About Us

Vi–ales painter Emilio RamosÕ representation of the Cuba Libre Cavern, site of the first rock climbs in Cuba.

Since 2001 this website has been providing free, up-to-date information for visitors and locals to climb in Cuba. It is the product of love for Cuba and climbing.

CubaClimbing.com was created to be the first stop for everyone thinking about travel to Cuba. Also, you will find every articles about climbing in Cuba that has been published, and a few other excellent articles on other advent ure sports and activities.

The focus of rock climbing in Cuba is the Valle de Viñales in the western, mountainous province of Pinar del Río. We also try to provide information on the developing new areas in central and eastern Cuba.

Cameron Cross on Flyn’ Hynea, ©Craig Luebben

In Viñales, overhanging limestone faces on 1,000-foot freestanding crags called “mogotes” rise above traditional thatch-roofed Cuban houses, red-soiled farms, and verdant palms and pines.

The climbing is superlative, cranking jugs and pockets in chiseled karst limestone on improbable lines through stunning overhangs of stalactites and tufa columns.

Travel, digs, food, and climbing partners are no sweat. Mild weather, and everything from isolated beaches to caving and cock-fights on rest days. Add an exciting, sensuous nightlife, the gregarious, vivacious Cuban people, and Cuba is the best outdoor adventure experience in the Western Hemisphere.

Anibal Fernandez

The authors of the Cuba Climbing guidebook are Aníbal Fernández and Armando Menocal the first Cuban climber and the first foreigner, albeit a Cuban-American, to “discover” Cuba’s climbing potential. Passionate about Cuba, their commitment to Cuban climbing has forced one author leave his country and the other to be excluded and declared inadmissible to Cuba.

Aníbal Fernández was born in 1980 in La Habana and has been involved in every stage of Cuban climbing development: exploring new areas for potential, pioneering many first ascents, and motivating an entire generation of Cubans to adopt a new lifestyle. Since leaving Cuba, Aníbal has climbed extensively in North America and Europe and has hundreds of first ascents under his belt, as well as a Rock Guide certification from Exum Mountain Guides. He currently resides in Toronto, but says, “I never wanted to emigrate. I can’t help but feeling in exile. Every day there isn’t a moment when I would not leave it all and return to La Habana. I carry my island around with me.” He returns annually to play on Cuba’s magnificent stone, and hopes soon to end his exile and once again live with his people and his island.

Armando Menocal was born to Cuban parents in Miami, Florida. His roots and heart are in Cuba. His great-grandmother was a cousin of Mario García-Menocal, a rebel who fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule and governed Cuba as president from 1912 to 1921. Armando has climbed for 40 years in five continents, lived in Nepal and the Grand Tetons, and worked as a rock and alpine guide for Exum Mountain Guide. He founded the Access Fund and Access PanAm, two organizations dedicated to keeping climbing areas open and protecting the climbing environment in the Western Hemisphere. In the 1998, Armando travelled to Cuba in search of his family roots, chanced on Viñales, and made dozens of return trips to develop routes, bring gear for the locals, and created the CubaClimbing website to publicize Cuba to the world. A decade of activism resulted in Armando being banned from Cuba. His unidentified sins have been pardoned. He and his wife Laura are rebuilding their house in Viñales.

Armando Menocal on the first ascent of ÒFlyin’ Hyena,Ó (5.12b/7b) April, 1999, still the islandÕs longest climb

Armando alone is responsible for the opinions and observations on this website.