Places in our Cuba Bicycle Tour: Pinar del Río the best tobacco in Cuba

History of Pinar del Río

In our bicycle tours in Cuba, one of our favorite places is called Pinar del Río (which literally means “Pinewood of the River”). This place is located at the western part of Cuba, at the peak of the island and is home of spectacular landscapes, nature and the most famous tobacco factories of the country. The state is named after the pinewood that grows near the Guaná River in the region and was known before as “New Philippines”. The city was founded in 1699, at that time is was merely a village, but it was already recognized as a city. The population grew fast thanks to the tobacco industry, which still nowadays is the first source of income in the region. In 1710, Pinar del Río officially acquired the status of a city.

Why visit Pinar del Rio in your Cuba Bicycle tour?

Well, that was a little historic introduction to Pinar del Río, now we tell you why is so fascinating to visit it during your bicycle tour in Cuba. In Pinar del Rio you’ll find miles and miles of valleys between beautiful hills, all covered for rich vegetation, this is something worth to see while you are cycling because it’s an enjoyable landscape. Some of the rocks there are painted and are enormous art murals, you must take a picture of them. One of the things Cuba is famous for is for their tobacco industry, the finest cigarettes are made in this island and the principal zone where they are made is here in Pinar del Río. So, even if you don’t smoke, you can see how the artisans work this plant, from the harvest to the assembling of the cigarette. Is a meticulous process to guarantee the best quality; believe us, it’s a complete art.  And well, if you like to smoke cigarettes, you will definitely enjoy this point of your bike tour in Cuba. This is just a taste of what you can find in Pinar del Rio, but actually, you have to live the experience, so please contact us to find how you can be part of our Cuba Bicycle Tour, and remember this is just one of many stops that you will love to visit!

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Places in our Cuba Bicycle tour: Havana

Havana! The name of this city sounds really familiar for almost everybody, or not? The name of the main capital of Cuba is, for example just very known because of  Havana Club, a famous Cuban rum. The city is alsno known as Habana, how you pronounce it as well.

This main capital of Cuba  takes a huge place in our Cuba bicycle tours. Which is not weird because Cuba is a multi-faced city for sure. Actually Havana consists out of three cities. Old Havana (Havana Vieja), Vedado and Centro Havana. The capital is in 2015 elected as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Thereby, Old Habana is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In short, it is a really special city. It is such a city that you have to put on your travel bucketlist.

Old Havana

Old Habana is, as the name reveals, the oldest part of the city. It is really authentic and unique. Here you will find colonial buildings in abundance. Habana Vieja is just perfect to explore while hiking or, best of all, with a coco taxi. The most famous building in this part of Habana is for sure Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana.

Vedado

The second ´city´ in Havana is Vedado. Vedado is the newest part of the three parts, developed in the 20th centurity. The difference between Old Havana and Vedado is really big, which is actually very cool to see. In Vedado you will find modern buildings. The world famous Plaza de Revolución is located here.

Centro Havana

Centro Habana is just the centrum. In this part you can find hotels, bars and clubs. In short, this is were a lot of tourists will stay during their trip. Of course, a lot of Cubans live her. Cinatown is also located in Centro Habana and is as always a visit worthy.

Havana - coco taxi´sCentro HavanaOld Havana, Havana Vieja

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Cuba Libre cocktail

Cuba Libre

Ever drunk a real Cuba Libre cocktail? Maybe you think you´ve not (I thought the same) but I am pretty sure you did. Or anyway, you drink it more or less. In the United States and in the Netherlands the drink is known as baco (Bacardi coke) which is a famous variant on the real one.

The coctail was born during the Spanish-American war in 1898. A captain ordered this drink in a bar in the main capital of Cuba, Havana. The many soldiers in this bar ordered the same drink as well. But why do they call it Cuba Libre? Well, the name of this popular drink arose the same evening. The soldiers ordered the drink and shouted out ¨Cuba Libre´.

How do you make a Cuba Libre?

Not a really unimportant question, right? The cocktail is delicious and quite easy to make. Everybody knows that Cuba is known on his rum. So, of course the best Cuba Libre do you find in Cuba, made with real Cuban Rum. But, when you want to make it at home: use a good white rum and ice cold Coke. Recipe for two Cuba Libre cocktails:

  • 100 ml white rum
  • 200 ml Coke
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)

Mix the ingredients and image you´re at Cuba, laying on beautiful beach Varadero with this delicious cocktail. Do you consider to undertake a trip to Cuba? Take a look at our Cuba Bicycle Tours, and be able to try the real Cuba Libre!

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4 very good reasons to consider a bicycle tour

Why a holiday with a bicycle as the most import way of transportation? There are so many reasons to consider a bicycle tour. So, please continue to read about the 4 best reasons.

 

It is the best way to enjoy Nature

You´re free as a bird on your bicycle. When you´re on holiday you want to explore the destination right? You want to discover the culture, be in touch with the nature and experience some adventure. Well, if you feel yourself approached, you might consider to undertake a bicycle tour. Cycling along the most beautiful places and attractions. Your environment is constantly changing and you have the time to enjoy your view every minute.

It is good for your health!

Okay, a bit obvious but certainly true. Cycling is very good for your body and overall health. It is amazing to have an amazing time and seeing beautiful places, while you do something what is good for your health at the same time.

You will feel yourself very satisfied

Nowadays, it is very easy to reach a destination. Yes, you can book a flight or you can travel around by car. You will enjoy your surroundings as well, but there is one important difference: satisfaction. The feeling you have when you reach a place due to your own efforts is indescribable. Really, you will never forget this experience.

It is the perfect way to make new friends

Bicycling is very suitable to socialize and to make new friends. Or just to have an amazing time with friends you already have. It creates a bond to undertake a huge experience with each other. On the bike, you are able to talk and to share experiences.

In short, a bicycle tour is such a thing you have to do (at least) once in your lifetime.

 

Highlights of Cuba

Cuba, the country of cigars, rum, salsa, colorful houses and old cars. At least, that is what pops up in your head when you think of Cuba, right? Well, you can´t deny that this isn´t true but Cuba has a very rich history too!

Cuba is the largest island of the Caribbean, it has more than 11 million habitants and owns a lot of small islands. The bigger one is Isla de la Juventud. The main capital of Cuba is La Havana, which is since 2015 known as one of the ´New7Wonders Cities´. The city has a well-known, miles long boulevard: Malecón. Havana consist of three districts: Havana Vieja (old Havana), Centro Havana and Vedado. Beside Havana there are a lot of highlights at Cuba!

Plaza de la Revolución

Highlights of Cuba - plaza de la revolucion

 

 

 

 

Highlight number one Plaza de la Revolución. Plaza de la Revolución is one of the biggest squares in the world. The popularity of the square is due to the many speeches which Fidel Castro gave here every year. The highest building of Havana, the José Martí monument is also located at Plaza de la Revolución.

Pinar del Río

Highlights of Cuba - Pinar del rio

 

 

 

 

Pinar del Río is one of the 15 provinces that Cuba counts and is located in the west of the island. This province is the main supplier of the most famous Cuban product: tobacco! For this reason, Pinar del Río is also known as the tobacco capital of Cuba. The Viñales Valley is also based here. At this valley you will find a lot of tobacco plantations and a tobacco fabric where they will show you the whole process of this remarkable product. READ MORE about Pinar del Río

Cueva de los Portales

Highlights of Cuba - Cueva de los portales

 

 

 

 

There are a lot of incredible caves in Cuba but one of the most famous one surely is, Cueva de los Portales. Beside the fact that this cave and his surroundings are very fascinating, was it also the shelter of Che Guevera during the Cuba Crisis.

Varadero

Highlights of Cuba - Varadero

 

 

 

 

Beside the rich history of the country, Cuba also has one of the most fascinating beaches ever seen. Almost every tourist in Cuba went to Varadero during their holiday, or even stay here. Varadero is the place to be to attempt watersports, like: scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. In the central park you will find a lot of nice events to: festivals, concerts and even sport events.

So, there is a lot to see and do on this stunning Island which is full history, nature and culture. If you ever want to go to thhis amzing country don´t miss the named highlights of cuba! Beside that there is commonly more, but you will explore when you get there!