Viñales in a small, touristic town that can be located just west of Havana, only two hours in car.
It is a quiet town, situated in a valley with a humid mirco-climate. It always rains more here than it does on the rest of the island, therefore it is the ideal location to cultivate tobacco.
Horse Riding Trips:
Contact: Reinier – 52567999
In my experience, this trip turned out to be more expensive when I booked it in advance with the landlady of the accommodation that I was staying in. I am positive that is you book it directly with the vender it will be cheaper!
The horses were tame and educated and the track we road dwon was incredible and extremely peaceful. They were very fond of Reinier, their owner and our guife, as they followed all of the instructions are were treated with respect . Reinier was a very nice guy, around 20 or 25 years old.
We contuined for a while on our route and got to know other artisains. We finished by passing an incredible lake, the only way to describe it was wild and beautiful.
The valley is called Valley of Silence… and in reality it is a great place to go to disconnect from the chaos of Havana.
Cost: 25 cuc (including the extra commission that I paid my landlady).
You can reserve your place on this our in the Tourism Office of Viñales.
Cost: 20 cuc to ride on the horse, or 10 cuc if you would prefer to walk. If you walk it will take about 3 hours to complete the route.
José A. Robaina – 01 52559909
This it the cheapest option however I didn´t get the chance to give it a go. José is a very friendly man, he explained that he does not have any intermediaries and this is why he can offer such cheap prices.
The trip offer includes:
- Visit to the house of a farmer, with an explanation about the way in which tobacco is grown and collected.
- An explanation about the production of coffee in this zone.
- Visit to a natural lake
- Visit to the caves of Golondrinas
- A viewpoint from which you can appreciate a view of the valleu of Viñales.
Price: 3.00 CUC per hour
Duration: 3-4 hours
Infotur: 25 CUC
Rafael: 15 CUC
The taxi was a russian style car from the 80´s, which corresponds with the 60´s in the western world, as Cuba was and still is a bit behind on the times.
The driver was a young and friendly boy, who was very typically cuban, who was smiling all of the time. He had spent more than 10 years doing the same trip and there is never a chance for him to escape.
If renting a car was an option in Cuba, the truth is that after a tour, if you want to switch off and relax you will always want the option of a collective taxi.
The roads in Cuba are not too bad, apart from the dangerous bends and the enormous potholes. The are that bad that the majority of drivers perfer to drive on the side of the road rather than over the pothole on the road.
Another dangerous factor is that most of the cars are more than 20 years old and therefore there tires are completely worn down.
The third most dangerous factor is that the drivers here are very confident about their driving skills… some would say too confident.
And the fourth and final factor is of course the all powerful….RUM!
Put all of these factors together and you will get flat tires one on the way there and another on the way back!
But in Cuba, all bad luck is overcome with a smile, the wheels are changed and that is that!
The driver even let me drive the car, and the truth is that, it was like driving a boat, considering the fact that the car took about 3 seconds to respond to anything I tried to do.
Cost: 39 CUC / 47 with food
You can buy this excursion at Infotur.
This exursion will always be more expensive than Cayo Jutías because you have to go via boat.
It is less wild than Jutías, there are many resorts and it is forbidden to Cubans… that is why Cubans usuallu advise you to go to Jutías instead.
Shuttle bus to the Valley of Viñales: Caves
Cost: Between 5-10 CUC, either way it will be cheap
You can purchase tickets at Infotur and get on the bus from here as it departs right infront of the store.
The bus will stop various times at different locations. You will have the chance to get off the bus at these steps and explore for 30 minuets.
The most interesting stops are: the viewpoint, the pre-historic wall and the caves that you will visit when on the boat.
Caves of san Tomás
Cost: 21 CUC + 1,40 to go inside the cave.
Duraction: 3 hours
Timetable: Departure at 9.00am and 14.00pm
After 20 minutes in the boat we arrived at the caves, here we met Monterrey, the cave guide: he has 3 degrees and charges 14 CUC per month.
We had to wear saftey helmets with lights on them, which were more then 11 years old…
The cave has 7 different levels, but you can only visit the hghest levels: the 6th and 7th to be precise.
To enter the cave we had to climb the artifical stairs, which are almost impossible to climb!
After about 40 minutes of walking through the cave we reached the highest level.
The other 5 levels were closed off in order to facilitate the conservation of this site.