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Cuba Geography, Flora and Fauna

 
 

The island of Cuba is located west of the group of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean and east of the Lower Antilles. There are reports that this group of island emerged approximately 150 million years ago. It is an archipelago made up of the island of Cuba, Isle of Youth and some 4 195 small keys and islets. The main island has 1 250 km in length from La Punta de Maisí to the Cabo de San Antonio and an average of 80 km in width. It is located south of the Tropic of Cancer east of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Cuban landscape is mainly flat interrupted by three great mountain chains. In the west you can find the Guaniguanico Chain made up of the Sierra del Rosario and Sierra de los Organos. In the central part of the island you can find the Escambray Mountains and the highest elevation is found in the east with the Sierra Maestra Mountains and its highest peak called Turquino. Each one of these zones has particular geologic characteristics and unique landscapes with incredible beauty.

The Cuban climate is moderate subtropical. Due to its closeness to the Tropic of Cancer and for its large and narrow shape the island receives the refreshing ocean breeze. The relative humidity is lower than in most of the typical tropical climate. The eastern part of the island is a warmer temperature than the west. In Cuba you can find two clearly defined seasons: dry, from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. 

Cuba has over 500 rivers but the majority of them are small. Among the largest are Cauto River with a longitude of 370 kilometers and  starts at the Sierra Maestra and the Toa which is the one with the most water current. You can find a variety of marvellous beaches with magnificent landscapes, which is characterized by its clear waters and fine white sand. In addition to the marine bottom of incalculable beauty you can find abundant coral reefs.

Among the most internationally recognized are Varadero Beach, Sirena de Cayo Largo Beach, Palma Real in Cayo Coco Beach, El Paso and Playa Pilar in Cayo Guillermo, Pesquero in Guardalavaca among many others.

Cuba´s Flora is the richest and most diverse in the Caribbean. There are forests with precious wood, pine forests, mangrove, among others. Cuba has 6300 large plant species of them 51% are endemic and many are protected because they are in danger of extinction. Some of the protected areas area: Guaniguanico Chain and the Sierra Maestra Mountains considered as a huge botanical garden for its variety and beauty of its plants.

Cuban Fauna is diverse. There are some 10 000 insect species and some 338 bird species of them 21 are endemic to the country. One of the birds that mostly stand out in Cuba is the Zunzun or hummingbird, smallest in the world and the Tocororo which is the island’s national bird with impressive beauty and colors. There are abundant reptiles, many lizard species, iguanas, tortoises and crocodiles and alligators of different species. The Cuban waters are refuge to a number of fish and crustaceous. Some examples are swordfish, manta ray, whale sharks, shrimp and lobsters. On the other hand, there are not much of mammals; among the most seen are jabalíes or wild pigs and a variety of bats.

 
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