Viñales

What is Viñales known for?


history landscape

to mingle with the Cubans and spread money in a nice even sugar-coating. Understand History Landscape Cuba was once covered by limestone ("karst"). Much of this limestone has eroded away, leaving mountains with steep sides and rounded, jungly tops. The mountains are called mogotes , which means "haystacks." Many mogotes have caves. Several caves are developed for tourists to visit. The red farmland and unique microclimate produce the best cigars in the world. Some tobacco farms are set up for tourist tours. Flora and fauna Climate People Start at a tourist office or your hotel or casa particular . Point out something in the guidebook you'd like to see or do, and offer to pay someone to take you there. Or offer to pay for a Spanish lesson or a salsa lesson. Hire a local guide for a few hours and you'll make a friend, and he or she will introduce you to his or her family, and they'll invite you to do more stuff, and you won't be bored the rest of your visit. But be aware of what's illegal to pay for. You can't pay someone to drive you somewhere, unless it's a licensed taxi. You can't pay for lodging, unless it's a licensed casa particulares (bed&breakfast). Get in '''Viazul''' runs buses twice a day from Havana and Pinar del Rio. They also run buses to Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Viazul ticket office, Salvador Cisneros, 63 A. (on main street opposite town square) Open daily and as well as booking your bus to Havana and Pinar del Rio, they also can organise transfers in smaller coaches to Soroa, Las Terrazas and other locations. There are 2 departures daily to Havana via Pinar del Rio at 8am and 2pm. (Price 12 CUC one way to Havana, 24 return) Fees Permits Get around A green minibus takes the tourists around the valley. For about 5 CUC you can ride all day, with stops at the tourist hotels, in the village, and at the caves and other sights. See The main street, Calle Salvador Cisneros, was named after Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, who was a leader in the war of independence (1868-1878) and later was President of Cuba from 1895 to 1897. In the central plaza, the Casa de la Cultura puts on events every day (or night), including music, fashion shows, and children's events. Also on the central plaza is an art gallery and the church. On Saturday mornings there's a farmer's market at the plaza. Town centre Relax and sit back in the town square, complete with Casa de Cultura, Art Gallery and Church. Further down the main street is the small museo municipal, former home of independence heroine Adela Azcuy. Mural de la Prehistoria Perhaps the worst tourist attraction in Cuba is the Mural de la Prehistoria. In 1961 Fidel Castro visited a beautiful valley a few kilometers west of Viñales. He commissioned that the cliff should be painted with snails, dinosaurs, and a family of cavepersons, in garish colors! There's a restaurant, bar, and gift shop. To be fair, the guidebook says that the food in the restaurant is excellent and the live music is good. Also there's horseback riding. So consider visiting the mural and doing something other than looking at the mural. Cueva del Indio An easy to visit cave complete with tourist focused boat ride through it. Best place to pick up not so tacky souvenirs and paintings. Food also served. (6km from Vinales) El Palenque de los Cimarrones Tiny museum as you walk through a smaller cave (Cueva de San Miguel) showing how slaves hid out in centuries past. Restaurant at back with slave show, mostly for bus tours. Cave is best known for its disco at the weekends where all the locals go to hang out. Food also served. (4km from Vinales) Casa del Veguero To learn about tobacco farming, visit this tourist oriented tobacco farm and drying shed. Food also served. (1 2 km from Vinales) Parque Nacional Vinales visitor centre The park covers 150 sq km and the visitor centre located close to the hotel Los Jazmines offers information, hiking and guides. (2km from Vinales). The visitor centre in itself does not have a lot to see, some wall charts with walking routes and a small model of the valley. It is the view that is stunning and from here you can organise your excursions into the valley. Do Birdwatching There's a bird-watching trail starting at the El Ranchón restaurant near the Cuevas del Indio. Cycling This is another good way to see the valley up close. As it is a valley, it can be hilly but it is worth it and one of the best places to cycle in Cuba. Bikes can be rented from a desk located in front of the restaurant, Casa Don Tomas. If not available, check with your casa particular and they may be able to loan you a bike. All cycling is on the road as there are no off road routes. Cycling tours can also be booked at the travel agents in town. Prices are 5 CUC for half day, morning or afternoon and 10 CUC for daily rental. Swimming There are day trips to the beaches Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutias and Maria la Gorda. There are day passes available for the swimming pools at the hotels, Los Jazmines, La Ermita and El Rancho and you can also swim in the natural pools in the caves and in the local rivers. Best known are: Cueva de Palmarito (pool within a cave about 3km from Vinales) and river bathing in Los Resvalosos and La Jagua. Check with your casa particular for transfers. Sample prices '''Day trip to Cayo Jutias''': 22 CUC for transfer, entrance fee to beach and lunch available with travel agents. Departs 9am Cayo Jutias is about 60km from Vinales '''Day trip to Cayo Levisa''': Transfer by coach and boat to Cayo Levisa, 29 CUC to include lunch and 35 CUC for hot lunch. Departs at 8.30 to take boat at 10am from Palma Rubia. Cayo Levisa is about 50km from Vinales Entrance fee to pools is 7 CUC. For this you get a day pass and a voucher to spend 6 CUC at the poolside bar. No entrance fee to swimming in local rivers but you will have to pay your transport and the entrance fee to the Cueva del Palmarito is 2 CUC, payable to the farmer who owns the land. Rock Climbing The focus of rock climbing in Cuba is the Valle de Viñales in the western, mountainous province of Pinar del Río. Overhanging limestone faces on 1,000-foot freestanding crags called “mogotes” rise above traditional thatch-roofed Cuban houses, red-soiled farms, and verdant palms and pines. The climbing is superlative, cranking jugs and pockets in chiseled karst limestone on improbable lines through stunning overhangs of stalactites and tufa columns. * Wikipedia:Viñales


traditional agricultural

and the traditional agricultural techniques which continue to used in the cultivation of tobacco and other crops there, the valley is a popular hiking and rock climbing location. align "center" 1999 The village of Viñales was founded in 1875 after the expansion of tobacco cultivation in the surrounding valley. The Valley features a karst topography, vernacular architecture, and traditional cultivation methods. The Valley was also the site of various military engagements


national school

, and the streets are laid out to form a C, U, B, and A. A great place to use as a home base for caving and exploring the area is the National School of Speleology in El Moncada. The School is located at one of the main entrances to the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas. For a low price, you can rent a room or bed, have meals, and guide service. The School is rustic, but for real explorers the location can't be beat. For more information contact Eduardo, the School manager, by phone at 681274


centuries past

also served. (6km from Vinales) El Palenque de los Cimarrones Tiny museum as you walk through a smaller cave (Cueva de San Miguel) showing how slaves hid out in centuries past. Restaurant at back with slave show, mostly for bus tours. Cave is best known for its disco at the weekends where all the locals go to hang out. Food also served. (4km from Vinales) Casa del Veguero To learn about tobacco farming, visit this tourist oriented tobacco farm and drying shed. Food also served. (1 2 km from Vinales) Parque Nacional Vinales visitor centre The park covers 150 sq km and the visitor centre located close to the hotel Los Jazmines offers information, hiking and guides. (2km from Vinales). The visitor centre in itself does not have a lot to see, some wall charts with walking routes and a small model of the valley. It is the view that is stunning and from here you can organise your excursions into the valley. Do Birdwatching There's a bird-watching trail starting at the El Ranchón restaurant near the Cuevas del Indio. Cycling This is another good way to see the valley up close. As it is a valley, it can be hilly but it is worth it and one of the best places to cycle in Cuba. Bikes can be rented from a desk located in front of the restaurant, Casa Don Tomas. If not available, check with your casa particular and they may be able to loan you a bike. All cycling is on the road as there are no off road routes. Cycling tours can also be booked at the travel agents in town. Prices are 5 CUC for half day, morning or afternoon and 10 CUC for daily rental. Swimming There are day trips to the beaches Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutias and Maria la Gorda. There are day passes available for the swimming pools at the hotels, Los Jazmines, La Ermita and El Rancho and you can also swim in the natural pools in the caves and in the local rivers. Best known are: Cueva de Palmarito (pool within a cave about 3km from Vinales) and river bathing in Los Resvalosos and La Jagua. Check with your casa particular for transfers. Sample prices '''Day trip to Cayo Jutias''': 22 CUC for transfer, entrance fee to beach and lunch available with travel agents. Departs 9am Cayo Jutias is about 60km from Vinales '''Day trip to Cayo Levisa''': Transfer by coach and boat to Cayo Levisa, 29 CUC to include lunch and 35 CUC for hot lunch. Departs at 8.30 to take boat at 10am from Palma Rubia. Cayo Levisa is about 50km from Vinales Entrance fee to pools is 7 CUC. For this you get a day pass and a voucher to spend 6 CUC at the poolside bar. No entrance fee to swimming in local rivers but you will have to pay your transport and the entrance fee to the Cueva del Palmarito is 2 CUC, payable to the farmer who owns the land. Rock Climbing The focus of rock climbing in Cuba is the Valle de Viñales in the western, mountainous province of Pinar del Río. Overhanging limestone faces on 1,000-foot freestanding crags called “mogotes” rise above traditional thatch-roofed Cuban houses, red-soiled farms, and verdant palms and pines. The climbing is superlative, cranking jugs and pockets in chiseled karst limestone on improbable lines through stunning overhangs of stalactites and tufa columns. * Wikipedia:Viñales


great quality

looking at. In terms of souvenirs, the leader of the pack is anything to do with Che, from t-shirts to the key rings and so on and so on. Leather is not of great quality nor are the wooden carvings but you can find some nice artwork and prints if you look hard enough. Most of these items can be bought in all of the tourist attractions in and around Vinales. The town park also has stalls selling items geared at the tourist. The Art Gallery on the park also has artwork for sale. Coffee cups with designs from Cuban modern artists are a tasteful souvenir and this series, available in all tourist attractions, also features plates, oil and vinegar, shower curtains, towels and aprons. Eat The restaurant at the Patio Centro Cultural Polo Montañez (on the central plaza) is good. There's a restaurant where the locals eat on the street heading north, towards the Cuevas del Indio. It's a typical Cuban restaurant, serving pizza and spaghetti, with remarkably slow service. There's a little store selling snacks and ice cream on the main street, across from the plaza. Drink * Wikipedia:Viñales


time

population_urban population_density_urban_km2 population_blank1_title population_blank1 timezone EST (Eastern Time Zone) utc_offset -5 timezone_DST utc_offset_DST latd 22 latm 36 lats 55 latNS N longd 83 longm 42 longs 57 longEW W elevation_footnotes tags-- elevation_m 135 <

. Hiking and Horseback Riding The national park building (near the Hotel Los Jazmines) has maps and exhibits showing fourteen excursions (see the photos below). The main hike everyone does circles behind the mogotes closest to the town. You can hire horses for this. You may be able to hire a hiking guides at the Museo Municipal Adela Azcuy (Calle Salvador Cisneros #115). '''Cocosolo-Palmarito''' Time: 5 hours Difficulty: Low Length: 8 km Start: Hotel La

Ermita End: Mural de la Prehistoria y Campismo Dos Hermanas '''Cueva del Cable (Cave of the Cable)''' Time: 2 hours 30 minutes Difficulty: Medium Length: 10 km Start: Rancho San Vicente End: Hoya de Jutia '''San Vicente-Ancón''' Time: 3 hours 30 minutes Difficulty: Low Length: 5 km Start: Hotel Rancho San Vicente End: Ancón '''Maravillas de Viñales


historical interest

of the province’s economy. Though the town of Pinar del Río (the provincial capital) has some places of cultural and historical interest (such as the Cathedral of San Rosendo, a 19th Century construction), most attractions are to be found in rural or natural settings. A major destination is the Viñales Valley, a karstic depression located in the Sierra de los Organos, north of the town of Viñales. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 because of its natural beauty and the traditional agricultural techniques which continue to used in the cultivation of tobacco and other crops there, the valley is a popular hiking and rock climbing location. align "center" 1999 The village of Viñales was founded in 1875 after the expansion of tobacco cultivation in the surrounding valley. The Valley features a karst topography, vernacular architecture, and traditional cultivation methods. The Valley was also the site of various military engagements in the Cuban War of Independence and Cuban Revolution. Wikipedia:Viñales


century construction

of the province’s economy. Though the town of Pinar del Río (the provincial capital) has some places of cultural and historical interest (such as the Cathedral of San Rosendo, a 19th Century construction), most attractions are to be found in rural or natural settings. A major destination is the Viñales Valley, a karstic depression located in the Sierra de los Organos, north of the town of Viñales. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 because of its natural beauty


704

leader_title3 leader_name3 leader_title4 leader_name4 established_title Settled established_date 1871 established_title2 Established established_date2 1878 established_title3 established_date3 area_magnitude unit_pref area_footnotes area_total_km2 704

; With a total area of . Gallery Image:VinalesCubaTransport.jpg A man rides down the main street in Viñales Image:DowntownVinalesCuba.jpg Downtown Viñales Image:VinalesCafe.jpg A Viñales cafe


including music

at the tourist hotels, in the village, and at the caves and other sights. See The main street, Calle Salvador Cisneros, was named after Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, who was a leader in the war of independence (1868-1878) and later was President of Cuba from 1895 to 1897. In the central plaza, the Casa de la Cultura puts on events every day (or night), including music, fashion shows, and children's events. Also on the central plaza is an art gallery and the church. On Saturday mornings

Viñales

'''Viñales''' is a small town and municipality in the north-central Pinar del Río Province of Cuba.

The town consists mostly of one-story wooden houses with porches.

The municipality is dominated by low mountain ranges of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico such as Sierra de los Órganos. Typical outcrops known as ''mogotes'' complete the karstic character of the landscape. Cuba Junky. Vinales

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