info on tipping etiquette in Cuba.
  • High quality, professionally maintained 27-speed hybrid bicycles outfitted for touring. Our current touring fleet consists mainly of the the Specialized Sirrus Comp, the Specialized Vita Comp and Specialized Vita Pro although we do have other options available to satisfy the individual needs of our clients. We also have a limited number of Evox electric-assist bikes available for a small upgrade fee. Other companies may claim that their bikes are the best in Cuba, but we are certain those in the know will agree that noone offers a comparable rental fleet to ours. Our Specialized bikes have a MSRP of $1000+ and are maintained by one of the most experienced, knowledgeable bicycle mechanics we know.

What is NOT Included?

  • Additional beverages
  • Additional gratuities
  • Medical and cancellation insurance
  • Cuban departure tax
  • International flights
  • Tourist visa
  • Passport fees
  • Optional excursions, museum fees, theatre and items of a personal nature etc.
  • Private or collective transfers from/to airport upon your international arrival/departure. Inquire when requesting quotation.

Guaranteed Departures & Available Discounts

All tour dates are guaranteed to operate for paid participants with the following condition:

If the minimum number of cyclists on a tour (5, except 10 for Vuelta) is not met, then MacQueen’s Island Tours/WoWCuba reserves the right to offer the advertised itinerary accompanied only by our tour leader/mechanic in a support car/van.

Unsold tour space is normally released 30 days prior to tour departure.

Cycle Tour Early Booking Bonus:
$50 USD/person discount to the first 4 cyclists to register and pay deposit on any group cycle tour (may be combined with alumni discount). View details here.

Back-to-Back Tours:
Second consecutive cycle tour, Deduct $95 CUC per person, plus 10% discount. Bicycle jersey excluded from 2nd tour.

Alumni Discount:
5% off the land only price for repeat participants. View details here.

Early Bird Group Discount:
5% off the land only price for groups of 6 or more booking together 90+ days prior to tour start. View details here.

What Clients Are Saying About WoWCuba Bicycle Tours


If you want to see Cuba, going by bike on a WoWCuba tour has to be one of the very best ways to do it. There’s nothing to compare with a warm breeze on your face as you ride by horses, motorcyclists and other bikers, exchanging “buenos dias!” as they go about their day. WoWCuba staff are knowledgeable, helpful and good-natured. I loved getting to know the warm and kind people of Cuba and will always be grateful to WoWCuba for my wonderful trip.

T. Bruner
07/01/2017


These guys know their stuff and have the disposition to show you the best time you could possibly have on a bike in Cuba. What a way to see the land, eat fabulous food, engage with the citizens and learn the rich history of this land. Go and take your friends and family!

K. Mulherin
21/12/2016


Not knowing much about Cuba besides knowing we couldn't go there for my whole life, I had the time of my life! You should consider looking into WowCuba to see what they have to offer for trips. The Western route had a lot of variety and yes, some hills, but there were a bunch of us who walked them. The reward was a delicious feast of snacks and drink refreshments. If I could turn around and do it over again for another week, I would, but I want to go to another area and do that one. If you want to consider it, I'll go with you 🙂

J. Couture
05/12/2016

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