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Viñales is a town in the heart of the Viñales Valley, located in the western part of Cuba. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty, tobacco farms, and traditional Cuban culture, Viñales offers visitors a unique glimpse into rural life on the island.

We loved Vinales and it was probably our favorite city in Cuba. Vinales has such a slow pace of life and there are views everywhere you look. The Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is characterized by its dramatic limestone formations known as Mogotes.

This rural town is a must-see destination on a visit to Cuba so keep reading to find out all the best things to do in Vinales Cuba.

View of Vinales and the mountains from the top of a balcony at a house

Where is Viñales?

Viñales is located just a few hours from Havana and is the place where the best Cuban Cigars comes from. Vinales offers visitors a multitude of activities from learning about the tobacco farms to hiking through the scenic landscape of the Vinales Valley. Located in the Pinar del Rio region of Cuba

Top 3 things to do in Vinales Cuba

1. The number one thing to do in Vinales is to visit a tobacco farm to learn about the process of cigar making and to test out the final product.
2. The second must-see place in Vinales is to visit the Mural de la Prehistoria.
3. The third top thing to do in Vinales Cuba is to visit the Cueva del Indio, an underground cave system that ends with a boat tour out of the cave.

How to get to Vinales

Vinales is located on the western part of Cuba around 2.5 hours from Havana. You can reach Vinales either by car, bus, or by tour.

Vinales by car

Getting to Vinales by car is probably the easiest and most convenient way to get there. It will cost more than taking a bus but you will get there faster.

To get a ride to Vinales you’ll need to head to the Havana bus station. Right outside the bus station you’ll see dozens of taxis waiting to be hired to take people where they want to go.

These taxis are also known as colectivos and they won’t leave until all the seats are purchased. To make it worth their while (and to keep costs down for everyone) they will wait until all the seats are filled up before they will leave.

If you feel like splurging you can purchase all the seats yourself instead of waiting for more people.

Vinales by bus

If you want to travel to Vinales by the cheapest way, that would be by bus. The Viazul bus company has a bus that travels to Vinales every morning at 7:20am. Seats only cost $12 a person and take around 3.5 hours to reach Vinales. It’s not much cheaper than taking a car but it’s definitely a reliable option that travels that way every single day.

Vinales by tour

If you didn’t want to spend the night in Vinales (although I recommend you do), you can take a day trip to Vinales with a tour. It isn’t cheap though at $72 a person but does include pick up at your hotel, transportation, and all the best things to do in Vinales including visiting a tobacco farm, the Prehistoric Mural, and Cueva del Indio.

The entire roundtrip is 12 hours long and you’ll be back in havana by dinner.

What to do in Vinales?

If you’re wondering is Vinales Cuba worth visiting then wonder no more. YES, Vinales is definitely worth a visit! This small town has multiple natural attractions and outdoor activities and is the home to the top tobacco farms in Cuba.

The town is charming, the landscape is beautiful, and should not be missed when you visit Cuba. Find out all the best things to do in Vinales below.

1. Visit a tobacco farm

Vinales Cuba is renowned for its rich agricultural heritage and fertile lands making it an ideal place for farming. The soil in the Vinales Valley is very fertile, thanks to the region’s volcanic origins. The fertile soil makes it an exceptional site for growing a variety of crops, including tobacco.

During your visit to the tobacco farm you’ll learn all about the entire tobacco growing process from the planting to the harvesting of tobacco plants. You’ll have a chance to visit the tobacco drying barns and the farmers will show you how they hand-roll the cigars to be sold on the market.

You will also get the opportunity to sample a freshly rolled Cuban cigar straight from the source. It’s an excellent way to visit Cuba in support of the Cuban people.

3. Mural de la Prehistoria

The Mural of Prehistory is a large mural created by Cuban artist Leovigildo Morillo. The mural spans the side of a limestone cliff measuring 120 meters in length and 180 meters in height.

The mural features prehistoric creatures and evolutionary motifs that include dinosaurs, mammals, and humans. The creation took years of labor to paint the vibrant colored mural and is a symbol of Cuba’s cultural heritage. Cost to enter the Mural area is around .60 cents a person.

Standing in front of the Prehistoric Mural in Vinales Cuba

5. Horseback riding

Horseback riding is a very popular activity in Viñales, Cuba. The picturesque landscape makes it an ideal place for exploring on horseback and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

There are several tour operators and horseback guides that cater to riders of all levels from beginner to the most experienced. You’ll go horseback riding in Viñales with knowledgeable guides who can share insights into the region’s history and culture only adds to the riding experience.

4. Vinales Valley

The Vinales Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site characterized by it’s large limestone formations known as mogotes. My first glance at these mountains reminded me of the limestone formations in Ninh Binh Vietnam. Visitors can view the scenery of the valley from a viewing platform.

The best time of day to visit is either at sunrise or sunset but it’s also impressive during the day.

Vinales Valley in Vanales Cuba

6. Zip-lining

If you’re looking for a little more adventure then you might want to try zip-lining in Vinales. This 1-2 hour activity has 8 different platforms where you’ll glide through the trees over the stunning Vinales landscape. You’ll get a safety briefing before starting and then put on your helmet and harness and get ready to fly!

2. Cueva del Indio

The Cueva del Indio, or Cave of the Indian, is a limestone cave system with an underground river and impressive geological formations. Formed millions of years ago, visitors can explore the cave system on their own as they marvel at the impressive stalactites and stalagmites.

At the end of the trail you’ll get into a boat as the guide tells you a little more about the geological features of the cave system before emerging back outside. It’s probably the 2nd most popular things to do in Vinales after the tobacco farm. It costs just $1 to enter.

7. Hiking or bicycle ride

Vinales has some great hiking and biking opportunites, specifically in the scenic Viñales Valley. There are several trails you can choose from in the Valley that pass by tobacco farms and the mogotes and other scenic viewpoints.

Los Acuaticos Trail

This is an easy hike for all skill levels that passes through tobacco farms and limestone mountains, allowing you to immerse yourself in the region’s rural landscape.

El Palmarito Trail

The El Palmarito trail is a moderate-level hike that takes you through lush forests and scenic valleys to the Palmarito Cave where you can explore underground chambers.

Cueva de San Miguel

Hike to the entrance of the San Miguel Cave where you can explore underground passages and admire ancient cave paintings left behind by the indigenous Taino people.

There are many other trails you can hike or bike in the area. Ask your host or check out a tour company in town in Vinales.

Where to eat in Viñales Cuba

The main road in Vinales is lined with restaurants and bars and while we didn’t get to eat at all of them, I do have a few recommendations of places we really liked.

El Bily

I cannot say enough good things about El Bily! It’s located on the main road in Vinales and the food was delicious and the service there was some of the best we had during our time in Cuba. They have a wide variety of food from traditional Cuban dishes to pasta to seafood.

Where else can you get 12 beers for just $16?? There’s live music in the evening which is really loud so make sure you find a seat outside. The seats are not very comfortable but the food makes up for it.


The other place we really liked was Razones. It’s right off the main road across from El Bily. It’s very affordable and the service is quick. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 8am to 11pm.

Right outside of El Bily restaurant in Vinales Cuba

Where to stay in Vinales

Vinales is a pretty small town but there are plenty of places to stay while there. There are a LOT of casas pariticulares in Vinales. These are private homes that a family either live in and rent out extra rooms or sometimes it’s the entire house that’s available to rent.

You can find these on Airbnb or you can just show up and find one after you arrive. Many people will knock on the doors of people with this sign and ask if they have availability. Many times they do.

There are a few hotels in Vinales Cuba as well. Hotel Los Jazmines is a pink hotel that overlooks the Vinales Valley and even has a pool. Another hotel, Horizontes Villa Rancho San Vicente, is just a few minutes from Cueva del Indio and also has a pool. Both places are a little outside the city center but still close enough to reach everything within just a few minutes.

How many days do you need in Vinales?

You can visit a tobacco farm, the Indian Cave, the prehistoric mural, and get an activity in such as zip-lining or a hike in just one day. So you could visit Vinales on a day trip from Havana and see all the major things to do in Vinales in just one day.

But Vinales is a nice break from the chaos of Havana and it was our favorite place we visited in Cuba. You would not be disappointed by staying at least 1-2 nights there.

Vinales Cuba Summary

Vinales Cuba is a great place to explore scenic landscapes and learn about the tobacco industry there. The laid-back vibe of the town will leave you with a memorable and authentic Cuban experience for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty of life in rural Cuba.

Vinales Valley - 7 things to do in Vinales Cuba

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