Viñales valley, a good hundred miles West of Havana, offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Cuba.
The area is famous for its “mogotes”, steep-sided hills bringing attractive drama to the often flat Cuban horizons.
An agricultural (and touristic !) area …
… it has remained essentially untouched by mechanization …
… and work in the fields is particularly tough.
Tobbaco is Viñales’ main produce.
Farmers are both rugged and eager to help tourists discover the realities of their lives (trying to sell a few cigars along the way doesn’t hurt 😉)
The Viñales village is essentially one main street focused on the tourism business …
… but overall life remains quite traditional.
Transportation still often relies on muscle power …
… and even when it is mechanized, we are far from our Western luxury.
The center of the village is marked by the church and its square …
… where both locals and tourists congregate to try to connect to the government controlled WiFi Internet infrastructure, like in most Cuban city centers.
Incidentally, in Cuba, umbrellas are mostly used to protect oneself from the sun (at least in the dry season…)
Even here, the hairdresser is a Barca fan!
The coast North of Viñales is pretty. Cayo Levisa island in particular, about 30 minutes away from the coast by boat, is a good example of Caribbean paradise.
It hasn’t been spoiled by constructions or trade. The only people who try to sell something are these two, offering fresh coconut!
Walk a couple hundred feet from the “busy” area (above), and you’ve basically got the beach to yourself…
You liked reading this article? Please share it! Thank you! – and comments are always welcome.
And if you liked it, you will probably also enjoy my other articles on Cuba:
My first impressions of Cuba, including my favorite pictures of Cuba overall – the article to read first and foremost 😉
Stay tuned, more to come!