During the trail, you will sleep in small local fincas, homestays or rural hotels, mostly composed of comfortable wooden bungalows with double or 3-bed rooms and private bathrooms.
The accommodation at Mil Cumbres is more basic - it has two double rooms with a shared bathroom, plus a dormitory style room with 6 beds which has its own bathroom. Single rooms are not possible here.
In Havana you will stay in a small hotel, unpretentious but chosen for its excellent location. You will stay in double rooms with a private bathroom.
The produce used for meals is, for the most part, organic, varied and healthy.
Vegetarian options are available.
Cubans eat at all hours and are not used to eating fruit during meals but rather throughout the day as snacks.
Make sure you don’t drink water from any source of which you are not certain that the water is potable.
Cuba has a subtropical climate. The tropics have two distinct seasons: the dry (autumn/winter) and the wet (spring/summer). The average temperature is between 20°C - 30°C.
The dry season lasts from around November to May with an average temperature of around 25°C. The temperature can drop to as low as 14°C and in a country that’s not built to be cold you can feel it!
The rainy season kicks off in June and lasts until October/ November. Heavy but short rain storms are typical, alongside hot temperatures – with an average of 27-28 °C.
Guide and local team
The trip is led from Havana by Rafael. He has been a professional equestrian guide for a long time and has his family roots strongly tying him to Cuba – he is knowledgeable and will show you the best of the country. Rafael is speaks Spanish, French and English.
You will also be accompanied by a second Cuban equestrian guide.
Tipping is quite standard in Cuba - plan to tip around £45. Certain restaurants include a 10% service charge. Tipping rests at your own discretion.
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable. You also have the option of buying protective shells to go under your hats (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western hat helmets (Troxel).
- Sunhat (indispensable)
- Sunglasses with high protection lenses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind or rain
- T-shirts in cotton and long-sleeved shirts (to protect against the sun) or t-shirts made from rapid-dry material
- 1 lightweight fleece or jumper
- 1 lightweight waterproof jacket made from Gore-Tex or a similar material that is waterproof and breathable
- 2 pairs of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- 1 change of riding trousers or jeans
- A swimming costume and a towel
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear
Hands and Feet
- 1 pair of comfortable riding or walking boots. We recommend short boots with half-chaps specifically for riding. We don't recommend taking your favorite leather boots in case they get damaged
- 1 pair of lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding
Other useful items
- Travel bag 60-80 liters (hold luggage)
- Travel bag 25-30 liters (cabin bag)
- Double saddlebags are available on request; Only in some places saddlebags are included
- Water bottles - 2 bottles x 0.5L
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it after use
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars
Cuba's pharmacies are woefully void of pharmaceuticals, both prescription and over the counter. There are dollar only "Tourist Pharmacies", but your best bet is to bring with you whatever you may even remotely THINK you may need.
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) are clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals. Your insurance policy must be in Spanish.
- Hand luggage mustn't contain any sharp objects (knives, scissors, nail file or nail scissors, etc.) and the quantity of liquid allowed per passenger is limited to 100ml per container. Check with the airline for their imposed weight limits for hand/ hold luggage.
- If you wish to travel 'light' and wash your clothes throughout the ride, please bring with you laundry detergent that is biodegradable