Viñales is approximately 2.5 hours from Havana by Car. Its breathtaking landscapes are worth the drive alone. Think overwhelming limestone mountains, underground rivers, natural lakes, abundant agriculture, and so much more.
It is quite easy to get to Viñales from Havana. There are lots of taxis, colectivos, and buses that make the trip daily. If you prefer, Vamos Cuba can help arrange transportation on your behalf.
Once in Viñales there are so many things to see and do. I recommend the following:
Tobacco Cigar Farms
Cuba is known for its high quality cigars. What better place to live the full Cuban experience than one of the mayor contributors to the best tobacco cigars in the world? Therefore, your visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a tobacco harvest and production farm. You will definitely get to know everything there is to know about the process of harvesting tobacco and the step by step production of an authentic Cuban cigar.
Jardín botánico municipal
This magical garden will win your heart. Its spectacular colours only add to those you see in the verdant mountains. Owned by two sisters who have dedicated their lives to harvesting and collecting plants, they have turned their garden into a popular attraction. Noted for its abundant collection of orchids, it’s the ideal place for flora lovers. Don’t be surprised by the hanging doll heads lurking throughout the garden; they are enjoying the flowers just like you. While there, you can learn about the gardens development, its history, and immerse yourself in a different world all at the same time. At the end of your trip, you can stop to eat some fruit from the garden trees in the refreshing shade.
Cafetal Buena Vista
Situated in Las Terrazas are the partially restored ruins of Cafetal Buenavista. It is the oldest Cuban coffee plantation which was established in the early 19th century. You can visit the ruins of the slave quarters, have a meal in the attic of the master’s house, and marvel at the large grindstone that used to extract the grains of coffee from the shells. While no coffee is currently harvested, the incredible views of the plantation fields and the San Juan River surely make up for it.
Mural de la Prehistoria
As you travel through the valley of Viñales your eyes will be unexpectedly drawn to the Mural de la Prehistoria. It is 160 meters long and 120 meters high. It was painted in 1959 by Leovigildo Gonzalez, a student of the acclaimed Diego Rivera. Its colourful and vivid hues represent life in the Cuban island and its evolution. You can pay a few CUC to get close to the mural or you can sit in the perfectly situated restaurant where you can gaze at the mural while having a typical Cuban meal and a refreshing drink.
Cueva del Indio
Another must-see attraction is “La Vueva del Indios” (Indios Cave). Inside the cave you can enjoy a walk through the caverns, have the chance to crawl under overhanging rocks to get to a wider section of the cave, and enjoy a 300 meter boat ride on an underground river. You’ll also be introduced to fun shaped stalactites, like the crocodile head and the Indian profile. You can even make up some shaped of your own. It is like cloud animals, but with stalactites.
Reserva de Biosfera Sierra del Rosario
Cuba’s first biosphere reserve hosts more than 800 species of plants. Here you breathe pure air from its evergreen trees and rich vegetation. There are tons of activities, like kayaking or relax streaming on a boat in the crystal-clear natural pools with mineral and medicinal rich waters. Or maybe look out for some wildlife; the reserve is home to 117 bird species, 33 reptile species and 16 amphibian species.
This is a must! Viñales is famous for its captivating landscape – from the mountains to the agricultural plantations. What better way to tour the green valley than on horseback? It offers a relaxing opportunity to explore your surroundings at a slow pace. Most tours range from a few hours up to half a day.
Interested in exploring Viñales as a day trip? Read more about our tour options here: https://vamoscuba.co.uk/day-tour-to-vinales/
This post is part of Follow Me Friday at Feet Do Travel