Among the natural wonders to visit in Viñales, there are two that stand out: Cueva del Indio and Santo Tomás. In BandCuba, Bed and Breakfast in Cuba, we're delight to talk to you about this imposing formations that impress travelers and investigators every year. To know them is to love them, plan your travel and come to discover this caves.
Valle de Viñales is the most imposing natural environment in all Cuba. It is considered as a World Heritage Site by Unesco and one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world, according to the New York Times. The magic of this small place framed in Sierra de los Órganos, the green heart of the country, enchants all who visit it.
The town of Viñales is at the province of Pinar del Río, renowned for its premium tobacco growing areas and natural landscapes. People who enjoy photography, exploration, hiking and meditation will love spending a few days in this place. Time will not reach to visit all the wonderful places that this community has to offer.
If you want to travel to Viñales you can do it from Havana taking the intercity bus line Viazul. The estimated travel price is 12 US$. Other options are taking a private taxi -more expensive-, going on the national buses of the Astro company or renting a private vehicle to make the route by highway along the East-West Highway. In the last scenario you must take a map and ask the people you find on the way there.
Once in Viñales it is time to know the wonders that it offers. Two of the most recognized are Cueva del Indio and Santo Tomás. Dare to meet them!
Leaving Viñales without knowing Cueva del Indio (Indian Cave) and Santo Tomás is a big mistake. These caves systems and ancient home of indigenous civilizations are the jewels of this area. They are kept in perfect condition and both are illuminated to appreciate its beauty and the cave paintings embodied in its walls.
Among them there is a substantial difference in size. Cueva del Indio is smaller and easier to navigate. That is why, in addition to its other qualities, is the one that attracts more visitors. Instead, Santo Tomas is the largest cave system in Cuba and the longest in southern and central America.
We will let you know the particularities of each one and the reasons why you should include them in your travel itinerary.
There are many things to see and do in Viñales, one of the most popular is to visit Cueva del Indio. Between the route that connects Viñales with San Cayetano, only 4 miles away from the town is located this famous cave. It is believed that this landscape is about five million years old. It has 2,5 miles of extension to explore, fully lit since it opened to the public in the 70's.
An incredible show of stalactites and stalagmites opens the way through the cave. Through the underground system passes the river San Vicente with an extension of several miles where you can appreciate rock formations, cave paintings and remains of artifacts used by indigenous people.
The tour is easy to do in a few hours and its opening hours are from 9 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon. In high season it opens a little earlier and routes leave every moment. You can go by private transport, bus or on a tour. The cost of the entrance is 5 CUC (about 4.82 US$).
The exploration of the cave system of Santo Tomás is a mission to adventurers. It has about 10 different entry points with interconnected galleries, seven levels and 29 miles in length. It is 12,5 miles from Viñales in the Sierra de Quemado, and at one of its entrances you have to climb about 80 meters to get there. It is worthy of scientific admiration and seat of the National School of Speleology Antonio Núñez Jiménez.
Imposing rock formations, water fountains, rock paintings, stalactites, stalagmites and helicites create an amazing landscape. Unlike Cueva del Indio, in Santo Tomás the routes are more complex and the roads are treacherous, you must be really careful. The tour is worth it, you can appreciate the National School seat and the wonders of the cave.
There is an exit zone similar to an auditorium where audiovisual production is projected on the site. The cost of admission to explore part of this cave is 10 CUC, equivalent to 9.82 US$.
When traveling to Viñales it is advisable to stay for a few days. The recommended accommodation for this destination is a private house. In this town a high percentage of people put in their place to welcome tourists. This is a good way to save money and take more time to know the locality.
If you arrive by VíaAzul line you will see people with signs offering accommodation. It is recommended that you book in advance, check around 300 different stays that BandCuba meets to facilitate your search. You will not have to worry about the location as the village is small.
You can take a bus or ask for a taxi to get around the city. If you rent a particular vehicle you will not have this inconvenience to get to the caves. You can go on a daily excursion or buy a complete package to explore other areas of Viñales.
Tip: If you travel "low cost" look for Viñales Tour Bus at the Principal Avenue. The total cost is only 5 CUC or 5$. This transport travels all the destinations of interest in the town.
Prepare your camera, wear comfortable clothes and visit the Cave of the Indian and Santo Tomás, two wonders to see in Cuba. If you still do not have accommodation and you’re looking for good prices and a comfortable place do not hesitate to visit aour website and contact us to clarify your doubts. Share with us in the comments what other zones would you like to know in Cuba.