Our first day in Vinales we spent doing the horse ride tour which is excellent, you get 3 hours and visit an organic tobacco farm, coffee plantation and walk through some caves. Excellent value for $30 CUC each.
When we arrived at our casa we were very kindly shown all the excursions, we already knew we wanted to do the horse back riding tour, so it was booked up for us for the next day. We enjoyed breakfast at our casa then a guy turned up on a scooter to show us the way. It was only about a 5min drive our of town where we parked the car and jumped onto our horses.
At the house where we parked the car there was another family of toursits about to go out on the ride and we thought we would all go together, but not the case, you got our own guide for just the two of us. I’m no horse rider so walking pace it had to be, which was fine for my horse, other than the fact that she had to lead no matter what!
Our guide wasn’t so good at English which didn’t really matter too much as there wasn’t so much to point out along the way.
Start of our horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Arriving at the tobacco farm horse ride tour from Vinales
Checking out the tobacco leaves horse ride tour from Vinales
Just completed hand rolled cigar horse ride tour from Vinales
First stop on our horse riding tour - the Tobacco Farm
After a very nice ride of about 20 mins we arrived at our first stop which was the tobacco farm. This was super interesting, a very nice man with excellent english gave us the run down on how the tobacco is grown and made. Appartently the government buys 90% of the crop and they can sell only 10%. We got a great demo from the father on making a cigar. The great thing about the farm is it’s located within the national park, and the rules inside the park mean you have to farm organically. We got told all about how the government adds chemicals to their cigars to make them last longer. The best tobacco is grown in Vinales which goes into the best brands of cigars. This is a great opportunity to buy these cigars, they really are the best, they just don’t have a cute brand name wrapped around them with an extra $15 CUC added on top.
Me puffing on a cigar horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Garry smoking his cigar horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Passing a veg farm horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Passing the farm horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Second stop on our horse riding tour - the Coffee Plantation
Another 15mins or so of more lovely riding we arrived at what looked like a big restaurant in the middle of nowhere. It seems all the different horse riding tours meet at this place for the next part of the tour. Again we had a great english speaking guide to give us the run down on how coffee is made in Cuba. Plus the history on their local guava rum and local honey, this was really interesting. Time for them to sell you some nice cold drinks. There’s no pressure or hard sell which is good, we had a couple of house cocktails without the achole, it was too early in the day!
TIP: Don’t buy the special Guava Rum they try and sell you for $20 CUC, you’ll get the EXACT same bottle at Playa Larga for $3 CUC or we have heard from the airport at $6 CUC. We got scammed by our Vinales Casa for $15 CUC a bottle before we found the true price. Well worth paying $3 CUC for a bottle, it’s really nice.
Tour at the Coffee Plantation horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Our guide horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Passing a walking tour group horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Start of our cave tour horse ride tour from Vinales Cuba
Third stop on our horse riding tour - the Caves
There was another stop offered along the way at a big lake, but we didn’t want to stop so carried on. The views from here were excellent though. We arrived at an optional cave tour for only $2 CUC each. Yes, that sounded really good. The guide didn’t speak as good English but there was another couple with us who translated some. We were given touches and off we went, squeezing through a tiny gap in the rocks on our way. Tiny bats overhead and cool water under foot. It was a refreshing stop and worth it. Back on the horse again for our journey home.
Our sum up of the horse riding tour in Vinales
This horse riding tour is a must do in Vinales, if you do nothing else. It’s great value at only $30 CUC (plus $2 CUC for the optional cave tour). You’ll visit an organic tobacco farm, coffee plantation and walk through some caves all on your 3 hour tour.