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Tobacco Field Tours and Cigar Rollers in Viñales, Cuba

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Green and brown tobacco leaves hang to dry from wooden scaffolding inside a barn with a dirt-floor in Viñales, Cuba. ©AlonzoWright
Tobacco leaves hang to dry inside a barn in Viñales, Cuba. ©AlonzoWright

The sweet, leathery smell of drying tobacco is hard to forget, and that’s reason enough to be grateful. You won’t want to forget this scent. Tobacco fields line the drive from Havana into Viñales and are punctuated by mogotes, large green mounds that look like lush mountains. This is the lifeblood of the Cuban people and what most likely comes to mind when people think of the Caribbean nation. It is, after all, their largest export. 


There's so much more to explore in our Cuba Travel Guide.


How to get from Havana to Viñales

Hire a private car or rent your own. Viñales is extremely easy to find because it’s only 113 miles (183 km) from Havana, most of which is on the Carretera Central which spans the entire island from east to west and stops in all the hot spots. It’s actually really tough to get lost in Cuba because just about every other road  on the island branches off of this highway. While it’s only just over a hundred miles away, it’s going to be slow going for most of it. 

There’s no actual speed limit but that doesn’t really matter when you can’t go highway speeds anyway. The road conditions can be tough to navigate as they’re riddled with crumbling asphalt and potholes so big, you could lose a chihuahua in them let alone a wheel or axle. This is one piece of advice you’re going to want to heed, otherwise you’ll be stuck on the side of the road with a broken axle like we were. 

Cuban driver parked by the side of the road smoking a cigar in a 1950s blue Chevy from Havana to Viñales, Cuba. ©AlonzoWright
Private car service on the road from Havana to Viñales. ©AlonzoWright

The good news is, the Cuban people are so friendly that you won’t wait long if you need help. Someone will likely stop and either help you or call their buddy who can help you. This is the Cuban version of AAA. Do these kind folks a favor and toss them a few CUC for their service, they’ll undoubtedly appreciate and deserve it.  

Where to go to see tobacco fields in Viñales

Remember that point about the Cuban people being so friendly? That also means you can pretty much stop anywhere along the road and talk to the people in the tobacco fields. I know, I know - this seems like a huge imposition. And in most cultures, it would be. But Cubans are so warm and welcoming that any genuine interest in them will almost always be met with an enthusiastic explanation of how something works. How the tobacco