Viñales – Cuba

This post is part of my Cuba blog post series.

During our trip to Cuba we had a one day excursion to the region of Viñales, which is on the western side of Cuba. To its north is the UNESCO world heritage site Viñales Valley National Park. We didn’t visit the park, but we were able to get a glance from the outside. The valley shown in the next image with all the round hills behind the tended fields is part of it.

Viñales Valley National Park
Viñales Valley National Park

These round hills are called Mogotes. According to Wikipedia, they are isolated, steep-sided, residual hills, which are composed of either limestone, marble or dolomite and surrounded by nearly flat alluvial plains. Here in Cuba they are made out of limestone and many of them have caves.

Mogotes in Viñales under a cloudy sky
Mogotes in Viñales under a cloudy sky

Plenty of small farms with their colorful fields dot the landscape. Apart from vegetables, they mainly grow tobacco, for which this region is very famous.

Farming fields in Viñales
Farming fields in Viñales

In the last few years, tourism became an important source of income for the people of Viñales. Hiking and rock climbing, which is currently prohibited by the government, are two favorites foreigners’ activities. But it is really a photographer’s paradise as well.

Hut in Viñales
Hut in Viñales

While waiting for lunch, I was exploring the neighborhood when this guy called me over to show me one of his roosters. Yeah, it is used for cockfights, which is a legal sport in Cuba.

Dad with rooster
Dad with rooster

And his son posed for me as well with his own rooster.

Son with rooster in front of a Mogote
Son with rooster in front of a Mogote

After lunch we had a demonstration on how to roll our own cigars and then continued our trip to visit a factory where tobacco leaves are processed. More about this in an upcoming post.






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