Biking vacation in Cuba, 7 days

“Join a small cycling group (max 12) on a week-long round-trip from Havana, riding an average of 30kms per day via Viñales and Cayo Jutias on the northwest coast.”

Highlights

Havana | Soroa | Las Terrazas | Viñales | Cayo Jutias |
Responsible Travel, Travel Team

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29 Jul 2019
US $1475
US $1032
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14 Oct 2019
US $1545
US $1082
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04 Nov 2019
US $1520
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18 Nov 2019
US $1670
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25 Nov 2019
US $1520
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02 Dec 2019
US $1575
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16 Dec 2019
US $1655
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30 Dec 2019
US $1605
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06 Jan 2020
US $1490
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13 Jan 2020
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27 Jan 2020
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03 Feb 2020
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17 Feb 2020
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24 Feb 2020
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02 Mar 2020
US $1435
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16 Mar 2020
US $1435
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23 Mar 2020
US $1435
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30 Mar 2020
US $1435
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13 Apr 2020
US $1380
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27 Apr 2020
US $1380
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18 May 2020
US $1380
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01 Jun 2020
US $1380
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15 Jun 2020
US $1380
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06 Jul 2020
US $1380
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27 Jul 2020
US $1380
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17 Aug 2020
US $1380
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14 Sep 2020
US $1380
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12 Oct 2020
US $1435
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02 Nov 2020
US $1435
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16 Nov 2020
US $1435
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23 Nov 2020
US $1435
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30 Nov 2020
US $1490
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14 Dec 2020
US $1490
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28 Dec 2020
US $1490
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Biking vacation in Cuba, 7 days

Environment

In many ways Cuba is the ultimate sustainable destination – traditional forms of transport coexist with the modern, a ban on imported goods means local produce is your only choice and lack of Western luxuries often highlights the resourcefulness of the wonderful Cuban people.
Cuba is different and that’s what makes it such a fascinating destination – and to better understand it our local Cuban tour guides are careful to explain the cultural nuances to our travelers at the very first group meeting, helping to smooth the way for positive cultural interaction.
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. We do believe in leaving more than just tyre tracks; this cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like across Cuba.

We are careful to use only Cuban suppliers that share our commitment to the environment and as such avoid hotel chains, or in this case hotels at all. In Cuba we use only local guesthouses which gets our travelers closer to both a more traditional way of life and of course the Cuban people as well.

You will find that we stay in small, locally owned Guesthouses reflective of the local flavour. On this trip, you will stay on ‘Tito’s Farm’ in Las Terrazas where you will enjoy a home cooked traditional Cuban dinner. Our accommodation is carefully handpicked to ensure you get the best travel experience ever!

Community

Ensuing we actively involve and interact with the all aspects of the Cuban community is a strong focus on this cycling tour.

We spend time at the renowned eco-village of Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve set in beautiful green surrounds and home to a lively art community. This is one of the ultimate examples of regenerating the environment as the now 5000 hectares of terraced forest was once merely deforested hills.
In keeping with the Cuban custom of cigars we visit a small family tobacco farm, where a local farmer shows us how tobacco is traditionally grown, dried and then rolled into cigars before continuing on to an organic farm for dinner grown only from locally produced organic ingredients.
No visit to Cuba would be complete with singing and dancing, and this is one of the best ways to interact with the local people – we offer the opportunity for a salsa lesson or just to visit a bar supporting the amazing Cuban live music community.

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost is donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport, in the form of a bicycle.

5 Reviews of Biking vacation in Cuba, 7 days

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 04 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cycling the Cuban countryside

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It is a great way to see Cuba- cycling is hard and hilly at times but we were always looked after by the mechanic cycling at the back of the group and the bus following with water and snacks.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


People loved to see us and we stayed in small casas.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Really good

Reviewed on 12 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


A very interesting country and fantastic people

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take Loperamide. Keep both hands on the handlebars

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes the operator were very good at disseminating wealth to local Cubans through their use of Casa Accommodation

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A great experience. The second week traveling east of Havana is a new trip and needs some adjustments to the itinerary to make it even better.

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cycling through the Cuban countryside and having lunch at Mama Luigi's.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be aware that you will have very limited Internet access and facilities are at a different level to what is normal in the UK.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely benefitted local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent, extremely well organised, informative and enjoyable. Great group of people and fantastic local tour leader. Felt safe throughout the vacation.

Reviewed on 04 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cycling through the Cuban countryside surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Definitely need to do some training if you aren't cycling on a regular basis.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We stayed in Casa Particulares throughout the trip rather than hotels.

The guide and support team worked in a way to keep our environmental impact to a minimum.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. The trip was very well organised and provided a great mixture of cycling and culture. The guide and support team were also brilliant. I will definitely be recommending this trip to friends and family.

Reviewed on 19 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Getting to know Cuba by bike and to have good conversations with our tour guide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring saddle protection.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I felt we supported local people but that's all. We didnt learn much about responsible traveling. We produced a lot of plastic waste! Everyone could bring
their own cup or lunch box and use it more often. We could have learned more spanish phrases in order to ask for less plastic in restaurants. The bus was
so huge and went all the way with us. It didn't make a difference if I ride the hole way on my bike or if I sat in the bus, because it was nearly the same gas
mileage. Before I booked the trip I decided to spend more money on the operator, because it said it was a responsible travel vacation. This more money I spent in comparison to other trips wasn't worth it.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I enjoyed riding the bike, spending time with my group and the people who worked for us. I learnt a lot about Cuba and had great fun. But I didn't feel like I travelled responsibly.

Read the operator's response here:

Firstly thanks for bringing this to our attention, and being so passionate about the world we live in. It is a passion we share! It is feedback like this that gives us a true insight into where we are being successful, and where we need to work harder to protect our planet and the cultures we travel through.

For us the most important part of traveling responsibly is to ensure you have meaningful contact with local people, especially in a country as frequently misunderstood as Cuba, and we’re glad to hear that you were able to do that.

Conversely, due to a mixture of tourist regulations and the existing infrastructure in the country, traveling in Cuba is a challenge for any company wanting to travel responsibly. We absolutely recognise that certain aspects such as pollution and recycling are a ‘work in progress’ and, while we alone cannot change the laws and restrictions in the country, we are actively working with our local Cuban-owned supplier to make the lowest impact on the environment we can.

On the issue of plastic the challenge is significant. While recycling has been part of Cuban law since 1975, and everyday Cubans are truly amazing in their ability to reutilise any number of common items such as soft drink cans and plastic bottles, there is no formal recycling infrastructure in Cuba.

The use of single-use plastic is an issue we take very seriously, and it is something we are working on with our local team to try and ensure we keep this use to an absolute minimum. As part of their training we teach our local leaders about the importance of minimising our impact where possible. We also try and work with the local home owners and businesses we use along the way to help educate them, while respecting their culture and opinions – it is admittedly a delicate balance but not one we shy away from. We will certainly be following up to get a better understanding of why this did not appear to happen on your trip.

On the specific issue around the size of the support vehicle we wholeheartedly agree that – by Western standards – it is simply too large. Like many things in Cuba, the vehicles we use are controlled by the Cuban tourist authorities. For small groups we try to use a smaller ‘minibus’ type support vehicle to minimise the impact, but also ensuring we have vehicle that is suitable for our travelers’ needs (i.e. fits all travelers and crew, their bikes and their luggage. It’s a recognised problem and one we are actively working towards trying to resolve going forwards.

In short traveling responsibly in Cuba presents a huge challenge but we honestly believe that tourism is part of the long term solution if done correctly. We accept that we are unlikely to change the government’s policy or indeed the current infrastructure but through continuing education of our local staff and suppliers, and likeminded people such as yourself, we can help change the views of the people we encounter along the way.

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