It is hard for a tourist visiting Cuba to decline the possibility to know Viñales, since they have the beauty of its valley trapped in the memory thanks to the pictures and the paintings scattered all over the world.
Preserved by its villagers, the town has several attractions such as Polo Montañez Plaza, where the peculiar singer and songwriter is recalled. In the outskirts, there is a place that astonishes the visitor with pure charm: Caridad’s Garden, with innumerable species of the Cuban flora, a haven of peace, where spring nests the whole year, as Cuban writer Dora Alonso used to say. But Viñales, declared World Cultural Landscape by Unesco, has other treasures and is distinguished by its geological complexity with rocks that date back to the Jurassic Period, while the caverns altogether form Cuba’s largest cave system, including Santo Tomás cave, with around 46 kilometres explored. Some documents give proof that since the last century, the inhabitants of the area known as Valle de Quemado, used to visit Cueva del Salón (Hall’s Cave) named like that because they celebrated balls and parties in the primary galleries; in addition the peasants extracted bat’s guano from the caves to fertilize the tobacco plantations and used water from the ponds in drought periods. Primitive paintings that show the presence of native communities, along with the beauty of the stalagmites and the stalactites are more reasons to invite visitors to the adventure of this underground world. It also stands out in Viñales the protection of the environment, the preservation of the local culture, the rational use of the soil, the development of the forests, nature tourism and the environmental education in schools. All these peculiarities contribute to make the place universally valuable, since the human work is inserted with its different cultural elements in an exceptional milieu without altering the balance with nature.
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