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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Guanacahabibes: A Natural Treasure in Western Cuba

Cuba's westernmost tip, the Guanacahabibes Peninsula, holds a true natural treasure characterized by exuberant vegetation, fauna and flora, as well as the attractions of the region's sea bottoms.

The territory also treasures the imprint of Cuba's first inhabitants, who named the region Guanacahabibes. In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the region a Biosphere Reserve.

In Guanacahabibes, nature tourism is a major attraction based on a 50,000-hectare National Park inhabited by 172 species of birds belonging to 42 families, 11 of which are endemic and 84 are migratory.

According to experts, 47 percent of all species and 44 percent of endemic species reported in the Cuban archipelago live in the Guanacahabibes Peninsula, which is also considered a migratory corridor.

The region, which also has uninhabited coasts, thus its low demographic density, begins in the Remates Swamp and ends in Cabo de San Antonio (Cape San Antonio). Its maximum width is 34 kilometers, but the territory gets narrower westwards, so many people know the region as the tail of the caiman that Cuba resembles.

The Guanacahabibes Biosphere Reserve also includes a national park of same name and the El Veral and Cabo Corrientes natural reserves.

Cabo de San Antonio. View from the Roncali Lighthouse
Cabo de San Antonio. Beach
Guanahacabibes. Landscape

Recent studies by specialized institutions assessed the potential of some 19 beaches, seven of which will be chosen to build lodging facilities totaling 1,500 rooms.

In addition, thousands of ships pass by near the Guanacahabibes Peninsula every year, thus reinforcing the region's huge potential for nautical activities and scuba diving.

Coral reefs in a perfect state of preservation are the foundations for the development of underwater programs in Cuba's warm crystal-clear waters.

In that regard, experts say that Cuba has a seductive underwater history that reaches every corner of the country and is complemented by naval battles and legends about pirate attacks near the coast.

Guanacahabibes also holds some 150 archeological sites, more than 40 of which have been discovered recently, and where pictographs, stone tools and clay vessels have been found.

The latter reveal the presence in the area of settlements with a socio-economic and cultural development that is almost unknown, due to the scarce existence of archeological evidence.

With its huge variety of attractions, Cuba's westernmost region is paving the way to become a leading destination within the country's broad spectrum for the development of nature tourism in its multiple modalities.

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