Welcome to Viñales

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After a four hour drive in our taxi colectivo we arrived in Viñales. We couldn’t have wished for a lovelier hostess. We stayed at Casa Dra. Alicia, a little house in the quietest part of the village. Alicia was just amazing and we got to spend 3 nights at her place. We had lovely late night talks on her balcony and a delightful dinner in a nearby restaurant where we talked about our cultures and living in Cuba. Juanky, Alicia’s boyfriend used to be a history teacher and now he earns a lot more as a barman. Words can’t describe how amazing they were to us.

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On our last day we went to a beach called Playa de Cayo Jutías. It’s only about 50 kilometres away from Viñales but the roads were in such poor condition that it took us 1 hour to get there. Anyway, it was totally worth it! The beach is super clean and you can easily get away from the crowd if you walk a bit along the shore. Our driver stopped on the way to get his lunch and that’s where we bought ours as well. It was super cheap and incredibly delicious (it included a delicious stewed pork, yellow rice, avocado and manioc)!

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Because we spent a little too much money in New York, we had to compensate in Cuba, so we decided to walk everywhere we wanted to go and pass the horse rides and the tours. The furthest we went was Cueva del Indio (which is 6,3km away) and we were the only people walking. We had a lot of water to hydrate and we stopped to drink some fresh guava juice on our way. The cave is actually not that amazing, considering the time we had to wait plus the whole experience inside it, which was too short. Anyway, the walk was absolutely worth it as we took in the landscape and were able to spot a snake, some griffons, a buffalo and an incredibly cute hummingbird.

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The houses are so colourful and cute. Alicia told us that the houses are blue and pink because that’s the only colours you can get when you go and buy paint, you can’t really choose. Her dream was to have a sand colour house and she made it come true. Though I preferred the former flamingo pink. There are no glass windows in most houses, so there are quite a lot of bugs. We didn’t have insect repellent, but I would advise you to bring some, as the itchiness can get quite annoying. While at the balcony one night we were able to see a tarantula! It was the first we saw on our trip and it was rad!

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If you walk around Viñales you’ll be able to find some cool caves to explore! Remember to bring a flashlight (of course we didn’t have one, only our cellphones). Also, try some mamoncillo, a little fruit that you can find in trees over there. We ate way too many! Luis climbed up a tree to pick them and we shared them with some kids that were playing baseball nearby.

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We usually don’t go to the beach that often but if we’ve known beforehand how wonderful the beach was we would’ve stayed longer. The water is so incredibly hot that you never want to get out of it and the view is so stunning that you could stare at the ocean for the rest of your life. The sky became super cloudy in the afternoon and it started raining but I think that only made the beach look more appealing and mystical.

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