Alejandro de Humboldt National Park: A Gem for Ecotourism
By Yadira Cruz, Photos: Publicitur and Prensa Latina
Located in the heart of the Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve, the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park constitutes one of the most attractive choices for eco-tourists in eastern Cuba.
Covering its 16 hiking paths and five eco-friendly routes, and enjoying the unique landscape afforded by this tropical site is an unforgettable experience. Its endemic species and good preservation have made this park –declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001– an attractive option for scientific- and eco-tourism.
As this destination is located in Cuba’s rainiest area, it allows for a large hydrographic network with more than 20 basins, featuring that of the Toa River, where visitors can take rides on typical aboriginal canoes or on bamboo rafts. Its evergreen forests are home to a diverse fauna considered by experts as one of Cuba’s most valuable.
The caguarero sparrow hawk (Chondrohierax wilsoni) is one of the bird species that can only be seen in this area, while the almiquí (Solenodon cubanus), a living fossil found in peculiar natural sites, takes refuge here.
Its bay, located in the municipaility of Baracoa (province of Guantánamo), offers a superb view where visitors can spot a significant colony of manatees, an endangered mammalian species.
As many as 90 percent of the Cuban world records as to its fauna size are found in this area, including the tiniest frog in the world: Eleutherodactylus Iberia.