Celia Sanchez was the heroine of the revolution. She was a girl from the Sierra Maestra and knew the area well and was acquainted with the mountain people because she assisted her father, in his medical practice, serving the poor people who lived up in those high mountains. Not only did the locals know Celia well, they loved her for her her kind work helping the people as she worked with her father, who had his practise in the small town of Pilon at the Western end of these famous mountains.
A great ride, through some of the most beautiful and historic areas of Cuba. That part of Cuba where revolutions are born. See Santiago and ride the coast road right where the Sierra Maestra falls to the sea. The breathtaking vistas will stay with you forever. Walk to La Plata, Fidel’s hideaway camp, high up in the mountains and see the landing spot of the Granma, you will be amazed that those young men made ashore to carry on and rid Cuba of Batista.
In the city of Las Tunas we will be hosted by a youth cycling team to whom we send bicycles and equipment that have been brought to Cuba from Canada the UK and the USA. Our involvement with this club has produced a good number of both regional and national champions. These achievements would never be possible without your help. Tunas is an out of the way place and not regarded as a tourist destination and your support for this group keeps cycling in their high school gym program alive and well.
A visit to Eastern Cuba without a certain level of historical information is rather sad, you are passing so much while on this tour, Comprehension of the area is paramount and I strongly suggest that you read this book: Nancy Stout, One Day in December: Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution.
Arrive in Holguin. Pick up at the airport by tour bus to Mirador de Mayabe Hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing and building bikes for the start of your trip.
After breakfast descend the hill leaving Holguin behind. A flat ride to Bayamo, 77 K. Lunch on the way at a cafeteria in Cauto Cristo. Advise to bring energy bars.
Ride to El Salton, 88 K, hilly the last 29 K. Lunch in Contramaestre, in a cafeteria.
No cycling. Hiking tour through the mountainous area. A local guide will introduce you to the mountain life in the centre of the Sierra Maestra. You will observe the coffee and cocoa plantations and meet some locals.
After breakfast, bus to Contramaestre. Ride to Palma Soriano, 34 K, lunch in a Pizza Paladar. Ride to El Cobre to visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Cobre, a hilly 28K. After a visit to the church, bus to hotel in Santiago de Cuba.
Visit Santa Ifigenia cemetery by bus, then enjoy lunch together at a Paladar in the city. After lunch, city walk.
Bus to the Revolution square. Leave Santiago and ride to Los Galeones, 75 K, along the coast line. Bring energy bars or sack lunch to eat along the way.
Ride from Los Galeones hotel Marea del Portillo , coastal ride, rolling hills, 100 K. Support by SUV. This is the beautiful road along the coast, where the Sierra Maestra dip into the sea. The ride will be well worth the effort. Bring energy bars or a sack lunch to eat on the road. Our tour bus can not follow us. If you wish to avoid the ride, you may travel with our bus around the mountains via Bayamo and onto our next hotel.
Ride to Hotel Niquero, 42 K. Then ride to Las Coloradas, 13 K, to enjoy a guided tour of the place for the Disembark of the Granma in Cuba. Lunch in a Paladar in Las Coloradas, after the visit. Ride or bus 13 K back to hotel.
Bus to Balcon de la Sierra, transfer by jeeps to Santo Domingo Hotel for lunch with the Pico Turquino looming in the distance. After lunch, by jeeps, we will ascent up to Alto del Naranjo, a very steep journey. From there will begin the hike to Comandancia La Plata, Fidel’s headquarters from the revolution. It is located within the Pico Turquino National Park.
Ride to Manzanillo, 49 K, fast road, usually strong tail wind.
Flat ride from Manzanillo hotel to Las Tunas, 92 K. Meet the cycling team from the EIDE (Schools for Initiation into Scholastic Sport) in Vado del Yeso (35 K from las Tunas), and ride with them to the hotel. Free time in the city center, outside from Cadillac Hotel. BBQ party at the coaches house for dinner.
Bus to Holguin, and ride to Guardalavaca, 60 K, rolling hills.
Ride to Bariay, 65 K, see the monument where Columbus first set foot in Cuba. Lunch on the way, in the small town, or back by bus to the hotel, and lunch there.
November 15th. The tour ends today. We can deliver you to the departure gate at the airport. We have done our very best to show you our beautiful land and the historic landmarks from where the revolution emerged after the landing of the Granma at “Las Coloradas,” on Dec.2nd 1956.