HAVANA, February 13. The Zapata Swamp, a relevant wetland and attractive tourist scene in Cuba, is experiencing a significant increasein tourist interest in 2024, especially among foreign visitors.
This territory, located in the southwestern region of the island, is one of the most interesting places in Cuba, with an exceptional panorama of various types of swamp ecosystems.
The guides in the area highlight that 2024 means a lot for this site due to the interest aroused, especially among foreigners, due to the color and surprises of that territory.
The place, which consists of low, swampy, and semi-swampy plains, located on deposits of peat and limestone rock, with hydromorphic soils and natural savannah vegetation, is a perfect setting for photography and offers a privileged walk for tourists.
Highlights include La Laguna del Tesoro and the Hatiguanico River Basin, the main waterway in the area, as well as Playa Larga and Playa Girón.
The Zapata Swamp is a treasure of biodiversity, with forests of limestone and poorly drained parts, and mangroves. In addition, there are large areas that are generally flooded where swamp grasslands grow, formed by Cortadera, Palmacana, Arraiján, Yana and Guanito, among others.
The fauna of the area is privileged, with the presence of the Gallinuela de Santo Tomás and the Ferminia, birds exclusive to the area and considered the most restricted habitat in the world.
In addition, you can observe more than 100 species of birds, including the Zunzuncito, Cabrerito de la Ciénaga, Long-tailed Gavilán, Catey, Parakeet and Partridge Dove, which form large concentrations throughout the year.
The Ciénaga is also a natural refuge for thousands of migratory birds from North America. There are 16 species of reptiles there, including Cuban and American crocodiles, iguanas, lizards, majá, and several types of frogs.
Mammals have an endemic species such as the dwarf hutía, in addition to the conga hutía, as well as abundant introduced populations of jíbaro pigs and deer.
In the estuaries and lagoons it is possible to find two species of aquatic vertebrates, the Manatí and the Manjuarí, the latter only found in the Ciénaga. Its waters are also a refuge for a good representation of marine fauna, such as fish and corals. This place is considered by experts to be the largest wetland in the insular Caribbean.
The Zapata Swamp covers 300 thousand hectares. Around 56 percent of this wetland is covered by forests, and it is estimated that there are, within them or in independent communities, some 900 diverse floral species. Many of these floral species are native.
Added to this biodiversity is the presence of some 109 forms of fauna, with 12 species of mammals, 160 birds, 31 reptiles, and a great variety of amphibians and invertebrates.