Tranquilo in Viñales
Cuba is more than just Havana, in our journey to explore more of the country in our month there, our first stop outside the famous capital city was Viñales.
A small town in the province of Pinar del Rio, Viñales is surrounded by the low mountain ranges of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico. UNESCO listed rocky outcrops called mogotes dot the lush valley.
The province of Pinar del Rio is supposedly home to the best tobacco plantations in Cuba, supplying the distinct leathery brown leaves to brands such as Cohiba, Montechristo, Romeo y Julieta and Partagas. Being a non smoker, I’m unable to confirm or deny the legendary status of these cigars.
Quite happy to be out of the tourist madness that can sometimes define Havana, we found Viñales really sleepy and quite tranquilo. A main road runs through the town, and single storey houses, painted in pastel colours, line both sides of the street. Small, mostly state-run restaurants and casa particulares dot the stretch. Apart from the occasional bored taxi driver doing burnouts down the main strip, and the tourist Viazul buses that ply the stretch, traffic was limited to the odd tractor and man on horse.
I left my job as an advertising Creative Director in August 2012 to travel Africa and South America for a year with my wife, documenting these beautiful places with my Fuji X-Pro1. View the rest of my RTW adventures on Handcarry Only and follow me on my journey by subscribing/following/bookmarking.