Viñales Cuba is a picturesque town that stands out for its rural environment and the nature that surrounds it. Located in the west of Cuba, inside the Viñales National Park, it has distinct architectural witnesses of the colonial period. Added to the environmental values, it makes Viñales a place of great beauty. For many, the Viñales Valley is one of the most fascinating places in all of Cuba. It is no coincidence, as it was declared a National Monument in 1979. As it is a place where there is no mass tourism, it has an intimate and special character.
Besides its valley, it is known for being one of the most important cradles of tobacco plantations in the country. Viñales has a cosy and peaceful atmosphere, with many outdoor activities, perfect to enjoy a few days of nature.
What are the best things to do in Viñales Cuba?
Viñales is a very small town, but at the same time a very popular and well-known place. It is an essential stop on any trip to Cuba.
1. Viñales Valley, Cuba
The Viñales National Park, known as the Viñales Valley is the symbol of the town, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Moreover, the Viñales Valley is one of the most important natural parks in the country, and without a doubt, one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in all of Cuba. This valley is home to unique limestone rock formations, called mogotes, which dominate the fields of tobacco plantations. It is an exclusive landscape set in the Sierra de los Órganos, where the famous mogotes form a unique sight. Definitely an essential place to see in Viñales Cuba.
2. Los Acuáticos Viewpoint
This is an essential place to visit if you are in Viñales. Located in the Sierra del Infierno mountain range, behind the mogotes of the Viñales Valley, is the village of the Aquáticos, a peasant community that maintains its faith in the healing powers of water. It is one of the most iconic Cuban sites, where the ancestral culture of the healing waters of Los Acuáticos has been preserved for decades. Founded in 1943 by Antonia Izquierdo, this village has a natural viewpoint perfect for admiring the views of the park.
Visiting this village is an almost obligatory thing to do in Viñales. It is highly recommended for its cultural and traditional importance as well as for its unique landscape. It has a great diversity of autochthonous plant species, which make it the ideal place to investigate and connect with the lifestyle and beliefs of the locals. The complete route to the village is 4 km long and can be done on foot or on horseback.
3. Viewpoint at Los Jazmines Hotel
This is a viewpoint located next to the Hotel Los Jazmines, which offers one of the most characteristic views of the Viñales National Park. The views from the viewpoint are spectacular and worth stopping at. It is considered the best viewpoint in the area, making it a must-see in Viñales, Cuba.
4. Mural of Pehistory
The Mural of Prehistory in Viñales, Cuba, is a huge mural that has been painted on the natural wall of the mogote Pita, in Valle de Dos Hermanas. Located 4 km west of the village of Viñales, this mural depicts the evolution of man, with different coloured figures of both men and animal.
This work began in 1961, following the design of Leovigildo González Morillo, and took four years and twenty peasants to complete. The mural is 120 m long, making it one of the largest open-air paintings in the world.
5. Cueva del Indio
The Cueva del Indio is an ancient indigenous dwelling in Viñales, Cuba. Located 5.5 km north of Viñales, near the village of San Vicente, it is situated in one of the most important cave systems in Cuba. The cave was found in 1920 by a peasant named Juan Díaz and since then it has received numerous visitors. Among all the karst area of Viñales, with numerous caves, this one is considered the best to visit. It is a cave with an underground river that can be seen first on foot and then by boat. It consists of approximately 1 km of route that is sure to impress you.
6. Caverna de Santo Tomás
The Caverna de Santo Tomás is one of the most famous caves in Cuba, and has been declared a National Monument. It is the second largest cave system in the Americas, with 45 km of caves on several levels. Located about 20 km from the Viñales Valley, you will find bats and large underground rivers that are sure to surprise you.
7. Town of Viñales
Viñales is a humble town with colourful, ground floor, colonial-style houses, mostly built by the owners, that will transport you to one of Cuba’s most authentic rural settings. Although the town is not large, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can sample Cuban food. As we always say, it’s best to try several and diversify your spending. At night there is usually live music in some of the bars and the mojitos run like water!
8. Casa del Veguero
La Casa del Veguero is one of the most famous tobacco plantations in Cuba. Located on the outskirts of Viñales, on the road that leads to the Mirador de Los Jazmines, it has an interesting warehouse where you can watch the tobacco leaves drying. The best time to visit the Casa del Veguero is between the months of February and May, when you can best appreciate the artisanal system of cultivation and the ripening of the tobacco leaves.
9. Municipal Museum of Viñales
The Municipal Museum of Viñales is located in the main street of the town, in the house of Adela Azcuy Labrador. This museum shows the history of the municipality of Viñales, Cuba. It has five different rooms in which the characteristics of the municipality are explained, the representation of a cave and a mogote characteristic of this area, as well as exhibitions about the first inhabitants of the place. It is an interesting stop to learn and understand the tradition and culture of Viñales, Cuba.
Activities to do in Viñales Cuba
Going on an excursion is the perfect thing to do if you visit the area of Viñales, Cuba. The most common excursions to the beach from Viñales are to Cayo Jutías, Cayo Levisa, and Playa María la Gorda. Here is the information so that you can choose the option that most interests you.
1. Trip to Jutías Key
To get to Jutías Key you have to travel about 2 hours by road. Cayo Jutías is one of the main keys that make up the archipelago of Los Colorados, and it is a unique landscape that will make your trip unforgettable. It is located on the north coast of the province of Pinar del Río, in the municipality of Minas de Matahambre, Cuba. One thing worth noting about this key is that it has no hotels or hotel infrastructure, as the aim is to conserve and not exploit this natural wonder.
Its beach is one of the main reasons to visit this marvellous key. It is a paradisiacal, wild beach with turquoise waters and virgin white sand. It is known by the locals as the Beach of the Stars, due to the abundant presence of starfish in its waters, which makes it an ideal place to snorkel and admire them in their natural environment. The speciality of the key is lobster, which makes this place even more special.
2. Trip to Levisa Key
To get to this key, you must take a ferry from Palma Rubia. It is one of the most impressive places in the north of Cuba, with intense turquoise waters, white sand, and a large row of mangroves. Cayo Levisa, separated by the Caribbean Sea from the northern coast of Cuba, holds the title of the best beach in the province of Pinar del Río, together with the one that forms the Archipelago of Los Colorados, making it one of the most acclaimed destinations for visitors to the region.
This key, full of coral reefs, is renowned for its rich underwater biodiversity, and one of the most popular activities on the island is a boat trip to the coral reef. Dominated by exotic palm trees, it’s one of the most paradise-like places on the island. The mix of fine white sand and pine trees make it a very special place, a place to enjoy the scenery and marvel at the beauty of the surroundings.
Map and travel itinerary for the Viñales Valley
Here is our map with the places we recommend visiting in Viñales so that you can organise your trip easily and quickly. You can also add important documents such as tickets, hotel reservations and even invite your friends to be part of the itinerary organisation.
3. Trip to María la Gorda Beach
María la Gorda is the dream of every diving enthusiast. Its crystal clear waters and impressive seabed with coral reefs make this destination in Pinar del Río one of the best places in Cuba for for diving, on a par with the famous Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth). The peculiar name of this place supposedly comes from a Venezuelan Indian woman, who was kidnapped by pirates and later abandoned in this desolate part of the island of Cuba.
In María la Gorda you will find several diving areas, but among them it is worth mentioning two areas that are especially interesting for their spectacular sea beds, full of corals and sea turtles: The Black Coral Valley, considered the largest black coral surface in Cuba; and the Salón de María, where you can see sea lilies and the exotic and colourful corals.
How do you plan your itinerary of places to see in Viñales Cuba?
If you don’t know how to organise your trip to Viñales, Cuba, register on the Passporter website and we will help you.
- Get inspiration from the experiences of other travellers.
- Create your own itinerary and add the app’s suggestions to it.
- Add the spots you are most interested in, as well as the restaurants and bars where you want to eat (you can use the points of interest listed in this post as a reference).
- Organise your itinerary by days and according to their location (you can take inspiration from the routes presented in the post).
- Check the travel budget that the app calculates for you based on your travel stops, restaurants, and leisure activities.
- Make the necessary modifications and you are ready for your trip.
- Finally, share your experience. Upload photos of each of the places you have visited to the app so you can inspire other users.
Frequently asked questions about a trip to Viñales Cuba
The entrance fee is 3 CUC.
The entrance fee is 5 CUC.
To get there you can take a 20-minute ferry ride from Palma Rubia. The ferry has several daily trips, so it is possible to visit the key without staying overnight, although spending a night on this marvellous key is a unique and recommended experience.
The ferry departs from Palma Rubia to Levisa Key. The round-trip fare is 15 CUC (12,40 €) per person.
You can buy it at any of the agencies in the main square of Viñales, in front of the supermarket.
María la Gorda Beach is in the westernmost part of Cuba, so the best way to get there is from Viñales. As the trip is a bit long, it’s best to spend a couple of days there, although you can also do it in one day if you leave early. From Viñales you can take a colectivo (the trip usually takes about 3 hours) or a private transfer.
If you decide to stay in María la Gorda, the preferred option is the Hotel María la Gorda. With a series of beautiful wooden cabins right on the beach, it will be like living in paradise.
The best way to get to Jutias Key from Viñales is by private transfer. The journey takes about two hours but it is definitely worth it.