Blogs from Viñales, Oeste, Cuba, Central America Caribbean


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales April 5th 2015

Vinales is small town on the edge of a fertile valley west of Havana. The valley, Valle de Silencio, is a key Cuban tobacco growing area, but the fincas also grow a range of crops. About 2 hours from Havana, it is a wonderful escape from the city. The town of Vinales has grown considerably in recent years as foreign tourists have discovered it. Now, tobacco and tourism are the primary crops of the area.... read more
Garlic Sales, Vinales
Traffic Jam, Vinales

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales April 8th 2014

From Havana we went West to Viñales, a beautiful valley in the Pinar del Rio province. High points of the journey (2 ½ hours down one long stretch of highway) included a number of cows sauntering across the road completely unperturbed by the traffic, a man standing in the baking heat on the hard shoulder holding a wooden pole, hanging from which were six whole roast chickens, and some particularly cheesy Cuban music including a rendition of Stand By Me, half in Spanish, half in English with a groovy salsa back beat. Arriving at our Casa - inexplicably built and furnished in the style of a Swiss chalet - we were greeted by our hosts ‘mama y papa’. ‘Papa’ or ‘El Rubio’ introduced us to his turtles by carefully lifting one out of the water and ... read more
Tobacco hut
View of the magotes

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales February 13th 2014

Vinales – UNESCO world Heritage Site - The Town of Rocking Chairs & the Land of the Cuban Cigar It’s early to rise; breakfast at 7am, as we have a bus to catch and Pepe takes us in the Taxi laid on by Chez Nous (possibly the family car) to the Viazul Bus Stop opposite the Zoo – which takes about 20 mins for C10. We are grateful & he says he’ll pick us up on our return if we can call him – good service we think. Viazul bus line seems to us to be very efficient, comfortable (reclining seats), has a good baggage handling system to give you peace of mind and starts bang on time at 9am & gets us to Vinales 10 mins late (12.45pm). Partly this is due to the detour ... read more
Rocking chairs Vinales
Craft Market - Vinales
Farm in Valle Ancon Vinales

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 27th 2014

Vuokrasin polkupyörän 4 tunniksi. Lyöttäydyin ruotsalaisten seuraan, ja puhuin ruotsiakin. Kävin katsomassa Intiaanin luolaa ja 'esihistoriallisia kalliomaalauksia', jotka on peräisin 1960-luvulta. Kylässä jututin saksalaista perhettä. Heillä on 5- ja 4-vuotiaat pojat ja he ovat pitkään Kuubassa.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 26th 2014

Matkustin Viazulin bussilla Viñalesiin, joka on turistien suosima kylä upeissa maisemissa. Törmäsin pariin suomalaiseen, jotka olivat samalla lennolla. Käytiin kävelyllä kylän ulkopuolella, ja poikettiin pientilalla, jossa meille tarjottiin kahvia ja sikareita, joita vain yksi meistä poltti.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales September 6th 2013

With only 10 days in Cuba, we could only choose one other place to visit outside of Havana. A mate from back home mentioned Vinales, and it was a good recommendation. It is a small sleepy little town in the Pinar del Rio province, about 3 hours west of Havana, and its rich red soil makes it the perfect place to grow tobacco in the shade of the karstic Cordillera de Guaniguanic range. Adriana had arranged accommodation for us in a Casa Particular there, and boy were we glad that she did. As the bus pulled into town, 10's of frantic women surrounded the bus shouting and furiously waving flyers for their Casa's in our faces. At the back of the crowd was a tiny women with a cheeky grin with my name written on it. ... read more
View over Vinales farming area
Celestino, Mojo and Estrella
View over Vinales farming area

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales July 30th 2013

Vinales is a four-hour bus ride from Havana. Many schedules show that it is a much longer trip, but it's untrue. If you're spending six or seven hours to get there, you're torturing yourself for no reason. The highway between is in pretty good shape, and there is practically no one on it. Only when you get close to Vinales does it start to get winding. A taxi (which, if you have two people or more, is somehow the same price as a bus) can get you there even faster. There is a plethora of casas particulares in Vinales. It's a small town, so everywhere is within walking distance. There are a few tourist agencies in town, but the owners of the casas really push to organize hikes, horseback riding, taxis to the beach, and other ... read more
Cayo Jutias
Cayo Jutias 2
More Mogotes

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales November 12th 2012

To Cuba from Managua To feel the spence of Fidel's Cuba before he dies. Travel by moto. Will try to rent a dirt bike but will settle for a scooter if that's all that's available.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales October 15th 2011

Today, it was all about Julio Ceaser, our guide who took us hiking through Vinales’ fields and limestone, pin-cushion hills. Julio was an intelligent guy, with a degree in English and German, and an English accent that sounded like he’d spent four years at Bristol University and another year travelling in Perarrr. He was so interesting, and talked with so much poise, that we almost forgot to take in the views – which were stunning, by the way. We talked about Vinales itself, post revolution, and agreed that life is generally ‘better’ for its 4000 inhabitants. It’s always been a pretty self-sufficient town due to the fertile valley plains, with most people able to grow some food and keep pigs, chickens, goats etc. Now any privately owned land has been distributed amongst the people and they ... read more
I'm in a cave
Don't get it

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales October 14th 2011

Valle de Vinales is to Cuba as Pai is to Thailand. It’s a hub for travellers rather than tourists and its not-so-attractive town centre is surrounded by rural, self-sustainable dwellings with some of the country’s most spectacular views. Undulating fields of lush greens and deep red terracotta plots surround the steep walls of the towering, limestone mogotes. It’s different to Pai, though. The people seem better off. The houses are bigger and made of concrete rather than wood and mud huts. The plots of land seem more organised. And there’s a serious lack of marijuana. Maybe I’m just reading too much in to it already, but it seems here, for the rural, poor people that Che wanted to help so much – the campesinos – socialism has improved their lives. With half a day left, we ... read more
Campesino II
Ian in Wonderland
The Lobster

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