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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Leisure and Ecotourism

Cuba's tourist industry, backed by traditional sun and beach options, also offers a natural wealth conditioned by the island's strategic location in the Caribbean region and by a well-preserved natural environment.

In addition to dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches with white sand and warm crystal-clear waters, the Caribbean island also offers more than five centuries of history, which is present everywhere in the country.

However, Cuba also favors direct contact with nature from traditional options, or under new projects that prioritize ecotourism.

The Caribbean Island is inhabited by some 16,500 animal species, including some zoological groups whose endemism is over 90 percent. The autochthonous flora consists of more than 6,300 varieties.

Natural and biosphere reserves, natural landscapes and protected areas create a broad network of offers characterized by excellent preservation and unique features.

One of the best destinations for ecotourism is the Guanahacabibes Peninsula – in the island's westernmost tip –, where the national park of the same name holds the country's largest forestry reserve.

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

That relatively-small area holds some 100 lakes and the country's purest and largest silicon sand fields – 99.8 percent pure.

Nature lovers can enjoy the theme trails "Cueva las Perlas" (Pearl Cave), "Bosque al Mar" (Forest Overlooking the Sea), "Guanahacabibes antes de Colón" (Guanahacabibes before Columbus), and excursions to Cabo de San Antonio and local communities.

In Villa Clara, tourists can visit the Hanabanilla, the country's only lake surrounded by mountains, into which the rivers Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara flow.

The reservoir covers an area of 14.9 square kilometers and is 30-40 meters deep. The lake is 364 meters above sea level and stores 300 million cubic meters of water.

Cuba's natural options also include trails such as El Nicho, which runs parallel to the Hanabanilla River and where travelers can find several waterfalls and enjoy breathtakingly-beautiful landscapes.

Topes de Collantes, which is 800 meters above sea level, is an excellent place for nature and health tourism. The 110-square-kilometer area is a safe haven for endemic plant and animal species.

The former villa of Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity) is about 20 kilometers from Topes de Collantes, which has an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius and is paradise for those who love nature.

The region's attractions are complemented by an excellent hotel infrastructure for those walking along interpretative trails and enjoying the tropical jungle.

Tourists can enjoy the view of both natural landscapes and a wide range of animal and plant species. At the same time, they can improve the quality of life.

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