Zapata Wetland, A Captivating Tourist Destination in Cuba
By Tino Manuel / Photos: Tino Manuel and Publicitur
Visiting Ciénaga de Zapata, the largest wetland in the Caribbean insular, is one of Cuba’s most amazing excursions, where tourists can be in direct contact with nature.
This opinion is shared by tour guides and tour operators that provide services mostly to European visitors interested in nature and adventure trips, a modality that is becoming popular on the island.
Located in the southwestern region of Cuba (Matanzas Province), this is one of the island’s most interesting places, exhibiting different kinds of wetland ecosystems. The Zapata Wetland is an ideal place for photography and a privileged holiday excursion, with beautiful settings such as La Laguna del Tesoro (The Treasure Lake), the Hatiguanico River basin and the Larga and Girón beaches.
The wetland is home to amazing fauna species including over 100 bird species. In addition, it provides natural shelter to thousands of birds that migrate from North America.
A total of 16 reptile species can be found there, including the Cuban and American crocodiles, iguanas, lizards, snakes and different kinds of frogs.
The Zapata Wetland comprises 300,000 hectares. As many as 56 percent is covered by forests, and some 900 flora species are estimated to be found there or in independent communities.
Each of these valuable features contributed to the decision to declare the Zapata Wetland a Biosphere Reserve.