Cool Cuba Excursions: from Havana to Viñales

As you can see all over the news, clearly Cuba’s moment has arrived in a big way. Now’s a great time to backpack through the Caribbean’s largest country for an educational trip you’ll never forget. In addition to hot beaches and hot nights, this island offers the chance to experience one of the world’s loveliest, most distinctive landscapes: Viñales Valley, declared a national monument.

And it can be done on a cheap, convenient excursion from Havana via frequent public bus, a three-hour trip. We’d recommend spending a night or two in Viñales to take maximum advantage of the many fun activities and sites out here, such as:

Horseback riding through an earthy, verdant countryside that’s truly one of the world’s most appealing.

Visiting tobacco farms and trying your hand at rolling a cigar. Imagine the laughs you’ll have with your chums. Take the opportunity to see a bit of the life of a local rural family first hand.

Hiking and exploring caves deep in the Cuban countryside. The route through the Valle del Silencio (Valley of Silence) is particularly picturesque, and you’ re guaranteed to get a huge kick out of it.

So there you have it – big fun at low cost for you and your friends, amid a natural setting unique in the world, and a perfect adventure to have when you’re young. This is Viñales, just three hours from Havana – and Iberia help make it a doddle to get there.

Photo | Espen Sundve