Leave the resorts of Varadero behind and discover the real Cuba on this eight-day active adventure. Get your blood pumping cycling the hills of the Guaniguanico and El Rosario mountain ranges and marvel at scenic vistas that will take your breath away. Tour a tobacco plantation for a taste of iconic Cuban culture. With its lush scenery, vibrant culture, and incredible beaches, this active cycling adventure will have you exploring a side of this island few get to know.

What's Included

Guided cycling with support vehicle (6-day). Visit to a traditional cigar factory in Pinar del Río. Havana city tour. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Cycle through pincushion hills, sample Cuban rum straight from distillery, hear Cuban salsa music float through the streets of Havana, walk across one of Cuba’s famed white-sand beaches, gaze out across the crystal-blue Caribbean.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Important Notes

Cycling Grading – Gentle

• Flat terrain, with some hill climbing or ascents included
• Mostly on roads, some off road may be included
• Some longer days in the saddle to get from A to B
• Cycling on most days of the tour, mixed with cultural and other physical activities
• Cycle usually between 20-50 km per day.

Although this is considered to be a straightforward cycling trip, please be aware that in Cuba, the heat and humidity can have an effect while riding in Cuba. Make sure to pack enough water for each day, and be aware that items such as prepared snacks or rehydration drinks are not readily available in Cuba. If you feel that these would be helpful, then remember to pack them for your trip.

1)A support vehicle will accompany the group at all times during biking segments. Passengers may opt to ride in the support vehicle at any time if they get tired from riding.

2)Bikes are suitable for the type of terrain that is cycled in Cuba, al bought within the past two years. The brand is Campus and the brakes and gears are made by Shimano. Our bicycles can accommodate people of a variety of heights, including up to 2m/6’7" in height.

3)All cycling equipment is included except for a bike helmet and biking gloves. You are responsible for bringing these items. You may also bring your own seat and clipless pedals if you choose – the bikes have normal pedals.

4)Bikes do have racks for panniers however do not have panniers attached; you may bring your own if you wish.

5)Bikes do not have a bottle carrier attached, so you may wish to bring your own camel bag for drinking water.

6)INSURANCE
From 01 May 2010 all tourists entering Cuba will require “Medical Travel Insurance” that is on a Government approved list. We urge you to check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy is on the list of approved providers. If it is not, tourists will be forced to purchase a Government approved policy on arrival in Cuba. The cost of buying this insurance in Cuba will be in addition to any insurance already purchased, and it is likely the rates for these polices will be inflated compared to what you may purchase in advance from home.

G Adventures issues insurance policies at competitive rates, and our insurance provider has been confirmed as recognized by Cuban officials.

If you would like peace-of-mind and to purchase insurance from G Adventures, please contact our reservations team on 1800 465 5600 (from North America), or 08444 101030 (from the UK) or 39413 5820 (from Australia) or travel@gadventures.com

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you choose to bring your own bike, please be aware that you are responsible for the maintenance and support of the bike. It may be possible to hire some extra equipment as necessary for your cycle. Check with your airline about travelling with your bike, as some will charge you to take a bike on board. We would suggest that you pack your bike in a bike box or bag( usually available from your local bike shop). It’s also advisable to make sure your bike has been serviced before you travel.

Group Leader Description

This tour is accompanied by a local guide throughout. The aim of the local guide is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, Avg 10

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Air-conditioned microbus, bike.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (7 nts).

My Own Room

Joining Hotel

Joining Instructions

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (9am-9pm) Lenia Hernandez Rodriguez +53 5289 0826

G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560 After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

All cycling equipment is included except for a bike helmet and biking gloves. You are responsible for bringing these items. You may also bring your own seat and clipless pedals if you choose; the bikes have normal pedals. Our bicycles can accommodate people of a variety of heights, including up to 2m/6’7" in tall. Bikes do have racks for panniers however do not have panniers attached; you may bring your own if you wish. Bikes do not have a bottle carrier attached, so you may wish to bring your own camel bag for drinking water. There will be a bus accompanying the group at all times if you do need anything from your luggage, or get tired from riding.

We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). You must be able to carry your luggage to our accommodations and should be prepared to load it on and off of transportation, as porters are usually not on hand. A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- Cash and travellers cheques (see money exchange section for details)
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Bike helmet
- Cycling shorts
- Cycle jersey
- Biking gloves
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocketknife
- Flashlight
- Money belt
- Fleece top
- Sunblock
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Sunglasses
- Small towel and swimwear
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Watch or alarm clock
- Sun hat
- Water bottle
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- First aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, antihistamine, Imodium (or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea), rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

A “Tourist Card” is required for most nationalities to travel to Cuba. Many airlines to Cuba include the cost of this card in the flight cost and distribute the card during the flight. Some airlines do not provide this card, so it is best to call your airline and ask about it prior to travel. Tourist cards are also available from a Cuban consulate or embassy and cost approximately $20-$25CUC.

Upon arrival to Cuba, keep your Tourist Card in a safe place, as it is necessary to show it occasionally to officials and also upon departure from the country.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP).

Bringing cash is the easiest way to travel in Cuba, though please take extra security precautions to avoid theft. Please note that until further notice AUD and NZD are not accepted in Cuba. Because of these difficulties we recommend that you arrive in Cuba with CAD, EUR, GBP, or Mexican pesos which can be easily converted into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) at the 8% conversion fee.

As of November 8, 2004 the US Dollar is no longer being used as official currency. The Cuban Convertible Peso is at a similar value to the US Dollar, and can be acquired at any change house or bank. Please note that any transaction involving the US Dollar in Cuba automatically incurs a 18% fee.

People traveling in Cuba with Visa credit cards can still use them for cash advances, however all transactions will be subject to an 18% fee. Bank cards from US banks do not work in Cuba, and cards using the Cirrus or Maestro systems are nearly impossible to use. The best credit cards to bring are Visa Plus. Please note that ATMs are not widespread and generally speaking debit cards do not work in Cuba from any foreign banks.

If you plan to use a bank card, it would be advisable to check with your bank directly prior to your departure as to whether the card should work in Cuba.

We do not recommend you bring travellers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Cuba.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent). Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) are extremely difficult to convert outside of Cuba, be sure to convert any remaining CUC before departing Cuba.

You are advised NOT to change money on the street outside the airport or your hotel. Reliable money exchange may only be done at Cadecas (change houses), Banks, or Hotel Reception.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person, estimates in either USD amounts or CUC. Please see the Money Exchange section above regarding the currency situation in Cuba.
And are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Havana:
Casa de La Musica with live national orchestras $25
La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club $10 (includes 2 drinks)
City tour $15-25
Las Terrazas $38
Tropicana show $60-$100 (prices depend on seat location)
Museum entrances $2-$3
Dance lesson $12-$15/hour

Viñales:
Scooter/moto rental $20/$30 (24 hr rental. Hourly rates available)
Cueva de los Indios $5
Mural de la Prehistoria $1 (entry)
Horseback Riding $5/hour ($25 max)
Santo Tomas Caves: CUC 8 plus transport 4 CUC
Afternoon through tobacco fields and visit to local farmer house 5 CUC
Hikes 10 CUC
Salsa Lessons 5 CUC

Soroa:
Rainbow waterfall swim $2 (see below)
Waterfall $6 (free if staying at the hotel)
Massage/ Hot springs $5-$10
Orquid garden $3 (including guided tour)

Las Terrazas:
Disco $3
Guided hikes $20

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

MAKING FRIENDS WITH LOCALS
Sexuality is very open in Cuba and that can shock some travellers, especially women. There are many Cuban men and women (known as Jineteros), who make a living escorting foreigners. Offers of this service are very common in Havana. Be aware of this practice and keep in mind that some locals who approach you may do so to take advantage of your presence.

We advise traveling around the streets of Havana City in small groups, rather than individually (especially for women travelers). In addition, we suggest not carrying any easy targets for potential troublemakers like cameras, purses, or anything that is easy to snatch or grab. We advise this not expecting trouble, but rather erring on the side of caution.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

Newsletter

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

16

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD80-105 for meals not included.

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: CCB, ID: 23284