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Zapata Swamp: A Space for Nature

Cuba's traditional sun and beach offers, based on long coastal strips of white fine sand and crystal clear water, are complemented by nature, thanks to the archipelago's unique natural values.

In that regard, Ciénaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp) is one of the most attractive tourist options in western Matanzas province, in addition to being a paradise par excellence for ecologists.

Beautiful beaches, exotic forests, rivers, lakes, flooded caverns, natural pools, pristine areas and swamp savannas provide shelter to 30 percent of Cuba's autochthonous fauna.

In fact, that region is considered the largest swamp in the insular Caribbean region and offers tourist attractions related to nature, beaches, sports fishing and diving.

In addition, the Zapata Swamp is inhabited by 78 species of endemic plants, in addition to unique animal exponents like crocodile and birds.

Among the species of fish is undoubtedly the manjuarí (Cuban gar - Atractosteus tristoechus), which is considered a living fossil that only lives in the Zapata Swamp.

Monte Mar Ciénaga de Zapata, Matanzas
Diving site at Caleta Buena

At the same times, 171 varieties of birds, 18 of which are endemic, contribute to the region's attractions, in addition to the presence of a kind of crocodile that is native to Cuba, as well as manatees, which are considered one of the crown jewels of Cuba's fauna.

The zone of Playa Larga consists of 400 meters of white fine sand, sea bottoms covered with corals and several natural trails to fully enjoy pristine landscapes.

The offer is complemented by Salinas de Bidos (Bidos Saltmines), where environmentalists can watch up to 165 species of birds in winter, and Cueva de los Peces (Fish's Cave), the largest flooded cavern in the Cuban archipelago and an ideal place for spelunking.

The Zapata Swamp also holds Laguna del Tesoro (Treasury Lagoon), a natural fresh water reservoir that covers 900 hectares and is four meters deep. It is inhabited by the golden trout, which is highly coveted by fishing enthusiasts.

In the middle of the Treasury Lagoon is Villa Guamá, which holds a reproduction of a Taino village, with cabanas built on pillars.

A dozen of small islands linked by a system of channels and bridges hold the Guamá tourist center, the only one of its kind in the Caribbean due to the type of aboriginal constructions.

In Guamá, the Cuban famous sculpture Rita Longa created a life-size replica of a Taino village, as they were Cuba's first inhabitants. The sculptures show Taino people doing their daily shores.

The sustainable development of tourism allows maximum care of the natural environment, thus benefiting those who choose programs linked to the environment and ecology.

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