Photo feature by Luis Rondon Paz and Doug Townsend
HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s Isle of Youth (formerly the Isle of Pines) is one of the largest in the Caribbean. Located roughly 60 kilometers from the Batabano port and 142 kilometers from Havana, it has a total land surface of 2,400 square kilometers and is surrounded by more than 600 keys and small isles (making up the Canarreos archipelago in Cuba’s south-western region).
Known as a special municipality (because of its relatively small size), its reduced population and the fact it is an island, it is directly subordinate to the central government in Havana. Its most densely-populated cities are Nueva Gerona, the head municipality, Santa Fe and La Demajagua. There are smaller towns, such as the Delio Chacon, Jose Marti, La Patria and La Victoria districts. The latter is highly popular owing to the story surrounding Cuba’s once-famous super-cow, Ubre Blanca (“White Udder”), which has a monument at the entrance of town to this day.
Some of the island’s highlights are the International Scuba Diving Center, the Model Prison, the Colony Hotel, the black sands of the Bibijagua beach, the Largo del Sur Key and Cayo Largo del Sur Marina, the El Abra ranch (where Jose Marti was once confined), the Cienaga de Lanier National Park and Reserve and others.
Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.