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Award winning Canada-based tour operator BikeHike Adventures has been running cycling adventures across Cuba for nearly 6 years.
However, the company’s Founder and Director, Trish Sare, worries that recent news and announcements are erroneously impacting Cuba travel and the Cuban economy. Sare explains, “We just went to Cuba at the beginning of October to personally check out the current situation in Cuba. What we can report is that we believe Cuba to be very safe, and it is also doing well after the hurricane. The country and its people have quickly returned to welcoming travellers of all nationalities with open arms. They’re strong, resilient people. Our management on the ground in Cuba reports that Havana (and the majority of the country) is more than okay, and it is ready for travellers. There had been flooding along the Malecon (the seawall in Havana) as well as in some streets but that is long gone. The city is back to normal and Cubans are going on with life as usual. The main areas of the country affected were actually the all-inclusive style beach resorts on the northern coast. Our trips don’t visit those resorts at all but we’re told those places have recovered quite quickly as well.”
Sare adds, “The fact is that the Cuban people need and want you there. And we remain very excited about Cuba. It continues to be a cultural destination unlike any other. In fact, we’re actually considering expanding our Cuba trips because we love Cuba so much.”
Sare personally built BikeHike Adventure’s Cycling Cuba tour in February 2012. The itinerary is set in Central Cuba, away from mainstream resorts, inviting international riders to traverse from town to town exposing the unique and colourful Cuban lifestyle.
“Cuba is like nowhere else I’ve cycled,” states Trish Sare. “In a lot of ways, the true Cuba remains a mystery to the majority of North Americans. I want to share Cuba from a cyclist’s perspective. And we continue to evolve the itinerary to make it the best it can be as Cuba slowly transitions to accommodate increased tourism.”
The worry now though is that people have misinformed worries about Cuba. “It would be a shame to see Cuba’s newly developing tourism economy harmed by inaccurate perceptions. In our opinion, based on our management team’s presence in Cuba earlier this month, Cuba is as safe – for any nationalities – as it has always been. Nothing has changed. So, if you are interested in Cuba and want to help Cuba, travel to Cuba. Your travel supports the local people in a major way by contributing to the local economy. Now is the best time to go for so many reasons.”
BikeHike is currently able to accept travellers of any nationality. BikeHike travellers in Cuba begin in Havana before cycling through central Cuba. The trip is designed to be culturally rich and filled with cultural exchange opportunities and interactions. Roads in most areas remain relatively car free, as biking is the transportation of choice for many Cuban locals. Cuba is an easy cycling destination overall and the route is on flat or undulating paved roads, through towns and along the coast, offering many scenic and cultural perspectives. Meals are served in local paladars (family-run restaurants) and nights are spent in comfortable hotels. The goal is to expunge an authentic Cuban experience by touching the local scene and steering clear of resort locations.
“We have carefully crafted this adventure to reflect both high-energy cycling and genuine Cuban flare. This is an experience unlike anything you can find elsewhere in the world,” Sare reflects.
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