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After Havana, our next stop was Vinales, an extremely cute town of about 28,000 people 2 1/2 hours west of Havana. Although I typically enjoy larger cities the most when I travel, Vinales held more appeal to me than the capital. Our casa particular felt very local, with our host next door cooking for her children as they ran barefoot across the cement floor, and the scenery of the valley itself is beautiful.

Tobacco fields in Vinales, which the valley is known for

I can't speak much about what to do here, since it seems to be primarily a place to relax. We did spend a day taking a horseback tour of a tobacco farm, which is a popular activity, and exploring some local caves.

Vinales can be reached via Viazul bus from Havana in about 2-3 hours; you could also hire a taxi driver to take you, which would be considerably more expensive.

Driving to the caves around Vinales

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