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Cuba Travel Guide: The West of Cuba

Vinales, Cuba holidays

Vamos Cuba tips for your holidays – West of Cuba

Surrounded by the crystal clear Caribbean waters and laced in sandy white beaches, Cuba has quickly become one of the hottest travel destinations. Known for its rolling mountains, lively culture, famous rum and cigars, Cuba boasts an unforgettable itinerary made up of breathtaking sights and activities.

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island and its nearest neighbors include Key West, Florida, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Haiti, Mexico, and Jamaica.  The tropical, balmy temperatures make Cuba the perfect island escape for any travellers looking for a breath of salty ocean air under a Caribbean blue sky. Once you reach your destination, there are many things to do and see. Discover all that the beautiful west side of Cuba has to offer.

Viñales, the tobacco valley of west Cuba

Vinales-valley CubaA favorite location of Vamos Cuba. Viñales is a traditional agricultural village made up of breathtaking views and a relaxing atmosphere. It is here you will catch a true glimpse of rural Cuba at its finest. The valley of Viñales is a magnificent UNESCO Heritage Site surrounded by dramatic mountainous ranges and used for agricultural tobacco production. There are many different ways to experience Viñales, from walking tours to horseback riding. Other ways to enjoy the views include cycling and even rock climbing. Finish your day dancing traditional salsa  and mix with Cubans at the Polo Montanez centrum while enjoying a cocktail or two.

Those with a passion for history and authenticity may enjoy a visit to Los Aquaticos located in the Viñales National Park. Accessible only by horse or foot, you can enjoy a scenic tour that offers a glimpse into a community of traditional farmers and the history that comes along with it. Vamos Cuba recommends this tour for anyone looking for a less touristy experience and a taste of the true Cuban culture on your holidays.

Cayo Jutias – white sand beach

Cayo Jutias, Cuba

Cayo Jutias, Cuba

Dubbed by many as an “undiscovered” beach, Cayo Jutias is 3km-long white sand beach decorated in mangroves and known for its serene atmosphere. It’s also Vamos Cuba favourite beach where we go for our ‘holidays’.

Here you’ll find peace and quiet—a beach just the way nature intended. At Cayo Jutias there are no beachside hotels, which means you won’t be stepping around sunbathing tourists with every few steps. However you will still have the facilities, like bathrooms, showers, restaurant and bar. There is also Nautic centre with with diving, snorkeling and kayaking trips. Also you can rent beach chair for only $2.

It takes about one hour by car from Viñales and you will enjoy beautiful views on the way.

Puerto Esperanza –  sleeping fishing village

PuertoEsperanza Cuba HolidayVamos Cuba recommends a stop in Puerto Esperanza for those looking to go off the beaten track. A charming, sleepy fishing village located north of Viñales, this quiet port village is known for its hushed, easy days and lazy energy. The tiny town seems as though it’s stuck in the early fifties, where fishermen spend their summers hoping to haul in sea bass, tuna, and albacore. There is a certain charm to the sweet silence in Puerto Esperanza—one that should be enjoyed by every traveler.

Maria La Gorda – the best for diving

If the beautiful world beneath the sea is something that excites you, you may want to consider diving in the famous Maria La Gorda. Experts consider the seabed at Maria la Gorda to be among the top ten places to dive in Latin America. Divers will experience colorful marine life in abundance among brilliant and thriving corals. The local habitat has been extensively and passionately preserved and protected, promising an unforgettable underwater experience.

Pinar del Rio – the province capital

Campesino, tobacco Vinales in Cuba

Campesino in Pinar, Cuba

The city of Pinar del Rio (capital of the Pinar del Rio province) is an intriguing and authentic Cuban experience. It is here where some of the world’s finest cigars are born, finding their start in the tobacco plantations that stretch across Cuba’s westernmost province.

TIP for your tour: You can visit the tobacco factory: La Fábrica de Tabacos Francisco Donatien. It’s smaller than the Partagas factory in Havana but you will get more intimate experience.

The tenth largest Cuban city, Pinar del Rio is the center of scenic landscapes, a pleasantly sleepy atmosphere, and interesting architecture.

If you haven’t yet considered a visit to Cuba for your holidays, these are just a few of the many reasons to make it your newest travel destination. There is an experience waiting for every visitor, whether you’ve been beckoned by the ocean or the mountains are calling you. From stepping back into time at the sleepy villages to basking in the untouched landscape, a trip to Cuba promises to be a trip you won’t soon forget.

 

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