Humans have been present since prehistoric times. Man originally extracted minerals and carried out hunter-gatherer activities in the area.
There is a high number of hamlets, villages and small towns, dating back to Roman and Arabic times, either for defensive or agricultural reasons. They are: Alajar, Almonaster La Real, Aracena, Aroche, Arroyomolinos de León, Cala, Cañaveral de León, Castaño del Robledo, Corteconcepción, Cortegana, Cortelazor, Cumbres de Enmedio, Cumbres de San Bartolomé, Cumbres Mayores, Encinasola, Fuenteheridos, Galaroza, Higuera de la Sierra, Hinojales, Jabugo, Linares de la Sierra, Los Marines, La Nava, Puerto Moral, Santa Ana La Real, Santa Olalla del Cala, Valdelarco, Zufre.
The high density of chestnut trees has been one of the sources of work and income for the region, as was mining in the outlying areas of the Natural Park.
More recently, its relatively low-lying land and a lack of significant mountains have meant that the natural and cultural heritage of the Sierra de Aracena Natural Park is linked to pasturelands for animals and the industries revolving around the processing of animal products. This is particularly the case of Iberian pigs, with the majority of local village economies focused on the pork meat industry.