National Parks

"...the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen." - Christopher Columbus in his log upon discovery of Cuba on October 27, 1492

Cuba´s idiosyncrasy as a former colony turned Communist state, as both a political and social experiment, makes one forget that the island itself is of a natural beauty older and more majestic than anything manmade.


Despite massive deforestation (some 16% of forests remain of what Columbus encountered five centuries ago), Cuba still provides you with the oppurtunity of enjoying its enchanting natural splendour in the several Cuban national parks. In continuation, we´ll briefly discuss Cuba´s national parks. The next page tab provides some information on the extraordinary Cuban wildlife.

There are ten national parks and biosphere reserves in Cuba (see below), which makes for about 10% of Cuban territory that is actually official state-protected land.

For the benefit of the population - often referred to as Paisaje Cultural de la Humanidad - the Cuban state protects these areas. Visiting these national parks requires paying an entrance fee, whereas entrance to some of the areas requires a special scientific permit which is only available to professionals wishing to undertake research. Make sure that you inform yourself of the terms of entrance before planning your visit!

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (UNESCO) Here you can come for hiking, birding, or for a boat tour. Bayside setting, visitors center, guided tours and walking routes.
Caguanes National Park Includes ten cays (small islands), caves, several swamps and mangroves.
Cuchillas del Toa Located in the drainage area of the Toa river. Important center of biodiversity in Cuba with a wide variety of forestation, and complex coastal vegetation with mangroves and coral reefs. Also hosts one of the great cave systems in eastern Cuba.
Desembarco del Granma National Park (UNESCO)(Rain)forest, beaches, reefs, caves, and (of course) a replica of the Granma
Guanahacabibes peninsula Mangroves, beaches, scuba diving, hiking, birding.
Jardines de la ReinaCuba´s second largest archipelago, hundreds of cays and islands. Great place for both diving and fishing.
Sierra Cristal National ParkCuba´s first national park, located in one of the heighest mountain ranges of Cuba. Pine forests and research center.
Sierra del RosarioFirst Cuban Biosphere reserve with tropical forests, hundreds of plant species.
Turquino (or Sierra Maestra) National ParkPlace to go to for trekking and camping, with high peaks and the rewarding views. Avoid the wet season though.
Viñales Valley Hiking, spelunking,, rock climbing: the Viñales Valley allows you to do it all. Get your information in the visitors center.
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