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Viñales, Cuba

Parque Prehistórico

Prehistoric history as seen through the lens of an outsider artist. 

Local Vinales man Jesus Arencibia Coro runs this small outdoor museum which is full of specimens that have been donated from around the world and subsequently encased in concrete. 

The small sign by the road says: “Parque Prehistórico de Referencia Nacional. Paleontology. Biology. Anthropology. Natural Medicine” which is just the first indication of the eclectic offerings ahead. The park is full of plants and specimens that Coro has collected or that people have sent him from all corners of the earth. He encases his specimens in crude concrete pillars with glass viewing windows built in, and he knows the history of each and every piece. In addition to the collection of rocks, shells, and fossils Coro grows endemic, medicinal, and prehistoric plants.

Coro will give you a very animated tour if he catches you checking out the park, and his historical descriptions are intermingled with wonderful philosophical musings. “I am ignorant,” he constantly says, “but I love to learn.” He is simply delighted by all things ancient. His enthusiasm shows in the cement dinosaur sculptures throughout the park which are more impressionistic than representative of any firm anatomy. There are also scattered pieces throughout the park that explore the development of ancient man through rough stone figures which look like they hail from the time of hunters and gatherers. 

While there is no admission fee to the park, Coro will ask for a donation for the tour. However if you want to bring him, or send him, a specimen, he will take very good care of that donation as well. 

Know Before You Go

Adela Azcuy No. 6 Norte. There's a sign with a dinosaur picture on the left side of Adela Azcuy walking north from the main drag.