Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

 The Cuban archipelago surprises us with its natural resources, landscapes, and its abundant, endemic and diverse flora and fauna. These magnificent characteristics have made Cuba a focus of the evolution of Caribbean species and one of the main destinations for nature tourism in the area.

Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

Eastern Cuba, rich with these features will host the 11th International Nature Tourism Fair this year (TURNAT’2017 ) and will be held from September 26th to 30th. This part of Cuba has amazing sites that include two biosphere reserves and six national parks, wonderful settings for outdoor activities.

This event, which takes place in Cuba every two years, is a great venue in which tour operators, travel agencies, scholars and nature lovers get together and exchange views on ecotourism. The provinces of Holguín and Guantánamo, both located in the northeastern part of the Island, have a diverse and interesting geography that alternates between high mountains and fertile plains with beautiful beaches. They also have two national parks with UNESCO world heritage status: the Landing of the Granma and Alexander von Humboldt. The Landing of the Granma National Park was the first natural site in Cuba to have acquired this status in 1999.

Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

The Landing of the Granma National Park was the first natural site in Cuba to have acquired this status in 1999. It is located to the southwest of the province of Granma and stands out for being the second most preserved example of marine terraces in the world. The park has many landscapes with water- falls, water havens, and a variety of fauna in which colorful butterflies and birds stand out, all surrounded by lush, well-conserved vegetation.

The Humboldt Alejandro National Park is located in the Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa massif and straddles the provinces of Guantánamo and Holguín. It is the most important protected area in Cuba, rich in biodiversity and endemic species. It possesses the largest remnant of mountain ecosystems and tropical rain forest.

Among its fauna are significant species populations, including unique, endangered species such as the Almiquí, a primitive mammal of the insectivorous order considered a living fossil, as well as the Caguarero hawk. Three of the smallest vertebrae species in the world also inhabit the area: the butterfly bat, the Alto de Iberia frog which is barely 11 mm in length and the Zunzuncito, a hummingbird, approximately 63 mm in size.

Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

The Three TURNAT Routes In addition to promoting the country’s eastern region’s natural beauty, TURNAT plans to launch three new routes that will reveal new ways to get to know Cuba. These will travel paths that have been important elements in the region’s history: Cocoa, Coffee and Colón (Columbus), and will bring visitors to interesting places related to these themes.

The first Cuban city founded by the Spanish in 1512 was Baracoa, currently recognized as the Cocoa Capital. Here the grain has an interesting history backed by legendary traditions. The plant, the fruit, the processes and the tasty derivative of this product will be displayed through the Cocoa Route.

With an evocative aroma that awakens the desire to taste it, coffee is part of Cuban daily life. That ‘buchito’ (sip) of coffee from which few Cubans can abstain, marks the beginning of the day, the closure of a tasty meal, a conversation among friends, the beginning of a romance.

Coffee first came to Cuba in the 18th century, specifically in 1748, but the development of the valuable bean was associated with the French settlers who emigrated from Haiti due to the 1791 revolution. It was these French emigrants who, in addition to boosting the cultivation which made Cuba the world’s leading exporter at the beginning of the 19th century, introduced the coffee habit and the consumption of this aromatic bean.

Eastern Cuba, TURNAT 2017

Centuries have passed since that first delicious sip which took over our palates and souls, and there is no Cuban who would consider himself a good host without offering a guest a cup of coffee. The road this product has traveled, from grain to flavorful infusion, is something that visitors will enjoy through the Coffee Route.

And finally, the Columbus Route which will cover the paths traveled by the Genoese Admiral upon arrival at Bariay, back in 1492. The Admiral found the Island so attractive that he had no choice but to express his astonishment, with what became a historic quote: “this is the most beautiful land human eyes will ever lay eyes on.”

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