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Roncali Lighthouse: A Sentry in Western Cuba

Cuba, which has become one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the Caribbean region, provides a wide range of offers in which sun and beach options are complemented by history, traditions and water sport activities.

In that direction, Cuba also boasts indispensable elements that are needed to guarantee a danger-free sea voyage for those who prefer to travel by boat to the Caribbean Island's many destinations.

For that reason, specialized constructions are erected in areas where navigation can become a high risk. These facilities, many of which are over a century old, play the role of a sentry, guiding with its white flashes the ships cruising on Cuba's territorial waters.

Overlooking the Yucatan Strait, the Roncali Lighthouse, which is located in Cabo de San Antonio (Cape San Antonio), marks Cuba's westernmost point in a region that is considered the last refuge of aborigines during Spanish colonization.

Archeological studies in the region allow us to clearly understand the great effort made by construction workers who built the tower, given the rough topographic characteristics of the area.

The lighthouse plays a major role in guiding ships sailing on the dangerous waters off Cuba's westernmost tip.

Cabo de San Antonio. Roncali Lighthouse
Cabo de San Antonio. View from the Roncali Lighthouse
Cabo de San Antonio. Roncali Lighthouse

Thousands of ships - of different sizes and nationalities - sail on the waters off the Guanacahabibes Peninsula ever year, thus the huge importance of that construction and the region's potential for nautical activities and diving.

According to experts, the Roncali Lighthouse - built in the second half of the 19th century by a captain of same name - holds many virtues, as it is a sort of monument of universal benefit in the region, in addition to being a point of reference to travelers.

Every 10 seconds, the lighthouse emits two white flashes that can be seen from a distance of 30 kilometers, thanks to a singular conical masonry tower that is 75 feet high (22.5 meters).

A landscape of breathtaking beauty can be seen from the rocky outcrop near the Roncali Lighthouse, which overlooks an area of unique biodiversity in the Guanacahabibes Peninsula, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987.

Moreover, the presence of coral reefs in a perfect state of preservation paves the way for the development of underwater programs, taking advantage of Cuba's warm, crystal-clear waters.

Divers can enjoy a one-of-a-kind treasure, thanks to the existence of reefs inhabited by a large population of black corals, in addition to the remains of sunken ships, which have become a safe haven for thousands of marine species, from the time when pirates and corsairs sailed in the area.

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