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Holidays

Walking Cuba's Wild West

Cuba
1 review
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

A one week walking holiday on the Caribbean Island of Cuba

Trip Code: WCT
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Walking Cuba's Wild West

Highlights
  • Explore the trails and mogotes of the stunning Vinales Valley
  • Tour the vibrant, atmospheric avenues of colonial Havana by vintage US automobile
  • Discover the ancient healing waters of Los Acuáticos
  • Channel your Latino spirit during a salsa lesson with the locals

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 16
  • One week walking tour of Western Cuba's highlights
  • Join In Havana

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 6 Lunches
  • 3 Dinners
  • 7 nights Casa Particular
Overview

Take a step back in time, on this wonderfully inspiring walking trip in Western Cuba. Relatively unchanged in the last 50 years, the Caribbean’s largest and most charismatic island still offers the chance to experience a way of life, seemingly frozen in time since the arrival of Castro and communism in 1959. Economic and political isolation has impacted the island in many ways; first-time visitors will be enchanted by the old, classic American cars that rattle along the busy streets of Havana, and by the traditional small-scale farming methods that are still the norm outside of the capital.

Staying mainly in private homestays (known as Casas Particulares) on this trip immerses us into Cuban traditional culture, as we interact with the families hosting us and enjoy delicious, home-cooked meals.

This trip takes you, on foot, to explore the highlights of Western Cuba. From the lush tobacco fields of Vinales, with its immense limestone mogotes, to the ancient healing waters of Los Acuaticos and the surrounding rural countryside learning about the lives of local residents.

On our return to the vibrant, eclectic street of Havana, we’ll explore the city in style, courtesy of a 1950’s vintage American car tour.  We can acquaint ourselves with the famous national drink known as Cuba Libre and dance the night away to the evocative salsa beat the island is famous for.

During this one week tour we cover just over 60km, walking on marked trails.  Most of our days will be around 10-15km with just the one longer day that takes us to the top of Los Acuaticos, a 19km round trip.  This day will also involve the steepest inclines and declines, but, with a steady pace should be achievable by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. If you enjoy walking in a tropical, but not too humid, environment, soaking up the local culture, learning about a different way of life and exploring a new region on foot – then this trip is most definitely for you.

Why KE?

An exclusive itinerary for KE, this holiday takes you off the beaten track to the best of the highlands in Western Cuba. Encompassing a mixture of valley, mountain and botanist-led walks alongside some true cultural gems, this incredible value holiday will give you a true taste of the beating heart and soul of rural Cuba.

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in Havana. A single group transfer will be provided from Havana's Jose Marti Airport to our 'casa particular' accommodation in Havana. Casas particulares are simple guesthouses set up in private homes and have become the accommodation of choice for those wanting an insightful and authentic stay in Havana and elsewhere in Cuba. If you arrive early enough, there are many excellent restaurants in Havana offering a wide variety of cuisines and styles whlst maybe partaking of your first Cuba Libre in the land from which they came.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

After breakfast our tour leader will meet us at our casas in Havana. We will drive to Las Terrazas, a small community and biosphere reserve to the west of the city, which is part of the 'Sierra del Rosario'. The area was established as a bio reserve in 1984 and protects an area of around 270 square km of tropical forests, containing over 800 species of plants. Here we will walk on the Santa Serafina Trail, stopping for a picnic lunch en route before, for those who would like a cool down, taking a refreshing dip in the San Juan River.
Suitably refreshed, we return to our bus to continue on the beautifully scenic route to the Vinales Valley. A UNESCO world heritage site, Vinales is home to some of the most spectacular scenery on the island. This evening we will have our dinner at a local organic farm, complete with wonderful views over this stunning valley - don't forget to bring your cameras for those sunset (and sundowners) photo opportunities.

For the next four nights we will stay in private homestays (Casa Particular) in Vinales town.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L D

Distance

6 KM

Today we start to get a feel for the surrounding rural countryside of Vinales Valley, whilst learning about the lives of the local residents as well as Cuba's most famous export - tobacco.
The region of Pinar del Rio is known to have the most fertile land in Cuba and, as such, not only produces the locals' supplies of root vegetables but has made it the tobacco growing capital of the island. Along our walking route we will visit a local vegetable co-operative and learn about how tobacco is grown, harvested and, ultimately, made into exquisite cigars. For anyone interested, you can bring up to 50 cigars out of the country without any special permission! We finish the trek in a local café close to Dos Hermanas 'mogotes' and have a short transfer to our accommodation close by.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L

Distance

14 KM

A short walk from our casa brings us to the trailhead for today’s walk amid the horse trails and lagoons that characterize Viñales farms. Getting to know how farmers live and work, try a coffee or cocktail, then learn more about the rural life.

Today we will have lunch in a restaurant located on the edge of the town, known as Finca Paraiso, a selfsufficient eco-friendly farm. After lunch we walk down the hill towards Viñales Village and explore this lovely rural town.

This evening we have dinner in town at a local paladar.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L D

Distance

11 KM

After breakfast we’ll drive a short distance down the road to Caverna Santo Tomas in order to arrive to the small rural community of Moncada where our trek will begin. We’ll pay a quick visit the local school that caters for the children from the village, learning about the rural education system in Cuba and having a chance to donate stationery etc. to the teachers. Passing through farmland we’ll be rewarded with some stunning vistas before entering a covered forest and following a wide track to the base of the mountain. At a certain point we turn off the track and begin walking up as the trek takes on a very different feel.

The next km are a steep climb up the only trail to the top of Los Acuaticos, with this section being suitable for those who are confident walking on narrow ledges and up steep terrain.
We’ll enjoy amazing views once we reach Los Acuaticos, the perfect place to rest and have our picnic lunch. At Los Acuaticos we will learn about how these locals heal themselves with a very unusual technique. Then we continue onwards the Prehistorical Mural, where we will see the work of Diego Rivera's pupil. A huge painting on a cliff representing the evolution in the area, but the must here is the unique Pina Colada. Return home by foot for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L D

Distance

19 KM

Our final trek in Vinales takes us away from the village and into the wilderness.
An early start and short transfer to Rancho San Vicente where we pick up our packed lunch and start walking. The focus today is on walking around the Costanera Mogote. Starting in Rancho San Vicente we walk towards Ancon community and then climb up and over the mogote through a natural called Cueva Ruiseñor (Nightingale’s Cave). After a tough climb we descend the other side of the mogote and walk along the northern side until we reach La Costanera community where we stop for picnic lunch, board the bus and transfer back to Havana (approx. 3 hours) and check in to our casas in the Old Town.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L

Distance

14 KM

After breakfast in our casas particulares, we will embark upon an orientation tour of Havana in style. Our tour will take place in vintage (1950's) American cars and will take us to the iconic Plaza de la Revolucion and the mysterious old trees of Bosque de Almendares in 'new' Havana. Our cars will drop us in Old Havana where we will enjoy exploring further on foot through the main plazas and surrounding streets. Lunch will be at a local paladar in the Old Town and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to soak up the atmosphere or do some souvenir shopping. In the early evening it will be time to put on your dancing shoes to celebrate the end of a great trip, as we'll be meeting up with some local Cuban dancers for a 1 on 1 salsa class. A few cuba libres or mojitos later and a memorable finish to a memorable trip.

Accommodation

Casa Particular

Meals

B L

After enjoying your final breakfast in Havana the trip ends. There will probably be some free time in Havana before a single timed transfer to the airport.

Why not extend your time in Cuba with our fabulous extension on the stunning beaches on Cayo Levisa?!

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Direction Direction
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Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualifed tour leader
  • Single timed airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • All accommodation as described
  • All activities/excursions/entrance fees mentioned unless specified as ‘optional’

  • Travel insurance
  • Cuban Tourist Card
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional
  • Tips


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the holiday price. You will need to pay directly for 4 dinners, on these evenings your Tour Leader will advise on (and accompany the group to) a nearby restaurant where you can choose and purchase your dinner directly.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

On evenings where dinner is not included, the guide will recommend a local restaurant for the group’s evening meal and you will have the chance to sample traditional Cuban dishes which tend to be quite simple; meat or fish (on the coast) and the root vegetables such as yuka, boniata and platano. There are both Spanish and African influences on Cuban cuisine. Citrus fruits, rice and some vegetables were introduced to the island by the Spanish colonists, whilst people of African origin (who came to Cuba as slaves) are responsible for the use of okra, maize and cassava. Classic Cuban dishes include shredded beef served with cassava and chicken marinated in orange, lime, garlic and paprika served with black beans and rice. Outside of the larger towns, the emphasis will be on tasty, fresh local produce.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

family-run establishments that offer accommodation somewhere between a homestay and a hostal; they are a relatively new phenomenon in Cuba. They vary in size and it is not unusual for us to be accommodated in several different properties of the same standard and in the same area, with one acting as the 'HQ' for the group.

We use only the best of this category of accommodation and find that they offer an authentic Cuban experience and an insight into the way of life of the people.

We also spend 2 nights in the Mil Cumbres mountain lodge. This is charming, yet basic, accommodation and wonderfully located, with a cool hill top breeze and great views. The rooming is a flexible combination of shared rooms and bathrooms.

Accommodation at the casa particulares is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Single rooms are not available at the Mil Cumbres mountain lodge. If you are planning to extend your holiday, additional nights are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

All breakfasts are included in the trip  price, and also all lunches apart from the last day in Havana. 3 Dinners throughout the itinerary are also included. You will need to have enough cash to pay for 4 dinners independently (Havana x 3, Vinales x 1). If dining in restaurants then it is recommended to budget around 25 Euros per meal plus drinks. There are plenty of cheaper options available in these locations depending on what and where you would like to eat. 150 Euros should cover meal expenses. Overall spending money, for additional beverages and souviniers, of 200 - 250 Euros should be sufficient.

Please also note that you cannot take CUP out of the country and will need to either spend any that you buy or exchange it into another currency before passing through immigration when you leave Cuba.

If you are happy with the services of your tour guide and driver throughout the trip then we recommend a tip at the end of the week of around 35 Euros to be divided between them. Obviously this is at your discretion and you can decide to leave less or more as you feel appropriate.
Kitty: Our tour guides usually collect a kitty of around 10 Euros per person at the start of the trip to cover the small cash tips that we leave at a wide variety of places along the itinerary e.g. toilet stops, lobby staff, coffee stops, house visits etc.
Local Guides: For each walk we’ll also be accompanied by a local guide with specialist expertise on the specific trail that we are walking. We already pay them for their work however a tip of 1-2 Euros per person for a job well done would be greatly appreciated.

We recommend that you travel with one main item of luggage, such as a holdall or wheelie-bag, as well as a small day pack or specific hydration pack which can be used to carry day to day items such as cameras, sun cream, water etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.


There are 2 formalities that you will need to take care of ahead of your visit to Cuba.

1). All nationalities require a tourist visa (known as a Tourist Card) to enter Cuba.

If you are British and living in the UK, or a citizen of one of the EU countries living in the UK, you can apply for your Tourist Card through the Cuban Consulate in London. Or you can buy your Tourist Card from our Cuban ground agent who has an office in London (contact the KE office for details) and a contract with the Cuban Consulate to sell Tourist Cards. The cost is currently £15 + £5 postage (half the cost of going through the Cuban Consulate).

The Tourist Card is valid for a 30-day stay in Cuba and we suggest that you make your application 4 or 5 weeks before your holiday.

If you are neither British living in the UK, nor an EU citizen living in the UK, we recommend that contact your nearest Cuban Consulate to check the entry requirements.

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2). All travellers also need to fill in online a Tourist Entry or ‘Advance Travel Information’ form just before their departure. You can access the DViajeros Form Here. Make sure to keep a photo of the QR code generated so that you can easily present it on arrival in Havana. PLEASE NOTE YOU CAN ONLY FILL IN D’VIAJEROS FORM 48 HOURS PRIOR TO ENTRY INTO CUBA.

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Passing through immigration at Havana Airport can be a slow process and you are likely to be asked to show that you have travel insurance with medical cover.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Cuba is the Cuban National Peso (CUP).

 

Please also note that you cannot exchange CUP out of the country and will need to either spend any that you buy or exchange it into another currency before passing through immigration when you leave Cuba.

 

Euros are generally the best currency to exchange and small denomination notes may be accepted throughout the country. US Dollars (USD) may incur additional taxes when exchanged.

Cubas' main dry season runs from November to April, with warm average daily temperatures of around 20-26C, but it can get chillier in the evenings, especially in December and January, where it can drop down into single figures at night time.  Humidity increases from May to October when the mornings and evenings are usually clear but the afternoons can contain short, but heavy, rain bursts.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

The following checklist should help you with your packing.  As a general rule you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Hiking Boots
  • Sandals or other comfortable shoes
  • Trekking trousers
  • Shorts/Skirt
  • Light fleece for the evenings/early morning
  • Shirts/t-shirts
  • Lightweight Waterproofs
  • Sun hat
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Refillable water bottle (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
  • Water purification tablets
  • Camera
  • Sun Cream
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Facemask
  • Insect repellent
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags) (optional)

*Please note many basic medication and toiletries are not avialable to readily buy in Cuba, so need to be brought from home. Including Paracetemol, Ibruprofen, anti-histamines, antiseptic cream, sun cream, soap/shampoo, sanitary products, razors, deodorant.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Cuba - Jibacoa Beach Extension

4 Days

This sun-kissed extension will take you from Havana to a laid-back beach bungalow style hotel at one of Cuba's finest beach locations - Playa Jibacoa. Just an hour or so to the east of Havana, on the north coast of the province of Mayabeque and tucked beneath a barrier of white cliffs, Playa Jibacoa’s beautiful white-sand beaches are protected by endemic foliage such as sea grapes. This is a wonderful spot to relax, swim and snorkel and the perfect place to take a break, chill out, stroll along the white-sand beach and sip a cool mojito in the shade of a palm tree.

 

Extension Code: JBBE
Sharing Price from
US$630
Single Traveller Price from
US$900
Single Room Supplement from
US$120
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

You will be picked up at your Havana hotel in the early afternoon and taken by private vehicle (1.5 hours) to Jibacoa Beach. Reaching your hotel in the afternoon, you should have time to relax at this beach paradise where a variety of beach activities and watersports are available. Please note that lunch on this first day is not included in the extension cost.

Meals

D

Today is at leisure for you to enjoy the wonderful beach.

Meals

B L D

Today is at leisure for you to enjoy the wonderful beach.

Meals

B L D

Today you will return to Havana and your transfer can be timed to work with your homeward flight. At an appropriate time a taxi will be waiting to transfer you back to Havana, with the journey taking around 1.5 hours. You will be dropped off at agreed destination in the city.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Private transfer from Havana to Jibacoa Beach and return
  • 3 nights at the Starfish Jibacoa Hotel
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • 24-hour travel support from our local agent
What's Not Included
  • Drinks at the Starfish Jibacoa Hotel
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses
  • Tips for drivers and hotel staff

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 1 review

Sweat! ★★★★★

This is a varied week with the tourist highlight of a Cruise in a '57 Chevvy around the streets of Havana at one extreme and a basic lodge in the hills Mil Cumbres at the other extreme. All the B&Bs are good (casa particulars). They all follow strict government guidelines so you have EXACTLY the same breakfast every day at every location. The hosts are friendly and the whole island seems to want to help. Our guide Jamie and driver Effrahim were up to the usual high KE standard with everythin g going like clockwork (even when it probably wasn't!). Staying in the countryside around MC and Vinales you get to see the real Cuba, its horses and ox carts, beaten up cars, terrible roads but plenty of bars to sample mojitos (you will learn to love these!). The highlight for me was the ascent of Pan de Guajaibon, its less than 1000m but its really steep and doing it in 90F plus 100% humidity will tax the capacity of your camelbak. I drank 3 litres that day. I didn't take poles but I used a broken branch instead. Things to consider in Cuba: Mobile phones dont work. WIFI access is patchy and you need a Nauta card to access the internet. Some casas have cards, dont bother queueing at the booths in towns. You will see queues a lot as basic goods are rationed. The queue outside a shop/bank will be to join the queue inside the shop/bank. Money: ATMs are few and far between. Cards are not accepted in shops/restaurants anywhere. Take cash. I was able to get extra cash from ATMs with my debit card. Tell your bank you are in Cuba - they wont be able to reach you by phone to check! Don't expect to be able to top up things you have forgotten. We could not find any DEET/insecticide or tampons anywhere. Cuba doesn't do spicy food. The closest we got was a bottle of Tabasco in Mil Cumbres. Stuff happens on treks and ours was no exception. One walk in the countryside was interrupted by a flooded road (100m of deep water over mud). A local gaucho showed up and gave us a ride on his horse to the other side. Just 1 CUC each. Thats why we keep coming back for more.
By Paul Keswick | 27 February 2019

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 1 review

Sweat!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a varied week with the tourist highlight of a Cruise in a '57 Chevvy around the streets of Havana at one extreme and a basic lodge in the hills Mil Cumbres at the other extreme. All the B&Bs are good (casa particulars). They all follow strict government guidelines so you have EXACTLY the same breakfast every day at every location. The hosts are friendly and the whole island seems to want to help. Our guide Jamie and driver Effrahim were up to the usual high KE standard with everythin g going like clockwork (even when it probably wasn't!). Staying in the countryside around MC and Vinales you get to see the real Cuba, its horses and ox carts, beaten up cars, terrible roads but plenty of bars to sample mojitos (you will learn to love these!). The highlight for me was the ascent of Pan de Guajaibon, its less than 1000m but its really steep and doing it in 90F plus 100% humidity will tax the capacity of your camelbak. I drank 3 litres that day. I didn't take poles but I used a broken branch instead. Things to consider in Cuba: Mobile phones dont work. WIFI access is patchy and you need a Nauta card to access the internet. Some casas have cards, dont bother queueing at the booths in towns. You will see queues a lot as basic goods are rationed. The queue outside a shop/bank will be to join the queue inside the shop/bank. Money: ATMs are few and far between. Cards are not accepted in shops/restaurants anywhere. Take cash. I was able to get extra cash from ATMs with my debit card. Tell your bank you are in Cuba - they wont be able to reach you by phone to check! Don't expect to be able to top up things you have forgotten. We could not find any DEET/insecticide or tampons anywhere. Cuba doesn't do spicy food. The closest we got was a bottle of Tabasco in Mil Cumbres. Stuff happens on treks and ours was no exception. One walk in the countryside was interrupted by a flooded road (100m of deep water over mud). A local gaucho showed up and gave us a ride on his horse to the other side. Just 1 CUC each. Thats why we keep coming back for more.
By Paul Keswick | 27 February 2019

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