There are a lot of tour agencies in Viñales that will offer various trips to the cigar factory and valley around; and also to Cuevas del Indio (Indian Caves). All of them offer almost the same fares for the tours, so ask the locals or fellow travelers and book accordingly. I asked my Airbnb host and he suggested CUC 20 for a half day bike rental to see Cuevas del Indio, and CUC 80 for a 4-5 hour horse-ride through the cigar valley.
After breakfast at the Airbnb house, I started my bike ride to the Indian Caves at 8am, hoping to be back by noon.
Cuevas del Indio
The Cuevas del Indio (“Indian Caves”) is about 5 kilometers north of Viñales. You can take a taxi there that costs about CUC 20, or a horse rise costing CUC 40; but the best way to explore is to ride a bicycle along the beautiful road. The entrance to the cave is CUC 5 and is well-developed for tourists, with lights and a boat tour. It takes about 10 minutes to walk through the cave, after which you come to an embarkation point from where you take a boat ride through the cave lake to exit.
The experience of sailing in a boat towards the exit is really cool, but if you are in a busy tourist season, you will be waiting in line for about an hour before your turn comes. It was a breeze for me because of low tourist season.
[Road from Viñales to Cueva del Indio]
[Road from Viñales to Cuevas del Indio]
[Road from Viñales to Cuevas del Indio]
[Just after entering the caves]
[Inside Cuevas del Indio]
[Trying to stick my head between a stalactite and stalagmite]
[River that flows inside Cuevas del Indio]
[Just about to exit from the caves]
[Cuevas del Indio exit]
Cigar farm tour
When you’re not a regular bicycle rider like me, even a simple 12 km ride will tire you out. After getting back from the caves, I stopped by the town’s main street for some lunch, before heading to Airbnb home for an hour’s nap.
The farmer with the horse was on time at 2pm. With a normal pace, we started in the majestic farms of tobacco plantation for about 30 minutes and reached a farmers house to see how cigars are made from tobacco leaves. Oh, and also smoke some hand-made cigars!
[Hopping on the horse]
[Cigar being made by a local farmer]
[Tobacco leaves being dried]
[Selfie with the farmer!]
[The best cigar in the world!]
A long ride after that brought us to the end of the trail called ‘Sun Valley’, where a small cafe serves coffee and tea, which was much-needed after hopping on the horse’s back for this long journey!
[Keep riding.. Keep riding]
[Some more riding!]
[The view of the Sun Valley from the cafe]
[View of Sun Valley from the cafe]
And just before sunset, we were off to another cafeteria, where chairs are laid out for tourists so you can sip alcohol or coffee, while watching the sunset.
Right after the sun went down, I was hurried on my horses and with a higher pace it took us about an hour to reach the town. It was almost 8pm and after saying our goodbyes, I walked about half a kilometer to the main street, right on time for dinner!
And it was a good idea to pop in some Advil (pain killer) before going to bed, else my buns would have been sore!
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.
|Breakfast||$10||Continental breakfast at Airbnb house.|
|Bicycle Rental||$20||For half a day.|
|Cuevas del Indio||$5||Entrance fees.|
|Tobacco Farm tour||$80||For horse ride, visiting the farm, and factory.|
|Tips to farmers||$10||Owner of horses and farmer at the cigar factory.|
|Dinner||$15||One of the restaurants in the town.|
|Water & snacks||$2.40||From local store. CUP 10 for 1 liter bottle.|
|Total Costs||$154.40||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,313.95||Per person|
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Traveling from Havana to Viñales & sights of Viñales.
Caves & cigar valley of Viñales.
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Traveling from Viñales to Cienfuegos.