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Vinales

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valley of Vinales is an unmissable destination in Cuba

The Valley of Vinales

The Valley of Vinales boasts Cuba’s most dramatic landscapes. The iconic limestone formations ( the Cuban mogotes) attract nature lovers in search for peace, quiet, endemic species or simply postcard-worthy natural beauty. Artists and photographers, as well as thrill-seekers will love this area in western. Hiking trails, caves, climbing mogotes, horse riding, or exploring the valley on a 4×4 are some of the most popular activities.

Vinales is also the land of the world-famous Cuban tobacco plantations. Visitors can witness the entire process, from growing crops to drying and rolling the golden leaves into fine, hand-crafted cigars.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valley of Vinales is an unmissable destination in Cuba
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valley of Vinales is an unmissable destination in Cuba

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valley of Vinales is an unmissable destination in Cuba. About two hours away from Havana, it works for day trips from the capital, or as an overnight stay.

Vinales at a glance

Vinales is also the land of the world-famous Cuban tobacco plantations.
Vinales is also the land of the world-famous Cuban tobacco plantations.

Discover how the world-famous Cuban tobacco is grown. Visit the plantations and drying farms, and try yourself hand-rolling a Cuban cigar.

Explore the valley at your leisure. Its natural beauty is overwhelming. Go horse-riding, take a swim on a crystal-clear river, and climb the mogotes.

Visit Cueva del Indio, an underground river and cave system that is possible to traverse by boat.

Explore Palenque de los Cimarrones, a secret hideaway used by runaway slaves during colonial times to escape persecution by the Spanish conquistadors.

Try the local cuisine for a taste of an authentical traditional Cuban meal. Paladars (private restaurants ) use locally sourced, organic food.

Stay overnight and enjoy the dramatic sunset and amazing sunrise in Vinales. Stay in a Casa Particular, hugely popular and highly recommended B&Bs owned and run by local families.

Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Because of its outstanding natural beauty, but mainly because the area retains centuries-old traditional farming techniques to grow and manufacture the mythical Cuban cigars, the Valley of Vinales was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.

Tobacco plantation and vernacular farm in Vinales, Cuba

Vinales - Unesco World Heritage Site

Wooden ploughs, crop rotation techniques, barns built entirely from the leaves of palm trees, organic farming… everything at the Valley of Vinales has remained unchanged for centuries. The slow pace of life, the surrounding natural beauty, the candid friendliness of locals invite visitor to experience complete relaxation. A visit to the valley of Vinales is one of our favourite travel experiences in Cuba.

UNESCO states that:

“The Viñales Valley is an outstanding karst landscape in which traditional methods of agriculture (notably tobacco growing) have survived unchanged for several centuries. The region also preserves a rich vernacular tradition in its architecture, its crafts, and its music.”

In this video, UNESCO explains some of the reasons to designate the Valley of Vinales as a World Heritage Site [Copyright, UNESCO]

Further Readings

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