Playa Larga – Varadero – Havana

Route type: Paved roads. Suitable for all types of bicycles.
Cities and places of interest with suggested budget accommodation options, distances:
1. Playa Larga – Jovellanos 66 km (hasta Cardenas 94 km);
2. Jovellanos – Varadero 45 km;
3. Varadero – Playa Jibacoa 74 km;
4. Playa Jibacoa – Guanabo 35 km (hasta La Habana 63 km).
Total Distance: 248 km
Highest elevation: 140 m (between Matanzas & Playa Jibacoa)
Suggested duration: 5 nights / 6 days
Level of vehicular traffic: medium
Degree of dificulty: Moderate

To begin the route: Take the Viazul bus to Playa Larga

In terms of elevation (practically flat), this route is relatively easy to Varadero. Between Matanzas and Havana there are moderate elevations (and the prevailing wind is on your favor). If departing from Havana, you may take the Viazul bus (Havana – Trinidad route) as far as Playa Larga, overnight in Playa Larga and begin your cycling route the following morning. If you have more time for riding, you could combine that route with the Ciego de Avila-Havana route.

Route Map

Route map for Cycling From Playa Larga To Havana – CicloCuba by Abel Pez on plotaroute.com

Playa Larga – Jovellanos (66 km)
Depart Playa Larga heading to the National Highway (Autopista Nacional). Pass the Guama Visitors Center and crocodile breeding farm, then the Central Australia and Bohío Don Pedro ranch (rustic acccommodation used by visiting fly fishermen) before reaching the highway (Autopista Nacional).
Cross the highway towards Jagüey Grande and take the road to Torriente. About 6 kilometers later you’ll take a right to San Jose de Marcos, passing through La Isabel and continuing to Jovellanos. See accommodations here.

Jovellanos – Varadero (45 km)

Take the road to the village of Carlos Rojas and the Jose Smith Comas sugar refinery (21 km), a village located to the north of Jovellanos. You may visit the Jose Smith Comas Sugarcane Refinery Museum here and advance to the Vía Blanca road (also denominated on some maps as Puente Bascular or Autopista Sur/Southern Highway). You should take a left on the norther route to Cardenas (follow the signs). In Cardenas visit the Cardenas Museum. To leave Cardenas, advance to Calle Saez, take a right, and your next left  (on an avenue known as Calzada). This avenue will take you directly to Cardenas and Santa Marta. In Santa Marta continue in the right lane to take the road entering into Varadero, crossing the iron bridge. To head directly into the village take an immediate right and descend a mild grade to cycle under the bridge to 1ra Avenida facing Kawama, Villa Tortuga & Barlovento hotels and very close to Acuazul & Sotavento hotels. The village also features numerous private accommodation options. Enjoy Cuba’s most famous beach.

Note: You may also opt to ride from Jovellanos to Matanzas, however we don’t recommend riding on the Central Road (cc) due to the traffic and narrowness of the lanes.

Varadero – Playa Jibacoa (74 km)

Returning to cross the same iron bridge to depart Varadero from where you entered, take a right after the bridge and continue straight on this road to Matanzas 30 kms away. The road will take you past the village of Camarioca, then you’ll see on your left the entrance to the Varadero International Airport. Just a few dozen meters down this road you’ll find the Saturn Cave visitors center where you could have lunch and a swim in the cave.

Continuing to Matanzas you should take the viaduct road that borders the Bahía de Matanzas (Bay) until you depart the city heading towards Havana. You’ll see the  Bacunayagua Bridge, (the highest in Cuba) and continue on the Via Blanca road until you arrive at the Canasi junction (Canasi Bridge). Several meters ahead you should detour to the right to arrive at Playa Jibacoa. Here you’ll discover Memories Jibacoa  & Villa Trópico hotels as well as Los Cocos camping, in addition to Islazul house rentals and private home rentals.

Playa Jibacoa – La Habana (63 km)

Cross the Jibacoa Bridge heading west towards Havana. Pass the town of Santa Cruz del Norte (you’ll see the Havana Club Rum factory on your right as you enter the town limits.
Continue 22 kms west until you arrive at Peñas Altas (2 kilometers after the control check-point). Immediately after Peñas Altas you’ll see a small bridge crossing a river. You should take a right here to avoid the Guanabo hill and instead pass through the center of the beach town. If you’re tired you’ll find various private accommodation options here. Continue on the main road through town and when you arrive at the rotary, continue straight to the end, where you’ll take a left, then right at the end of this Street to come out again at the Vía Blanca road. Take a right to head towards Havana. From Guanabo to Old Havana it’s 28 kilómetros. This área offers numerous accommodation options in hotels or private houses.
You must keep in mind that you can’t ride your bicycle through the tunnel connecting Eastern Havana to Old Havana. So to arrive to the city there are three options:

    • Vía Blanca: After you pass Alamar you’ll continue straight on Vía Blanca until you reach the Cojimar rotary. Continue on Vía Blanca (by taking the third road on your right) and you’ll pass the Ñico Lopez Refinery, the Guanabacoa traffic lights and, 600 meter later turn right on 1ra Avenida, then left to reach the Anillo del Puerto (Port ring) and bordering the Havana Bay to arrive at the historic district.
      Mapa

Route map for Arriving In Havana Through Via Blanca by Abel Pez on plotaroute.com

    • There’s also a bike boat that crosses the Bay from Casablanca to Port Avenue (San Pedro) in Old Havana. There are certain restrictions for goods you are permitted to carry on this crossing, a consideration to keep in mind if traveling with luggage. Upon arrival in Old Havana you’ll be facing the Armadores de Santander hotel, other historic district hotels and private accommodations.
      Mapa

Route map for Crossing Havana Bay on board the Ferry by Abel Pez on plotaroute.com

  • You could take the túnel (boarding the Ciclobus). After passing Alamar and a long downhill, take a right before the overpass and you’ll be on the Vía Monumental, which will take you pass the Panamerican Village / Olympic Stadium on your right, and ahead on your left you’ll see the Naval military hospital. Facing the hospital is a Group of buildings making up the village of Camilo Cienfuegos. Take a right (before the hospital) downhill to a rotary, which you’ll follow around to the second road on your right. In the middle of this road you’ll see the Ciclobus boarding station from which a bus boards passengers & bicycles/motorized bikes under 50cc to cross through the tunnel to Havana.
Cyclebus itinerary leaving from Camilo Cienfuegos town (in front of Naval Hospital)
Monday to Friday
Morning Afternoon
06:30 – 06:50

07:00 – 07:20

07:30 – 07:50

08:00 – 08:20

08:30 – 08:50

09:00 – 09:20

10:00 – 10:20

11:00 – 11:20

12:00 – 12:20

12:25 Return to base

 

14:00 – 14:20

15:00 – 15:20

16:00 – 16:20

16:30 – 16:50

17:00 – 17:20

17:30 – 17:50

18:00 – 18:20

19:00 – 19:20

19:25 Return to base

Saturday & Sunday
Morning Afternoon
06:30 – 06:50

07:00 – 07:20

08:00 – 08:20

09:00 – 09:20

10:00 – 10:20

11:00 – 11:20

12:00 – 12:20
12:25 Return to base

14:00 – 14:20

15:00 – 15:20

16:00 – 16:20

17:00 – 17:20

18:00 – 18:20

19:00 – 19:20

19:25 Return to base

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