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Western Cuba Bicycle Tour

Begin in Cuba’s capital, Havana, in the heart of the historic old city. Marvel at the antique cars, stunning architectural restoration projects and engage yourself with the friendly locals as we make our way to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra del Rosario mountain range and National Natural Monument Viñales.

At Soroa, spend your afternoon in the orchid garden, visit the waterfall or indulge in a fantastic massage after your ride. Continue through rural countryside to National Natural Monument, Viñales Valley, and Los Jazmines with a panoramic view of the pincushion hills (mogotes) and valley below. Back in Havana, we like to wrap up our week with an afternoon cultural activity, and a farewell dinner hosted by your rep at a local paladar restaurant.

Group Tour Prices
Dates USD/pax Rooms Remaining Cyclist Seeking Roommate Last Date to Register
  • Start: 19/11/2017
  • End: 26/11/2017

$2865.00 double

$3275.00 single

2 No 20/10/2017
  • Start: 17/12/2017
  • End: 24/12/2017

$2920.00 double

$3330.00 single

14 No 17/11/2017
  • Start: 04/02/2018
  • End: 11/02/2018

$2865.00 double

$3275.00 single

14 No 05/01/2018
  • Start: 18/02/2018
  • End: 25/02/2018

$2865.00 double

$3275.00 single

14 No 19/01/2018
  • Start: 11/03/2018
  • End: 18/03/2018

$2865.00 double

$3275.00 single

14 No 08/02/2018

Western Cuba Bicycle Tour Detailed 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 a 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.

D | (0 km/0 mi)

Day 2

Early breakfast at the hotel and 08:30 pickup for a short drive east of Havana. During the 45-minute trip your WoWCuba team will brief you on local etiquette including currency, bathrooms, lineups, water, personal safety and safe cycling as part of our outfitting session.

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.  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 El Ajiaco, a Cuban specialty restaurant in the fishing village of Cojimar.

BB, LB, DB | (46 km/28 mi)

Day 3

Breakfast at the hotel, depart by van then cycle inland to the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve featuring a mesic forest with evergreen, semi-deciduous environments and 35% endemic plants.

On Feb. 15, 1984, the area was one of the first to be classified in Cuba as a Biosphere Reserve and an IUCN Managed Resource Protected Area. Our ride ends at Soroa Hotel where we have lunch at the entrance to the waterfall. This afternoon: take a guided tour of the orchid gardens, or go hiking. On your hike you may sight bats, birds including the bee hummingbird or the yellow-striped Pygmy Eleuth, or one the smallest frogs in the world.

Late afternoon transfer to the town of San Diego de los Baños for lodging at Mirador de San Diego. San Diego’s medicinal sulphur spring baths are worth noting. They are available to visitors and often combined with acupuncture, mud treatments, massage and more as part of traditional medicine techniques.

Dinner at the hotel.

BB, LB, DB | (25 km/15 mi)

Day 4

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Escogida to learn of the tobacco selection process & de-veining. Begin cycling the central road through small villages to Viñales for lunch at the Palenque de los Cimarrones before checking out the view of the valley from the Los Jazmines lookout.

Viñales is a National Park and National Monument, and since 1999, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is distinguished by an “outstanding karst landscape in which traditional methods of agriculture (notably tobacco growing) have survived unchanged for several centuries. The region also preserves a rich vernacular tradition in its architecture, crafts and music”. This afternoon your tour leaders will offer the opportunity to explore the valley’s back roads by horseback, discovering local rivers, growers, and coffee plantations enroute.

Accommodation and dinner this evening at Los Jazmines, La Ermita or Rancho San Vicente.

BB, LB, DB | (54 km/33 mi)

Day 5

Breakfast at the hotel and return to Viñales to cycle through the valley bordering the Sierra del Infierno to Pons. Continue through Cabeza to the mountains for lunch at La Guabina. The ranch is surrounded by a tranquil lake, soft mountains, valleys and a river. With over 1000 hectares, cattle and horse breeding are the ranch’s main activities.  View coffee plantations enroute, plus a tobacco shop with tobacco rolling demonstration. Bus tour of Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s province noted for growing the best tobacco in the world.

After lunch return to Viñales for a tour of a private botanical garden founded in 1918 featuring creepy symbols of Cuban superstitions, orchids, lilies, cinammon, almond, a “beer tree” (Danny’s favorite) and more in the sprawling space.

Dinner at El Olivo.

BB, LB, DB | (64 km/39 mi)

Day 6

Breakfast at the hotel. Cycle along the north shore in Bahia Honda municipality with its tropical rainforest climate. The Sierra del Rosario has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1985 and has an Ecological Research Station. Las Terrazas is a very successful experiment in sustainable development and its reforestation is characterized by the presence of evergreen, deciduous, xeromorphic, scrub and pine forests.

The Ecological Station is dedicated to constant monitoring of ecosystem research related to ecological restoration, forestry development, environmental education, birds, local development, conservation of agricultural biodiversity and various scientific projects, while simultaneously offering specialized ecotourism tours. It links the local community to projects related to the rescue of genetic plant resources, contributing to food security as well as sustainable tourism and the biological diversity of its ecosystems. The station conducts activities geared to community children and youth. The Las Terrazas Environmental Interest Circle features Bird and Educational lectures, Workshops, Participatory Contests, and Celebration of World Environment Day as part of their grassroots efforts to elevate the environmental education level of its inhabitants and achieve sustainable development in the region.

Specialized ecotourism tours include birdwatching, hiking to French coffee plantation ruins, learning Cuban coffee traditions and sampling at Café Maria, zip lines with a scenic view over the lake and vibrant community with its own microeconomy, swimming at the hotel pool, San Juan or Bayate rivers and more.

Accommodations and dinner at La Moka eco lodge.

BB, LB, DB | (45 km/27 mi)

Day 7

Breakfast and ride the central road through Artemisa towards Havana. Artemisa, formerly of Pinar del Rio province, is the area from which many of the fighters for Cuban independence as part of the 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks originated. The Martyrs Mausoleum there is a National Monument.

Exposure to Havana’s history, culture, music is on today’s menu. Family-style chicken & all the trimmings are on the lunch menu at El Aljibe restaurant in Miramar.

Check in to Hotel Copacabana. Your tour leader will provide background 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.

Clean up for farewell dinner hosted by your representative tonight at San Cristobal paladar in Central Havana.

BB, LB, DB | (40 km/24 mi)

Day 8

Breakfast at the hotel. End of services.

BB | (0 km/0 mi)

Notes

Meals

  • BB: breakfast w/ beverage
  • LB: lunch w/ beverage
  • DB: dinner w/ beverage
  • AI: All Inclusive

Note
Itinerary and hotels subject to availability.

Western Cuba Bicycle Tour – Hotel list by tour date

Check-in Check-out Property Area
19-nov-17 21-nov-17 Hotel Copacabana Havana
21-nov-17 22-nov-17 Mirador de San Diego San Diego de los Baños
22-nov-17 24-nov-17 La Ermita Viñales
24-nov-17 25-nov-17 La Moka Las Terrazas (Artemisa)
25-nov-17 26-nov-17 Hotel Copacabana Havana
17-dec-17 19-dec-17 Hotel Copacabana Havana
19-dec-17 20-dec-17 Mirador de San Diego San Diego de los Baños
20-dec-17 22-dec-17 La Ermita Viñales
22-dec-17 23-dec-17 La Moka Las Terrazas (Artemisa)
23-dec-17 24-dec-17 Hotel Copacabana Havana
04-feb-18 06-feb-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
06-feb-18 07-feb-18 Mirador de San Diego San Diego de los Baños
07-feb-18 09-feb-18 La Ermita Viñales
09-feb-18 10-feb-18 La Moka Las Terrazas (Artemisa)
10-feb-18 11-feb-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
Check-in Check-out Property Area
18-feb-18 20-feb-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
20-feb-18 21-feb-18 Mirador de San Diego San Diego de los Baños
21-feb-18 23-feb-18 La Ermita Viñales
23-feb-18 24-feb-18 La Moka Las Terrazas (Artemisa)
24-feb-18 25-feb-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
11-mar-18 13-mar-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana
13-mar-18 14-mar-18 Mirador de San Diego San Diego de los Baños
14-mar-18 16-mar-18 La Ermita Viñales
16-mar-18 17-mar-18 La Moka Las Terrazas (Artemisa)
17-mar-18 18-mar-18 Hotel Copacabana Havana

What’s 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 day 2-7
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Snacks and cold beverages provided for rides.
  • 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’s 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 CUC/person discount to the first 4 cyclists to register and pay deposit on any group cycle tour (may be combined with alumni discount) Not available. 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


The most pleasurable part of the trip was the team Danny, Dayan, George, and (in the background) Kristen. There seems to be a perfect sense of coordination, personalities, abilities and sensitivity to individual participants in the group, attending to details. They all made the trip, really, one of the best trips I have ever been on. The route chosen, too, was remarkable. The combination of country, villages, city were perfectly balanced and there was never too much of one over another experience. Arts, music and history and political perspectives were nicely related by all three group leaders. George did a beautiful job relating his knowledge. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this group. I am already planning to go on another bike trip with WoWCuba. Anyone who is interested in having an unforgettable experience in Cuba, must explore the possibility of WoWCuba.

G. Alon
01/03/2017


Very well organized, good accommodations, good food, excellent service overall. The staff was very flexible and attentive to our needs. Riding through the country side is a lot of fun. Going through the towns is very interesting. The following bus is comforting as well as the lead and follow up ride leaders.

D. DiGiovanni
04/12/2016


I love this company and do not think you could do better. You get good value for the money spent, get to see the real Cuba and are looked after so well. I have never eaten better in my life than on WowCuba trips, despite Cuba's reputation for bland, uninteresting food. The company has sourced the best accommodations and places to eat, as well as the best cycling routes. The bikes they provide are great and there is always a technician along to solve any problems with the bikes. (This is basically what I told my four friends who came on this trip, their first to Cuba, their first cycling trip anywhere and their first exposure to WowCuba. All of them thanked me at the end of the trip for recommending it to them.)

N. Stewart
02/12/2016

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