When we think about Cuba, we think about cigars, rum, Fidel Castro, La Revolución, and the embargo. Rarely, if ever, do we hear about the tropical haven that is Viñales, Cuba.
Viñales is "traditional Cuba", and is said to have been one of Fidel Castro's favorite parts of the island. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this beautiful valley is surrounded by lush mountains and is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Havana.
When you see a man riding an ox or a horse drawn carriage, you know you're out of the city and close to rural Viñales.
The Low Down
Viñales is only a 2.5 hour drive west of Havana so it's pretty easy to get there. And now that major commercial airlines are flying directly to Havana, Cuba it's even easier.
The small town of 10,000 people is primarily populated with tobacco, coffee and pineapple farmers. There are a few hotels and several casa particulares (bed & breakfasts). You can talk to the locals, visit their farms, and really get a sense for the community.
It's not hard to predict that in 5 years this will be overrun with tourists.
Tobacco Farms and Cigars
Today, the Viñales Valley produces large amounts of tobacco and taking a tour of a tobacco farm is a must. Farming tobacco and cigar rolling is an art and there is nothing better than watching masters of the trade at work. And sampling the finished product!
If cigars aren't your thing, you can also hike, horseback ride, rock climb, take an oxen carriage, a boat tour through caves, discover the Three Valleys, birdwatch, and much more.
The valley is the perfect spot to add to any Cuba itinerary.
Interested in visiting Viñales? Contact us now to plan your next adventure.