This itinerary focuses on the western half of the island with in depth exploration of the area around the Viñales valley and Pinar del Rio Province. Later it’s on to Cienfuegos, the historic Bay of Pigs, colonial Trinidad where we experience Cuban hospitality in Casas Particulares. Crossing the Escambray mountains leads us to Santa Clara and the monument of Che Guavara before heading off to the vibrant capital Havana.
Arrive at Havana airport and transfer to hotel .
We start the morning with an orientation walk through Habana Vieja with crumbling colonial buildings, Bacardi tower, Capitol and 1950s American cars. Later we transfer to Soroa and visit the splendid Orchid Garden.
We cycle off through tropical forest to the former coffee plantation of Las Terrazas. Lunch is possible in Cuba’s most original vegetarian restaurant and after, chill out in a nearby river’s natural pool.
We cycle past picturesque countryside, with rolling hills, palm trees and farmhouses in small hamlets. You can try Guarapo (sugar cane juice), lunch at a private home before we arrive in San Diego de los Baños, Cuba’s oldest Spa town.
We cycle through one of the remotest countrysides of this trip, visit Che Guevaras hideout during the missile crises of 1962, spot for the first time Mogotes, the isolated limestone hills and arrive in the valley of Viñales, the synonym for high quality Cuban tobacco. Overnight in private homes (casas particulares) in the heart of Viñales.
We do an orientation tour around the valley, starting in Viñales itself, a small laid back town with a charming, neo classical main street. After that we explore the surroundings on bikes, see local farmers at work, admire more stunning mogotes and can get an introduction to the fine art of cigar rolling.
Today is left free for taking it easy by the swimming pool or perhaps by booking an excursion to Cayo Levisa, an off shore island with lovely beaches. Alternatively take the bike and cycle to Puerto Esperanza for a home-made fish dish at lunch time in one of the local Paladares.
Today we’ll spend a few hours on a bus transfer to the Bay of Pigs, the emblematic landmark for Cuban resistance in 1961. Have a quick swim in the Caribbean before continuing to Cienfuegos. Enjoy its classical French ambience. The stunning Palacio del Valle makes for a a great location where to have a mojito as a sun downer. Overnight in a hotel at Cienfuegos beach.
We drive to Guajimico and cycle from here to Trinidad. En route there is time for a swim in the Caribbean at Yaguanabo beach. Later, we do an orientation walk through the historic centre of Trinidad with its lovely colonial charm. At night you are welcome to join the Salsa dancing crowd at the Casa de la Musica or Casa de la Trova. Overnight is in private homes (casas particulares) in the heart of Trinidad.
In the morning we cycle through the scenic Valle de Ingenios (valley of the sugar mills) where Cuba’s sugar boom had its beginnings in late 18th century. You can climb the infamous watch tower at Manaca Iznaga, surrounded by former slave dwellings. Later free time to explore more of Trinidad or just relax by the pool.
Today is left free to take a very rewarding Catamaran trip to one of the small off-shore islands including snorkelling in the reef and a sea food meal on the island. Alternatively you can relax on the beaches south of Trinidad.
We start cycling on the highest sections of the road, near Topes de Collantes in the Sierra Escambray mountains. It’s one of the most scenic down-hills through the jungle found anywhere in Cuba. We have lunch in a farmer’s house and can try their home grown coffee. Later bus transfer to Santa Clara.
First we visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and monument which houses the remains of him and his fellow combatants killed in 1967 in Bolivia. After that we drive to Havana and enjoy our last cycling through rural Cuba in the unspoilt Yumuri Valley. We finish cycling at Bacunayagua view point, the allegedly best place in Cuba for sipping Piña Colada.
We explore Vedado, Miramar and Playa neighbourhoods on bike – the ideal way to get to know different parts of town. After stopping at Plaza de la Revolucion we get back to the hotel and have the afternoon free.
The tour ends in Havana.
Season: October-May (winter)
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