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Montemar Natural Park, Zapata Peninsula

Explore the lush Montemar Natural Park, declared Biosphere Reserve in Matanzas, Cuba

Montemar Natural Park, Zapata Peninsula
Montemar Natural Park
© Philippe L PhotoGraphy

Explore the Montemar Natural Park, located in the Zapata Peninsula, Cuba, which was declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2001. This park has the largest wetlands in the Caribbean, where numerous animal species find their permanent or migratory home.


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Lovers of sightseeing, or those who want to practice hiking, can take trips through the area with the help of specialised guides, and enjoy the amazing views on their journey.

This is home to more than 190 different bird species; among which you can find many flamingos and the curious bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. This is a destination for many migratory birds who live in North America.

Furthermore, the fauna of the area comprises of 31 types of reptiles, 12 species of mammal, and a great variety of amphibians, fish and insects. There is the notable presence of manatees, the rhombifer crocodile, originally from Cuba; and the Cuban alligator, a fish with a head that looks like an alligator’s.

The park’s lush vegetation contains 900 types of plants, 115 of which are endemic. This place is quite special, as you will find a land occupied by 14 different types of vegetation, such as mangroves, forests, dry forests, cacti, savannah and jungle. Furthermore, the salt lakes found in this ecosystem are well-documented.

Two bogs, divided by a rocky strip, make up Zapata Swamp, located inside the Montemar Park, where lovers of sport fishing will find pomfrets, shads, sea bass and bonefish.

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