Route type: Suitable for all types of bicycles, preferably hybrids
Stops: 1) Las Terrazas Community, 2) San Diego de Los Baños, 3) Viñales
Distance: 74 km + 80 km + 70 km
Suggested Duration: 4 nights / 5 days
Return to Havana: The Viazul buses accept bicycles (with a small surcharge). It’s suggested to make an advance bus reservation via internet.
Places of interest
- Las Terrazas Community (Project in sustainable development) – Canopy Tour (zipline), lakes, rivers, La Moka Eco Lodge, rustic accommodations & private accommodations, rural restaurants, amonth other cultural and historic attractions.
- Soroa (visitor center, Hotel Soroa & Castillo de las Nubes, Orchid Garden, restaurants, river & waterfall).
- San Diego de Los Baños (Hotel Mirador, Baths for skin treatment with termal water and mud therapy, La Güira National Park).
- Viñales (visitors center, tobacco farming, Prehistory Mural, restaurants, caves, trekking, natural landscapes, Los Jazmines, La Ermita, Rancho San Vicente hotels & private accommodations, daytime & evening cultural centers).
To leave Havana from CicloCuba you have several options:
- Take the northern route out of Havana towards the Mariel Port.
- Ride through the middle of Havana to reach the highway.
- Take private transportation to the highway.
The northern route to Mariel
- Take the Malecón (breakwater bordering the ocean) to its end and take the exit on your right at the tunnel entrance (it’s prohibited to ride bicycles inside the tunnel but you could walk your bike through on the pedestrian ramp), passing the Restaurante 1830.
- Continue bordering the river and on Calle 11 take a right to the Iron Bridge that crossses the Almendares River. Once you’re over the bridge take a right and look for 1ra Avenida or 3ra Avenida (there’s less traffic on 1ra which borders the water). It’s prohibited to ride bicycles on 5ta Avenida, Take 1ra to the end where you’ll be facing the Hotel Panorama, take a left and then right on 3ra Avenida which you’ll follow to its end where you’ll take a left, and quick right to cycle to the Amusement Park (Parque de Diversiones, known locally as Coney Island). At the rotary take a right and continue in this later to leave Havana, passing the Marina Hemingway, the Latin American School of Medicine (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina or ELAM), Playa Baracoa and continue straight to Mariel
- Upon arriving in Mariel continue via the main road until you arrive at the intersection to La Boca. You’ll take a left here and follow the signs to the National Highway (Autopista Nacional). Take a right on the highway towards Pinar del Rio.
Via the center of Havana
- Take San Pedro street (Avenida del Puerto/Port Avenue) south. After passing the Train Station you’ll see the Tallapiedra thermoelectric plant. Take the street on your right (Calle Atares) crossing the train tracks below the elevated bridge, cross to the Cuatro Caminos Market and continue straight on Calle Arroyo to the intersection at Calle Ayestaran, where you should turn left to cycle to Avenida Independencia (also known as Avenida de Rancho Boyeros).
- Continue on Avenida de Independencia until the bridge at Calle 100, where you must take 100 and after cycling ~400 meters, take the exit on the right that will bring you to the National Highway (Autopista Nacional) to Pinar del Rio. Take the highway and go straight.
Transport your bicycles to the highway
- You may opt to take a taxi that will take you to the outskirts of the city where you can begin riding on the National Highway.
Once you’re on the highway, the route is simple. You’ll ride west as far as the entrance to the Las Terrazas Community (sign at kilometer #52).
Las Terrazas – San Diego de los Baños
Taking the same road at the entrance to Las Terrazas (after the gate where you pay the entry fee) continue straight. You’ll pass various entrance points including the Ecological Investigation Center (Centro de Investigaciones Ecológicas), the administrative installations, Rancho Curujey, the Las Terrazas Community & Hotel Moka, Baños de San Juan, La Casa del Campesino, and after 13 kilometers you’ll see another gate and the end of the road, where you’ll turn left (continuing uphill) and then be rewarded with a long downhill ride to Soroa.
This road will also take you back to the National Highway, where you’ll turn right towards San Cristobal, where it crosses with the Central Road (Carretera Central/CC), which you should take to the San Diego junction (35 km from San Cristobal). Take a right here to San Diego de los Baños (8 km). You’ll have accommodation options here in private houses or at Mirador de San Diego hotel.
San Diego de los Baños – Viñales
There are two options:
- Via the Central Road: On leaving San Diego at km 4 there’s a detour. Take a left 4 km to the Central Road (Carretera Central), where you’ll take a right and advance about 45 kms to the Ovas junction (10 km before reaching Pinar del Rio city). At the Ovas junction you must take a right, and cycle 24 kms to Viñales.
- Via the mountains: : On leaving San Diego at km 4 there’s a detour. Take a right and you’ll see the entry to Parque Nacional La Güira ($5 CUC toll per person). Enter the park and continue through the park to the Carretera de Herradura, where you turn right to the San Andres junction (15 km). (Don’t turn left on the Carretera a San Andres as despite the fact that some guidebooks say it’s transitable, in reality it’s not as there are two artificial lakes impeding crossing.) Take a right, and continue straight to the La Palma junction (don’t continue to La Palma, 5 kms away). Take a left at the La Palma junction (you’ll see a sawmill) and continue to the Mina La Constancia where you’ll have two options. On your right you’ll enter Viñales via Finca Rancho San Vicente & the Indian Cave, or on your left you have the República de Chile Community which you can follow to reach Viñales.