A non touristic big cuban city!
After diving in Maria La Gorda we spend one night in Pinar del Rio – a normal and big city in Cuba. We enjoyed being here a lot. People are really friendly and we ate in some very good small Cuban cafeterias and restaurants.
Our first day here we spend walking around the city center and watching people working and living on the streets. The next day we visited a working tobacco company and watched the workers rolling cigars. That´s actually really interesting and a lot of work! Every worker has to do a minimum of 100 cigars a day. Therefore they have a desk, a special and counted amount of tobacco leaves (different mixtures for different brands), special boxes to put them in, a press and a few control checks they have to pass until the cigars are ready for selling. The entrance fee was 5 CUC/ person and we had to buy them across the street at a Cubanacan desk.
In the city center there is another Cubanacan office, where we went to, to book the bus to Havana. It was 13 CUC/ per Person (that´s 2 CUC more expensive then Viazul, but easier to get). The good thing with this travel agency is that it will bring you into Havanna city center and not to the Viazul Terminal (which is outside of the city center and needs a Taxi ride into the city – between 4-12 CUC/ride). We were able to walk to our casa from the drop of at the nearest hotel, which the chauffeur checked for us when we told him our address. Everything was well organized and the bus ride was fine. It´s simply a habit to cool down the buses to the temperature of a fridge everywhere in Cuba… but this time, we were prepared!
Best to do:
- Visit the tobacco factory in Pinar del Rio – where you can watch workers rolling cigars.