15 beautiful tobacco farm photos that will put Viñales, Cuba on your bucket list

Tobacco is the Viñales Valley region’s biggest crop by far. Viñales is the place where all the household name Cuban cigars get their start—Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Cohiba, and more. And it’s all been grown and processed the same way for over 200 years.

You don’t have to be a cigar aficionado to enjoy a cigar tour in Viñales. I’ve never smoked a cigar in my life, but our tobacco farm tour was incredible. It was one of best experiences of my visit not only to Viñales, but Cuba as a whole.

The farmers we met were fairly open about the fact that they were only allowed to keep 10 percent of their crop. The other 90 percent goes to the government. If you choose a tour with a private farmer, you will probably get a firsthand look at their entire process—from growing tobacco plants in the fields to drying them in their drying house, curing the leaves, and finally, rolling their own cigars.

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Our tour was especially unique because we also had the opportunity to explore the government-run tobacco sorting facility in town. I would highly recommend it since it allowed us to see both sides of the process. There, women sort leaves all day. Depending on their quality, they will be made into various brands of popular government-made cigars.

If you enjoy the photos, please pin them for later with a link to this blog post.

A man puts a new thatched roof on a tobacco drying barn
The soil and climate in the Viñales Valley are perfect for growing tobacco.
A farmer gives tours of his tobacco farm and drying house

Tobacco leaves hang up to dry in a drying barn
A farmer holds a cigar he just rolled in his drying house

A traditional Cuban chair leaning against a tobacco drying barn
“Cuba is ours”
Humidity indicator in a Cuban tobacco leaf sorting facility
Women sort leaves in the government-run tobacco factory according to their quality, size, and location on the plant. Then they are shipped off to be made into various brands of cigars.
Every single part of the tobacco plant is utilized. Even the stems, which aren’t good for smoking, are collected and made into a base ingredient for perfumes and organic pesticide.

Sorted tobacco marked by hand

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20 thoughts on “15 beautiful tobacco farm photos that will put Viñales, Cuba on your bucket list

  1. I have never been to a tobacco farm. It’s fascinating to see through your pictures how tobacco is farmed and then dried. And I also didn’t know tobacco stems could be used as ingredients for perfume. Thanks for this virtual tour.

  2. Fascinating! I would love to visit Cuba. And, a tobacco farm tour seems like a great way to get to know more about the people and culture of the country as tobacco is a major stream of revenue for them. How did you find this tour? Would love any tips for booking for when I finally make it to Cuba. Thanks for sharing!

  3. These are INCREDIBLE photos. You have captured the light and shadows so beautifully – my favourite is the ‘portrait’ of the chair – it’s epic!! I’ve never been to a farm nor put much thought behind what goes on in a tobacco farm, so thanks for a little glimpse into this world.

  4. I love your photos. I took a cigar rolling class once in Mexico and I thought it was fascinating. Some really interesting information here, thanks!

  5. I have to admit that visiting a tobacco farm is not something that has ever crossed my mind. But after seeing these photos, it’s something I would do! I love learning the processes behind things.

  6. These are some very artful and thoughtful photos. It really does tell a great story about the tobacco farm, and I hope that people visiting will be helpful for the people working there.

  7. Interesting theme of photos. I’ve never been to somewhere like this but your images I think tells us the story of the workers and people who live there. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I had no idea it was such a long and difficult process until going on the tour. I think that’s why it’s important to see how things are made. Thanks for commenting!

  9. Thank you so much! That’s my greatest goal—taking viewers somewhere new with me. 🙂

  10. That’s awesome! We had the opportunity to roll our own, but I wanted one that was done right. HA! Thanks for commenting.

  11. I found this tour on Airbnb Experiences. It was called “Tobacco Origins” and it was a private tour for just my finace an I. We learned so much. Though Airbnb is an American company, they have negotiated with the Cuban government to do bookings there. I hadn’t heard of Airbnb Experiences before but we tried 3 and they were all so good. I will definitely be writing a post about that soon!

  12. I hadn’t thought of it either until I was researching Cuba and learned about their organic farm culture. I’m usually more of an urban explorer but I keep wanting to travel the countryside more and more!

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