This town, with its abundance of activities and beauty, stole my heart. From cycling among limestone karsts to horse-riding through tobacco farms, this was my favorite spot in one of my favorite countries. We had a welcome party. They have what are called casa peculiares — home stays.
So this crowd of people were local home owners collecting their guests. Staying with locals is arguably the best way to experience a country, and Cubans definitely know how to host.
In every place I stayed I felt like a part of the family. Hosts would explain through broken Spanglish the best places to go and the best things to do, they cooked us delicious dinners giving us a taste of local cuisine, and always served up either a beer or a mojito! Wifi is pretty new in Cuba, and pretty rare — I was offline for my entire trip. In a way, the lack of information made everything feel that much more spontaneous and magical.
It was a good lesson to take away and apply to other adventures — trust the locals, and be ready to go where the wind takes you. This is where the wind took us…. The best way to start the day here is with sunrise. There is something so beautiful and calm about a sunrise, watching nature stir from slumber while most people are still snoozing.
It feels like you have the world to yourself. Walk down the main road that runs through the town in a south-westerly direction, and take a left turn to follow it up and away from the houses towards Hotel Los Jazmines.
Believe me, that early start is so worth it. The hotel, along with some small restaurants either side, is perched in a perfect position to watch the mist burn off the valley and reveal a lush green scene.
We sat in silent awe. You could see for miles. My camera had broken only a few days before arriving in Cuba — it was a real tragedy — but in the end it turned out for the best. My travel buddies shared their photos with me and I was in most of them!
But more importantly, I was never looking through a lens. Instead I took everything in as it was. Limestone karsts rise up out of the valley making for a very picturesque scene.
A popular activity is to rent bicycles and have a ride out of town to nearby caves. Be warned: some are beautiful and secluded, while others are a little more touristy and tacky.Top 10 Places to Visit in Cuba. The good, bad and ugly sides to Cuba for tourists. Flights Vacation Rentals Restaurants Things to do. Things to do. Vacation Rentals. Rental Cars. Vacation Packages. Travel Forum. Best of Trip Inspiration. Road Trips. Help Center. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers.
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Valle de Vinales: Hours, Address, Valle de Vinales Reviews: 4.5/5
Popular Amenities. Vinales Hotels with Free Parking. Vinales Hotels with Pools. Pet Friendly Hotels in Vinales. Popular Vinales Categories. Quiet Hotels in Vinales. Near Landmarks. Hotels near Valle de Vinales. Hotels near Mural de la Prehistoria. Hotels near Cueva del Indio.
Hotels near Jardin Botanico de Vinales. Hotels near Cuevas de Santo Tomas. Hotels near Taxi Vinales Cuba. Hotels near Palenque de los Cimarrones. Hotels near Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Hotels near Horse Ride Vinales. Hotels near Finca L'Armonia.Last Updated on August 10, Vinales is an small agricultural town in the Pinar del Rio province in Western Cuba.
The main drawcard of Vinales is the idyllic Vinales Valley, with its endless lush greenery and rounded mogote limestone hills. This post covers the top 10 things to do in Vinales Cuba, from the cute small town to the beautiful surrounding Valle de Vinales. Read More: This post focuses on what to do in Vinales Cuba. See my Cuba itinerary for further information on Vinales, including details on how to get to Vinales and where to stay in Vinales. Vinales is all about living the slow life and experiencing country living as it was in the s.
The best Vinales Cuba things to do include doing nothing at all … grab a mojito, sit on an old rocking chair on the verandah, and watch the world slowly pass you by. Taking a Vinales Valley Tour has to be the number one thing to do in Vinales, and is the sole reason a lot of people visit Vinales. If Havana is the vibrant beating heart of Cuba, then Valle de Vinales must be its laid back country cousin.
The Vinales Valley is quintessential Vinales. Most casa particulars can organise an English speaking tour guide when you arrive. We took a 4 hour Vinales Valley walking tour which covered around 8km at a comfortable pace. As well as a tobacco and coffee farm, we experienced farming as it must have been years ago with very limited mechanical machinery. If the heat gets to you, cool off with a dip in the lake.
Most tours of Valle de Vinales include a visit to a traditional working tobacco plantation. Not that we ever smoked any of it … just got caught up in the authentic souvenir purchasing. Tobacco not your vice? Why not see how coffee is made the old fashioned way, and taste the goodies with a view to write home about. We loved our visit to Corazon de Valle photo abovewhere we learnt about coffee growing and processing, and sampled the local coffee, honey and rum nom nom nom.
You can also purchase coffee beans or ground coffee to take home, and relive the Cuban experience for weeks to come. The Vinales Valley is filled with caves to explore, from rugged remote caves that are strictly for adventurers only, to caves that can be conquered by all sporting-ability levels.
Including my level: close to non-existent.Cheap bikes boston
We visited Palenque de los Cimarrones, as we only had time for one cave stop and this sounded more up our street.
Palenque de los Cimarrones: Palenque de los Cimarrones is only a few hundred metres long 3 CUC entryand has a cave bar out front photo abovewhich makes for a fun afternoon or party cave on some weekend nights!Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Travel Alert: U. For details, click here. Valle de Vinales 5, Reviews. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date s you selected.
Please choose a different date. Full view. Vinales Cuba. Best nearby. Agroecological Sunset Restaurant. Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Get to know the area. Inside the Valley we will observe different types of crops and we will know what is related to each of them. We will visit the tobacco dryer, where a farmer will explain everything related to this coveted product, from its planting, through the tobacco house where it is stored for a certain period to how it is prepared to smoke, and even one will be offered.
Free to try a real cigar. More info. Write a review. Traveler rating.
What to do in Viñales Cuba
Traveler type. Time of year. Selected filters. All reviews tobacco farm horse riding day trip beautiful valley rural cuba the main street small town coffee plantation local guide cigar factory natural beauty casa particular on foot national park cuban cigars worth the trip boat ride horseback tour sugar cane mogotes caves scenery. Livalambchop wrote a review Apr Chepstow, United Kingdom contributions 93 helpful votes. Best part of Vinales.
Why you cannot help but fall for Viñales, Cuba
This valley and the walks around the valley were the main reasons why we decided to come to Vinales.It is quite easy to travel around Cuba as there are a lot of private taxis, collective taxis and public coaches that travel across the country multiple times a day. Same goes for the taxi transfers arranged by big hotels. I recommend getting a taxi to the coach and taxi station approximately a 15 minute drive from central Havana and should cost around 10 CUC and negotiating with the drivers there.
Horse riding in the valley of Vinales, Cuba. The hosts, Pedro and his wife, were absolutely fantastic; they cooked us some amazing breakfasts, gave us advice on places to eat and see, and also helped us by booking our excursions and return taxi for us. It was my third time ever horse riding and I have to say I was a bit anxious at first. After seeing how docile the horses and how experienced our guides were however I relaxed a bit. The tour lasts between 3 — 5 hours and costs 5 CUC per hour.
Even if it is very warm, remember to wear long trousers or you will have very sore legs after! It was very scenic and despite my inexperience horse riding I still found it very relaxing. We did as part of the horse riding tour and found it really interesting. The local farmers told us about the tobacco growth cycles and they explained the process that happens from when the seeds are first planted to the tobacco leaves rolled into cigars. One of the tobacco farmers shows how they roll cigars.
The constructions that you see dotted around the valley, which we thought were houses at first, turned out to be the buildings where they store tobacco leaves when they are being dried. He then offered us all a cigar to smoke while he showed us how they make them. My friend Francesca trying a Cuban cigar on the tobacco plantation. In some places eg. It is a colourful and gigantic painting on a wall of rock in the valley, depicting odd scenes from historical times.
The photo below was taken from the car park of the murales, if you want to get closer you have to pay 3 CUC. All these have been taken from the same viewpoint, at the Hotel Jazmines. There is a wide viewing platform with a small coffee shop right next to the hotel, where you can go for free and enjoy the view or grab a drink and a seat if you feel like it. As most viewpoints go, this is also obviously a bit higher up relative to the village. There are two ways to get here; the first is with the hop-on hop-off bus that I mentioned earlier, the second is by bicycle.
Pedro gave us two bicycles for free and we decided to brave the cycle up to the viewpoint. Needless to say, most of it is uphill and quite tiring, but the view is well worth it. After having seen the main highlights of the valley on the first day we had originally planned to go to the beach on the second day. We were advised by our AirBnb host that it is one of the best beaches along this part of the Cuban coast, and given the heat and how tired we were from horse riding spending a day relaxing on the beach would have been nice!
This cave supposedly dates back to indigenous times and was rediscovered in by a local farmer. You have to pay 2 CUC to go inside. After an initial section just after the downwards staircase you have to crawl under overhanging rocks to get to a wider section of the cave. Here there is an underground river where you will get a boat that will take you outside the cave from a different access point. Cuba was not as cheap as we had expected it to be.Otherwise, you can go to any Viazul bus station and book your tickets.
I say bizarre because the gaudy colours contrast drastically with the surrounding natural landscape. The giant animal paintings represent the theory of evolution, although the painters were not particularly talented artists, it certainly is worth seeing. We chose a mojito of course and were given a bottle of rum to free-pour our drinks! High up on the mountain slopes above the Mural de la Prehistoria, a small community of Aquaticos was founded in when the local people used the healing power of water when they had no access to regular medicines.
You can walk alone up here, these are the directions provided in the Lonely Planet guide for Cuba :. Although no signs mark the path, there are plenty of homesteads en route where you can ask the way. From the main road follow a dirt road for approximately m before branching left and heading cross-country.
You should be able to pick out a blue house halfway up the mountain ahead of you. This is your goal. Once there, you can admire the view, procure grown-on-site coffee and chat to the amiable owners about the water cure. That said, anywhere up the mountain the views over the valley are beautiful.
As recommended in the Lonely Planet for Cuba, Villa Los Reyes organizes daily walks with local guides who take you to the tobacco farms, and to an eco-farm to watch the sunset with a mojito in hand. Ask your casa particular for recommendations on trustworthy horseriding guides to go with.Ausable Chasm, NY, USA in 4K (Ultra HD)
When I was there, the tobacco had already been harvested, so the bare fields were a striking brown compared with the lush green of the rest of the valley. You can also buy cigars from here to take home, they will let you know what the regulations are regarding exporting the cigars. Check out the website Cuba Climbing for up to date information on where to climb, and where to hire equipment. Bear in mind though that there are no official safety procedures, and should something go wrong it will be entirely your responsibility.
At the beach, there are a couple of restaurants and a place to hire kayaks and snorkel equipment. We just chilled out on the beach!
Take a tour to the Cueva del Indio where you walk through part of the cave before hopping on a boat to go further inside. Stalactites, stalagmites and beautiful rock formations make this a worthwhile visit, and some people love the dance from the indigenous people who used to live here — although others find it too touristy!
Go early to avoid the crowds.
In high season you may need to book in advance, but during low season you should be fine turning up, where you will be met off the bus by people offering bargain prices on rooms in their casas. If you are travelling in high season, check prices and availability on Airbnb, but bear in mind that prices will likely be higher than if you book last minute when you are in Cuba. Read more about the Airbnb first time discount code and my full Airbnb guide or click below for your Airbnb coupon. I headed back to Havana via Las Terrazas, but if you are at start of your journey you could head over the other side of the island to go to CienfuegosTrinidad or Santiago.
Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you! Tales of a Backpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable. I'm a something foodie traveller who loves to experience the best of a destination without breaking the bank. I'll help you to travel the world on a budget, while still being able to spend money on unique experiences.
I am an avid supporter of female solo travel, and took my first solo trip 17 years ago! I love to write about travel, hostels and backpacking. I just got back from Vinales yesterday.
I had a wonderful time. I was walking in to Viazul in Havana and was approached by a taxi driver out front so fo only a few dollars more I had a private, direct car ride to Vinales.
The same thing happened upon my return.If the gritty environs of Havanaand the Caribbean influence in Trinidadrepresent Cuba in many stereotypical ways, then heading to Vinales in Pinar del Rio province will give you a different impression completely.
Beautifully rural, Vinales is endowed in mogotes, large limestone cliffs covered with flat flora and plant life over a circular end, something that is very similar in Vietnam, Southeast Asia. Vinales is a national park and the most visited place in the province. Workers will be manning horse and carts as they collect goods whilst house owners far into the rural areas will gently sway back and forth in their rocking chairs whilst on their porch.
Whilst Vinales is far from derelict with travelers, if you want to see something different in Cuba and well like somewhere a little more scenic, it is a must visit. Cuban Adventures offers a Short Stay tour to Vinales as well as its regular small group tours of Cubamany of which include stays Vinales along with other highlight destinations in Cuba. The Valle de Ancon is a place you will be just itching to explore.
A rural setting, littered with Cuban farmers fields, mesmerising mogotes and bush tracks, Vinales makes for the perfect Cuban adventure. As the sun beams down on your humid body, condors will hover over you in numbers to make the journey just a little more epic. You may rock-climbing in Vinales too, as it has came popular in recent years.
It is best to leave town almost and trot down past the rice fields using the giant mogotes as your native map. The boulder-like hills made of limestone rock are the most photographed elements of Vinales and make for stunning views. Mogote Dos Hermanas has the same authority as if it were Mount Vesuvuius Volcano in Pompeii, but with no concern of eruption.Vmware tools device drivers download
The images are multi-colours including small creatures, dinosaur and man — which are hard to miss really. The mural is odd but unique to the Vinales valleys local history and Cuba itself. Horseback ride through the vicinities with the sun on your back as you explore the towns inner farming fields. Learn about how they are made and to what cost, and if you please, maybe for the novelty even try one yourself.
Video footage of an organic farm in Vinales Your browser does not support iframes. You can have a choice of many restaurants whatever the budget, from local Cuban cuisine to special western delights. At night, there are bars open such as Complejo Recreativo Polo Montanez that has both salsa and other tastes in music. Other amenities such as a bank, an ATM, and currency exchange are available too, but the lines are dreadfully and consistently long.
Jardin Botanico de Caridad is a charming garden with dozens of trees, shrubs and flowers all jam-packed with one another. Most obviously are the fruit markets with papaya and mangos some of the most notable exotic delights.
Vinales If the gritty environs of Havanaand the Caribbean influence in Trinidadrepresent Cuba in many stereotypical ways, then heading to Vinales in Pinar del Rio province will give you a different impression completely.Presto http
Adventure The Valle de Ancon is a place you will be just itching to explore. Wander It is best to leave town almost and trot down past the rice fields using the giant mogotes as your native map. Cuban Agriculture Horseback ride through the vicinities with the sun on your back as you explore the towns inner farming fields.
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