Cuba consists of more than 4000 islands and keys, nearly 3600 miles of palm and mangrovelined coastline with almost 300 natural beaches. The Cuban government has environment highly placed in its priority list that is why it has formed several agencies to protect it.
One of the world's most conservation and ecology-oriented countries, it is one of the few places where live reefs exist. It is completely surrounded by thousands of kilometers of coral reefs containing the most diverse variety of corals, fish and other marine life to be found anywhere, with steep walls dropping from reefs to the abyss.
More than 150 species of Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean fish abound in Cuban waters, from the majestic marlin, swordfish and sailfish, to bonefish, tarpon, snook and permit on flats and in estuaries, to snapper and grouper on the reefs. Tuna, cobia, mackeral, seatrout, jack and barracuda also abound.
Cuba, besides being a historically and socially fascinating country, is also a wonderful place to go birdwatching. The warm temperatures that Cuba enjoys turns it into one of the best places in the world for spotting rare species. Cuba has a total of 350 different species of birds with 24 Cuban endemics and 19 of the 51 Caribbean endemics that are not restricted to single islands. There are also some interesting sub-species and races found only on Cuba.
There are several tour companies offering birdwatching tours of Cuba that are all inclusive and can be good value for money. The advantage of booking your birdwatching holiday with a tour company is that the local birdwatching guides in Cuba will know some of the best spots to go birdwatching in the national parks of Cuba. Also, many local Cuban birdwatching guides have a reference book with them of various birds in the areas to be visited for a better sighting and identification.
You can expect to see some wonderfully colourful, and in some cases, rare birds. People who have been birdwatching in Cuba commonly report seeing varieties of birds as varied as parrots, fly catchers, king fishers, flamingos and hawks. One species you should definitely look out for while birdwatching in Cuba is the bee hummingbird. This species of bird, native to Cuba, is the smallest in the world and its wings flap so fast that they are invisible to the human eye. Since you'll be in Cuba, you should try to catch a glimpse of the Cuban Trogon while birdwatching. This is the national bird of Cuba because its red, white and blue feathers correspond with the colours on the Cuban flag.
Tours include visiting locations such as Santiago de Cuba, Moron, Najasa mountain range, the Isle of Youth and historical places like the Zapata Swamp in Matanzas province. Most birdwatching tours range in length from a week to 14 days with interviews with specialists and visits to historical places included.