Bike Trip to Cuba!
While most bike tourists I know head to Europe and South America, Cuba's flat roads, friendly people, and open/safe beaches make it ideal for long-distance bike touring. Though highways and roads can be bumpy for cars going at high speeds, the generous and smooth shoulder provides a comfortable route for cyclists throughout much of the country. Note that bike shops in Cuba are very few and far between and are very poorly stocked so anyone planning their own bike touring trip should bring ALL gear and parts they anticipate needing during the trip, particularly spare tubes, patches, lube, chains, and tools.
Bike enthusiasts not ready (or lacking sufficient time) to travel the island by bike can still enjoy renting bikes in major cities to explore local attractions. This April and June, I'll be leading bike-themed trips to Cuba. I also plan to lead more next fall/winter but the dates haven't been set yet. In order to combine the convenience and time efficiency of cars and the fun of biking, we'll drive between Havana, Vinales, and the Bay of Pigs, where we will rent bikes and ride to beaches, tobacco plantations, underground rivers, and more. More info here on the specific activities and on non-bike trips.
Bringing your own bike is an option but to avoid airline bike fees (that can run up to $150 each way) and to avoid challenges transporting the bike between cities, I recommend renting bikes in Cuba. I have relationships with several bike shops, bike tour operators, and local families who include bikes at the B&Bs where we will stay.
For additional fun, we'll go for a ride with my good friend, Felix Guirola, who rides the tallest bike in the world and is currently seeking recognition with the Guinness Book of World Records. If you're brave, he'll even let you climb his tallest bike or ride with him on one of his "small" tall bikes.
Interested in biking in Cuba? Contact me for details!
"Many people love to travel but few are actually good at it. Cassandra is one of these rare specimens that can pull it together wherever she's at. With a sense of adventure and also a keen idea of how to relax, she is capable of maneuvering in many situations. Cassandra is also completely bilingual in Spanish and English, which means she can help you achieve a truly unique experience - not just the touristy stuff. With her help, I was able to make the most of a week-long escapade to Cuba and I hope to be able to travel with her soon."
- Megan Frye, editor of Savoteur (Mexico City), May 2016
"EscapingNY customized a special travel plan for me focusing on an in-depth, authentic Havana experience. During my short stay, I made many interesting local friends, biked off-off-beaten paths, and learned about Cuban culture. I'd highly recommend EscapingNY to anyone interested in really getting to know a country. Thanks again!"
- Wei C., (New York City), July 2017
"I joined one of Cassandra's 10-day group tours and had an absolutely amazing time and I can't say enough good things about the trip. As I'm vegan and haven't used my Spanish since college, I had concerns about visiting Cuba alone but Cassandra speaks Spanish fluently and ensured we enjoyed vegan meals in every city, which gave me great peace of mind. I went snorkeling in and cycling around the Bay of Pigs, admired colonial architecture in Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, and met many genuinely, lovely open-hearted people in every city. I so much enjoyed meeting a variety of Cubans from different walks of life to learn about their daily life and culture."
- Susan, New York City, February, 2017
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- Mei C., New York City, April, 2017
"I traveled with Cassandra for 10 days and had an excellent time. We went on a flamingo-watching boat ride in a nature preserve, jumped off waterfalls in the jungle, cycled through Old Havana, visited several beautiful beaches, and went salsa dancing in a hot nightclub built inside a cave. I had limited expectations of Cuba because I don't speak Spanish and I'd never traveled to a "non-westernized" country. My expectations were absolutely exceeded. Cassandra opened my eyes to much more adventure and culture then I was ever expecting."
- Amy M, New York City, December, 2015