Viñales Valley

Coordinates: 22°37′N 83°43′W / 22.617°N 83.717°W / 22.617; -83.717
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Viñales Valley
Valle de Viñales
View of the Viñales Valley
Viñales Valley is located in Cuba
Viñales Valley
Viñales Valley
Area132 km2 (51 sq mi)
Coordinates22°37′N 83°43′W / 22.617°N 83.717°W / 22.617; -83.717
Designated1999 (23rd session)
Reference no.840rev
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean

Viñales Valley (Spanish: Valle de Viñales) is a karstic depression in Cuba. The valley has an area of 132 km2 (51 sq mi) and is located in the Sierra de los Órganos mountains (part of Guaniguanico range), just north of Viñales in the Pinar del Río Province. In 1999, the valley was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a natural and cultural landscape because of its use of traditional tobacco-growing techniques.[1]


Manuel Rivera-Ortiz: Tobacco Harvesting, Viñales Valley, Cuba 2002

Tobacco and other crops are cultivated on the bottom of the valley, mostly by traditional agriculture techniques that have been in use for several centuries. These techniques allegedly make for higher-quality tobacco than if mechanical methods are used.[1] The valley is dotted with small farms and villages which have been occupied since the time of the 'conquistadores', maintaining some vernacular colonial-era architecture.[1] The culture of the valley was likewise influenced by a mixture of cultures: indigenous peoples, African slaves, and the Spanish colonizers.[1]

Many caves dot the surrounding hillfaces, including Cueva del Indio and Cueva de José Miguel. The conspicuous limestone mounds rising like islands from the bottom of the valley are called mogotes. They can be up to 300 m tall.

Viñales is a major tourist destination offering mainly hiking and rock climbing. The local climbing scene has started to take off in the last few years with many new routes being discovered resulting in an increase in local tourism.[2]


The extraordinary geomorphological formations known as mogotes, which are found nowhere else in Cuba, have sometimes not only attained the dimensions of mountains, but have also taken on a variety of unusual shapes. The only comparable geological structures in the world are those to be found in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, the Thai highlands, Laos, Vietnam, and in the South China Karst region, all of them are situated in Asia.

In the valley, there are other elevations, such as Alturas de Pizarras, which are formed from a variety of rocks, the oldest existing throughout the country and also in the Caribbean area.


Many endemic plants and animals are specific to this valley. Flora found in the region include Pachira emarginata [sv] (syn. Bombax emarginatum), mountain palm (Gaussia princeps), Ekmanianthe actinophylla, and Microcycas calocoma. Fauna includes bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae, zunzún), Cuban trogon (Priotelus temnurus), Cuban tody (Todus multicolor), Cuban solitaire (Myadestes elisabeth) and Cuban grassquit (Tiaris canorus).[3]

Mural of Prehistory[edit]

Mural in Viñales Valley

In the valley of Dos Hermanas, we can find the Mural of Prehistory, which is painted on a stone of one of the elevations. This mural shows the evolution of life in a natural sense of Cuba.

The Mural of Prehistory is located in the mogote called Pita. It can be found on a perpendicular slope. The rock was washed and drains were also made in it to avoid erosion in the future due to the rain. It is 120 meters high and 160 meters in length. The artist was Leovigildo González Morillo, who was Director of Cartography of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba.

In it are represented Guanahatabeyes Indians, species of mammals, gigantic animals, as well as some mollusks.

In the Mural can be seen in 12 pieces the evolutionary process of men and animals in the Sierra de los Órganos, in its different stages.

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Viñales Valley". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  2. ^ High Sports. "Article on Cuban Climbing". Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  3. ^ Radio Habana. "Parque Nacional Viñales" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-10.

External links[edit]