On day four in Cuba we took a day trip to Viñales. Located in the Pinar del Rio province, this is the area where coffee, tobacco and other crops are grown. We booked our trip with Havana Tours and they were great (this is also who we booked our day tour of Havana with as well)! I would suggest arranging this trip ahead of time. We had a hard time connecting with the company because we left it till the last minute and it was a little stressful for a little bit.
The drive took about three hours each way so this excursion is for sure a full day trip. We left at about 7:30 AM and got back around 7 pm and paid about 40 CUC per person. That included the guide, taxis, and tour. What was not included was the boat tour through the cave, horseback riding, and lunch.
The valley is beautiful with mountains surrounding it, and in some of these mountains are caves. We took a quick boat ride through one before heading to the tobacco farm. It honestly lasted about 10 minutes so not sure if it was worth they extra 5 CUC but it was fun.
At the farm we road horses to a spot where they talked about their rum and coffee. Here we were able taste rum and honey. The honey was unbelievable and we tasted/ate more honey than I expected that day.
After our ride back we then started the tobacco version of the day. We went in a tobacco barn and saw how the leaves are dried and cured. We learned that they ferment the leaves in a product they make with honey, water, surgar, lemon and a few other ingredients. We also learned that the stems are removed from the leaves since they have the highest nicotine levels.
We watched a local impressivly roll a cigar and then we got to try them. But the interesting part was that they dipped the ends in the amazing honey before you smoked them so it was incredibly sweet and smooth when you took a puff. I am not going to start liking cigars but I will say I didn’t hate this version. I also got to a mojito that was made with honey instead of simple syrup; such a different take on the cocktail. The taste was richer and sweeter. The honey was the show stopper.
We then had lunch at a lovely mom and pop shop where I lobster and incredible views of the valley.
I don’t want to read your post, what should I know?
- Take a day trip to Viñales if you are staying in Havana
- Book with Havana Tours ahead of time
- Try the mojito with honey 🙂