Christmas 2003/New Year 2004

(written by Carrie)

  map 1: Provinces of Cuba



Three weeks were spent cycling in the provinces of Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Havana visiting the cities of Holguin, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Guantanamo, Manzanillo and Havana. In total 1100km were cycled.

  map 2: Cities of Cuba
Holguin to Bayamo 1
El Salton Challenge 2
La Farola 3
The Sierra Maestra 4
Bayamo Short Route 1






14:00 Gatwick to Holguin 19:35






Rest Day: Around Holguin






Day 1: Holguin  to Bayamo (76km)






Day 1: Bayamo (to Santiago de Cuba 149km LPp264) El Santon (68km)






Day 2:  El Santon to Santiago de Cuba (81km)






Rest Day: Christmas Day - Santiago de Cuba






Coach (Viazul) to Barocoa 6hrs






Day 1: Baracoa  (to Santiago de Cuba LPp215 243km) to Playa Yacabo (77km)






Day 2: Playa Yacabo to Guantanamo (76km)






Day 3: Guantanamo to Santiago de Cuba (89km)






Rest Day: Santiago de Cuba - Fort






Day 1: Santiago de Cuba (to Manzanillo 337km LPp249) to Tabacal (70km)






Day 2: Tabacal to La Mula (45km)






Day 3: La Mula to Villa Punta de Piedra (62km)






Day 4: Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo (90km)






Day 1: Manzanillo (to Bayamo LPp262 67km)






Bayamo – Taxi to Havanna 14 hours $75 each






Havana city ride

Vinales - Pinar del Rio











22:10 Havanna






to Gatwick 12:10

figure 1: Itinerary

The Ride

Day 1: Holguin

Saturday 20 December, 14:00 Gatwick to Holguin 19:35. Stay at Hotel El Bosque, Holguin.

Much to our relief the bikes arrived in one piece and the hotel did have a room for us.  Amused by the women staff at the airport in high heels and short skirts.Taxi $12.  Hotel $96 for two nights.

Day 2: Holguin

Sunday 21 December, rest day and ride around Holguin.

Took a while to put the bikes together - a thrill to be on them exploring the town especially as we were able to join lots of other local cyclists in a cycle lane.  The buildings all looked worse for wear- paint peeling, mainly pastel colours.  Lots of one-way streets and narrow pavements so we had to go round again if we missed something.  Cycled up to the top of the hill to get a view of the city.  To do this we cycled past a long row of houses with lots of people going about their lives - pulling up water from a well, cycling with a pig strapped to the back of the bike.  Other bikes with a child on the front and wife on the back.   At the top of the hill a young man talked to us about how poor they are and not free.  Made the mistake of changing $40 into pesos - now have a huge wad of useless currency.  Lunch in an outdoor cafe on the main square - Begonia Cafe.  Police came to get us to move our bikes - as it is illegal to park on the pavement.  Read about Cuban history and realise my ignorance.  Guantanamo Bay has been a US base since 1901.  The revolution happened just a few years before the Bay of Pigs/Cuban Missile Crisis.

Day 3: Holguin  to Bayamo (76km) -map

Monday 22 December, day ride from Holguin  to Bayamo (76km) (Lonely Planet p190)

75km cycle along a flat straight road.  Started at 8am and arrived at 12.30pm. Hotel Royalton is $30 for a double room and sits imposingly on the main square. It feels great to arrive under our own steam.  We saw other people cycling the whole way along the route- lots of friendly waving.  Easy cycling.  A few hand bikes. Plenty of 'squids' (trucks spurting black fumes).  Sugar cane growing in the fields.  Lunch when we arrived - fried chicken and plantain.  1950s cars.  Music coming out of windows and cars. Bought water and snacks from a dollar shop - the only place to get these things from.  Tried to book tomorrow night's accommodation.  In the end the hotel found someone who could help us book this.  We gave him 60$ so hope he is genuine.  A man helped us find tonight's restaurant - a paladar. These are private restaurants - supposed to be better food.  Drank a cuba libra on the hotel veranda.  The meal was disappointing - deep fried battered chicken with ham and cheese.

photo 1: Holguin  to Bayamo.

photo 2: Holguin  to Bayamo.

photo 3: Bayamo Main Square (Outside Hotel Royalton).

photo 4: Bayamo Main Square (Outside Hotel Royalton).

photo 5: Bayamo Main Square (Outside Hotel Royalton).

Day 4: Bayamo to El Santon (68km) -map

Tuesday 23 December, day 1 of the 149km 2 day 'El Santon Challenge' route from Bayamo to Santiago de Cuba (Lonely Planet p264)

70km I woke feeling a bit sick - especially when I remembered last night's meal.  Not good when today was the hardest day of cycling.  We set off and the sun was soon beating down onto our faces.  This ride was hard because we had lots of up hill and the road surface deteriorated, as we got higher into the mountains. I was so relieved to get to El Santon.  However felt terrible and basically slept all evening with a short break for supper.  A bit of heat stroke I think.  The ride itself wasn't too bad - but the  heat made it really hard.  Saw a huge dead pig being driven round in the back of a lorry.  Plus a dead body being carried on a stretcher.  People everywhere despite being supposedly in the middle of nowhere.  Schools with children looking very smart in uniforms (always the same colours).  Saw a special sports school with children running races barefoot.  The hotel is right at the end of the road - like an oasis after our long ride by a waterfall surrounded by trees.  More poor food - greasy chicken and rice.  Even the biscuits and sweets we had bought were past their sell by date and not quite nice.

photo 6: Bayamo to El Santon.

photo 7: Bayamo to El Santon.

photo 8: El Santon .

Day 5: El Santon to Santiago de Cuba (81km) -map

Wednesday 24 December, day 2 of the 149km 2 day 'El Santon Challenge' route from Bayamo to Santiago de Cuba (Lonely Planet p264)

Hotel Las Americas - $67 per night.  Disappointingly the pool is broken - but at least the shower works properly unlike the last two hotels.  Now very sunburnt with heat rash on my legs.  But otherwise both feeling fine.  Everywhere is very tidy - no litter or litter bins.  The houses although shabby are well kept with neat cactus hedges.  Really enjoyable riding with ups and downs and beautiful views of wooded hills.  Met a Swiss couple of cyclists - our first westerner cyclists.  Decided to stay in this hotel so we could get some help booking the bus for tomorrow.  Great long down hill ride into Santiago.  The city comes as a shock - all the noise and traffic.  Hard to imagine cycling at a hotter time of year.  Looking forward to a nice meal tonight of pizza at the posh hotel over the road - Hotel Santiago.

photo 9: Leaving El Santon.

photo 10: El Santon to Santiago de Cuba.

photo 11: Coffee Factory on the way from El Santon to Santiago de Cuba.

photo 12: One of many Schools - El Santon to Santiago de Cuba.

photo 13: Rough surface - El Santon to Santiago de Cuba.

photo 14: Queuing outside a dollar shop in Santiago de Cuba.

Day 6: Santiago de Cuba -map

Thursday 25 December, rest day and Christmas day.

Strange Cuba has a dollar economy and strange to be watching US TV in the hotel when they're such enemies.  Got our washing done for us for $10. Walked into the centre of town after booking our bus tickets through the hotel.  Seems very busy - not like Christmas day.  Coffee at the main hotel - Casa Granda - with a brilliant band playing.  Enjoyed looking at all the buildings and people watching. They seem a little more smartly dressed here.  Hoped to go to the Art Gallery - but despite being open and fully staffed it was closed.  Went to the Casa de la Trova to hear some more music and had a beer.  Listened to a woman with an amazing voice sitting on a cool patio with only around ten other people and a mixture of Cubans and tourists.  Horrible spaghetti and pizza at the Casa Granda with very slow service- but great location overlooking the square.

photo 15: Band at the Casa Granda.

photo 16: Band at the Casa Granda.
photo 17: View down to the port - Santiago de Cuba.

photo 18: Casa Granda - Santiago de Cuba.
photo 19: Street scene - Santiago de Cuba.

photo 20: Casa de la Trova - Santiago de Cuba. 

Day 7: Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa -map

Friday 26 December, coach (Viazul) to Baracoa (6hrs).

Caught the bus at 7.30am.  3$ booking fee. $37 for the coach.  Plus $10 for the bikes - although the hotel had told us it would cost only $30 in total.  Gary loaded the bikes himself and locked them inside.  Strange to travel by bus in 6 hours the journey it will then take us three days to cycle back.  The approach to Guantanamo signalled by the sight of soldiers standing in a field wearing green leaves as camouflage.  In Baracoa the first casa was full - but she took us to a friend - Natasha - a young woman with husband and small child.  The house is very small - so it is hard to know where the family sleep - perhaps on the roof.  It is very simple and clean.  She cooked a delicious meal of fish.  The room cost $20 and dinner and breakfast an additional $17.  Walked up to the Hotel Castillio overlooking the town for lunch - with a very tempting looking pool.  Visited the Casa de Trova to hear a band.  I had a go at dancing much to Gary's amusement.

photo 21: Plaza de la Revolution - Santiago de Cuba.

photo 22: Casa Particular - Baracoa.
photo 23: Street scene - Baracoa.

photo 24: Street scene - Baracoa.
photo 25: Street scene - Baracoa.

Day 8: Baracoa to Playa Yacabo (77km) -map

Saturday 27 December, day 1 of the 243km 3 day 'La Farola' route from Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba (Lonely Planet p249)

80km.  Started out after a great breakfast of tortilla, bread and honey.  Big climb over La Farolla - but in the pouring rain, which kept us cool, although meant less of a view.  Met an Exodus tour group from the UK and heard about their great hotels.  One lad gave us his remaining energy bars.  We needed these later when we were unable to buy anything for lunch. On arrival - hit a difficulty getting booked into the campismo.  The warden managed to find someone who spoke English to explain to us that he didn't want to rent us a room without a sheet or towel.  He would like us to cycle back to the last village to stay in one of his friend's houses. We weren't cycling an extra 20km and so accepted the room without a sheet and it resembled a concrete garage.  It had a wooden frame bed with some foam for a mattress.  Spanish sounding disco music blared out uncomfortably loudly - despite there being not many people around - just bored looking teenagers.  Had a wonderful swim in the sea - crystal clear water.  We sat and watched the Cuban children playing on the beach.  Supper was with all the other Cubans - very greasy chicken and rice with some mysterious fried leaves. Nothing we could buy to drink and we didn't dare drink the yellow cordial presented to us as part of the meal.  Back in the garage we greedily drank two small cartons of mango juice we had bought in Baracoa.  Thankfully the ear-spliting music stopped around 11pm.

photo 26: Start of the La Farola 19km climb.

photo 27: Start of the La Farola Descent, 10km.
photo 28: View from La Farola.
photo 29: Wood being transported by sledge (one of the metals wheels fell off just after this shot!).
photo 30: Past Cajobabo on the Caribbean Ocean road - Baracoa to Playa Yacabo.

photo 31: Leaving Imias for Playa Yacabo.

photo 32: Playa Yacabo beach.

Day 9: Playa Yacabo to Guantanamo (76km) -map

Sunday 28 December, day 2 of the 243km 3 day 'La Farola' route from Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba (Lonely Planet p249)

87km. The music started up again at 8am.  Breakfast of bread and spam - more yellow cordial to resist.  Fantasising about coffee.  Arrived at a dollar shop just before opening time to buy water and biscuit supplies.  An old lady asked us for our plastic bottles once we had emptied them.  The ride was easy and uneventful following the coast and then inland to Guantanamo.  The hotel took some finding - outside the town.  I swam in the cold pool surrounded by teenagers and more ear-splitting disco music. Returned for a cold shower.  Had supper with an Australian couple, working in Canada and their 3 year old son - great conversation.  The usual food - but good value for 10$.

photo 33: Local transport - Playa Yacabo to Guantanamo.

Day 10: Guantanamo to Santiago de Cuba  (89km) -map

Monday 29 December, day 3 of the 243km 3 day 'La Farola' route from Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba (Lonely Planet p249)

Long wait for breakfast this morning and then they charged us $13 - perhaps making up for the cheap dinner.  Long ride but felt easy with lots of down hill and great views of the mountains.  Tiring time back in Santiago trying to find a Casa Particular - but all seemed to be full.  Ended up back at Los Americas.  Taxi into town - lunch at the Casa Granda - later followed by mojitas on the roof garden to watch the sun go down.  Managed to get to the art gallery - Emilio Bacardi Moreau - very poorly presented in a dingy gallery but a few good paintings especially by Martinez Martos and Victor Manuel Garcia.  Treated ourselves to a huge pizza at Pizza Nova at Hotel Santiago.

photo 34: Guantanamo to Santiago de Cuba.

photo 35: Parque Cespedes - Santiago de Cuba.
photo 36: View from Casa Granda Balcony - Santiago de Cuba.

Day 11: Santiago de Cuba  (26km) -map

Tuesday 30 December, Santiago de Cuba, Castillo del Morro Circuit (Lonely Planet p229)

Changed some money at the hotel and tried without success to book the accommodation for the rest of our trip.  A rest day but we still managed to cycle a fair distance to El Castillo del Morro.   An interesting ride to get there through the port and past the memorial to Frank Pais (a hero of the revolution) before exploring the castle we ate a three course lunch overlooking the ocean for $30.  The fortress was spectacular with great views out to sea. Came back to the hotel and relaxed watching an American film on TV followed by another pizza - stocking up for the bad food ahead.

photo 37: Frank Pais Monument, but which one is the statue?

photo 38: View from the Castillo del Morro ramparts.

photo 39: Castillo del Morro.

Day 12: Santiago de Cuba to Tabacal  (70km) -map

Wednesday 31 December, day 1 of the 337km 4 day 'Sierra Maestra' route from Santiago de Cuba to Manzanillo (Lonely Planet p249)

Enjoyable ride along the coast - with mountain views to our right.  A shipwreck in the sea - its cannons still visible- sunk by the Americans in 1898.  Able to get a room at a small hotel- Motel Guama in Tabacal for $15- with a balcony and wonderful view of the turquoise water.  Able to get lunch - but unfortunately the same as dinner - chicken, rice/beans and friend banana.  Relaxed on the balcony for the afternoon enjoying the view.  They brought our supper up to our room at 6.30pm- we aren't sure why.  Perhaps a way of making money themselves or perhaps they just wanted to close up to enjoy the new year.  So we ate it in the dark on the balcony on a chest of drawers as the mosquitos started to bite our ankles.  So by 7pm we had retreated to our squalid room.  We went down to see if anything was going on in the bar- but it was deserted save for the drunk bar man.   After a cuba libra we were in bed by 8.30pm- what a new year's eve!

photo 40: Political hoarding on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba.
photo 41: Prow of the Almirante Oquendo, Juan Gonzales Wreck which sunk in 1898.

photo 42: Santiago de Cuba to Tabacal.

photo 43: Relaxing on the Balcony at Motel Guama, Tabacal (spot the cyclists tan!).

Day 13: Tabacal to La Mula (45km) - map

Thursday 1 January 2004, day 2 of the 337km 4 day 'Sierra Maestra' route from Santiago de Cuba to Manzanillo (Lonely Planet p249)

A surprisingly good breakfast of savoury fried bananas and normal sweet bananas and mugs of yoghurt plus some horrid coffee.  Shortest day cycling yet - arriving mid morning.  The route followed the coast so close to the sea the waves wet the road on occasion.  Arrived at a campismo and chatted to some cyclists from the Czech Republic.  Swam in the sea - although very rocky.  Simple room for $10 within sight and sound of the waves.  Enjoyed the evening - despite the usual food - chatting to the cyclists and also three women from London.  The room lost its charm somewhat to find a cockroach on the floor and a large geko on the toilet cistern plus mosquito's for Gary to kill one by one during the night.

photo 44: Tabacal to La Mula.

photo 45: Tabacal to La Mula.

photo 46: Campismo La Mula.

Day 14: La Mula to Villa Punta de Piedra (62km) - map

Friday 2 January 2004, day 3 of the 337km 4 day 'Sierra Maestra' route from Santiago de Cuba to Manzanillo (Lonely Planet p249)

Gave up on breakfast when no-one had turned up by 8am.  Had to do the ride on biscuits and the remaining power bar. Fantastic ride- with wonderful views of crashing waves.  Stayed at Villa de Piedra - 20$ for the room.  Again had an identical lunch and dinner of fried chicken and rice/beans. But - with the pleasant addition of a salad.  Swam in the sea but a bit shallow and weedy.  The resort doesn't seem designed for people to enjoy the sea - no seats, no views from the restaurant, no proper beach.  Our room- whilst clean - like a cell with no windows at eye level.  We have seen lots of sexual tourists along the way. Middle aged or old unattractive Western men with young Cuban women.

photo 47: La Mula to Villa Punta de Piedra.

Day 15: Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo (90km) - map

Saturday 3 January 2004, day 4 of the 337km 4 day 'Sierra Maestra' route from Santiago de Cuba to Manzanillo (Lonely Planet p249)

A long hard day's cycle - not much to look at and the wind in our faces.  However it has been hotter. Met the English girls again at the hotel and they gave us bananas and flapjacks - we must look hungry!  The Hotel Guacanayabo is $22 a night.  Unusually friendly staff who speak a little English.  They told us the buses out of Bayama to Havana are fully booked.  Enjoyed relaxing on the balcony - the usual full blast disco music from the pool beneath us.

photo 48: Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo.

photo 49: Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo.

photo 50: Carrie gets overtaken again! - Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo.

Day 16: Manzanillo to Bayamo (67km) - map

Sunday 4 January 2004, 1 day short route to Bayamo (Lonely Planet p262)

Really hard cycling - because of the wind.  Also boring - but sustained by the flapjack gift.  Cycled to the bus station in Bayamo - the buses are indeed all full - until 8 Jan.  Tried the airport - but no flights until Tuesday.  Tried to hitch a lift to Holguin but worried we would get dropped off in the middle of nowhere with no time to get to the airport before dark.  Decided to wait at the bus station in case of cancellation.  However met up with a German couple of cyclists in the same position.  They spoke Spanish and negotiated a car to drive us and our bikes to Havana for $300.  The drivers took us to a Casa - where we could have a shower and have a meal, plus some beers and some dark rum.  The cars arrived - clapped out ladas.  They disappeared to find roof racks.  Finally left Bayamo at 10.30pm wondering if we would ever get there.

photo 51: Villa Punta de Piedra to Manzanillo.

Day 17: Bayamo to Havana - map

Monday 5 January, Bayamo to Havana by Taxi in 14 hours for $75 each!

They told us the journey would take 7 hours - it took around 15 hours with lots of stops for the engines to cool down and the police stopping them (fining them for transporting tourists illegally).  The drivers shouted to each other between cars, smoking cigars and fiddled with the engine whilst driving along.  Another motorist wanted to know the time - only Gary seemed to have a watch.  The road was quiet - lined with people trying to hitch holding money out in the hope of a lift.  They dropped us 17km outside the city and we cycled in to find somewhere to stay.  Managed to find a casa for $30 plus $3 each for breakfast after looking at a few that just seemed too seedy.  We stayed with two elderly sisters - their niece doing the cooking and thankfully speaking English.  Our room has windows on three sides.  Havana feels like a different world.  The streets are so noisy from early in the morning - people just going about their business. I guess it is because everyone is on top of one another.  A choice of restaurants - selected a Lebanese restaurant with the Germans and shared a bottle of Spanish wine.

photo 52: Repairs to one of the Taxi's before we set off!
photo 53: Yet another stop for minor repairs!
photo 54: 14 hours later we cycle into Havana from 18 km out.

Day 18: Havana (18km) - map

Tuesday 6 January, the 'Havana Circuit' ride (Lonely Planet p104)

Wonderful to have fruit for breakfast and reasonable coffee.  Enjoyed conversation with a Swiss couple also at the Casa.  Enjoyed exploring Havana by bike - along the sea front.  Called in at the airline office to ask about bike boxes.  They directed us to an office outside town. Lunch at the wonderful National Hotel overlooking the ocean- where film stars usually stay when in Havana.  The airline office was typically unhelpful - we must box our bikes but they can't help us with any cardboard.  Continued our bike tour - to admire the Che metal sculpture in the Place de la Revolution.  Marta at the Casa says she will try and find us some cardboard.  Expensive dinner sitting outside with a resident salsa band - but no credit cards accepted.  Enjoyable fish - but spoilt by tinned vegetables.  This place feels so different from rest of Cuba - much more geared for tourism.   However we still overheard an English couple complaining about the food and wine - we thought they can't have experienced outside Havana.  Enjoyed walking through the streets of old  Havana to get back to our Casa.  

photo 55: View across to Castillo de Tres Sntos Reyes del Morro.

photo 56: Fisherman (spot the bike) along the Malecon.

photo 57: Flag and view along the Malecon from the Hotel Nacional.
photo 58: Che metal sculpture in the Place de la Revolution.
photo 59: Bicitaxi's wait at the start of Av Simon Bolivar, Sagrado Corazon Church in the background.

Day 19: Vinales - map

Wednesday 7 January, day trip to Vinales and Pinar del Rio.

Took an organised coach trip here for $48 each - picking us up from a nearby hotel.  Chatted to the other members of the tour group.  Inspired by a British woman who spoke good Spanish to do an intensive Spanish course in Seville or Grenada.  Great view of Vinales and visiting a tobacco factory were highlights of the day.  Also visited some caves and the usual lunch with a bored looking salsa band playing the usual tunes.  Came back to Havana via the Embassy houses in Miramar.   Dropped off at the National Hotel for dinner and concert for $40.  A great treat to see the last remaining member of the Buenevista Social Club and another old man with white hair and the voice of an angel. A big black man played the saxophone and a couple danced brilliantly.  We treated ourselves to a bottle of wine - again Spanish and felt like royalty.  Got soaked walking home in the rain until a taxi picked us up - I sat in the back of his van on a deck chair.

photo 60: Vinales.

photo 61: Vinales.

photo 62:  Vinales.
photo 63: Hotel Nacional.

photo 64: Hotel Nacional.

Day 20: Havana (21km) - map

Thursday 8 January, 'Christ and the Castillos, Casablanca and Colmar' ride (Lonely Planet p106).

A last cycle ride - catching a ferry to see East Havana - 23Km.  We cycled up to see the giant Christ figure - built just prior to the revolution by Baptisto's wife in 1958.  Saw a memorial to Ernest Hemingway - where he used to keep his boat.  Plus a couple of forts to defend the city.  Much quieter this side of Havana.  Very relieved to find some cardboard waiting for us that Marta had found for us.  Found another box ourselves so Gary could then get to work making a couple of boxes.  Out for dinner at a Spanish restaurant.  Enjoyed a daiquiri - wished I had discovered them earlier.

photo 65: Jesus statue in Casablanca, just above the ferry dock.

photo 66: Torrean de Cojimar.

photo 67: Hemingway bust opposite the Torrean de Cojimar.

photo 68: Carrie & Gary at the Castillo de Tres Sntos Reyes del Morro.

photo 69: Another aged car in need of a roadside repair, Malecon, Havana.

Day 20: Havana - map

Friday 9 January, last day in Cuba, flight left at 22:10.

Our main task was to find some more packing tape to complete the bike boxes.  Sent round four different shops but all to no avail.  Finally a security man stole a roll from the post office and sold it to us for 5$- some security!  Visited the art gallery - getting the wrong one at first containing non Cuban art.  The right gallery was packed with excellent pictures and well presented - more like a European gallery.  Took a bici taxi back to old Havana - which was hair raising - lurching over holes in the ground and racing round corners with little space to spare.  Looked round the last few tourist sights like the Plaza D'Armas.  Hoped to go up the tower of the San Francisco - but it was closed despite its doors being open and with staff at their places.  A final beer in the Plaza Vieja.   A taxi to the airport for $30.

photo 70: View from Casa Particular Balcony across to the Santa Clara Monastery.
photo 71: La Habana Vieja street scene.

photo 72: Catherdral, La Habana Vieja.
photo 73: Plaza D'Armas,
La Habana Vieja

photo 74: Plaza D'Armas, La Habana Vieja

photo 75: from O'Reilly's bar, O'Reilly, La Habana Vieja

photo 76: from O'Reilly's bar, O'Reilly, La Habana Vieja

photo 77: from O'Reilly's bar, O'Reilly, La Habana Vieja

photo 78: from O'Reilly's bar, O'Reilly, La Habana Vieja

photo 79: La Habana Vieja

photo 80: La Habana Vieja.

photo 81: La Habana Vieja.

Day 21: Home

Saturday 10 January, arrive at Gatwick 12:10.


Overall, a fantastic .


The bikes we used were:

Gary: Maxlight, 2003 18"
Carrie: Giant  Boulder 2003 Small.

photo 13: The 'steads' Rockhopper, Stumpjumper, F4000, Maxlight *2 (from L to R)

photo 14: The curse of Magura strikes. A spare transplanted from the spare Maxlight.



Cubana Airlines,
Skylines Unit 49 Limeharbour Docklands London, E14 9TS
LONDON  (0207) 537 7909  (0207) 537 7747 Fax – Press option 1
£706 per person including taxes and 30kg baggage allowance to include boxed bike.
Outward flight: Departed Gatwick (South Terminal) arrived at Holguin
Return flight: Havana to London Gatwick

Cuba Information:

Cuban Embassy
167 High Holborn.London WC1V 6PA. UK Tel. (020)-7240-2488, Fax. (020)-7836-2602 E-mail :
For Tourist Visa Card etc.

CIA on Cuba!

Cycling & Cycling Holidays

Exodus Holiday

Bicycle Touring in Cuba
Cuba Trip Report
¡Viva Cuba! - an 1800 km bike trip in the Caribbean.
Cuba's Bicycle Policy (Good - look at the bike and what is he wearing!)

Colin and Fiona's Cycling Tours - Eastern Cuba - arrange cycle tours for the CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd

Packing your bike


Cycling Cuba (2002) 1st Edition, Lonely Planet, ISBN 1-86450-249-5, £13.99.
Bicycling Cuba - 50 Days of Detailed Ride Routes from Havana to El Oriente
Author: Smith, Wally;Smith, Barbara
Exploring Cuba on two wheels is one of the best ways to see the country. Detailed routes from Havana and the best regions of Cuba are described. Information on accommodation, safety considerations, equipment and accessories is included.
ISBN:0881505536, paperback, Price: £ 16.00.
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd, Woodstock – USA, Publication date:2002-11-16


Excellent site for most of the maps used on this site:

Two more maps here: Map 1: Cuba Political, Map 2: Cuba Relief.

(Try Stanfords 020 7836 1321):
Reise Know-How, 2001, ISBN: 3831770352

Freytag & Berndt £8.95
Scale: 1:1,250,000
Catalogue Number:      15859
Format:     Folded Map
Size:     69x98cm
ISBN:     3850842665

Best: Directico Touristico, bound atlas - cannot purchase in the UK.


Casa Particulars

Hotel El Bosque (0053) 24 481012

Hotel Royalton (0053) 23 432224