This valley could have been a natural site on the List as well, but it is here because of its importance to Cuba’s agricultural industry.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes several hundred properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Date of Inscription: 1999
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 840:
“The Viñales valley is encircled by mountains and its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly of tobacco. The quality of this cultural landscape is enhanced by the vernacular architecture of its farms and villages, where a rich multi-ethnic society survives, illustrating the cultural development of the islands of the Caribbean, and of Cuba.”
I went on a daytrip from Pinar del Rio in the west of Cuba into this valley. I found according to my blog that it was “grand and lush. Especially the large royal palms, also apparent on Cuba’s coat of arms, are impressive. The small farms seem poor, as do los campesinos with their well-used clothes and machetes.”