According to our tour guide, Viñales was the name given to this location as it first started as vineyards which did not withstand production nor harvesting. As a result, it immediately became the place to grow the world's best and leading tobacco.
Many tourists come to the Valle de Viñales to experience living with the local guajiros or countrymen who so laboriously work this green and very productive valley. El Valle de Viñales, a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape, is located on the most western part of the island and it's close to a 3 - 4 hrs drive from the capital city of La Habana.
We came here via the travel agency Cubatur departing from the lobby of the Hotel Habana Libre in Vedado at 7:30 am and returning at 6:30 pm. Price: 59 CUC
Herein I will make reference to the following locations:
As you go in, especially during the hot summer season, it is quite refreshing to feel the cool temperatures within. It may be somewhat slippery so be very careful and cautious with your head.
The highlight of this cavern in which they have found pre-Columbian artifacts and drawing is not just the great shapes and forms that the stalagmites and stalactites have created and shaped for the amusement of locals and tourists alike, but the boat ride itself.
As you exit the cavern through the opposite side you entered, you will be dropped off at a small re-created village where you can purchase some souvenirs and then continue onward with your Cubatur tour.
El Mural de la Prehistoria is "one of the largest murals in the world. It represents the life of the first inhabitants of the Cuban archipelago. During the early days of 1959, Dr. Antonio Núñez Jimenez told Fidel Castro and Celia Sánchez about his visit to these mountains and how he found fossils of fish, skulls of big dinosaurs and evidence of the aborigine settlements found in local caves. This talk led the idea of a pictorial mural on the wall of this mogote. On September 11, the work was carried out to clean the rock. Painting began in March 1960 and lasted four years. ... The painting has a surface area of 80 m in height and 120 m in length and the lines were drawn by local farmers who hung by strong ropes of henequen fiber attached to parachute harnesses and directed from the ground by painters. The Megalocnus, Plesiosaurus, the Ammonites and other figures describe the evolution of life in Cuba that was set down for prosperity in this mural and represents the great biological and geological process that took place in this territory."
Pinar del Río is the most western province from which approximately 80% of the national tobacco production comes from. This province is visited by many tourists as it is the place where the authentic habanos are produced. You will come across labels such as Partagás, Trinidad, Cohíba and Romeo y Julieta are daily hand-rolled. The person who rolls these cigars is called a torcedor or twister. A torcedor may produce between 60 to 110 habanos depending on the cigars width.
As part of this tour you are taken to a secadero where a veguero will come and explain the process of planting tobacco plants, harvesting their leaves and then drying them out before they can be processed and hand-rolled into the cigars we may know.
The sweet version tastes like a dessert liquor which can make it dangerously delicious to drink; and well, the dry version, will definitely help you grow more hair in your chest!