Just when you thought I was done writing about Cuba, I’m back with another story to share.
Where’ve I been all this time, you ask?
After Cuba, I headed to St. Kitts for a work trip. Then I went to Key West for a bachelorette party. Now I’m packing for Mexico.
It’s been a little hectic. But it’s not easy maintaining a full time job + juggling 63895389275 side projects (at least it feels like that many – more to come on that stuff soon!) + updating this blog on the reg. MY BAD.
So let’s take it 20 steps and 1,300 miles backward, to a region of Cuba called Vinales.
You’re on a Caribbean island, but so inland that you can’t even see the water surrounding the it.
There is greenery everywhere, hills, valleys and mountains covered with trees and flowers. It feels magical and exotic, or mythical like Jurassic Park.
You’re on a horse, riding through fields of tobacco and farm crops. Just trotting along with the sun on your face and the salty wind in your hair.
Welcome to Vinales, Cuba.
That’s what it’s like as you explore the Valle de Vinales on horseback with Riding Vinales.
We found this half day tour on Tripadvisor (for only 5.00 CUC per hour each) and even though it was two-hours from Havana, we just knew we had to do it.
It was WELL WORTH the trip and the additional 60.00 CUC for transportation. I mean, it’s not too bad spending a couple of hours in a 1960-something cab with air conditioning.
Spending the day exploring Cuba on horseback ended up being one of the best during our whole trip. We got to see a side of the island beyond Havana. Peaked into the lives of rural families who live off the land and grew up on horseback.
Even if you’re not an experienced horseback rider (I’m definitely not), it’s a gentle ride on a dirt path. Your first stop is a tobacco hut, where they teach you about rolling cigars and how they flavor the tobacco for a smooth, delicious taste.
And yes, you definitely get to smoke a cigar while you’re there!
Then you’re off to have lunch in the middle of the fields (Cuban sandwiches, real coconuts, and beer) before riding into the mountains to explore a (very dark) cave.
It’s a long day exploring Cuba on horseback – so bring sunblock and remember to have breakfast before you leave – but it’s an amazing and unique experience that’s not to be missed.
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and explore Cuba beyond the capital, this is the place to do it. And if you really want to immerse yourself, stay overnight in a casa particular – Cuba’s version of a bed & breakfast.
Read Next: How To Visit Cuba As An American