Easily one of Cuba’s most underrated cities, Viñales is perfect for a solo traveller – especially a solo traveller who’s’ fairly new to the whole solo thing, and isn’t too comfortable having to trek out for miles every day to find things to do. There’s literally tonnes of different things to do here: from smoking cigars on horseback, to swimming and diving around the local coast, or even learn all about the process of growing, drying, and rolling cigars.
If you want to get some good pics for the gram then head to Hotel Los Jazmines, where you can take a dip in the swimming pool and have an utterly shameless photo shoot overlooking the valley (trust me, everyone does this. I think). Or try Finca Agroecologica, a local farm that grows organic, non-GMO vegetables and offers up a twenty-five plate meal for only $10. Which is pretty insane.
On a Friday or Saturday, Viñales is home to Palenque, also known as the Cave Party, which starts off with a comedy show but at midnight it turns into a club and you’ll find yourself dancing in a cave where runaway slaves used to hide. Very much getting close to history.
The best thing about Viñales though, the thing that really sets it apart from Havana, is the fact that you don’t have to pay to get a picture with one of the old classic cars. And by that, I mean you don’t have to book a tour in one, or hire one out for an hour – which is the only way you can get a picture in the capital. Instead, the owners here actually welcome it because they’re proud of their cars and want to show them off. And to be honest, in a country where the average monthly salary is $30 and it’s ridiculously hard to buy a car, you can understand why they’d be proud of theirs.