The Isle of Youth is a special
municipality of Cuba located in the southwestern part along the Gulf of
Batabanó. Parrot Island and the isle of Treasure were among its first names: it
was for more than three centuries a refuge for pirates and privateers. It is
now a protected area due to its natural and archaeological richness. Cays,
islets, lush vegetation and, fauna, hillocks, caves, white and black sand beaches
make up this paradise island. Its inhabitants are very hospitable and will
provide the best care in their Casas Particulares (Private Lodging Facilities).
Its magnificent seabed has one of the best preserved coral reefs on the planet:
56 dive sites are available where you can practice underwater photography,
fishing and diving. In addition to that, it is possible to take bird watching
tours or visit the nearby cays. East of “La Sierra de las Casas”, in an area
known as “Bajo de Zambo”, where remains of 70 ships have been found. On the west
coast you will find the International Diving Center.
Enjoy the black sands of Paradise and Bibijagua Beaches. Get to know the Bamboo
Cathedral of the Botanical Garden, and Jones’ Jungle. Stop by the crocodile
farm and breeding center for sea turtles. But above all do not forget to get to
the caves of Punta del Este, one of them considered the Sistine Chapel of
Caribbean indigenous art, with 235 pictographs on the walls and ceiling of the
Historically and culturally different from the rest of the Cuban Archipelago, the
Isle of youth is a mixture of American, Japanese and Cayman Islands ancestors.
You will even know its own musical style; it is a subgenre of Son, it is called
Sucu Sucu. Make the most of this experience by staying in its Casas Particulares
(Private Lodging Facilities). You can also visit several historical sites: The
Museum El Abra Farm, related to the life of José Martí, and the Model Prison,
where the assailants of Moncada Garrison served sentence. In March the Feast of
the Toronja (Grapefruit) is celebrated.