In Western Cuba, we find 5 national parks of unparalleled natural beauty. These parks house endangered species of flora and fauna. Some of the most exotic flowers show their bright colors here. Let’s start with the westernmost province of Cuba: Pinar del Río.
Guanacabibes National Park in Pinar del Río
Guanacabibes is a National Park and Biosphere Reserve declared by Unesco in 1987, in the province of Pinar del Río. This natural treasure is located at the westernmost point of the Cuban archipelago: Cabo de San Antonio.
Guanacabibes is a hidden gem among large tracts of forests and guarded by the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Guanacabibes is one of the largest natural reserves that exist on the island. As an illustration, here exist the greatest number of shipwrecks in the country that have been recorded. In its large areas of reefs, you can see boats of all kinds, from large pirate ships of old to abandoned fishing vessels.
The history of this park is amazing, the peninsula was one of the last refuges of the aborigines who fled from the Spanish conquistadors. In the same way, it preserves about 140 archaeological sites related to the life of these aborigines.
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Viñales Valley, National Park in western Cuba
One of the most emblematic National Parks in western Cuba is Viñales Valley. The traveler who comes to the valley from Havana is enjoying the change of shades of Cuban green, with changes as it progresses being very overwhelming. The complicity between nature and silence makes the visitor feel ownership of majestic natural beauty.
You can visit, for instance, the Cueva del Indio with its underground river, the Mural de la Prehistoria, Rancho San Vicente and the fabulous Mirador de Los Jazmines.
In addition, The Viñales Valley is encircled by mountains and its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly of tobacco.
Uniquely, the quality of this cultural landscape is enhanced by the vernacular architecture of its farms and villages. In the first place here a rich multi-ethnic society survives, illustrating the cultural development of Cuba.
Cayos de San Felipe National Park (San Felipe keys)
Cayos de San Felipe National Park is an area of national significance created in 2002 that constitutes one of the main ecosystems of the Cuban archipelago, which serves as a refuge for reptiles, fish, and birds.
The terrestrial surface is covered by mangrove. In particular
with the representation of the four main species Mangle Rojo, Prieto, Patabán and Yana.
The ichthyofauna with more than 200 species, corals and sponges of various types and crystalline bottoms with more than 20 dive sites, white sand beaches and great transparency of its waters.
Punta Frances National Marine Park
National Marine Park is located in the extreme southwest of the Isle of Youth, 22 kilometers from the town of Cocodrilo and 122 kilometers from Gerona, capital of this special municipality. It has an area of 6 079 and 4 313 hectares in the sea.
Above all, this national park a very well preserved ecosystems in the country. In the land area, there is also lush vegetation with its habitat of the associated fauna. For example the Tocororo, the Cabrerito, and the Cotorra.
Ciénaga de Zapata National Park
Ciénaga de Zapata is one of the most unique places in Cuba. Firstly, enjoy a landscape of low, swampy and semi-marshy plains. The vegetation of natural savannas has a high aesthetic and landscape value. For instance, the Treasure Lagoon and the Hatiguanico River basin.
As a whole, the vegetation of the Ciénaga de Zapata is one of the most important green areas of Cuba. Additionally, it houses unique species of flora and fauna.
Visiting the place is undoubtedly an extraordinary adventure for lovers of nature and life. Caring for it means a vital and unequaled responsibility.
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