Tag: CU – Viñales Valley

Highlights of Cuba; Everything Everywhere

Cuba is unlike any place you have ever visited. Its recent history, socio-political development, and proximity to the U.S. make it unique in the world. Cuba is also beautiful with stunning beaches, lush, tropical foliage and dramatic architecture. But Cuba’s most winning feature, what really sets it apart, is its culture reflected in the people, art and music. There is nothing quite like this magical island anywhere else in the world. If you are thinking of going to Cuba and want to hit the key highlights, read on. HAVANA The air smells of the salty ocean that surrounds it. The

Source: Highlights of Cuba

Trip to Cuba: Excursion on Horseback — Tobacco; Jo; Let’s Face The Music

Cuba – Viñales Valley

The Viñales Valley, National Monument since 1979, was the first cultural landscape recognized by UNESCO throughout the Americas, declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 and National Park in 2001.

“Timeworn but magnificent, dilapidated but dignified, fun yet maddeningly frustrating – Cuba is a country of indefinable magic.”  Lonely Planet Travel Guide.

Charlie and I took a 3 and a half hour horse ride through Viñales National Park for a fee of 25 CUC ($25) each which included being picked up at our casa particulare in a horse-drawn taxi. The tour was arranged by our hostess the day we arrived in Viñales.

Our tour started at William’s stables. He assigned a horse to each of us — we were 4 plus William who was our guide and wrangler.

Our first stop was a tobacco plantation where we saw men cutting the plant in preparation for drying.  It was explained to us how the tobacco grows and is readied to become the famed Cuban cigars — Cohibas, Monte Cristos, or Romeo y Juliets.

It is dried in barns then rehydrated in an herbal bath to make it pliable enough to roll.

Each of us was given the opportunity to smoke.

Source: Trip to Cuba: Excursion on Horseback — Tobacco