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Why it is named Viñales?

During long time the name of Viñales, main touristy spot in the Pinar del Rio province, has been linked to the existence of vineyards planted by the first Spaniards settled in the area. However, the historian Ricardo Alvarez tells a different story.

After a profound research, Alvarez considered the wrongness of that possibility, due to the inappropriate climate for the grapes crop. Besides he denies the existence of persons having Viñales as a family name.

Long before Viñales had achieved its worldwide reputation, the place was named San Francisco de Viñales, back in 1607, after a homonymous town in the Spanish province of León.

According to the research made by Alvarez, the family who bought the lands in Pinar del Rio and named them was originally from that village in Iberia; they even named them before knowing them or exploiting their resources.

Valle de ViñalesThey could not imagine at that time that their domains would be awarded as Cultural Landscape of the Humanity, more than hundred years later.

The Valley of Viñales is characterized by its great mogotes which once were compared with sleeping elephants. They made famous the place and attract thousand of tourists every year, enchanted by the beauty of the Cuban landscape. It is the centre of activity of the locality under the same name. It has rich forestal resources of more than 26 000 hectares of woods, placed north Pinar del Rio City.

Tobacco and tourism are the main economic activities of the area. Its morphology is the result of the erosive action of time and waters, which in certain places penetrated the caves to form subterranean rivers as the one in the Indio Cave and the Great Cave Saint Thomas, one of the top in terms of extension in Latin America.