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

Follow in the footsteps of Cuba's revolutionaries on this equestrian trail that visits the historical sites of the Cuban Revolution and experience the beauty of the National Park of Sierra Maestra on a memorable horseback vacation. 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 is suitable for horseback riders who are comfortable in walk, trot and canter in open spaces. There are plenty of activities out of the saddle for riders and non-riders alike. Take a tour of the city of Bayamo in a horse-drawn carriage, visit the local rodeo, or maybe a guided walking tour to Comandancia de La Plata, the hidden rebel headquarters where the last 6-months of the war were plotted.

This 8-night equestrian trip gives guests real insight into the local culture and politics, and immerses horseback riders in true Cuban hospitality with accommodation in casas particulares (home stays), guest houses, hotels and even the guajiros (field workers) farms.

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DAY 1
SANTIAGO DE CUBA : Meet at Santiago de Cuba airport and transfer to the Casa Particular (private family establishment or boarding house - or similar) in the exclusive neighborhood of Vista Alegre. Dinner in a typical paladar (family restaurant) in Santiago de Cuba. Accommodation at the Hotel Meliá Santiago (or similar).

DAY 2
SANTIAGO DE CUBA : After breakfast, transfer to Rancho El Dajao for a welcome cocktail and ride to Puerto Boniato, the mountain pass that separated the army of Fidel and the one of Batista. After enjoying the view over the Bay of Santiago de Cuba and trying Pru, the traditional peasant drink particular to the east of Cuba, return to the ranch. (3hr). Lunch featuring locally sourced farm grown products.. Visit to Santa Iphigenia Cemetery, the Moncada Headquarter and the Fortresses of El Morro. Dinner in a typical paladar. Optional night out at Casa de la Trova (musical show). Accommodation at the Hotel Meliá Santiago (or similar)

DAY 3
SANTIAGO DE CUBA – BAYAMO - NIQUERO: Meet the horses at the ranch for a 2hr ride around the finca. Transfer to Bayamo (2h). Visit to Parque Feria for 2 hours ride and possibility to visit a Rodeo (if available). Lunch in a local restaurant. Horse and Carriage tour to visit the most emblematic places of the city of Bayamo. Transfer to Manzanillo and Niquero (Approx.2.5h). Dinner and accommodation at the Hotel of Niquero (or similar).

DAY 4
NIQUERO – ALEGRIA DE PIO - NIQUERO: Transfer to the place of Los Cayuelos, the landing site of bands of revolutionaries and the route they would follow through the mangrove groves. Visit to the Museum Portada de la Libertad to see a reproduction of the Granma ship before transferring to the small village of the l ‘East, where the horses will be waiting. Ride to Alegría de Pío through coconut palms, royal palms, guásima, bananas, mangos and big carob trees. Arrive at the forest community of Río Nuevo for lunch. (4.5hr). Transfer to Niquero - accommodation and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 5
NIQUERO - DURÁN– CINCO PALMAS - BARTOLOME MASÓ: After breakfast, transfer to Durán (1h). Ride to Cinco Palmas passing rural communities and banana and coffee plantations while enjoying the magnificent views of the of Sierra Maestra. Enjoy a Cuban beer at the same place where Fidel and the rest of the revolutionaries crossed to Pilon. Arrival at Cinco Palmas, the place where Fidel and Raúl Castro's expeditionary forces came together. Lunch in the house of one of the guajiros (field workers) (5.5hr). After lunch transfer to Bartolome Masó (2h). Dinner and accommodation at the Hotel Balcón de la Sierra (or similar)

DAY 6
BARTOLOME MASÓ – SANTO DOMINGO – BARTOLOMÉ MASÓ: Meet the horses at Las Mercedes. This is where Ché Guevara had his camp in Sierra Maestra. The ride continues to Providencia (4.5hr) passing the site of the decisive battle of Sierra Maestra. Transfer to Bartolome Masó for lunch. Dinner and accommodation at the Hotel Villa Balcón de la Sierra (or similar). Musical evening and in introduction to the national dance, the 'Son'.

DAY 7
BARTOLOMÉ MASÓ - COMANDANCIA LA PLATA – BAYAMO - SANTIAGO DE CUBA: Transfer to Villa Santo Domingo and ride in a 4x4 to climb Alto del Naranjo (5.5Km). Guided walking tour to La Comandancia de La Plata (3 Km). Visit the installations designed by Celia Sánchez and Fidel, the most important rebel camp where the last 6 months of the war was organized. Return to Alto del Naranjo on foot and jeep back to Santo Domingo for a meal at the Casa de Junco. Transfer to Bayamo and Santiago de Cuba for dinner in a local paladar. Accommodation at the Hotel San Juan de Dios (or similar)

DAY 8
HAVANA : Early transfer to Santa Clara (approx. 3h) with a stop to visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara and have lunch before continuing the journey to Havana (3h). Arrival in Havana. Farewell dinner at a famous restaurant in El Vedado district. End the trip with an evening at the famous Parisien Cabaret, with lots of music, dance, atmosphere and colour. Accommodation at the Hotel Nacional (or smilar)

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

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, Quarter-horse and Pinto (among others). They are well looked after and perfectly suited to 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/

Islazulhotels.com

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 within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly 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 should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cuba

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Cuba.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/cuba


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.

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

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.

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 refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Cuba and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Health authorities have classified Cuba as having a risk of dengue, and Zika virus transmission. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. To control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, the Cuban authorities are carrying out chemical fumigation measures across the island. The chemicals used may cause some discomfort if you come into contact with them.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Cuba. Dengue fever is also present in Cuba. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.


Health (ride specific)

Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites

Electricity

In Cuba the supply voltage is 110/220V. If the appliance or its power supply are not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly

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.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

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

Packing List

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384
- Gloves
- Riding trousers - jeans, jodhpurs or breeches
- Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
- Half chaps (optional) - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
- T-shirts and shorts
- Lightweight long sleeved shirts
- Sweater or sweatshirt
- Informal wear for evenings
- Lightweight rainwear
- All terrain sandals
- Beach towel
- Swimsuit
- Plastic bag for wet clothing
- Sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Lipbalm with sunscreen
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
- Binoculars (recommended)
- Copy of passport
- Additional passport photos

- 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 5 days riding available on set dates. Other dates available on request.

Departure Dates

2024: 24 Nov - 2 Dec

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 £
20249d/8n5double pp2,969
20249d/8n5single supplement155
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20249d/8n5double pp3,539
20249d/8n5single supplement185
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20249d/8n5double pp4,025
20249d/8n5single supplement199
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20249d/8n5double pp41,765
20249d/8n5single supplement2,105
Recommended Reading

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 Ché 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

One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs.

Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene. 

Cuba: A New History (Yale Nota Bene) by Richard Gott

The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba by Julia Cooke 

The Island That Dared by Dervla Murphy 



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



For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com. Another excellent source of equestrian travel books is  www.horsetravelbooks.com


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:
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 (SCU) from £1075 pp return.
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