This is one of the best ways to admire the scenery in the valley of Vinales. There are a series of routes with experienced tour guides. Tours can run from 1.5km to over 8km and can last from a couple of hours to an entire day. Tours generally take place in the three valleys, Valle de los Jazmines, Valle del Palmarito y el Valle del Silencio, all stunningly beautiful. As well as the scenery, you will see farmers growing their crops, rolling cigars by hand and farming in a traditional manner. While many of the tours start in the centre of town, there are tours that run from Los Jazmines hotel and also from the visitor centre. Flora and fauna tours also available.
Tours can be booked in the following places:
Museo Municipal: on main street, has a good selection of tours, both in terms of duration and location. Tours start at museum, Los Jazmines and their mountain tour start at ‘El sitio’, 8km from town centre.
Visitor centre, Parque Nacional de Vinales, also has a good selcetion of tours, departing twice daily at 9am and 2pm, some from down town and some from the actual centre. And the tours can take in or around 3 hours
Tours can also be booked with all the travel agent in Casa Renga y Julia. with the travel agents and departure times can vary slightly.
Another slow paced way of getting close to nature, horse riding for a couple of hours is a very popular activity in
Vinales. travel-agent in Casa Renga y Julia all offer tours with official guides. Horses are quiet and the trip is slow and rewarding as you get to see farmers at their work, you can
stop off for a rest and some routes lead you to the Cueva del Palmarito where you can swim in an indoor pool. Horse riding per hour and entrance to the cave.
This is another good way to see the valley up close. As it is a valley, it can be hilly but it is worth it and one of the best places to cycle in Cuba. Bikes can be rented from a desk located in front of the restaurant, Casa Don Tomas. If not available, check with your casa particular and they may be able to loan you a bike. All cycling is on the road as there are no off road routes.
Cycling tours can also be booked at the travel-agent in Casa Renga y Julia. Prices are 15 CUC for morning or afternoon and daily rental.
There are day trips to the beaches Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutias and Maria la Gorda. There are day passes available for the swimming pools at the hotels, Los Jazmines, La Ermita and El Rancho and you can also swim in the natural pools in the caves and in the local rivers. Best known are: Cueva de Palmarito (pool within a cave about 3km from Vinales) and river bathing in Los Resvalosos and La Jagua. Check with your casa particular for transfers. www.vinales-tours.com
The best place in Pinar del Rio is the beach resort of Maria la gorda. There are about 50 dive sites quite close to the shore with black coral reefs, underwater caves and tunnels as well as sunken Spanish galleons. Check with the travel agents in town for more information and transfer times. You can go on a day trip or stay overnight in the resort hotel. Maria la gorda is about 170km from Vinales and 3 hours by coach.
7.Dancing | Polo Montanez
If you don’t know how to dance salsa, you can take salsa lessons before you head out dancing in polo montanez. travel-agent in Casa Renga y Julia will organise teachers and also your casa particular may have someone who can take you through the steps. Music lessons are also available and if interested, check with travel agents all located on the main street. Price for dance and music classes is usually 15.CUC per hour.
Cuba is not renowned for its shopping but there are some things worth considering. Cuban rum, cigars and coffee are excellent and prices here are much better than at home. Music CDs, DVDs and instruments are also worth looking at. In terms of souvenirs, the leader of the pack is anything to do with Che, from t-shirts to the key rings and so on and so on. Leather is not of great quality nor are the wooden carvings but you can find some nice artwork and prints if you look hard enough. Most of these items can be bought in all of the tourist attractions in and around Vinales. The town park also has stalls selling items geared at the tourist. The Art Gallery on the park also has artwork for sale. Coffee cups with designs from Cuban modern artists are a tasteful souvenir and this series, available in all tourist attractions, also features plates, oil and vinegar, shower curtains, towels and aprons.
Here, the mountains weren’t pushed up from underneath, as mountains usually are. In this national park and Unesco World Heritage site, everything but the mountains fell down. The mogotes, as the islands of karstic limestone are called, are gently domed, like loaves of crusty bread, but the sides seem to have been cleaved off, leaving terrain that drops precipitously to the valley floor. In the late 1990s, rock climbers found a paradise where the walls of the mogotes are too steep for the otherwise ubiquitous crawling vines and striving trees. Huge overhangs, some 500 feet tall, are covered with chandeliers of stalactites and intermittent blobs and pockets, all perfectly formed for human hands and feet to climb from the bottom of a cliff to its top.
Soon, local residents caught on, and a flourishing climbing scene took hold. Viñales became a top destination for climbers from Europe, Canada and the United States. Hundreds of routes went up the major mountain faces in the valley, and for years visiting climbers had essentially free rein.
10.Cueva del Indio
(5CUC)The Cueva del Indio (Indians Cave) tour in the Vinales Valley is on small motorboat that took us on the underground san Vicente River before exiting the cave at a dock area crowded with souvenir stands and a little snack bar. the obvious tourist trap did not detract from the awesome experience of walking through and marveling at the enormous limestone caverns
11.Mural de la Prehistroria
(5CUC) In 1961 Leovigild Gonzales Morillo and ateam of painters arm themselves with brushes and paint the whole side of the hill Mogote Dos Hermanas: Born so el Mural de la Prehistrory. Compared to the natural beauty of the murals Vinales is not a large figure, but for completeness is also correct to cite this tourist attraction. www.vinales-tours.com