Primarily on paved roads with occasional unpaved sections and areas of maintenance or disrepair. Easily navigated by any experienced touring enthusiast. Very moderate pace.
There is no better way to engage the people of Cuba than by traveling on two wheels. A ride through the Cuban countryside, stopping in rural villages, tobacco farms, music and art schools, etc., will prove a truly enriching and rewarding experience as we engage in our comprehensive schedule of People-to-People (P2P) exchanges designed to inform, educate and promote meaningful interaction with Cubans from all walks of life.
Havana, our point of arrival and departure is Cuba’s sensual time-warp capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site— Leaving the capital city we head to the far west and the province of Pinar del Río, renowned for its dramatic scenery and as the center for tobacco production in Cuba.
For example, we’ll ride out to a legendary tobacco farm considered to produce the finest leaves in the country; and to Parque Nacional Viñales, renowned for its dramatic limestone mountains and mesas called mogotes. Creaky ox-carts hauling sugarcane, cowboys on horseback, and a never-ending parade of classic Yankee automobiles from the 1950s add to the surreal sense of time arrested. We’ll engage with owners of these vintage cacharros to learn how they’ve managed to keep their antique relics on the road throughout decades of embargo and shortage.
No matter your motorcycle brand preference, Cuba’s Harlistas (owners of pre-revolutionary Harleys) are legendary and enjoy a near celebrity status even in their home country. We’ll arrange encounters with members of this affable clan and learn, one on one, how they, too, have managed to keep these machines alive through economic deprivations and a lack of spare parts.
Everywhere we ride we’re surrounded by music and dance—the pulsing undercurrent of life in Cuba. We’ll begin to understand why as we witness a lesson for gifted young musicians being tutored in violin at the Escuela de Arte in San Antonio de los Baños. Plus we’ll enjoy a thorough immersion in popular culture, from son and salsa to santería—the island’s syncretic religion fusing African and Catholic faiths.
And as to the rum and cigars! If you have a friend who lights up he (or she) will certainly beg you to bring a few home. At this point, you are allowed to bring home $100 total of rum and cigars. Tobacco has a long and fascinating history and to witness the maestros hand rolling the beautiful cured leaves is an essential activity while in Cuba. Certainly you cannot leave Cuba before enjoying a puff on a puro, washing it down with fine añejo rum.