Cuba // Artemisa and Pinar del Río //

Península de Guanahacabibes

Though a challenge to reach independently, the forest-covered Península de Guanahacabibes has become a popular destination for organized excursions and in this respect is easier than ever to get to. The journey is certainly not without its rewards, especially for scuba divers, who can enjoy some of the best dive sites in Cuba. One of the largest national forest-parks in the country, the Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes covers most of the peninsula, the whole of which was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1987. Some of Cuba’s most beautiful and unspoilt coastline can be found here around the Bahía de Corrientes, the bay nestling inside this hook of land. It was on the peninsula that the Cuban Amerindians sought their last refuge, having been driven from the rest of the island by the Spanish colonists. Guanahacabibes is still relatively untouched by tourism and the only two hotel resorts are the low-key María La Gorda and Villa Cabo San Antonio. This is also an important area for wildlife; birdlife is particularly rich between November and March, during the migration season, while May to September is the best time for seeing turtles.

Make sure you bring enough cash to cover all your costs on a trip to this area, as you cannot withdraw money or use credit cards for accommodation or restaurants. The only way into the peninsula is along a potholed road through a thick forest that begins where the Carretera Central ends, at the tiny fishing village of La Fe, 15km beyond the turning for Laguna Grande.




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