The Natural Wonders of Cuba
Nearly anyone will tell you their country is the most beautiful in the world but when a Cuban makes this statement you can believe it! Cuba is a nation that values its natural resources and treasures its natural habitats and the wildlife within them. Being economically isolated for so long, this island recognized decades ago that it must nourish and preserve its natural resources. You will find astonishingly beautiful and largely untouched natural wonders here when you visit on one of the many Cuba education tours available.
Zapata Swamp in the Matanzas province is less than 93 miles from Havana and a natural wonder that environmentalists and nature lovers alike will enjoy. Here you can see the Cuban Crocodile, Cuba’s national symbol as it resembles the shape of the island when its mouth is open. There are nearly 200 species of birds, over 1,000 invertebrates and 31 species of reptiles. You can hear the songs of the Zapata sparrow, the Zapata wren and over 65 types of birds that migrate from North America. This unique swamp is the best preserved wetlands in the Antilles, over a million acres of salt marsh, forests, lakes, rivers, blue-water beaches and ponds. You’ll find flooded caverns as well as swamp prairies, colorful flamingos and the bee hummingbirds, the world’s smallest bird. Next door to the Zapata Swamp is the Bay of Pigs, breeding ground to millions of land crabs each spring.
Vinales Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a beautiful and fertile valley where you can see farmers employed traditional agricultural methods. There are no huge, monstrous machines but skilled people intimately working the land. You can see caves in the hill faces and magnificent cliffs called mogotes.
that includes this particular destination. You’ll be astounded at the natural beauty and vibrant colors of the flora and fauna in this remarkable natural formation.
Peninsula Guanahacabibes, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and National Park, is on the western most point of Cuba. It is an important fishing resource for red snapper and spiny lobster; the Guanahacabibes National Park is one of the island’s largest natural reserves, separated from the bulk of the island by beautiful white sand plains that border one of Cuba’s lakeside areas. On this peninsula you will find 42 families of birds, several species of marine turtles, coral reefs and a coast lined with cays and islands. You will also find more than a hundred archeological sites formerly occupied by aborigines fleeing from Spanish conquistadors and the site of Cuba’s first forced labor camp dating back to 1960.
Topes de Collantes is another reserve park definitely worth a stop when you book of the authentic Cuba tours that are available. Located in the Escambray Mountains, it is famous as one of the hiding places of anti-Batista rebels back in the 1960s. Here you can see beautiful mountains covered with lush vegetation that provides a refuge for many species of animals. The warm, moist winds of the Atlantic have helped form ecosystems that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. You’ll find beautiful waterfalls feeding pristine rivers and streams, be able to hike through canyons and grottos and see naturally formed pools of clear water. More than 40 species of orchids and 100 species of ferns grow here along with jasmine, begonias, plantain and banana trees and 40 species of coffee.
There is so much beauty on the island of Cuba! Booking a tour with an authentic Cuba travel agency will insure that you see all the natural wonders that the island has to offer.