Discover Cuba: Biking tours around Viñales

 
Fri 23 Jun 2017 - 0
 

Biking tours around vinales

Let’s take a ride to remember! Biking tours around Viñales are one of the best options to know this town and with bandbcuba.com you’ll discover why. Some travelers just don’t want to go around in a conventional way, and cycling promises a great adventure. Leave your luggage at the best and breakfast in Cuba and take this tour with us.

Biking tours around Viñales

Cuba is that kind of country that provides an adventure everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter how you decided to go around it cities and villages, there’d be always something new and exciting. Everybody talks about that feeling of a country stop in time which accompanies visitors always, even on the almost empty roads.

And that’s one the reasons why bicycling tourism has became popular in the island. Bikes are one of the favorite transportation for Cuban people. They even have bicitaxis for tourists who want to go around the city in a different way.

Bike lovers will have the opportunity of biking around Viñales, and Cuba in general, during their trip. There are several companies that offer this type of tour. The options include traveling from one city to another or visiting the most interesting places around the town.

If you are thinking to stay in a bed and breakfast in Viñales and want to experience the valley in a thrilling way, take a biking tour. Going around in a bike will make you feel free, you will be having contact with Cubans and traveling closer to nature. It’s also a great option for those who are thinking about an eco-friendly tour.

This is a way to get closer to the authenticity of Cuba, its people and its culture. While riding a bike, travelers can stop anytime to visit the tobacco plantations, get in touch with locals and the attractions.

What to expect of a bike riding in Cuba

Cubans are happy to show you their country. To plan your bike trip in Viñales, you have several options. First you can go by your own. There are places to rent a bike in Cuba where you can get one and go around the city you are staying at.

Renting bikes was not possible during a long time, but now it is, so you would like to take the chance to do this trip. There are people who prefer take their own bikes from home because they have them prepared for travel. That’s an option, but even the owners of casas particulars can rent a bike, so why pay for excess baggage.

Prepare the trip in advance, take a map and decide the route you are going to take before leaving home. This way when you arrived to Cuba, won’t miss any time trying to find out where to go.

Another alternative is to hire a tourist guide. They know the place very well, so will recommend where to go and take you there. We think this is the best option for those travelers who want a safer trip.

Of course, there are tourist guides in the most popular towns in Cuba. If your plan is going to Viñales Valley, contact Vinales Roots and ask for their service. This excursion agency also offers walking tour if you prefer so.

There are several biking routes in Viñales and places travelers don’t want to miss. Expect to find hills during the tour. Some of them are easy and some are demanding. The guide will give an estimated time to make the whole trip, but it depends on how many stops you choose to take and your fitness level.

Some popular places in Viñales Valley are Cueva del Indio, Palenque de los cimarrones, Cueva de Santo Tomás, Mural de la prehistoria, Cueva de Palmarito and the mogotes Valley.

Recommendations to prepare your biking trip in Cuba

Now that you know it’s possible to rent a bike in Cuba, we’d like to give you some advices to plan your trip. Be aware that not all rental and tourism companies have well-maintained bicycle, but it’s possible to find some good ones. Do a research at home to find bikes suitable for tourism.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your bike trip in Viñales:

  • Bikes can be rent in tourism companies or casas particulars. Ask the owner of the accommodation if they provide this service.
  • Rent the equipment before arriving in Cuba. There are companies that will require you to pay in advance or with a credit card, so you should plan this to ensure the tour.
  • Ask the company if you need to bring some of your own equipment. For example, some asks you to take tools, tire pomps or your own helmet.
  • If you prefer to take your saddle and pedals, ask them if they agree with that.
  • Be clear about the rental conditions and the costs that are included. Most likely, the price does not include expenses in case of repairs.
  • Always bring sun cream, a cap or a hat, and hydration. Also, you may want to start the tour early in the morning to avoid the strongest hours of sun and heat

The best time to go to Viñales is from January to March, also during summer, from June to August. Tourists like to go these months but if it’s raining, there are probably some biking tours you won’t be able to take. Once again, asking your tourist guide is the best way to make the plan.

One of the advantages of Viñales by bicycle is that you can discover new routes while driving through the valley.

Get your bike ready for the tour

Security first! When doing a biking tour, even if it’s just around the town, make sure everything is ok with the bike.

One of the advantages of cycling in Cuba is that you will find many places to repair it in case of a failure. But this is common in the city. In Viñales you will go out of town and it is preferable that everything is in order before leaving.

Take a few minutes before starting the tour and check the bike:

  • Check that the wheel pressure is correct.
  • Test brakes for stopping power.
  • Make sure the pedals work properly
  • Set the angle of the saddle and make sure is secure.
  • Check the handlebars are secure and that lights work well.
  • The chain needs to be clean and lubricated.

On the next infographic you’ll find a pre-ride checklist with more information:

pre-ride checklist

Infographic source

Popular routes in Viñales

Cycling in Cuba and Viñales, in particular, is an adventure. Travelers can be closer to the street scene and enjoy the tranquility of the rural environment of the valley. Take a look at some of the popular places you can go on a bike.

Tobacco plantations

Viñales is well known for its tobacco farms, also known as vegas. You can take a guided tour to see the plantations and learn how to roll a cigar as Cubans do it. Tourists can see the whole process, including plant cultivation, drying leaves and rollers doing their job. At the end you may be able to try a cigar.

Mural de la prehistoria

The Mural de la prehistoria is a painting by Gonzalo Morillo. It’s placed in the wall of one of the mogotes and represents the theory of evolution. It took five years to be completed.

Resbaloso river

Rio del Resvaloso

La resbalosa is a swimming hole little known for travelers, but locals know this place very well and is possible to take a bike tour there. To go there you’ll be riving close to the mountains and valleys.

Cueva de Santo Tomás

The way to Santo Tomás cavern is probably one of the most difficult tours because of the hills. But is also one of the best. All the way to the cavern offer an amazing view for travelers. And once you arrive you’ll be able to take a 2 hours tour inside the cave.

Santo Tomás cavern is the biggest cave in Cuba and a national monument since 1989.

Cueva de Palmarito

Another main attraction in Viñales are the caves. Cueva de Palmarito is one of them. It is a dark and damp place, but you’ll find a guide tour outside that will take you inside for a small payment. The best part is the natural pool inside the cave, a place to refresh and relax for a few minutes.

Cueva del indio

You can go to the cave on a bike, but once there, you’ll need to take a boat to go inside and navigate through a subterranean river. Locals have mysterious stories about this place.

Palenque de los cimarrones

In this place you will learn about the life of slaves and maroons during the colonization of Cuba. The palenques were places of difficult access to those who escaped the slaves when they fled their masters.

Have you take any of these biking tours around Viñales? Share your experience with us in comments. If you are planning a trip to the island contact us and we’ll help you.

 





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