Lanier swamp for nature lovers
Among the areas of Cuba with greatest interest to nature lovers, is the Ciénaga de Lanier, a wetland in a very good state of conservation and great biodiversity.
The Ciénaga de Lanier National Park, with an area of 126 thousand hectares, is located at the southern end of the Isla de la Juventud, in waters southwest of the island of Cuba, and is the second most important after the Ciénaga Zapata, largest in the insular Caribbean.
Its rich biodiversity stands out with 556 species of higher plants, 105 of them endemic, and among the main plant formations the semi-deciduous forest, the mangrove swamp and the swamp grassland.
This protected area, declared a Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance) and a Wildlife Refuge, is the habitat of different species, such as the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), of birds, both aquatic and terrestrial, as well as of various crustaceans, fish and reptiles, the latter with 20 species and six subspecies endemic to the site, among others.
Among the various possibilities that the territory offers for an enriching vacation is precisely the knowledge about some reptiles that stand out there, since there has been a crocodile farm in the territory for more than three decades, very visited by tourists.
The exchange with these animals, which do not exactly have a very pleasant appearance, are characterized by their fast movements and their great capacity for moving in water and on land, may seem contradictory, but it is interesting for many.
In the area, emphasis is placed on the breeding of the species Crocodylus rhombifer, endemic to Cuba, whose population declined in previous years due to its indiscriminate capture due to the commercial value of its skin, tusks and meat, as well as the American crocodile (C. acutus).
Observing the tiny and harmless young hatched from eggs rescued from coal areas and incubated under similar conditions, taking affective photos of medium-sized specimens in arms or sitting on an adult specimen are unforgettable images of a visit to the Lanier Swamp.