Cuba's westernmost tip, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, in Pinar del Río province, holds a true natural treasure characterized by exuberant vegetation, fauna and flora, as well as the attractions of the region's sea bottoms.
In Guanahacabibes, 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.
But Guanahacabibes also offers excellent Cuban beaches, according to recent studies by specialized institutions.
In that regard, experts have 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 Guanahacabibes Peninsula every year, thus reinforcing the region's huge potential for nautical activities, including scuba diving and snorkeling.
Coral reefs in a perfect state of preservation are the foundations for the development of underwater programs in Cuba's warm crystal-clear waters.
One of the best Cuban beaches in Guanahacabibes is María La Gorda (Mary the Fat), which, according to legend, was named after an aboriginal woman. The beach is eight kilometers long and offers crystal-clear waters and beautiful sea bottoms.
In addition to taking a refreshing swim in the sea, visitors can practice scuba diving at a specialized diving center in the region.
For diving lovers, María La Gorda is an excellent place with warm crystal-clear waters and 39 diving spots.
Moreover, divers can find all kinds of natural treasures, thanks to the existence of a large population of black corals in the reefs, as well as species like lobsters, crabs and queen winkles, among others.
Many experts say that the most special characteristic of María La Gorda is the fact that divers can enjoy the largest black coral reserve in the waters surrounding Cuba at a depth of 14 meters, as well as marine species such as barracudas and red snappers.
Experts consider that the seabed at María La Gorda is among the top ten places in Latin America, due to its abundant marine life and extraordinarily beautiful corals.
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.
The beaches of Guanahacabibes are also characterized by their excellent state of preservation, since they have barely any imprints of human activity and are located in a region that was declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).