Drop Everything And Head To Viñales, Cuba, after th Covid

GREEN TRAVEL


Viñales is the perfect combination of natural beauty and traditional Cuban culture. It is best known for its tobacco farms, languid lifestyle and the distinctive limestone hills of Valle de Viñales.

So if you’re into green travel, nature and culture consider Viñales for your next vacation.

How To Get There

Outright tourism is still prohibited by law, so Americans can only visit if their reason for travel falls into one of 12 categories, such as visiting relatives, conducting research, or attending a cultural event.

Commercial flights to Cuba have been restored, but you have another option, charter flights. Visiting Americans typically fly into Havana from Miami, New York and other cities.

Viñales is only a two and a half hour drive from Havana, so it’s fairly easy to get there. Stay for a couple of days and enjoy the laid-back culture or make it a day trip if you have less time on your hands.

What To Do

Life in Viñales revolves around agriculture, so visiting a tobacco farm should be at the very top of your to-do list. Take a horse ride through the lush valley and see how the most famous cigars in the world come to be.

Not only will you get to experience one of the most naturally beautiful spots in the world, you’ll also get a peek into the everyday lives of the people who live in Viñales.

Though it is a small town, Viñales is no stranger to visitors. There are plenty of well-established small businesses including shops, restaurants, hotels and even a botanical garden.

You can also pay a visit to the Cuevas de Santo Tomas, Cuba’s largest cave system. Visitors can explore this unique natural feature by foot and take a short boat ride through the caves. And if you’re looking for a unique photo opportunity or a spot for a quick picnic, head for the Mural de la Prehistoria, a mural painted directly onto one of the valley’s signature limestone mogotes.


The Green Link

Climate warming is altering animals’ gut microbes — and affecting their ability to survive and thrive

THE GREEN FACTOR


It seems like each day scientists report more dire consequences of climate change on animals and plants worldwide. Birds that migrate later in the year can’t find enough food. Plants flower before their insect pollinators hatch. Prey species have less stamina to escape predators. In short, climatic shifts that affect one organism are likely to trigger ripple effects that can disturb the structure and functioning of entire ecosystems.

Habitat Disruption

The key impact of global warming on wildlife is habitat disruption, in which ecosystems—places where animals have spent millions of years adapting—rapidly transform in response to climate change, reducing their ability to fulfill the species’ needs. Habitat disruptions are often due to changes in temperature and water availability, which affect the native vegetation and the animals that feed on it.

Effects on Animals Affect People Too

As wildlife species struggle and go their separate ways, humans can also feel the impact. A World Wildlife Fund study found that a northern exodus from the United States to Canada by some types of warblers led to a spread of mountain pine beetles that destroy valuable balsam fir trees. Similarly, a northward migration of caterpillars in the Netherlands has eroded some forests there.


The Green Factor