Nature tourism is going strong among those who visit Cuba, where one can find exceptional sea bottoms, mountains with a large variety of endemic flora and fauna, cave systems with underground rivers, and landscapes that go from valleys to semi desert lands and rainforests.

Coral reefs, very well conserved in the Cuban archipelago, extend 45 thousand square kilometers while unspoiled keys and beaches attract more and more nature lovers each year to the Largest of the Antilles.

From 2008 to date, travelers looking to spend their vacation within this area of tourism have surpassed 1,100,000, according to official statistics.

Nature tourism is going strong among those who visit Cuba, where one can find exceptional sea bottoms, mountains with a large variety of endemic flora and fauna, cave systems with underground rivers, and landscapes that go from valleys to semi desert lands and rainforests.Nature and adventure tourism in Cuba include trails, mountain climbing, camping, adventures, observing the flora and fauna and enjoy breathtaking landscapes, some of which like the Valley of Viñales, have been declared landscapes of humanity by Unesco.

Over 90 percent of the trails for hiking and tours are found within national parks and protected areas, which offer for example; beautiful butterflies, the smallest bird in the world, the sunsuncito and the tiniest frog, all endemic to Cuba.

South of the center of the island you can see the biggest swampland in the Caribbean named Cienaga de Zapata, with crocodile breeding farms, an Indian village with cabins to accommodate tourists, and flocks of birds that migrate in winter from North America.

THE ROUTES SLAVE

The routes of the Slave, reminiscent of ancient coffee and sugar plantations are staged in several places along the island, from Las Terrazas in Artemisa province where the visitor can see the ruins of a coffee plantation to Matanzas where there was a slave rebellion at a sugar cane factory, and finally to Santiago de Cuba, where there is a well-kept mansion surrounded by a coffee plantation, built by a Frenchman who married a slave girl.

TOBACCO

Visitors can follow the process undertaken at tobacco farms where harvesters remove the leaves of the plant from top to bottom, take the leaves to be dried in barns, and subsequently take these leaves to the cigar factory where expert hands of men and women roll them in order to make the final product; prime quality ‘habanos’.

On this Route tourists can speak with outstanding tobacco growers and workers as they follow the process that ends at the factory.

AGROTOURISM

Many visitors want to know how farm work is done in Cuba, how a sugarcane plantation works, what life is like around a farmhouse, what a cooperative is like alongside their recreational activities and culture, their music and their unique ‘repentism’-(improvised verses)- which characterizes these rural dwellers.

ADVENTURE

Is the idea of feeding sharks adventurous enough for you? Experienced divers can take you safely to and from the sharks’ feeding ground. This is one of the adventure excursions being offered by CorporaciónTuristica del Caribe.S.A. www.cubanparadises.com

Adventure tourism offers diving lessons in Maria la Gorda, Pinar del Río, diving in the coral reefs and at the Marina Hemingway and sports fishing. It also offers trekking in the historic Sierra Maestra in the east of the country as well as in the Sierra Escambray in the center of Cuba and in Sierra del Rosario in Pinar del Río. Moreover there is hiking, following trails in protected areas of exuberant flora and fauna, through national parks like the Alexander Humboldt and through rainforests near Primate City of Baracoa, founded in 1511, part of the easternmost province of the archipelago, Guantanamo.

Cuba thus has a lot to offer in the way of ecological tourism and adventure; a market expected to become the third choice after sea-sun and cultural tours, bound to make Cuba a privileged destination.

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