Viñales is located about 2 hours west of Havana and is composed mostly of mountains and country side. We wasted no time by heading straight there after we landed in Cuba to maximize our time and the ride cost $20 CUC per person in a Collectivo (visit my “Everything you need to know when traveling to Cuba” post to learn more about currency & transportation).
Cuba is the largest island in the Carribean making it virtually impossible to see everything it has to offer unless you’re visiting for over a month or so. In our 5 day trip however, we managed to see/do some pretty epic things. Here is a list of places/activities we would recommend you definitely check out if you make your way to Viñales.
1. Horseback tour
In Viñales there are numerous things you can do and the first we’d recommend is a tour via horseback that stops at an organic tobacco farm, coffee/rum plantation and a watering hole / lookout where you can take a dip or enjoy a fresh coconut and food. The tour lasts roughly 4 hours and is only $25 CUC per person!! Seriously, its a freakin’ steal and well worth it.
At the tobacco farm you will also receive a complimentary organic hand rolled cigar dipped in local honey and learn all about the cigar process.
Next stop in the tour is the Coffee/Rum plantation where they show you how they harvest and roast fresh coffee along with a signature Rum that can only be found here. You can purchase a small cup of coffee for $2 CUC and purchase a bottle of rum for $20 CUC. They’ll provide a shot to sample the rum for free.
The last stop on the tour is a lookout area where food, coconuts and drinks can be purchased. The tour guide is super lax and let’s you hang out until you’re ready to go. We had a really cool group of people our age from Sweden and Texas which made it even more enjoyable.
2. Cueva Del Indio
Cueva del Indio is a dope cave with natural formations that resemble faces, boats and other neat things. You begin by walking through a self guided tour through the cave where you have to squeeze between a small opening that leads you to the water. Here you’ll wait in line to board a small boat with a guide that will take you on quick tour and point out all the natural formations. This entire tour can be done pretty quickly and is only $5 CUC per person. Def worth doing.
The mural is a large painting created on the side of a rock with hiking trails and explanations of its origin. It was pretty rainy the day we went so our host Papito just drove by so we could at least snap some shots of it. Our Swedish friend Hugo who we met on the trip says the hike is certainly worth doing when weather permits.
Finally there’s Palenque, which is an awesome cave restaurant/bar that turns into a small club on the weekends. The prices for food are a bit over priced but its still worth seeing!
And in a nutshell there you have some really cool places for you to check out during your stay in Viñales! There’s also tons of restaurants and bars in the small town area and in the plaza in front of the church they offer wifi signal…sort of. (doesn’t always work)
Oh almost forgot! If you’re Vegan/Vegetarian a great restaurant option in Viñales would be “La Berenjena” and be sure to check out my next post on Cayo Jutías which is a beach not too far from Viñales.
Til next time,
**all images and opinions are my own.