Cuban Highlights Ride

9 days
from
£2,379
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 73 reviews >
Trip code: 
MAC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
4–18
Min age:
16

Experience the real Cuba on two wheels

Cycle through lush Cuban countryside, colourful colonial towns and alongside quiet coastal roads where the inviting waters of the Caribbean await. Cuba is the ideal destination for a cycling holiday, with a refreshing mojito to reward your efforts at the end of the day! Out of the saddle discover Cuba’s fascinating revolutionary history, visiting the Bay of Pigs and Che Guevara's Mausoleum. The UNESCO towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad are bursting with music and Cuban spirit, not forgetting enigmatic, charming Old Havana where this trip ends.

Highlights

  • Time to relax, swim and sample Cuba's famous mojitos
  • Immerse yourself in Cuba's unique history and culture
  • Cycle gently through stunning tropical scenery
  • Full vehicle support throughout trip
  • Cycling leaders trained to UK leadership standards (CTC Bike Tour Leader Award)
  • Cuban Tourist Cards included for all UK residents
  • Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic usually available

Key information

  • 4 nights Casas Particulares and 3 nights hotels
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support

  • 90% tarmac roads, 10% unpaved tracks

  • Countries visited: Cuba

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire
  • Tourist card visa for UK residents

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Leisurely: 10-13km/6-8miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% unpaved track

Day by day breakdown
Day 224.0km/15.0miles
Day 346.0km/29.0miles
Day 450.0km/31.0miles
Day 525.0km/15.0miles
Day 637.0km/23.0miles
Day 732.0km/20.0miles

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. Those on Land Only arrangements should join us at the hotel in the evening.

    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Havana cycle tour; to the Bay of Pigs.

    After being fitted with our bikes we have a cycling tour of Havana with members of the Cuban ‘Masters’ Road Cycling Club. This club is made up of veteran Cuban cyclists who regularly compete in races in their respective age groups and will give us an insight into competitive cycling in Cuba. We stop for coffee at Cuba Libro, the only English-speaking second-hand bookshop in Havana and a hub for creative projects.

    Following a transfer to Playa Larga, we stay overnight at the Bay of Pigs and have dinner at a small beachfront restaurant with a large Cuban welcome. The speciality here is fresh fish caught by local fisherman just off the coast.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Coastal cycle ride; to Cienfuegos.

    Our day begins with a coastal cycle ride from Playa Larga to Playa Giron where we visit a museum to learn about the Bay of Pigs invasion and the region's historical significance. Afterwards we cycle to the coast and a place called Caleta Buena for lunch and a swim, before transferring onwards to Cienfuegos. Today’s riding will be along a flat road that clings to the shimmering Caribbean coastline. The city of Cienfuegos is full of architectural delights, with a beautiful main square and restored buildings. One of the best ways to get around is by Bici Taxi, a fun tour using Cuba’s eco-friendly and typical city transport. Each Bici Taxi can accommodate two people and will be pedalled by a local resident (most of whom like to introduce their guests to reggaeton music!) The Bici Taxi tour is a great time to talk to local Cienfuegos residents and have a go at practising your Spanish. Afterwards we check into our casas for the night. Casas will be located close to the town centre, and to some great paladares. The malecon coastal road is usually a lively place to soak up the atmosphere with locals.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Ride from Cienfuegos to Rancho La Vega farm; to the World Heritage Site of Trinidad.

    On today’s cycle ride we are joined by members of the Cienfuegos Cycling team, there will be plenty of time to chat before and during the ride at the various pit-stops. This morning we cycle from Cienfuegos to Rancho La Vega farm. During our visit we will have time to have some fruit juices or coffee. 

    Trinidad has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988 and is 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. There are many interesting museums housed in old colonial buildings and music drifts through the streets and plazas, bringing the town to life. We will be joined by a local resident to have a walking tour who will give us an insider perspective of what it’s like to live in Trinidad. 

    We'll stay overnight in charming Casa Particulares, private Bed and Breakfast accommodation in local Cuban houses. Our dinner this evening will be at Alberto & Osmary’s new restaurant or casa, where a local collective of musicians will perform interpretations of classic Cuban trova songs. This is sure to be a lively evening and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Cuban music with its distinct rhythms.

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Cycle to Playa Ancon and back; salsa class.

    We cycle to the fishing village of La Boca which is a popular spot with local fisherman going about their daily business, before continuing our ride to Playa Ancon, a classic white sand Caribbean beach, where weather dependent we will have a picnic lunch. Otherwise our cycle continues to Casilda where our lunch will be taken at La Marinera, a private family run paladar. 

    We will have a short cycle to get back to Trinidad, where this evening we take part in a salsa class with Cuban dance partners. There will be one dance partner for each member of the group, to assist with teaching the correct salsa moves. Trinidad is known for its nightlife, so after we’ve learnt the basics of salsa we’ll go to the town’s ‘Casa de la Trova’ live music venue to listen to local musicians playing authentic Cuban music. This venue is always lively and sociable, with plenty of local Cuban’s keen to let us practice our dancing with them!

    Casas Particulares

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Cycle to Rio Seibabo; transfer to Hanabanilla.

    After breakfast we will cycle to Rio Seibabo in the heart of the Sierra del Escambray mountain range. On route we will stop at the Manaca Iznaga textiles market where we will meet traditional textile makers and sellers. Our next stop will be at the house of campesinos and are introduced to a local farmer and his family who make delicious honey. We will also go to a small coffee farm where a family of coffee growers welcome us to taste their freshly roasted coffee. Hanabanilla is situated on the shores of Lake Hanabanilla and surrounded by lush tropical hills. This is one of the most beautiful days in terms of scenery. Afterwards we will transfer to Hanabanilla, we eat at a private paladar for a taste of authentic Cuban cuisine. 

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Cycle to Matagua; transfer to Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara; to Havana.

    This morning we have short ride from Hanabanilla to Matagua, stopping along the way to visit a tobacco factory before transferring onwards to Santa Clara. Santa Clara was the first major city to be liberated by Castro's army in December 1958. Today several monuments commemorate this important period of Cuba's history, including the mausoleum of the legendary Che Guevara, where we'll stop for a short visit. Afterwards we transfer back to Havana. There is no better way to see Havana than by classic car, travelling in immaculately looked after classic cars in vibrant colours. Visiting both the old and new areas of the city, we discover the distinct neighbourhoods of the capital, stopping at points of interest for explanations and stories. Feel free to ask questions about why the streets of Cuba are filled with classic American cars manufactured in the 1950’s and how on earth the owners manage to maintain them! This evening we have dinner at a private paladar in Havana. 

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Sightseeing in Old Havana; transfer to the airport.

    This morning we'll have a walking tour of old and new Havana, Cuba's capital and the largest city in the Caribbean. Havana is a busy, bustling, energetic capital. It is one of the finest colonial cities in the Americas with narrow streets, spacious plazas and glorious architecture. There is an air of faded grandeur about the place with paint peeling off buildings. The area of Old Havana is often described as a living museum, with its marvellous monuments, cathedrals and palaces. During our tour we visit a ration store, food market and artisan market for a chance to buy some souvenirs.

    Those on group flights will transfer approx. 30 - 40 minutes this afternoon to Havana airport for the return flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    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. 4 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 GBP17.00 per person + admin fee.

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. It is possible that you may be asked to provide proof of your travel insurance policy when you arrive at Havana airport, so please ensure your documents are easily accessible.

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, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

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

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners are included, allowing the option to try some local restaurants on the other evenings.

We provide basic packed lunches during the day and there are plenty of water and fruit refreshment stops. 3 litres of water per person is included on cycling days. You may wish to bring some of your own energy snacks, as food shops, cafes and restaurants are scarce in many of the rural areas we visit. Cuba is not renowned for its culinary excellence (although it is improving). Food can sometimes be relatively unexciting and expensive - in no small part due to the long trade embargo implemented by the US. Vegetarians will find the food choice limited. Meals will be more varied for everyone in Havana and seafood is available on the coast. We recommend that you allow CUC 20 to CUC 30 pp per day for the lunches and evening meals on the days where food is not included. If you need more bottled water than provided, it is available for approx. CUC 1.50 per bottle.

Weather

The dry season runs from November through to April (with December to March being the peak holiday months for traditional style tourism). It is very 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 are extremely 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 24ºto 28ºC.

Havana

Trinidad

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road.
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure for more important information on classification and grading.

Average daily distance: 40km (25 miles)
Number of days cycling: 6
Vehicle Support: 100%
Terrain and route: surface 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, some hills. Overall the trip is not too strenuous but a reasonable level of fitness is required. Many of the roads are in good condition but you should expect potholes and poor road conditions in some sections. The roads are almost always free of heavy traffic, except in the towns.
Mountain bikes with hybrid tyres are ideal for this trip and flat bars are preferable, but a good strong tourer will suffice (though make sure you have suitably low gearing).

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 usually have departures over the UK summer due to the popularity of the trip however levels of humidity are high, so it is 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. 3G was introduced in Cuba in December 2018 for the first time but not all phone networks work in Cuba, so please check with your service provider. Also please note that few hotels have Wi-Fi. Some will have internet in their lobby, and you will also find some Wi-Fi spots in the main plazas in towns. Using the internet in Cuba is relatively expensive, around 2-4 CUC per hour and you have to purchase WiFi scratch cards at either official shops or at some hotels, often you'll encounter 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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Casas Particulares & Hotels

You will spend 4 nights in Casas Particulares and 3 nights in hotels. 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 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. Please note that power cuts do regularly occur in Cuba, and hot water supplies are not always guaranteed.

All properties that we use have been inspected and assessed by our local operator in Cuba. Some are large multi-room houses that are home to entire families, others are run by individuals, and in some cases the owners live elsewhere.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

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  • Reviewed November 2017
    Trevor Hamilton

    Disappointed in Experience

    Did not live up to my expectations unfortunately compared to a previous trip I went on.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Extra trip to Vinales

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was reasonably informative but we felt he did not do as much for the group as we expected.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take your own snacks as the quality and quantity provided by the tour leader was much poorer than those provided my my leader in India.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is with a lot of disappointment that I compose this email to you but as a returning customer of your company I am left feeling rather deflated after my trip with you to Cuba. I travelled last year to Kerala with you and had a fantastic time so I decided to book Cuba this year and persuaded some of my family to attend as a birthday treat for my brother who celebrated his 60th birthday whilst there. Firstly his birthday coincided with the second day of our trip ending at a beach resort. Only problem was you could hardly access the beach due to the debris on it and a collapsed beach hut. We made the best of it anyway but then the following night we were due to spend 2 nights in paladares. Allocation of these was a total shambles. Our guide knew we were travelling as a group but insisted that there were no paladares with 2 doubles and a single in one so we reluctantly split up. However, the one which my sister was allocated was totally unsuitable and she was relocated into one which had 2 doubles and a single! Slightly annoyed to say the least plus with the paladares in general, there is a huge variation in the offers in each location but we are all paying the same money so should expect the same I would have thought! The next day we all planned to go on the catamaran trip. When we arrived at the dock, the catamaran was broken and we were offered a boat which had no seats and standing room only for us all. This was supposed to be our transport for 3 hours-a total joke so we refused and got our money back but then meant we had to spend a day at the beach when we had all hoped to see the reef, snorkel etc. A wasted day! We then had a good cycle on the next day but ended up a hotel from the 1970's in the middle of nowhere. This meant that the following day we spent most of it transferring to Havana and having no time in Havana. If we had altered our cycle ride slightly to closer to the motorway we could have had an extra half day in Havana. To cap it all, on our last night we were relocated to our original hotel and told by you that we would be transferred to and from central Havana at night. When we asked about this the local rep was totally unaware of this and agreed reluctantly to do this despite him saying that his local company had not agreed this. During our cycling days, snacks were supposed to be provided but these were few and far between in contrast to my time in India when they were frequent and of good quality. Next fiasco. I had booked an extension with yourselves to Vinales and Cayo Leviso. I arrived in Vinales as planned and I had paid for an evening meal out of town starting restaurant with transfers. Turns out, the local company knew nothing of the transfers and wanted me to pay for a taxi to and from the restaurant-more than the cost of the meal. When I complained, they then suggested their own restaurant in town so I opted for this as second best and not what I had paid for! The next morning, I was due to be taken in a 13 km hike through the local area with a pack lunch. A hike was indeed provided but this was only for 5 km and finished at 11.30 am with pack lunch being a cheese and ham sandwich and a few bits if fruit. Not exactly my full day excursion I was laid to expect and certainly not a guide for the day as you stated. My transfer to Cayo Leviso went as planned but was informed on arrival that I would have to pay for lunch that day as I was not due to check in until 3 but lunch on Monday was included when I was not there to get it! The location is lovely but the cabins are basic and poorly maintained and food is canteen like with the same choice for lunch and dinner! Not exactly the picture of luxury you portrayed in your pre amble and I certainly don't think the extension cost of £699 for a half delivered promise is good value for money. All-in all, a total shambles from our point of view! I was looking at booking with you for your Vietnam trip and maybe Morocco but on the evidence of this one, I will be looking at other companies which offer similar trips to see if they deliver as promised.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Trevor for his feedback, although we are sorry that he was disappointed with certain aspects of his trip. We regret that there was debris on the beach at Playa Yaguanabo; unfortunately the area was, at the time, affected by Hurricane Irma.

    All of the casas used by our groups are regularly inspected by our local team, and only casas which have been approved are allocated to our clients, so we are sorry that Trevor found there to be such variation in the standard of accommodation. Whilst we understand that Trevor was also underwhelmed with the location of the hotel on day 6; we cannot recall receiving feedback of this nature previously.

    We regret the issues Trevor experienced with the optional catamaran excursion from Trinidad; following the feedback we have received, we no longer offer this excursion.

    Snack food isn’t always readily available in Cuba, so we mention in our trip notes that clients may wish to bring their own energy snacks.

    We are sorry that Trevor experienced issues on his extension and that was disappointed with the resort at Cayo Leviso. Exodus has been recommending beach stays here for some time as we feel it offers a better experience than the highly built-up beach resort areas in Cuba. Our customer services and Tailormade teams have written to Trevor in more detail regarding all of the issues he has mentioned.

    Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Mairi Millar

    Dreaful Trip - Do not visit Cuba

    Cuba was dreadful. I did know what to expect, I know it’s all falling down, nothing works, it’s a huge rip off for the tourists, I did know all that. What I didn’t expect was to become really ill for more than half the “holiday”, spend a fortune on simply surviving because of the blatant fleecing of the tourists, having to fend off aggressive beggars, musicians, restaurant owners, taxi drivers, the list goes on. Cuba is one big rip off from the moment you step off the plane. Although this isn't the fault of Exodus, I felt I really had to post my experience of the appalling animal cruelty I witnessed. I am still so angry and heartbroken about what I have seen. Most of this is going on in the rural areas, but I saw a lot in Havana too. Starving stray cats and dogs wondering about is bad enough, we all expect this in developing countries but the most shocking thing of all is the treatment of their horses. At least cats and dogs can scavenge for food and beg from the tourists, but the horses are utterly dependant on the people who own them. In rural Cuba horses are still used for transport, both riding and pulling carts. Did you know that in Cuba, there are no laws concerning the treatment and welfare of animals? That’s right, NO LAWS, you can do what you like to any animals in Cuba, both domestic and wild and no one will touch you because you’re not breaking any law. Almost without exception, every single horse I saw was little more than a skeleton, barely able to stand because they were so weak, covered in sores from ill fitting tack, ribs, hips and backbones jutting like razors under a covering of skin. I saw them being beaten with ropes and chains because they were unable to pull overloaded carts up hills. I saw a young Cuban man forcing his emaciated horse to gallop up and down a tarmac road just so he could show off to his friends. I saw a horse clearly chronically lame in its near fore, being forced to trot pulling a cart which was too heavy even for a sound animal. I cycled past a cart with around a dozen young Cuban girls in it, each one clearly weighing 20 stones or more, all laughing and joking while the driver lashed his skeletal horse who was struggling, panting and in distress at trying to heave this colossal weight up a hill. I saw a man beating his horse with a knotted rope, I heard the animal groaning in pain (bear in mind horses are pretty much non vocal creatures and will only make a noise when in severe distress), a sound I had never heard before and I hope never to hear again, as the rope thudded in between its sunken fleshless ribs. I saw horses tethered in the blazing sun with no shade, food or water. These are just a couple of examples of what I saw, I could write pages and pages about each example. If this was happening in the UK every single one of those individuals would be arrested and sent to prison, their horses would be euthanized on the spot as they were beyond being rescued and nursed back to health. These people clearly have more than enough to eat given the number of grotesquely obese Cubans I saw waddling about. They’re not interested in sharing it with their horses though. What sort of society behaves like this? I did speak to several of these people and asked them why their horses were starving and why they were not given water. I was treated as if I was mad, one man earnestly explained to me that horses must not be fed or watered while they are “working” as it’s not good for them. Seriously? This man's horse hadn’t been fed or watered properly for months given the state it was in. I asked another one to explain to me the economic sense behind not feeding or giving even the most rudimentary care to your horse, surely, I said, a horse is a relatively expensive commodity, why would you starve it to death? The reply? “Horses are cheap here, I’ll just buy another one”. So it’s cheaper to buy a horse, starve and beat it to death, then buy another than it is to simply just take care of the one you have? How sick is that? There are a couple of horse charities in Cuba, I’m still doing research to try and decide who to donate to, so in the meantime, the only thing I can do is tell as many people as I can about what I saw and beg everyone, please do not go to Cuba, don’t give them your money, and tell people why you won’t go. The only way anything will change is if tourists don’t spend money there and tell them that we won’t support or tolerate this evil behaviour. These people really are wicked and cruel, it is NOT OK to abuse horses. You don’t have to be from a developed nation to understand that starving and abusing animals is wrong. The most sickening thing is that there IS food available in Cuba, these people are not abusing their animals because they have no choice or because they don’t know any better, they’re doing it because they can, and no one will stop them. Please, please don't go there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There wasn't one

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good, very knowledgeable about the history of Cuba (given, of course, from the point of view of the Cuban dictatorship, but I suppose he's obliged to tow the "party line"). It was interesting to hear history from the point of view of the Cubans, although make sure you google and research most of it to hear what might be a slightly more balanced account.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Advice, just don't go to Cuba, take your money elsewhere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus, please take Cuba off your list of holidays offered and tell the authorities why you are doing so.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Mairi for her review, although we were very sorry to learn of her concern for the way in which horses and animals are treated in Cuba. Whilst our local manager has explained that Cuban’s have a different relationship to animals than we do in the UK, we appreciate that this must have been very distressing to have witnessed. We have made our responsible tourism manager aware of Mairi’s concerns and she will be looking into the positive influence we can have on animal care in Cuba, such as working with The Diana Project charity, based in Trinidad.

    Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Lindsey Kemp

    Cycling Cuba - Fantastic!

    What an amazing way to see Cuba! I loved every second & Freddy, our guide, was so knowledgeable & clearly passionate about Cuba, that it really added to the experience. The group was great fun too. All in all a brilliant holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the lake at the top after a gruelling 7km uphill on the final day 40km cycle - such an achievement

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic - highly knowledgeable & alwys ready to help

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved the cycling so much i'm already looking into my next trip
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Karen Gill

    Cuban Highlights Tour

    Fantastic trip with great cycling, cultural and historical aspects. The entire trip exceeded my expectations for the quality of bikes to accommodation and food. The cycling was relaxed and, although mostly on main roads, traffic was not heavy (unlike the headwinds!) and there was always full back up with the support bus. The food was simple but tasty and the casa's were comfortable and far more interesting than staying in a hotel. Cuba was fantastic and everything we needed was available, just be prepared for some unreliability such as lack of hot water, toilet paper etc

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire trip!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Freddy was excellent. Very knowledgeable about Cuba and it's history and patiently dealing with all our questions and ability to miss the (almost) unmissable cycling stops

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extend your trip, one week just isn't enough

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The most sought after items by the group were toilet paper, bug spray, wet wipes, sanitiser and 25c for toilet stops.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Hok Shuen Wong

    Cuban Highlights

    Very enjoyable and well organised. Lovely rides through varied countryside and interesting towns which transported us back in time and gave fascinating insights into the country's history. Routes were good and the bikes ideal for the various challenges - hills, road surface etc. Pleasant helpful supportive staff always ready with water, snacks and repairs if needed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Happy Cubans! Despite its troubled history and obvious deprivation it is a land full of fun and welcome. Whether cycling through rural villages or in towns we were always greeted with cheerful "Holas!" and waves from smiling adults and children.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lenay was an excellent group leader and tour guide. She speaks very good English, has an extensive knowledge of her country's history and culture and is thoughtful, witty and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and embrace their vibrant world of sun and salsa and have plenty of Cuban currency. Although it is not the land of plenty and the food is bland the facilities are very clean!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Moira Hookham

    Cuban Highlights Trip

    Wonderful holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the cycle without using the bus! Learning about Cuban history and feeling sad that the West has misunderstood Cuba all these years. They have done a great job of surviving and thriving despite all the difficulties. Our guide, Alex, who was full of surprises, knowledge, variety and went out of his way to organise every detail for individuals in the group ensuring we all had the best holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was great. He easily interacted with all members of the group. He was our interpreter for language and events. He worked hard behind the scenes, cultivating good relationships with Casa owners etc, organising travel details for group members coming and leaving at different times, dealing with all the tipping, giving clear instructions and direction and just generally making sure everything was hassle free for us. He worked patriotically and with sincerity - very catching! There was never any pressure. A great holiday because of him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A universal plug ( for sinks, baths etc) would be useful.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Tariq Arafa

    Historical, Hot and Colourful Cuba - on Christmas Day!

    Take what you imagine to find in Cuba - this is most likely what you will get. I did anyway. Marinade yourself in Cuban culture with salsa, cigars and mojitos. Get lost in the myriad of cobbled streets in Trinidad. Combine some great sightseeing with some challenging but not impossible cycling. From Ernest Hemingway's bar to a tour of the city in a Cadillac, Havana is rich and diverse in both its history and landscapes and even how the country is in a little bit of a technological time warp adds to its charm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Learning about the history of Castro and Che Guevara before seeing the sights in Revolution Square was fascinating. The most thrilling moments were in the American cars tour of Havana - one hour of exhilaration, a must-do!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was informative and humorous while always putting our needs first.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take toilet paper for the casas. Not always available - the standard of the casas within our group was variable. I was very lucky with Alfonso and his lovely family. Also take plenty of money - its not cheap.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Havana is a little far from the centre but there is a nice breakfast and pool here. Wifi is scarce in Cuba so be prepared to be cut off from the world while you're there - hardly a hardship though is it?
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Nancy Reed

    Cuban Highlights Ride

    What a lovely trip - we had lots of laughs, learned a great deal about Cuban history and enjoyed a wonderful Cuban crew.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspiration took many forms - our group discussions about Cuba, world politics and kindness to others inspired me each day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Have to say that both our guide and mechanic took significant efforts to ensure we were keen to ride and well supported - from cold drinks and sweet snacks to gentle nudges up big hills to an unwavering love of their country that was shared each day. Our guide (Alex) was incredibly well informed, engaged in all he did and had a great sense of humour - as he might say, quite 'cheeky'!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of time to engage with the communities you travel through - the people are very fun, kind and interesting. Tried to leave toiletries behind as tips in each place we stayed - these are crazy expensive in Cuba and so easy for travelers to share. Take the time before or after this trip to spend an additional day or two in Havana - really great city. We also spent time on our own in Mantanzas and found many wonderful surprises including a great art studio, fab little bar and paper making gallery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks ... truly a great journey.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Tamara Common

    Wonderful country, beautiful and vibrant.

    I throughly enjoyed the trip, a true holiday of a lifetime! I LOVED Cuba, it was so colourful, sunny and full of music and dance. A great tour group, everyone was lovely and happy to join in! Cycling was fine, I am active person but not a cyclist except for cycling tours in the Netherlands, but the cycling was steady and I was tired at the end of the day, but manageable. Cycling was on tarmac roads, and mostly fairly straight, but there was little traffic, just a 1950s car passing regularly to add to the atmosphere. There were regular breaks, and water was provided by the guides, and the bus was behind us all of the way. Was glad to have cycling shorts with padding and also a gel saddle cover. Ended up leaving my bag on the bus which was always with us, and just cycling. It was hot and found a bag too annoying to be carting around. Accommodation was clean and comfortable, though lacked soft furnishings, but personally for me clean is the important bit! Staying in the Casa's were my favourite, gave a more authentic feel, and while simple still had air con, and I think more comfortable beds than the hotels in my case (we broke into smaller groups for the nights in the Casa's). Food was simple, a yummy meat (grilled chicken, pork that fell apart), with rice and plantain chips. I thought it was tasty, even if less varied! Fizzy drinks and fruit juice with meals that you bought separately. Group tour leader, Alex was excellent. He organised on the tour excellently, looked after us, and also taught us so much about Cuba's history and way of life. He was full of tips and ideas. Non cycling time was just as fascinating, we learnt to salsa, drank mojitos, had walking tours around and went swimming in the sea. Really liked Trinidad and staying there two nights, and Havana town was charming. Think that doing a tour was a really good way to see Cuba, afterwards stayed on 4 days at the memories hotel in Jibacoa, but after the fun of the group and wandering around and being able to mingle it felt a bit fake at the resort - wish I had done it before the tour rather than after. Other people in the hotel who did organised trips out weren't that enamoured and felt alone it was a bit complicated doing a trip to a neighbouring town or Habana.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the whole Cuban experience and the friendliness of the country. The tour itself was really well structured, and the cycling was very well organised - good bikes, safe cycling, and good resources with snacks and water. Cuba is a wonderful mix of carribean, spanish language, sun, fun and music.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group tour leader, Alex was excellent. He organised on the tour excellently, looked after us, and also taught us so much about Cuba's history and way of life. He was full of tips and ideas. Was clear with instructions and to also give some free time, but also ideas with what to do in that free time. Perfect balance of information and helpfulness without being intrusive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a saddle cover - bikes are excellent quality but the saddles are narrow. I wish id taken a actual sports bottle rather than using a normal water bottle which i couldn't undo the screw top while cycling. Take little and cycle light! Stop and take photos etc if you want, its not a race and everyone has to wait at the end, however fast you cycle. Don't need to be a cyclist, but you do need a certain amount of fitness, and the sun can be intense, but be reassured that the bus is behind you if you need it.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Mary Fenelon Bourke

    Fantastic Cuban Adventure

    We have just returned from Cuba having done the Cuban highlights cycle & a beach extension in Cayo Levisa. This is a fantastic trip with very pleasant cycling, trips to places of cultural & historical importance & some down time. The bikes were much better than we expected, the cycling was relaxed & not too demanding & the motorists very mannerly. The roads were quiet. Full backup with the bus is there at all times which is great. It was nice to be able to leave all our things on the bus while cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trinidad is a beautiful city & cycling out of the city towards Playa Ancon was lovely. Staying in Casas Particulares in Trinidad & Cienfuegos was a highlight. Cycling with a great group & an inspiring leader made this an unforgettable holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Freddy was simply amazing. Kind, courteous, really interesting & generous with his time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to really see Havana, spend an extra day or two there as time there on this trip is limited. Internet etc very limited so warn friends & family that you may not be in contact & then relax & enjoy the freedom from technology. If you have time, the beach extension to Cayo Levisa is very relaxing. Gel saddle pads are useful for the bikes & bring a water bottle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel in Havana was very disappointing especially breakfast which was cold. Hot water not always available.

Dates & Prices

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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