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Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, a Gem in Cuba’s Tourism Crown
Date: JAN 13, 2020
Other Reports

The Cuban archipelago is made up of hundreds of islets and shoals, featuring a wide range of natural attractions for tourists.

Besides, Cuba boasts some 200 bays, 2,000 keys and islets and 588 kilometers of beaches of tourist interest.

Jardines de la Reina (The Queen’s Gardens), formed by nearly some 600 keys and islets south of Cuba’s central region, outstands amid them all.

This myriad of islets was named by Christopher Columbus after the then queen of Spain, Elizabeth.

In 1996, Cuban authorities declared this archipelago marine reserve, and part of it came under the condition of National Park in 2010. Given its biological diversity, it also serves as a genetic reserve for exclusive species of insects and mollusks. Jardines is located on the southern coast of Ciego de Avila and Camaguey provinces, stretching through nearly 2,170 square kilometers, where many small and relatively narrow cays harbor lush patches of vegetation and sand dunes.

Among the main keys are Alcatracito and Alcatraz, Anclitas, Bretón, Cinco Balas, Caballones and Grande, all of them located inside the Twelve League Labyrinth.

All of them emerged from a sedimentation process, after different elements got trapped by the local vegetation, namely mangrove and bushes growing on sandy beaches, according to researchers.

Extensive, diverse and well preserved marine floors characterize this area, with an abundance of corals, seaweeds, sponges, mollusks, crustaceans, gorgons, chelonians and big fish.

This is the preferred spot for the four species of Cuban sea turtles to lay their eggs (hawksbill, green, tinglado and doggerhead turtles).

The local fauna includes a wide variety of species, from fish to snakes, and sea mammals like dolphins and sperm whales, as well as hutias.

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Marine fauna.
Marine Fauna.
Marine Fauna.
Sea bottom in Cuba.
Sea bottom in Cuba.
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