Pinar del Río province is Cuba’s westernmost province and contains one of Cuba’s three main mountain ranges, the Cordillera de Guaniguanico, divided into the easterly Sierra del Rosario and the westerly Sierra de los Órganos.
A taxi from Havana will cost about $150 each way and can be done in a day with good planning.
The most striking features of the area is a landscape characterized by steep sided limestone hills (called “mogotes” in Spanish).
Nearby Viñales Valley is a karstic depression located in the Sierra de los Organos, north of the town of Viñales. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the valley is a popular hiking and rock climbing location. Its natural beauty, soil and the traditional agricultural practices favor the cultivation of tobacco and other crops.
The valley’s surrounding hills are dotted with caves that are explorable by visitors. Spelunking has become another popular activity in the province. One cave is the Cueva de los Portales, beside the Río Caiguanabo, where Che Guevara set up his staff headquarters and dormitory as commander of the Western Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Mecca of Tobacco
The province relies on tobacco farming, with Pinar del Río producing 70% of Cuba’s cigar crop. The best tobacco, used for more expensive cigar brands like Cohiba, is grown in the flat lands of San Juan y Martínez.
Try staying at this operating tobacco farm: