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Cycle Cuba: West

Cycle Cuba: West

Want to know how it feels to ride alongside tractors and vintage cars, past tobacco farms and lush, limestone landscapes? Feel the Caribbean wind whip through your (helmet-covered) hair on this seven-day, two-wheeled journey in Cuba. You’ll discover the rich history and crumbling ruins of Old Havana as you peddle through the capital’s colourful streets. Cycle to the pristine shores of Cayo Jutias to cool-off from the heat and end a rewarding day in the saddle in Vinales with a farm-to-plate feast (with free rum!). From the flora and fauna-filled valleys of Soroa to the welcoming arms of renowned farmer Mama Luisa, take a ‘brake’ from the beaten path and access unique parts of the island that you can only reach on a bicycle.

Tour At a Glance

  • Experience Cuba’s dynamic scenery on two-wheels, from the decaying charm of Old Havana to the dramatic limestone landscapes of Vinales.
  • Immerse yourself in everyday life as you bike on Cuban roads with local traffic, alongside tractors, vintage American cars, old Ladas and horse-drawn carriages.
  • Enjoy a delicious farm-to-plate experience in a hilltop restaurant – the produce is 100% organic and locally grown – oh, and the rum is free!
  • Top-off your Cuban experience at a tobacco plantation regarded as the world’s finest cigar manufacturer and witness a local farmer expertly roll an iconic Cuban ‘habana’.
  • Stretch your legs along the pristine beaches of Cayo Jutias, where you can soak up some free time to flop and drop on the white sands or go for a refreshing dip in the Caribbean.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.
  • Tour code: QBXC
  • Group Adventure

7 Days fr £ 769* pp

Itinerary details

  • Havana
    1 Havana

    Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba. To mak Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba. To make your arrival a little bit easier, you’ll have a complimentary transfer from the airport to your accommodation (guesthouse) in Havana. Then, your adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, you might like to join the locals for a stroll past the fading facades along the oceanside Malecon or hire an open top vintage American car and cruise the streets and boulevards of Havana. After the meeting, why not get to know your riding companions over an optional group dinner in one of the city’s many restaurants.

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Complimentary Arrival Transfer

    Optional Activities
    Havana - Cigar Factory Tour (entrance fee and guide) - USD10Havana Bike Hire - Ruta Bikes - USD20Havana - Morro Castle (entrance fee, no guide, no transport)10 am-9 pm - CUP200Havana - American Vintage Car Tour (No guide and transport included) - USD30

    Read More

  • Soroa
    2 Soroa

    Take a short drive to Vedado this m Take a short drive to Vedado this morning to meet your support crew and be fitted to your bike. Take your new wheels for a spin on a leisurely ride from Outer Havana back to Old Havana, passing John Lennon Park, the Grand Theatre and the Capitol building along the way. Enjoy lunch in a nearby cafe before stretching your legs on a guided walking tour of Old Havana, taking in the four most historic plazas. Finish your walk with a 360-degree panoramic view of Old Havana through the eyes of The Camera Obscurer – the only one of its kind in Latin American and the Caribbean, before heading to Soroa in the support vehicle. Known as the 'rainbow of Cuba', Soroa is a landscape of unique flora and fauna. Have dinner over sunset, then maybe head to a local guesthouse for cocktails and maybe a game of dominos. Be warned, the locals (and your support team) are fiercely competitive and have spent countless hours honing their domino skills!

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Cycling Outer HavanaHavana - Leader-led walking tour of Old Havana

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  • Soroa/Las Terrazas
    3 Soroa/Las Terrazas

    This morning, you’ll take a guided This morning, you’ll take a guided tour of the Soroa Orchid Garden. Set among seven acres, this oasis of flora features 250 plant varieties native to Cuba as well as numerous species of birds. After, you’ll hop on your bike and cycle west (on well-paved roads), sharing the streets with local traffic – tractors, vintage American cars, old Ladas and horse-drawn carriages. When you arrive at a hillside lake, you’ll take a break before heading for the San Juan River for lunch and a refreshing swim. After, drive to the small but renowned lakeside eco-village of Comunidad Las Terrazas – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to a lively art community. Grab a coffee near the main square then visit the former home of the celebrated Cuban musician Polo Montanez. Return to Soroa and spend the evening relaxing, playing pool or taking the opportunity to improve on your domino skills.

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Las Terrazas - Eco-village VisitSoroa - Orchid Garden (entrance fee and guide included)Las Terrazas - Casa de Polo entry

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  • Viñales
    4 Viñales

    Drive to the hilly Cueva de los Por Drive to the hilly Cueva de los Portales, where the legendary Che Guevara stayed and trained the Western Army of the Cuban Revolution. From here, cycle on to the UNESCO-listed town of Vinales. Set among low-lying mountains, this beautifully remote area is reminiscent of the limestone karst scenery of Vietnam and is the perfect place to ride with very little traffic on the roads. Push your pedals a short distance uphill and be rewarded with spectacular views before continuing on to meet the delightful Mama Luisa – a seasoned farmer who will treat you to a delicious local meal. After, ride to a tobacco farm where you’ll meet another farmer who’ll show you how tobacco is dried and then rolled into cigars – here you have the chance to purchase this Cuban speciality directly from the maker. Jump back into the support vehicle and return to Vinales in time for a farm-to-plate experience at a hillside restaurant. The food here is 100% organic and grown locally, and although drinks aren’t included, you only pay for the mixers as the rum is free!

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Vinales - Tobacco farm visit

    Optional Activities
    Vinales - Salsa Dance Lesson (per hour) - USD10

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  • Vinales / Cayo Jutias
    5 Vinales / Cayo Jutias

    After breakfast, drive to the Diego After breakfast, drive to the Diego Rivera-inspired Mural de la Prehistoria. Painted on a cliff at the foot of the Sierra de Vinales, the huge eye-catching mural took 18 people four years to finish. From here, leave the towering limestone karsts behind as you cycle to Cayo Jutias, traversing smaller roads through dry and flat farmland, with barely a vehicle to be seen, until you reach white beaches and pale blue water. After your ride, stretch out on the shoreline and sit down for a packed lunch with fresh juice. Then, enjoy some free time to relax – swim in the warm waters or walk to the neighbouring beach where the locals often park their old cars on the sand. After some time to soak up the atmosphere, take the support vehicle back to Vinales. The rest of the evening is free – why not try one of the many live music venues or salsa the night away ata dance class.

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Vinales - Beach excursion to Cayo Jutias

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  • Havana
    6 Havana

    After breakfast, drive to the nearb After breakfast, drive to the nearby lookout point for a view of the Vinales Valley before descending to the flat plains where you’ll begin your final ride – cycling through rural landscapes, you’ll pass many small towns and communities on some of the smoothest tarmac in Cuba. Finish on top of a small hill, where you’ll celebrate with one last meal before re-boarding your transport for the drive back to Havana. When you arrive, bid farewell to your bikes and your support team before checking into your guesthouse. Make the most of a free afternoon to reacquaint yourself with Cuba's charming capital and maybe visit the Jose Marti Memorial Tower or organise a final group meal in one of the many paladars in Old Havana.

    Accommodation :
    Guesthouse ( Night)

    Optional Activities
    Havana - Jose Marti Memorial tower entrance fee - CUP200

    Read More

  • Havana
    7 Havana

    There are no activities planned aft There are no activities planned after breakfast today and your adventure comes to an end. You're free to leave at any time after check out. If you'd like to extend your stay, just get in touch with your booking agent ahead of time to organise additional accommodation. If you have not already organised a transfer to the airport, your guesthouse can usually arrange one for you – please discuss this with them the day before you need to depart.

    Read More

   

Dates & Prices

Cycle Cuba: West

Is this trip right for you.

  • The guesthouses (casas) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling and each room is unique. Regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water supply are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country – but we believe that this is all a part of the local experience. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Accommodation’ section of the Essential Trip Information.
  • To complete this trip, it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
  • This is a cycling trip, so it requires a moderate level of fitness. This being said, there’s always a comfortable, air-conditioned support vehicle following close by.
  • Import restrictions make the purchase of new bicycles a difficult challenge. Our bikes come from a variety of different manufacturers but are all mechanically sound.
  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a backmarker where needed).
  • The Caribbean climate can be very hot and humid. It's important to wear the appropriate clothing, drink plenty of water and apply sun protection regularly. Lycra cycling shorts are ideal for warmer temperatures.
  • Cuba's roads aren't always paved, but when they are, they can range from smooth to downright terrible. However, it’s a fun experience to share the road with tractors, vintage American cars and horse-drawn carriages.
  • Cuba is different and that’s what makes it such a fascinating destination. You will find that things don’t always go according to plan or work the way they do back home. Regulations concerning foreigners and currency may appear strange to you, transport sometimes runs late and sometimes the water in your bathroom can run cold and the electricity fail. In order to get the most out of your holiday, a degree of patience, good humour and understanding is a definite advantage. Cuba may not be wealthy in a monetary sense, however if you approach your holiday with an open and enquiring mind, the warm welcome you receive from Cubans will ensure you a rich and rewarding holiday experience.

Accommodation

  • Standard Guesthouse (6 nights)

Joining point description

Cuban guesthouses (known locally as casas) are similar in style to B&Bs, where families do not necessarily live in the residence. While some guesthouse managers and owners speak English, interaction mostly consists of gestures, smiles and ‘Spanglish’. Just like the residences in your own neighbourhood, each casa is unique; expect there to be differences between the rooms you and your travelling companions stay in. Generally, there will be 1-4 group members in each guesthouse. Each room has a private bathroom with towels, and some basic toiletries may be provided. Occasionally two rooms will share one bathroom. Power cuts do occur on occasion, meaning that hot water can’t always be guaranteed regardless of the guesthouse standard.

Joining point instructions

    A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

    For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside your arrival terminal by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator: +53 5333 8121 or +53 5438 9140. Our transport provider, ECOTUR, also have an office in Terminal 3 and you can approach them directly for assistance.

    LOCAL ASSISTANCE

    We have a desk located in the listed address below; providing a 24-hour service with English speaking employees if any assistance is required.

    La Gargola Guesthouse

    1st floor

    #82 Cuba Street

    Old Havana (between Cuarteles & Chacon Streets)

Finish point instructions

  • Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip.
  • If you have a confirmed departure transfer you will be collected from your guesthouse 3.5 hours before your flight departure time. Your leader will confirm this with you the day before your departure. If your driver has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +53 5438 9140.
  • A taxi from your hotel to the airport will take approximately 25mins, depending on the traffic, and cost approximately EUR30. Please ask your leader or guesthouse staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

Safety

  • We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.
  • Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
  • In this destination the traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road. Drivers are generally respectful and careful of cyclists but it is important to be aware at all times.
  • THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
  • LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.
  • FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
  • SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

Medical and health information

    GENERAL HEALTH

  • All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements.
  • When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local representative a traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
  • You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements. 
  • MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES

  • Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your group leader or local representative know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites.
  • ZIKA VIRUS

  • There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.
  • CYCLING HEALTH

  • Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. The most common of which is dehydration. While this arises most frequently on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows that most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty, but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity.

Food and dietary requirements

  • To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will also be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip.
  • DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

  • More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend bringing your own supply of snacks with you.
  • Vegetarians should be aware that while you can get vegetarian meals in Cuba, you generally won't find much variety and you may get tired of being offered the same every day (i.e. - rice, beans, omelette and salad). Vegetarians are often surprised that their meals are no cheaper than those containing meat, and this is because vegetables on the free market in Cuba are of similar prices to those of meat.
  • Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
  • FOOD IN CUBA

  • Food in Cuba has a reputation for being bland and lacking variety, however it has improved dramatically over the last two years. There are very limited snacks available in Cuba; convenience stores exist but are certainly not as prevalent nor sell the quantity or variety of snacks or junk food you may be used to at home. You may wish to bring your favourite chocolates, candy or healthy snacks like muesli bars.
  • Beans and rice are the staples, with cucumber, tomato and cabbage being the conventional ingredients for a Cuban salad. Chicken and pork are the most common meats served in Cuba, however fish and a variety of seafood is also frequently on offer. Please be aware that it is a cultural trait to serve meals larger than you are expected to finish, but be assured nothing will go to waste.
  • It can be hard to find a suitable place to eat while travelling in Cuba, as roadside restaurants tend to cater for large tour groups and either offer a fixed meal or a very limited selection of snacks. In the cities and towns small privately-owned restaurants, paladares, offer a little more choice but can often only seat a maximum of twelve people (the number for which they are officially licensed).
  • SNACK KITTY

  • During the group meeting, your trip leader will ask you if you would like to contribute to the snack kitty. This is usually EUR20 per person. The snack kitty is spent on water, fruits, and local-made snacks. It is not a compulsory kitty, although as these can sometimes be hard to come by in Cuba in remote areas, the kitty is designed to make the purchasing of snacks easier and more convenient for you. The left over funds will be returned at trip end. You can find out more information from your leader upon arrival.

Important Notes

  • What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.
  • Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).
  • If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.
  • You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.
  • Below we have listed the essentials for this trip
  • BOTTLE

  • Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you.
  • LAUNDRY

  • A laundry service is offered at some guesthouses in Cuba. You might need to wait for a two-night stop to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry is usually charged by the item, laundromats which are also an option, usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (approximately EUR5 per kilo).
  • GIFTS

  • Given the difficulty of securing basic goods in Cuba, surplus items that you have at home such as soap, shampoo, perfumes, sewing kits, toothbrushes and pens or pencils are warmly accepted. We do encourage you to discuss gift giving with your leader so that items can be distributed to organisations in need. If you decide to hand out gifts without the leader’s guidance, we suggest you distribute as a sign of appreciation after a genuine interaction, whether that be a conversation or offered help, rather than a means to create engagement. Please always refrain from handing items directly to children. It is not necessary to bring gifts for the guesthouse owners in Cuba; these are not a homestay experience and as they are a business they are most-likely run by some of the more well-off families who will be happy enough with just your good-natured presence.

Passport and visas

PASSPORT

You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date.

We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS – ALL PASSPORT HOLDERS

48 hours before departing for Cuba, you will need to fill out the customs, immigration, and health declaration form on the D'Viajeros website. This generates a QR code that you will need for the airport check in process.

To enter the country, visitors are required to have evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay, proof of travel medical insurance, as well as an onward travel ticket.

CUBA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-US PASSPORT HOLDERS

Passport holders from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are required to obtain a Tourist Card (Tarjeta de Turista) which is valid for 30 days from date of entry.

You may be required to buy the card at your departure airport (eg YTO, MEX, CUN, SJO, LIM, PTY) at the check in counter or at the flight departure gate. Alternatively, you may need to buy the tourist card from your travel agency, but policies vary (eg Canadian airlines give out tourist cards during the flight), so you'll need to check ahead with your airline. In some cases, you can arrange a visa prior to departing your home country but this is usually more expensive and time consuming.

If you are British or reside in Great Britain with a passport from the EU, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you can apply for a Tourist Card here - This type of Tourist Card is not valid for travel to Cuba from the USA, Puerto Rico or US Virgin Islands. You may use this local address to apply for your Tourist Card: Casa La Gargola, 1st floor #82 Cuba street, Old Havana.

GETTING TO CUBA FOR NON-US PASSPORT HOLDERS

We recommend travelling to Cuba via Canada, Europe, South or Central America.

If travelling via the US, you will require a US Tourist Visa after visiting Cuba – not an ESTA. Please refer to for more information. Travel to Cuba may also impact your eligibility for an ESTA in the future.

Remember to check the entry requirements of all countries you will visit or transit through.

CUBA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR US PASSPORT HOLDERS

Intrepid US, Inc. ("Intrepid US") provides legal tours to Cuba for US passport holders under the “Support for the Cuban People” category (§ 515.574); to be declared when selecting from the 11 permitted categories of travel.

United States law specifies that to comply with this category, travelers must engage in the full-time schedule of activities provided by our program. The responsibility of tracking and recording activities and interactions with Cuban people lies with the traveler. The US government is allowed to ask you for receipts and records from your trip to Cuba for up to five years.

You require a signed and countersigned travel affidavit for this trip. This form will be provided to you when your place on the trip is confirmed. Once you sign and return the affidavit to your booking agent, they will countersign it and return it to you. You will be required to show this affidavit when you re-enter the US.

The Cuban Tourist Card must be purchased from the airport before boarding your flight to Cuba (pink in color USD50). This should be obtained by presenting your boarding pass at the check-in counter, or for some airports, at the gate. At check-in you might be asked to present your trip vouchers and Essential Trip Information (ETI) Document when procuring the Cuban Tourist Card, so be sure to bring printed copies of these with you. Your chosen airline should have more information about the departing airport’s process on flying directly from the US to Cuba.

Our licensing agreement allows one night of pre-tour accommodation to be booked only when airline scheduling impedes your ability to arrive in time for the welcome meeting on Day 1 (subject to availability). Post-tour accommodation cannot be offered under our license.

If you are a US citizen, US permanent resident, or hold any type of US visa, and are travelling to Cuba, please refer to the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website - – and the U.S. Department of the Treasury - - for the latest advice.

PROHIBITED ITEMS WHEN TRAVELLING FROM CUBA TO THE US

Travellers cannot bring alcohol or tobacco products from Cuba into the US for personal use. More information can be found here:

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise.

For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance (which covers at least medical expenses) is compulsory for all travellers to Cuba. Proof of travel insurance may be requested at Havana airport by immigration officials. Travellers failing to produce a valid document will be required to purchase a new policy at the airport, before being granted access to Cuba. Cuban authorities also announced that they will not recognise any insurance policy issued or underwritten by any insurance company which has an affiliation with a US company. You should take this into account when purchasing your insurance before departure from your home country.

Responsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip group leaders or local representatives, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip group leaders or local representatives, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

Climate and seasonal

Please note that Hurricane season is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Why our customers love us

Why our customers love us?

Offering dependable travel solutions from the UK to the world over since 1984, we've gained the trust of a loyal customer base. Our customers know they can rely on us to offer the best prices and to provide impartial, expert advice on finding travel solutions to match their interests, time and budget.

 

Why book with Southall Travel?

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What our customers say...

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