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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Nature and Tourism

Cuba and its system of islets stand out for their unique natural wealth, which attract thousands of foreign holidaymakers who visit the country's tourist destinations every year.

In that regard, the National System of Protected Areas plays a key role in guaranteeing the preservation of natural, historic and cultural values of the most representative ecosystems in the country and contributing to sustainable development.

That system consists of 200 protected areas, six biosphere reserves and six Ramsar sites, among other places of interest.

Among the reserves are those in Sierra del Rosario, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuchillas del Toa, Baconao, the Zapata Swamp and Buenavista.

In addition, there are at least 14 national parks, including the Viñales Valley, Guanahacabibes, Cayos de San Felipe, Punta Francés, the Zapata Swamp and Los Caimanes, in addition to Caguanes, Jardines de la Reina, Desembarco del Granma, Turquino, Pico Bayamesa, Mensura-Pilotos, Pico Cristal and Alexander von Humboldt.

Caguanes is one of the best-preserved coastal habitats in the Cuban archipelago, covering more than 22,000 hectares of marine areas, keys, mangroves, swamps and caverns.

Mural of Prehistory
River and mountains in Baracoa.
Baracoa Mountains.

With most of its area in the sea, some of the main attractions in the national park are Cayo Caguanes, the Guayabera Swamp and ten islets called Cayos de Piedra due to their unique morphology in the Cuban archipelago.

Local endemism is represented by five species of mollusks, in addition to all species of Cuban carve-dwelling bats, including the largest colony of fishing bats.

Cuba's bird fauna is diverse, with more than 350 species in the big island and the surrounding keys, especially marine birds and those living in the forests, where there is a high degree of endemism.

In addition, Cuba is crossed by a corridor used by migratory birds that fly long distances from North America to South America and back seeking food and a safe haven during the winter.

In eastern Cuba is the Baconao Biosphere Reserve, which consists of three well-limited biogeographic areas, including the Santiago de Cuba Plateau, the Gran Piedra Mountain Range and the Santa Maria de Loreto Plateau.

There are pre-Columbian sites where three different cultures coexisted: Siboney, proto-agriculture and agriculture.

Meanwhile, in Gran Piedra are the ruins of ancient French-Haitian coffee farms from the 17th and 18th centuries, which boosted the region's socio-economic development and influenced traditional culture.

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