Enveloped by mountains, the Viñales Valley's karst topography is magnificent to the extreme, rising from a charming rural landscape of sun-soaked tobacco fields and quaint villages. Time seems to stand still at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a remote yet popular tourist destination that is a world unto itself where cyclists, hikers and climbers roam unhindered. The town of Viñales is the epicenter of this charming escape from where winding roads lead to some of the valley's most scenic locales. From the quintessentially Cuban village of Puerto Esperanza to the sandy expanse of Cayo Jutias, the valley is speckled with rugged karst monoliths called mogotes. Mysterious, labyrinthine caves like La Cueva de Palmarito, Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás and Cueva del Indio, with their galleries and subterranean swimming holes, are another popular feature of the landscape. A healthy smattering of guesthouses and homely accommodations completes the picture of the idyllic rural getaway that is the irresistibly authentic Viñales Valley.
Literally meaning the Cave of the Indians, Cueva del Indio was once home to the Guanajatabey Amerindians. Besides being lit-up with electrical lights and boasting of a concrete floor for the visitors, the cave’s water levels are also kept at a minimum so that they can be easily navigated. The intricate system of caves is considered to be one of the largest of its kind in Latin America, and hence exploring them with the help of a tour guide is highly advisable. Not only will they gladly take you through the history of the caves but they also explaining the various ancient relics and pictograms on the walls. Presently, the caves are home to bats and other cave animals. There is also a cafe on-site.