Excursion from Havana to Viñales
The small village of Viñales lies in the middle of the valley with which it shares its name, located in the western province of Pinar del Río. The area has a karstic character to its landscape, which has been formed over millions of years. The humid climate and red soils of the Viñales Valley provide the perfect conditions for growing the world’s best tobacco. Here, the leaves are grown and hung out to dry on sheds before being rolled into the famous Cuban cigars that we all know so well. The flat tobacco fields are encircled by strangely shaped limestone hills, known as “mogotes”, measuring between 300m and 400m in height. There are also numerous caves scattered throughout these hills, with the “Cueva del Indio” being one of the most famous. The San Vincente River meanders through this cave for 4km, approximately 1km of which can be explored on foot before exploring the rest by boat, including the impressive 135m high grotto peppered with stalactites and stalagmites.
Nature lovers will also be in for a treat; Western Cuba is home to an impressive array of palm trees, with over 30 different native species, including the Cuban National Tree, the Cuban Royal Palm, as well as the Cork and Barrigona Palms. The Viñales National Park is also home to prehistoric plants, such as the Cork Oak. Choose our excursions to Viñales and as the mist rolls over the region, you are sure to be mesmerised by its mystical, and almost supernatural, charm.
Viñales in 2 Days
Complement your time in Havana with an excursion to Viñales on the western side of the island. The surrounding region boasts a truly distinctive landscape, characterised by some of the world’s most unique limestone hills known as “mogotes”. On your two day trip to the Viñales Valley there will be a definite scent of tobacco in the air as you pass through the world-renowned tobacco-growing region.
On the first day of your two day excursion you will travel to Viñales National Park which boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole of Cuba. You will follow the trails through the green shimmering tobacco fields which are dotted with 160 million year old rock formations known as “mogotes”, reaching heights of up to 400m. At a glance, these hills seem to resemble “the back of the elephants !In between the tobacco fields and “mogotes”, you will find quaint farms and villages, together with their traditional architecture and colourful painted walls that create a bewitching contrast with the distinctive red colour of the Viñales soil. It therefore comes as no surprise that this popular region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
In the afternoon, you will have the chance to visit the “Manufactura de Tabacos”, where you can watch the “Torcedores” hand roll the traditional Cuban cigars on their thighs, rolling an average of 40-180 cigars a day. This trip is the perfect opportunity to learn about cigar production, which has played a long and traditional role in Cuba and earned the island a reputation throughout the world.
Next, our excursion to Viñales will take you to the region’s most famous cave, the “Cueva del Indio”. The San Vincente River meanders for 4km through the cave, resulting in grotesque-like formations that are just waiting to be admired. You will first explore the magical cave on foot, before discovering the rest by boat, including the 135m grotto, dotted with stalactites and stalagmites.
Later in the afternoon, you will be taken to Hotel Ermita, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the valley whilst sipping a refreshing Mojito.
On day two of our Viñales excursion, you are free to do as you please. Your tour guide will be available to give you advice and tips to help you plan your own itinerary. In the surrounding area, there is an array of walking trails just waiting to be explored. We would also recommend a visit to the nearby “El Jardín de Caridad”. These sprawling gardens were first established by two sisters who devoted their whole lives to growing the orchids, lilies and exotic fruits that can be seen today.
Alternatively, you can admire the “Mural de la Prehistoria”, a mural measuring 120m high and 180m wide, depicting the Theory of Evolution.
Or you can simply grab a seat in a small café and watch the hustle and bustle of the locals for a truly authentic slice of Cuba. Whatever you choose to do, the second day of your excursion to Viñales is sure to be a memorable experience. Your tour of this natural paradise will now come to an end as you head back to your hotel.
What is included
- Transfer to/from your Havana hotel
- Tour guide
- Overnight stay in Viñales
- Half Board
- Entry to aforementioned attractions
Viñales in 3 Days
While Havana certainly does spark the imagination, it is sometimes good to get away from it all. With our 3 day excursion, you can explore the most popular region of Cuba, the Viñales Valley. You will have the chance to visit a tobacco manufacture as well as take in the stunning landscapes, dotted with spectacular rock formations. All you need to do is hop on a bus and let yourself be inspired by one of the most beautiful and captivating landscapes in the whole of Cuba. This excursion is sure to enrich your Cuban experience!
Nestled in the Sierra de los Órganos Mountain Range, among some of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole of Cuba, lies your first stop off point; the Viñales National Park. Scattered across the land, you will find the 160 million year old bulbous limestone hills. These “mogotes” can reach heights of up to 400m and are often said to resemble the back of elephants!
Several small villages and farms also make up this region with their traditional architecture and brightly coloured houses, which contrast so well with the colours of the red soil and the blue sky. Soak up the spectacular scenery which deservedly earned Viñales the label of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
On the first day of your excursion, you will have the chance to visit the “Manufactura de Tabacos”, where you can watch the “Torcedores” hand roll the traditional Cuban cigars on their thighs, rolling an average of 40-180 cigars a day. This visit is the perfect way to discover all you need to know about the world-renowned Cuban cigar industry.
Your trip will then take you to the region’s most famous cave, the “Cueva del Indio”. The underground San Vincente River flows for 4km through this cave, leaving behind grotesque-like formations. You will first explore the cave on foot, before discovering the rest by boat, including the 135m grotto, peppered with stalactites and stalagmites.
You will then be taken to Hotel Ermita, where you will spend two nights. This spectacular complex lies on a hill close to the centre of Viñales, boasting breathtaking views of the valley below. Be sure to sample the hotel’s delicious Mojito served by the private pool – the perfect conclusion to a day in Viñales!
Start today with plenty to eat at breakfast to prepare yourself for all the walking on the itinerary. On numerous trails you will pass the tobacco plantations and their tiny sheds where the leaves are hung to dry before being made into the world-famous Cuban cigars. The tour will then take you further into the fascinating landscapes as you walk among grazing cows and horses, as well as busy farmers following behind their ox-driven cart. You will be surrounded by a sea of Cuban Royal Palms and other plants and trees that bear exotic fruits, including melons, pineapples, mangoes and papayas that will make your mouth water. Look up and you will see Turkey Vultures circling, look down and you will see the snow-white Cattle Egrets scouring the ground in search of food. The locals here are just as resourceful, growing everything they need in their very own garden- they even grow their own coffee! Let yourself be mesmerised by this harmonious picture of authentic Cuban life.
Wherever you are, you are sure to have a spectacular view of this unique valley, with its flat plantations, shimmering red soils and surrounding “mogotes”. After just a few minutes here, you will come to understand why the Viñales Valley is a known favourite among nature lovers. After all this exploring, you will arrive at your hotel where you can relax and contemplate your day in total comfort.
Day 3 marks the end of your excursion to Viñales. We highly recommend taking one final look at the surrounding landscapes and be sure to take plenty of pictures so you never forget your experiences here. When it is time to leave Viñales, make sure you enjoy the magnificent scenery for one last time as you head back to the hustle and bustle of Havana.
What is included
- Transfers to/from your Havana hotel
- Tour guide
- Overnight stays in Viñales
- Half Board
- Entry to aforementioned attractions
*High Season: 01.07.2015 - 15.07.2015 / 16.08.2015 - 31.08.2015