by Female Abroad

Besides Havana, I wanted to check out Vinales (pronounced Bin-al-es) before the American's got too far into Cuba and started making changes. Why Vinales you might ask, well this is where the tobacco fields are and where arguably some of the world's best cigar leaves come from so I figured it would be one of the more "updated" areas once American's can move into the country more.

This eco-tourism strong hold is a 2 - 2.5 hour drive from Havana and it is straight highway driving. As you are headed West away from the all inclusive resorts you see a lot of local life on the highway which means you see how the farmers get around, how people hitchhike, and just what the countryside looks like.

It is a very flat road so if you can rent a car, you will have no problem driving out yourself but if you don't want to then you can always hire a cab for the day or prearrange a tour. We had prearranged a private tour through Havana Tours which was great (check out my trip advisor review). We were told that there are buses that leave from Havana to Vinales twice a day (9am & 2pm) but not sure from where, for how much, or when the return back to Havana is. Future article idea....

"Overhyped" I've heard this city as being called but I cannot see that at all as long as you are going for the right reasons. The city is small but brightly coloured and the majority of the buildings here are for rent so it is really easy to visit if you are wanting a relaxing town to stay in although we did find that prices on the majority of items were higher (sometimes double) what they were in Havana. There was also some of the mystery meat served on buns that you shouldn't eat that I mention in my Cuban Food article.

Out here you will find a lot of crops (tobacco, fruit, veggies, and coffee) as well as some fishing but the majority of people come here for the nature excursions or the caves. Whether it's ATVing or horseback riding, hiking or caving, there is something for you to do here. There is even a good sized camp ground if you would rather do that then rent out a bungalow. This area is also a UNESCO world heritage site so if you are a history or architecture buff then this is a great spot to visit on a day trip or stay if you want. However we found that a day was good enough for us.


  1. Viñales Municipal Museum
  2. Casa de Caridad Botanical Gardens
  3. Museo Paleontológico
  4. Palenque
  5. Cueva del Indio
  6. Cueva de José Miguel
  7. Cueva de Santo Tomás
  8. Viewpoint Las Jazmines
  9. Mural de la Prehistoria