Situated amidst the Sierra de los Órganos in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río, Viñales Valley is a totally natural and colorful place where strong popular traditions thrive alongside the brilliantly green and distinctive mogote mountain landscape.
Viñales forms part of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico group of mountains, and this valley and a significant portion of the surrounding range was declared a National Park in 1999. In December of that same year it was named a World Heritage Cultural Landscape by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Also a National Monument since 1979, the beauty of its surroundings enchants all eyes that behold it. Tobacco-growing is the most significant activity in a region where the work of human beings and the surrounding countryside coexist in harmony.
The “Prehistoric Mural” is an outstanding feature of the “Dos Hermanos” (two brothers) valley. The 120 to 160m long rock which extends the length of the valley was cleaned in order to be painted by the late Leovigildo González Morillo, formerly the Cartography Director of the Cuban Academy of Science.
Comprising 12 themes, this work portrays the evolution of humans and animals in the Sierra de los Órganos, with artistic reproductions of Guanahatabeyes Indians, mammals, gigantic animals and molluscs.
The greenery and caves of the landscape presently host adventure and nature tourism, which can for the more bold and brazen of visitors, extend to the climbing of the mogotes mountains. (PL)
Written by Roberto F. Campos