The most beautiful national parks in Cuba
Cuba is known for its pristine beaches, vibrant towns and friendly people, but that’s not all there is to it. This country can also pride itself on beautiful natural spots, and about 10% of its territory is protected land. Stunning scenery is not difficult to stumble upon in the Cuba countryside, but it is in national parks that you can grasp the full extent of its natural beauty. Whether you are interested in bird or wildlife watching, lakes, rivers, waterfalls or forests, you can do any of these things and more in some of the most beautiful national parks in Cuba.
Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt
Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt, named after German scientist Alexander von Humboldt, is one of the largest and most diverse natural parks in Cuba, with unique geographical features and great biological diversity. The park is located at a high altitude and it is thought to be one of the most humid places in the country. The lush vegetation and the variety of the wildlife (some of which is endemic), this Unesco World Heritage Site is a must-see for all nature lovers visiting Cuba.
Caguanes National Park
Caguanes National Park on the northern coast of Cuba is centered around ten small islands, called cays, in the Bay of Buena Vista, and it also includes mangrove forests and the Guayaberas swamps. The coastal landscape of the park is particularly interesting, with scatterings of caves (79 of them), arches and niches. Birdwatchers will ind this park very interesting, seeing as there are over 200 species of birds living in the area.
Desembarco del Granma National Park
Thanks to its fascinating marine terraces (the best preserved on the whole planet) and impressive cliffs, Desembarco del Granma National Park is on the Unesco World Heritage Site list. Over half of the plant species found in the park are endemic, as well as a sizable part of the animal species. The park is not remote, but few people visit it, so chances are that you will have this whole natural wonder to yourself.
Sierra Maestra National Park
This stunning park is home to the most elevated point in Cuba, the Pico Turquino, and much of it is covered in gorgeous pine forests. In addition to the many interesting species you can see in Sierra Maestra, this mountainous piece of heaven is also home to a number of interesting historical landmarks, like La Plata, which served as Castro’s headquarters in the 50′s.
Parque Nacional El Bagá
Parque Nacional El Bagá used to be an airfield on the island of Cayo Coco, before being converted into one of the most beautiful national parks in Cuba. Among the sights you can admire in El Bagá is a netted butterfly garden, a crocodile enclosure and vast mangrove and juniper forests.