Viñales, Cuba

Approx 2 and a half hours drive in a colectivo taxi away from the hustle and bustle of Havana sits Viñales, a lush countryside town in the west of Cuba.  Being from Ireland we are used to seeing green fields and agricultural land, however the beauty of this sleepy town rests in its lush valley, vast tobacco plantations and colossal rock formations. Valle de Silencio (The Silent Valley), an UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for tourists but also is an important region for many tobacco farmers. The most popular way to explore the valley is on horseback and you can learn en route how a cigar is manufactured, how coffee beans are produced and how local honey and rum is made. We were lucky enough to visit the town on a Saturday night when it was a hive of activity and became fully pedestrianised. Local people set up food and drink stalls along the streets offering freshly made cocktails such as Mojitos/Pina Coladas, fresh snacks such as popcorn and hot food such as pizzas and every sort of pork you can think of!

Highlights:

  • Horseback ride to the Valle De Silencio
  • Try the local Pina Coladas made with fresh pineapples and coconuts
  • Watch the sunset over the Mountains 
  • Sample a local hand-rolled cigar
  • Taste the local organic rum

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