Geography of Cuba

Cuba is the biggest and western of Antilles and it is located strategically the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, its southern coast is taken a bath by the Caribbean Sea and the north by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Cuba is really an archipelago formed by the island of Cuba (104 945 km² - 40 520 mi²), Island of Pines (2 200 km² - 850 mi²) and around 4 195 keys and islands of small size with 3 715 km² (1 435 mi²); in total the surface of the country is about 110 860 km² (42 830 mi²) and its geographical limits are among the 20º 12 ' 36 '' and the 23º 17 ' 09 '' of north latitude and among the 80º 53 ' 55 '' and the 84º 57 ' 54 '' of longitude west. Only the island of Cuba and Island of Pines have conditions to support a population resident permanently.

Island of Cuba has a longitude (east-west) of 1 250 km (780 miles) and a width average (north-south) that varies between 32 and 210 km (20-131 miles) and has 5 800 km of coasts approximately (3 625 miles). Lengthened and narrows of the country has been compared with a cayman and it facilitates that the Trade winds allow to feel their refreshing influence in the whole territory.


Cuba is mainly a flat country in the regions Westerner and central, around 75% of the surface of country is formed by plains that alternate with 3 mountain ranges located in the occident, center and east of the island. These plains are generally quite plane or lightly wavy, they have an altitude below 100 meters on the level of the sea and most population and economic activities redide here on the planes. Only naturally preserved planes are Cienaga de Zapata (Marsh of Zapata) in Matanzas, and Peninsule of Guanahacabibes, in Pinar del Rio.

The mountain ranges mentioned are three:

cuba montain
  1. Sierra of Guaniguanico, in Pinar del Rio province. It is formed by the Sierra of Organs in their western part and Sierra del Rosario in the oriental.The total longitude in the axis SW-NE is 150 km and a width between 10 and 30 km. Theare are a lot of beautifull landscapes and many tourist attractiveness.
    Sierra de los Organos is conformed by slate-like heights of up to 400 meters of altitude and covered with pinegroves in a large part of their extension and mountains and mogotes of calcareous rock with heights between 200 and 500 meters and that alternate with interiors valleys many of them of great beauty like Viñales, worldwide well-known.
    La Sierra del Rosario, has an altitude average between 300 and 700 meters, the maximum altitude is reached in Pan de Guajaibon with 702 meters and here alternating a vegetation of pinegroves and trees of leaves wide, included beautiful wood, with areas of grasses and coffee plantations. There are narrows canyons with very beautiful views among the mountains.Sierra del Rosario is a natural paradise with a lot of scenarios to natural and ecological tourism.
  2. sierra del escambray
  3. Guamauhaya Range, is located in the central area of the country occupying part of the counties of Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara and it is compound for Sierra of Escambray and Sierra de Trinidad, with a total extension of about 4500 km². This mountain range is but well-known as Sierra of Escambray and it is strongly bound to the recent history of the country to be the main scenario of the fight against the Cuban Revolution until middle of the decade of the 60.
    The altitude here are between 300 and 1100 meters being reached the maximum in Pico San Juan with 1140 meters over sea level. These mountains in general are covered with thick vegetation among which the trees of beautiful wood are plentiful and the relief is abrupt with straits valleys and abundant cascades and its southern skirt is escarped and it finishes very next to Caribbean Sea of which separates a narrow coastal plain. In short, a paradise for the ecoturism.
  4. Sierra Maestra, located in the southeast of the island is the biggest and highest mountain range of Cuba, forms a bastion to the long thing and parallelly to the south coast from Cabo Cruz until Punta de Maisi with around 250 km of longitude and between 15 and 60 km of width. They conform it properly Sierra Maestra, Sierra Cristal in the neighbor of Punta de Maisi and Sierra of Nipe in their northeast portion. The altitude in this region are between 300 and 2000 meters being reached the biggest heights in the country: Pico Turquino with 1974 meters over sea level, Pico Cuba, 1872 meters and Pico Suecia, 1734 meters.

    sierra maestra range Sierra Maestra is the natural and most majestic scenario of the country, treare are several natural parks as Pico Turquino, Desembarco del Granma, Santo Domingo-La Sierrita y Marea del Portillo that makes it specially appropriate for the nature tourism.

    Sierra Maestra is also closely bound to the recent history of Cuba because was the scenario of the fight of Fidel Castro's guerrillas against Fulgencio Batista dictatorship among final of 1956 and final of 1958.

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