Playa Larga – Matanzas – Havana

Route type: Suitable for all types of bicycles
Stops: Jovellanos, Varadero, Playa Jibacoa.
Distances: 66 km + 60 km + 85 km + 62 km
Suggested duration: 5 nights / 6 days
To begin the route: Viazul bus to Playa Larga
Difficulty level: Moderate

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 contrary). If departing from Havana, you may take the Viazul bus (Havana – Trinidad route) as far as Playa, 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 outline below.

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.

Jovellanos – Varadero (60 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.

Varadero – Playa Jibacoa (85 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 (62 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 Havnaa 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:

  1. 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, Guanabacoa, Barrio Obrero and continue to the traffic lights at Fabrica & Via Blanca, after passing over a bridge that spans train tracks below. Turn right on Fabrica, and right at the traffic lights. 300 meters later you’ll cross the train tracks and take a left, bordering the Havana Bay to arrive at the historic district.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the Hostal Loft Habana & El Madero.
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

ruta-ciclobus

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