By Penny Martinelli
As a relatively new destination on the tourist map, Cuba offers plenty of intrigue and adventure. However, have you considered a cycling holiday there? To really lose yourself in the culture and get to grips with the heritage of this unique country, hop on your bikes, grab a map and get stuck in.
As always when transporting your bikes, it’s important to consider cycling insurance before you leave home. Get it sorted early and you can focus on the very serious business of planning all the fabulous beaches you want to visit once you touch down.
Every good cycle tour of Cuba should commence in the capital – Havana. A hub of classic, Spanish colonial architecture, the city is a joy to explore by bicycle. You’ll encounter pretty streets, beautiful buildings and witness the city’s buzzing art scene as you pedal. Cycle the El Malecón, for ocean views, stopping for a long lunch to take it all in. Enjoy a day losing yourself in El Bosque, the stunning park known as the lungs of the city. After dark, park your bike and throw yourself into the vibrant nightlife where you’ll find salsa parties and bazaars at every corner.
For a break from the bustle, head out of the city to the nature reserve of Las Terrazas. Immerse yourself in the biodiversity of the region by taking a zipline canopy tour, the area’s natural beauty is best seen from above. The region also boasts pristine lakes, so this is the perfect time to cool off after all that pedalling, the Banos del San Juan also has a pretty waterfall. You can even rent kayaks to explore the larger of the lakes, stopping for a delicious freshwater fish lunch.
Your next stop, Vinales, is an agricultural valley with a dramatic backdrop of rocky limestone outcrops. Cycling through this majestic landscape, stop at farms to see how tobacco and coffee are produced, processes that haven’t changed in hundreds of years. Having purchased a few Cuban cigars, take one of the scenic riverside paths and pass through pretty old-world villages before you check into your rancho for a well-deserved rest. Next day, cycle out to one of the area’s secluded beaches for some serious tranquillity.
The town of Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you cycle its streets. The perfect place to end your trip, with its pretty pastel painted homes, cobbled alleys and retro vehicles all making for fantastic photo opportunities. Take a break from the saddle and spend the afternoon learning salsa. It’s all in the hips with this sexy, latin dance form, so pick up a few steps and then head out that evening to show off your new moves. Trinidad has a thrilling after-dark scene, with mysterious salsa bars and jazz bands abound.
Companies such as Cuba Holidays are Cuba specialists so can help you work out the best itinerary to make the most of your time there. Going to Cuba for your next cycling holiday will provide you with an amazing opportunity to get lost in a unique culture on two wheels.