Cycling through iconic Cuba

Cycling Cuba

16 days
from
£2,401
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 140 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
MAH
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cycling Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–18

Soak up the Cuban culture on this active and rewarding cycling tour

Cuba’s music, beaches, old cars, striking architecture and revolutionary history combine to make the perfect cultural destination with a lively atmosphere. Our relaxed cycle route passes through stunning countryside with a patchwork of plantations, fields and jungle, allowing us to appreciate the traditional way of life that continues today. Out of the saddle we can experience Trinidad’s vibrant music scene, the crumbling colonial buildings of Havana and learn about the revolutionary history of Santiago. After a day of cycling you'll no doubt welcome Cuba's speciality - a refreshing mojito!

A number of changes are being made to this product for travel after the 1st January 2018. The trip in 2018 will no longer pass through Camaguey twice, instead the trip will now include Playa Santa Lucia. Please click here to view the 2018 trip.

Highlights

  • Cycle the length of idyllic Cuba through the country's key historic colonial and revolutionary areas
  • Full vehicle support throughout the trip with two vehicles for groups of nine or more
  • High quality, well-maintained bikes and mechanical support for the initial cycling stages of every trip
  • Cycling leaders trained to UK leadership standards (CTC Bike Tour Leader Award)
  • Vibrant culture with its rum, mojito's and salsa beats!
  • Cuban Tourist Cards included for all UK residents
  • Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic usually available

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels, 4 nights in Casas Particulares. All rooms are en suite and most hotels have swimming pools.
  • 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track
  • Good level of fitness is required

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Local bike hire
  • Tourist card visa for UK residents

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

10

Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track

Day by day breakdown
Day 225.0km/16.0miles
Day 363.0km/39.0miles
Day 443.0km/26.0miles
Day 580.0km/49.0miles
Day 767.0km/41.0miles
Day 868.0km/42.0miles
Day 975.0km/46.0miles
Day 1035.0km/21.0miles
Day 1272.0km/44.0miles
Day 1360.0km/37.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Havana.

    The group flight arrives in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Land only clients will meet the group at the start hotel in Havana.

    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Tour of Havana; to Matanzas.

    In the morning we will have our trip briefing, followed by bike fitting before we set off on a warm up ride round Havana. Traffic is remarkably light for a capital city. We cycle through the Miramar and Vedado districts of Havana to reach the dominating Plaza de la Revolucion, whilst Buicks and Pontiacs cruise past with gleaming chrome. We finish our sightseeing with a walking tour in the heart of Old Havana and a stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we transfer to Matanzas for dinner and stay overnight.

    Transfer approx. 105km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Ride/transfer to Playa Larga at Bay of Pigs.

    We leave the hotel by bike and ride through Matanzas province. The landscape here is full of sugar cane and citrus plantations with the occasional sleepy village. This pretty ride takes us through rural communities to the Autopista Nacional where we load the bikes on the bus and drive to lunch. Once we pass the Australia Sugar Factory (where Fidel Castro set up his headquarters for the Bay of Pigs crisis) we enter the Cienaga de Zapata. The road is flat and is skirted by a swamp, once full of crocodiles. After lunch we continue on to the Bay of Pigs where we stay overnight in casas within the town of Playa Larga. This was the site of the failed invasion by CIA-backed Cuban Americans. Many of the beaches here are ideal for snorkelling and swimming.

    Transfer approx. 90km.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Rural cycling; transfer to Cienfuegos.

    Continuing south to cross the island, our route today covers a variety of landscapes. We ride through the biggest swamps in Cuba (Zapata’s Peninsula), and then cut through agricultural routes to reach the main road towards Cienfuegos. This is a day for discovering the rural heart of Cuba as we pass through small communities dedicated to agriculture and charcoal production. A stop at Playa Giron gives us the chance to learn about CIA backed invasion of Cuba in the early 60’s. From here we have a short ride to lunch in Caleta Buena, a natural sea pool teeming with tropical fish. There should be the opportunity to have a dip upon arrival. Afterwards we continue by bus to Cienfuegos. Casas may be located in the town centre or close to the coastal road.

    Transfer approx. 90km

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Coastal ride to Trinidad.

    Today's ride takes us further along the coastline to Trinidad. Trinidad is beautiful; a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Exploring Trinidad can feel like entering a time warp, its colourful, cobbled streets and horse drawn transportation whisking us back to colonial times. There are many interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings and music drifts through the streets and plazas.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Free time in Trinidad.

    Today is free to soak up the atmosphere of Trinidad or join an optional excursion to explore the surrounding areas. For example you can walk the 'El Cubano' trail in the nearby national park. This evening we recommend a visit to Trinidad's Casa de la Trova (the 'House of Music') for traditional Cuban music and dancing.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Ride to Sancti Spiritus; transfer to Camaguey.

    We ride inland towards the city of Sancti Spiritus. The road rises and falls through the beautiful scenery of the Alturas de Banao, where coffee plantations and farms adorn the landscape, passing the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) which was once Cuba's most important sugar producing area. At the village of Manaca Iznaga we can stop to visit the farmhouse and the famous 'run away slaves' tower; for a small entrance fee you can climb the 136 steps and enjoy the view. Upon arrival in Sancti Spiritus, we enjoy some free time in the town's colonial centre and then transfer to Camaguey.

    Transfer approx. 200km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Transfer/ride to Bayamo.

    Our day starts with a transfer to Las Tunas, where we saddle up to ride across this lively city. We continue to Bayamo, located in the province of Granma, one of the island's most important regions from a revolutionary perspective and consisting mainly of the floodplain of the river Cauto (Cuba's longest). The area contains many sugar cane and rice plantations, and lies below the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The charming city of Bayamo is the capital of the province, and has a pleasant, relaxed ambience full of poignant monuments and revolutionary atmosphere.

    Transfer approx. 180km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Ride into the Sierra Maestra Mountains.

    A challenging ride from Bayamo into the Sierra Maestra. As we head deep into the mountains, today's route is dominated by Pico Bayamesa (at 1,730m above sea level it is Cuba's third tallest peak). This is an area of stunning natural beauty and is rarely visited by tourists. After passing through numerous villages we reach our hotel where we can relax after probably our hardest day's ride.

    Standard Hotel

    *See Accommodation section for occasional tour alteration that affects today and tomorrow.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Short walk; ride to 'El Cobre'; transfer to Santiago de Cuba.

    This morning we take a short break from the saddle to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Sierra Maestra. Starting early, we take a gentle stroll into the mountains with a local, passing through tropical forest and coffee plantations before stopping for coffee and fruit in a local farmer's home, before returning to the hotel for lunch. We take a transfer from Salton to just beyond Palma Soriano, then it's back on the bikes and ride to El Cobre. After visiting Cuba's most important Holy Shrine, we transfer to Santiago de Cuba. The city is rich in traditions, folklore and legends, making almost every street corner famous. But it is at night that Santiago really comes alive with legendary Cuban music and dancing.

    Transfer approx. 70km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    City tour; transfer to Gibara.

    Santiago de Cuba is known as the city of heroes, for the important role it played in Independence and Revolutionary struggles. The morning is spent sightseeing, including the Moncada Barracks - where the opening shots of the Revolution were fired on 26 July 1953 when Castro and his men attacked the barracks. There is a rich tradition of dance, music and festivals, largely based on the Afro-Cuban population. Afternoon transfer to Gibara.

    Transfer approx. 135kms.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Coastal cycle ride; transfer to Camaguey.

    Today we cycle directly from our hotel in the morning and head towards Puerto Padre where we stop for a picnic lunch. From here we transfer to Camaguey, the capital of the province.

    Transfer approx. 145km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Transfer to Majagua; ride to Mayajigua.

    After breakfast we transfer to the town of Majagua and enjoy a final cycle ride to the rural setting of Mayajigua, our base for tonight. The route today will be challenging as we make our way over the northern range of hills, but the support vehicle is on hand just in case!

    Transfer approx. 180km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    To Havana via historic Remedios and Santa Clara.

    Today is a long day so we leave Mayajigua early in the morning and return by road to Havana via Remedios, one of the earliest Spanish settlements in Cuba. We will stop in Santa Clara to visit the Che Mausoleum and armoured train exhibition. The evening is free to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of charming Havana.

    Transfer approx. 350km.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Sightseeing in Havana; transfer to airport; fly back home.

    Today there is a city tour of old Havana, described as a living museum, with its marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces. We will stop for lunch at one of the many great local restaurants in Old Havana. After lunch we transfer to the airport for those on the group flight to London. Passengers travelling independently will leave the group in Havana.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    Arrive London.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Cuba

British and most Western European passport holders do not require a visa but do require a tourist card. Your Cuban tourist card (valid for 30 days) is included and will be posted to you by Exodus approx. 6 weeks before travel. We will send instructions on how to fill it in but please be careful doing this as any mistakes may result in you having to purchase a new card at a cost of GBP15.00 per person.

We will send a tourist card free of charge as long as you live at a UK or Ireland address and are national of an EU country, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan. If you are not national of one of these countries or are not resident in the UK or Eire you must contact your nearest Cuban Consulate to check what visa is required - Exodus cannot provide a tourist card for you.

The Cuban entry immigration is time consuming and most visitors encounter delays when queuing for entry into the country.

The Cuban Government passed a law stating that all tourists visiting Cuba must have travel insurance to cover medical costs. You are likely to be asked to provide proof of your travel insurance policy when you arrive at Havana airport, so please ensure your documents are easily accessible. Whilst we hope that things will change in the near future, due to present US policy, we cannot take US citizens on our trips to Cuba.

Vaccinations

Cuba

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A. We are advised that there is no risk of malaria. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the latest information please visit www.exodus.co.uk/zika‐virus‐q‐a. The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 5 dinners included allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings.

We provide packed lunches during the day and 3 litres of bottled water pp on cycling days. There are also plenty of refreshment stops for water and fresh fruit. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence and some ingredients are just not possible to get hold of (due in no small part to the long trade embargo implemented by the US). As such, flavours tend to be relatively simple, with most mealtimes consisting of meat or fish accompanied by rice and salad/vegetables. Seafood is widely available on the coast, including cheap and abundant lobster! Vegetarians will probably find they have the most limited choice. Snack food is not freely available in Cuba so you may wish to consider taking some with you - particularly energy snacks for cycling days. Paladares are likely to be a highlight of any visit to Cuba - they are one of the few types of private enterprise allowed (although still heavily regulated), where families can set up a restaurant selling authentic, Cuban food. The atmosphere this creates and opportunity to integrate with local Cubans will no doubt enhance your stay! We recommend that you allow CUC 30 pp per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. You may also spend money on bottled water, which will normally cost about CUC 1.50 per bottle if bought from the coach (less if you purchase from local shops).

Weather

The dry season runs from November through to April (with December to March being the peak holiday months for traditional style tourism). It can be humid between May and October, with heavy rains at times and the possibility of hurricanes. July and August are some of the most popular months to visit Cuba by sun-seekers from Europe and Canada but can be hot (average 28ºC) and wet. Cuba has an average of 6 hours sunshine per day with a more or less constant humidity of 62%. Water temperature normally ranges from 24 to 28ºC.

Havana

Trinidad

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road.
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure for more important information on classification and grading.
Average daily distance: 58km (36 miles)
Number of days cycling: 10
Vehicle Support: 100%
Terrain and route: surface 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, some hills.

Overall the trip is not too strenuous but a good level of fitness is required. Routes follow mainly quiet back roads and can be potholed. This tour covers some remote parts of the island. Though many of the roads are in good condition you should expect potholes and poor road conditions in some sections. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic, except in some of the bigger towns/cities visited.

Terrain varies from flat around Las Tunas to hilly, and mountainous in the Sierra Maestra. In the harder areas there are some longish climbs, requiring good fitness, (particularly as Cuba is invariably hot and humid), and also some steep descents. Day 9 is particularly strenuous as we are cycling in a mountainous region.

Please remember to drink lots of water when cycling as the heat and humidity can be high (applies especially to June/July/August departures). We have added departures over the UK summer due to the popularity of the trip. This is one of the best times to visit Cuba for sun-seekers! Levels of humidity over the summer months can be high, so it's important to bear this in mind. Some group members may want to do a slightly reduced distance each day in order to avoid cycling in the middle of the day. If this is the case our back up vehicle will be available. It is possible for the rest of the group to continue on the itinerary as planned, but please don't forget to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Please be aware that mobile networks don’t make or receive calls particularly well in Cuba, and coverage may not be available in many locations. Not all networks work in Cuba, so please check with your service provider. Also please note that few hotels have Wi-Fi. Some will have internet cafés, and you will also find some Wi-Fi spots in the main plazas in towns. Using the internet in Cuba is relatively expensive, up to 5-6 CUC per hour, unless you purchase Wi-Fi cards at official shops, but these will always have long queues. Wi-Fi can be very slow, so it’s best to assume that you won’t be able to find a reliable internet connection whilst travelling.

A limited tourism infrastructure on the island means that some hotels and other service providers are struggling to honour their agreements. Last minute overbookings and price increases are becoming commonplace.

Fortunately, over the years we have built strong working relationships with suppliers and we have managed to prevent any major problems from affecting our groups. Nevertheless, all travellers should be aware that last minute hotel cancellations are a possibility and could affect your trip, especially during the high season in Havana (Oct to March). In the event of any necessary changes we will endeavour to ensure a property of the same standard and similar location is used. On some occasions an overnight hotel stay may be replaced with a night in a casa, or vice versa.

In addition to being prepared for potential last minute hotel changes, it is possible that you will be confronted by other minor frustrations whilst travelling in Cuba. We encourage all travellers to go with an open mind, and with realistic expectations at what a visit to Cuba entails. If your guide announces a change of plans then please be assured that everything possible has been done behind the scenes in order to make satisfactory alternative arrangements.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Casas Particulares

You will spend 10 nights in hotels and 4 nights in Casas Particulares (in Trinidad, Playa Larga & Cienfuegos). All of our Cuban itineraries include staying in privately-run 'Casas Particulares' in at least one destination as an alternative to staying in standard hotels. These are traditional Cuban properties that enable you to have a rewarding insight into the local lifestyle and culture by staying as a guest in a Cuban home. Rooms are on a twin-share basis, with air conditioning, and some hotels have swimming pools. Please note that power cuts do regularly occur in Cuba, and hot water supplies are not always guaranteed.

*Despite confirmed reservations for our groups, it occasionally occurs that we cannot stay in our usual choice of hotel in the Sierra Maestra on day 9. When this happens we instead transfer at the end of the ride to Santiago and compensate for the change with an upgraded hotel for this two night stay in the city. The following morning we ride approx. 20km from Santiago to El Cobre, before returning for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. This change does however mean that there isn’t the opportunity to go for a short walk in the Sierra Maestra as per the usual itinerary.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Forget feeling lethargic on your travels – cycling is one of the easiest ways to blend cultural and active expl

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Heather Algar
    Trip:

    June Cuba Ride

    The most favourite group of the five Exodus trips I have experienced, but the least favourite of the holidays. This trip certainly isn't moderate in May/June as the weather conditions are challenging. Over 35 degrees every day and high humidity on the bike is no easy feat! Long transfers and head winds add to the interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the day cycling the Sierra Maestra. Beautiful scenery and challenging riding, a real achievement for everyone. Closely followed by swimming in the Caribbean surrounded by tropical fish, a real highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Disinterested and disengaged. Very wordy, some of the long bus transfers felt like a long day on the school bus being fed propaganda Not really proactive or showing any anticipation of his guests needs, more about how much he knew and making sure he let us know! I understand he has been guiding this trip for some time, perhaps he is just bored.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train, train, train! Bring gels and electrolyte tablets with you to keep hydrated, and bring an open mind. Cuba is a third world country, things are not up to a Western standard so take is into account.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Most hotels were fine, the last night prior to returning to Havana is substandard and needs to be removed or upgraded. Train up, bring your own comfortable seat and snacks and enjoy.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Robert Pratt
    Trip:

    Cycling through Cuba and it's history

    A fantastic holiday for those keen to experience the delights of this vibrant and happy country. The cycling is tough, lots of hills and a strong headwind much of the time, not to mention the potholes and exhaust fumes! But in the saddle you get to see the real Cuba, off the beaten track, the smiling Cuban faces, the simple Cuban homes and the wonderful Cuban music - all in warm weather and clear skies. We did however not expect the fantastic history lesson that we received from our leader, who left no stone unturned in his explanations of the events prior to, during and post the Revolution of the 1950s. By the end of the holiday we had all gained a much better understanding of the Cuban way of life and we found ourselves being intrigued as to what the future might hold for this amazing country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Understanding the Revolution in great detail was inspirational, but seeing inside the simple homes of a doctor and a university professor and seeing how a 'ration shop' worked, made a big impact on me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Carlos was excellent and could have done no more to make this holiday truly memorable. So close were we that there were 'wet eyes' as we said our goodbyes to fly back to London

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This holiday really suits keen road cyclists. Many sections of the route involved long straight roads against the prevailing wind in very hot sun! There was very little 'off-road', which for me personally (as a mountain biker) was a bit disappointing. Many of the roads were busy and Cuba has plenty of very inefficient diesel lorries and buses belching out black fumes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cubans are not wealthy people but you don't see many unhappy Cubans. You do see plenty of beautiful smiling children's faces as they wave at you passing by. You do hear fantastic live music just about everywhere. You will have to queue up and the bureaucracy can seem senseless and frustrating at times, so don't expect much to happen too quickly.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jackie Johns
    Trip:

    Cycling Cuba

    Excellent trip cycling around the Caribbean island of Cuba. It was like going back in time to the 50s with the old American cars and basic lifestyle. Free from phone and Wi-Fi for 2 weeks was a bonus for me!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the "real" Cuba away from the tourist hot spots and living like a local. The snorkelling was brilliant on the Catamaran trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Laz was a brilliant guide, so knowledge and passionate about his home country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a scarf or some form of cover for your face as some of the vehicles do chuck out some smoke!! Wear plenty of sunscreen, the heat is deceiving when you are cycle with a head wind. Wear sunscreen on your lips too - a few of our group had blistered lips. Pack some toilet paper. Cycling shorts and a gel saddle are a must. It can get chilly in the evening so pack a cardi/pashmina. Ear plugs are also handy as some hotels are on main roads. Mask and snorkel if you go on the catamaran trip. Ladies a turban towel for your hair as most places only provide one towel each. I wore a pair of closed toe open sandals which were ideal for keeping your feet cool. Also some sort of carrier for your bike to hold camera, money, tissues etc is handy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't expect luxury! Food is very basic - rice and beans! Supplies are limited in Cuba so don't expect an a la carte menu. But, don't let this put you off - as long as you are prepared for this you wont be disappointed and our group found it quite amusing. Don't expect Wi-Fi or phone signal
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Ruth Hill
    Trip:

    Not the greatest cycling holiday we have had

    Cuba is very 3rd world. The standard of the accommodation was very variable and at times frankly unacceptable. Much of the cycling was on very busy roads with ancient lorries putting out thick black exhaust fumes. The island had its prettier parts but on the whole was flat and uninteresting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We enjoyed the very few off main roads rides

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very good. The driver also very helpful and safe

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You may well enjoy the experience but there are lots of downsides to travel in Cuba

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation needs to be upgraded. The bikes we used also had very limited adjustment to personal needs.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Christopher Peacock
    Trip:

    Cycling in Cuba

    A very interesting and enjoyable trip, the combination of the cycling, scenery, culture, history and music made for a memorable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to the hotel in Sierra Maestre.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liesner was very knowledgeable about Cuba and it's history. He was always helpful and considerate, and a very fit cyclist.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be flexible in your expectations of hotels, plumbing and food. Although not to European standards the rooms were always clean and functional. The food while not varied was interesting and some cases well cooked and presented.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have preferred more time at the destinations, more snorkelling and less time on the coach. I think covering the whole island in one trip is over ambitious, but it was still an excellent and absorbing holiday.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Ruth Bass
    Trip:

    Unforgettable

    This was our first group cycling holiday and our first trip with Exodus and it did not disappoint. The cycling is really well planned with great backup and the places we visited combined to give us a varied taste of this unique and fascinating country. We found ourselves in great company - the group really gelled and we had a ball.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views in the Sierra Maestre, the most challenging cycling day - reward for our effort; the atmosphere of Trinidad at sundown and the music, the people and sights by the roadside throughout the trip, the walk in the forest on day 10, snatched swims in pools and the sea and the fabulous evening out in Havana that rounded off an unforgettable holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Angel was just the best - calm and kind, managing all the unknowns one encounters in Cuba expertly.His insights into life in Cuba were comprehensive, and utterly fascinating - history and facts of course but always delivered with personal anecdotes and in a funny and insightful manner. We all loved him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Talk yourself out of using WiFi any more than is absolutely essential - it's frustrating, expensive and hard to come by. Have a break! Also, as Exodus advise, if you want snacks of any kind or hydration additives do take them as there is very little available, same goes for suncream - basically take all you need with you and don't rely on shopping .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst it was not Angel's fault (everything else he organised hit the button) we all felt very let down by the catamaran trip from Trinidad and cannot recommend it, it did not deliver what was advertised and we felt ripped off.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Simon Tomlinson
    Trip:

    Cycling Cuba

    Having wanted to visit Cuba for many years I'm convinced this was a great way to do it. It is a fascinating country with a turbulent history. The people and their ability to 'make do' when they have so little is inspirational. Never having been on a guided, group cycling tour before I was unsure what to expect and it took a few days to settle into the format. Apart from the opportunity to see and learn about the country the other great aspect of the trip was the other people on it. They were a lovely group of people each with an interesting life story to tell and cycling presents a great way to chat to people during those hours in the saddle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people. Cuba is a country with many problems including a broken economy and yet its people manage somehow to get by no doubt helped by the music, the dancing and the rum (one of the few "foods" that's neither rationed nor expensive)!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lismar was great. Very knowledgeable about Cuba and its history, careful in the management of expectations (some of its Russian built hotels are not in great shape), and all presented with good humour. I always felt he tried to go the extra mile, arranging extra tours and visits in addition to what was described and finding interesting Restaurants where possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    They say you shouldn't go to Cuba for the food and its true. Its bland, overcooked and with very limited choice - fried chicken, fried pork, fried fish with rice and beans just about sums it up. More to the point though most of our group had stomach upsets, some more than once. Its hard to know what the cause was but hygiene in the government run hotels and restaurants (which is most of them) is probably not great. The privately run restaurants and Casas are probably safer and definitely better quality. Be prepared to spend a long time in the coach. Cuba is a surprisingly large country with generally poor roads so getting about takes time. If you plan to take up the Cayo Levisa extension be aware that its quite a long way from Havana and none of the activities (the main reason we went) run on a Sunday (the only full day we had there). It is a beautiful island though and the food quality is an improvement on any of the other state run places we stayed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cycling itself on this tour was a bit of a mixed bag. In the first week we seemed to spend quite a bit of time on flatish, straight roads with quite a bit of traffic. The worst part was the decrepit cars and trucks belching out thick clouds of black smoke - I feel like I had a lifetime's worth of exposure to diesel particulates on this holiday. Some of the days were also not well planned in that we would take the coach somewhere, get out and cycle for a bit and then get back on the coach. One of the off road sections in the first week didn't happen as apparently the track is impassible. It sometimes felt like cycling for the sake of it. In the second week it got more interesting. The best day was one where we actually cycled from one hotel to the next giving a much greater sense of having achieved something.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Karen Wallace
    Trip:

    Exhilarating and fun

    This was my first every cycling holiday. I was never a cyclist and although fit cycled moe in this cortnight than i have in my life comvined....but i did it...never once riding in the bus...although there qas no ahame in that! Although one of the weaker cylists i was encouraged by the others and felt a treme dous sense of accomplishment to have completed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually not riding the bus.....altnough i had to walk short stretches on the mountainous day...i did it. The other cyclists were wondèful and our vuide, Lee superb. He woas encouraging, funny and so knowledgeable about the history and the places we visited. We all swear he has a photographic memory.! The sight seeing was perfect and the rides interesting especially when we went tbrough small towns and villages where even the school childen chered us on like celebrities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    FANTASTIC! Incredily knowledgeable and always there to help. On the tough cycling day he stayed behind with me encouraging me all the way. Our drivers too were excellent and always there with help and a joke. They made the whole experience wonderful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring pens and makers and sweets to give to the kids along the way. They flock round you, not begging but a oen or marker is a prize to them. The people are delightfyl and friendly and it is a pleasure to be able to give them something little that they really appreciate. At the end of tbe trip we asked our gyide if we could leave clothes or toiletries behind and he happily took them to give to needy people...so pack some old clothes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am already looking at other trips with Exodus. I felt it was extremely well organised and the informafion given accurate.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    William Dalzell
    Trip:

    Cycling Cuba

    Overall good experience with some interesting cycling towards the end of the tour . Cuba is a big island and a lot is crammed in resulting in the tour having an attritional feel with some tedious transfers and insufficient time to explore places such as Camaguey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba and for those not staying extra days, particularly Havana.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Time spent in Havana but I thought the most typically West Indian place was El Salton, which was gorgeous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lismar is excellent, his English impressive and he is a font of information and a strong cyclist, too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be careful of your food and drink - not only what you eat and drink (tummy bugs galore with our group) but what could have become mixed with it _ Rosie found a large piece of broken glass in her glass at the first lunch stop by the wharf in Old Havana( which Lismar took up with management) and more broken glass in her ice cream at the lunch stop at Santa Clara.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Day 1 would have been much better if some attempt had been made for the party to meet up, at least for a drink at Hotel Memories. As it was we were rather left there kicking our heels and waiting to meet the group on day 2. Hotel Memories is ok but too remote for anyone hoping to explore Havana. Three other hotels were drab, tatty with unappetising food - Hotel Camaguey, Hotel Sierra Maestra and Hotel San Jose del Lago.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Sally Hall
    Trip:

    Cycling Cuba

    I would definitely recommend this fabulous trip! Cycling through Cuba is one of the best ways to see the country and its people along the way. The trip ambitiously covers large distances over a sizeable island but the mixture of cycling and bus transfers just about works. There is a good mixture of accommodation-types from larger, swankier hotels (either modernist government hotels or beautiful colonial-style buildings) to staying in a local's home (Casas particulares).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday starting off from our accommodation on our bikes, as a team, in unison and then finishing the day together. I loved cycling in the mountains near Santiago, the countryside was more interesting and the cycling more challenging. Attending a local dance evening in a 'village hall' and dancing salsa as a group with the locals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lismar was a very good guide - well organised, engaging, very informative. We learnt lots about the complex history and culture of Cuba.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take medicines such as Immodium and be cautious - the level of hygiene is not always what we're used to and many of us succumbed to the inevitable!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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