Trans Cuba “Ciclo Temba Version” 2017

  • Destination: ,
  • Duration: 17 days
  • Arrives: 03/17/2017
  • Departs: 04/02/2017
  • Price: $2,320

Ciclo Temba (Old Cyclist) A great way to do a Cuba End to End ride. This version takes it’s own sweet time and skips the longer stretches of the “Full Monty” sportive ride.
Please note that this event is not open to American citizens or residents. There is another ride setup to comply with American travel to Cuba. Please contact us for more information.

Cuba End to End

Havana 3    Havana 2    Havana

 

The Cycling

 

This is an easier version of the Trans Cuba Sportif event. With maximum 100k rides, you may ride any distance you prefer up to the 100k mark. We will bus some of the longer sections, and unlike Trans Cuba proper we have time for a quick visit to the beautiful city Santiago.

This ride will give you time to dally a little more and take time to absorb Cuban life. We will still visit our youth cycling club in Las Tunas and include a number of city walks along the route.

See it all;  Havana, Baracoa, Guantánamo, Santiago, Bayamo, Las Tunas, Camagüey, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Pinar Del Rio and María La Gorda.

This tour starts and ends in Havana. The riding begins in the very east and ends in the far west. You need to arrive a few days early in order to have your bike transported to the east by bus. You then fly to Baracoa to start your cycle adventure. The extra day in Havana will give you time to get acquainted with others on the ride and to visit our wonderful capital.

This trip is a photographic dream.

  • Usual daily distances:30 km to 100 km (with flexible options)
  • Days of cycling: 11
  • Terrain:  There are hills and rolling countryside on this tour so a reasonable basic level of fitness is recommended.
  • Support vehicle:100%
  • Tour staff: 2 tour leaders, 1 driver, 1 mechanic, 1 cultural guide

Contact us to find out more and reserve your spot

Contact Us

 

Day 1 – Arrival

Friday, March 17th. This is arrival day and people travel from many parts of the world to do this ride. It is, therefore impractical to do a group pick up at any airport. We will assist with directions to get you to Vedado, which is where Cafe Rueda is located (this is the ride HQ)

  • Accommodation:  Casa
  • Meals Included: Dinner & breakfast

Day 2

Saturday, March 18th. This is bike transport day. All bikes both rented and those brought to Cuba,  must be at the Cafe Rueda at 08:00, they will be loaded on the bus and travel east. We will then have a free day in Havana

  • Cycling: 0 km
  • Accommodation: Casa
  • Meals Included: Dinner/Breakfast

Day 3

Sunday, March 19th. Up early and head to the airport, we have a 2 1/2 hour flight to Baracoa

  • Cycling:  An afternoon ride to test the bikes. Possibly ride to the top of Paso Cuba
  • Accommodation:  Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/Breakfast

Day 4

Monday, March 20th. Today we ride the coastal road. A flat scenic ride through desert-like areas with mountains on the right and the Caribbean Sea on the left. Tonight we will be in the hotel located right at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay. Great mojito’s

  • Cycling: 100km max
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/Breakfast

Day 5

Tuesday, March 21st. The plan is to bus to a point close to Santiago and do a short morning ride into the city, have a planned lunch and do the city by bus.  Santiago is a vibrant city and there is lots to see and do.  San Juan Hill, the cemetery, the plazas and the boulevard are all intriguing places to visit

  • Cycling: 40km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Lunch/Dinner/breakfast

Day 6

Wednesday, March 22nd. Today our journey begins with a visit to El Cobre and Cuba’s famous Basillica de Nuestra Señora del Cobre

  • Cycling:  Max 100 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 7

Thursday, March 23rd. A short ride today takes us into Las Tunas, the home of our first sponsored children’s team. Some of the kids will come out to greet you on the road and guide you to the hotel. In the evening, we will be the guests of this club and they will host us with a fine Cuban BBQ

  • Cycling: 77 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner BBQ/breakfast

Day 8

Friday,  March 24th. Today we transfer across  the endless carretera central From Las Tunas to Sancti Spiritus, with a lunch stop and city walk in Camaguey.

  • Walking: 3 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 9

Saturday, March 25th. The rolling hills down the “Valley of the Sugar Mills” or “Valle de los Ingenios”, will take you out to the coast and the historic city of Trinidad. Lunch stop at the Manacas – Iznaga

  • Cycling: Max 85 km
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 10

Sunday, March 26th. A wonderful coastal road from Trinidad to Cienfuegos. Nothing is too difficult on this route

  • Cycling: Maximum 85 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 11

Monday, March 27th. After breakfast, we will walk the city centre in Cienfuegos after lunch, ride to the Bay of Pigs.

  • Cycling: Maximum 100 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 12

Tuesday, March 28th.  A small town 35 kilometers southwest of Havana, San Antonio De Los Banos typifies “Old Cuba”.  This sleepy little town is a laid back place with lots to offer the avid camera buff.

  • Cycling: Maximum 100 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 13

Wednesday, March 29th. From one sleepy little town to another.

Today we ride out of the hotel and head to San Diego De Los Banos. Located at the foot of the Sierra Rosario mountain range. Take an evening stroll and check out the locals

  • Cycling: Maximum 95 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 14

Thursday, March 30th. From La Cueva De Los Portales and up over “Americano”, it has a masculine name but is a bitch of a climb, then to La Palma and to the very beautiful Valle Vinales. Tonight we stay in the city of Pinar Del Rio

  • Cycling: Maximum 90 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 15

Friday, March 31st. It is 147 km from the city outskirts to the hotel In Maria La Gorda. This is a very flat route and over the last 12 days you have gain strength and fitness, most riders are astonished at how they have improved and the ride to  lunch at Sandino seems almost too easy.

  • Cycling: Maximum 100 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 16

Saturday, April 1st. After breakfast a  morning dip, we then bus back to Havana, stopping in Pinar for a short lunch and bathroom break.  Tonight we will find a nice place to enjoy a final family get-together

  • Cycling:  0
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Vedado
  • Meals Included: Dinner/breakfast

Day 17

Sunday, April 2nd. Well, it is time to part and we hope your stay was a good one. We endeavour to do our best to make sure you are happy and safe and that we have been able to help you with all your needs. We love our country and realize it is not perfect, Cuba is in transition and we really hope to see you back in the not too distant future

Hasta Pronto

  • Depart today
  • Accommodation:  Your own home tonight 🙂
  • Meals Included: breakfast

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Tour Leader

This ride will be lead by Canadian Cyclist and multi CanBiCuba tour rider,  KERRY ZIELKE from Kitchener, Ontario,  Kerry is a member of the Grand River Cycling Club.  To reach Kerry you can call his cell @ (519) 650 1219

 or by email   kzielke1@gmail.com

 

FURTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION

Will My U.S. Mobile Phone Work In Cuba?

Maybe.  Some U.S. carriers have or are beginning to make agreements with ETECSA (the Cuban national telecommunications company) to provide roaming services in Cuba.  Sprint and Verizon, for example, currently offer roaming services in Cuba.  If your carrier offers a roaming plan and your mobile phone is capable of roaming in Cuba, you should ask your carrier about any additional charges for voice calls, data, and outgoing text messages that you may incur during your trip.  The telecommunications market in Cuba is changing rapidly, so before you travel, be sure to check with your wireless provider for the latest developments.

Another way you can use your U.S. mobile phone in Cuba is to rent a SIM card.  If you have an unlocked GSM-capable mobile phone, you can rent a SIM card from Cubacel (ETECSA’s mobile phone arm) that will allow you to use your mobile phone in Cuba.  Cubatel’s SIM cards come with pre-paid minutes in amounts of 10, 20, or 40 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC$) (US$10, $20, or $40), plus a daily rental fee for the SIM card of CUC$3 (US$3).  The per-minute call charges and texting fees for renting a mobile phone (as listed below) also apply to renting a SIM card.  Contact your wireless provider to check whether your mobile phone operates on the compatible standard and request that your carrier unlock your mobile phone.

Donations

The CanBiCuba Cycling Club supports youth programs throughout Cuba. We are involved with both the national cycling federation and master racing in the Havana area.

There are no bike shops as we know them in the developed world and our youth groups depend on your much-needed support.

It is not mandatory but we do encourage all riders to bring a little something to help out.Your old 700c x 23 or 25c might be worn out to you but is like gold here. We need anything you can think of and have lying about, handlebars/stems/seats/gears/brakes and on and on. If sending clothing keep to small and medium sizes. Handlebar tape is an often forgotten and economic gift.

Quite often a rider will bring an old racing bike to leave with a club.  If you’d like to bring a bike let me know because I may have one up in Canada awaiting transport.

  

On our last day, Peter Marshall, a Canadian-turned-Cuban and the owner of cycling tour group CanBiCuba, led the way as we biked out of Havana to meet the youth racing club in Punta Brava. We rode by fields of cows and waved back at drivers in classic cars. At a beach bar made of wood and palm fronds, we sipped a cold Tu Kola and watched perfect sets of waves go to waste without surfers. When we arrived at the club coach’s home, 10 beaming kids in their bike kits put heavy coconuts with colorful straws in our hands and showed us to a table filled with food: banana bread pudding, fried plantains, sandwiches with spicy tomato jam, and bowls of guava and papaya.

While cradling their new (our old) saddles, pedals, and shoes, the boys spoke of life on two wheels, how they train six days a week after school and aspire to become pro cyclists, regardless of the challenges they face. Listening to their stories as they held the recycled gear and grinned the widest grins, it occurred to me just how much this moment meant to the club. The donations and beat-up bicycles allowed them to escape everything else, if only for a little while. The kids hugged farewell and chased after our wheels, which kicked up mud on the fractured concrete alley. I was surprised by having to brush away tears, a salty mix of joy and guilt.

Back in Havana, I sat along the Malecón, washing down my Cuban sandwich from La Chucheria with a splash of Havana Club rum and pineapple and a whiff of exhaust from a pink ‘59 Buick Invicta. A fisherman in a makeshift Styrofoam boat floated through ripples of gold as the sun dipped below the sea. It was a perfect sendoff, but my mind had already left, drifting towards new plans to ship bike supplies to those kids with big dreams in Punta Brava.

Geography & Climate

Cuba is a tropical island in the Northern hemisphere. It is 1350km long and covered with a variety of mountains, forests, rich farmland and golden beaches. There are some desert-like areas in the Guantanamo area but this MTB event is far away from this, in Havana and Vinales. Cuba has a warm and dry season from November to April, with average daily temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees. This is the time of year we choose to conduct our tours.  May to October is the rainy season, which is hotter and also prone to hurricanes.

Cycling Terrain

This tour explores Cuban back roads. There is one day of city cycling but this is rather short. Surfaces are from OK to bad, the worst being a four km stretch on the morning of the first day. All is doable on a road bike and people generally use road touring to hybrid bikes. Those fast people can definitely get away with a road bike and many do so.

Accommodation & Food

We use a combination of 3-star hotels with en-suite rooms and casas. All places provide good food. We visit many local cafes, restaurants and bars so you get a full flavour of local culture and cuisine. All breakfasts and dinners are included .For meals not included (lunches) there are many places to eat with prices ranging from $3 to $6 for an on the way lunch in a roadside café. All ride drinking water is supplied from the support bus. We advise that if you normally use ride gels and energy bars or electrolyte powder, you will need to bring from home because these items are not commonly for sale in Cuba

Cycle Rental

CanBiCuba has bike rentals at great prices. For this tour you will need a either a hybrid (my choice) a sport touring or a road bike. All will work. Should you prefer to bring your own that is fine with us, you will get the same mechanical assistance as the renters.

Check you travel company for costs of shipping your bike. Depending on your country of embarkation you may be better to rent.

Renting has other positive aspects. Your bike will not get lost in transit. It is far easier to travel without a bike box and spare bikes are on the bus for renters. The negative side is that this is not your favourite ride.

Cost

    US$2,320.This includes both breakfast and dinner every day of the tour.
    US$2,700. Should you register looking to share with  another and we are not able to find an acceptable companion, you will need to pay the Single Supplement charge.

    Passports’ & Visas

    Visitors from the UK & Ireland A passport with a Cuban tourist card is required for entry into Cuba, by UK & Irish citizens. The tourist card is obtained by sending copies of travel documents and a fee of £15 to the Cuban Embassy in London. The turnaround is very quick–usually, the tourist card is sent back to you within 1 or 2 days. You can also get tourist cards issued by visiting the Embassy in person. These visas are good for 30 days Visitors from Canada A current passport is required and your Cuban visa will be issued on the airplane, this visa cost is included in you air ticket. The visa is good for 30 days but as a Canadian it is possible to extend to 90 days. Visitors from the USA  A current passport is required. If traveling in an official OFAC group you will be put in contact with a qualified travel agent within the USA. This agent will both issue air tickets and visas.

    Flight Options

    This trip is timed to fit with the most popular flights to Cuba – on Virgin Airlines, KLM out of Europe.  Air Canada, Air Transat and Cubana Airlines all fly direct into Havana from Toronto and Montreal.

    Flying to Varadero is an option, but you will need to get to Havana, this is around $80 for a taxi. This option is popular with riders going on for a beach holiday after or before a tour.