On the RevolutionTrail
On the revolution trail
Out on the trail in Cuba
Western saddles
Revolution sign
Mountain views from the Revolution Trail horserdiing holiday in Cuba
Riding in Cuba
Horse riding on the Revolution Trail in Cuba
Cuban countryside
Horseriding in Cuba
Discover the rich history of Cuba on horseback. Follow in the footsteps of Cuba's revolutionaries, visit the historical sites of the Cuban Revolution and experience the beauty of the National Park of Sierra Maestra on horseback.
Ride on the mountain pass routes used during the revolution and over the grounds where the historic battle of Sierra Maestra took place. Stop for a coffee at a local coffee farm and enjoy meals with the locals sampling Cuban cuisine and beverages – followed by live music and dancing of course!

This trip suits riders that are comfortable in walk trot and canter in open spaces and offers plenty of activities out of the saddle for riders and non-riders alike, such as touring the city of Bayamo in a horse drawn carriage, a visit to the local rodeo and a guided walking tour to Comandancia de La Plata, the hidden rebel headquarters where the last 6 months of the war were plotted.

The 8 night trip gives you real insight into the local culture and politics and lets you immerse yourself in true Cuban hospitality with accomodation in casas particulares (home stays), guest houses, hotels and even the guajiros (field workers) farms.

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Day 1 Santiago de Cuba.
Reception at the airport of Santiago de Cuba and transfer to the Casa Particular (private family establishment or boarding house). Diner in a typical paladar (family restaurant) in Santiago de Cuba. Accommodation at the Casa Particular.

Day 2 Santiago de Cuba.
After breakfast transfer to Rancho El Dajao. Welcome cocktail and ride to Puerto Boniato, the mountain pass where it was the route which separates the army of Fidel and the one of Batista. After enjoying the view over the bay of Santiago de Cuba and drink the Pru, refreshing traditional peasant drink of the East of Cuba, return to the ranch.4 hours ride. Lunch with typical products from the organic agriculture of the farm. Free evening to sightseeing the Santa Iphigenia Cemetery, the Moncada Headquarter and the Fortresses of El Morro. Dinner in a typical paladar. Accommodation in Casa Particular.

Day 3 Santiago de Cuba - Bayamo – Niquero.
Transfer to Bayamo. Lunch in a local restaurant and transfer to Parque Feria of Bayamo to enjoy a Rodeo. Horse and Carriage Tour to visit the most emblematic places of the city of Bayamo. Transfer to Manzanillo and Niquero. Diner and accommodation at the Hotel of Niquero.

Day 4 Bayamo - Niquero - Alegria de pio
Transfer to the emblematic place of Los Cayuelos, where we can have a walk in the same landing site where the group of revolutionaries has done the disembarkation, walking through the mangrove forest. Visit to the Museum Portada de la Libertad, where we will see a reproduction of the Granma ship. Transfer to the small village of the l ‘East, where the horses are waiting for us. Ride to Alegría de Pío. Along the way we will have occasion to enjoy the diversity of the Cuban flora watching trees such as coconuts palm, royal palm, guásima, bananas, mango and big carob trees. Arrival to the forest Community of Río Nuevo where we have a roast pork (slowcooked during the all journey) waiting for our lunch. Four and a half hour ride. Transfer to Niquero and accommodation and dinner at the hotel.

Day 5 Alegria de Pio – Cinco Palmas – Marea del Portillo.
After breakfast transfer to Alegría de Pío and ride to Ojo de Agua and Cinco Palmas. Along the way we have occasions to do some small gallops. After crossing the small river of Cajas we stop for a coffee in the farm of a guajiro (field worker). Arrival at Cinco Palmas, the place where Fidel and Raúl Castro expeditionary forces came together. Four and a half hour on horseback. After lunch transfer to the Hotel Farallones in Marea del Portillo. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.

Day 6 Marea de Portillo – Santo Domingo - Bartolomé Maso
Transfer to Las Mercedes to meet the horses where we the Commandant Che Guevara had his camp in Sierra Maestra. Ride to Providencia. During the way we will see where took place the historic and decisive battle of Sierra Maestra. Aprox. a four hour ride Transfer to Santo Domingo. Peasant meal at Casa de Junco. Transfer to Bartolome Masó. Diner and accommodation at the Hotel Villa Balcón de la Sierra. Traditional musical activity with El Quinteto Rebelde and introduction to the Cuban Son dance.

Day 7 Bartolomé Maso - Comandancia La Plata – Bayamo.
Transfer to Villa Santo Domingo. After a small break departure in 4x4 to climb to Alto del Naranjo (5.5 Km). Guided walking tour to la Comandancia de La Plata (3 Km). Visit to the installations designed by Celia Sánchez and Fidel where it was set the most important colony of the rebel camp and where they have organized the six last months of the war direction in the cabin of Fidel, de Radio Rebelde station, hospital and others interesting places. Our guide will give you a good introduction about the historic événts of this place and about the characteristics of the Flora and Fauna of Sierra Maestra. Return to Alto del Naranjo by foot to get the jeeps back to Santo Domingo for a good lunch. Transfer to Bayamo. After a small break, transfer to Santiago de Cuba. Dinner in a local paladar and accommodation at the Casa Particular.

Day 8 Bayamo - Holgun - La Habana
Early transfer to Santiago de Cuba. to the airport of Santiago de Cuba and flight to Havana. Arrival to the Cuban capital and free day to feel the magic of the Old Havana. Farewell dinner with a great musical show. Accommodation at the Hotel Presidente****.

Day 9 Havana.
Free morning to sightseeing Havana. Transfer to the airport at 18:00.

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

 
Cuba has produced some of the most extreme political figures of the 20th Century. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were the main players involved in the Cuban Revolution which brought Communism to the island. For those interested in the ideology of these powerful men we recommend the following:
The relationship between Cuba, its allies and the West is brilliantly described in One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs.
We also recommend Our Man In Havana by the British writer Graham Greene. Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of powercuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he's tempted. In return all he has to do is file a few reports. But when his fake reports start coming true things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place...
For an up to date overview of Cuban history we recommend Cuba: A New History (Yale Nota Bene) by Richard Gott
Also:
* The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba by Julia Cooke - frank account of the author's stay and the people she meets, very good for getting to know more about the people and how they live
* The Island That Dared by Dervla Murphy - she visited three times in recent-ish years, and really was off the beaten track!
 
We can't overlook the enormous influence of Cuban music and recommend the following artists:
Buena Vista Social Club (There is also a remarkable documentary film on this group of Cuban musicians by Wim Wenders, also called Buena Vista Social Club)
The Creole Choir of Cuba
Elena Burke
Company Segundo
Ibrahim Ferrer
Beny Moré

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Riders are not expected to assist with the care and tacking up of their horses but any help is welcome. The horses are Spanish horses, Quarter-horse and Pinto among others. They are safe and in good condition, suitable for the climate and terrain of the island. They range in size from 14.2hh to around 15.1hh. Western tack is utilised but there is also the option to have English saddles.


Rider requirements

Riders should be happy in walk, trot and canter and be well balanced in the saddle. The riding is not technically difficult and adventurous novices would be welcome. There is a minimum age of 12 years for this ride.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation along the route ranges from 'Casa Particular' (a private homestay similar to a bed and breakfast) to hotels and nights spent in farmers accommodation. Please see links to some of the hotels that can be stayed at during the trail, subject to availability. A single supplement is available for those not wishing to share.



www.cubahotelroyalton.com/en/



islazul.cu/es/hotel/hotel-niquero



www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g5605799-d5603877-Reviews-Villa_Balcon_de_la_Sierra-Bartolome_Maso_Granma_Province_Cuba.html





Meals are healthy and plentiful, lots of fruit and vegetables with rice, beans, beef, chicken and pork. Good beer and rum is available everywhere!


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

British nationals require a tourist card to enter Cuba, which you should obtain before you travel. You should contact the Cuban Embassy in London in good time for further information on entry requirements. Dual nationals should also contact the Cuban Embassy in London for advice on entry requirements before travelling.

Their website can be found here: www.cuba.embassyhomepage.com

To enter Cuba you must hold a passport with remaining validity of at least six months from the date of entry.



You must hold valid travel insurance covering medical expenses before travelling to Cuba. The medical facilities in Havana are better than those available elsewhere in Cuba, but it is sometimes necessary to medically evacuate those who require urgent specialist care. This can be very expensive so you should ensure that your medical insurance covers you for this. If you require medical treatment you will be expected to pay in hard currency; a basic hospital stay can cost as much as £200 per day plus medical expenses.

Many medicines are unavailable in Cuba so you should bring any prescription drugs you take regularly. A copy of the prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining your condition can be helpful at customs.

Climate Summary

Cuba has a warm tropical climate which makes it an ideal destination especially during the months of November to April, dry season months in Cuba. During this period of the year, Cuba enjoys a lot of sunshine with only a scattering of intermittent rain-showers brought about by northeasterly trade winds blowing in from the sea.

Climate Chart

Health

At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance.
You must hold valid travel insurance covering medical expenses before travelling to Cuba. The medical facilities in Havana are better than those available elsewhere in Cuba, but it is sometimes necessary to medically evacuate those who require urgent specialist care. This can be very expensive so you should ensure that your medical insurance covers you for this. If you require medical treatment you will be expected to pay in hard currency; a basic hospital stay can cost as much as £200 per day plus medical expenses.

Many medicines are unavailable in Cuba so you should bring any prescription drugs you take regularly. A copy of the prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining your condition can be helpful at customs.

Please consult your GP or travel nurse for up to date advice for those travelling to Cuba. As a guide you can visit http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/caribbean/cuba

Electricity

Although the power supply in Cuba is mainly 110 volts, most of the modern hotels have dual voltage with all the sockets in the room being 220 volts. Usually in the bathroom there is an 110 volt socket suitable for shavers and charging batteries. All UK appliances will work in Cuba and all you will need is an adapter.

The sockets in the rooms are cleverly designed so they will take the North American flat 2 pin and the European rounded two pin plugs and are usually similar to these, the bottom one being the one in the bathroom.

Film and Camera Equipment

Please bring all necessary equipment with you, including spare batteries.

Packing List

Riding trousers - jeans or breeches
Riding boots or similar (need to have a heel and be comfortable for hiking)
Hard hat (recommended)
Riding hat with brim
Half chaps (optional)
Riding gloves
Sunglasses
Sunblock
Insect repellent
Lipbalm with sunscreen
Personal toiletries
Medications
Camera and film
T-shirts and shorts
Binoculars (recommended)
Lightweight long sleeved shirts
Sweater or sweatshirt
Informal wear for evenings
Plastic bag for wet clothing
Lightweight rainwear
Copy of passport
All terrain sandals
Additional passport photos
Swimsuit
Beach towel
Wearing a waist pouch is a handy method for keeping items such as camera and lipbalm readily accessible.

Programmes

This is a 9 day/8 night programme with 4 days riding available on set dates. Other dates available on request.

Departure Dates

2019: 30 Nov - 8 Dec
Other dates on request.

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20199d/8n4double pp2,029
20199d/8n4single supplement179
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20199d/8n4double pp2,309
20199d/8n4single supplement205
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20199d/8n4double pp2,735
20199d/8n4single supplement245
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20199d/8n4double pp25,379
20199d/8n4single supplement2,255
Recommended Reading

Cuba has produced some of the most extreme political figures of the 20th Century. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were the main players involved in the Cuban Revolution which brought Communism to the island. For those interested in the ideology of these powerful men we recommend the following: The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara My Life by Fidel Castro The relationship between Cuba, its allies and the West is brilliantly described in One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs. We also recommend Our Man In Havana by the British writer Graham Greene. Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of powercuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he's tempted. In return all he has to do is file a few reports. But when his fake reports start coming true things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place... For an up to date overview of Cuban history we recommend Cuba: A New History (Yale Nota Bene) by Richard Gott We can't overlook the enormous influence of Cuban music and recommend the following artists: Buena Vista Social Club (There is also a remarkable documentary film on this group of Cuban musicians by Wim Wenders, also called Buena Vista Social Club) The Creole Choir of Cuba Elena Burke Company Segundo Ibrahim Ferrer Beny Moré


Other Activities

Havana tours in old American cars, Spanish lessons, gastronomy lessons, dancing lessons.

Other Country Information

You must take out comprehensive travel insurance covering medical expenses before travelling to Cuba. You will be expected to present your insurance policy on arrival in the country.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Santiago de Cuba Airport
Transfer:
2019/2020: Arrival transfer is included. Departure transfer is not included, taxi cost is approximate 25 CUC (around £20) payable on-site.
Flight Guide:
London to Santiago de Cuba Antonio Maceo Airport (SCU) and Jose Marti International Airport, Havana (HAV) to London, from £900 per person return.
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