Cuba Day 5: Viñales Valley
On the bus from Viñales to Havana
Last night we dined al fresco at Opera Restaurante an incredible Italian culinary experience in Havana.
Then we traveled back in time for a classic Old Havana nightclub show featuring members of the Buena Vista Social Club.
After the show we took a crazy fast cab ride along the Malecon back to the Hotel Comodoro in a ’59 Rambler.
Breakfast was oceanside at the Hotel Comodoro. Then we got onboard the bus for the three hour drive to Viñales Valley. During the ride our tour guide, Lianet, talked about the religions in Cuba – ranging from Catholicism to Santeria.
First stop in Viñales, a tour of the limestone caves at Cueva del Indio, including a boat ride on the underground river that flows through the cave.
Every so often on these trips you go someplace for an amazing experience. Today we had lunch at Paladar Belle Vista, a small family farm in Viñales with a restaurant on the veranda out back. Serenaded by Yorlandis Castanet’s guitar, lunch was a traditional Cuban meal of vegetable soup, salad, black beans and rice, and roasted pork cooked in a oven in the farm yard. An incredible dining experience with a view of the Viñales mountains in the distance.
Next we visited a local tobacco farm to learn about tobacco farming and to see the art of hand rolling cigars. The farmers also served coffee – made from beans grown on the farm – and topped off with a splash of Havana Club rum.
Back at the Comodoro we enjoyed the sunset. Tonight is a show at the hotel. Tomorrow we visit a primary school.