The Viñales Mural de la Prehistoria is the work of the former Director of Mapping at the Cuban Academy of Sciences, Leovigildo González Morillo. A master of neo-caveman artistry, Morillo undertook the massive project of portraying world history up until the age of humans on a rock wall in the Viñales Valley.
Spanning from early mollusks and other ancient sea-organisms, the rock face mural moves through the age of the dinosaurs, and ends with three giant red human figures. Both lauded as brilliant in its simplicity, and decried as an eyesore, it has taken a massive effort from the community to maintain the mural after the death of its creator.
Recently, a project to restore the paint and colors began. Unfortunately, the project took close to five years, and cost a great deal of money, once again flinging the mural into debate. Along with touch-ups to the color and design, measures have been taken to prevent erosion of the rocks around the mural.
Although the mural itself is often labeled as overhyped, the lush Viñales Valley is worth visiting and was given status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Know Before You Go
Buses depart from Havana to Viñales at 9am and 2pm daily