Cuba, a stronghold for tourism in the Caribbean region, extends its options for holidaymakers to areas where there are several keys and islets.
Precisely, north of the Cuban province of Ciego de Avila is what is considered one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the country: Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens).
That area has a 465-kilometer strip of shores and holds major keys, including Coco, Guillermo, Paredon Grande, Anton Chico and Media Luna.
In its geography, visitors can find reefs, pristine beaches, lagoons, sea beds, coral reefs and coastal landscapes, including large dunes.
The region was named by Conquistador Diego Velazquez, in 1513 and 1514, in honor of Spanish King Fernando the Catholic.
Currently, the keys are part of a destination that offers more than 9,000 rooms in 20 four- and five-star hotels, as well as a broad network of extrahotel establishments.
The proximity to a 400-kilometer-long coral reef, considered by experts the second most important in the world, adds a touch of distinction to Jardines del Rey, where holidaymakers can enjoy the most varied diving activities, in waters of pleasant temperature and excellent visibility.
In addition, several beach sectors on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, off Cuba's north coast, have received environmental recognition for compliance with standards and requirements for their care and protection.
The shores of the hotels Tryp Cayo Coco (Playa Larga), Star Fish Cayo Guillermo (El Paso Beach), and Melia Jardines del Rey and Memories Flamenco (Flamenco Beach) won the condition due to the sustainable use of the bathing area and the physical, chemical and bacteriological conditions of the water.
Specialists from the Coastal Ecosystem Research Center on Cayo Coco, together with other agencies, undertake several programs aimed at contributing to sustainable development and the preservation of coastal areas.
Among the main measures being taken there is the dumping of sand on a group of beaches with a certain degree of erosion, due to atmospheric phenomena in recent years and to construction activities in the region.
In order to safeguard the dunes and the native coastal vegetation, the entire hotel network in the area has walkways for tourists to reach the bathing areas.
The highest dunes in the Caribbean are in the region, including Las Lomas del Puerto, on Cayo Coco; and those in Playa Pilar, on Cayo Guillermo, which can reach up to 15 meters.
Several colonies of flamingos and other migratory birds choose the aforementioned islets as a site to spend winter and reproduce, a situation that man has been responsible for preserving with the construction of an infrastructure for tourism that seeks, in the first place, to respect the natural environment.