Cuba

Cuba


Cuba is an archipelago with an area of 109.886,19 km2; 107.466,92 km2 belong to the Island of Cuba, 2.419 km2 to the Island of the Youth and the rest to the adjacent cayos.

The island of Cuba is elongated and narrow, its wider part (Beach Tararaco Ganado-Punta Camarón Grande) measures 194 km and the narrowest (Mariel-Majana) just 31 km. The length of the coast is 3.209 km in the North and 2.537 in the South. Cuba has maritime jurisdiction until 12 miles (19,2km) and fishing jurisdiction until 200 miles (320 km)

It spreads between 74 degrees, 7 minutes, 52 seconds and 84 degrees of western length in relation to the Meridian of Greenwich, and between 19 degrees, 46 minutes, 36 seconds and 23 degrees, 17 minutes and 9 seconds of north latitude. The limits of the Cuban archipelago are: in the northern part, the strait of the Florida, which separates it from the USA for 180 km, and the channels of Saint Nicholas and Old man of Bahamas, who separates it from the Community of the Bahamas for 21 km; in the eastern part, the step of the Winds between Cuba and the Republic of Haiti for 77 km; in the southern part, the Caribbean Sea and the Strait of Colon, the latter separates it from Jamaica for 140 km; and in the western part, the strait of Yucatan, towards the United States for 210 km.

The relief in Cuba is characterized by the presence of marine and fluvial terraces, the special development of the carso and the types of biogenic coasts. The plain relief predominates in 75 % of the territory, followed by the low heights and mountains. 4 % of the national territory is occupied by wetlands.

The mountains, plains and adjacent valleys of Cuba, are sustained in a rocky substratum of very varied nature. The most ancient rocks of Cuba reach even 1.000 millions of years, and the oldest mineral (zircon) 2.500 million years; but there are minerals with less than 200 million years. The Cuban rocks represent diverse environments and situations already non-existent, whose evolution in the time and the space drove to the formation of the current territory.

The climate of Cuba is hot tropical and humid, with maritime influence. Its geographical location very close to the Tropic of Cancer determines the reception of high solar radiation and the hot character of its weather. Nevertheless, it is also situated in a singular position in the border between the zone of tropical and extra-tropical traffic, receiving the influence of both with seasonal character.

The meteorological phenomenon that more frequently affects Cuba is the hurricanes, affecting more the occidental region of the country. The annual average of temperature goes from 24ºC in the plains and 26ºC and more in the oriental coast, with a diminution of the values in the zones of the main mountainous systems of the country.

The most variable element in the climate of Cuba is the rain. The annual average of rain in the country is of 1.335 mm. There are two seasons every year, the rainy season (from May to October) with 80% of the total, and the dry season (from November to April) with 20%.

The relative humidity is usually high, with values over 60%.  The daily maximum is at dawn (sometimes superior to 95%) in the mountainous zones and inside the country. The minimum (at midday) is located on the coasts, diminishing up to approximately 60 % inside the territory.

The predominant wind in almost the whole country is from the East. The maximum speed of the wind owe to the step of cold fronts, extra-tropical cyclones, local severe storms, tropical and different cyclones, over the country or over its surrounding areas.

The geographical location and the elongated and narrow configuration of the island of Cuba produce several peculiarities in the disposition of its fluvial network, there exists two slopes: the north and south. The length of the rivers and the area of its basins in 85 % of the cases are lower than 40 km and 200 km2, respectively.

In the Cuban ecosystem, the total number of species is 32.080 with 42,7% of terrestrial endemism, what constitutes a very valuable resource for the country. A National System of Protected Areas has been structured, standing out four Reserves of the Biosphere, internationally recognized for its diversity and conservation.

The flora is characterized by an extraordinary richness of species and a considerable endemism, mainly in the mountainous zones. There are 11.000 species, 6.300 are endemic (more than 50%).

Cuba occupies the first place in Las Antilles in endemic superior plants. We can mention the mantequero, a very ancient tree, the Cuban dracaena, Mayarí pine, etc.

The fauna has very remarkable characteristics due to its origin and evolution, as well as the influence of the territory that does not present natural barriers. The fauna is poor as for represented groups, but with trend to the micro-location (endemism).

Moreover the paces of the island, the mysterious swamps, the exuberant tropical forests, the reefs of coral and its great historical attraction, it is people who make Cuba to be really unforgettable. We find a country full of educated and affable who will welcome you with open arms.