Just over two hours from Havana is the beautiful landscape of Viñales. A great contrast from the capital city, this is a beautiful place to get away from it all.
The countryside here is made up of lush, green valleys covered with fields of red-brown soil, palm trees and hills known as mogotes, limestone hillocks leftover from the Jurassic Period.
The main industry in this part of Cuba is farming, specifically tobacco for Cuba’s most famous export, the cigar. The farming methods remain largely unchanged and the fields are still ploughed with oxen. Viñales offers a great opportunity to visit a tobacco house and learn about cigar manufacture. Watch the experts roll them by hand beneath leaves drying in the rafters above.
Nearby, Las Terrazas is a beautiful place to visit. This nature reserve was once a bare landscape of scrub and grassland. Castro chose the area as an opportunity to restore the original lush, tropical vegetation. This was so successful that it is now a UNESCO biosphere reserve with a beautiful variety of flora and fauna. Walking trails wind alongside alkes and streams and this is a popular place for visitors to relax or enjoy activities including trekking, swimming, horse riding, biking and canyoning.