If you’re into farm life then you need to make Vinales a part of your Cuban itinerary. We arranged for a private driver to take us from Havana (about 2.5 hours away) for one night. Like everywhere else in Cuba, I fell in love with the people and the scenic views of the countryside. We spend the day horseback riding in the Valley and visiting the tobacco and coffee farms. For a split second, I daydreamed of owning a farm house in the Vinales Valley and living my days enjoying the simple things in life….this place totally makes you feel that way. Our trip ended with a memorable meal at a farm to table restaurant called El Paraiso. Hope I’m inspiring you to travel to Cuba – stay tuned for the final guide!
We stayed at a bed and breakfast (casa particular is what Cubans call it) and loved the property and the family went above and beyond to make our plans all happen with the very limited of what time we gave them.
Visit the Tobacco Farms: Thomas and I loved the tobacco tour! This was my first time smoking an entire cigar and it was quite pleasant hahaha! Not sure if it’s because they are organic but the experience was better than I had imagined. If you want to bring some home wait until you go to Vinales to buy the cigars – there is something really cool about buying them a the farm where they are made.
Horseback ride: I wish I could remember our guide – because he was awesome and totally chill. For the most part, the ride was smooth and it only got scary when mid trip we had a torrential downpour which as you can imagine on a horse it could be nerve wrecking. Overall, this is the best way of transportation if you want to take in all the scenic stunning views of the countryside.
Walk around, relax and breath-in the freshest air!
EL PARAISO – You MUST, MUST eat here (yes, I had to write it twice) – part farm and restaurant, El Paraiso sits on a hill overlooking the valley – and has been voted the number one restaurant to visit in Vinales. There is no menu and the food is served family style so get ready to go on an empty stomach because the amount of food is insane (not exaggerating – go read the trip advisor reviews). We were greeted with homemade cocktails (all ingredients come from the farm 10 feet away from where you actually eat!) and had the opportunity to sit with Rachel, who runs the farm and restaurant with her dad, to discuss the positive impact the farm has had in their lives and in the community.