An Authentic Nature Destination
By: Arianna Gutiérrez Martínez, Photos: Publicitur
The Cuban archipelago has abundant green areas with resplendent nature. This island poetically described by Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén as the ‘long green lizard with eyes of stone and water’ holds endless surprises amid its spectacular scenery.
Cuba has amazing landscapes and diverse flora and fauna, largely endemic. This attractive Island with an abundance of green landscapes has several geographical spots to discover and enjoy.
Hotel facilities located in many of these areas are in harmony with their surroundings and complement any stay.
“The Viñales Valley has been awarded the gift of uniqueness, declared a UNESCO Cultural Landscape of Humanity. The Biosphere Reserves in Sierra del Rosario and Guanahacabibes in Pinar del Rio also stand out. In addition the Ciénaga de Zapata swapmland in Matanzas, the Buena Vista area in the provinces of Villa Clara and Sancti Spíritus, Baconao in Santiago de Cuba, and Cuchillas del Toa in Guantánamo are areas that deserve special mention.”
Some of these places are already preferred nature tourism destinations. Cuba has seven national parks, six officially recognised Biosphere Reserves and six Ramsar sites.
These seductive physical and visual elements make ecotourism in Cuba one of the most attractive ways to discover the Island.
Ecotourism activities on offer span hiking, cycling, horseback riding, caving/spelunking, sight-seeing, photography and diving.
Fascinating places Located in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río, the Viñales Valley is a unique gift of nature. This vast valley overflows with green and is endowed with spectacular scenery. Anyone who has the opportunity to come see it will be no doubt be amazed.
It is one of the best known ecological sites worldwide for its amazing landscapes, rich in flora and fauna, and for having the largest cave systems in Cuba and the Caribbean ecozones. Recently, it appeared among the fifty-two places considered most worth visiting in 2016 by the prestigious New York Times newspaper’s travel section.
South of the province of Matanzas lies the Zapata Peninsula, an area home to one of the most important ecosystems in Cuba and the largest swamp reserves in the Caribbean. Its landscape is impressive and hosts exceptional flora and fauna.
The Cienaga de Zapata swampland on the peninsula was named a Biosphere Reserve in 2000 and a Ramsar Site in 2001. This area, barely touched by human intrusion, is very popular among travelers looking to explore amazing and unique.
Nature is also abundant in the center of the Island. The province of Sancti Spiritus hosts a number of natural sites, including the Caguanes National Park, Banao, the Escambray Mountains and Topes de Collantes. The province of Villa Clara has El Nicho and one of the largest artificial water reservoirs in Cuba, the Hanabanilla.
The east of the island also has sites of natural significance, including two Biosphere Reserves—Cuchillas del Toa and Baconao—and three National Parks: Turquino, Desembarco del Granma and Alejandro de Humboldt.
Cuba’s natural attractions are not just land-based. The insular platform consists of a large coral reef with a host of colorful marine species for diving experts and enthusiasts to enjoy. The underwater world around the archipelago reveals secrets in corners, caves, canals, walls, tunnels and remains of Spanish galleons and pirate ships that are veritable submerged museums today.
The Cuban landscape is abundant in natural wonders to take in, sometimes baffling and unique and in many cases only seen in protected areas. Cuba is green, from west to east, a paradise of wonders to uncover. Come discover authentic Cuba, watching, listening to and enjoying its eloquent nature, full of charm and expression.