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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Nature: Cuba's Future

The Cuban archipelago, a fast-growing tourist destination in the Caribbean region, has nature as one of the key elements for the future development of the tourism industry, due to the diversity of its flora and fauna.

Nature tourism is complemented by sun and beach options, culture, traditions and history.

Natural and biosphere reserves, natural landscapes and protected areas make up a wide range of offers that are well preserved and are unique in the region.

Cuba is home to 16,500 species, some of which show an endemism of more than 90 percent. In addition, the autochthonous flora consists of more than 6,300 varieties.

In that scenario, valleys play a major role, especially the Viñales Valley, in western Pinar del Río province, which is characterized by round-top hills called "mogotes", some of which are more than 400 meters high.

Pinar del Río also has several caves. Two of the most famous caves are the 45-km-long Santo Tomás, in western Sierra de Quemados, which is one of the longest cave systems in Latin America, and Cueva del Indio, through which the San Juan River runs.

Mural of Prehistory
Diving site at Caleta Buena

One of the most beautiful natural sites in Cuba is the Yumurí Valley, whose breathtaking landscape can be enjoyed from Mirador de Bacunayagua (Bacunayagua's Lookout), which overlooks a bridge that is considered one of the Caribbean Island's seven wonders of civil engineering.

In central Cuba is the San Luis or Los Ingenios Valley, near the city of Trinidad. The valley holds the ruins of several sugar factories that existed in the region in the 19th century.

In central-southern Cuba is the Zapata Swamp, which covers an area of 5,000 square kilometers and is considered the largest swamp in the Caribbean region. It is also a safe haven for more than 1,000 plant species and holds a world-renowned crocodile-raising farm.

The highest mountains are in eastern Cuba, where the Sierra Maestra mountain range offers the natural beauty of the national park of the same name, where history, legends and autochthonous traditions go hand in hand with the region's exuberant nature.

There is also breathtaking beauty underground, as more than 60 percent of Cuba's territory is made up of calcareous rocks. The strong influence from glacial periods and the weather have created the largest caverns in the region.

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