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Biospheres

Cuba is home to six UNESCO biosphere reserves that protect the country’s delicate natural attractions. They are spread throughout the country, so no matter where your base is, you'll be close to a meticulously preserved reserve. Highlights include the La Boca crocodile-breeding farm at the Ciénaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve, where rare Cuban crocodiles are carefully nurtured, and the history-rich caves found in the Buenavista Biosphere Reserve. At the eastern end of the island, untouched rainforests flourish in the Cuchillas del Toa reserve near Baracoa.


Baracoa

Cuchillas de Toa

Cuchillas de Toa

Spend an afternoon at this UNESCO biosphere reserve. As one of the world’s last untouched rainforests, it boasts a large number of endangered plant and animal species, including the Cuban land snail, which is about two inches in diametre with striking spirals of colour.


Peninsula de Zapata

Zapata Ciénaga Biosphere Reserve

Zapata Ciénaga Biosphere Reserve

One of Cuba's six UNESCO biospheres, the Zapata reserve contains the largest wetlands in the Caribbean, and one of its most diverse ecosystems. Bring your binoculars: the world's smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, makes its home here.


Pinar del Río

Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve

Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve

Take a guided hike through the tropical forests in Cuba’s first biosphere reserve, recognized in 1985. Watch out for one of the world’s smallest frogs and the colourful, pocket-sized reptile, the chipojo.

Península de Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve

Península de Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve

This sprawling reserve covers 121,572 hectares, including the Guanahacabibes National Park. Its diverse vegetation comprises mangroves, marsh grasslands, coastal scrublands and forests. Wildlife includes 40 bird species, as well as an abundance of local jutía and iguanas.


Santiago de Cuba

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

This expansive 84,985-hectare UNESCO-recognized biosphere is home to 1,800 plant species that are of interest for their medicinal, industrial and religious properties. There are a reported 939 indigenous species of wildlife living here, too, including butterflies, mammals, reptiles and the endangered hot-cave bat. The rugged Sierra Maestra mountain range is protected within the Baconao biosphere, as is the Archeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Varadero

Zapata Peninsula Biosphere Reserve

Zapata Peninsula Biosphere Reserve

One of Cuba's six UNESCO biospheres, the Zapata reserve contains the largest wetlands in the Caribbean, and not surprisingly, one of its most diverse ecosystems. Bring your binoculars: the world's smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, makes its home here.


Villa Clara

Buenavista Biosphere Reserve

Buenavista Biosphere Reserve

Encompassing 11 core areas, spanning across 313,502 hectares, this UNESCO-recognized biosphere protects ecosystems including mangroves, coral reefs, active dune zones, keys and vital reproductive zones for aquatic birds. Caves within the reserve hold historically significant paintings.