Viñales, Cuba

The Viñales valley is a national monument of Cuba and an UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The valley is encircled by karst mountains and is very lush and green. Because of the unique microclimate and the red farmland, this area produces the best cigars in the world. For kids it’s very interesting to see how leaves are harvested, cigars are made and how the Guajiros live. For some of you maybe already known, but for me it was completely new that the song “Guantanamera” is also about these Guajiros. So listen carefully next time you hear this song.

Viñales was Fidel Castro’s favourite place in Cuba and he decided a hotel should be built there for him to reside every time he came to that area. This hotel named Los Jazmines is located at an excellent view point of the Viñales valley and has one of the best views you’ll ever see.

The people in Viñales are prosperous for Cuban standards. Unlike the buildings and houses in Havana, all the wooden houses here are painted nicely in bright colours and have a lovely porch at the front where people sit and watch the tourist busses pass by. Viñales can be reached from Havana in about 3-4 hours by car. We rented a private chauffeur and asked him to bring us there for a day trip. It was a very good choice. The chauffeur was one of the friends of our classic car driver. We could have stayed longer, maybe a day or two as there is plenty to do around Viñales for families.

We visited only for a day, but if you stay longer there is enough stuff to do in and around Viñales. Here are some ideas.

  • Visit the outlook of the Viñales valley.
  • Visit a tobacco farm and see how cigars are made by a “Guajiro”.
  • Visit one of the caves around Viñales.
  • Visit the prehistoric rock mural painting.
  • Hike, cycle or horseback ride around in the valley.
La Casa Verde
Address: Viñales, Cuba
Reservations: not possible
Website: –
Cuisine: Very good and fresh Cuban food
Experience: This Paladare (private Cuban restaurant) is located close to Hotel Los Jazmines in Viñales and has an excellent view of the valley. It’s nothing fancy but serves delicious and very fresh Cuban food. Many of the ingredients are produced on the premises. One thing you’ll have to try when you’re there is the “Ropa Vieja” a typical Cuban dish of red meat. It was one of the best I had on the island. The fish one of my sons had was very fresh and good as well. Of course as a “Latina” I love the rice with black beans, something you can eat everywhere on the island. But for typical Cuban food this was a very good one.

Waiting to go into the tobacco leaves drying shack – Viñales, Cuba

Viñales has a subtropical climate, during summer there is a wet season and during winter a dry season. It is a warm place to visit any time of year. With temperatures high enough to wear those flimsy dresses and shorts whenever you decide to visit this wonderful city. You can cool off in the water which has a nice temperature year-round.

August – October is the primary hurricane season, so check out the hurricane warnings if you decide to go during these months.

Below is the current temperature and forecast for the next days in Viñales, decide for yourself if it’s tempting or not.