| 2 min read
After the horseback riding tour, we quickly went for a bite in the center of Viñales, then started walking towards the popular viewpoint Balcón del Valle, just outside of Viñales. We aimed at getting there by sunset.
Hike up to Balcón del Valle
Leaving the center around 4PM, we set off for a 3,5km hike to the aforementioned viewpoint. We could’ve taken a taxi, but given that there was enough time, and the distance wasn’t that large, we figured we could just walk. The curvy uphill road turned out to be quite dangerous for pedestrians though. In the absence of a pavement, we had to walk at the side of the road while jumping away for speeding old-timers racing down the bends.
The advantage of walking up instead of taking a taxi were the nice views along the way.
After about 30 minutes, we reached a first viewpoint at Balcón del Valle. This restaurant sports a wooden balcony on poles, offering a more than 180-degree view of the valley. From what I’ve heard, the food is decent and affordable at 6 to 8 CUC for a main dish. I would’ve like install and take in the views while sipping from a cocktail, but we wanted to get to the next viewpoint before sunset, and thus walked on.
The viewpoint at hotel Los Jazmines
Some 10 minutes later, we reached the viewpoint next to the hotel Horizontes Los Jamines. Having a room in this hilltop hotel must be so amazing, as every room has a private balcony overlooking the beautiful green valley. (Yes, I’m a little bit jealous.) Apparently, you can enjoy the poolside view of the pink-colored hotel for a 3 CUC entry fee.
Anyways, we drew a chair and installed at the (free) viewpoint while eating the coconut we had brought. It was a bit crowded, as several tour buses had dropped their groups here too. Actually, I didn’t get why everyone recommended to come here around sunset. The sun set behind us, so apart from the orange colors in the sky, the view is just as nice during the day as in the evening.
One thing that cannot be argued, is that the view over the lush valley of Viñales was stunning. Despite having spent just one day in Viñales, we were already in love with the place. It seemed a little infatuated, considering we'd only seen a small fraction of it... But how could we resist the lush green valleys, the rolling mogotes, the fresh air…?
- The hike from the center to the viewpoint is 3,5km an takes about 45 minutes.
- If you plan on hiking back after sunset, it is recommended to bring a flashlight so you are more visible to traffic.
- It is also possible to get here by taxi, which will costs a few CUC.
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