Garden of the kings

Jardines de los Reyes is a mostly wetland area to the north of Cuba where the naturally beautiful keys of Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Romano are situated. There are a few causeways that connect the mainland to the peninsula of Jardines de los Reyes to avoid the long drive around the Bahia de Nuevitas via Playa Santa Lucia. There is a stunning area of wildlife to be seen whilst driving along the causeways, mostly birds🙂

Jardines de los Reyes

Jardines de los Reyes

Wetland areas

Wetland areas

During our visit we saw mostly cormorants & gulls.

Bird population of wetlands

Bird population of wetlands

The beaches around this area have made Jardines de los Reyes a very popular tourist destination and like it or not, the coastline is littered with “all-inclusive” hotels and there are few options to stay anywhere but these hotels.

White sandy beaches

White sandy beaches

Cuba has one of the biggest coral reefs internationally and this runs all around the perimeter of the country. This is a very delicate ecosystem and one that is by and large endangered. The reef has been likened by many enthusiasts as an underwater Garden of Eden and has been extensively explored and recorded on cameras for posterity. There is every chance of this reef being destroyed if it is not looked after.

The Cuban Government has taken several measures to ensure that these reefs are kept healthy and flourishing. The area is completely off-limits to commercial fishing as well as development. The fish here are present in healthy numbers and a great number of predators such as large sharks are also present.

Beautiful and delicate coral reefs

Beautiful and delicate coral reefs

Sometimes I think it sounds patronising to say that we met some lovely friendly people on our travels but I found the Cubans generally very amiable but really it’s the same as everywhere, there are people you would like to spend time with and people you wouldn’t.

Purveyor of beach food

Purveyor of beach food

There is so much I could say about Cuba, much of it probably of no interest to anyone but me and possibly has more to do with my thoughts on the behaviour of people rather than branding a whole nation as this or that.

There is also the music of which I am a great fan and I’m not talking of the cheesy salsa music that has become popular (although some of it I really love!), I’m talking of the real “grass-roots” music; rumba, music of Yoruban and Congolese origin, son and music that has become fused with jazz styles such as Cubop. Cuba is a fantastic place with a most amazing history and a more diverse culture than you could imagine but you must get out of your hotel, otherwise miss out at your peril!!

Cayo Guillermo

Cayo Guillermo

OK, I’m done with Cuba now but it was nice to remind myself of an interesting and enjoyable visit to somewhere special🙂

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