Really enjoyed this trip - Cuba is a must see destination before McDonalds and Starbucks eventually arrive and ruin it. First ever cycling trip - now seriously considering another!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
On the more hilly days, the views were great - made the climb worth it (almost)
Food - 3 course meal with huge lobster for £8!
Music in bars
People in Cuba are generally very helpful and friendly. We had no concerns about safety/security at any point in the trip.
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Jose was very good. He had a great sense of humour (we had "joke of the day" on the bus every day) and was informative and knowledgeable. His English was excellent - as you would expect from someone who had studied to be an English teacher. Where problems arose with accommodation or health it was sorted with no fuss. He ensured we had a good holiday.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Go to Cuba - I had to be convinced but now I am really pleased that I went. Despite what is says in the trip notes, the food is generally very good and plentiful - I've never eaten so much lobster in my life. However, if you are a vegetarian, I hope you like omelette............
Ensure you take enough sun screen as it is very hot and you will struggle to buy it in Cuba. Also do take padded cycling pants and a gel seat cover as no one has yet invented a comfortable bike seat! I would also recommend a bandana to keep the sweat out of your eyes when cycling.
At every stop you are provided with water, fruit and snacks so you don't need much in the way of energy bars etc. Do though take rehydrate powders and force yourself to take them - you will sweat big time!
Mobile phones appear to work OK but switch off Roaming.
Do take cash but if you let the guide know in advance, you can get to an ATM on most days.
Consider making your own flight arrangements so that you can have extra time at the start or end. If you do decide to do this then don't use the tour start/finish hotel for any extra nights in Havana - there are far better options in old Havana in Casa Particulars. These are cheaper and central.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
There is full back up on all cycle days so stopping and getting on the bus at any time is not a problem - very reassuring. Only having one guide, when cycling, I felt was a issue as he can't be everywhere and those of us at the back would welcome encouragement and support. Also our guide injured his back and therefore could not cycle with us on 3 days.
I would like to have seen more/visited towns while cycling. Often the cycling seemed to be more about getting from A to B than discovering Cuba.
This trip is jammed packed with very little free time (Trinidad being the exception unless you take up one of the Optional activities) to just wander and explore but you do see a lot of Cuba in a short time.
In Trinidad, there was a problem with accommodation so we stopped in Casa Particulars rather than the hotel (we got two excellent free evening meals as compensation). I would make this part of every trip!! The Casas are excellent, air con, en suite, fridge in room with wine, water and beer.... so much better than a hotel room.