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Pinar del Río, Cuba's westernmost province, is also its most scenic. The landscape is dominated by the Sierra del Rosario and Sierra de los Órganos mountains, studded with fantastical limestone formations called mogotes, which rise most dramatically over the Valle de Viñales. This valley is world-famous for producing Cuba's finest tobacco. The time-warp village of Viñales transport visitors metaphorically back a century of more. The pine forests of the Sierra del Rosario lure birders to Las Terrazas, a model community where you can also hike to coffee fincas, steep in thermal pools, and visit artists' studios. On a latter-day ...

Pinar del Río, Cuba's westernmost province, is also its most scenic. The landscape is dominated by the Sierra del Rosario and Sierra de los Órganos mountains, studded with fantastical limestone formations called mogotes, which rise most dramatically over the Valle de Viñales. This valley is world-famous for producing Cuba's finest tobacco. The time-warp village of Viñales transport visitors metaphorically back a century of more. The pine forests of the Sierra del Rosario lure birders to Las Terrazas, a model community where you can also hike to coffee fincas, steep in thermal pools, and visit artists' studios. On a latter-day revolutionary tour? Then a visit to Cuevas de los Portales, in Parque Nacional La Güira, is de rigueur to see Che Guevara's guerrilla headquarters during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cayho Levisa, off the north coast, is a base for scuba diving, as is María la Gorda, a slender beach on the shores of Bahía de Corrientes. María la Gorda is a good base for hikes in Reserva de la Biosfera Península de Guanahacabibes, a dry forest zone with many endemic species of flora and fauna. Meanwhile, the provincial capital – Pinar del Río – has miscellaneous minor attractions.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    February-April offers the best weather. July-November is hurricane season.