​Viñales Valley, “The Valley of Cuba”

​Viñales Valley, “The Valley of Cuba”

Viñales Valley, “The Valley of Cuba”
Viñales Valley, “The Valley of Cuba”, in Pinar del Río, the most western province of the Cuban archipelago. Dear visitor, in this city we guarantee you the enjoyment of excellent views to a great area of green and fertile fields. Pinar del Río has more protected areas than any other province in Cuba. Besides, it is the best place in the world to cultivate the tobacco plant.

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.

Overview

Tobacco and other crops are cultivated on the bottom of the valley, mostly by traditional agriculture techniques. Many caves dot the surrounding hillfaces (Cueva del Indio, Cueva de José Miguel).

The conspicuous limestone cliffs rising like islands from the bottom of the valley are called mogotes. They can be up to 300m 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.

Geography

There are some mountain formations, unique in the island, called mogotes. These mogotes constitute very unique geomorphological formations where some of them come to measure great height. These mogotes resemble a great diversity of forms, because they are only comparable with those located in China and the peninsula of Malacca.

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

Conservation

Many endemic plants and animals are specific to this valley. Flora found in the region include Bombax emarginatum, mountain palm (Gaussia princeps), Ekmanianthe actinophilla, 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).

Mural of Prehistory

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 Organs, in its different stages.

This valley was granted the status of a National Monument, and Unesco also granted it the category of Cultural Landscape of Humanity.

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