Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|22 October - 30 October 2022||On Sale|
Discover the vibrant lifestyle, tropical wildlife and natural paradise of Cuba on our next women-only trek!
This dream of a challenge gives us the chance to explore three of the island’s protected landscapes, the spellbinding UNESCO Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, the archaeological treasure trove of Viñales Valley and the “thousand peaks” of Mil Cumbres Eco-Reserve.
We’ll trek through a world of endemic birds, exotic plants and pristine panoramas, with a chance to visit the local farming communities, before climbing western Cuba’s highest mountain, the Pan de Guajaibón.
We may be trekking through paradise, but this is no walk in the park. Prepare to tackle mighty ascents that will literally take your breath away. Together, we’ll sweat off the stress, absorb a whole year’s worth of Vitamin D and marvel at mountain-top views across the island to the Caribbean Sea.
We finish our adventure in the best way, with an exclusive, guided tour of Old Havana, the finest surviving colonial city in the Americas.
What’s more, we have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy a Classic Car Tour of Havana! Cuba is famous for its Classic Cars and to experience a drive in one ourselves puts the cherry on top of our Caribbean adventure.
Our adventure starts at the airport in London, where we meet as a group and catch our flight to the magical Caribbean island of Cuba.
Stretching to a stunning 766 miles, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and offers some of the best treks in the world!
Touching down in Havana in the evening, our local guide greets us at the airport and we transfer to our hotel in the city.
This evening, we hear more about the trek ahead in an exciting briefing from our Challenge Leader.
Today gives us the best intro to Cuba we could ask for, with a gentle warm-up trek in the amazing UNESCO Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve.
Waking to a fresh breakfast at our hotel, we lace up our hiking boots and transfer (approx. one hour) to the nature reserve, nestled in the spectacular Sierra del Rosario Mountains.
Spreading across a stunning 5,000 hectares, the reserve bursts with the vibrant colours and tropical wildlife the Caribbean is renowned for.
Exploring this natural wonderland, it’s hard to believe the area faced severe deforestation during the Cuban Revolution.
However, Castro was quick to come to its rescue, choosing it as a site to restore vegetation and it has flourished with an extraordinary array of flora and fauna ever since.
As we trek the La Serafina Trail, keep your eyes peeled to spot some endemic birds, including the bright green Cuban tody and the todoro, which has been named the national bird, as its colours (blue, red and white) match the Cuban flag.
Hiking amidst lush vegetation and the remains of the French coffee plantations that once lay here, our approx. 5km walk allows us to acclimatise to the humidity.
We end our trek at one of the reserve’s vegetarian restaurants for a local lunch, before checking into our hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or wander the area, before we meet again in the evening for our dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast at our hotel, we venture further through the reserve. Setting off early along the western banks of the Rio San Juan, we can look out for 117 bird species perching on the branches above, nesting in the trees, fishing in the lakes and creek and flying overhead.
Soon, we reach the 450m Loma El Taburete, a striking, forested mountain whose name translates to “hill of the stool”. We embark on a tough but rewarding climb to the hilltop, the area’s highest peak! The ascent will leave our legs aching with the humidity adding to the challenge, but the higher we climb, the better the vistas get.
At the top, a magnificent statue of the revolutionary hero, Che Guevara, watches over the island. The sublime panoramas across the nature reserve reward us well for our climb. From here, we can see the river coursing through the lush landscape and the buildings of local communities built over the creek. If it’s a clear day, our view will stretch to the Atlantic and the Caribbean Seas on either side of the island.
After a picnic lunch, we end the day transferring to our hotel in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Viñales Valley (approx. two hours).
You have some time to relax and freshen up before our group dinner at a local paladar this evening.
Prepare to discover some of Cuba’s most exquisite scenery as we venture through the Viñales Valley. After breakfast, we set off along the valley floor, where striking limestone mogotes (round-shaped mountains) tower either side of us, treating us to welcome shade.
Also known as the “garden of Cuba” this UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its Jurassic geography. Its colourful landscape of red rock against lush, green plant life attracts people from across the globe.
We have the chance to immerse ourselves completely in the amazing local culture as we visit the farming communities, famous for producing Cuban’s finest tobacco. In fact, the Hubano is recognised as one of the best cigars on our planet!
It would be a waste to trek here without climbing some of the mighty mogotes for the best views of the magical landscape. Be sure to have your camera handy as you are unlikely to see an area like it again!
In the evening, we return to our hotel for dinner and a well-deserved rest.
Following breakfast at our hotel, we leave one hiker’s paradise for another and transfer to the magical Mil Cumbre Eco-Reserve. True to its name, which translates to “One thousand peaks” in Spanish, Mil Cumbres is home to western Cuba’s highest mountains.
We check in to the main field station, a charming, timber, converted coffee-planter’s house, where our local ranger guide gives us with an exciting briefing.
Then, we’re off on a hike through this spectacular eco-reserve, tackling tough climbs for unsurpassable views of the surrounding nature.
Following the Camino de Camito from Costanera Cajabana to San Marco, we encounter all sorts of terrains, from rivers to caves to beautiful, pinewood forests.
Spanning across 17,342 hectares, this exotic eco-reserve also provides a protected habitat for endemic plants and rare wildlife.
Keep your eyes peeled for Cuban nightingales and granadillo trees, which provide wood for fine acoustic guitars.
Upon reaching today’s finish point at San Marco, we transfer back to the eco-lodge and rest tonight in its basic but comfortable dormitories.
Breakfast sets us up for our last day’s trek and we’ve saved the hardest for last, climbing the Pan de Guajaibón, western Cuba’s highest peak!
Ascending 699m above sea-level, this four-to-five-hour hike will really test our strength and literally take our breath way. When we reach the peak, we spend a few moments revelling in the sense of achievement and drinking in the incredible panoramas.
From here, our views expand across the pristine protected eco-reserve and all the way to the northern coastline of Cuba.
You need to have quite a high level of fitness for this climb and if you don’t feel up to it, you can take on a shorter trek to and from the base of the ascent, which we’re arranging with another guide.
Bidding the extraordinary panoramas farewell, we descend and transfer to our hotel in the vibrant city of Havana. All there’s left to do now is tuck into dinner and have a very well-deserved good night’s rest!
We end our adventure in the best way today, with an exclusive, guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana, the finest surviving colonial city in the Americas.
Following breakfast at our hotel, we walk with our expert guide around the Old City’s amazing monuments, cathedrals and palaces to gain fascinating insight into their history.
Much of the colourful architecture was originally built in the 16th century and after years of pirates, political conflict and development, millions of dollars have been invested to restore them to their former magnificence. The bright colours of the buildings are enlivened by a constant hustle and bustle and the unmistakable sound of Cuban Son.
We’re also delighted to have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy a two-hour Classic Car Tour of Havana! Cuba is famous for its Classic Cars and to experience a drive in one ourselves puts the cherry on top of our Caribbean adventure.
Tonight, we toast our achievement with a delicious celebration meal at a fantastic restaurant in the city.
After a final Cuban breakfast at our hotel, your day is free to spend as you please in Havana.
Having taken in all the key sites yesterday, you can take your time ambling the streets and soaking in the city’s electric vibe.
To give you maximum flexibility on your free day, lunch and dinner are not included today, so please make the most of the opportunity to check out more of Havana’s amazing eating establishments.
In the evening, we transfer to the airport and catch our overnight flight home. Touching down in London on Day 9, we part ways and you make your own way home, no doubt buzzing to book your next challenge.
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.
Our team of experts here at Dream Challenges has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.
With even the government unsure how exactly the coronavirus situation will eventuate, we can't make any guarantees; but we can promise you that we will always put your health and security first and will always be just and flexible in any decisions we have to make, regarding postponements and transfers.
Absolutely! As part of our amazing 14-step initiative to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety on all our challenges we're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
We fully support gender and sexual equality and the majority of our open challenges welcome all genders.
However, we've found that some women feel more confident taking on challenges in female company.
Step by Step gives women from all walks of life the platform, atmosphere and the opportunity to come together and conquer a mighty feat for charity.
These women-only challenges also have an incredible camaraderie and you're likely to make friendships that will last a lifetime.
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness level when they sign up.
This amazing women-only adventure is the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and well-being and support the cause closest to your heart.
We strongly recommend you train for the trek as we'll be tackling tough terrain in Cuba with some steep climbs, with the humidity adding to the challenge. The more you prepare, the more you'll enjoy it.
Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Cuba.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Step by Step Trek Cuba 2022.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that women of all ages will come together to do something very special.
Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome Step by Step challenge.
Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,950 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay £215 for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you at an additional cost.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to do this at least fourteen weeks before the challenge starts.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either self funding your challenge costs (£1,950) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target (£3,900), you will need to budget for your:
You will of course need a pair of walking boots.
We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the challenge well before your departure date.
We'll stay in a range of comfortable accommodation on this challenge, including hotels, guest houses and an eco-lodge in the stunning Mil Cumbres Eco Reserve.
*We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost. At the eco-lodge on the night of Day 5, we'll be sleeping in basic but comfortable dormitories.
However, you may opt to pay £215 for a single supplement and have a room to yourself. Please get in touch at least 14 weeks before the challenge for more details and we can arrange this for you.
Simply email us at email@example.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm).
Certainly! If you wish to extend your stay in Cuba, please let us know at least fourteen weeks before the challenge start date and we can arrange this for you.
The best way to get in touch is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday).
There will be around 25-30 participants in our group for Step by Step Trek Cuba 2022. You'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
Dream Challenges has a policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19.
We will send you the details once you have registered. You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity trek in Cuba.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
British passport holders require a tourist visa/travel card for Cuba. We will send you information and an application form to apply for your visa (currently £25 for British Citizens but subject to change)
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and we'll support you all the way.
We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the event. The programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer.
We also have fantastic challenge guides, a group of porters and at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying us throughout the challenge.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home
Certainly. Our accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis.
However if you would prefer to have a room to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost.
If you would like a single supplement, please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).