One of the most important goals is to have all our client’s flights arriving and departing around the same time. Before booking your flights for our trips please let us help guide you into the right flight choice based on our tour schedule and other party’s flights. As you can imagine, this can get very complicated. It is our goal to make this as smooth as possible and to use our bus as the main shuttle to and from the airport.View our terms and conditions
DAY 1 – Playa Giron Arrival at Santa Clara International Airport. Collect your bags and go through customs. You will be welcomed at the airport lobby by your bilingual Cuban guide and professional bus driver. This is the perfect time to exchange your money into the local Cuban currency (C.U.C.). We recommend exchanging enough money to have $200 - $250 C.U.C. on you for the duration of the trip. This will come in handy for buying extra drinks, souvenirs, and tips. Enjoy the comfort of our coach bus while taking in the scenery on route to to our first location, Playa Giron on the Bay of Pigs. If your flight arrives in time for lunch, we will arrange a great meal at a private restaurant. This the only meal not included. Upon arrival in Playa Giron we will check into Playa Giron Resort for the night. Enjoy the evening and dinner over-looking the turquoise ocean. Welcome to paradise! ACCOMMODATION: Playo Giron Resort
DAY 2 – Playa Giron / Playa Largo / Cienfuegos (distance by bike = 34km - flat terrain and an option of adding another 15km) After breakfast we depart via bikes and follow the coastal road along the ocean towards Playa Larga. The Zapata region is the least populated area in Cuba so the roads don’t see much traffic which is ideal for cycling. As we cruise along the edge of the Caribbean Sea. It’s hard to imagine that an American invasion happened here in such a beautiful place. The famous “Bay of Pigs” invasion claimed the lives of many Cubans. Thankfully, the battle only lasted 72 hours and it represented the first defeat for the American military forces. We will stop along the coast and enjoy some amazing snorkeling in an area that boasts some of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems found in Caribbean waters. Our cycling tour will continue along the coast arriving at Playa Larga. Here we hit a local private restaurant called El Butty for some great Cuban cuisine. After lunch if the group is up to biking another 1 hour north we can. Our pick up point will be Guama reserve. With the bikes loaded on the bus we are off to Cienfuegos City for a city tour. Here we will stop in the town square and your tour guide will give you some history about the City and the surrounding area they call “The Pearl of the South”. Cienfuegos city is one of the most beautiful cities in Cuba with an eclectic mix of French and Spanish architecture. We will also cruise the beautiful promenade and enjoy the views of Cienfuegos Bay. Across the Bay will be our accommodations for the evening. To get there we will have to take the bus on a scenic ride around the bay and through the largest Mango plantation in Cuba. Check in and enjoy an amazing meal at a private restaurant call Rancho Cristal. A restaurant with a million-dollar view, the friendliest staff and the best food in Cienfuegos. ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Pasacaballos
DAY 3 – Cienfuegos to Guajimico (distance by bike = 42km - from flat to large hills) After breakfast the group will take a quick ferry across the mouth of Cienfuegos Bay to the Spanish Fort on the far shore. This Fort was just recently restored and has an impressive mix of artifacts that are displayed beautifully throughout the Fort. After this 1.5-hour walking tour we will travel by bikes further along the coast and then inland over beautiful rolling hills with spectacular views of the ocean behind us and the impressive Escambray mountains in the distance. As we roll on through the country side it will give you an idea of how rural Cubans live. A very simple life that remains connected to the earth and almost fully self sufficient. Once we spot the giant statue of a Native warrior we turn right and enter the driveway into Guajimico Villa. Welcome to one of the best kept secrets in all of Cuba. A cute cabin style resort perched on top of ancient coral cliffs overlooking the sea. Enjoy the salt water pool with a million-dollar view or relax and take in nature at its finest. Dinner will be served at the resort and afterwards, the evening is all yours. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 4 – Guajimico (optional distance by bike = 12 -25km - paved gradual hills and optional dirt trail) Breakfast will be served in the dinning hall. We knew you would fall in love with this place so we are staying for an additional day. For those who want to relax and enjoy a lazy morning around the resort that’s no problem. Anyone else who is interested in an easy bike ride to a horse ranch can join the group that departs right after breakfast. For the relaxing group who are hanging out at the resort and want to meet up with the group at the horse stables just be sure to catch the bus from the resort at 12:00pm. Lunch will be served at La Vega Farm’s restaurant. For all those interested there is horseback riding on site for just $10 c.u.c. The other option is a dirt trail that can be biked to an isolated pristine beach that is great for swimming. Bike back to Guajimico or hop on our bus heading the same way. Later in the afternoon an amazing cave hike will take place starting from the pool deck area. Don’t miss out on this beautiful tour that takes us to a spectacular cave system. Over 75% of the cave is lite up by natural light penetrating the cave’s ceiling. This cave seldom sees people and anywhere else in the world people would be forced to pay to see such a natural wonder. Once exiting the cave take a short forest walk along the edge of the ocean to one of the most beautiful hidden coves on the island with massive cliffs on both sides and aqua blue waters below. This is the perfect place to jump in the ocean for a refreshing swim. If this is something that excites you, please be sure to wear or bring your bathing suit on this hike. Dinner will be served at Guajimico and free time in the evening. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 5 – Trinidad / Tops De Collantes (distance by bike = 40km + optional 15km difficult climb – small to medium hills) Todays bike ride will depart right after breakfast. Pack up your belongings and check out of the resort. Saddle up and let’s head out making our way towards Trinidad city. This coastal road meanders along the edge of the sea with perfects views of Cuba’s central mountain range to the north. On Route we will pass over several rivers that flow down from the mountains to the ocean. The scenery throughout this area is breathtaking. We will cruise right into the heart of Trinidad city, one of the oldest cities on the island and recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Our tour will take us over cobble stone streets and into the old town square. Here we will visit several historic buildings and museums. Don Pepes Restaurant serves up an amazing lunch and then we will back track to the west a little-ways towards the junction that heads north up into the majestic Escambray Mountains to Top De Collantes park. There are two ways up; you can either challenge yourself to an extremely steep climb on your bike to the top or take the bus. Once we reach approximately 1000 meters in elevation there is an observation tower that is worth the climb for a panoramic view overlooking Trinidad and the Caribbean Sea. Just down the road in the heart of the mountains is a pretty unique village called Tops De Collantes. Salto Del Caburni will be our home for the night. If time permits a short walk or bike ride to an authentic mountain coffee house / museum for your choice of over 30 different types of speciality coffees are served. There is also a tea house close by that has a myriad of natural teas and herbal drinks. Dinner will be served at the Villa. ACCOMMDATION: Salto Del Caburni
DAY 6 – Escambray Mountains / Lake Hanabanilla (distance by bike = 26km - small to large hills with some shorter climbs) After breakfast, we depart from Salto Del Caburni in good time to enjoy the mountains and the jungle coming alive. The lighting, the diversity of plants and trees as well as the bird life makes this region very unique. Keep your camera handy on this bike ride because you will want to capture the magic of this ride forever. The mountain road winds its way up and down and offers the perfect views of the valleys, cliffs and mountains. Our tour will take us through Jibacoa village and end at the Jibacoa Dam. Here you will see a boat waiting for us. We will load our bikes and head North on Hanabanilla Lake. Our boat tour gives us the opportunity to explore the beautiful and only intra-mountainous lake in the country. Three river outlets are Río Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara rivers. It is 364 meters above sea level and has an approximate surface area of 15 square kilometers. We have arrived at a truly magical place! Enjoy the lake's wonderful views on our way to one of Cuba’s most isolated unique restaurants: Río Negro. This place is right out of a fairy tale story book and what a better place to have lunch on route to Hotel Hanabanilla. There is a short hike that offers a spectacular view of the mountains and the lake, be sure to bring your camera! Our tour boat will take us another 6km north to end the tour. Enjoy a little free time in and around the Hotel or pool. Dinner will be served on the Hotel. ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Hanabanilla
Day 7 – Hanabanilla / Cumanayagua (distance by bike = 66km - mainly down hill) Hanababilla serves up breakfast at 7:30am and at 8:30 or so will will check out and gear up for an amazing downhill ride. We depart from the Hotel and travel a kilometer up and down some hills and then we head down from the mountains for an exhilarating 10 kilometers. Our next stop is the mountain trading town of Cumanayagua, a hustling and bustling little town that is just bursting with activity. Check out the great mix of street vendors and open markets. Grab a snack in the village and a cold drink and then we will carry on back towards the coastal road that takes us round trip back to Guajimico. Congratulations, you did it!! You completed one heck of a week filled with fun, sun and adventure. Enjoy a well-deserved relaxing afternoon; dinner will be served at the Villa’s restaurant. Share some drinks and laughs with the gang and get a great sleep because tomorrow it’s back to reality. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 8 – International Airport and Home After breakfast, enjoy free time until you head to Santa Clara International Airport via a private shuttle. Have a safe flight home and we hope to see you again on another Cuba Kayak Adventure. ACCOMMODATION: Your own bed!
*Cuba can be a challenge. Often things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers with a sense of humor consider it part of their Cuban adventure. Our Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly, but sometimes itinerary changes happen in light of hardships on island. Click here to download our release wavier.
- Lunch on the arrival day
- Airfare to and from Cuba
- Issuing Country Departure Taxes
- Cuban Tourist Card (provided by most airlines on route to Cuba)
- 8 Days health and accident insurance valid in Cuba
- Personal incidentals and tipping
- Activities and excursions outside the above program
GENERAL TIP ‘ING GUIDELINE
Remember that all Cubans make approx. 20 CUC a month which is very little, so anything that we can do to help in the way of small gifts and tips really does make a big difference.
- 1 CUC per meal
- 1 CUC per night for chamber maids
- 1 CUC for porters
- 3-5 CUC for special meal
- 3-5 CUC for special musical guest(s)
- 3-5 CUC for special interpretive guest(s)
- 5 CUC for taxi rides
- Loose change for bar tender
CUBA ALL-STAR TEAM or CAST: If you have a great adventure with our CAST, $100.00 CUC / client or approximately 5% of the cost of the trip is recommended. Our CAST includes: Canadian guide, Lead Cuban guide, Interpretive Cuban guide and bus driver who will all be with us for the duration of the trip. If they exceed your expectations feel free to show your appreciation.
PLEASE NOTE: To avoid any confusion, please approach your friendly neighbourhood Canadian guide with your tip at the end of the trip (typically after the last supper) who will distribute the funds accordingly.
Thank- you for supporting our CAST of characters!