Cuba is a natural wonderland
Cuba’s allure has always enchanted poets, visitors, and writers with its dream beaches with snow-white sand, pristine mountains, and old colonial villages. Sugar cane and renowned Cuban cigars are also popular on the island.
Place of residence
With 110,860 square kilometers, Cuba is the Caribbean’s largest island, located at the Gulf of Mexico’s entry. The state is made up of roughly 1600 tiny islands and coral reefs, with the major island, Isla de la Juventud, located in the southwest.
The main island is 50 kilometers wide at its narrowest point, 200 kilometers broad at its widest point, and 1250 kilometers long.
The island is almost the same size as the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria combined. It is bordered on the west by the Yucatan Peninsula (210 kilometers), on the north by Florida (180 kilometers), on the east by Haiti (77 kilometers), on the northeast by the Bahamas (140 kilometers), and on the south by Jamaica (140 kilometers) (146 kilometers away).
Guantánamo Bay is a US Navy outpost in the country’s southeast. It is situated on land that the Cuban government leased to the United States beginning in 1903.
Cuba is a melting pot.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), a German naturalist, compared the island’s shape to that of a crocodile. More than eleven million people live atop this “crocodile” now, with a fifth of them in Havana, the capital. In the last 50 years, the population has nearly doubled.
Around 11% of Cubans are black, 37% are white, 1% are Chinese, and 51% of Cubans have ancestors from other countries. In comparison to other Caribbean islands, segregation of population groupings is less pronounced in Cuba.
Weather conditions and temperatures
The sun shines 330 days a year in Cuba. The island’s tropical climate guarantees that it rarely drops below freezing. The rainy season runs from May to October during the warmer months. Short, heavy afternoon rains with thunderstorms are typical for this time of year. The humidity can reach up to 95%, making it extremely humid.
There are drier periods in July and August, but temperatures of up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit make it exceedingly hot, at least in the cities. Hurricanes are also likely between July and October.
The winter dry season, which runs from November to April, is more pleasant. Then trade winds blow frequently, and the temperature averages 25 degrees. It can also be much chilly in January.
Ocean currents pushing warm Atlantic water into the Caribbean Sea are to blame for Cuba’s climate. The water temperature is always between 25 and 28 degrees, making it ideal for swimming all year.
Vegetation and landscape
With over 8000 distinct plant types, the island is a natural paradise. The silvery king palm, which may reach a height of 40 meters, is the most well-known tree. It is the island’s national tree.
The indomitability of the Cuban people is symbolized by the king palm, which has a slender high stem that can survive heavy storms. Furniture and roofing are created from the wood, bark, and palm fronds. Pine and mahogany forests cover almost a fourth of the island.
The terrain of Cuba is varied and diversified. The north shore is rocky, with cliffs on both sides, whereas the south coast is low and swampy.
The view is distinguished by many broad plains in the interior. The Sierra Maestra is the highest mountain range in the area, ending just before the coast’s easternmost point. More than 200 rivers irrigate and green the country, none of which is longer than 250 kilometers.
Tobacco grows best on permeable, sandy soils like those found in western Cuba. The foundation for growing what is perhaps the best tobacco in the world is river valleys with lush alluvial soil. Tobacco and sugar cane agriculture, as well as tourism, are the most important economic factors.
In Cuba, environmental protection is treated very seriously. Protected areas, biosphere reserves, and national parks abound. The “Parque Nacional Alejandro Humboldt,” which protects the island’s last tropical rainforests and was constructed with German assistance, encompasses more than 50,000 hectares. The orchid garden at Soroa, which has over 700 distinct varieties of orchids, is another popular tourist attraction.
The animals of Cuba
In Cuba, there are over 13,000 different animal species, including several unique species. The endangered “manat” manatees, also known as “ugly mermaids,” reside near river mouths, for example.
The Zapata marshes in the west of the island are home to the endangered Cuban crocodile. Hunting these animals, which can reach a height of 3.50 meters, is currently illegal.
Until a female specimen was discovered in the 1970s, the Cuban “almiqui,” an ant-eating slithering weevil, was similarly thought to be extinct. The little mammal can be found in the highlands of Cuba’s southwestern and southeastern regions. It is considered to have lived 70 million years ago and is linked to elephants.
The Cuban fauna also features the world’s tiniest frog, the Cuban pygmy frog, which is just twelve millimeters in length, and the world’s smallest bird, the 63-millimeter hummingbird “zunzuncito,” also known as the bee elf and distantly related to our canary.
The tocororo (Priotelus Temnurus) is the national bird of Cuba, and its plumage bears the colors of the Cuban flag: red, blue, and white.
Only a few of the more than 10,000 insect species are likely to be avoided by certain visitors or locals. Almost no summer goes by without a mosquito infestation. In any situation, mosquito repellents or mosquito nets are recommended.
Abundance below sea level
Divers from all around the world visit Cuba. They can find hidden treasures as well as beautiful animals like parrotfish, surgeonfish, pufferfish, and needlefish in the sea. Around 400 ships are estimated to be sunk at sea around and around Havana, including undiscovered shipwrecks from the ancient “Silver Route.”
The Aztec empire was captured by the conqueror Hernán Cortés in 1519, opening the door to a wealth trove. Hundreds of adventurers followed his track, known as the “Silver Route,” to plunder the Maya and Aztec treasures. The conquistadors followed the “Silver Route” to Cuba’s coasts, but the water was unpredictable there. The galleons were surprised by hurricanes and pirates, and they sank with their valuables.
The submerged wrecks entice divers into the depths like echoes of the past. The diving zones of Cayo Largo, some 50 kilometers south of the main island of Cuba in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, and the region off Isla de la Juventud are the most well-known.