The scenic heart of Cuban countryside is the rolling valleys of Vinales, a national park and UNESCO World Cultural landscape that dominates western Cuba. Laid-back locals tend to tobacco crops at rolling plantations fringed by tiny rural villages, providing a relaxing change of pace from the big cities.

Vinales’ peaceful valleys are of huge importance the country, where some of the finest dark tobacco in the world is grown and dried to make legendary Cuban cigars. The plantations are flanked by dramatic limestone mogotes, unique boulder formations from the Jurassic period. The landscapes are a wonderful place to hike, rock climb and ride horses or motorcycles, as you take in the views of farmers in the dark red fields through a haze of cigar smoke.

The village of Vinales is a relaxed and traditional part of the region, lined with simple bungalows and quiet streets that reach a small central square. Vinales’ charm is in its lack of development, where locals quietly get on with their business, friendly to visitors but unchanged by them. Local artists display their work at the Galeria de Arte, and the village is a good base to catch a tobacco farm tour or go cave exploring in Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas.

If you want to explore at its rural best, include a tour of valleys of Vinales on your tailor-made itinerary of Cuba. Lightfoot Travel’s team have travelled extensively through this region of Cuba and will use their experiences when designed your luxury tour.