Cuba is known for its rum, music, cigars, old cars and many other things. It is also a very good country to go horseback riding. Horses are still used as a mode of transport for some people so there is a good horse culture in the country and most animals are well looked after.
The good thing about horse riding in a tourist destination is the possibility to go places you would not go to on your own and get away from the tourist crowds. You just don’t cross somebodies fields but you do on horseback with a local guide present. And when it comes to crossing a river I rather be on a horse and keep my boots dry.
Vinales might be the most scenic area to visit in Cuba and a good place to organize a horse ride. The horses are small but strong and trained the western style. You don’t need a lot of experience to go along on a ride but when you do and ask permition you can get a good, nice gallop out of most of them.
I have been on several horse rides in the vinales area but one stood out. It was tabaco harvesting season and we were invited in to a tabaco shed to have a look. Guide Miguel was there to help with the communication and the lady’s liked the attention. This place is normally never visited as it is far from the road.
They harvest the leaves and sow them with thread and needle to a stick that is raised to the roof to dry. Hard work and an interesting process to see.
Even if there is not a tabaco shed to visit most rides pass small farmers houses and go through tabaco fields. You can book rides in many places. Just ask at your Casa Particulares or hotel.