Vinales & Pinar del Rio – A Day Trip From Havana

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Have you already booked your trip to Cuba? As the country is now opening up more and more to the rest of the world (especially the US) it is a given that the Cuba in 10 years will look very much different from the Cuba today. So if Cuba is somewhere on your travel bucket list, now is the time to move it up the list!

There are lots of different travel itineraries for Cuba from backpacking a few weeks through the country to hopping from one pretty hotel to the next one. The most popular destinations on any Cuba travel itinerary are often Havana, Trinidad and some of the beautiful white sandy beaches. And if you have a few more days you should also make it to the west of Cuba and explore the nature-tourism spots of Artemisa and Pinar del Río. If your stay in Cuba doesn’t allow for a few more days here and there, just book the one day trip to Vinales / Pinar del Río. The tour leaves from Havana in the morning and brings you back around the early evening (depending on whether the bus makes it back to the city – more of that towards the end of the post). You can book these tours through the travel agencies that are based in some hotels in Havana or online if you manage to find a wifi spot that works. Finding places with a working and fast internet connection can be very tricky in Cuba – at least for now. This will likely change soon.

The Vinales / Pinar del Río day trip itinerary

First Stop Of the Vinales Day Trip: Rum Factory

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

The first stop is a rum factory where you can join a tour that shows you how the rum is made. The tour will lead you through most of the factory and you get to buy rum in the little shop at the end of the tour.  After around an hour the tour continues to the tobacco farm. On the way you will pass some beautiful viewing spots like the one below.

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Yes, the famous cars are everywhere.. :)

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Second Stop Of the Vinales Day Trip: Tobacco Farm

The second stop of the tour is the tobacco farm. The tour takes around half an hour which includes a cigar rolling demonstration and explanation of the entire process from plant to cigar. At the end of the tour you can buy cigars. I think we paid around 20 USD for 10 cigars. The cigars were really good and super fresh. So that was definitely worth it. So by now you should have a little bottle of rum and some cigars with you – perfect souvenirs to take home from your Cuba trip :)

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Third Stop of the Vinales Day Trip: Mural de la Prehistoria

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

The first thing that you will see at the Mural de la Prehistoria is the huge painting on the side of the rock. The painting is 120m long and was designed in 1961 by artist Leovigildo González Morillo. The painting with its dinosaurs and snails is supposed to show the theory of evolution and is said to have been commissioned by Fidel Castro. Well, it is debatable how much beauty or not this painting adds to the area, so in case you are not quite convinced, no worries, there is a restaurant next to it where you can have lunch and some local rum.

Pinar del Rio

Last Stop of the Vinales Day Trip: Underground Caves

The last activity of the Vinales day tour is a little boat ride through an underground cave. This is actually quite a pretty cave to ride through and worth doing if the queue is not so long. If you are part of the Vinales day tour you are most likely able to skip the queue of visitors that have come there individually.

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

And just when you are about to head back to Havana..

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

So this was our bus driver trying to park the bus smartly… and got stuck. Obviously the guys were not able to move the bus. Nor was the gentleman in the red shirt able to move it with his telekinesis skills..

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

Unfortunately, the tractor failed as well..

Cuba Vinales Day Trip From Havana

But then a big truck came along and pulled the bus back on to the street. What an adventure haha. After around an hour of desperate attempts to get the bus moving we thought we would have to stay the night in a local guest house drinking the rum and smoking the cigars we had bought earlier that day.. Woudn’t have been the worst way to spend the evening though :)

Day Trip From Havana to Vinales & Pinar del Rio

Day Trip From Havana to Vinales & Pinar del Rio



  1. November 14, 2016 / 4:21 am

    These pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing your trip…I’m adding Cuba to my bucket list!

  2. November 14, 2016 / 5:59 pm

    I love the candid pictures. :)

  3. November 14, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    This day trip sounds like an absolute must do! Thanks so much for sharing

  4. January 12, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    Amazing pictures, sounds like it was a great time! Of course you cannot visit Cuba without going to a rum factory and tobacco farm! This is certainly a must do, thanks for sharing.

  5. Sami
    March 15, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Great, can you please let me know the website of the tour company?

    • Karateandcaviar
      March 16, 2017 / 11:44 am

      I honestly don’t remember anymore. We booked it super old school through a travel agency in Havana as wifi wouldn’t work well anywhere. I think they are all doing similar trips though (and hopefully don’t get stuck in the field haha)

  6. Brenna
    May 18, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    Hello! Thanks for posting this. I am traveling to Cuba next week and have been looking for a site to book a Vinales tour. However, the sites I am finding ban Americans from booking due to restrictions placed by the government. Are you American? If so, did they require any information from you when you booked it at the hotel? Wondering how I can get around this…

    • Karateandcaviar
      May 22, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      Hmm we booked it at the travel agency and no, I don’t think they wanted to see any ID or so. We paid and they gave the tour tickets to us. There are lots of tour operators and I don’t think there is a big difference between them. Just make sure your vehicle is safe and you check which stops they cover. I don’t think it will be a problem to book locally. Good luck & have fun :) :)

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