Having booked a taxi the previous day from the hostel host, I was scheduled to be picked up at 10:00am. And after a long day walking around the old town Havana, I needed to sleep as much as I could. So after waking up, I stopped by the same cafeteria right below my hostel for some much-needed coffee and breakfast.
The taxi was right on time and I was the first of the five passengers to be in the 1950s old private car. We headed out in the small streets around Plaza Viejo to pick up two more passengers and then to El Capitolio for another two.
It was almost 10:30am when we reached this tiny street for the last passenger, who went out grocery shopping just before we got there! But after a few calls and meddling around we got to this 70+ year old lady with lots of groceries that got packed in the trunk, along with our bags!
[Our taxi from Havana to Viñales]
Instead of the promised two hour ride, it took us three hours to reach Viñales because of a flat tire and a quick bathroom break somewhere on the road. As opposed to a bus who would have dropped me to the bus station, the taxi drops you at your hostel. Viñales is a small town to it’s easy to maneuver around on foot as well. But the day was sunny and humid, so I was glad to be dropped off at my hostel rather than walking around.
It took a bit longer to reach the hostel because it didn’t have any name board, so we had to ask the locals for the exact house. The host of the Airbnb house (Casa Paez) were very friendly and spoke good English. Check in involved a quick orientation and a welcome drink. I headed out for lunch and go to the post office to get a stamp in my Postal Stamps Travelogue book; and also get the internet card.
Cuba doesn’t have wide internet which means that most hostels, Airbnb hosts and restaurants will not have wifi. The only place wifi is available is a town square and can be accessed by purchasing a card from the local post offices. Each internet access card costs CUC 10 (and up) for 1GB of data usage with wifi. You will have to walk up to that place of square where you will find the wifi network, access by entering the PIN numbers on the internet cards and browse the really slow networks.
The post office is on the main street, Calle Salvador Cisneros, where you can find a lot of restaurants catering to tourists, along with tens of souvenir shops. So it was time for lunch at an Italian restaurant before walking the streets of Viñales.
[Small memorial for Jose Marti in Viñales]
[Town square in Viñales]
With finally access to internet, I spent about an hour sitting at the town square along with many other travelers browsing the net.
I headed back to my hostel to book a bicycle tour for the next morning and a horse-ride tour to the cigar fields in the afternoon, with the help of my Airbnb host. It was time for a quick nap, followed by stroll along the main drag (Calle Salvador Cisneros) and dinner at one of the many restaurants there.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = CUC 1 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
|Taxi to Viñales||$30||Shared taxi. One way.|
|Internet card||$10||For 1GB.|
|Postal stamp||$0.75||In Postal Stamps Travelogue book CUP 20.|
|Dinner||$15||One of the restaurants in the town.|
|Water||$0.40||From local store. CUP 10 for 1 liter bottle,|
|Total Costs||$78.15||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,159.55||Per person|
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Walking tour of sights of Old Town Havana.
Havana to Viñales
Traveling from Havana to Viñales & sights of Viñales.
Day 4 – NEXT »
Caves & cigar valley of Viñales.