Outdoors in the Viñales Valley - Private Tour (overnight in homestay)
The Valley of Viñales is greener than green and serener than serene.
Located relatively close to Havana, many capitol visitors make a westerly beeline to this National Park, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, for its unique natural splendor and its harmonic coexistence with traditional agricultural methods (such as tobacco).+ Read more
Viñales is one of those places where once arrived, you never want to leave; therefore we assembled a two-day tour, staying overnight with a local family.
Together with a visit to cigar factory ¨Francisco Donatién¨ in Pinar del Rio City, you´ll visit also the illustrious tobacco plantation of the Robaina family. After having climbed the back of a horse, it will ride you around through the valley. Hike to Los Acuáticos; a community who believe in the healing of water. Have lunch at Don Tomas´cozy restaurant, dine a healthy and home grown meal at El Paraiso; an agro ecological private farm and savor a coffee in the scenic village of Las Terrazas. Continue dreaming when spending the night in the guestroom of a Cuban family.
Availability and Prices
- Departure/Starting Time
- From 01 Oct. 2017 till 31 Oct. 2018
Private tour: 08:00 - Weekly: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Departure location
- Miramar, Vedado, Havana
- Private Excursion
- English, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish
There are two different car categories/versions:
- STANDARD: The BAIC BJ40 (4x4 Jeep - 2-Door) accommodates the driver/guide + three participants and their luggage (2 bags [75cmH]). Recommended for up to three adults of average size as well as for a family with (one) child. In case your travel party consists of 4 to 6 passengers, 2 Jeeps will be occupied.
- PREMIUM: You´ll travel in a Hyundai Tucson (SUV - 4-Door), seating (apart from the driver/guide) four participants and storing their luggage (2 large [75cmH]) + 1 small bag); ideal for a family with (two) children or four participants of average size.
Included in price
- Transportation per air-conditioned Jeep or SUV.
- Professional, multilingual driver/guide.
- Program (and entrance fees) according to description.
- Meals: Day 1. lunch, dinner. Day 2. breakfast, lunch.
- Overnight in a Casa Particular (homestay) in a double or single room with private bathroom.
Not included in price
- Other consumptions and refreshments.
- Optional activities that are not described in the program.
- Expenditure of personal nature.
- In case of cancellation up to 48 hours before the departure time of the excursion, a penalty of 10% of the excursion fare will be charged.
- Regarding cancellations made between 48 and 24 hours before the departure time, a penalty of 50% of the excursion fare will be applied.
- Cancellations reported within 24 hours before the departure time and No-Show (no presentation at departure time), a penalty of 100% of the excursion fare will be applied.
*Remark: booking fees and credit card surcharges cannot be refunded in case of cancellation.
Pick-up schedule and Itinerary
Day 1: Tobacco, tobacco, horseback riding
- Pick up at 08.00am by your driver/guide. The urban panorama of Havana gradually changes into a pastoral landscape with farms and windowless tobacco drying barns. Pinar del Rio City will be reached after approximately 2 hours. Built in the 19th century as a hospital, Francisco Donatién is now a ¨Fábrica de Tabacos¨, whose employees manufacture each between 60 and 110 of the world´s best cigars per day.
- He is called the ¨Godfather of Cuban tobacco¨, and was his entire life a tobacco farmer. After the triumph of the revolution, he convinced the Cuban government that his plantation had to remain a family business - the way it had been since 1845 - rather than a state cooperative. The leaves harvested at his plantation are considered one of the best worldwide and his production became a global brand; ¨Vegas Robaina¨. We are talking about Alejandro Robaina, who died at the age of 91 (2010), after having prepared his grandson Hiroshi to take over the family business.
- The oldest house in Viñales is a restaurant with a lush garden and an alluring name; Don Tomas. Lunch will be served here.
- After lunch you can check-in and store your luggage at your Casa Particular, as Cuban homestays are called.
- If not walking, probable the most natural and appropriate passage through the valley is by horse, the same way the local farmers have done for centuries and still do today. Enjoy 1.5 hours horseback riding.
- Situated on a hill stands the rustic agro-ecological farm "El Paraiso", run by the family Garcia (Wilfredo and Rachel, father and daughter). This country restaurant offers beautiful views, rich and varied dishes, complemented with fresh organic fruits and vegetables and efficiently served with a constant smile.
- Meals: lunch, dinner
Day 2: Hike to Los Acuáticos - visit Las Terrazas
- Early homemade breakfast and departure to the starting point of the trail ¨Del Infierno al Paraiso¨ (from Hell to Paradise). It is a beautiful scenic route and one of the most breathtaking places of Cuba. Hiking, you´ll reach the community Los Acuáticos, where nature and tradition are inextricably and harmoniously interconnected.
- It started in the 40´s of the last century, when Antoñica Izquierdo´s 2 year old son was suffering a high fever. In those days resources to see a doctor lacked and the mother discovered that the healing power of water miraculously cured the infant. The last pioneer died in 2002, when the community consisted of about 40 members. Currently Los Acuáticos cultivate tobacco and other crops, but still respect the values of their (grand) parents. The only way to get there is on foot (or by horse), and the (somehow tough) total hike will take approximately 4 hours.
- Back to the road and onwards to Las Terrazas, an ecotourism center only 73 km southwest of Havana. It is set in the Sierra del Rosario UNESCO biosphere reserve and dates back to 1968 when the Cuban government launched a huge reforestation project on terraced hills ringing the area. The project, which included the creation of a village where today 1000 locals live in a largely self-contained community, is an internationally recognized success. The buildings in the village, set above a lake, were designed to blend in with their natural surroundings. A compact panoramic tour through Las Terrazas will follow after having arrived.
- (Late) lunch at the folkloric country restaurant La Casa del Campesino, situated in Las Terrazas, before returning to Havana.
- Meals: breakfast, lunch
- A professional driver, and your guide at the same time, will drive the jeep, all cars are insured.
- Children are very welcome on this tour, only child discount is not applicable, for which they have to be booked as adults. Children do count as an additional person sharing the vehicle, resulting in a similar discount. Infants (0-2 years) travel free, however car seats and cots are often not available.
- Published ¨Prices From¨ are based on the participation of two persons. When sharing the car with three or four people, reductions will apply.
- Triple rooms are not bookable on this tour. In the case of an uneven number of participants, twin and single rooms should be booked.
- Don’t forget to pack a pair of sturdy shoes, suitable for the hike and other activities. In the winter months it can cool down somewhat in the valley, as well as drizzle more than elsewhere in Cuba. Comfortable (sport) clothing is just fine.
- The outdoors activities require a normal, but good physical condition, especially during the hike on the second day. The exclusive and private nature of this tour, however, makes that nothing is obligatory.
- The tobacco-growing season only runs from October to February, during the rest of the year, other crops will be cultivated.
- The program can be subject to changes due to local conditions (e.g. closure due to reparations, or other circumstances, weather conditions, etc.).
- Valid and original (no copy) ID (passport).
- Printed voucher, sent by Cuba Travel Network after having completed booking and payment procedure.
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