A Travellerspoint blog

Cuban Cohibas

A taste of tobacco

sunny 30 °C


Not far from the hustle and bustle of Havana, in a verdant valley midst mountains of karst, lies a tranquil corner of heaven where the sun shines daily on the fields of sugar, tobacco and pineapples; where the farmers' oxen plough straight furrows; and the gentle folk have a smile for everyone and a room in their house for all. If god had wanted the world to be a happy place he might have made it all like Viñales in western Cuba, and had he wanted people of all colours and creeds to live in harmony he would have made them Cuban. If ever there was a place where we could give in to the rocking chair it would be here with our hosts, Osvedy and Leyani, on the terrace of their delightful casa particular under the mango and orange trees of the Viñales Valley…
Life is as sweet as the sugar canes that grow here alongside the coffee, bananas and coconuts. Can there be a more heavenly place? Just take a look at the stunning vistas of mountains…

And here’s Sheila after a stiff climb squeezing a rejuvenating and refreshing glass of sugar cane juice to give us the energy to climb back down to the tobacco fields…
The beautiful Viñales Valley is a popular tourist destination; with tobacco factories, caves, beaches and sugar plantations to visit. This is one of the many limestone caves which was once inhabited by runaway slaves…
And here is a tobacco farmer rolling his own Cohiba cigar…
But nowhere on earth is perfect, and so, every few years nature whips up a hurricane in the warm waters of the Caribbean and scours this bucolic landscape. In preparation, the farmers build thatched shelters that can withstand the ferocious winds where they and their families can ride out the storm…

But townsfolk can only pray as their roofs and belongings take to the air. This famous colonial restaurant, the Don Tomás, (circa 1887) was totally dismembered by a hurricane in 2008, but the owners faithfully rebuilt it…
The food is fabulous; the prices are so low that we thought they had made a mistake with the bill, and the traditional Cuban entertainment was delightful...
Viñales is a small town with a big heart and the lovely people who live here gave us a
very warm welcome – we will return.

Posted by Hawkson 06:17 Archived in Cuba

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As the snow piles up this morning on Gabriola, I peruse your blog with great envy. Barrie stuck over in Vancouver without snow tires on Golf. Should be an interesting day.

by R and B

History, beauty and kindness. What else could you ask for.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Power has returned to Gabriola just an hour ago so a virtual visit to Vinales was a lovely trip. The snow is pretty but the trees and shrubs have been abused.

by The Vickerage

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