Vinales Valley - one of the greatest natural beauties of Cuba

Mural de la Prehistoria, Viñales

On Wednesday we wanted to go on a day trip to Vinales. Actually this trip was planned one day earlier but the organizer of the tour (booked via Getyourguide.com) didn´t pick us up. The owner of our casa was so lovely and tried to help as good as possible. For one hour she tried to call the organizer but he just didn´t pick up the phone. After two hours of waiting we decided to book the same tour for the next day at hotel Inglaterra. 

The next morning we waited at the hotel at exactly 7.30 a.m. although we knew that 7.30 a.m. here does not really mean 7.30 a.m. Hence we had to wait again. Suddenly an older guy showed up, completely out of breath and sweating. With a strong East European accent he asked: "Are you waiting for a bus to Vinales". We answered with a nod. He told us that he had to run the whole way because he was afraid missing the bus. Every time a bus passed by the hotel, he jumped up nervously. Then a bus with a sign saying "To Vinales" stopped. The nameless guy (he didn´t want to reveal any private information like his name or job - "That´s private") hammered against the bus door. The guide got out of the bus and checked his ticket. Then the discussion started, because it was not the tour he booked. Let´s call him Igor didn´t want to understand why he couldn´t take this bus because the bus stops at his desired destination. Meanwhile also Senna joined our small group. The 30 year old Turkish woman first ordered a coffee at the hotel bar and Igor got completely confused by her calmness. She tried to explain that at Cuba the clocks tick differently but this statement was even more confusing for him. Finally our bus arrived and with a delay of only 30 minutes we started our tour to Vinales. While the guide welcomed all nations we noted that Igor stood up every 3 minutes to go to Senna who was sitting a few seat rows in front of him. At the first stop we found out that Igor was not interested in Senna at all but in her English travel guide, because Igor had a lot of questions. As the journey continued, he started peppering our guide with countless questions and when arriving at Vinales after 2 hours, the whole group knew that Igor is very interested in everything. First stop at Vinales was a viewing platform, which offered a spectacular view over one of the most visited area of the island. The valley has a width of 4 km and a length of 10 km. Green grown limestones (mogotes), Cuba´s national tree, the king palm, as well as countless other plant types characterise this picturesque countryside.

Aussicht auf das Viñales Tal, Kuba

Mural de la Prehistoria

From there it continued to Mural de la Prehistoria. When arriving at this 120 meters high and 180 meters wide painted mural the whole group knew to better stay away from Igor. And this is how we met the American Mike who needed allies on the run from the nameless guy. Together we managed to get a table in the restaurant next to the colorful wall far away from Igor, who changed his yellow shirt to a white fine rib undershirt for lunch. Instead we had to sit next to a French guy who was ready to get drunk. He ordered a Pina Colada and the waiters refilled it with rum several times, all before the main dish was served. He even licked off his plate because there were also a few drops of alcohol. He got so drunk he took one of the meat platters for the whole group just for himself and stuffed it with his fingers in his mouth. Lucky us, this guy wasn´t in our bus. 

Cueva del Indio

After lunch we visited Cueva del Indio. In this cave the Arawak Indians sought shelter after being displaced from the Spanish. Before entering the cave Mike, Senna and I had to participate in a traditional Indian ceremony. As the self-appointed medicine man recognized Mike´s bandaged knee, he performed a healing ceremony with me and Senna dancing around Mike who swung a cudgel while making Uga-Chaka sounds. But then a living tree rat and an eagle got into action and I left the ceremony :) (As far as I know Mike still had to do the knee surgery.)

Once this spectacle has ended, we entered the cave. Inside we went on a very short boat trip. Because only a small part of the cave is illuminated, the adventure was over after a few minutes. In the meantime it started raining heavily and we got pretty wet.

Visit to a tobacco grower

Last stop was a tobacco farm. The owner explained how to produce tobacco while making a cigar. Igor got very excited and made photos of the whole environment. Then he elbowed his way to the front. He didn´t even recognize that now no one else could make a picture without the back of his head. Suddenly he screamed "Stop, stop!" because he wanted to photograph every single step. Therefore, the tobacco grower had to finish in slow motion to give Igor a perfect shot. Afterwards we got two cigars for the whole group to try. Of course Igor took one of them for himself and so the whole group had to wait for him to finish. On our way back the nameless got speech prohibition from our guide.


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Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 11
  • #1

    heidi (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017 16:33)

    Haha. It's always funny to hear the complaints of people learning to slooowww it down and work with the local pace. Can't wait to make it to Cuba! It looks like you had A LOT of fun!

  • #2

    Nicole Lewis (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017 16:52)

    Wow that sounds like an interesting adventure with some very colourful people! Way to keep your cool through it all!

  • #3

    Maura (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017 16:57)

    Hahaha, sorry you had an annoying tour-mate, but it made a pretty funny story! Cuba is a place I'd love to go to, and yeah, I heard they are all on a different "time clock" so to say lol.

  • #4

    Daniella (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017 18:35)

    I've never heard of Mural de la Prehistoria. It looks so beautiful! When I hear Cuba, I normally hear of people going to Havana so it's so nice to see a different part of Cuba. Sorry you had the obnoxious tour mate, but happy you were able to share this awesome experience!

  • #5

    Josy A (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017)

    Oh my goodness!

    It does sound like you somehow ended up with some very annoying...ehem...colourful characters on your trip! I am really shocked to hear about the drunk dude! I mean there is nowhere in the world where that behaviour would be okay. Why do some folks think they can act like imbeciles on holiday!?

    Ah well. At least you came away with gorgeous photos and some hilarious memories!

  • #6

    Natasha Naveed (Donnerstag, 07 Dezember 2017 21:43)

    Eughh! What a shame about the annoying travelling companion. Nevertheless, you came back with tales to tell! This has made me want to go to Cuba!

  • #7

    Ria (Freitag, 08 Dezember 2017 02:05)

    In my mind, Cuba has a bit different image. It's good to see something different, it helps me to understand that there are much more things to do and I see you had a bit of adventures up there :D

  • #8

    Ria (Freitag, 08 Dezember 2017 02:18)

    In my mind, Cuba has a bit different image. It's good to see something different, it helps me to understand that there are much more things to do and I see you had a bit of adventures up there :D

  • #9

    Hannah Lukaszewicz (Freitag, 08 Dezember 2017 02:18)

    Loved Vinales. We rented a taxi driver in Havana to bring us there in a classic car, it was actually cheaper then a bus because we were 4 people. Such a cute town.

  • #10

    Wendy E. (Freitag, 08 Dezember 2017 03:08)

    Such an interesting trip to Cuba! It seems like you handled Igor with grace but still enjoyed your trip. I love your images by the way. #129

  • #11

    Holly (Freitag, 08 Dezember 2017 03:50)

    I haven't seen this side from people's talk and photos of Cuba. I really want to visit and this looks really great. The rain doesn't sound all that amazing, but an adventure nonetheless.