Declared by Unesco as Cultural Landscape of Humanity in 1999, famous Viñales Valley, located in the Sierra de los Organos mountain range in the Pinar del Río Province is one of the Island’s most attractive tourism destinations.
Exhibiting an exceptionally beautiful setting, the valley is typified by its curious hummocks, small mounds of steep slopes and flat tops present in isolation or chained.
The valley amalgamates a spectacular natural beauty with the conservation of the environment and the harmonic action of its dwellers, who still use traditional farming techniques, particularly for tobacco production.
Inserted in the plantations of the best tobacco in the world and having a high flora and fauna endemism, it is an ideal option for lovers of nature tourism.
Surrounded by mountains and settled in the first Cuban archipelago emerged lands, Viñales is a geological marvel whose age supposedly dates back 300 million years. The valley registers 47 archaeological sites, 19 linked to aborigine pre-Hispanic communities and 28 to runaway slaves – cimarrones – of African origin.
The Mural of Pre-History is one of the largest open skies ´murals showing the natural biological evolution in Cuba; the Cueva del Indio cave where one can tour by boat the San Vicente subterranean river, the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás cave, one of the largest in Latin America.
Traditional architecture of its farms and villages enhances the richness of its cultural landscape. The mix of indigenous pattern constructions – tobacco seasoning sloped houses or vara en tierra, and the typical Cuban guano thatched roofs or bohíos – and the colorful contrast of its soils and crops greens and browns shape an exceptional setting of high aesthetical and socio cultural value on which the criteria of Cultural Landscape is based and where present social life and evolutionary evidences of a plural ethnical society of singular beauty coexist, illustrating the cultural development of the Caribbean islands in general and Cuba in particular.
Viñales excursions are of high demand including trailing, horseback riding or walks along the valley as well as visits to the picturesque town of Viñales with its colonial red roofed houses aligned in corridors.
Cubanacán manages Horizontes Los Jazmines, La Ermita and Rancho San Vicente hotels, perfectly integrated to the surrounding landscape, to which camping villas of Aguas Claras and Dos Hermanas together with 600 rooms in private houses are added.
By: Josefina Pichardo
Photos: Lynet Pujol