Viñales Valley is one of the most precious gems of Cuba and represents an unknown side of the island: its unique rural environment. Located in the west of Cuba and only 3 hours away from Havana, Viñales Valley is a very frequent stop for tourists. This is not a coincidence, the picturesque land was declared a National Monument in 1979, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and a National Park in 2001.
The Valley has a lot to offer, you can walk through its cigar plantations, visit its caves, or get amazed by its breathtaking views. Check Espíritu Travel’s website to discover some trip ideas that include tours to the Viñales Valley. However, to give you some inspiration, this article introduces you to some of the best things to do in Viñales to make the most out of your time there:
Horse ride through tobacco farms
The best way to learn about the history of Cuban cigars and their old fashioned manufacturing method is by riding a horse through the valleys of Viñales National Park. You will have the chance to talk to local farmers and get a real taste of their customs and traditions. We recommend you to schedule your trip in el Valle del Silencio, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Viñales, either at sunrise or sunset to enjoy magical hours of lighting.
Visit Los Aquaticos viewpoint
One of the essential things to do in Viñales Valley is visiting the mountain village of Los Aquaticos. The land owes its name to Antonio Izquierdo, a man who claimed in 1943 that the waters surrounding the area have healing powers. Even if you don’t believe in this legend, you should visit Los Aquaticos to witness its amazing scenery and appreciate the breathtaking views of the National Park from there. The village covers only 4 km so you can complete your trip by foot or on horseback.
Get lost in the history of its caves
The Great Cavern of Santo Tomás and Cueva del Indio are two of the most famous caves in Viñales Valley, but this land is full of ancient caverns.
Near the town of San Vicente you will find Cueva del Indio. Home to ancient indigenous, the cave was only discovered in 1920. Nowadays, visiting Cueva del Indio to admire the glorious remains of pre-Columbian Cuban civilizations is a whole adventure. Cueva del Indio has an underground river, which means that the route to visit it is first by foot and then by boat.
The Great Cavern of Santo Tomás is the largest cavern system in the Americas and has been declared a National Monument. Its 46 km were once the shelter of slaves running away from sugar plantations, so by visiting this natural treasure you will also be in contact with the magnificent cultural heritage of Cuba.
Witness the Mural de la Prehistoria
Placed only 4 km west of the village of Viñales, you will find the Mural de la Prehistoria. Visiting this stunning mural full of colors that covers 180 meters of the mountain is one of the best things to do in Viñales Valley. The painting was designed in 1961 by the artist Leovigildo González Morillo, but it took 18 people and four years to get it done. Without giving away too many details, the mural symbolizes the theory of evolution.
Walk through the streets of Viñales Village center
Viñales village is a great example of the beautiful colonial architecture. This tiny town of only 4,000 people offers colorful buildings such as its Casa de la Cultura, Museo Municipal or its church that will take you back in time. At Viñales there are also some great restaurants where you can try the popular food of Cuba.
If you are interested in the area of Viñales, our Havana & Viñales Trip is the perfect itinerary for you. You can contact us if you need any other ideas of things to do in Viñales Valley, Cuba, or in any other part of the island. All the trips at Espíritu Travel are designed under the values of sustainable tourism. This means we only offer responsible travel ideas that generate value for the locals. You can read more about our sustainable travel policy on our website.