City tour of Havana & travel to Viñales
This morning we’ll explore Havana, a mesmerising city full of quirks and surprises around every corner. Be sure to bring your camera, Havana is brimming with beautiful colours, textures and faces. First however, we’ll dust off the cobwebs and cover some ground on bikes this morning (approx. 2 hours, 16km route), enabling us to see some of the main sights from a different perspective. Being on two wheels will also enable us to cycle through some of the lesser-visited suburban areas of Havana. We’ll cycle from our casa to Plaza de la Revolucion, through the woodland valley of ‘Bosque de Almendares’ and past the iconic Hotel Nacional and ‘malecon’ coastal road to the Centro Habana district. Our ride will end on the edge of the Old Town. For this morning’s ride we’ll be accompanied by 1 or 2 (depending on group size) of the ‘Cuban Masters’ cycling team. These are veteran riders who compete in National competitions in Cuba for their respective age categories. In the busy maze of narrow streets that make up the Old Town, we’ll explore on foot with our Cuban tour guide explaining some of the peculiarities and customs relating to life in the city. Visit a food ration store, known as a ‘bodega’, as well as a market and some local small enterprises. Our guide will begin to explain the basics of Cuba’s economy and socialist society – this will be an ongoing discussion point and you’ll be sure to learn a lot before leaving the country.
We’ll have lunch at a small café restaurant in the Old Town before setting off on a fairly long road journey (3 hours) to our destination for the evening. In our comfortable air-conditioned private vehicle, the road journey takes us westwards along the ‘autopista’ passing through Artemisa province and in to Pinar del Rio. The last 30-minute stretch of the journey involves a winding approach on a mountain road with occasional spectacular views out into the valley.
Our destination is the picturesque town of Viñales, nestled in the valley of the same name. Upon arrival we’ll check in to a hotel which will be our accommodation for the next 2 nights. Tonight’s evening meal isn’t included, but there are plenty of restaurant options to choose from in the town. Afterwards you may wish to visit the music/dance venue ‘Polo Montañez’ next to the main plaza in the town.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel La Ermita or similar (2 Nights)